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How do deal with school refusal?

(19 Posts)
Marne Mon 04-Feb-13 12:39:01

Dd2 has had a rough few weeks at school, routine has been messed up thanks to staff messing around, new teachers etc. Last week dd2 had a huge meltdown and had to come home early as school could not calm her, the next day she was very upset but went to school, had a bad day and then refused to go to school on thursday, i kept her home and she went back on friday.

This morning she refused to go,i could not get her dressed, she kicked me and would not wear her uniform or any other clothes, was screaming, crying and shouting 'no school, i dont like school'. In the end i left her at home (with my mum) and took dd1 to school. I spoke to the head and she arranged for dd2's TA to come to the house to talk to dd2. Dd2 said she will go in tomorrow but she seems very anxious if i mention school sad. Im not sure what she will be like in the morning (if i will be able to get her dressed). If she does refuse what do i do? i cant drag her in naked and screaming but the longer she stays at home the harder it will get for her to go back sad.

She's in a small ms school with 30hrs TA, we have looked at the local sn school but they are worried they wont meet her needs as she doesn't have LD (accademicly she's bright), she has HFA and the school only has children with severe autism and LD's, there is not other option school wise (nothing suitable near by), i just dont know what to do anymore sad, feels like she does not fit in anywhere. I am tempted by home schooling but i worry that not socialising could make things worse for her.

ouryve Mon 04-Feb-13 13:09:01

No advice, Marne, but lots of sympathy. DS1's class seemed to change configuration and teachers an awful lot, last year, and it was really upsetting for him.

There's been times when I've taken DS1 along in non-uniform, and he's decided to stay after being given some painting to do. There was another time when I put his coat on over his pyjamas. I couldn't persuade him to stay, but he had to come with me to take DS2 to school.

These days, I only need to point out that, if he doesn't get ready and leave the house, then he'll be stuck at home with DS2 all day and DS2 will be upset and loud because he wants to go to school and won't be able to understand why he isn't. I'm hoping that keeps on working for as long as I need it to.

We have found a school which very much has his name on it, but it's out of area and non-maintained, so we're working on building a case and keeping a diary of everything that might possibly be even vaguely school related, for the time being.

Marne Mon 04-Feb-13 13:19:42

Thank you ourvye, i feel so stupid crying on the head teacher this morning (and poor dd1 was sobbing too as she's worried i will take them both out of school) sad.

TA wanted her to go in today but she reused to go, we will try tomorrow, TA is going to make playdough with her and has told her 'she can bring a toy into school'.

I'm finding it hard because if i could i would take her out and keep her home but i know i cant sad.

bjkmummy Mon 04-Feb-13 13:41:21

Just wanted to send you a hug as well. My son has struggled and in the end only started attending school part time fro. June 2012 - he's now been out permanently for about a month and has a sick note at the tender age of 9. We are fighting to get him into an asd independent school and tribunal next week. LA think another larger mainstream school is the answer angry definitely keep a record of everything - evidence is key and although it has driven me mad getting the evidence I know my case is incredibly strong.

bishybashyboshy Mon 04-Feb-13 13:46:58

Can you not go in with her in the morning? just to help with the transition from home to school until she settles again and maybe have the TA meet with you when you go in to take over? I send both my children with toys its a transition object in a way, a little bit of home to take into school.

Marne Mon 04-Feb-13 13:48:57

LEA just want to send her to a bigger ms with language unit, she will not cope with a bigger school, she does have some problems with speach but its not her main problem so i dont see theunit as an option. We only have one school near by for ASD but its a bording school (Cambian), there is a tiny chance that they would consider a day pupil but getting LEA to agree would be tricky. Other than that ther is nowhere suitable for her sad.

PolterGoose Mon 04-Feb-13 14:05:00

Getting close to similar situation here with ds sad so, no advice, but do understand what you're going through.

imogengladhart Mon 04-Feb-13 15:25:51

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

HotheadPaisan Mon 04-Feb-13 15:51:06

How old is she Marne? We've had bouts of this and it's utterly draining for all. What does she say the problem is? Noise, too many people or something else?

Marne Mon 04-Feb-13 15:56:01

She's almost 7 (year 2). She wont/cant tell me what the problem is. It seems to have been caused by lots of change in routine (staff changes, teachers moving tables around, messing with classromm routine). She used to get upset by noise but sinse having sound therapy this has settled down.

HotheadPaisan Mon 04-Feb-13 16:11:38

Gah, it's so difficult. It's just going to have to be small steps to get her back there, and quickly, as you say.

used2bthin Mon 04-Feb-13 20:28:21

My D is doing this exact thing recently. Huge anxiety last week over a wobbly tooth and student teacher there too. Similar with schools although looks like dd will be moving to special school soon,she is in between the two ability wise I think. We have no language unit but asd base and for her language is main issue although we had recent asd diagnosis .

She lies on the floor and kicks me too,gets in tones,locks herself in the bathroom and all sorts. I have no advice on that as I really can't get mine to do it either,we were forty mins late twice last week and I felt I had been too heavy handed to get her there at all.our issue is worse on Monday and all I can share is the TA' s idea (it is to bestartedthjs week so I don't yet know if it will work but fingers crossed). Dd will be given a toy,a big one she can cuddle and squeeze. She will take it home on Fridays and we will write in a book about it on Monday mornings,just like they do ministers when they take it in turns to take home the toy only this will be every Friday. Then day to day the TA will put it at dd s desk or on her place at carpet time etc.

Marne Wed 06-Feb-13 11:33:45

Well she went in yesterday for half a day but this morning refused again, would not keep clothes on, screaming and emptied her lunch box saying 'i wont be needing this' sad. Thought after yesterday we were getting somewhere but seems not.

We will try again tomorrow.

She's now taken herself to her room with her i-pad.

PolterGoose Wed 06-Feb-13 12:05:15

Oh Marne sad

What do you think would make it better?

I've realised that key to ds's issues with school is that because his needs aren't being met he comes home in such a state he can't verbalise what the problems have been. An example was this morning, he was relatively calm after a couple of good days (resulting no doubt from my long complaint to Senco last week and maybe that school suddenly have to justify themselves as a result of my request for SA?) so ds finally told me one of the issues with Wednesdays is they are using paint and he can't cope with the smell, if I'd known that I could have been sending in Vicks or lavender oil or whatever... And if they actually gave me a timetable I could make sure he is prepared every day for any potential sensory issues as well as any changes in teachers and lessons. It posses me off that little tiny things they do, and don't do, have a massive and detrimental effect on a child angry

PolterGoose Wed 06-Feb-13 12:06:01

pisses me off not posses

Marne Wed 06-Feb-13 12:15:28

I'm not sure TBH sad, i just need to get her in so they can try and put things right, at the moment she has 2 TA's and 2 Teachers, idealy she should have 1 TA and one teacher, sadly this isn't going to happen. One teacher will be leaving soon and another starting (so more change to cope with), i just hope the new teacher is a good one and has ASD expereance.

I will try and get her in tomorrow, if she can have a couple good days then she will probably settle back down, if she doesn't then i'm not sure what our options are.

used2bthin Thu 07-Feb-13 10:42:34

How did it go today? I got dd in but through bullying her I felt and now feel like the worst parent in the world as she was being very difficult but then discharged (only) friend plays with someone else. I got there and the teacher said she has a new girl in the class who speaks no English and dd s friend has been looking after her. And dd had no TA this morning so no wonder she was anxious. Could cry! Hope you did better.

Marne Thu 07-Feb-13 12:05:32

No luck for me today, I prepared her yesterday to go in today but she kicked me, screamed and would not let me put her uniform on. I spent half an hour trying to get her dressed, dd1 was getting upset as we were going to be late so I had to give in and put normal clothes on her, I then tried to get her to go into school when I took her sister in but she kicked off again, I ended up in tears, poor dd1 had to go in alone because I was a mess. School havn't even phoned me, I have emailed them explaining how it needs to be sorted now, I have called OT to help and have asked the school to ask for help from outreach. I don't know what else to do, I can't even bribe her with a new toy, she's not having any of it. If I asked her if she wanted to go to school or have her eyes pecked out by crows she would pick the crows.

used2bthin Thu 07-Feb-13 22:48:56

I really sympathise and can see we could be getting to the same point any day.

My dd is the same but seems to reach a point about half an hour in that she gives or becomes tearful rather than aggressive,she will then go but crying sometimes and running away half way there etc I feel dreadful but then they say she's fine when there! Hope you he a rd back from school,the ot stuff is the thing I a struggling to get sorted and its important.

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