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beeessbee

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Reply with quote  #1 
Hi-
My 15 yr old D was diagnosed with AN on 14th Dec 2017. I am concerned that the school she is at appears not to have any kind of policy/guidance for eating disorders and that members of staff there are may not be aware of what an ED is and how to help support parents especially during the refeeding phase.  I am interested to know if anyone on this forum, living in the UK, is aware of their school having a policy that provides up-to-date guidance? I know that Eva Musby has been advocating a model policy for some time - is anyone aware if this particular model policy has been adopted at their school?

Thanks,
Beeessbee
Torie

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Reply with quote  #2 
My school, like most, is pretty clueless about this.  xx

-Torie

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runmum

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Reply with quote  #3 
D's school (also in the UK) don't have anything in place. However, D has been assigned a support worker who will help in any way she can to keep D in school. This includes her having somewhere to go to eat lunch and to help her get the work she misses (and thus reduce stress). Good luck x
Ping_Pong

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Our school, also in the UK, didn't know much or have much in place.  However, they were willing to listen and were happy to take the lead from us on many things, such as time off, staggered return to school, re-introducing PE, adapting elements of the science curriculum on nutrition (for eg) so that we felt comfortable with it, and so on.
seaglass

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Reply with quote  #5 
Unfortunately I suspect many/most schools will not have guidance or welfare staff who know about EDs.

My d's school didn't BUT they do have a duty of care to put a plan in place to support ANY pupil with additional needs. We found that the guidance staff and learning support team were very receptive to listening and to meeting with CAHMS team and putting steps in place to offer support. Of course there were many things that didn't wholly support the specifics of ED (e.g. Some health lessons, having to be measured round waist for a sewing lesson etc) but in each instance I talked to my d and helped her cope with any triggering or uncomfortable situation.

It's frustrating as the government keep talking about making mental health a priority and making sure there is a counsellor in all UK schools but this is just talk so far.

I found it helpful to be open and honest and to involve CAHMS in meetings with the school and to question any plans that I was not happy with. CAHMS can offer support for snacks and meals at school by sending in nurses to eat with your child.

It's hard but keep talking, keep explaining and try to make them understand exactly what support could be helpful. For us my d had a system in place where all her teachers were aware, if she felt like she needed space she had a designated classmate who would say she felt ill and could my d take her to welfare and this acted as a discreet 'escape' so in reality my d could leave lessons and get support.

beeessbee

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Reply with quote  #6 
Thanks to everyone for their posts on this. I have a meeting with staff at my D's school on Monday and all these suggestions will really help me feel more prepared for that.


evamusby_UK

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Reply with quote  #7 
I am glad to read your request, as you're helping with my motivation to get that policy written and done with. Every time I work to shorten it it gets longer. You see my problem!

The replies from everyone show the way. I think we can each get the specifics we need for our own child by direct discussion with the school. It would be nice if a school already had a policy, because it would show they already understand the broad lines and have a willingness. But the replies above show we can do very well without it. I would think for any parent with a child with an ED right now, it's better off advocating for your particular needs right now, than to put energy into a general improving of how the school deals with food/body-related issues for everyone. That can come later when your particular needs are not so urgent.

In your case, the main thing you might want to think about is what level of supervision you want the school to give for snacks and lunch. We shouldn't expect schools to coax our kids to eat (it's hard enough for us to do it), just to have staff who can observe if the food is eaten and report back to the parents.

For yourself to get more informed and assertive about what you'd like the school to do, here are more resources:

School policy for eating disorders - Eva Musby (that's me)- ongoing draft on https://1drv.ms/w/s!AkNKehP0Vq2IgQefd2Cqku6CGD-s (anyone with link can view, not edit) I warn you, it is a TERRIBLE mess right now, and far too long.

 

Australia has this excellent resource,but it's been produced under some private contract, and sadly will disappear once the contract ends [frown]

http://www.foodforthought.org.au/

 Neda educator toolkit

https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/sites/default/files/Toolkits/EducatorToolkit.pdf

I am also well impressed by a whole lot of freely accessible online resources from the Dove "confident me" project (used on scouts/girl guides in the UK), which is an offshoot of a well-researched and widely used US program "The body project". 

It's about body acceptance, getting rid of 'fat-talk' etc. It's not targeted at eating disorders. My understanding is that it will do no harm to a kid with an eating disorder (as opposed to un-researched initiatives that can make vulnerable kids worse)

There are materials for scout leaders, and materials for schools https://www.dove.com/uk/dove-self-esteem-project/school-workshops-on-body-image-confident-me.html

 Confident Me training videos for teachers are a great eye opener for any school, even if they don't go ahead with the Confident Me program:

https://www.dove.com/uk/dove-self-esteem-project/school-workshops-on-body-image-confident-me/confident-me-training-videos-for-teachers.html

Good list of what a health promoting school does:

 

  • Confident Me - How to create the right environment
  • Zero tolerance of appearance or weight-based taunting or teasing
  • Avoid recording height, weight, food diaries
  • Staff as role models: Discourage diets and weight reducing behaviours among staff
  • Involved parents by providing information on how they can be positive body confidence champions

 

 

 

 

 

Materials for parents:

https://www.dove.com/uk/dove-self-esteem-project/help-for-parents.html




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Eva Musby, mother, author, produces lots of resources for parents at http://anorexiafamily.com and on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/user/EvaMusby/playlists
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Foodsupport_AUS

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Reply with quote  #8 
Eva I couldn't get the food for thought link to work, and when I found it I couldn't get it to paste in either. I anyone wants to find it google foodforthought and it is one of the top few search items, go to the one ending in au.  It is actually government funded and backed, though that doesn't guarantee permanence either. 

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D diagnosed restrictive AN June 2010 age 13.5. Weight restored July 2012. Relapse and now clawing our way back. Treatment: multiple hospitalisations and individual and family therapy.
Foodsupport_AUS

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Reply with quote  #9 
In Australia there is also this document put out by the NEDC (National Eating Disorders Coalition) http://www.nedc.com.au/files/Resources/Teachers%20Resource.pdf
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D diagnosed restrictive AN June 2010 age 13.5. Weight restored July 2012. Relapse and now clawing our way back. Treatment: multiple hospitalisations and individual and family therapy.
beeessbee

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Reply with quote  #10 
Thanks to everyone for these resources.

Thankfully my school has helped provide good specific support for my D's mealtimes during the school day. And that is the thing I am concentrating on. I guess I'm also worried about my younger daughter and am hoping that she gets an understanding of healthy eating from our discussions at home and recognises any signs in herself if they crop up. Support from the school in providing the right messages would be useful. 

Beeessbee

evamusby_UK

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Reply with quote  #11 
beeessbee I am really glad you have managed to address what your girl needs right now in school.

Foodsupport_AUS I am well impressed by the NEDC resource you linked to (how long to I have to be researching this and keeping finding new resources out there!!!) I am heartened to see it is way longer than the policy I am so struggling to shorten - it makes me feel a bit better about my writing abilities [smile] The advantage of they have is good graphic design, which makes a long document more readable.

I wonder how successful it has been in making schools in Australia actually use the policy and improve what they do.

I would say that anyone looking for a school policy model to put in front of their school anywhere in the world could use either of those Australian links.

The NEDC one has the advantage it also covers prevention programs, and obesity. I don't think we can get schools to listen to us seriously if we ignore the pressure they're put under to do address obesity.

The only thing that is missing from the docs above, in my opinion, is how to support a student at mealtimes and on school trips (i.e. the very thing that beeessbee and so many of us have absolutely needed or else our kid isn't safe to go to school). Also, the NEDC document gives more consideration than I would like to student's confidentiality and is less directive than I would like about informing parents when an eating disorder is revealed. But it does state that parents are important, especially in young people where FBT is the "treatment with the strongest evidence base".





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Eva Musby, mother, author, produces lots of resources for parents at http://anorexiafamily.com and on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/user/EvaMusby/playlists
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