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ERIC
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Problems with school not understanding

Hi everyone this is my first time posting in a forum but I am tearing my hair out and not sure what else I can do!

My little boy is 5, and has struggled with bladder problems including sensitive bladder, urgency, not fully voiding, urine infections etc for several years now. He is on Movicol for constipation but not sure it has helped! He has never had a dry night.

He has just started year 1 but the teachers still don't seem to understand his issues despite me explaining over and over. They treat him like he is being naughty, ignore his raised hand, tell him he has to wait till breaktime and tell him off when he has accidents. They just can't seem to see it from his point of view and think being strict is the solution, which if course it isn't! All that happens he is too scared to ask to go, and too scared to tell them if he is wet :0(

During the summer holidays he has been really good and only had a handful of accidents in the whole 6 weeks! (A small miracle!) Which proves to me the school are making things worse, not better.

Just wondered how others have dealt with school? How have other teachers been, or any ideas what I could say or do to make a bit easier for my little boy?

Thanks!

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Oh I have been through all this and got the T shirt! Its massively frustrating for you and your son.

My advice is -

1. Get the continence nurses on board. Explain the difficulties you are having. They can ring or to go into school and talk to the head/SENCO/teacher (with you there too) and explain that this is something he has no control over. That he MUST be allowed to go whenever he needs to. In my experience school take other professionals more seriously than parents (I don't agree with this, but have found to be the case). The school nurse may also be a useful ally.

2. During this conversation school could also draw up an Individual Health Care Plan with you. These are used nationally in schools up and down the land, and a very common reason is that a child has continence issues. They are a formal record so that all staff in contact with the child know the score.

Ours, for example says our son should be guided in drinking bottle of 600ml of water per school day (as per advice of nurses), that he should be prompted to change his pants and trousers 2 x a day so he's not in wet clothes. And that he can go whenever he needs to!

Good luck and report back on your progress to us all x

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Hi, I agree with Mrs Squirrel. Get a letter from GP, and get school nurse involved too. If that doesn't work speak to your local councillor and county council. Our school nurse reffered us to an Incontinence Specialist nurse who is brilliant and very good at educate the school nurse that eventually informs the school. I recommend documenting communications with school etc and arranging a meeting with school nurse, headteacher, class teacher and TA together (and taking someone with you for support) to come up with a plan.Good luck!

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That's a really good point Holly - to keep a diary of how many times conversations have occurred and who with. Information easily get lost in school. Suggest to school that you have a contact book in his school bag to communicate with staff like teacher. As Holly says include TA in meeting and a supporter for you (they can take notes in meeting - you can type up these to keep or email these to school after to say 'this is what we agreed' depending on how confident you are that things will proceed smoothly!!).

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Thank you :0) it helps loads just to know I'm not the only one dealing with this. Last year his teacher said to me that 'in 30 years of teaching she had never come across anything like this- it's not normal !!

Made me cry 😥

I have tried the Drs but they are not interested just say he'll grow out if it and to see the school nurse. Tried them but they said the funding has been withdrawn for the daytime enurisus clinic in our area and I should see the doctor! 😫

Will definately go back to the school and try to get something more formal in place, Thank you. Really like the idea of keeping a contact book in his bag, would be better to have a record of what's happening rather than just going by what my lo tells me! Might make them take it a bit more seriously as well instead of just telling him to be quiet or wait till break! x

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I also had problems with one of my son’s teacher’s who said at one point it was unhygienic to have my son in her class!!!

I went straight to the headteacher and complained and said that if he had autism or dyslexia they wouldn’t hesitate to help, and this was just a medical problem. We are lucky to have an amazing head teacher who was really lovely and asked what I and my son needed going forward to help out and we worked out a plan. I was less than thrilled when he got that teacher back again this year but I made it clear before the end of last term that at no point was he to be told that it was naughty to go to the toilet in class time and so far so good (usual beginning of term regression but no problems with the school)

Good luck

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Yes, I have had very similar comments over the years - called to school to change him (I politely and firmly reply that I am at work!), 2 teachers who would not believe he had to go so often 'he's just getting out of work/assembly' etc. At least once we had a (vague) diagnosis of possible overactive bladder and were under continence service, we had back up. The nurses were great and said if there was ever an issue they would call school or go in and lay it on the line with the head and SENCO! As many have said this is a medical issue and school needs a protocol to deal with it whilst our children are in their care. Having a Individual Healthcare Plan (just a form that school will have that parents can complete) in place is good as it makes it formal that there is a medical issue.

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