just curious--does anyone regularly pull their difficult child out of school for therapy?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by confuzzled, Sep 27, 2010.

  1. confuzzled

    confuzzled Member

    i'm in the long process of trying to find a new therapist and frankly, consolidate services in one place.

    the place i'm trying to get difficult child 2 into seems to think that its normal for an 11 year old to be pulled out of school 1X/week at 10:45 am. (keep in mind, i do not live 5 min away from this place, so essentially, the entire school day would be shot). they have been relentless in pushing this time slot and dont seem to understand its literally impossible. also keep in mind this is specifically a childrens place, no adult pts.

    we are on the waiting list for an appropriate slot, but the place calls me daily to discuss this 10:45 appointment. they keep reiterating that they will give her a note, and it will be excused (so what? what about the classwork she'd miss, among other things)

    she is not in crisis, this is just for routine therapy.

    i kinda find the whole thing bizarre, and i was just wondering if this kind of thing is commonplace. i do realize tdocs cant practically start their day after school, but one would think, if thats their population, they would start much later to accomodate the school aged population, wtih a few afternoon appts set aside earlier for the under 5 kids.
  2. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    This is one of the problems I had getting a therapist for my son, too- along with everyone thinking he'd do better with a male therapist and most of them are female. I would not pull my difficult child from school weekly, especially at the same period of time each week because that would have caused missing the same class period over and over, and probably leading other kids asking him where he was going every week. So we ended up mostly with inexperienced tdocs who were willing to work later in the day until they got their clientele built up, then they'd stop working that late. Needless to say, these were always concentrating on rewards/consequencess anyway (probably having something to do with being young and inexperienced, too) so it was never successful. Oh- I couldn't take time off work that much either.
  3. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    When we were referred to a very good new psychiatrist for weekly psychotherapy and medication management, her only available time slot was Friday at 2 pm. So for about 6 months I took the time slot until an after-school appointment opened up. It was worth it because the psychiatrist is excellent and has built a good rapport with my daughter. But if it hadn't been working out, I wouldn't have been willing to continue taking my daughter out of school early for those six months.
  4. justour2boys

    justour2boys Momto2Boys

    Yes... when my DS was in third grade I pulled him out every day after lunch for 5 months and we went to Lindamood Bell for intensive services for his learning disability. But I had full support and agreement from the school. Afterall, the school wasn't providing any services and we were paying out of pocket.

    To me, it would depend on the support (or lack of) from the school, what class or subject is involved and assurance from the doctor about getting a better time slot.
  5. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    We do everything we can so the kids don't miss school. Back when they lived with BM, I don't know how they were passed - they missed more school than they attended. No joke.

    We're lucky that we rarely have to pull them out during the day, but it happens. Every Wednesday, Onyxx misses the last 15 minutes so husband can get her to her counselor. Since it's a study hall type period, we don't sweat it. But it's something we are very careful about.

    on the other hand - both have missed full days for important stuff...
  6. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    Confuzzled -

    For me it comes down to results....and does the inconvenience outweight the benefit.

    There have been some therapists that I would pull difficult child from school ANY time to see them....and there have been other therapists that have just not even been worth my time regardless.

    Is this a new doctor for you? Maybe take the 10:45 and see what happens...
  7. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Yes, pretty typical.
    It is unfortunate that our difficult child's have to miss class for this. But as others here have said, once you get rapport, it's worth it. And eventually, another time slot will open up.
    We are lucky that our psychiatric and therapist have evening hrs ... but it's only once a wk and a hotly contested spot. Sometimes we get it, sometimes we don't.
  8. confuzzled

    confuzzled Member

    i have zero idea if it would even be an appropriate therapist or not--its a "system", and you dont even do an intake/meeting with anyone until you've secured a timeslot.

    therapy could be with freud himself, or yet another wackadoo...i have no way of even knowing.
    and once you get a slot, thats it-thats your permanent slot (and they take "absences" ridiculously seriously--WE could get canned if we dont go).

    i should also mention that while i don't love our current situation, its not completely terrible...difficult child 2 at least likes the current therapist...*i* think she has her own issues, personally, LOL. but don't they all?

    truthfully, my biggest motivation for this move is not just the change of venue, but its a heckofa lot closer to me, AND its in ins. network and would be a heckofa lot cheaper for me...call me selfish.

    i guess i'm confuzzled over the sheer relentlessness of this place and this crazy time....honestly, i could see if it was a desperate situation and there were no other choices, but i was smart enough *NOT* to burn my current bridge, so for now, she's in therapy. i get the feeling like "OH, you wont run over here for a full day on a tues for a 10:45 am appointment? well, you must not really need to be here.

    i just think its ridiculous :-D
  9. confuzzled

    confuzzled Member

    oh yea, and ps:

    if it was 2pm in the afternoon i would probably be closer to fine with it...where she'd at least make most of the school day.

    (i also do pull her out for psychiatrist early on a fri every 6 wks or so...thats do-able for her)
  10. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Unfortunately this is very common. Late afternoon/evening appointments are prime time, and they get snatched up quickly. For my difficult children we had to take what we could get. Sometimes that meant a 10:30 a.m. appointment, sometimes it meant 1 p.m., sometimes we were lucky enough to get them at 3 or 4. I have to say, I never met a therapist or psychiatrist that gave "regular" appointments (e.g., every Wednesday at 11 am), because each week we made the next appintment at the end of a session. It all depended on what kind of progress either of my difficult children was making, and if an appointment one week out was appropriate, or whether she could wait 2-3 weeks until the next one. When we were in crisis, we did get 1 or 2 a week, but that didn't last for more than 2-3 weeks.

    You do what you have to do. If you want only late afternoon appointments, chances are you're going to wait a long time for one. Yes, it can be disruptive, to both a difficult child's school schedule and a parent's work schedule. But I figured if the alternative was an escalating crisis resulting in destabilization at school and home, even more time gets missed, so I just worked around it as best I could. I also had accommodations put into my kids' IEPs for work missed due to outside appointments.
  11. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    In most places it is virtually impossible to get timeslots before or after school. If you do a LOT of calling around you might be able to find a doctor who has an open appointment time after school or before it. Have you tried taking the list of providers on your insurance website and calling each of them to see if they are certified with kids, have open times after school, and are taking new patients with your insurance? Sometimes you can find an appointment this way. Those provider lists are extremely handy once you figure out how to find them.

    Some years I have had to have the absences for appts written into IEP's and even then had problems. A lot of the decision, for us at least, is based on how severe the need for the service is, and how much it will change things in terms of making up work, attendance issues, etc... I also take into account how being absent regularly will change Wiz' attitude and behavior at school. If he is slacking off on Thurs, boasting about getting long weekends every week, we either change the appointment or get a LOT of school work for him to accomplish over the weekend. Other times I have had no problems with as many absences as I want provided I tell them where we are going and why.

    This practice you are trying to schedule with sounds scr3wy, but I am not sure what other options you have. If you take this appointment in the meantime does it mean that you are forever stuck with this time and this therapist? Is this therapist someone they cannot get any patients to stick with? Why are they being so pushy? My radar went off when you said that they are calling every day to push you into this time slot. Some practices do need you to commit to a timeslot quickly because there are a lot of people who are wanting appts. I would think that after you have said you want to wait for an afternoon slot that they would have gone ahead and given the slot to someone else.

    The hard push to take it makes me think either it is a timeslot that is impossible to fill (likely because it will waste an entire morning for a parent and child) and someone has told the schedulers that they MUST fill this slot, or it is with a therapist who is very new, not good with patients and/or parents, or otherwise is hard to schedule patients with. It just make me very wary when they push you so hard so many times, Know what I mean??

    I hope this helps. If the school hassles you for taking difficult child out of school for these appts, get it put into his IEP that he will have to leave early for therapy as scheduled by mom. Then bring a note to the school for each time. Just be SURE to have a copy of the note in YOUR files (keep a copy of any and everything that you send to school in writing, even if it is a form you have to fill out and return. I scan them into the computer and then save a backup on a thumb drive. It saves having to fish through paperwork and I can print out a copy of anything they want.
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2010
  12. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    We took difficult child out of school once a week when he was in 5th grade from November through May and then almost as often in 6th grade for therapist appts. We were fortunate that the hospital system difficult child is going to always takes transportation into consideration. It was a one hour trip to the facility and they were very good about getting us into last time slots.

    It became harder to do so once he started the public school system in 7th grade but by then we were down to about once a month. Now in 8th grade we are at about every 2 - 3 months and I can try to schedule those for when there is no school.

    Check your child's school calendar - compose a list of early outs and no school days. Book appointments NOW for those times.

    As someone mentioned, look at the pros and cons. When difficult child was in 5th grade, resolving his anxiety issues far outweighed his need to go to school so missing half a day per week wasn't an issue for us. However, this year his schooling is more important as the anxiety is now under control and we are in a maintenance mode.

    Elementary schools are easier to work with. The teacher can flex her schedule to make sure he gets what he needs - help while others are working on their work, come early to school or stay after, ect. Once there is a new teacher for each subject, it is harder for the school to get that teaching opportunity if a student is gone one hour.
  13. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    We've not had to pull our difficult child for therapy although thought we might have to this year (I've always told them it is not an option because husband and I work full time and can't pull him out; however, I didn't know Medicaid would pay for the taxi). I have had students pulled for therapy. Still I would prefer not pulling my son for therapy. If it's all you can get and it's good it might be worth it.
  14. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    We have the same problem. difficult child 1 was yanked out every 2 weeks for years to see his counselor. But, it made the difference between him holding it toegether and not, so... A one hour appointment took essentially 3 hours out of his day, which stunk, but...what do you do?

    I have been with Wee's therapist long enough to get 4pm appointments fairly regularly. I have to schedule them way in advance, but we've finally made it high enough on the list to get them.