New here and frustrated

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by butterflydreams, Oct 16, 2007.

  1. Hi I am new here and I am very frustrated. This is long, sorry. My son who is 11 has been diagnosed with major depression and anxiety (our counselor also said ODD). He was hospitalized for 11 days to get him regulated on his medication (they of course didn't see any of the behavior that I told them about), and then spent 9 days on the outpatient program with a repeat of another week after he was discharged for 1 week). I have had repeated problems in getting him to attend school. I can not get him out the door. This school year he has actually attended school for 3 days since the start of the school year, this was right after he was discharged from outpatient the first time. Last year I was told that he would not be passed, but they did. He is afraid to go. He keeps talking about being afraid of being shot, afraid of being beat up. Last year he did have repeated problems with bullies. I just keep getting told "you have to make him go to school". Not happening. Been there done that. I get the threat of him being taken away if the state gets called. I have even relayed this to him. Does not do any good. Our family counselor says I should get someone to come over in the morning and drag him out of the house if necessary. He says he will go the next day and when morning comes, I can't even get him to put clothes on. Before he was on medication, he was very violent at times. If things didn't go his way, he would break stuff. He would fly into a rage at the drop of a hat and have trouble bringing himself down from it. I grounded him from the computer one time and he trashed the living room, breaking stuff. Another time, I was on the phone in my room, talking to my dad about him, he wanted in and busted the door in. He used to scare his sister, she would lock herself in her room because she was scared of him. Since he has been on medication (since the week of Labor Day) there hasn't been any of that. Pretty much now it is just the school refusal thing. Sometimes he will go to the point of hiding in the closet when I try to get him to go. I am running into brick walls everywhere I turn. I have a parent advocate who suggested I ask him if he were to go to another school if he would go (the kids that bullied him go to his school). She said that we could try for an IEP to get him a school zone variance to go to another middle school. I am so tired and frustrated. This consumes all of my time. It's a wonder I haven't been fired, because of all the time I have had to take off from work because of him, fortunately my bosses are very understanding and realize that I am on my own and have some problems going on. I am at my wits end with this.
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi and welcome. I have a few questions.
    1/ What type of professional diagnosed him?
    2/ Is there any bipolar or substance abuse on either side of the family tree?
    3/How was his early development? Did he talk on time, make good eye contact, interact appropriately with peers, play with toys the right way, show affection? Did he read early, obsess over a certain topic, talk like a little professor? (Either of them can be the same problem).

    I don't know for sure what's going on with your son, but Prozac caused some serious problems with my kids who tried it (and with me). It CAN cause extra anxiety--I know that first hand.

    Have you thought about homeschool? They can't do anything to you once you have signed up for homeschooling, at least not in our state. Nobody is allowed to interfer or bug you about school attendance. Doesn't sound like he's in shape to do well in school anyways. He's not stable.

    Others will come along.
  3. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Anxiety and school refusal are REAL problems, not something he is making up. He seems to have some real fears, and "just making him go" is not going to "fix" them.

    I do not think having someone come drag him out of the house is going to be a successful solution.

    I would also like to know exactly what kinds of docs he has seen, and if they have done any testing. The school may have a homebound program, or you may want to check out homeschooling. There are online curriculums that take a lot of the pressure and worry out of curriculum planning for parents.

    His father died unexpectedly, this has to have a very large impact on him. Has he received any grief counselling?

    What is his developmental history? What does the family tree look like on both sides with regards to substance abuse, mental health issues (diagnosed or not) and any other health issues?

    I think you have a lot going on in a young man's body. I woudl recommend a neuropsychologist exam. These docs usually do a LOT of testing, very thorough.

    As for taking him away, if you are doing your best, the school is just trying toscare you. The Nevada Homeschool Network has a lot of good info about it.

    I am so sorry you are going through this. I know how scary a violent child can be.

  4. DFrances

    DFrances Banned

    Who is threatening you with him being taken away if the state gets called? And why are you relaying this threat to your son? A threat is a set up for a lie. Either you do it or you don't. Don't lie to your son. Major depression is serious and he needs to be on an IEP.
  5. SnowAngel

    SnowAngel New Member


    I would see if the school district can put him on Home Bound school. It is for special circumstances. He would still be enrolled in school, however he would do his required studies at home. Not sure if its offered where you are at or if there is someone to watch him.

    What your going through is REAL and many of us have dealt with similar situations. My peanut was a perfect Angel in the hospital, but when we got home he was his same old trouble maker. Please dont let them make you feel like it is in your head. These are real problems that need addressed.

    I had CPS called on me, but when I showed the CPS lady all my documentation on what I have done, appointments that we made, and my journal of his behavior the lady closed the case. It is important to keep a journal and all medical or school documents, notes or behavior slips together. Mine are in a notebook and each paper is in a protective sheet. The dr. is so impressed at how organized I am...but not at home.

    Good luck, I wish I could offer more advice. Keep checking back as more experienced members will post too.
  6. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Hello and welcome to the board. :smile:

    Pardon our questions but it helps us get a better idea of what is going on with your difficult child, what has been tried, ect and that helps us offer you better advice.

    I agree that your son needs to have an IEP. If he doesn't have one already, I'd start asking for one to be put into place.

    Hugs :flower:
  7. mekki

    mekki New Member

    Hi! I'm also new here (about 5 minutes ago :smile: ) My son has some real issues like these too. Guess what? He went into a rage on Sunday, broke out every window in my apartment and has now been taken to a foster home!! Yep, that's right - instead of the state helping me get him into a hospital, they've put him in a foster home. I think we all know what's next, don't we??

    He's 10 now. Adopted him and his brother at 18 months. Problems ever since. Can't get help. As you all know, when you finally get the darlings into a hospital, their behavior miraculously changes :smile: (only due to the strict schedules etc)

    Anyway, just wanted to say Hi and I feel ya'll! :smile:
  8. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    Hello and welcome to our little corner of the world.

    My daughter has severe anxiety, chronic depression and was a school refusal princess. She missed something like 82 days last year. She is now attending a home-based internet public charter school. It works wonders for her anxiety and allows for more one on one attention and help, but it's not helping her depression. It was a trade off, I guess. Her anxiety is by far her biggest issue and feeds the depression. But, I think lack of contact with peers plus the shorter days are are fueling the depression now. We are working on it. With her anxiety at constant sky high levels, as they were in the past, we couldn't work on anything. She was in constant fight or flight mode.

    Your son definitely needs an IEP. You may want to copy and paste this post on our Special Education board for assistance. Sheila and Martie are very knowledgeable and have dealt with school refusal themselves. There are a lot of ways to work with this. Some things my difficult child's (Gift from God) therapist suggested as possibilities for the IEP include shortened school days, only going to school 3 days a week, having a resource room or another place to go to when the anxiety was becoming overwhelming.

    Homework was another cause for meltdown. We had it written into the IEP, "schoolwork during school hours only". IOW, no homework. She was stressed morning and night about going to school...she needed time away from it. It helped tremendously. There are also other alternatives such as homebound (where the SD (school district) provides the education in your home setting) and therapeutic day school.

    I agree with the others that having someone from the school come to your house and force him to go is not going to help the issue. I was offered that assistance, also. in my opinion, it's only going to fuel it. It would be different if it was just a behavioral issue, but it's not. It's an emotional and mental health issue. Having someone from the school come and drag him in is just going to reinforce his fears, in my opinion. They also used the scare tactics with me about court and told me it was my responsibility to get her to school. However they were doing nothing to support her while she was there (this was before the IEP was written - when I was fighting to get one). When I threatened an attorney and mentioned FAPE (free appropriate public education), they changed their tune.

    The school definitely needs to be addressing the bullying issue. A few years ago a 15 year old kid threw himself in front of a train in our town because he couldn't take the bullying anymore. Ever since, our SD has been big on anti-bullying and has even received federal grants to support their efforts. Have you or he talked to anyone at the school about the bullying?

    Hang in there. Try to find some time for yourself even if it's just 5 minutes locked in the bathroom.
  9. mekki

    mekki New Member

    Quote: Who is threatening you with him being taken away if the state gets called? And why are you relaying this threat to your son? A threat is a set up for a lie. Either you do it or you don't. Don't lie to your son. Major depression is serious and he needs to be on an IEP.
    Dore E. Frances
    Educational Consultant
    Life's under no obligation to give us what we expect ~ Margaret Mitchell, Author

    I think sometimes as parents, we get frustrated and say or do anything we think might get our child to do what everyone says they should do. I myself have used these kinds of threats, hoping something will sink in. Don't be mean to the mom - she's doing the best she can. I'm sure if you think back, you have said or done some things that weren't helpful to your child. in my opinion
  10. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Hi Butterfly.
    Have you asked him if he would prefer another school? What did he say?
    If he's suffering from depression and other things, all it would take is one real bully, for him to catastrophize all of his thinking and make it so he won't want to go to school. I can see where he's coming from. Is there any way you can walk in with-him and stay for a few min?
    Sounds like the medications are working very well.
    What are the consequences when he trashes things during a rage/tantrum? Our son is much, much better than he used to be but it has taken a huge amt of work. I know how exhausted you are. I cannot imagine how you can keep your job, either. If I were in the corporate world, I would have been fired by now.
  11. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    Hi Butterfly,

    While I don't have the same issues as you do with the school refusal, I wanted to offer my support (a cyber shoulder to lean on) and a welcome to the board. there are plenty of mommies here with experience and wisdom to get you through this. Glad you found us. Sorry you had to! Keep coming back.
  12. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member

    Have you asked him about attending another school?

    I am glad for you all that the violence has ended!!
  13. Thank you everyone for your replys. My son has been seeing a family therapist weekly and things have been progressively getting worse. I sought out a psychiatrist for him, the only one covered in our insurance gave me an appointment 2 months out. Meanwhile, things were getting worse. I ended up taking him to the mental health/behavioral hospital for assessment. They put him in their outpatient program, when the van came to get him the first day, he wouldn't go, he went and hid upstairs. I called the doctor he was assigned through there, he ended up admitted as inpatient. I have kept that psychiatrist even though he is not covered by my insurance because he is now familiar with him. Anyway, this is the doctor that diagnosed my son as depressed/anxious.

    I am really thinking the medication isn't right, because things are just getting worse. If he isn't scared, he is defiant. He has a follow up appointment with the psychiatrist this coming Monday where I will be discussing everything with him. I have also scheduled a neuropsychologist appointment for 10/29 for him.

    In answer to the question about bi-polar or substance abuse: My son's behavior reminds me alot of my brother, he apparently has bi-polar and was just diagnosed in the last year or so. As far as substance abuse, my son's father was a alcoholic as well as had drug problems.

    Homeschool or the homebound program are not an option. I have to work full time, there is no possible way for me to be home with him. As far as the threat of the state intervening, I have had that threat from his counselor and 2 different schools.

    My son changes constantly, he goes from this nice little helpful, lovable boy to scared of his own shadow to a angry violent child. Sometimes, I don't know what to expect from one day to the next. I am trying everything I can possibly think of to get him the help he needs. I can't wait to meet with the neuropsychologist on the 29th. Right now I am gathering school records, etc to take with me.

    Thank you again for listening and the advice. It makes me feel better to know I am not alone, because I really feel alone I our struggles so much. As far as keeping my job. It really is a miracle that I haven't been fired. My employer has really been understanding from day 1 practically of my employment, considering my husband died 2 weeks after I started my job. My bosses really like me and when I am here I do my job and I do it well. Anywhere else, I am sure I would be in the unemployment line.