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School refusal

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School refusal

My son is 15 he is deaf and wears a cochlear implant. He is in year 9 and has struggled since starting high school. To make friends. He actually doesn't have a single friend. He suffers from social anxiety and has a language delay. He is on antidepressants for the social anxiety and currently only leaves the house to see His brother. He is in self sabotage mode. And showers once every 2 weeks. He wears the same clothes for 2 weeks. He sees a psychologist fortnightly and has a paediatrician. He wants to get a full-time job, but the language delay is making it difficult to get past the interview. My question is how to do you help a teen that doesn't want to be helped.

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Re: School refusal


Thanks for sharing. I am sorry to hear about the difficulties that your son faces. I can hear that he has an incredibly challenging journey. It must be so hard to watch him battle through the different struggles of life. What is your son's motivation for getting a full-time job? Do you know what type of job he would like?

You mentioned that your son is seeing a psychologist. That is really amazing as it can often be difficult to get teenagers to engage with a therapist. To answer your question, unfortunately, you can't help someone who doesn't want to be helped. All you can do is offer support so that it is available if they ever do need it. It is like that saying, you can lead a horse to water but you can't make it drink. However, seeing as your son is engaging with a psychologist, it would seem that there is a small part of him that wants to be helped. You don't have to share these answers here.. but what does he work on with his therapist each session? What are his goals? What do you feel help for your son looks like?

Re: School refusal

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@TOPPING I'm so sorry to hear about the challenges your son is facing with social anxiety and feeling isolated from other people his age. It sounds like he's going through a really tough time right now and he's trying to manage as best he can in the circumstances.

It can be really hard to feel motivated to do daily tasks when you're living with emotional pain. 

I empathise that it must be really worrying for you, and hard to know how best to help. Heart


I was wondering whether your son has been able to link in with any other young people who have cochlear implants and/or who are from the Deaf community? If he hasn't and if you think it could be helpful, some organisations like Deaf Children Australia and Hear For You run social programs and groups for teens.

Do you have much support for yourself? If not, do you think connecting with other parents could be helpful? (Eg. from the point of view of getting their input on support options or what has been helpful for other young people). If so, Parents of Deaf Children run support groups.


If there's anything we can help with or if you need a space to talk things through, we're here for you.