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Dealing with school refusal

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Taylor-RO

Re: Dealing with school refusal

Hi @bglhome, welcome to ReachOut and thanks for sharing your insights. You are so right in that it is different for each child and there are so many different ways to handle things. It sounds like you have been on a massive journey with each of your children. It can be just so difficult to figure things out especially when you have a lot on your plate.

It is upsetting to hear about the struggles that your children have been facing. Your middle child sounds really resilient and it was great that you were able to get him the support he needed. It must have been difficult to learn that he was able to hide things so easily. Hopefully he is able to make friends in the new education setting!

With your youngest, do you know what is causing him to avoid school? Hopefully the meeting with the school is helpful. Please let us know how you go. You can also create your own thread to share more about this by clicking 'Start a topic' in the top right hand corner Smiley Happy
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Blue_fire

Re: Dealing with school refusal

Hi @bglhome

Sounds like you're having a hectic time of it too, it really throws a curve ball into how you think school life with teens would be huh.

It's hard to know how much to push them to go to school isn't it especially when you can see they are struggling, My daughter has said she would like to do distance education too I agree that I'm not sure it would be the best thing for her as she would be distracted by chatting online and never leave the house. The school said DE is the last resort.

It's so scary to find out they are hiding thing from us isn't it, when my daughter said she has thought about suicide she gave me a knife and razor blade that she had hidden in her room... I nearly died omg scared me so much. Then I worry if I push her to go to school too hard and she feels like that again and doesn't tell me.. going to school isn't important if losing her was the consequence of it.

Good luck with you meeting with the school, I hope you get a plan to help on what to do next.
We still haven't had any days at school since covid19. Our next meeting is 29/6 to find out if she can go to the hospital school for term 3.

Best of luck x
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Janine-RO

Re: Dealing with school refusal

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Hi @Blue_fire , 

 

It sounds pretty scary finding a knife and razor blade in your daughter's room, it must have been a shock for you to find that she'd been having those thoughts, but it's also really positive that she felt secure enough to admit those thoughts to you ,and help to keep herself safe.  @bglhome  I'm so sorry to hear that you've had similar experiences as well, thank you so much for sharing those here - it can be such an isolating experience for parents, and it's great that you can see that you're not alone in walking this path. 

 

We also have some resources on the ReachOut Parents page on school refusal for teenagers that I just thought I'd share here, in case you find those helpful - feel free to keep us updated on how you're getting on, and I hope your meeting yesterday went well. 

 

 

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LoveArt81

Re: Dealing with school refusal

Hi, I am in nearly the same boat and its exhausting. How did you go?

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Blue_fire

Re: Dealing with school refusal

Hi LoveArt81

So we ended up getting a place at the school at our local hospital Adolescent Day Unit and she has bern going for the last 2 terms (2 days till graduation)

A lot has happened though with there support she has been most days, its better as its only 7 kids and they have psychologist and social worker, nurses, and teachers to help

She has changed her name and become gender fluid they/them pronouns. Has started self harming and still has occasional suicidal thoughts. We are seeing a private psychologist every 2 weeks, she has started new meds.

She has been approved for a anxiety unit class but there is no spots left and she will probably have to return to her high school which she doesn't want to do 😭

I'm at a loss what we do next? I think she will go to school if we do get a place in a small unit class, but she still struggles with i don't want to go days, they made her sign a contract that if she misses a day she loses her phone/ internet till she returns and that has been a big motivation to get her to go.

Good luck it is a hard and seemingly never ending struggle
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Taylor-RO

Re: Dealing with school refusal

Hi @Blue_fire, thank you so much for updating us. It sounds like it has been a massive journey for your family. Being involved with all these different services shows how caring and attentive you are as a parent. It is also really great that the support your child has been receiving has been really helpful. It seems like they benefit from smaller classes and program. I am wondering about what you do when your child is feeling suicidal or engaging in self-harm?

Do you think you will be able to get a place in a small unit class? It seems that there has been some improvement with school attendance, is that right?
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Taylor-RO

Re: Dealing with school refusal

Hi @LoveArt81, welcome to ReachOut. Please feel welcome to share more about what is happening in your life - we would love to hear more! Smiley Happy
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Blue_fire

Re: Dealing with school refusal

Hi Taylor
Yes definitely an improvement in attendance, it was at 30% term 2 and that was only online, term 4 is 97%,

They have another look for unit classes week 4 next year but not many classes available for young ppl below year 9.

The self-harm was an unexpected thing we had an appointment at a new paediatrician and one of the questions asked was about self harming and she showed the doctor, my heart missed a beat i was so shocked. She had told her psychologist about it but they hadn't told me, I was upset that the psychologist didn't tell me being she's a minor and asked me to trust her to speak alone with my child

Its definitely had an impact on my own mental health I had a random panic attack a few months ago and I totally felt like I was going to pass out or die.. not fun. Took me weeks to get past that feeling it was going to happen again and it freaked me out.

She says the self harming is a release of emotion and she sees no problems with it, she woke me up last weekend about midnight saying she felt suicidal and had been self harming, I helped her and talked it out with her till she felt ok to go to sleep.

I'm scared for next year but hopefully these new Adhd inattentive meds help and we have a meeting Monday to see what will happen next year at school, I don't think it will work, she disappeared in match from school and now will have to go back and face all the questions about where she's been
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Sophia-RO

Re: Dealing with school refusal

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Hello @Blue_fire , it sounds like things have been improving, which is great. I can't imagine how tough it has been for you lately, especially after finding out about your daughter's self-harming. As you said, it must have been quite a shocking way to find out, but it sounds like you have been really supportive of your daughter with this so far. It is good that she is already seeing a psychologist, as they might be able to support her with the urges and releasing the emotions in other ways. I hope that you will find the meeting with the school to be helpful and that you can look at some upcoming unit classes.

 

Sorry to hear that your mental health has been impacted by this and that you experienced a panic attack. That must have been frightening. It is good that you were able to manage the feelings. I hope that you were able to receive support around the feelings of anxiety. If you ever do want to discuss the thoughts or feelings that you are having, there are services that you can call for support. Parentline is one of the services that you can use to talk to a professional about how you are feeling and what you are going through. Hopefully that would be useful for you. I also just wanted to let you know that I have edited some parts of your post to make sure it fits in with our community guidelines.