Should be re-starting school this week- any tips?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Alisonlg, May 29, 2007.

  1. Alisonlg

    Alisonlg New Member

    So, M has been home from school with me since the 17th, we had our PPT meeting at the new school on Friday, and I should hear something today or tomorrow on when M can start there.

    M came with us to the PPT meeting and thankfully he was in "shutdown" mode rather than "meltdown" mode and he eventually warmed up towards the end and played with C with some legos and then they played outside on the playground with the SW while husband & I toured the school with the principal. I was hopeful because it seemed M was taking it all rather well, but it wasn't until much later that night that I found out that M didn't really get it. He was under the impression we were "just looking" at the school...he did not realize he was actually going to the school and he still seems to think he has some say in it or can refuse to go.

    So, I'm guessing here that he's going to start sometime before the end of the week, and while they provide transportation (it's about a 20 minute drive), we all anticipate M's refusal, so they suggest I transport him until he's more compliant (at least the first 2 weeks).

    Now before, when I thought he was clear that he would be going to THAT school, I already laid out the premise that he could earn these Extra Large Marbles for going to school each day (we have a marble jar reward system) and when he earned all 10 of them, he would earn a prize. He was all excited about that, but I don't think that will make any difference now.

    Any suggestions, tips, tricks to ease the transition so I'm not dragging him kicking and screaming in his pajamas/underware for 20 minutes destroying my van in a rage? Just thinking about it I'm about to cry. I want to be as proactive as possible here (mental note: take Mag light out of car!)

    The worst part is I know if I try to talk abou the new school to "prep" him, it will just throw him into a rage.
  2. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Since you can't really talk about it and you don't believe the reward system is going to work, what about some test runs this week without him having to get out of the car? Perhaps you could get up in the morning and do the test run then stop and have breakfast together. Maybe a couple test runs without the anxiety of having to go to school may help.

    Any chance that husband could go in late a couple days when he actually does go to school? That way you could be there together to get him going and in the car and then out of the car once you get there.

    Good luck.

  3. Alisonlg

    Alisonlg New Member

    Would you know it- husband started a brand spanking new job this week! The timing is just horrible! :slap:

    As for the dry runs...I think that would be as bad as talking about it...I think that would ensue a rage.

    I keep trying to drop little positive comments here and there about the school...the kids in the class seemed so nice...isn't it cool that all the teachers go by first names?...but as soon as I say something, he starts to shutdown or meltdown and say, "I'm NOT GOING...I need to go back to my school!!!!!" and I have to change the subject. :::sigh:::
  4. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    Is the Seroquel working for any of his rage issues? If so, the morning of school I would wake him up an hour early and give him his Seroquel - that way his medications have kicked in before you start the transition. The other thing I might do is ask the Dr for a PRN medication, like even something as strong as Xanax just for the first couple of days of school. If the Dr is hesitant to do this, I would remind him how mentally tortured this poor boy is during this transition, and it is, in my (or your) opinion, the humane thing to do to help him be in control enough to start school.

    Other than that, I do not know what to tell you. I have been where you are, and it is agony - the worst!!! All we can hope is that once he gets into school, he will like it, and this issue school anxiety will resolve itself.
  5. Alisonlg

    Alisonlg New Member

    Is the Seroquel helping the rage issues? LOL That's a good question. The Seroquel/Strattera combo seemed to be helping until it came to MAJOR stressers like the thought of starting the Day Program or going to the psychiatrist...those two things brought on major rages.

    Then, when we upped the Seroquel, he actually ended up having an out of the blue rage yesterday with no major stresser, which was interesting.

    I know this psychiatrist shot down my request for a PRN once, but I'll certainly bring it up again. I'm not looking forward to the 20 minute car ride kicking and screaming.
  6. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    It appears that your difficult child's shutdowns and meltdowns are emanating from anxiety. And I'm guessing that neither Seroquel nor Strattera is enough to address that anxiety. It sure would help to know exactly what your difficult child's diagnosis is so he could be prescribed the right medications.

    How is your difficult child once he gets to school? My son always puts up a fight about going to school, but once he's there, he settles down pretty quickly (anticipation is more anxiety-provoking than the actual experience).

    I'm guessing that the psychiatrist is reluctant to give you a PRN prescription so soon after meeting you because he really doesn't know you. (There was the case in the Boston area of the 4-year-old girl whose parents were giving her higher doses of Clonidine than rxed to sedate her and she ended up dying from an overdose -- not saying you're like that at all, but psychiatrists do have to be careful.) The other problem with giving a PRN on the very first day of school is that M might become so sedated that he can't function. in my humble opinion, it's wise to test-drive new medications on a day the child will be home for the parents to watch for medication reactions.
  7. Alisonlg

    Alisonlg New Member

    It WOULD be helpful to know what M's diagnosis is, wouldn't it? LMAO!

    Once he gets to all depends. The school SW would report that often if he walked in the door rough around the edges, then the day was often doomed from the start. But, sometimes he would be a crab for me and be smiling as he walked up the steps to the school...of course, I guess those days didn't count as school refusal days.
  8. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    When my difficult child was younger I had to be extremely cautious not to give too much information due to anxiety...which was bad because information could help ease the anxiety of the transition. He refused all offers of advance visits to school, playground, etc.

    What I would sometimes do is hang whatever info I wanted him to see somewhere where I knew he'd see it--either by his calendar in the kitchen or posted on the fridge like it was info for *me*.

    difficult child's doctors were always extremely reluctant to give PRN anxiety medications even when they knew me well and trusted me. It's not a route they like to go with kids.

    Is there a backup plan in place (such as part time homebound) which can be implemented immediately if this attempt fails?
  9. Alisonlg

    Alisonlg New Member

    I think our BIGGEST obstacle is he is convinced he can go back to his old school, which he can't. :frown: And, I have to dance around my wording so he doesn't get the feeling that he's been "kicked out" because the experience of being "kicked out" of two preschools still weighs heavy on him and they expect he will be able to return to mainstream at his old school, so he's not permanantly "kicked out" anyway.

    So, I'm trying to be clear that it's not an option for him to return to his old school NOW and I just keep saying really nice, positive things about the new school...but I just know that's not enough.

    SRL- thanks for the idea of leaving visuals around the house for "me" LOL! Now, I'll just have to think of something that would make sense to put up!

    We don't have a back-up plan. In fact...had I known it would take this long to get him in school, I would have insisted on an in-home tutor. This is ridiculous.
  10. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    I didn't realize this was preschool. Most states don't have provisions for in house tutoring but they will accomodate speech and Occupational Therapist (OT) even if the child doesn't attend school.

    This sure sounds like transition problems/anxiety.
  11. Alisonlg

    Alisonlg New Member

    THIS isn't preschool....he's 8 and in 2nd grade. BUT, he still brings up how he was "kicked out" of 2 preschools, that's how much of an impact it made on him.

    I just got a call from their school nurse...he's starting tomorrow. This should be fun. He's been vomiting all day, either as a result of medication withdrawl or the Strattera (we had to discontinue Seroquel for 24 hrs due to Urinary Retention)...tomorrow he'll be resuming a lower dose.
  12. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Alison, what happened with his urine culture? Not to scare you, but vomiting can be a symptom of kidney problems . . . Does he have any other symptoms?
  13. Alisonlg

    Alisonlg New Member

    Culture came back totally clean. No fever. No pain. Peeing is easier...he's still sitting down and turning on the faucet to help, but it's coming much easier and he's able to completely empty.