Child won't go to school but has IEP



My daughter was labeled as ED a couple of weeks ago. We are having our IEP meeting on Friday. She doesn't go to school most of the time. Anyone else have Bipolar kids who just can't pull themselves out of bed to go to school. When she will go she has so much anxiety that she just sits there and does no work and doesn't speak to anyone.

I am going to see what the school offers Friday in ED services but I am thinking about Homebound again. They are thinking of starting her school day at 10 am or so but I dont know that she can get up for this. She is sleeping til noon or 1 pm.

She is unstable (a year after starting medications) and we are still changing them regularly.
What has everyone done when their child just can't get out bed.

My insurance (Kaiser) seems to love to push the Juvinile system (trauancy) because that takes the pressure off the parents and the doctors to get the kid functioning for school.

My child is a good kid and I don't think she would miss school (truant) if she was stable. Or maybe I am dumb and this is another way for my kid to get over on me.
Lisa - mom to difficult child 14 yo BiPolar (BP) with ADHD, Anxiety Disorder. Taking Topamax, Clonidine, Wellbutrin SR and concerta (just stopped buspar).easy child son 8 yo. Married 14 years.



Hi Lisa and welcome.

You are in a very tough situation. Bipolar kids can be extremely hard to motivate and putting pressure on them only seems to make matters worse.

If your daughter is still receiving her eduation in your neighborhood school, there is little that they can do "therapeutically". They may get a truancy officer involved, but as you already know that wiil not necessarily get her to school.

Have you discussed alternative placements with your family and school district? While you may be hesitant to do so, an alternative program may be desireable for you daughter on these levels:

Smaller classrooms---less anxiety
Adaptive curriculum---less pressure, anxiety
Flexible deadlines, etc for school work
Therapists---daily/weekly counseling
Behavior modification---to work through feelings of anxiety/depression in a more acceptable manner

SOME alternative programs will become actively involved in "getting" student to school. I have heard of some schools that will send staff to your home to escort a student to school. This hinges on your permission and cooperation, of course!

In cany case, I think that you need to review the level of services your daughter is receiving at her IEP meeting Friday. Her mental health status is interfering with her education at a significant degree right now. I believe that this merits more intervention than she is currently receiving. Your sd should be offering some level of therapy/counseling to your daughter so that she can develop appropraite coping strategies for these episodes of depression. If you are compliant with her medical interventions (ie medication, psy appointments, etc) than you should be able to argue that the school is not servicing her appropriately in the area of school-related social/emotional issues.

You can then discuss the placement options available to your daughter. While you may think that an alternative school is too restrictive, many consider it less restrictive than home schooling because the students still have opportunities to interact with a peer group.

If you decide to home school, I think that you should expect your sd to provide some level of therapeutic services. However, I think that counseling will be more successful if the therapist and your daughter have a school enviornement in which to work and practice.

I hope that this is helpful. I know that it can be very frustrating dealing with non-attendance issues. You certainly can begin to feel like a dog chasing it's tail.