I’m often asked about my journey with regards to seeking a diagnosis for Harrison. I explain that it was always complicated with the school he was in at the time, but I never really go into details.
Well today I found this form in some of our paperwork, it was completed by the SENCo of his school. I'd had many a meetings with her previously, desperately trying to get some support for my child and other children. I remember sobbing, telling her how I fully understand he is different at school to home, as he holds it together in school but as soon as he leaves school (I mean the second his foot was off of school territory) he would instantly change. He would kick the car seats in rage on the way home, smash up the house and constantly hurt his siblings. He rarely slept and we were at our wits end.
I finally resorted to seeking help privately, however they still required input from the school.
The form in the pictures below were sent to the SENCo directly, her job was to complete it and return it to them, however she handed this back to me directly and said “I’ve told you before, we don’t see anything you describe at home and he behaves this way because he has attachment issues due to your post natal depression when he was a baby.
I remember at that point in my life, being so low, so confused on what I was supposed to do. Firstly to get the help he clearly needed, but also to ensure his siblings needs were being met. I was stretched in every direction, he was taking up ALL of me and my other children were being dragged along for the ride. When you're already as low as this, alongside the mum guilt that was in full throttle, to be told this is all your fault quite simply made me question my purpose of life.
Despite this absolute, disgrace of a human ( sorry unprofessional of me I know) kicking me to the kerb, I handed over the forms to the doctor during our initial consultation, I sighed, and said, "I feel like I am wasting your time, school say this is all my fault". she looked at me and said "if she is a qualified SENCo she should firstly know that children with any form of neurodiversity are A* students at masking and compartmentalising their behaviours and that secondly that she could be investigated for making these allegations" I instantly relaxed, I felt better, I felt a little more sane.
This SENCo stated there were NO CONCERNS, including no tics, no anxiety and no issues with concentrating etc. she stated she liaised with his teacher and other staff. Despite me having separate letters from his teacher stating her concerns for his concentration and behaviour. (Since then, he has been diagnosed with Anxiety, ADHD and Tourettes Syndrome to name a few)
This doctor honestly turned our lives around, she listened, she diagnosed anxiety and then referred us into the NHS for a full multidisciplinary assessment, this process still took time but she saw instantly how Harrison was struggling.
During the diagnosis process, we moved schools and made a formal complaint regarding this SENCo, he was instantly 'seen' as needing extra support at his new school and I have to say we have been extremely lucky since with all the schools he has attended.
The purpose of me sharing this very personal part of our diagnosis journey is to firstly say, I get it, I know how it feels, and I am here for you. Secondly, to spread awareness that the 'two different children' seen between home vs school is real, it IS a thing, don't let school say otherwise and thirdly, do not let anyone take control of your emotions like this SENCo did me.
We are strong, Our children are stronger and Together you will get through this.