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School avoidance 12 yr dd with nausea retching etc

(93 Posts)
cestlavielife Thu 11-Oct-12 23:01:05

Dd 12 has had dizziness and nausea since June missed last half term of school. On and off in summer possibly vestibular neuronitis but not recovered. ENT and paed suggest psych issues. Referred to CAMHS but seems they fighting between hospital based cams and local team where we finally got apps for some family issues (separated moved from fami,y home with dc 2008) contact has been difficult with ex with mh issues and bullying behaviours .

Dd doesn't wish to see dad. So doesn't.

Got her to school a few days; tutor was helpful, send her in once she here she fine .
But since last Friday she is retching, says is more dizzy, pallid, slumped literally can't get her up. Tutor says drag her to school .she needs to be here. The medical reports don't justify her absence because they don't say she is too ill for school. They say lack of recovery may be due to psychological symptoms. But even if psychological her symptoms are "real "

I really don't know how much to push shout scream drag physically or if that is the wrong way ?
Cajoling doesn't work

Threatening " if you don't go you gong to fail the year " just causes more anxiety.(school is not a lea school so not same level of pastoral care or support it would seem....

If can get appt with CAMHS what can they do and what can they write to justify her absence from school ?
If is anxiety (she loves school, no issues it makes no sense... ) then is still "genuine" reason. ?

Don't know what to do really...

roundabout1 Thu 22-Nov-12 22:26:05

cest - I remember you from the child health posts. My dd has been suffering post viral fatigue type illness since Jan & I have dizziness & vestibular neuronitis. I hope you dont mind me giving my experience. The nausea, dizziness, looking poorly I relate to & it really does knock your confidence. I know on line dizzy friends who have had great trouble getting a proper dizzy diagnosis as the symptoms are so vague & similar to those caused by anxiety. Not all dizziness is even diagnosed after balance tests either, there seems to be a lack of understanding medically. The ENT's I saw were useless. I get very anxious about going into situations where I can't easily get out of. I don't work & to be honest I don't think I would be able to, not just because of the problems the dizziness causes but because of the panic that sets in when I feel really bad & I'm not somewhere I feel safe - usually home. I really feel for your dd & your family. I became dizzy 5 years ago & this has had a huge effect on our family life despite it not being a really serious condition as such. I hope you don't mind me interrupting your thread.

cestlavielife Sun 25-Nov-12 23:56:35

Hi round I appreciate you sharing your experience.

There has been some development in that dd had an MRI which showed a structural anomaly. While this has been there all along, my research show it can be linked with developing issues like epilepsy (hence why not dizziness and nausea) "in the second decade of life".

So we now waiting on neurologist referral.

Tutor group is going well tho she often feels sick. and dizzy.
School seem to be ok with idea of her going in even to attend just one lesson. But we need to be sure that they accept symptoms are real.

Have you found any thing eg meds that help ?

roundabout1 Mon 26-Nov-12 13:24:49

cest - how does your dd cope with tv & lights? Probably not relevant but I struggle with lots of people in the room, lights, movement etc. It's as if the brain is overloaded with all this info & uses it all to help balance & judge distances etc. Wondering if there is a sort of sensory overload for her on top of her symptoms & anxiety too. For me Christmas is really hard because of decorations up etc, at home even strings of Christmas cards hung up takes me days to tolerate without it making me feel bad. For that reason going into my dd's primary school is really hard with all the displays around. Just a thought.

cestlavielife Mon 26-Nov-12 16:01:26

dunno really - but good point to look out for.
this morning it was no partiuclar reason - she woke up felt awful, dizzy, nausea couldnt get dresssed and out to her tutor group.

Oncebubbly Sun 02-Dec-12 21:44:45

Hi again. Thanks for advice. I have a meeting soon with LEA. I can relate to each one of you and only wish I could meet you all. This situation is a nightmare for us as a family. dd not been at school at all this year. Hardly any work but she seems to be feeling better. Only worry is now that she will become ill again on returning to school. Trying for a couple of hours tomorrow. Let me know if any of you find a miracle cure!

roundabout1 Mon 03-Dec-12 19:32:38

oncebubbly - good luck for your dd tomorrow & with the meeting. I hope they find a way to makes things easier for your dd.
I am feeling at the end of my tether with school etc & our problem is just the amount of time off, my dd is there 61% (averaged over last school yr & this one) I really feel for you all with bigger problems than me, ours feels bad enough.

HappyStreet Tue 04-Dec-12 19:43:42

My dd is still making slow progress but at least there is some progress. She hasn't been to school since May 2012. CAMH's and the home tutor have decided that going straight into the school environment from home tutoring would be too much for her so they have decided to work in the local libruary which moves her away from her "safe" environment and when she feels ready they will slowly intergrate back to the learning centre in school for short periods. Her confidence is definately returning but I am still aware that if she is pushed she can easily be knocked back down so I have to be very careful how I phrase things. She gets tired so easily and is very hormonal and mixed with anxiety and panic attacks the result can be so draining for all of us. She is definately stronger though so there is light at the end of the tunnel. I feel thoroughly drained from this whole experience and really feel for anyone out there who is struggling to get any kind of help.

cestlavielife Wed 05-Dec-12 11:34:04

yes it is tiring happy...hope school are supportive?
we see a private neuro saturday on my insurance...dd with lots of headaches.
school apparently dont understand how she can attend a small tutor group but not school? surely it isnt hard..if you feeling sick and dizzy you might be able to get to a small class with v supportive teacher; as opposed to running round school up three flights of stairs with 20 class mates ?

exp just had a go at me as i am apparently causing all the problems and "doing it all wrong" and i should never have taken her to the small group; if she can go there she can go to school; bla bla bla .... and they might expel her from the school !!! (for being ill????) and it will of course be all my fault.

welll...worst that can happen is they do that...there are other schools....

roundabout1 Wed 05-Dec-12 12:49:36

happy - glad your dd continues to make progress & her confidence is slowly returning.

cest - that is a terrible attitude for them to take. Good luck with it though.My dd's school is a small primary school & I feel really let down by their attitude. There are about 10 members of staff (some part time) so not many & you would think it would be easy communication wise but no & the heads attitude in my opinion stinks. Like you say if worst comes to the worst there are other schools but it shouldn't come to that over illness surely. The most obvious things to me school dont understand - how a 10 minute run round in the playground can be ok but 45 mins of a PE lesson with a teacher dd is scared of isn't, how dd can be well enough to do a tiny bit of work at home but not attend school for a full day & how dd can cope in her classroom using one computer but gets headaches & feels sick after ICT with 20 pc screens in one room which they shut the blinds & turn the lights off. It is screamingly obvious to me those differences & those of your dd & for them not to understand shows such a lack of compassion & understanding. I have spoke to the paediatricians secretary regarding schools attitude in particular the head not recognising the paeds diagnosis as an actual diagnosis as it is too vague. She was really annoyed & has brought forward dd's appointment to next week so will see what happens then. Sorry for hijacking the threda but needed a theraputic moan.

cestlavielife Wed 05-Dec-12 13:58:20

helps to know not just us ....but grrr

HappyStreet Sat 22-Dec-12 12:01:31

Had a horrendous couple of weeks. Thanks goodness it's the Christmas hols. Happy Christmas everyone. Hope you all have a good break.

roundabout1 Sun 06-Jan-13 21:27:28

How is everyone? We have had a rubbish Christmas but none of it due to dd & now everything is back to normal, & am dreading school. Dd doesn't seem that bothered - yet but I am dreading the meetings, the battling & feeling that no one is on our side.

HappyStreet Mon 07-Jan-13 19:27:58

We have had a rubbish Christmas as well! Everything was going so well and then my dd starting having difficulties with her home tutor and she wasn't able to have CBT for 4 weeks with CAMH's. She has spent Christmas and New Year depressed, crying inconsolably and to add to everything her friends have started backing off. So yes I am feeling depressed today as well. I have to arrange school meetings, sort out the home tutor, who my dd is not getting along with at the moment and have found out that the therapist from CAMH's (who my dd loves) is leaving. Great start! The home tutor also told me very kindly before Christmas that she doesn't think my dd will ever go back to school. I am numb from everything that has happended over the past month as I really believed she would be back in school for short periods this term. School is so slow in replying to anything, although her form teacher did come and see us just before Christmas but apart from that we never hear anything from them. Grrrrr trying to stay calm but it's SO frustrating. Sorry I seem to ramble more than everyone else. Hope I'm not boring you all.

Mynewmoniker Mon 07-Jan-13 20:16:38

I work in a school and I'm learning a lot from this thread. I have been trying to do the best for what are called 'school refusers' and am suprised how little support and information there is from our LEA. I was suprised by the term 'school refuser' as it seemed to me the kids aren't refusing school itself but are depressed and anxious. As a professional wanting advice from CAMHS it takes ages to get any response. I am trying to work hand in hand to do the best for the student and am aware that the teachers are under stress to get students to produce work and keep up with the curriculum. I realise I was as unskilled as parents but am eager to learn best practice. Thank you all.

Sorry if this is a littled muddled but I'm in a bit of a rush as I type this.

roundabout1 Tue 08-Jan-13 14:51:42

happystreet - I'm sorry things are going so badly your end. It all sounds very frustrating & makes our problems seems minute in comparison. Did the tutor explain why they didn't think your dd would ever get back into school? To have that hope dashed must be hard ((hugs)) to you.
Well today has gone ok so far, well overall. Dd was in floods of tears, making herself retch this morning with anxiety regarding going back to school. The retching is a new one, before it was just feeling sick but just before schools broke up she did it & I didnt send her in despite being ok half an hour before as I was feeling rough anyway & thought it could be a bug, but she was fine an hour after. Since then whenever very anxious/upset she does it & its increased the anxiety as now worries about being sick at school whereas before was generally worried about feeling ill at school. We are waiting for a chronic fatigue referral to be made by our gp, still waiting since early December & have been warned it may take a good while to get an appointment through anyway, so very frustrating that they haven't even done the initial referral yet. Have spoke to school who since having an albeit possible cfs diagnosis do seem to be being more helpful & sympathetic. So cautiously optimistic here, dd will just do 2 hours in a morning every day that she can get in so at least it takes the pressure off dd a bit.

HappyStreet Wed 09-Jan-13 16:54:12

That sounds so much like my dd's symptoms. When she was first diagonosed with anxiety in Year 6 at Primary School she used to wretch every morning. I had to get her into school holding a plastic bowl each morning and then it would suddenly go away. She was so afraid of being sick in front of people. CAMH's have now found that her core fears are being sick in public, people's perceptions of her and high expectations of herself. If she feels unwell at all I still cannot get her to go anywhere but I have seen an overall improvement in her confidence through CBT and she still has a positive outlook about getting back to school. Her main problem seems to be the feeling of embarrassment about having anxiety and facing up to people she knows. Once she has conquered this I think she will be well on the road to recovery. But that's easier said than done.

Oncebubbly Mon 28-Jan-13 22:55:20

Hi all. I have discovered thro lots of research on line that my dd has been suffering from abdominal migraine for over 4years. She has become anxious because of this. Her attacks can come every week and include so many different symptoms including nausea and dizziness. Phsyc even said dizziness was a panic attack but I have never believed this. Please be aware of this when you think your dd is just refusing school. We sometimes thought she just didn't want to go but it has gone on so long and since I was told she was anxious I have been pushing her to go to school. We have had fights, the whole family falling out. Life has been so bad for year and half. She has lost her hobbies, first two years of high school and her friends. She has been depressed and angry and I feel so bad that we didn't diagnose correctly. With children with nausea tummy pains dizziness unlike of light and noise sore ears tiredness and other stuff please google abdominal migraine and check this out. I wouldn't wish what we have been through on anyone. She is now taking pizotifen daily and her pains have stopped it is wonderful. I now need to help her rebuild her life. X

HappyStreet Sun 03-Feb-13 19:06:34

Hi again. Just wanted to let you know that my dd has turned a corner since Christmas, has regained her confidence and is a different girl. She has made a 12 week plan to get back into school and can now go out socially with the family without any problems. We still have some way to go and she has some massive steps still to take but the future looks bright. Thanks to CAMHS and their patience, the dark, depressive cloud has gone and she is looking to the future positively.

cestlavielife Mon 04-Feb-13 12:16:59

once: tks for that ; i am not sure it applies as dd is never "well" in between more severe episodes... we going down neuologist route as she has visual field loss which could be linked with her abnormal mri and maybe raised/poorly flowing CSF who know...neurologist appt is in march.

mean time she is going to try going to a single art class at school see how it goes. the small group lessons are going well tho she sometimes feels unwell headache nausea dizzy there and has to leave. now they have four in the group (up to ten hours per week over three days)

happystreet - that is good news hope the recovery continues smile

HappyStreet Sun 17-Feb-13 08:57:52

Just so that anyone suffering with anxiety can see there is light at the end of a very dark tunnel. My dd managed to get into school last week and have a meeting with her Head of Year after 9 long months, which was nerve wracking for me let alone my dd. I'm not boasting but after a very long, dark road there is hope. She has found the courage to change her home tutoring sessions from the local library to the school library after half term. Very small steps, loads of patience and praise are key to success with my dd's anxiety.

roundabout1 Tue 19-Feb-13 16:50:46

once - my dd had episodes of what we thought was abdominal migraine from reception onwards, didn't happen often enough or see a pattern to have a definite diagnosis. As a family nearly every member suffers from some sort of migraine, a lot of dd's recent symptoms could be contributed to migraine (although not all) although dr's seem to be leaning towards a CFS diagnosis now. I wonder if there is an element of both though as supermarket lights & so many things that bother me & my headaches seem to bother her too.

roundabout1 Tue 19-Feb-13 16:53:28

once - forgot to say am so pleased that things are going well now she is on meds

happy - thats great news that your dd has turned a corner, it must be a huge relief to have your old dd back.

HappyStreet Sun 16-Jun-13 19:41:32

I haven't posted anything recently as my dd's anxiety has got worse again and she is now suffering with depression. She is struggling to get into school again and we are having to change home tutor to someone who is more positive and enthusiastic. I feel I've two different daughters at the moment one who appears happy and loving when not faced with anything to do with school and socialising and another who cannot face life outside her bedroom and looks totally depressed when having to cope with her school phobia and anxiety. Nightmare which never seems to be ending!

loveliesbleeding1 Thu 18-Jul-13 09:59:29

Hi happy street going through a similar thing with my dd at the moment, and have been since november,we are waiting for another cahms referal as the first one was turned down due to it being"a non mental health issue" unbelievable! Just really to ket you know you are not alone in this, its an endless grind, and I also feel my daughter is 2 completely different people I wish you and your dd all the very best. (Wish I had an answer to all this)x

HappyStreet Thu 18-Jul-13 20:29:30

Thanks. Always good to know you're not alone as not everyone understands this very difficult situation. My dd has gone from a girl who was positive she would get back to school with some help, to a girl who is depressed, alone and doesn't know where to turn. We have talked and talked and talked, argued, argued and argued, cried, cried and cried and feel we have come a vicious circle in 15 months. We have now decided to send my dd to a very small learning unit for teenagers with anxiety where she will hopefully gain back her confidence, get some education, make friends with people who understand what she is going through and at some point she will get back on track with her life. I had never heard of anxiety and school refusal before and I would probably have had the same attitude as many others that these are just teenagers being awkward and rebellious, but that is far from the truth and this can certainly be a complicated mental health problem that needs specialist help and support for all the family from schools and CAMHS.

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