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boymum2

School

Looking for help, or past experience
*15yr who will not go to school
States there is no issues at school hasn't been in 6 weeks.
Just lays there when I try and get him up, have tried punishment no technology you name it and it doesn't help
* started anxiety medication still not improved
* he just will not get up and when you ask why he says I don't know, how do you feel I don't know every question the answer Is I don't know
He says he knows he needs to get up, but he just can't. He mentally tells himself but he just can't make himself
* I've tried the soft approach tough approach, we meet with the school and he says he wants to go

Mum tried
Dad tried
A family friend
He will not budge for anyone

GP has said he doesn't fit the criteria for depression or anxiety
Has given us a mental health plan

I worry his in yr10 his going to fail

I worry about his future

He gets annoyed at Me because I keep asking the same questions and he doesn't know the answer ..he can't understand why I'm so upset

Nothing is making sense
Nothing adds up and im at a total loss
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Stormy-RO

Re: School

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Hey @boymum2 welcome to the forums. It sounds like you're going through a really difficult and confusing experience with your son's school refusal. It makes sense that you are feeling at a loss when there are so many conflicting messages, like your son wanting to go to school but not being able to, trying anxiety medication that isn't working, but also being told he doesn't meet the criteria for depression or anxiety.

Sometimes the reasons behind school refusal may have nothing to do with school itself. I was curious to know if anything has happened in his life outside of school which may have led to this behaviour? This could be within the family, with friendships, locations or even world events that have an impact on us. I was also curious to know if his behaviour is isolated to school, or whether he is struggling with other areas like sport, hobbies or friends? For example, if he isn't able to leave the house at all, this may point to something beyond school. I was also curious to know whether he has any siblings and if so, if he still engages with them?

We have a selection of articles here on school refusal which may have some useful insights for you. One of the suggestions in this article is to find alternative ways to manage the transition back to school, for example having shorter days or late starts, or even trying alternative pathways of education if school isn't working. Perhaps one of these strategies would make school less confronting for your son and help him to find the mental strength to have a go at school again? I was also thinking that with your son not being able to articulate how he is feeling, a strategy like the scale from 1 to 10 might help you to at least track his mood over the day or week without the need for him to express this himself.

It sounds like getting a mental health plan and seeing a psychologist is a step in the right direction as they may be able to identify any mental health concerns that your GP or you might miss. I wanted to share a few resources with you in the meantime. Regarding his medication not working, it may help to talk to his GP again about it, or another option is 1300medicine, which allows you to speak to a registered pharmacist over the phone. Parentline is a phone-based counselling service aimed at parents which you could get in touch with. ReachOut also offers an online one-on-one parent coaching service which offers up to four free sessions for parents of teenagers. Many parents find it helpful and hopefully you would gain some insight from too.

I also wanted to recommend a couple of resources for your son. He might find it helpful to talk to someone via phone or webchat with Kids Helpline, which provides free counselling support 24/7, if he can't talk to you. We also have an Online Community for young people where there's a lot of opportunities for him to get some peer support if he's looking to connect. 

Finally, I wanted to check in with how you are managing all of this as you mentioned it is making you so upset. Do you have any strategies or supports which help to alleviate some of the stress of everything that's been going on? It may be worth talking to your GP about seeking support for yourself if you're finding that it's interfering with your daily life.

Looking forward to hearing from you.