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School Refusal Hasn't Resolved


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emily- yes, we saw the school refusal run over into overall resistance to going out to public places.

 

I think it is REALLY important, that if the refusal is due to ocd or anxiety (and not bullying, inappropriate school placement, etc) that the kids are put into a "program" to get them in school. Pulling a kid out of school for ocd or anxiety may seem compassionate, but in the end it reinforces their fear, and makes it harder for them. I am not advocating just throwing them into the fire- but I do think that if accomodations (like a shortened day, etc) are put into place, if at all possible this should be done with a qualified therapist, with the stated goal being to get back to school without accomodation.

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I have not read this whole thread, but after pex, ivig and steroids, school refusal was the only ocd that my 12yo child had remaining. 3weeks at the usf clinic made that history. she still does not like schoolwork, but can do it now.

their program changed our family dynamic for the better!

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I tend to agree with this - at least this is my gut feeling for our situation. I don't want to be mean and force him to do something that is awful for him. But at the same time, when he gets in he usually has an overall positive experience and seems to get so much joy out of the friendships, field trips, special events, weekly chapel/singing, etc, that I don't want him to be deprived of that in the long run. And he is a kid who gets in big time ruts, so I feel if we homeschool for one year, we will never get him back into regular school. Our school is, relatively speaking, a very safe, loving environment, so I feel comfortable pushing him to get back to going full-time/regularly. I just have to figure out HOW to do that. But the homeschool info is great to have as a back-up if we just absolutely can't overcome this.

 

 

 

emily- yes, we saw the school refusal run over into overall resistance to going out to public places.

 

I think it is REALLY important, that if the refusal is due to ocd or anxiety (and not bullying, inappropriate school placement, etc) that the kids are put into a "program" to get them in school. Pulling a kid out of school for ocd or anxiety may seem compassionate, but in the end it reinforces their fear, and makes it harder for them. I am not advocating just throwing them into the fire- but I do think that if accomodations (like a shortened day, etc) are put into place, if at all possible this should be done with a qualified therapist, with the stated goal being to get back to school without accomodation.

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Thanks for this comment! I am going to look into the USF clinic. Was her school refusal due to a very specific fear/OCD, or was it more complicated? Do you stay with them, or at a hotel while you are doing the 3 week clinic?

 

I have not read this whole thread, but after pex, ivig and steroids, school refusal was the only ocd that my 12yo child had remaining. 3weeks at the usf clinic made that history. she still does not like schoolwork, but can do it now.

their program changed our family dynamic for the better!

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This is a great tip - thanks for mentioning!

 

one thing that was suggested to us that we didn't do for various reasons but i thought was a good idea was if you are doing abbreviated day - to start with the last class of the day and build backwards -- that way the child goes for a short time but leaves with everyone else rather than leaving on his own... and may have less anxiety b/c he knows its a short time until the natural end of the day - not just a false end of the day for just him.

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she actually could not /would not disclose any specific fear, though we got as far as she was afraid if being wrong, working hard, that kind of thing.

we stayed at the ronald mcdonald house, just her and I, my husband joined us the last few days. We made a donation when we left, they ask for at least $10a night, I think, but it was worth way more to us! RMH IS AN AWESOME CHARITY! many dinners were provided, even. if you end up considering the USF program , ask the scheduler at USF about it. they have fill out a specific form for the rmh to allow you to stay there.

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Just our experience with "refusals" of all ilks . . . school, outings, restaurants, etc.

 

Definitely one type of refusal can fuel another, or even create it! And yes, it is anxiety oriented. Home is relatively safe, controllable and a known entity; outside the home, whether it's school, a friend's house, a store or a restaurant, is inherently less controllable, less known. By a certain age, our kids can distinguish the difference, and then they prefer to stay in those "safer" places, rather than risking the triggers they experience at school or out in the world. A younger kid will frequently lack the skills or experience to articulate specifically what it is that makes them feel anxious about entering a certain place or situation, though a good therapist can usually help sort that out. But an older kid (certainly by the time they get to middle school) knows precisely why they don't want to go where they don't want to go! It's hard, it's unpredictable, it's sense-assaulting, and it's complicated! Just let me stay home, dang it! :P

 

I double what DCMom has said, though. It's a slippery slope, and our feeling was that while we could let our DS get away with not going to restaurants for a bit longer while we worked on things, or have his friends over to our house rather than insisting he go over to theirs, school was sort of a non-negotiable. We would work with him and support him and allow him to take it slow (getting back into a regular school day, that is), but get back, he would. Even if it was just an hour a day for a couple of weeks, and then two hours a day for another couple of weeks, etc. We wanted him to experience that sense of accomplishment and sense of regaining control where he thought he'd lost it, by getting back.

 

In the end, it's definitely paid off. His self-confidence and capability have florished in the months that have followed, and even he agrees that the pay-off has been worth the initial struggles.

 

Hang on tight and go for it! :D

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I think it is REALLY important, that if the refusal is due to ocd or anxiety (and not bullying, inappropriate school placement, etc) that the kids are put into a "program" to get them in school. Pulling a kid out of school for ocd or anxiety may seem compassionate, but in the end it reinforces their fear, and makes it harder for them. I am not advocating just throwing them into the fire- but I do think that if accomodations (like a shortened day, etc) are put into place, if at all possible this should be done with a qualified therapist, with the stated goal being to get back to school without accomodation.

 

 

just wanted to mention that although we are currently dealing with issues of appropriate placement and support for ds - it is correct that he needs extra support to navigate school. . . he ALSO has inappropriate anxiety issues. i definitley agree with this thought. we first have to set the environment so the reasonable anxiety is reduced but we will also have to work with the inapproriate fight or flight and i do agree that facing it and moving past it is imperative. -- it's so flipping complicated!! :(

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Thanks Linda. I would be interested in what you think of the K-12 program - I've heard good things. For now, I'm looking at homeschooling as a last resort. Is your 7th grader having trouble getting into school? Is that why you are considering homeschooling?

 

We are looking into an online program called K-12 and it is an online free public school program. We are both needing to work now to pay for the medical expences of 3 PANS boys. Only the son entering 7th is struggling with the stress of school. We may see if we can hire a retired teacher to work a few hours a week with him and some studies we could do in the evenings after work. We haven't worked out the details by any means yet!!! I may see if grandma can stay with him....??

 

Maybe this is an option to look into.

 

Good luck, I understand,

Linda

Hello everyone

I did K-12 last year for my dd for first grade and I am going to do it again this year also

I LOVE IT !!!!

her teacher was awesome the program is easy to follow if you need help all you need to do is call or e mail there teacher

I just cant say enough goo things about it.. you can set your program up the way you want it

I clean houses so I am off on Monday and Tuesday so those are our big days to get alot done

I work on Wed,Thursday,Friday so my parents help me out with her math and flash cards and reading

so if you work in the day you can do it at night or on the weekends

and the best part about it???? I dont need to say anything to anyone about her

I do have a 504 just because is she has a flair they know what is going on

They send you all the book and everything you need for the year

I had school stuff from one end to the other... LOL

They have sesions with the teachers on line if you cant make it for some reason it is recored and you can do it later

My dd wants to go back to school but I think one more year would be good for her she has been PANDAS free for almost 18 months (knock on wood) 2 ivigs ... and abxs are doing the trick..

hope this post helps

Tracie

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Well, we haven't let him miss school yet. Thank goodness he's only 7 and not bigger. I try very hard to get him out to other things too although we allow a little more flex with restaurants and such. I'm afraid to give into it would be a downward spiral for him, but sometimes I feel pretty mean insisting that he get out and go.

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What is a "2E" kid?

 

 

here's a website i've found very informative http://www.cde.state.co.us/gt/download/pdf/twiceexceptionalresourcehandbook.pdf

 

basically 2E - Twice exceptional --refers to a child who shows exceptional talent in at least one area AND a disability in at least one area.

 

'twice exceptional' is the politically correct term -- i've also heard it referred to as "twice challenged" and many days i find that more appropriate. not really for the child himself but for the lack of understanding and compassion from the rest of the world -- unfortunately for us, our educational world.

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Another option you have is the Hospital/Homebound Program through your local School District. They send a teacher to your house a few days a week to work with your child. That is what we do with both of my children. My DS is FT with the program, my DD is PT, goes to school when she can.

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We did try this in 3rd grade, but our school really gave us a hard time and the tutor was constantly talking about her "really sick" students (in front of my son), like those with leukemia, who would give anything to go to school, work really hard, ya da ya da. My son was very oppositional with her and sometimes refused to come to the table and work with her. Secretly I didn't really blame him as she was an idiot and clearly thought he was a faker and we were gullible and enabling. I think to do this, you really need a school that believes your child is ill and a good tutor. I'm glad its working out for you. We ended up switching to a small private school after that year, and while they won't home-tutor, they are working really hard to help him get in to school and succeed and are very understanding and accepting when he is too anxious to get in.

 

Another option you have is the Hospital/Homebound Program through your local School District. They send a teacher to your house a few days a week to work with your child. That is what we do with both of my children. My DS is FT with the program, my DD is PT, goes to school when she can.

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Mama-

 

your inbox is full- here is my pm...

 

I don't know why the ocd stuck after the pandas episode was gone. I do think that sometimes the ocd is so powerful and scary, that even when the medical reason causing it is gone, the kids are afraid to move past it. That being said, the fact that she was "well" is what made the therapy so successful. Had she been in the midst of an exacerbation, three weeks would not have been enough, and would have been really, really hard.

 

DD started with school refusal one day, like the flip of a switch. For a while, she made up excuses and other reasons (things she thought we might be sympathetic to, I guess). The truth finally came out that she was afraid of vomiting in class. But she was terrified beyond a realistic reaction to vomiting, and she thought about it constantly. OCD. We saw a local therapist who had us on the path of moving her back to school slowly (by this time we had put her on homebound instruction- our school was fabulously supportive). DD complied, and went to school one period a day for a week, increasing by a period a week. It was SLOW, and she was miserable. She was complying- but in school she was constantly thinking about her fear. We struggle this way through her entire second half of fifth grade.

 

We were at the end of our rope, (luckily she was doing SO well otherwise) and Meg's mom suggested USF.

 

At USF the psych worked on confronting the actual fear- vomiting in public. We did not need a plan of getting back to school slowly- we needed her to do so much thinking and talking about vomiting that it became boring, and she was no longer a prisoner to her thoughts. She had to: say the word vomit, write the word vomit, say the word to stranger, look at photos of others vomiting, look at videos of others vomiting, make up stories of vomiting in public and at school, read these stories to strangers, make pretend vomit and pretend to vomit in public, etc. Our psych was amazing- funny, smart, compassionate, matter of fact and tough. He told it straight to my kids. It was not the usual nicey- nice- therapist nonsense. Real work got done in each session, real progress was made. We had liked two previous psychs (both with great credentials and experienced with ocd)- but the therapy we got there was a whole different animal.

 

USF is a three week, outpatient, intense, ocd therapy program. You and your child attend one 45 minute session per day, and there is "homework" to practice. The program was covered by our insurance. We stayed (and had a great experience) in the local Ronald McDonald house.

 

I don't know if the program is for you, but you can contact Dr Eric Storch (he is great) and he will be able to tell you if they can help.

 

I am wondering, can you get to what is behind the anxiety. Pushing him to school is only half the battle- getting to the real cause of the anxiety, facing it, and getting rid of those thoughts are what is going to get him over this hump. I regret not getting to USF sooner, and I will never deal with an issue this life- interrupting locally again.

 

Please feel free to pm me....

 

Eileen

dcmom- I would like to look into this 3 week program for my daughter. How do you go about contacting Dr. Storch? You gave me some great advice before when my daughter was dealing with a severe fear of vomiting back in January-March. Since resuming abx (off them for 5 months) she is doing much better. She no longer has the severe nausea (some - but not like before) so her fear of vomiting is not as bad, but still present. Does the child get screened for OCD before getting accepted? What if fear of vomiting is the only OCD issue at the time - can they be denied? Would love to hear more on how this program is initiated, if you have the time. Did you need to fly down for an evaluation and return for the program at a later date? Did you need to get letters from doctors, teachers, exc? Thanks in advance?

 

also- I remember you mentioning that Drexel may have a program. I sort of looked into it, but think it may have been for adults. I need to google again.

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