Hi, sorry to hear about your situation. If it's any comfort, you are not alone! I have 3 children, the older one sailed through school, despite setbacks and all his friends leaving after Year 10, he just put one foot in front of the other and pushed through it. He's in uni now and doing ok, though still quite isolated socially. The next one has ASD and has always struggled a bit with anxiety, but also was pretty resilient. In fact SO resilient he kept going to school for 18 months even while getting bullied daily - he didn't tell anyone until it came to a moment where we discovered he'd secretly been self-medicating with drugs and alcohol and self harm - oh, he was brilliant at hiding things! He was hospitalized late last year and is still getting great support from a mental health nurse, and his current school AMAZING and let him reduce load and do the coursework by correspondence, but we know that's not sustainable, and he wants to make new friends and so we have him enrolled to start at an adult education setting to complete his VCE. At about the same time as the middle one stopped attending school, the younger one began taking days off (at first pretending to be sick, but then blatantly refusing) and things snowballed in Term 1 this year. He was so happy when the covid shutdown happened he thought it would solve all his problems (as once he'd dug himself into a hole he was too embarrassed to go back, and thought when he went back everyone would have forgotten he was away so long). Well, he got in 1 day last week and since then has been in tears each morning at the thought of school (he's in Year 10). He is now also refusing to see the school counsellors as their safe space is now seen as a threat, because of course they are trying to talk to him and get him back to class. Anyway, we have a meeting at school next week, to discuss "where to from here". I'd be happy to try him with distance ed, but know that's probably not such a good plan long term, as it's not dealing with the anxiety, and is enabling his avoidance strategy. We are worried he will continue avoiding uncomfortable situations into adulthood...In addition, we parents work and I fear he will not engage in the online learning...he will play computer games all day, as that's when he is happy. It's so hard to know the right path for each one, and in hindsight, there's lots we could do differently. I'm also fearful my younger one will go the same escape path as the middle one, so I don't push him as much, whereas my husband can't understand him and wants to go the other way and thinks he's just taking advantage. So, hang in there! It's certainly a rollercoaster and I have shed many tears and come up against many brick walls (such as getting the right help for my middle child...mental health support has many gaps, and until he actually articulated a thought of ending his life to the school nurse, we were on a revolving door from GP to psychologist and nothing was helping. Only getting him admitted seemed to make professionals really rally round to help us)) Good luck.
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