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Dd refusing to go to school not sure what route to take next 🙄(22 Posts)
Bit of a long one my dd 11 has not really liked school since year 5 and every morning said she hated it and didnt want to go. We had a lot of support in primary and dd had some screenings done in school wich showed dyslexia and dyscalculia. Fast forward to year 6 and dd really started to struggle, most mornings kicking of because she didn not want to go although she always did go. Dd on a few occasions lashed out and scratched me she got that angry about having to go, pe was a big concern to her as they had to get changed infront of each other it even got to a point on a few occasions on a pe night dd wet the bed.
Lockdown came and so did a change in dds behaviour and attitude, she was so much calmer and happier in herself being at home and seemed back to her old self almost.
In september came high school and it's all gone down hill, dd went ok for the first week but has since started to refuse point blank to go to school gets very angry when I try to persuade swears trashes things in the house. Dd has some days gone in late but chooses to go to an isolation room and sit alone she doesn't want to mix with anyone else she also wont eat in school so goes hungry all day, dd is hardly eating at home her sleeping is terrible with all if this. School are hit and miss with communication and have recently had letters from them threatening to send fines. I have tried the gp explained about schooling eating etc they gave me numbers for me in mind and camhs who I am awaiting to hear from. Dd has always been quite a quiet girl and prefers to be at home but as times going on shes wanting to be home all the time and not mix with kids out of school. Any body been through anything similar and have any advice on what i can do whilst waiting to hear back from cahms?
You need a good conversation with someone in the school - which member of staff is most appropriate may depend on the school, but head of year might be the best start, and ask them if there's someone more appropriate. There needs to be some agreement that there is a mental health issue and that you need to work together on getting her back into school gradually.
As an example of good practice, I worked with a school refuser who started off by going in and working with the animal technician (large school to have one of those, but there may be a librarian, or a reprographics technician, or someone like that who could take her on, or there may be a special needs support base she can use). Once that was going well, her head of year identified a particularly small set in one subject, and she started attending those lessons. Then she added another subject, also in a very small group. Gradually she began to gain confidence, but it took some teamwork between the parents, the head of year, and people like the technician.
Your other alternative, if lockdown worked for her, would be to look at home education/ online schooling. You'd want to get her mixing with others gradually, but you may be able to access a local home ed group, or get her involved in some group activity (although so much is not happening at the moment, unfortunately).
Look up guidance eg
I don’t have a lot a lot advice having never been in this situation.
The only thing I can say or think of is home-education. Is this possible for you? I know home-education threads on here will be able to offer lots of help and advice if you go down that route. (Just to note, I don’t home-educate).
Perhaps you could take your DD to see the doctor and get her to talk to the doctor about getting a note for not being in school. I’m not sure how this works but I don’t know one family who did this because their DC was being bullied and the doctor wrote a note saying that school had an adverse effect on their metal health and the DC needed to be kept off. This helped them get support with home-education from the LA as well.
I do have a DD who uses CAMHS though and when they do get back to you, which hopefully won’t be very long, they are very good, very supportive and offer lots of help, guidance and support to both your DD and you.
I hope you get sorted quickly, sorry this is happening to your DD.
That’s should say I do know a family who have got a note off the doctor
The lea can but
Call lea and ask to speak to the lea officer dealing with kids missing school due to anxiety
Ask go to write a letter
The ketters are auto sent out
Speak to lea they gave to have a education officer dealing wih emotionally based school avoidance and kids who are ill
Do you know, if I was forced to go into somewhere where I spent my whole day with people trying to get me to do things that, through no fault of my own, I found really hard, I think I might kick off a bit. Poor lass.
We have to remember that school is a social construct - it is not a given that this is what young people should do. It is something that society has developed with the best of intentions, but it is hell for some young people.
She finds reading and maths hard - not because she is lazy, but because she is not wired up for them and, unless school have some proper provision in place for her, she just has to sit there having her failures dinned into her day after day - no wonder she does not want to go in!
Personally I would go for the home ed option. Truly, school is not for everyone. Or maybe there is a Steiner school near you - they have some wacky philosophies, but the education is gentle and kindly and caring.
Anything but subject your DD to this day in day out.
I home educated when school became impossible for my child with additional needs. It wasn't nearly as onerous as expected as we were pretty flexible and then registered with an on line school for a couple of subjects who provided all resources and plans etc. He is now back in college and doing well.
You’ve had various good links regarding support.
A few things to consider- Was your DD learning during lockdown? Was the family dynamic during lockdown different, maybe less busy in general? Does DD go to activities outside school time? Have you asked her (not at school time) about the reason she doesn’t want to go to school and what the difference was during lockdown?
We had similar and my child (who is autistic) was taught by the home and hospital team for several months before transferring to a specialist school. I second the Not Fine in School website. Lots of support and resources on there. The important thing that the school needs to understand is this is anxiety based. Don’t say ‘she is refusing to go to school’, say ‘she is not well enough today due to her anxiety’.
School refusal is a real and traumatic thing for all concerned. Ask to meet with the sendco, her form teacher and/or head of year and explain the situation. Think about other options. Would it be feasible for her to be home schooled part time, is there pastoral care in place to help her with her anxiety. You and the school shouldnt have to be at loggerheads about this, you can work together
There should be options for support for her, they may want to do an assessment for her and get he some support mechanisms in place.
Its a bit of a postcode lottery i am afraid as to what support will be readily offered by the sendiass team in your LA, but support is there. You may have a struggle to access it, but initial steps... get in touch with the school and make them part of the support mechanism for your dd. Good luck
I would pull her out of school and home educate, you've persisted for 2 years and things haven't improved. It's clearly making her very distressed, her wetting the bed out of worry is so sad I would take it slowly until after Christmas and then maybe sign up to online schooling and see if she would like to join a hobby/club to socialise with others
Definitely join the Not Fine in School Facebook group where you will find literally thousands of parents who have been through this. Remember, she is not ‘refusing’ - she is unable. Can’t, not won’t. Home Ed is of course an option but you shouldn’t have to if you don’t want to. In our family’s case school referred my son for Hospital Education while we applied for an EHCP. He’s been doing that for nearly 2 years and we are now looking at a specialist placement.
In a similar boat here. DS now in year 8, but during lockdown really struggled with home learning. Major aggressive meltdowns at home. Now that school has restarted, every morning is a struggle to get him into school. He's flatly refused to go in on some days this term. The SENCo is not particularly helpful because he copes in class once he's in (hf asd with PDA profile, so 2e). He is getting an ehcp and we're moving him to another school, probably in the new term by the time all the paperwork is done. Who knows, he might feel the same in the new school, but if we don't move him we'd always wonder if he would've been happy elsewhere.... Sending supportive vibes!
Has she been assessed for anything other than Dyslexia and Dyscalculia? CAMHS is a great step as they have pediatrics and ASD teams but it's a post code lottery and waiting lists are endless.
Theres a couple of things in your post that ring a few alarm bells and I would be pushing for her to be seen by the pediatrics team.
Sadly these things tend to get overlooked in girls and with the right support she could thrive. School is a social construct, but some people really have no idea what great SEN provision looks like. Don't be pushed into homeschooling if deep down you feel it's not right. It can be amazing but it can be down right miserable. You also need to figure out what the problem is to ensure long term support. Is it social difficulties? Is it behind so far behind it is overwhelming? Is it overstimulation? When she was happy at home was it because she didn't have to see people or was it because the work was at her level? Any of those things she will need to be supported with, home ed or not. She is very young and has many years of education left.
My DD has severe Dyscalculia, dyslexia and a language disorder. She's in Y8 now with great SEN provision and she's a different child than she was at primary school. There is hope. Hang in there.
I would try and see school senco and see what support the school can offer. A very slow process but may be worth considering an autism assessment, takes 2 years here though. Another thing could ask for is an Educational Pscyhologist assessment via senco to see strategies they recommend or any specialist teams school have access to like specialist teaching team.
We've had help from LA SN team who've been brilliant for my DS who has suspected autism and lesson refuses more than school refuses but its similar issue - they've had educational psych in, got school to give a TA some hours.
I would also consider home education - Oak Academy is reasonable though I would try and get help to remain in school first unless her mental health is really bad.
My DS is quiet and wouldn't see other children during lockdown. He loves our pets and they help him a lot - we've got a cat, rabbits and silkie chickens and he worships them and talks to them and say he doesn't need other people as he's friends with his pets. He can get very anxious -pull his hair out, nightmares so it's partly anxiety driven. He won't drink at school but will eat but only plain food so sounds similar to your DD. You should come on the SN chat boards for help - there's a Goose and Carrot thread with lots of SN Mums on going through similar you're welcome to join. Think we may need to start a new one atm but should be up soon.
Thank you so much for all your advice, just working my way down it all and going to hoin the groups you have all said.
Malmontar dd has never been assessed for anything else although I have been asking for the past year primary school said they didnt feel there was anything else underlying and it was all anxiety.
High school I've tried to contact senco first called on the 4th september and every week since always promised a call back but yet we are still waiting a month later. I've been up to school as was sick of waiting for phone calls even cried like a Wally at the head of sen at the gate to be told I'm to busy sorting bubbles call the office 😔.
She did do online work set by her primary in lockdown although it took alot of encouragement she gave it a go, I've been thinking about home ed lately but I'm not even sure I could get her to do work from home she really seems to hate school in general, I think it could be possible I only work 24hrs over 2 days in a nursing home and my other children are in full time school and college so plenty of time left. I'm going to call the gp this morning see if I can actually get us in for a face to face as they have only done telephone calls with me and the school wont send anybody due to covid. All I want to do is make the right choice for dd and her be happy .
The only diffrence in lockdown at home really was that the kids were home, I still had to go to work as I work in care so the morning was probably less busy than usual. Dd did do some of the online work set by primary school but usually left it untill the deadline. I have spoke to her she told me she just doesnt like school any of it at all and that in lockdown she got to stay at home and not go, she has said a few times she would rather die than be at school.
Dd used to go to a dance class but stopped a few years ago as she wasnt enjoying it, since then I have tried numerous activities but she never wants to go as she says theres to many people there.
I spoke to her about schooling and home education she said if she stays home she wont make friends, but shes not making friends in school due to isolating herself away in the inclusion room.
Normally there are home ed goups around, so that shouldn't preclude her making friends.
I'd have another chat. She has to have an education, that isn't optional. So she needs to choose
- current school
- a different school
- some form of home ed
Home ed can be following a school-like curriculum and a load of GCSEs, or something more flexible. It can be just you and her, or (normally) home ed groups, or tutors, or combinations.
My friend in high school was very much the same and she was diagnosed with agoraphobia, she's 26 now and still barely leaves the house - I would suggest speaking to someone at the school and taking her back to the GP
We spent the day together yesterday managed to have a chat about school and homeschooling, dd said fine you learn me then because I'm never ever going to school mum, they can send people to me but i wont go I hate schools theres just to many people, awaiting gp calling me today. Thanks for the suggestions to look at not fine in school sone brilliant advice on there.
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