Need help with daughter

My daughter is 15 and has diagnosed learning difficulties, we have also considered that she is probably on the autistic spectrum but as she masks at school and meltdown at home as is common for girls we have had no luck with that. She had always struggled socially and has had issues with bullying which drew to a head two years ago. She chose to move to a new school which is much smaller. She made friends and for the first time loved school. All was going well until a new teen started, this teen was loud and appeared confident and a bit of a rebel and my daughter was in awe of her. She gradually pulled her away from her friends until my daughter was only hanging around with this teen. The teen was quite controlling with my daughter and gave her rules she HAD to follow. She also had as it turned out quite a lot of mental health issues and was self harming rather severely. She talked about suicide and death constantly and encouraged my teen to 'die with her' Around this time my daughter started to be really nasty and sometimes aggressive at home, she started lying about where she was and making up lies to this other teen about me. Really horrible stuff because this girl hated her Mum and she wanted to fit in. I also found out that this girl had encouraged my teen to self harm telling her it would make her feel less stressed about school, she told her to bring a compass in and showed her how to harm herself and my daughter scratched herself thankfully very lightly. I found out by accident all of this. School, safeguarding were all involved and I spoke to Young Mind who's opinion was that this other teen was cohersive bullying and almost grooming my child. The child was spoken to and lied her way out of it and it was seen by school as a blip in a friendship. The teen was in turn nasty to my daughter making her cry in school and the friendship ended. Things went back to normal. A couple of weeks ago my daughter started lying and being nasty to me again. Digging around I found out she was hanging with this other teen again. Messaging her that she would hide she was texting her from me and would be there for her always. Around this time I also found evidence that my daughter was considering self harming and that a lot was being spoken about suicide again. My daughter lied to my face about being friends with her again and was furious that I knew about the above. We've tried to get referred to camhs before but she won't engage. School were not helpful last time bar the senco who has left. I have no idea what on earth to do.

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  • firstly - i have a child on the spectrum and completely get what you are saying about masking behaviours. this is extremely common in girls who learn social skills but can't manage the emotions of friendships and the pressure of social behaviours.
    it sounds like your daughter is trying so hard to fit in that it is causing great difficulties for you all - including her. sadly, as you have found out, camhs aren't able to take on such issues - i would strongly urge a counsellor - does the school have an in school one or an agency they work with? there are many youth agencies who would be able to help, look on google and find them. it sounds like a mentor would help her hugely - to show her a way of behaving and dealing with low level bullying (which is what i would class this as). The NAS might be able to give you ideas on what is around as local autism mentoring services are often good.
    regarding this friendship - it sounds toxic and controlling; yet, your daughter clearly allows it as she is desperate to fit in. is there some work you are able to do around what a friend is? young minds were right - i wonder if you could ask them to email their concerns to the school? an outside agency with a lot of clout might make them take notice? in terms of your daughters well being - focus on self-esteem; i wonder if she felt good about herself she might be able to realise that this girl is controlling her and is bullying. is there any film you can watch together that she likes where one of the characters is unkind to the other? just trying to think of relatable ways that might work?
    keep talking to us - you aren't alone in this complex situation.