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My daughters attendance is 88%

(30 Posts)
MrsGradyOldLady Thu 24-Mar-16 23:13:33

Since September ALL her absence has been due to vomiting. At first school insisted on me keeping her off for 48 hours after but lately they have been really flexible and have only called me to pick her up if it's been repeated vomiting. She's 8.

I'm so worried - both about her health and her obviously poor attendance.

We paid privately to take her for blood tests as the wait for pediatric bloods at the local hospital was 5 weeks plus another 1-2 weeks for results. We took her last Friday and they tested her for 8 things. I can't remember exactly what but it included liver function, kidney function, diabetes, coeliac, full blood count, something to do with electrolytes? And a couple of other things. They all came back clear.

I'm taking her for allergy testing on Saturday.

She's worse at school than at home. In the past 17 days she's been sick once at home (just a mouthful ) but every day bar 2 at school.

She's spoken to me, her teacher and the school councillor and none of us can find anything that appears to be worrying her. There are no other symptoms and she looks healthy and eats a good diet.

She's always been sensitive to bad smells and other people chewing with their mouth open has made her sick in the past.

Her attendance has never been great - she's only had a 100% attendance certificate once (they're given out termly) but in her end of year report it tends to be between 92-95%. It's never been as bad as this though.

I think I'm asking 2 things:
What the hell could be making her so much sicker the "average" child, and secondly what's going to happen with the attendance officer?

If the allergy tests come back clear I'm not really sure where else to go. I did try making an appointment with my gp this morning as the results came in yesterday, but as is often the case after pressing "redial on my phone for 55 minutes all the appointments were gone.

MrsGradyOldLady Thu 24-Mar-16 23:16:05

Also we have an eye test booked - that's actually to do with her dyslexia but I did wonder if it's worse at school due to her doing more reading and writing there.

Pedestriana Thu 24-Mar-16 23:20:10

Check when you have the eye test whether it could be linked to lighting? A friend of mine who suffered with migraines used to have problems with flouorescent lights.
Hope you get things sorted out soon.

dodobookends Thu 24-Mar-16 23:26:32

Eye test is good, the more they can rule out the better. Has she had a hearing test? Can't help wondering whether she has some sort of eye/ear co-ordination balance issue that could be making her almost 'seasick'.

Perhaps if she's got a sensitive sense of smell and doesn't like the sound and sight of other people chewing etc could she have a very strong gag reflex which is making her much more queasy than the average person?

MrsGradyOldLady Thu 24-Mar-16 23:54:05

I do need to arrange a hearing test (hearing impairment runs in the family). I've got an appointment with her gp for the 4th April but that's not for the hearing test. That's so that I can tell her I would like a hearing test and them apparently she will be referred somewhere else for a hearing tests. God knows what the waiting list for that is! Sounds like an inefficient way of doing things to me and I would be happy to pay for a private hearing test but I've been told you can't do this for children. I'm going to Google this though to confirm that this is the case.

I did always put her sickness down to a strong gag reflex and that was also what the doctor initially said. At home we're quite mindful of this, so if someone uses the toilet they'll always open a window and give it a quick squirt, if the cat's been sick we'll shut her out of the room and deal with it before she sees it. Even her 15 year old brother knows to leave the room if he needs to break wind. And no one ever burps in our house because it's something that makes both me AND my daughter feel very sick.

I'm not sure about the lighting - we have that at work and sometimes she comes in with me and it hasn't caused a problem. Will definitely mention it though.

MrsGradyOldLady Fri 25-Mar-16 00:11:38

What will happen with the attendance officer? Apparently I missed the visit this term as he attended school whilst my daughters attendance was just over the cut off.

I calculated that even if she attends school every single day for the rest of the school year (unlikely ) her attendance would still only be 92.5%. What do they actually do?

I must stress school are being incredibly supportive. They only gave me these figures because I asked - they're not threatening me or anything.

It's just another thing to worry about really.

Brokenbiscuit Fri 25-Mar-16 00:28:12

No solutions, but I went through a very "sicky" phase when I was around the same age. I missed loads of school and my mum was apparently at her wit's end. They did loads of tests but never got to the bottom of it.

Luckily for me, the phase passed and wasn't repeated. I think I'm still slightly more prone to vomiting than many people, but I'm rarely ill and I hardly ever need time off work!

Hope you manage to get some answers and that things improve for your dd soon.

craftyoldhen Fri 25-Mar-16 00:42:25

My DD used to be very sicky, she has a strong gag reflex and will vomit with smells and tastes she doesn't like. She has also been known to vomit during a meltdown, due to anxiety, if she gets too hot, or after strenuous activity confused
She's been much better recently, now we know what sets her off.

She has sensory processing disorder, and is hypersensitivity to noise and touch too.

She is definitely more sensitive to things when anxious. So she's worse in school than at home as she has more anxiety there.

I don't know if any of this sounds familiar for your DD.

MrsGradyOldLady Fri 25-Mar-16 00:57:05

That sounds very familiar craftyoldhen

She also has dyslexia which I've hearsld can be linked to sensory issues. She has a lot of sensitivity with her clothes . All labels have to bit cut out of clothes, she will only really wear leggings and tshirts - particularly old wash worn clothes and will only wear school tights from m&'s as all the other seems are too lumpy!

She also overheats a lot and wears clothe's that make me feel cold just looking at her! She never ever wears her school cardigan for example.

I'm going to loolook into sensory processing disorder so thanks for that.

brokenbiscuit thanks for your post. I'm starting to feel like we'll never get to the bottom of this too. Glad you've grown out if it though. When did you stop being sick so much?

BackforGood Fri 25-Mar-16 00:57:17

As she is clearly hypersensitive to smells, you need to sit down with the school and sort out what they can do to minimise her being exposed to smells. I'd have thought an obvious one would be for her to avoid the kitchen / dining room, and maybe eat a packed lunch in a classroom or other room away from the cooking smells? Then ask staff to specifically do a "sensory walk" around the school to try to find other areas that might have a stronger small, and see if they can either ensure her route around school doesn't pass those areas, or if there is anything that can be done to minimise the smell. Possibly then things like sitting by a window she can open and/or - (I suspect this is unlikely but would be very useful if there were) is there a smell she doesn't gag at that she could have on a hankerchief / in a spray to mask smells that make her ill ? It could be more difficult recently literally because someone in the class has started wearing a particular deoderant or bodyspray or using a particular shampoo or perfume that is a bad trigger for her.

* If staff (or you) want to find sensory checklists and sensory walk ideas, the AET (Autism Education Trust) website is a good place to start looking.

Brokenbiscuit Fri 25-Mar-16 00:59:36

I think it went on for around a year or so, and then it just stopped. Went up to London for tests but never found out what it was all about.

I do have quite a strong gag reflex, and I'm sensitive to certain sights/smells.

MrsGradyOldLady Fri 25-Mar-16 01:33:36

backforgood my daughters in a HUGE primary and her classroom is well away from the canteen. I started her on packed lunches this year as she said the school dinners were making her feel sick but that's obviously not helped at all. I've been into school and her classroom and I can't smell anything at all. I even asked her if there was anyone in her class who smelt unpleasant, or wore perfume or even smelt of washing powder and she said no. It could well be though that she just doesn't know.

There's no pattern really with her sickness either. It can be either before or after lunch. In any lesson or in the playground.

I will look at that website - thank you - because the more I'm reading on here the more I'm thinking it's sensory. Her teacher is very much on board. She's allowed her to take mints in (they're not normally allowed sweets at all) and the idea of the window and perhaps handkerchief is worth looking into.

To be honest I was expecting the blood tests to come back with something as she eats a lot of wheat so I wouldn't have been all that surprised if it was coeliac.

I'm still wondering if it could be lactose as she's never liked milk - I had to wean her early as she just wouldn't drink muchand over the years she's rejected all forms of dairy except for cheese. But then again it's not something she has on a daily basis.

I'm going to Google this websites now. Thanks for the advice.

VertigoNun Fri 25-Mar-16 01:50:30 ?

Badders123 Fri 25-Mar-16 03:05:20


DessertOrDesert Fri 25-Mar-16 04:47:00

Can't help with the sick, but just be honest with the attendance officer, if they turn up.
She has a problem with bringing up food, school have relaxed the 48 HR rule, as its beleved to be physical rather than contagious, and you are working with medics to find a cause.
The school records should back this up - she is registered in the mornings, and then not in the afternoon - school are sending her home.

Naty1 Fri 25-Mar-16 07:59:50

Has she got teeth comibg in /out? So extra saliva
Though that wouldnt explain why more at school.
Could mouth breathing help with the smells.
Does she like school? Maybe she wants to be sent home?
Does she have something different food at school in lunch boxes?

Lonecatwithkitten Fri 25-Mar-16 08:18:50

You say she is dyslexic, has she been seen by behavioural optometry? If she has a visual processing component to dyslexic that make the words appear to 'swim' on the page could be contributing. This was causing my DD terrible headaches with projectile vomiting.

MrsGradyOldLady Fri 25-Mar-16 15:19:18

I don't think it's reflux - she never had it as a baby and the times she's sick varies so it can be before or after she's eaten.

I try and vary her lunchbox and it's all things she eats at home - tuna or cheese salad sandwich, soups, salads, pasta dishes that kind of thing. She's not too fussy an eater really. She doesn't like strong or spicy food but does like all fruit and most veg/salad so I try and keep her lunch pretty healthy. Although I do allow her a "treat" such as a packet of crisps or a cake or something.

She hasn't lost any teeth for a couple of months but does have a couple just coming through at a weird angle. We saw the dentist on Wednesday who said she'd probably need a brace. Sometimes her sick is flemmy, sometimes it's whatever she's eaten. No consistency with that.

She says she loves school and says she liked it equally to being at home (which was a bit of a disappointment to me as I hoped I'd have the edge there!). She's quite shy but seems to have a nice group of friends and always talks positively about what she's been doing that day at school. She seems to have a lot of parry invites and there's 2 girls in particular who invite her for tea and outings etc so I think she is pretty well liked.

There was a phase a while ago when she fell out with a couple of boys who she said were being mean to her but they're back to being friends again and she said they've both been really kind to her over all this sickness thing.

She has an appointment coming up with optometrist for a sight test, overlay assessment and colorimetry assessment. Is that what you meant lonecat or is there something different I should be looking into?

I guess whatever happens with the education authority I will just have to worry about later. I'm sure the school records will back up that they know 100% that it's genuine as they've seen her being sick. The only 2 absences she's had in 4 years of school that weren't due to vomiting were for a funeral that was authorised and a day I tagged onto to half term for a holiday that wasn't authorised. That was a couple of years ago now though.

irvine101 Fri 25-Mar-16 15:26:29

My ds's attendance was always red flag area, and received letter from school. But it always came with a note from school saying that we don't need to worry about it, since school knew my ds's health condition. Never any involvement with attendance officer or anything. But we made sure all the letters from dr or gp or anything health related, I automatically copied and sent to school.

As for allergy, sometimes it doesn't show on prick test or blood test, but still can be allergic. My ds used to show positive for cow's milk, but last year, it was negative. So we had a milk challenge at hospital. He had a rash two days later. The dr told us to continue avoiding it for while.

MrsGradyOldLady Fri 25-Mar-16 15:28:54

I was worried about the effect all this vomiting would have on her teeth but fortunately the dentist has said they're fine and has put a coating on them to protect them.

MrsGradyOldLady Fri 25-Mar-16 15:48:37

Hmm that's interesting irvine. The allergy test she's having tomorrow is "alternative". It involves holding a rod in one hand and then they check the reaction on the other hand. Sounds a bit "out there" but it's only 60 quid and I thought it's another avenue to go down.

I could see what happens with the sight test and allergy test and see how she is over the Easter break. Today is her first day off school and she's fine - no nausea and no stomach ache!

I'm going to keep up her reading and writing over the break (she has to anyway because if her dyslexia )and if she's no better I might think about cutting dairy out of her diet to see if that helps. She already only eats cheese anyway as she hates all other forms of dairy. I won't do that without speaking to the doctor though as I'd worry about her calcium intake so I'd need to make sure I supplemented in another way. The thing that makes me consider lactose intolerance is the fact that she hated milk even as a baby - she'd actually spit it out.

Thanks for the advice. I think I've now got 4 avenues to explore:
And the one I'm leaning towards - sensory

FATEdestiny Fri 25-Mar-16 15:59:04

I have a very strong gag reflex - set off by smells, sight, but also the thought of a disturbing sight or smell, or anticipating even when not actually experiencing the sight or smell will have me gagging.

I have learnt various coping strategies:

- learn to banish and block out thoughts of anything that triggers gagging. Acknowledge that said thought is making me feel ill so decide to distract myself and move thoughts elsewhere
- recognise when the gagging is starting and take steps to halt before gagging becomes vomit.
- deep breathing, like when giving birth. Big, controlled, slow, breaths. Focus on breathing moves thoughts away from the smell/sight
- try not to gag. Your dad, being young, may not realise that she could, if she focused, try to stop her body from gagging. She can learn to control it rather than it controlling her, at least to a degree.
- seems obvious, but remove the cause of the gagging. Or remove herself from the cause. She needs to be confident enough (and allowed to do so) to walk out of a room when she starts gagging.
- fresh air. Cool air is particularly helpful to relax my throat and so control the gag. I often swing open the door or a window to gulp in air and calm the need to gag.
- dribble. Sounds disgusting (but maybe nicer than the word spit), but allowing the excess saliva drop out of my mouth is better than having to swallow it down. The latter stages of gagging involves large amount of saliva created. This being in my mouth makes vomiting more likely. So while outside, deep breathing cool air, I often lean forward and allow the saliva to just drop out if my mouth.
- blow her nose. In that time when she is trying to control the gag, having a clear nose means deeper, calming breaths can be made. Getting rid of the snot is also helpful for the gag reflex

That's all I can think of for now. Hope it's helpful. I had to lean these coping strategies myself and would have loved to have had someone explain to me as a child that I could control the gagging. It never occurred to me. As a child I assumed the gagging would always control me, not the other way around.

Lonecatwithkitten Fri 25-Mar-16 17:33:16

Behavioural optometry is different to regular optometry and looks at convergent distances, focusing and how they eyes work together ( or not together). It may end up with coloured lenses, but could be exercises etc.

irvine101 Fri 25-Mar-16 17:35:44

"she hated milk even as a baby - she'd actually spit it out."
That sound more like allergy than intolerance. My ds says if he put something he is allergic to , his mouth feels funny and feel tingling sensation.

Needfinsnow Fri 25-Mar-16 17:36:40

I used to make myself sick at about her age, I hated school, bullied terribly and I just couldn't cope with being there. Is she ok / happy at school? X

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