Meeting at school tomorrow and I'm terrified

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by somerset, Feb 22, 2012.

  1. somerset

    somerset Member

    I'm meeting tomorrow with the counselor and vice principal of difficult child's school, and I don't know what will happen, but I don't know what to say. difficult child has barely gone to school at all this semester. I've posted before about her problems, but now she's really bad and almost never leaves the house. She's paralyzed with anxiety. Her therapist isn't helping. Her psychiatrist has just kept throwing medications at the problem, the last being Adderall. I stopped giving it to her because she was sleeping through it anyway, and she lost her appetite again which is serious problem for her. Right now she's on Celexa and trazadone for sleep. I've found another psychiatrist in our HMO who has a lot of experience and teaches adolescent psychiatry at a major university. We have an appointment next Thursday. Anyway, I haven't asked for a 504 or IEP because how can you do that when they aren't even going? I haven't been able to find an advocate to help that I can afford. I know the school people are kind and want to help, but I can't tell them when I can get her to come back. I hate this "no matter what they have to have school" thing. If she could just take time off with no pressure, she might get better.The old psychiatrist told me they only hospitalize if the child is suicidal or will hurt others.

    Anyway, I just want to know if there's anything I really shouldn't say, or if you have any advice for tomorrow.
  2. buddy

    buddy New Member

    I get your point about what can they do?? but for a 504 it takes a diagnosis and for it to affect school... the IEP process takes a while due to the gathering of information and assessment...the reason you want it is because she needs the protection and accommodations. IF it means they come to your home to assess then they do. I HAVE! I would still put in writing that you want an evaluation for an IEP... that way you have options....changes in schedules, safe spots with understanding staff in the school, solid safety plans for her to deal with her anxiety etc. If it is left to one nice person, then that person can have a baby or go to another school and the plan is gone. If in writing, then someone is mandated to be an IEP manager and run the plan.

    Just my thought on it but you can only do what you can handle right now and it sure sounds like she is in crisis and probably needs more than you are able to do at home. She likely needs intensive treatment either in pt or out. If she refuses to leave home, it may be hospital or residential I think it is wonderful you will get the input from such an expert. Bring her attendance record. Let the school know you have this appointment. Between them there needs to be a setting for her that will help her to recover.

    I am so sorry this is so scary and hard. Nothing worse than to have your child suffer. It is so important to let them know you are not just letting her stay home... depends on the district but they can file for ed. neglect on you and so that is another reason to give them the written request to show you do want her in school and are doing all you can on YOUR end to help her.

    My son's doctor wrote a note saying he needs home bound school for now, your doctor should be able to support what setting you feel your daughter needs for now.

    I can't remember, you say she has an obsessive interest and is stubborn/controlling... does she have Asperger's??? Sorry if you answered all of that, just wondering.
  3. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Ditto Buddy... the immediate need is to bridge the gap so that learning can still happen, while "everybody else" figures out what to do about the anxiety... These kinds of cases are part of the reason "homebound" exists.
  4. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Absolutely ditto what buddy and insanecdn said! When you go to the meeting today, request the process begin to get her an IEP. The rub being is that she will need some tests for the qualification process - translated, she has to be present to be tested. To put it very simple, if her disability negatively impacts her ability to learn, she qualifies (again, very simply put).

    Your request, and I would put it in writing and bring it to the meeting and request if become part of the permanent record, will serve as the first step.

    Anxiety can be crippling and manifest itself in ways that could seriously affect her ability to function socially in the future. While I don't have experience with severe anxiety, my difficult child definitely suffers in a milder way than your daughter - but it nonetheless comes into play in certain social situations and some repetitive behaviors. My personal opinion would be to agree that your daughter may need some serious intervention - perhaps even inpatient. You will need the support of the school system to make sure that she gets some homebound or another alternative.

    Good luck at the meeting and let us know how it goes.


  5. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Thinking of you today.....
  6. somerset

    somerset Member

    Thanks, buddy.
    I've decided not to take any action at this meeting. If psychiatrist says difficult child needs to be inpatient for a while, she won't be available for testing and I know there are specific timeframes for IEPs. The new psychiatrist appointment is only a week away, and I want to see what she has to say first. Then (hopefully) I'll have a better idea of what the next few months will be like, and what difficult child needs, and then I will form my plan of action. Today I'll tell them what's going on with difficult child, and hear what they have to say at this point.
  7. Zardo

    Zardo Member

    Hi there - I have been there. Although my son's lack of functioning was do to severe anxiety and self medicating with pot. He went to school - just didn't do anything there - when I say anything, I mean anything - no homework, no classwork, no notetaking, no attention to classes, just empty. Very painful to watch. What I would sya to you is that I would be truthful with the school. They will want to help. I am sure they are already thinking of ways to help. I would start the IEP process, formally in writing, ASAP even though your psychiatrist appointment is pending only because she definately will need something. In this type of case, it's almost just a formailty so they can give you whatever support you need. Then, because this will be in place, they will work WITH you to transition her back when she is ready. Even if she goes for inpatient, the school needs to provide the content. In my experience, the school will work WITH you. They can see when a kid is suffering and they know forcing the norm doesn't help in these cases. Good luck.
  8. somerset

    somerset Member

    It went well. THe vice principal actually has a psychotherapy degree. I explained the situation and they really want to help. They even said, without being asked, that difficult child would definitely be eligible for a 504, and probably even an IEP under other health problems, but they can only help her if she comes to school. What a contrast to the last school! THey are also willing to have her come for a while part time, even if it's only 1 class, or to send work home for her (if difficult child would do it). I'm going to get back to them right after the psychiatrist appointment to let them know what happened. difficult child rejected the part time idea last time we talked about it, but I've told her they offered it, and now I'm letting it sink in and will ask later what she thinks.
  9. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    The school sounds wonderful. It makes such a difference when admin and Special Education department work hand in hand to remember what their ultimate goal is - to educate every child regardless....

    I would, naturally without pressure, try and sell her on the part-time idea. Even if you have to assure her that you will be sitting in the parking lot with a book and your cell phone at first. I think that's a fabulous offer. However, homebound is going to have to be discussed or this academic year will be a bust. In order for homebound, satellite/online classes, etc., she will need an IEP.

    Personally, when my difficult child was going through his darkest and most difficult of times in 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th grades, I just wanted him to be emotionally healthy and happy - to heck with the academic stuff! My major push was getting him to "handle" the physical aspect of school not the academic aspect - hope that make sense.

    Good luck with the new doctor. Make sure you have some journaling of sort to take with you that helps you fill the new doctor in on specific triggers for her anxiety, how she reacts, what works to calm her, what doesn't work or what makes it worse, etc. Often we get in the docs office and we forget the little things that really help the doctor see the whole picture.

  10. somerset

    somerset Member

    Thanks for the suggestions. I'm already writing a history of her problems, but I didn't think of those things. I'll add them. And, yeah, right now I'll settle for her just being able to physically be in school!
  11. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Somerset, how did the psychiatrist appoint go? Thinking of you this morning and wondering. DDD
  12. somerset

    somerset Member

    The psychiatrist appointment is next Thursday. :)
  13. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Does your school district offer an online option? The school district that I teach in has just started offering a full-time online high school. We have offered online classes for over ten years to make up failed courses or to work ahead but we have just gone to a full-time option to get a high school diploma. I know many other school districts are moving toward having this as an option for students who have trouble in the traditional high school setting. Many states also offer an online option.

    Would your daughter be willing to take classes if she got to stay at home? It seems like it could be a good option for her. I know there are also national online schools that you can pay for if you are willing to go that route.

  14. somerset

    somerset Member

    We tried that and I wish it had worked, but it didn't. It was almost impossible to get her to do the work.