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New school and illness dilemma

(8 Posts)
pingster Thu 23-May-19 20:43:31

My 12 yo daughter suffers from chronic migraine and social anxiety - she finds it really hard to make friends.

Last Easter when she was in Y7 we moved to a new area around 30 -45 mins from her school and decided to move her to a school closer to the new house. Unfortunately the one in our town was full so she joined one in the next town over (only a 10 min drive). Although academically she liked her new school she found it really hard to settle and make friends and was getting really upset and miserable and struggling with migraines so we took her out of school just before Easter and enrolled her at Interhigh. This has been great in lots of ways but we’re concerned that she’s missing out on a lot by not being in a “normal” school.

She’s recently been offered a place at our local school - this will be great for her in the long term as it’s a fantastic school and will hopefully mean she’ll get to make some more local friends. She’s been on the waiting list for over a year since we moved so it’s not easy to get a space. The problem we have is that her migraines are really bad at the moment (she’s had some degree of headache every day for the last 3 months) and she’s just started on a new preventative medicine which has some nasty side effects initially, particularly making her feel really drowsy and spaced out. School have said the space has to be taken up by the first week after half term and there is no flexibility in this (they’ve been holding it since before Easter). Ideally I’d like her to start in September which would give her the rest of this term and the holidays to get used to her new medication and hopefully get the migraines under control. We’re also really working on building her confidence back up which was really damaged by her experience at the last school.

I don’t know what to do for the best. Accept the offer at the new school which may mean she really struggles and has to have lots of time off because of her headaches or turn down the offer and then go back on the waiting list and keep her at interhigh until another space comes up, which could be months. A further complication is that the new school starts GCSEs in Y9 so joining later than September might mean its difficult to catch up and she might not get the GSCE options that she wants. Any advice or ideas I might not have thought of?? Also are the school correct that legally they can’t keep the space open? Could I accept the place and then keep her off sick in until the summer (assuming she doesn’t get better in the next 2-3 weeks) so that she doesn’t actually start until September? I’d feel bad doing this but equally starting while she’s struggling is not going to be good for her.

OP’s posts: |
OpalTree Sun 26-May-19 18:20:47

I think they are right that she'd need to take the space now. I'm surprised they've kept it open since before Easter. Could she try going after half term and see how she gets on? If it doesn't work out they could offer the place to the next person on the list and she could go back on the list and see how she is when a place next becomes available

PenguinsRabbits Sun 26-May-19 18:33:40

I think you would need to accept now if you want the place or else they can give it away. If she is sick then you can keep her off with doctors note. My DD had really bad migraines which just stopped so hopefully it will end, they thought hers were hormonal. I would get referred to specialist if not already. School might be willing to do reduced hours if that would help.

admission Sun 26-May-19 22:03:24

Accept the place and work at getting your daughter to the school. Being able to go to a new school may be just the tonic she needs.

greenwaterbottle Sun 26-May-19 22:23:33

Would she be able to do a soft start a few days a week and build up

malmontar Sun 26-May-19 23:53:48

Take the space. I would get an appointment at an orthodontist too. My sister, cousin and two other friends- literally everyone I knew who had childhood migraines it was caused by some sort of jaw problem. When the teeth move around age 8-11 it can cause horrible migraines and in all cases I know migraines went away completely. Only one I know that went through school with this was my cousin who suffered from y7-y9 constantly in the medical room until she got braces later on as waiting lists in london are particularly long.
I’m not saying this will fix her but I would defiantly look into it. School will be used to this, there is always kids with things like this and they will know her history of being homeschooled due to this. The flexibility you have in being able to home school also means you can always go back.
But I would definitely take the space.

pingster Mon 27-May-19 09:57:29

Thanks everyone we have accepted the place and she’s going to have to start soon after half term. She’s not very happy about it but we’ve said if it doesn’t work out or her headaches mean she’s missing too much school then she can go back to interhigh. Hopefully the medicine will control the migraines and she’ll make a nice group of friends and everything will work out for the best but if not at least we have a back up option. I think her headaches are most likely hormonal (I also have terrible ones which are) but I’ll book a dentist appointment to see if there’s any chance of them being related to her teeth - she’s due an appointment anyway. We’ve also just had her eyes tested again to rule that out as a problem.

OP’s posts: |
GreenTulips Mon 27-May-19 10:00:42

Ask the school to find a nice group of girls to loom after her

Or see if there auear group chat on FB

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