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Guilt about child missing school


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I am PUSHING my dd, almost 6, to 1/2 day kindergarten every day. Separation anxiety. When I pick her up, she loses it almost as soon as my van door is closed (never at school, never, holds it together there.)

We are 3 weeks post HD-IVIG.

Discovered gut issues, just started Vancomycin (heavy) for 3 weeks.

She does not look well. Her little body has been/going through so much. Frankly, she's not well.

We have a 504 plan just coming into action.

She does very good on her school work.

If she doesn't go, I wonder if the anxiety will then build too great to go back.

It's bloody kindergarten, right?

My DH does not want her to miss any.

I think he wants a break for our neurotypical 4 yr. old that takes the brunt of the abuse.

But I want her to heal. It IS really stressful for her...

any thoughts?

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Absolutely not. No guilt whatsoever. But then my child eventually HAD to be pulled out for home school and the poor thing was so ill and with very little understanding in the schools..... NOPE..... No feeling of guilt in the slightest. The only people who should feel guilty are those who judged us during her illness.


In the scheme of things- Kindergarten is NOTHING. For that matter, missing any grade -- the education will come --- but only if the health is there first.


I did feel sad for my child, as far as missing school---> missing the interaction with friends and such. BUT, she truly wasn't getting that either, as sick as she was.


You have different circumstances and have to make your own decisions based on those. Good luck and I hope your child has the same good results from IVIg that my dd had. (My dd had Hd IVIg Nov 2008)


Keep us posted.

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You said it best....it's bloody kindergarten. And I agree with Amy....kindergarten or any grade. First of all, kindergarten kiddoes are about as germy as can be. Yes, they wash hands before lunch, but they are just not generally up to par on hygiene and keeping germs to themselves :wacko: And being post IVIG, from what I hear, it's super important to keep them away from illness. Even if my kid loved going to school, I'd be keeping them OUT after IVIG.


I am certainly biased, as we now homeschool. NOT because of pandas, but sure am glad I started homeschooling 2 years ago....I can't even imagine where we'd be with constant strep exposure. My first 3 kids had strep ALL THE TIME. Depending where you live, there are so many avenues you could go to keep your little one in contact with other kids....but you would be able to pick and choose who, be able to talk to the moms in the group, etc...


I am also a teacher by trade ;) and trust me, the amount of academic work being accomplished during a 7.5 hour day is astoundingly minimal. Yes, they get social skills, but I believe those can be taught by having your child interact with other children in a smaller, more "germ-controlled" setting while healing is going on....

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Do not feel the least be guilty. My DS (now 15) missed 3 months of school in 7th grade (not that he learned anything in 6th or the first 1/2 of 7th, because he was too stressed and sick!) Both my DS 15 and DS18 have missed a lot of school over the past 4 years (up to 32 days one year for one of them...that's also one of the arguments I used to fight insurance to pay for the IVIG). Both are doing fine in school. Granted, my DS18's grade point average dropped from A's to B's (and he probably missed out on a scholarship opportunity for college next year, because of the GPA...which is a real bummer,) but it is what it is.


You're just dealing with kindergarten. Teach her the ABC's, read a lot to her every day, sing songs, go outside to the park and play, play, play (she'll meet other kids there, too.)


Socially, these kids are so anxious and sick, anyway, that not all of them get much in the way of socializing at school, anyway.


So, don't feel guilty. If you're DH gets on your case, remind him that he doesn't want your DD to end up sick her whole life, and now is the time to really take care of her needs.

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I agree with everyone else who replied.


I would like to add one thing. My pandas child is 5 years older than his younger non-pandas brother. When DS got sick at 7, my younger son was two. I would rather leave my 2 year alone in the house vs my pandas 7 year old if I went outside for something. I wanted to homeschool DS but I had a 2 yr old at home and made the choice to send DS to different school for behavior problems. I believe this was a mistake. Everyone told me he needs socialization and structure. He needed to sleep and heal.


Dr Green wrote a book called the Explosive Child. You should read it. I attended a lecture by him (he's great!!!!) and he talked about the other child and called them the "good child". The other child will be super good until the sick child gets better and then they will start testing the water when the time is right. I have a "good child" and I feel for him but then I sure do appreciate it. I really believe people are born with approx 75% of their personality and having a pandas child really proves how humans are nothing but chemical beings.


The most important lesson I learned was "trust yourself" - you know this child better than anyone. Good luck.

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Thank you for the replies, all really spot on. I so appreciate it, the advice, the sharing.


I've had a shift in my perspective about this kindergarten thing.

We just started her on Vancomycin for the first time, a few days ago, to clear out bacteria in her gut.

Well, I am getting herx., it calls for 3x a day dosing for 3 weeks, anti-fungal, probiotics, and getting her to eat in between it all...she is going through quite a bit- she is not 'well' right now, not at all, with what is going on with her gut issues, trying to clear it out, coming off of IVIG.

I went to the school for a 504, and they have been incredibly supportive.

I am not sweating getting her to these last few months of K.

This shift has been a relief off my shoulders- trying to get her there everyday has been very difficult.

I just need to focus on getting her health improved right now.

My family dynamic is never going to get better, unless I can get her better.

Thank you again.

Edited by S & S
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It's always a tough call. School or not to school. Last year our ds who has been struggling with his pandas episodes was offered a theraputic class room since he had slot of school refusal in the previous years. We thought it would be great, small class lots of accomadations etc. It was great at first... But now he's isolated, won't see friends or make any new ones. And he's been doing better academically and we are now trying to gethim into mainstream classes again without success. If you decide to keep your child home, or home school I would advise you keep as much of their regular activites as possible. We unwittingly made a cacoon for our son and nowhere won't come out. I wish we had just kept at it, I think we would have been further along. Would of could of. Best wishes and be strong.

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We pulled our son from his private - mainstream - pre-K and placed him in the EELP pre-K at the local public school with the help of his IEP. He too had a lot of school issues, and most of his behavior problems pertained to school. (He didn't have flat out refusal, but the seperation anxiety at drop off was enough to make me want to turn around and take him home.) He would be fine going to school, it wasn't until we got to the classroom that the elaborate "ritual" would begin - it took over 45 minutes for me to get out of there at drop off.


Unfortunately, homeschool is not an option for us, since we both work, but the key for us was finding a setting that worked for him.


We were worried about his new class, for some of the same things Telya mentions, and also because our son is testing gifted right now, and all of the other children in the classroom actually have developmental/academic delays. So we've worried that we're sacrificing his academic success at the hands of his OCD tendencies. But he has THRIVED!!! He absolutely adores his new classroom, there are only 8 children, so exposure is limited, and he still goes to his old pre-K for aftercare, so he's getting socialization as well. The school refusal is non-existent now, and he barely gives me a second glance as he hops out of the car to his aides arms at drop off. He was actually named "Terrific Kid of the Month" last week - never thought in a million years that would happen! (Terror Kid of the Month, maybe

:P )

But you know your child best, and will know better than anyone what is right for her.


And after all - it's Kindergarten, they aren't discovering the cure for cancer ;)

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  • 2 years later...

My daughter just missed her freshman year in high school after being a student athlete and a 4.0 honors student. She missed football games, dances, getting her driver's permit, texting her friends, shopping outings, vacations and now the reality of not graduating with her peers or...even worse...her twin. As a teacher and knowing her vast abilities it was not a decision I took lightly or easily. She went from honors classes, to homebound coursework to nothing at all in a three month period.


What I know:


It is going to be devastating when she comes out of this.


What else I know:


After the tears, hurt, anger, jealousy and a range of expected emotions and roller coaster rides, she is going to be admired the rest of her life for persevering through this and encircled by people who are going to lift her up through every tough moment. In the end she will be an adult like everyone else, she will be in college classes in which the age range of students will be 17-70, and she will be healthy with the power of knowing there isn't one thing on this planet that she cannot get through.


I do not feel guilty, I feel empowered knowing I made the right decision in letting her get well at her own pace, putting her health above everything else, and being prepared to take the blame if she, or anyone else, points a finger at me over this decision.


A year, two years...in the end, it will be offset with the riches she will carry with her in the love, power, experience, wisdom, strength and confidence that will come with this journey.


I don't feel guilty; I feel like a fierce mama tiger.

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My dd missed 22 days of second grade. I would look at her S&S like you and could see her little body wasn't well. She spent a lot of time just resting and healing. My husband battled me too on it, part of histrying to pretend she wasn't ill. IThe school never said a word to me and there was no academic impact. Trust your mothers instinct on this one. Hugs to you

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