difficult child not going again

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by klmno, Dec 4, 2008.

  1. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    difficult child went to school yesterday. It was a good thing because I was starting to get emails from his CM at school about him missing too much work. The principal has really slowed down communication-not a good sign at this point. I can tell difficult child feels better but he seems to be pushing this illness for everything he can get out of it. He says he doesn't feel well this morning and in a nasty tone just told me to leave him alone- he's not getting out of bed. I tried telling him he'll lose his game priviledges, etc, or he can go and everything will be ok. He's not going.

    Now what? The school and I both are at our last straw on this.
  2. lillians

    lillians lillians

    i am new here and do not know the ins and outs,, but can tell yu what we did,, in grade 8 our daughter refused to go to school, the battle was sureal,, if we did indeed get her there she refused to go into the class room,,if the school got her in,she cried the whole time-- the teacher being very ahh bright,told her she must leave the class room and not come back in til she stopped,, oh my--talk about shooting your self in the foot,, well i came to my attention she was in the hallway every day til at least noon,,finally after meetings and disciussions,, the teachers and principals decised to remove her altogether and wasnt allowed back til the next year,,soo do not loisten to the school,, maybe there are reasons yu arent aware of,,,, i need to go i will post later on how we got a handle on it for the next year
  3. Jena

    Jena New Member

    Good morning,

    Ok, you just described what's going on in my house! :(

    Same issue here, she won't get up, is nasty, won't get out of bed, refuses. Her medications' were increased though a few days ago and this is clearly a medication, mixed with her nastiness thing.

    The line i use with difficult child, is it's illegal for you to be here right now. You "legally" belong in school. A few days off are ok, yet too many and it's not good.

    Our rule is vomit, fever, than she stays home. Yet when their at such an age where they aren't babies anymore, what do you do besides try to pull them out of bed? I did that yesterday and I got her out, yet I threw my back out again!

    I have no words of wisdom lol. I'm sorry :)

    I wish you luck, I have to go after mine now again. She has a half day today and tmrw. ugh fun! Yet I need those few hours in the a.m. to do stuff so i need her gone!

    Good luck

  4. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    difficult child has just started on this AD and has these medications for being sick (zythromax and albuterol). He had such a defiant looking smirk this morning, I'm wondering if I should cut that AD in half. psychiatrist gave permission to stop using it- I know he'd rather I make the decision than to call him. Of course, nothing will get difficult child to school today, I don't think. I honestly believe that he's going to push it until something jerks a knot in his rear.
  5. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I wish I could call the PO and have her tell him that if he doesn't get his butt up and go to school, she'll take him to the judge within the next 2 weeks. Unfortunately, this PO doesn't work that way. I could call, I wouldn't hear back from her, when difficult child sees her again she would tell him that he's going to the judge period. difficult child is not one to grasp that reality without a firm warning from her first, but she doesn't normally do that. And, I think she'd rather die than to do something I suggest.

    After thought: He is on house arrest until he sees PO again- which is Monday. She had told him that if he didn't obey the rules of house arrest before she saw him again, that she would take him before the judge. I just told him that he better get up and go in late or he would have to deal with it Monday with the PO. He just rolled over and covered his head. He honestly believes that he can just tell her he's been sick and she'll let it go. He has been sick- but that can only be used so many days- especially when there's every indication that one is getting well.
  6. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Which AD? What's the dose?
  7. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Celexa- (generic form) 20 mg. I read that normal starting dose was 40 mg (or 20 titrated to 40). psychiatrist started difficult child on 10, titrated to 20. I took that slower so he's only been on 20 a few days. Really, I see no signs of hypomania/mania. Last night I didn't see any either. However, with difficult child, it is very common for authority figures to look back on it after a bout of mania and realize that difficult child became disrespectful, defiant, disruptive, etc, some time shortly before completely "losing it". Of course, since teens have days like that anyway periodically, it is hard to tell what we're headed for.
  8. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Boy, does that sound familiar!!!

    I am so sorry.

    Our difficult child cannot lose any more days, either. I wish I had an answer for you.
  9. Jena

    Jena New Member


    I had to drag her out literally, and carefully. I threatened to bring her in her pajamas. Even though she's 100 lbs. shes' still able to be worked on some level, alot easier than what your handling right now.

    I'm not familiar with that medication at all, yet if your guts telling you to cut it in half maybe you could try it and see what response you get from that? It's safe to mess around with dosage a little, yes?

    I think that's a good idea with the house arrest thing. I know what you mean about the days, difficult child had so many days out last year, the school was all over me. There were days I couldnt' get her to go literally she'd cling to furniture, scream, curse me, yet that's improved somewhat since the medication started.

    It is so difficult I know. I am really sorry your having a rough a.m. Now when he misses the day, does the school send the missed work the next day and than you have to fight in getting that done as well? I know we get stuck with that alot. I couldnt' get difficult child to do her hw last night at all, the dance/theatre class she takes messes us up. It's right after school, when we return it's late and her focus is gone. So, today we will be slammed with a ton of work.

    I hope the rest of the day goes better with him home.
  10. missyk33

    missyk33 New Member

    I know my difficult child really cant afford to miss any more days. She got up this morning complaining of her stomach hurting. I told her no she had to go to school. She finally got dressed and put on pants knowing fully they would make her go home to change them. Sure enough, I got a phone call from her to come get her. She thought if she came home I wouldn't take her back, but I told her she had 5 min to change her pants and then she was going back.

    She really didn't want to get up so I think that she was out last night and didn't get enough sleep.
  11. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    klmno - My hindsight:

    difficult child started school refusal in the 2nd grade. I picked her up and physically carried her to the car with her kicking, screaming, sobbing, grabbing ahold of the handrail and walls, side of the car - she would get out of the car when we got to school, but she was wiping tears every time. I would make deals that if she went to school with no battles, that I would come and have lunch with her - which she loved for me to do. Even that wasn't enough of an incentive. The anxiety was stronger.

    It became harder and harder for me to force her to school every day - especially seeing how miserable she was and how she mustered up every bit of her courage every time she walked in the building. It broke my heart.

    I tried to get the school on board, but they were hard in denial. And I was ignorant and naive about SD's and these issues.

    The situation just escalated and in the 6th grade, she missed 88 days of school. She has a diagnosis of panic disorder, but the only thing that triggers it is school. She has severe anxiety, but it's only school that triggers panic attacks. And I know in my gut that it's because this issue was allowed to go on for soooo long.

    My advice - get a plan with the school. Something, anything. Even if he just gets in the building and spends some time collecting himself in the office before going to class. He just has to make that one step. Then another. Instead of having to dive in all at once. Have a plan where if he's feeling, whatever it is he's feeling that's making him not want to go to school, that he can have a pass and go to a resource room, a quiet room, the nurse's office - somewhere where he can collect himself. If you have relaxing CD's that help him calm down, use those during that time. He's going to be way behind. Can the teachers work with him during a free period, lunch, before or after school to help him catch up? If not, is there a tutor the school could provide? Perhaps an upper classman who would be willing to help - it could even count, maybe, as some community service type thing that looks good on college applications for that student. Maybe this will help him feel less overwhelmed about being behind?

    The more they miss, the harder it becomes for them to go. The anxiety feeds on itself. Then they have work to make up and they're falling behind and it becomes overwhelming which fuels even more anxiety.

    I wish that I knew 6 years ago what I know now. I wish that I hadn't been so naive as to think that if my child was having a problem related to school that they would naturally help. I wish that I had handled things way differently. I followed the advice of the school administrators even when it felt wrong. I have so much regret - so much. It's hard to see when you're in the midst of it because you're just seeing behaviors and you're tired and frustrated and grasping at straws and you've got the SD breathing down you're neck that you're going to be in trouble for truancy and then you have a truancy mediation meeting with a liasion from Juvenile Court and then the guidance counselor completely misstates what was discussed and refuses to take it out of the file until you call the liasion and raise a stink and...and...and... You just want it to stop. You just want your child to do what s/he is supposed to do.

  12. 'Chelle

    'Chelle Active Member

    When my difficult child did that, the only thing that worked was making his world totally stop. From 8:30 to 5:30 if he wasn't in school he sat on his bed. I would make sure he couldn't just lay in bed pleasantly, there would be a lot of noise in his room, taking his blankets etc. This did cause some anger the first couple times, but too bad for him, it's illegal to not go to school. The only thing he was allowed to do during those hours was school work of some kind. If there wasn't work at home from school, I printed out worksheets from a website and he had to do those. If he refused to do that, all he was allowed was to sit on his bed. After a few days of that, he decided that being at school 9-3, even if he didn't do the work there either LOL, was a lot more interesting than sitting at home for a longer time doing nothing. OH, and even though I let him do other things after I got home, the computer & video games were a consequence of not doing the work or not being in school as well.
  13. Josie

    Josie Active Member

    I was in a similar situation last year at this time. My daughter was only 9 though so I didn't get that teenage defiance from her.

    She started out with what we thought was legitimate illness from a/d withdrawal or side effects. She was complaining about headaches and feeling sick. She had a temperature of about 99 - 99.5 at the highest. Her doctors could find nothing wrong with their testing and were suggesting "depression".

    We were torn between wondering if she was really feeling bad or if it was "just depression" and wondering if we should let her stay home until she felt better or get tough and make her go to school. One day, we told her she couldn't watch TV if she stayed home, so she laid in bed and slept all day. Again, it was hard to tell if it was physical or mental illness.

    Finally, after much online research and several doctors, she was diagnosis'ed with a chronic illness. My regret is in doubting her when she told me she was sick and not depressed.
  14. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911

    klmno -

    WHAT would happen to HIM (not you, but HIM) if you just got up in the morning, said NOTHING to him other than maybe one knock on his door alerting him to rise and shine....and then went about your business and left?

    What if you NEVER said another word about him going to school to him? What would happen? Would he think it was the greatest thing? Would the truancy officer come and arrest him? Or you?

    There might be a reason why he doesn't like school - and doesn't want to go. Bullies, social pressure - teasing, not feeling smart. I'd start with that and find out what it is. Dude loved school, getting him up was another story - but his problem was he HATED being in self-contained classes. The "stigma" of being one of the short-bus kids made him feel really bad. When they tried to put him into jsut mainstream art or band? Ugh - it was awful - got made fun of even more. It was a disaster.

    After you talk to him - and find out WHOM he is comfortable speaking with at the school about his problem (and there is one he's not just lazy or dumb) then make a meeting and get some help for him - if it's MATH - make them get him a tutor - coming up one grade level in school can make a world of difference.

    And....sadly if he is just lazy? Then he will be sent to a place where they will make him to attend school. Dude did really well in hs. but thanks to the agency? The schools he went to weren't accredited. So now he's in Adult GED and he is not happy about that. AT ALL....but he's going - he really wants to graduate.

    -And when he does? YOU ARE INVITED....to the party.....it will be huge.

    Good luck
  15. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Hi. I HATE this problem. We had it with Wiz. He would go to school, but by lunch would call me to come get him with a migraine or throwing up. At home it was no games, only textbooks to read and otherwise you can sleep, weak tea and toast to eat/drink, etc... NOTHING dissuaded him from this. He would say he barfed, but he didn't.

    I could SEE his anxiety and stress - it was palpable, literally. I talked to the counsellors and principals and secretaries. LUCKILY he was in the jr high - where they HELP when a kid has a problem. If it had been the middle school they wouldn't have let me in hte bldg, much less talk to an administrator.

    We ended up tweaking his medications. I spoke with 2 therapists who said "make him go, make him stay. If he throws up, put a trash can by his desk and make him stay in the classroom.

    I could NOT do that. It just FELT wrong. I went against the "experts" and followed my gut. The sp ed teacher at the jr high was a man I had worked with in a convenience store one summer while home from college. He actually delayed retirement a year to stay until Wiz was out of the jr high. HE advised letting Wiz leave class and go to the nurse and lie down or go to his room and unwind if the stress got too much for him. This teacher made sure Wiz got assignments and that the teachers didn't count him absent if he spent an entire period in the sp ed room. This teacher seemed to know when he could push Wiz to do work and when Wiz just needed quiet.

    We were lucky and blessed. MAybe, just maybe, there is someone at the school who can help you?

    I STRONGLY advise not taking any advice/plan that your instincts tell you is not OK.

    I wish I could help more.
  16. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Well, I tried that before- he just stayed in bed. There are various phases in this- it's been going on for weeks now. It clearly started as depression. Then, it was physical. Now, I think it's mental health, physical, difficulty getting back into it, and plain 'ole soaking it for what it's worth (manipulation). He knows there is no way that I can physically get him to school myself. He is fine once (if) he gets out of bed and dressed and headed to the car.

    I left this morning for a while- I had to stop and run an errand then I was going on to work. I came back home instead and told him we needed to talk. I told him that I can no longer afford to do this and I had no choice but to look into placing him outside of home, temporarily, unless there was some reason that he couldn't get to school that we could find a solution for. He said he couldn't hear. (He has had ear infections but seemed to be hearing me just fine.) I told him even deaf people have to go to school.

    He said it was hard for him to go to school yesterdday and he was mad because I didn't go to work yesterday. Then, he kept trying to turn all this back on me. I told him it wasn't about blame. I realize it was hard on him and that he'd been sick. I realize we've both made decisions that got us to this situation. But just like it will take more than him doing one homework assignment to get things turned around at school, it's going to take a lot more for me to get things turned around financially. I told him if I was just trying to punish him, I'd be talking to the PO, who will take him before the judge and have his suspended sentence revoked. I understand that he needs more than I can give him right now because if my efforts were going to work things wouldn't have gotten to this point.

    I told him I'd be happy to set up a meeting for us with the school but what good would it do to have work reduced (already in place), extra supports at school (already in place), etc., if he simply could not make himself get out of bed in the mornings? And I reminded him that he has proven to me time and time again that I cannot make him get out of bed in the mornings.

    He said he was not leaving home and not leaving the dogs. I told him that this was not his choice and that if he is placed out of the home, we would be able to visit, he might be able to come visit the dogs, and someday come back home to live after I get things back in order and he gets to a point where he can do what needs to be done without needing help that I can't give him.

    He just kept repeating that he wasn't leaving.

    I have no idea how to find another place for him to live, temporarily. I have a call into the state dept of mental health- again. I can call the school and ask for a meeting. I still need to pursue out of home placement. I will continue to pursue options that might help him get things turned around, but since I don't think they will turn around overnight, I can't afford to do anything else. If this does make him turn things around overnight, then that's fine.

    If anyone has any other ideas or knows effective steps I can take, I'm open to hearing any possible options. I have explained to him that if I sit here and don't do anything, 1) it will be viewed as 100% a discpline issue and the PO and judge will handle it as such and 2) we will lose the home and everything and it will be us two and our dogs sitting in that car with no food- and they don't allow dogs to be taken to shelters for the homeless and 3) if he's taken from home under those circumstances, it will be all the harder to get him back home.

    I hope I'm not just blowing smoke about something I can't back up- like when he first got into trouble at 11 yo and I told him I'd have him put in juvy for a weekend if he didn't behave. Only to find out that a parent cannot just show up with a kid and have them put in juvvy for a weekend.
  17. lillians

    lillians lillians

    back again,, what we did eventually, was make arrangements with the respite homethat if she woukld get out of the car and go to school we would bring her there,, which we did with our permission they had to iterally drag her out of the car and into their building,on the premise she must go to school or help them and work there,, and we drove away,, we left here there for over a week she was so sad and wanted to come home so badly,that she gave in they took her to school and we picked her up,,,it was the hardest thing we have ever done,,but it worked,, for 2 years now its never been an issue
  18. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    LOL, Lillians!! I'm glad you found a solution!! My son is taller than me by a couple of inches or more and weighs about 60 lbs more than me. I can't get him off the bed much less dressed and in the car!!

    He is saying he'll go to school every day for the rest of the year, right now. But, I hear this every afternoon and evening. I even hear it every morning when I wake him up- right before he rolls over and covers his head up.
  19. mrscatinthehat

    mrscatinthehat Seussical

    Does the school have a resource officer (police officer on staff)? Our schools do. We had to get ours involved when difficult child 1 didn't want to go to school. She didnt' want to walk to school was part of the problem (it was only a couple of blocks and there was nothing happening on the walk). The officer came and she thought he was going to give her a ride. She got all smug until she was told that she would be walking and he would follow her in the car to make sure everything was fine.

    It can be an uphill battle to get them to go to school.

  20. lillians

    lillians lillians

    our schools do not,,no police yet,,, but i fear soon,,, your child must feel its his idea somehow,,,,when we make them they wont,, if he fails ?/ does it really matter,, that has to be what he sees maybe,,, his freinds going on with out him ,,does he have any,,i know my girl has very few,,,and cannot fail,,, so it matters not how long we take to show her we are so wrong lol and she has change her tune to being right,, a reverse thing,,its a thought,,maybe yu could even work thru his freinds,, sleep overs ,, popcorn nites i am sure yu have tried anything i can think up,, do yu recive respite?? can yu do what i did,,