16 yr old with moderate depression - I want to figure some ways forward — Scope | Disability forum
If we become concerned about you or anyone else while using one of our services, we will act in line with our safeguarding policy and procedures. This may involve sharing this information with relevant authorities to ensure we comply with our policies and legal obligations.

Find out how to let us know if you're concerned about another member's safety.

16 yr old with moderate depression - I want to figure some ways forward

HUGS Member Posts: 4 Connected
My son has a disability and is nearly 16. He's been assessed by CAMHs today, and confirmed moderate depression. It's his GCSE year and he's so far not started back at school. I'm joining SCOPE discussion to try and figure some ways forward. 


  • April2018mom
    April2018mom Posts: 2,872 Connected
    Hello @HUGS. What can we assist you with? No question is off limits here seriously. Can you tell us a bit more about your family or not? 
  • HUGS
    HUGS Member Posts: 4 Connected
    Hi April2018mom, Thank you for replying. I have a 15 yo almost 16 son who has a hip disability called Coxa Vara, one leg 6cm shorter than the other, residual constant pain, and also very small stature. He is refusing school and it's his crucial GCSE exams year. The school have been very supportive and he's now at long last engaging with a CAMHs mental health person, first meeting yesterday. She advises getting back to school is paramount for him to get to a better place but he's struggling to to in. He's had a lifetime of negative low level teasing about his height and his limp and now he's a teenager he's just kind of crumpled under the weight of it all. He's hiding away in his room but has started to get into guitars and music and so goes out a little bit with his step dad and dad. He has a good group of friends but they don't really understand his issues as they're too young to empathise very well, and of course have their own teen issues to cope with. The GP recommended I join Scope to help with some of my worries about him. As a mum it's stressful as I have the lion's share of caring for him and him not going to school and sometimes i feel so demoralised, for him and for all of us trying to help him. Thanks for listening, Kate x
  • April2018mom
    April2018mom Posts: 2,872 Connected
    edited September 2019
    I totally understand. My son (2) is completely non ambulatory with bowel/bladder problems. In the beginning before I joined Scope, I used to cry at night about our family’s lack of a social life due to his issues. What are his cognitive abilities like? *edited by moderator*
  • Sam_Alumni
    Sam_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,673 Disability Gamechanger
    @April2018mom I have edited your post, please remember that the guidelines state members should not be giving medical advice. Please also remember to take care to present your views tactfully.
    Senior online community officer
  • Adrian_Scope
    Adrian_Scope Posts: 8,576 Scope online community team
    Hello @HUGS and a warm welcome to the community, it's nice to have you with us.

    It's good to hear your son is now engaging with CAHMs. Does he see his friends much outside of school? 
    Community Manager

    Tell us how to make the community better for you. Complete our feedback form.
  • Sam_Alumni
    Sam_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,673 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @HUGS
    Can school offer any tactics or support to getting him into school? Could they allow him to start on half days perhaps?
    Does he have an EHCP (An education, health and care plan)?

    An education, health and care (EHC) plan is for children and young people aged up to 25 who need more support than is available through special educational needs support.

    EHC plans identify educational, health and social needs and set out the additional support to meet those needs.

    You can ask your local authority to carry out an assessment if you think your child needs an EHC plan.

    If they decide to carry out an assessment you may be asked for:

    • any reports from your child’s school, nursery or childminder
    • doctors’ assessments of your child
    • a letter from you about your child’s needs

    The local authority will tell you within 16 weeks whether an EHC plan is going to be made for your child.

    You might like to look into our service Navigate too. 

    Navigate is a national mentoring service, that provides emotional support for parents of disabled children who are finding out about their child’s additional needs.


    Navigate is open to any parent or carer who:

    • lives in England or Wales 
    • has a child under 18 years of age, who is going through or has received a diagnosis in the last year.

    About the service

    Navigate is a 6-week programme that puts you in touch with a personal adviser, who will help you to talk about your feelings and concerns.

    The service will help you to:

    • organise your thoughts and feelings
    • take positive actions and help with your emotional wellbeing
    • give you coping strategies and insights.

    Your personal adviser

    You will have weekly catch ups with your adviser either online or by phone. Your adviser will work with you on a one-to-one basis, helping you to:

    • explore your needs and personal goals
    • agree your 6-week action plan, and
    • provide you with support, if you need it. 

    Accessing the service

    You can apply online or get a referral from the helpline. Contact with your adviser will be online or by phone.

    We have lots of parents here on the community, so do keep chatting and I hope connecting with other mums, dads and carers will help.

    Senior online community officer
  • HUGS
    HUGS Member Posts: 4 Connected
    Thank you Adrian and Sam, I think he's sort, without being dramatic going through a little breakdown over everything coming to a head and feeling unable to cope. I spoke to his CAMHs worker earlier and we agreed that we think he actually will be ok in the much longer term, but that right now he does need all our support. He was supposed to be meeting friends after school today but has since told me he isn't going to go. He's taking an interest in things though, such as music and suddenly interested in Bonsai trees! It's a lot for me to cope with but I am also coming to terms that he is my precious son and I don't care what other people's kids are doing, the ones who manage everything just fine. It was important for me to get my head around that so I can support him really well. I am just hoping he goes back to school on Monday and i know it'll be hard for him but it will also be much better for him to keep managing life outside the four walls of home.
  • mossycow
    mossycow Member Posts: 485 Pioneering
    edited September 2019
    Hi there, 

    Lovely to see you here and great that GPS are suggesting this forum for support. 

    I'm a teacher and my last job before I became a disabled was in a 6th form for 8 years. 

    My input to this thread would be: yes this year can be seen as crucial but I had many students who for many different reasons did not get the results at GCSE they wanted or that lived up to their potential and ITS OK.

    There are many options post 16. And often our kids who just didn't find school fitted them, often SHONE like the stars when they moved and had a fresh start, more support or even that they were just a year older...

    The other thing, regarding stress over GCSEs etc is to think about life outside eof school too. Could he do work experience in a music shop for example (I'm a music teacher so my ears pricked up when you said he was into guitars!). Does he learn guitar? YouTube videos are fab for that.

    Perhaps looking at what he might do next year. For example, he may want to study something that school don't do like horticulture... Music... Something else? And perhaps knowing that the end of school is in sight and that's there's a reward at the end of his work might help. For example, he might focus on getting grade 4s in English and maths so he has more choice in what to do after... Be motivated to get extra help if say he knows he can study to be a guitar technition or a bonsai grower afterwards.(just examples!)

    Also, school is a tiny tiny pond. He's a big fish in a small pond who looks and maybe acts differently.... As so many of us with disibikiryies or chronic health problems do.... But... In his work life, college etx its a much bigger pool of all sorts of people. Young people, adults, all different people and often this is much easier than school. 

    Might be worth looking at medication too...(NOT medical advice!... Just a suggestion for someone else to advise yoo if that make sense) Either to get some for the pain as that will all change when he is 16. Or perhaps look at what he is on in case that is contributing to his mental health. I have chronic pain and that enough to make anyone depressed.. It's taken a while to get medication that works but it was worth it as I can do more, sleep better and life is much brighter. 

    Had he gone back yet? How's it going? 

    Are the teachers all informed and is there a plan in place? 


Complete our feedback form and tell us how we can make the community better.