When dealing with CAMHS or any such service it’s easy to think you are in safe hands at last. Guided by the experts.
On the way to getting help and answers.
Unfortunately that is not always the case.
I’m sure there are people that have been very lucky and been given a good service by CAMHS , but that hasn’t been my experience and I know it hasn’t been the experience of many others.
There are things I wish someone had told me , back in the early days , 9 years ago when I first became acquainted with CAMHS.
These are some of those things :
Rule number one. the golden rule.
Buy a notebook ( a good strong one) and a pen.
Call it your CAMHS notebook
Take it to every appointment !
Before any appointment write down -bullet points are easiest , everything you want to ask , say , and any concerns , worries , niggles that you think are probably nothing .
Say it all at the appointment.
I have walked out of many an appointment kicking myself for not saying everything I had wanted to
Write down all the main things you are told at the appointment.
Write down anything you feel you may want to look up.
Use the notebook to write down anything else discussed with other professionals ie , your SENCO , your gp , support workers , so that it’s all in one easy to find place.
The second rule is
Never be afraid to question the psychiatrist , CPN , anyone else who works with CAMHS.
Ask why , how , what if !
If you are not happy with something or disagree , voice your concerns , always .
The third rule is
Do not be afraid to chase them
If you are told something is going to be done , ask when it will be done by , write it in your notebook , if its not done by the specified time chase it up phone them ,and then phone them again.
Don’t be afraid to look things up
I’m not suggesting we all use google to diagnose our own children but
If you feel your child has particular traits or behaviours that haven’t been picked on by the professional do a little research it may be that a little online reading can put your mind at rest or it may give you questions that you will want to raise at a future appointment ,write them down in your notebook don’t feel silly to ask about something you’ve looked up , they don’t know everything and as far as I’m concerned its better to waste a moment of their time than to have a child misdiagnosed or not diagnosed atall.
The fifth rule
Right from the word go gather every bit of information about help and support that you can find.
Find out which professionals can help you , where you can find support.
Sniff it all out.
Nobody tells you this stuff