15yo school refuser now won't go to tuition either

(16 Posts)
BettyBlueToo Sun 15-Jan-17 13:15:19

My 15yo DS has Aspergers and anxiety. After two years of on and off school refusal we tried tutoring instead and now DS says he's too mentally ill to go to the sessions or do homework and stays in bed most of the time. I really don't know what to do. He's very clever but looks like he will fail his GCSEs and I may also be fined for non attendance. He attends camhs but won't really engage with them and says what they want to hear. Nothing works, if he doesn't want to go he simply won't go and after two years of this I am defeated. My job is becoming impossible and I'm getting constant calls from all the agencies involved. Becoming angry just increases his anxiety and trying to sympathise ensures he doesn't try to go in. I am a single parent.

OP’s posts: |
lljkk Sun 15-Jan-17 13:26:59

If you cooperate with every measure the authorities propose then you shouldn't be fined (speaking with some experience!).

Could you explore iGCSEs sat independently, could you afford them?

BettyBlueToo Sun 15-Jan-17 13:32:02

I am willing to cooperate but DS won't. We've already nearly lost the tuition once for non attendance. I don't have the money for
Igcses as I've had to cut my working hours.

OP’s posts: |
lljkk Sun 15-Jan-17 13:43:35

Why do you need to cut your hours?

BettyBlueToo Sun 15-Jan-17 14:37:33

I have to be in the house more to try to encourage DS to go to tuition. It wasn't possible when I was at work full time as tutoring started later then my job. He has GCSEs soon and these sessions are really important.

OP’s posts: |
AndNowItsSeven Sun 15-Jan-17 14:41:53

Do you claim dla? Also carers allowance if you earnings are very low. If not claim those and use some of the money for igcse's . If you claim tax credits they will also go up by as much as an extra £60- £80 per week.

BettyBlueToo Sun 15-Jan-17 17:49:05

Turned down for DLA, have applied twice. Will look into the igcses again but DS wasn't interested last time. V frustrated

OP’s posts: |


noblegiraffe Sun 15-Jan-17 18:00:34

Is his anxiety being treated?

BettyBlueToo Mon 16-Jan-17 13:34:41

Only by the occasional camhs sessions and he doesn't like the counsellor. All he wants to do is sleep and see friends. I feel like he's given up on education.

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t875 Mon 16-Jan-17 15:51:16

Is he on any medication OP Im so sorry to read what your going through, if its any concellation my DD was struggling with anxiety and low moods she went on AD's and her mood and attitude changed she has also been having CBT which is also helping, we unfortunately had our dd go through a form of Eating problem which has been her main problem. She is chasing her tail a bit with a few subjects, we have got her online tuition which she likes and has got on really well, her maths have soared ahead.
She has already passed her CORE gcse science exam so we are going in the right direction.
would you be able to home school with the school giving the work, what is your SEN dept like?
all the best for him, its such a worry for them but also for us flowers

Lolly731 Mon 23-Jan-17 17:33:59

I have never used this forum but reading your post I could almost have written it myself. My son has been away from school with depression since November and is refusing to go back. He is now on medication but it doesn't seem to be having any effect yet on his low mood. He has mild Aspergers but has given up on education as he doesn't see the point as life is so bad why would he need it if he's dead anyway. He is under CAMHS but I don t see any light at the end of my tunnel either. He sees friends but doesn't want to do anything that puts any pressure on him to think about his future. He needs someone to take him under their wing and offer to help him find a purpose and reason to try. As far as I can see so far there doesn't seem the help for kids that don't fit in the square peg round hole education system. Does your area have a Parent Partnership? Maybe try giving them a call as they provide help to parents struggling in the education system, they have offered me a case worker to attend a school meeting and discuss alternative education. School have a legal responsibility to pay for alternative education until they are 18 as far as I've been told. Hope this helps and good luck I know how hard it is to cope.

Alternativefacts Tue 24-Jan-17 00:45:49

Don't have any answers sorry but didn't want to just post and run, it sounds really tough. My DS (16) has Aspergers and whilst v bright GCSE's are proving a nightmare, he just wants to study what he's into not English, geography etc, can't/ won't jump through their hoops. Your situation sounds far harder than ours as DS is still attending school but I have still found it tough watching him fail. Am trying to talk less about stuff he's not doing and just find small practical ways to get him to do a few positive things each day, however small and this seems to help a bit. Sometimes think getting him to relax enough to smile in the course of day is the most important thing. Anyway, I hope you find a way forwards, you sound like a fantastic mum, and would send flowers if I could work out how to!

BettyBlueToo Tue 24-Jan-17 09:53:59

Thank you all for your replies, sorry I haven't been back on. Things still going downhill with no attendance. School are constantly emailing me reminding me how important it is to make him go. This week we have CAMHS and I'm going to ask about medication as we've been refused it so far but this can't go on.
Lolly731 and Alternativefacts it's bloody awful isn't it? I am so tired, fed up, worried about money and the possibility of being fined. Pressured by school, tutors and family who don't understand.

OP’s posts: |
t875 Tue 24-Jan-17 16:45:22

I hope the medication helps him. I certainly did with our dd - she was having low moods / dark low moods too very depressed. Hers is around eating issues which she is having CBT for and actually doing a lot better.

Have you spoke to your local council? Can he home School - is there online classes he can join for the remainder if his time at sec school?
Is there a School where they can support him more near you?
Feel for you. It's so upsetting for us to see what they go through. X

sblake Thu 02-Feb-17 12:48:06

We're having a similar problem with our HFA 16 yr old. It started end of Y10 when he finally stood up to a bully and got into a fight & ended up being excluded from school. He's hated school ever since (had 100% attendance before that). Now that he's 16 he just refuses to go. I'm so frustrated with him. He just doesn't care!

HarHer Mon 06-Feb-17 07:13:31


My 17 year old son's mental health broke down at the beginning of Y10 and, after many attempts at continuing school, he was admitted to a CAMHS unit. He has tried a special school with a post-16 section, but his anxiety was too high for that to continue, and later he tried a lower level course at college, but that also fell through. My eldest has a diagnosis of AS.

My youngest son began refusing school for a short time in Y7 and then persistently in Y9. He is now in Y11 and has had home tuition for the LA and is now attending the tuition at a local PRU. My youngest is almost certainly on the spectrum, but refuses formal assessment. he has a diagnosis of Generalised Anxiety Disorder.

In my experience, an Education Health and Care plan can help. It can assure that a multi-agency approach is upheld and that this involves health as well as education (and social care if necessary). However, our LA wanted to close my eldest's EHC plan as provisions broke down. If this is suggested do not let it happen. My eldest now is now working towards a Personalised Learning Pathway which will help him with many aspects of his life.

Now, this may seem controversial, however I feel it is important. I experienced mental ill health as a teenager and my secondary education was cut short. However, I returned to education some years later and achieved excellent qualifications via Access and university. My sister also returned to education via Access. In the case of both my sons, I feel the best thing that I can do to help them at the moment is to take the pressure of education (in the formal sense) off them and help them build up their self esteem through practical skills and the social elements of college or community life .

They are both highly intelligent, but highly sensitive boys who, once they have gained strategies to manage their extreme anxiety, will flourish in FE or HE.

Furthermore, I ended up teaching in FE and HE and have known many individuals with AS and/or mental ill health achieve excellent results as young adults.

However, I do realise how impossible it is to function when you have an avoidant and/or highly anxious young person at home all day. CAMHS tend to be vastly under-resourced and social care may not understand the complexity of the situation, however, they may be able to contact specialised careers services and help your son to think about some vocational options.

I apologise for the ramble.

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