12 year old refusing to go to school and raging

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by tryinghard, Apr 24, 2008.

  1. tryinghard

    tryinghard New Member


    I do not know what to do.

    Over the last two years (on and off) my son says he is "sick" and can't go to school. We try to find out if there is something going on but usually there is not. He tells me that he gets headaches in school and it is boring and he doesn't understand the work.

    The problem is he rages. Right now he is yelling at me, cussing at me, banging his head into a pillow, throwing things like pillows.

    He just agreed that in five minutes he will get dressed and go. I am not sure if that is true or not.

    What do I do? What have you done?
  2. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    It sounds as if he has a lot of anxiety about school. My son was the same way at that age.

    Has this issue become worse since he started Metadate (which can exacerbate anxiety)?

    Does he have any dxes besides ADHD? What kind of doctor diagnosed him?

    How does he do in school, both academically and with peers?

    Has he ever been tested for learning disabilities?

    Does he have an IEP?
  3. pepperidge

    pepperidge New Member


    Smallworld has asked some good questions, cause I suspect that there is more going on that ADHD that your son's medications suggest.

    You have described my oldest perfectly. He has a lot of depression and anxiety that contributed to making it extremely difficult to go to school (partly separation anxiety, overwhelmed with work at school etc).

    It wasn't until we got him diagnosis with a mood disorder, did about two years worth of medication trials that we have finally found a medication combo that works (notably, Lamictal, Risperdal and Adderall). He did virtually no schoolwork in 4th and 5th grade, went to school half days in sixth grade (all he could tolerate). This year as his medications have finally gotten straighted out he is in school full time and working a fair amount while there. He has
    an IEP, does no homework. It is by no means perfect, but we have no more raging, he goes to school every morning without being threatened with taking the free limosine service from the truant officer and home life has improved considerably.

    I would think that definitely the full battery of neuropsychologist testing should be done, and some carefully diagnosis'ing by a child psychiatrist would be useful. While neither of my children fit the criteria for childhoold bipolar very well, they have some sort of mood disorder. both have responded in varying degrees to mood stabilizers and anti-pychotics. We have been fortunate to have found doctors that are willing to look beyond the diagnosis of ADHD. Sometimes attention issues can arise from other issues such as anxiety or depression.

    Good luck. At this point, I would say not to make your home life totally miserable with worrying about school, but to put your energy into getting the various medical pieces together. It was tough for me to let it go for awhile. when I look back I am sorry that I let things get so bad about that issue when there was clearly more pressing medical and neuropsychologist issues to get sorted out.

  4. tryinghard

    tryinghard New Member

    My son just admitted that he did something wrong yesterday in class and got a referral to the asst principal. He is still refusing to go because he is scared what will happen to him. It does not matter what I say he is refusing..HELP
  5. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Can you go with him to school and talk together with the assistant principal? Otherwise, I think you're going to have to call the assistant principal, explain what's happening at home and figure out together how to deal with your son.
  6. tryinghard

    tryinghard New Member


    I had already called the asst principal and he was very nice. I went back to my son and told him how proud I was of him to tell me exactly what was really going on. I told him that it must have taken a lot of courage and my heart was so proud of him. I told him I had spoken to the asst principal and that he was not going to yell at him just wanted to talk .

    He said he could not face it today. I told him that they longer he waited the more his body was going to feel bad (aniexty) and that once he got it over with he would feel a lot better. I told him I feel the same way when I have to do something I do not want to do. I told him what he was feeling is normal.

    I told him I would give him five minutes to collect himself.

    OMG he just walked into the bedroom dressed and said he was ready to go!! He is perfectly calm. He said he is too embarassed to go to his second period class today. He asked if he could just miss that class today he can make it to the other ones!

    YEAH>>>>what a victory!!! I feel such relief...I am so proud of him.

    Thanks for your help everyone..
  7. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Woo hoo! Congrats! I'm so glad it all worked out. You know, even with-o disorders, boys tend to like to yell and throw things instead of explain what's going on in the first place. Having something else going on, ADHD, Asperger's etc., multiplies it.
    Funny that your son was so anxious about the asst. principle. My son has been sent to the ofc several times and forgets to tell us! Last yr his teacher was SOOOooooo frustrated because nothing seemed to affect him. We finally had to surround him with-teachers, principle, us (parents) and do a sort of intervention, so he had nowhere to turn.:surprise:

    I'd suggest that you get up about 10 min. earlier for the rest of the school year to make sure he's in an okay mood, gets breakfast, etc. so you can kind of scope it out, so if he has another meltdown it won't cut into his school time so much.

    Also, I've learned no to push as hard. It used to totally freak me out if he didn't go to school (as kids we had to go even if we were bleeding through our pores, and yes, I did walk to school when it was -20) so I've had to change my attitude a bit too.
    Now I've learned that the simple words, "Too bad you're sick. You won't be able to play with-Henry after school" will cause my son to fly out of bed and his illness to completely disappear. :laugh:

    Hang in there. You're doing great!
  8. tryinghard

    tryinghard New Member


    Yes, I was sooo happy that he was actually scared to go see the asst. principal. I thought, well atleast he is taking this seriously. I spoke to the asst. principal after he met with my son and he mentioned the same thing. He said my son was very scared and very remorseful which he said he doesn't see very often. He told my son that because this is his first time having to come see him my son was only going to get a warning no lunchtime detention.

    Boy being a parent is hard..........but today was a victory!
  9. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I'm glad it all worked out. Sounds like the asst. principal also handled things well!