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DS with depressive disorder wants to drop out of A Levels

(5 Posts)
babbsy Fri 10-Feb-17 11:36:03

Hi there, don't know what to do! My DS, 16, was recently diagnosed with moderate depressive disorder, and is now, for the past week, on fluoxetine.
His attendance at school has been getting worse and worse, but now he's said he wants to drop out (his words) and run a business with a friend in a similar position. He has some good ideas, but doesn't he also have to be in some form of education? I think part of the problem is that he is so far behind with his studies that he can't face the catching up. I worry about his future with only GCSEs
We've tried to be very supportive. We've said that if he goes to school, he can go out. No school, no,going out, but this just leads to massive confrontation.
I have thought of just letting him be, until the medication kicks in properly. I've also thought of getting him to sit down with a business coach, to work through the practicalities of his business, so he can see (and we can) if it has a chance of working, and what he actually has to do to make it work.
What do you think?

yeOldeTrout Sat 11-Feb-17 08:46:14

Re: have to be in education:

No they don't, not really. That's the worst reason of all to try to keep him on A-levels.

This happened to us. If he drops out, the worst that will happen is HE (not you, but himself) will get phone calls & papers from the council trying to persuade him onto some kind of training course. The alternatives might be attractive, they include things like computing apprenticeships & 5 month NVQ schemes, or The Prince's Trust. The only hassle is a once a week contact from the council.

My tuppence: It's his life & he's unhappy; if he gives the business 6-7 month trial (starting now), and it doesn't take off... could he restart the A-levels in September? My nearest 6th form would allow that.

For your peace of mind maybe you could negotiate an agreement like asking him to put 25 hrs/week into his business, and to give you a weekly update on what he's done & planning next. Then you would both know he's putting the effort in.

yeOldeTrout Sat 11-Feb-17 08:47:00

ps: the hassle from council only goes on until end June of would-be yr12.

Northernsoul58 Sat 11-Feb-17 15:47:03

If your son had something like glandular fever or some other similar debilitating physical illness perhaps you could make better sense of his situation. Depression is very difficult to navigate for the 'depressee' and those around them. I can also understand how difficult it may seem for your son to catch up and keep up with the relentless demands of A levels (my son is struggling and he doesn't even have a 'reason' smile.
If he doesn't do A levels now it doesn't mean he can't do them later. It is also possible to go to university via an Access course. There are many paths to growing up and it's still early days. Perhaps he needs to get his head sorted out and his feet firmly on the ground before he can focus on and make the most of his education.

babbsy Sun 12-Feb-17 08:56:26

Thank you so much, yeOldTrout and Northernsoul58, this has helped enormously. I'll let you know what happens!

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