Mumsnetters aren't necessarily qualified to help if your child is unwell. If you need professional help, please see our mental health webguide
Child not attending school(9 Posts)
Hi, I am a single mum and have a 14 year old boy who has not attended school for over a year due to anxiety. He was referredto CHEWS which is the service below CAHMS and has an emotional and wellbeing worker, He has also had some help from Ethos arranged through school who have been trying to help him back into school. I have not hada good experience with these servicesand my son is now on his third CHEWS worker. He has made progress but he has done this with my help and by pushing his self. He is still struggling to go into school and the services have now terminated as he is not engaging with them. I have now been advised by school that they are going to go down the legal route and take me to court. The APOS from the council has said that I have to be at home every morning to make sure that my son is going into school, ( he walks down every day but cannot get through the door). This would mean that I have to give up my job. They have also advised that if I do not get himinto school they will involve social services. Iam absolutely stunned by this as I have tried everything to get my son into school and to get him the help he needs. Does anyone have any advice please
What does he enjoy doing? Non school related. Does he have hobbies and is he seeing people/friends at all? Does the school have an area he can attend in a small group so it's not as daunting as a classroom? What have the school done to facilitate him returning?
Sorry for the inquisition!
Depending on your answers, I'd probably build confidence through a hobby or activity he enjoys, and incentivise him into attending school if they can offer an inclusion room or similar. Is it anxiety based? Why isn't he engaging with services?
If possible, you could look up CBT based strategies and go through them with him. Look at a reduced timetable at school, or a transfer if that's possible to a more pastoral orientated school if his current one is not.
Hi Lampshady, he enjoys playing on the playstation does not really like sports etc as have tried to get him to try several things when he was younger. He does not enjoy engaging with services as he finds it difficult expressing how he is feeling and really just tries to avoid the problem altogether. He hasrecently startedto engage with a few friends who he confided in as a couple have some mental health issues themselves. He has attended school for 1 hour every week with a teacher from an outside service but he could only go in when everyone had already gone into lesson. I am not aware that school have any inclusion rooms etc. He was very outgoing and had lots of friends and in the summer would be out all day it suddenly changed when he went back to school but he says that nothing in particular happened (bullying etc). He is very confused as to why he is feeling like this and just wants to go back to how he was and struggles to understand why he cannot just do it!
Firstly I'd say it's really important that's he's occupied in a productive way during school hours, but this can be built up to over a month or so. This can be anything, from helping with housework to school work to doing his own research project or visiting relatives. The majority of this shouldn't be leisure per se but also needs to be enjoyable and have tangible rewards.
Can you take the pressure off completely re: school? If he's having work sent home complete that but no mention of going back in. If he has friends really encourage him to see them.
If you can, plan a day out weekly/fortnightly for you two and ask him to do the planning. Anything he'd enjoy. If he doesn't want to go out then maybe a meal plan, film to watch or board game to play.
It's so important that he can see he's still able to do things to build his confidence. Use a lot of proportionate praise but not patronising! Unfortunately, if there is an underlying mental health condition this may be useless but I'd really be encouraging him to achieve what he can in things relevant to him.
In your situation you need to look urgently at home education. If he is being home educated he will at least be getting some education, whereas at present he is getting none. You dont need anyones permission to home educate and the education you provide does not have to be at any particular time or day. Eg if you cannot change your working hours you could home ed weekends and for an hour or two after work on weekdays. Please do at least research this option as your sons mental health needs to be protected.
Thankyou everybody for the advice. I am currently looking at home schooling my son and working alongside, This is not ideal as I want him to be able to interact socially with others but feel that I really have no other option at the moment. Has anyone any advise on hypnotherapy as a friend has suggested this may help and is it possible to home ed for a while then return in to school later ??
I have been home educating my 13 year old dd since June, I removed her because she was being bullied and was diagnosed with PTSD three years ago that made her extremely anxious and depressed. She is a different child now and if you can Home ed I would seriously consider it.
Another option you may want to look at is the 14-16 provision to do some GCSEs at college. I am not too sure on how it works but it may be worth a Google!
My dd socialises at the home ed group she goes to twice a week and at her dancing classes. School isn't the only place one can socialise.
Yes you can return to school if a place is available.
Join the discussion
Please login first.