Non-communicative teenager who refuses to go to school or see a counsellor

cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
Reply
Casual scribe

Non-communicative teenager who refuses to go to school or see a counsellor

Hi Support Family
I have a 13yr old who refuses to go to school and will not talk to or see anyone about the issues he is having. He has gone from being a model student in all of the advanced classes to not being able to get out of bed. He has become aggressive, rude and non-communicative.
I am only a part time carer but have a good relationship with my ex who is the primary care giver. In the last few months he has stopped seeing me as I have become the enforced disciplinarian for his spiraling behavioral problems.
I seems to be triggered by tests or assignments and I feel it now has more to do with him being embarrassed to face his peers and teachers.
His mother has exhausted all of the options she has and we are now tearing our hair out. We don't know what to do, who to turn or how to get help. I am hoping we can get some ideas from this forum.
Thanks. 

Parent Peer Supporter

Re: Non-communicative teenager who refuses to go to school or see a counsellor

Hi @No_Idea, welcome, and thank you for sharing with the community. It sounds like you and your ex have been a great team in supporting your son, which is great for your son. It must be upsetting for you though to not be seeing your boy, I really feel for you.

 

When my daughter was younger she also refused to see a counsellor for her issues, and I was lucky enough to have some great supports around me who encouraged me to seek help as a parent so I could help her by doing things a bit differently which helped us enormously.

 

My daughter had troubles with school as well, and it sounds like they are similar in their sensitivity - which shows as aggression and withdrawing from life. My daughter struggles with big, confronting emotions, and we implemented a mood chart that we had on the fridge, with a magnet each to place on the emotion we were feeling. We both used it so my daughter didn't feel singled out, and it helped her learn about her emotions and to be able to give them names. Do you think that would be something that might help?

 

We have some great resource that might be helpful to have a read over. This one is about Depression, and another one that I recommend is on Effective Communication

 

ReachOut also offers Parent Coaching which is one on one support for parents, which gives practical tips and tools that you can use immediately for your individual situation. 

 

Let us know how you get on. 

Active scribe

Re: Non-communicative teenager who refuses to go to school or see a counsellor

Hi No_idea,

      My daughter is 16 and since the age of 13 has had very similar issues which turned out to be caused by severe anxiety and now social anxiety. Often when her anxiety levels are very high she is verbally aggressive. It’s not her , it’s her anxiety that causes her to be very short tempered and snappy. Do you think your son may be struggling with anxiety? 

    My daughter is a perfectionist and most of her anxiety stems from homework, assignments and functioning during class. She left school in year 8 and studies online. This has helped her stress levels but hasn’t resolved the issues completely as she overworks all assignments. Good on you for seeking help. It’s not something you can manage alone.

Mod

Re: Non-communicative teenager who refuses to go to school or see a counsellor

Welcome to the forums @No_Idea and thanks for sharing your story here. That sounds like a really massive change in behaviour and it is made more difficult by your son not wanting to express what is going on for him. It must also really be tough for you, considering he does not want to see you.

Some great support is offered here for something that is really complex and ongoing. Let us know how you get on with these suggestions. I know you mentioned your son is unwilling to speak to anyone, although services like Kids Helpline and Headspace have web chat and telephone counselling which can be less confronting and more private. 

Casual scribe

Re: Non-communicative teenager who refuses to go to school or see a counsellor

Hi Mum2018,
Thanks for responding to my post, I really appreciate it.
My son sounds like a mirror image of your daughter! Yes I believe he has anxiety issues, in fact I am virtually positive he has. He also is a perfectionist which makes a lot of sense.

How did you get involved with schooling online? How have you found it? How do you police it?

 

Thanks

Casual scribe

Re: Non-communicative teenager who refuses to go to school or see a counsellor

Hi Taylor-RO,
Thanks for responding, I have tried getting him to reach out online. He ended up spending about half an hour in an online chat with Beyond Blue. The Kids Helpline was not so successful, he waited online for half an hour but his chat request was never responded to.

We managed to get him to a Psych last Friday but apparentloy it didn't go well (I am not involved in these things as he does not want me involved. I offer advise and an ear to my ex only).

Thanks.

Active scribe

Re: Non-communicative teenager who refuses to go to school or see a counsellor

Hi No_Idea,
I’m in Australia, not sure where you are based but where I am we have an Open Access college which is run by the Education Department. Normally the child’s local school refers them however my child had stopped attending due to her severe anxiety so I contacted them myself. I keep in close communication with them and know when /if she misses lessons. It’s run like a virtual classroom. They log in to attend. If they don’t log in I receive a message. It’s be good for her however a big downside is the loss of social connection to peers. Knowing what I know now, I would have pushed her into maintaining sport and other interests but at the time her anxiety was so high she didn’t have the energy to do any of it.
Super frequent scribe

Re: Non-communicative teenager who refuses to go to school or see a counsellor

Hi @No Idea my daughter has been online schooling since year 8 she is now doing the HSC through Oten(a dept of tafe). The schooling is no problem except for the stress for her but the lack of socialisation is. What makes it harder to get on with people are her ideas are different to the mainstream which is great but doesn't win her friends. She is a pink haired, animal loving vegan, very opinionated and headstrong. Which is great and I'm hoping if she goes to tafe next year she will meet people that she has things in common with. I think the problem is she finds her peers too childish. I also think that being divorced has impacted on her and part of the problem is she finds it hard to be close to her father I know he loves her but they are not on the same page and she just wants people to love her how she is. I guess what I'm trying to say is our kids haven't processed our separation and need some help dealing with it as I think this could be the case with your son. I hope he is able to open up and talk to someone. It must be so hard for you not being able to do anything but you just have to let him know you are there always. All the best x