Son is sick, missed school. Not sure what to make of it.

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Kjs, Apr 12, 2009.

  1. Kjs

    Kjs Guest

    He was really sick last week. Low grade temp, running to the bathroom about 7 times an hour. Needless to say he missed a day of school. Started Monday afternoon and he was back in school on Wednesday - but not 100%.

    I had to cancel his therapist appointment. he goes every two weeks, but the last one I had to cancel because I had to go to Class(through work), then therapist was on Easter Break. I had the option of scheduling this Monday or waiting for his normal two week appointment. (that would of made it 5 weeks). difficult child said he WANTED to go. I can't believe it. He actually WANTED to go see him during spring break! He really clicks with this guy.

    difficult child is just being different and I don't know what to make of it. Much more quiet. Tired. His face/skin is changing. Had his first ever pimple (two of them) Saturday night he went to an uptown cafe..Coffee shop type deal and he and 5 other kids played scrabble and another board game. (he's never done something like that, I like that)

    However - my concern of whether the Adderall helped him or if it was just his normal pattern the last two weeks of the quarter has been answered.
    Six days into the 4th quarter and he has SIX missing math assignments, Three missing History assignments, 50% of work done in Computer applications. :( I SAW him do two assignments. I verified it with the book. yet he didn't turn it in. He had two days to do so and did not.
    Didn't turn in his History either. Sigh.:(

    Now what? I am angry. I am angry with husband for not checking his work on the nights I had to work. I am angry with difficult child for lying to me about his homework. I just want to believe him so much but I knew he was lying. I just knew it. Does he do this just to hurt me?
  2. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Kjs, what you describe is how difficult child 3 was presenting, for several years on and off. This is a kid who wanted to go to school, who enjoyed learning, liked his teachers (even when they were horrible to him), would have kids make friends with him who had previously been his enemies (and then continue to be mean to him, but difficult child 3 wouldn't "dob" because "they say they're my friends, mum!").

    He would be sick with vomiting, nausea, his face would be ashen grey and he would be running a low-grade fever. But he would want to go to school.

    And after a year of investigation, missing school more than half the time and me unofficially home-schooling him while the school did their best to protect me from the truant office - we excused all physical causes and finally had to accept that yes, severe anxiety CAN be this bad.

    difficult child 3 was NOT buging this on, this was genuinely a sick boy. He had no idea that anxiety alone was the explanation, he wasn't 'talking it up' or in any way making a fuss to get out of going to school. I've since seen him anxious like this while we were on holidays, but we were somewhere that made him afraid for our safety and even though he knew intellectually that we were safe, his anxiety gave him the same symptoms. He was convinced it was more than anxiety, that he was in fact dying and we needed to get him to a doctor. But as we left the place and drove away, he began to feel magically better.

    What I suggest - keep a diary on his symptoms and do persist in getting them investigated. We had difficult child 3 checked out for abdominal problems (including possible appendicitis) with ultrasound, blood tests (looking at blood count for hints of possible infections; liver function tests; thyroid tests; even leukemia as a possibility), finally checking him out for Helicobacter infection and possible stomach ulcer. All negative. At last a doctor looked at me and said, "NOW will you accept that this is anxiety?"

    I had doctors suggest earlier that "kids with autism often get symptoms like this; you have to accept that it's just a facet of his autism." I got angry with this because symptoms like this were severely hampering difficult child 3's life, his education and other aspects of day to day stuff. And the doctor gave us no suggestions as to how to try to deal with the problem. "Live with it" is no help. Cognitive behaviour therapy - now THAT can help.

    Once we had made sure there wasn't an underlyingphysical disorder, we booked difficult child 3 in for CBT. The psychgologist we had was really good, she helped difficult child 3 a lot but there were still limitations because he was still so young and didn't have asmuch understandfing and self-awareness as she would have liked. We need occasional refresher courses in relaxation and breathing therapy. We've found the Zen Yoga on the Wii Fit is helpful too. You can find help in surprising places!

    So check out when you notice symptoms surfacing, and when you notice that he seems OK. We would sometimes find symptoms suddenly turning up even while we were in school holiday time, but the more I observed the more I realised - there had been aconnection with school in some way. We might have been driving past the school, then five or ten minutes later, difficult child 3 suddenly went ghastly white and threw up. One day in the holidays he said to me out of the blue, "This year at school I won't let the bullies upset me, I'll just walk away and go tell a teacher."
    Ten minutes later he was throwing up again.

    Or he would be fine over the weekend, talking enthusiastically about seeing his friend at school next day, then he would get up, get dressed for school, be chattering excitedly about school - then half an hour before the bus was due, he was throwing up again.

    On days when I insisted he go, telling him he would be fine (or days when I dosed him with paracetamol to bring the fever down so he could pass as well enough for school) I would get phone calls asking me to come get him, he had already been vomiting several times. On days when I couldn't come get him he would spend the day in the sick bay, vomiting repeatedly. Or maybe not vomiting in sick bay, but any time he wassent to his class he was vomiting again.

    One teacher said, "I've watched him, he's actually trying to make himself sick," but I think it was her frustration with him, more than anything else. He simply hasn't got the guile to do this.

    Good luck with getting to the bottom of this. I hope, if there is a physical cause, you can find it out sooner rather than later.

  3. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    Kjs - Are you getting weiry of this battle? I sure am and I have a feeling that my difficult child's struggles are not nearly as deep as your difficult child's.

    I got the pleasure of sitting through Easter service with a despaired difficult child next to me. We made it through breakfast (throwing up and all) then sat in church with him repeating, "I am afraid to close my eyes." "Well then close them and get it over with!" I am just sick of this. I don't need to spend Easter with my 12 year old son lamenting about how he is dying because his head feels weird. "I am going to die!" "Yes you are, everyone is and now would be a good time!" "Why?" "Because we are in church!" Guess I am so sick of dealing with this that I am pushing him to face it head on and deal with it. Complaining is making things worse.

    So, we get home and I give him two ice cream buckets to put his Kinnex in. When husband came home he said he was debating going to anti-social sister in law's home. I told him "She has chosen to live alone - she hates people - you do not need to go over and entertain her and do her work." I suggested he do something outside with difficult child like clean the garage. "difficult child thinks he is dying again, we may as well get as much work out of his as we can before he does die."

    Can you tell I am not handling this anxiety at all this weekend? I totally get your frustrations.

    difficult child just came in and asked, "Mom, honestly, do you think something is wrong with me?" "Yes, of course there is. There has to be because you can not live like this. It is anxiety! The docs say this is how anxiety works. You have to stop focusing on it. You are looking for ways to make it worse." He just walked away!

    :whiteflag: I give up!
  4. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    Nope. He's not doing it to torment you -- although it certainly feels that way at times at my house.

    Have you tried just flat out telling husband that he HAS to check the homework when you're not home? Period. No exceptions.

    Sometimes I have to do that with my husband -- I'm suddenly in the grown-up mode with him and he's acting like the little boy who needs to be told what to do. For whatever reason, it sometimes works. Not the type of marriage I thought I signed up for, but it is what it is. We all have to learn what works.
  5. Kjs

    Kjs Guest

    I HAVE told husband to check. Told him he has to check the assignment paper as well as the questions/problems in the book and read his answer. he sometimes just copies the question/problem down, says "see - I'm done".

    I have told husband he MUST logon to school and check EVERY night. When i get ready for work at night I look over his work. I'll look at husband and say - Did you CHECK? He will say yes. Then I can pull papers out and ask why they are not done !!!!

    I do this EVERY day. It never changes! therapist asked if he would do this, principle asked if he would do this. husband said, "yes". NOT!
  6. jbrain

    jbrain Member

    I would quit doing this every day and let the chips fall where they may. Remember, insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results (or something like that)!

    I think difficult child feels no responsibility for doing his schoolwork--you have taken it on, why should he?

    I know it is hard to give up control (or the feeling that you are in control) but you have to let other people be responsible for their own lives. What is the worst that could happen? He might fail his classes. Okay, that isn't the end of the world.