I see that school refusal, or, as I like to call it, Emotion Based School Avoidance, is a common theme in this community. That's also what brings me here today. We purchased the course Where to Start and What to Focus On and to be completely honest, I can't get through the homework for the first class. It's a capacity issue. Not only do I have my hands more than full with my ASD-1 daughter but I am also responsible for my grandmother with dementia. In my current reality it is nearly impossible to be proactive in helping and supporting my child. I have burned myself out to the extreme (emergency room visit for scary blood pressure, anyone?). Earlier this year, in January, it became clear that my 9 year old daughter couldn't cope with being at school anymore. I asked her why she didn't want to be there and she mentioned several things including no privacy in the bathroom, no social connection and even bullying, academic struggles (she has several learning disabilities), and sensory overload (lights, noise, smells). We pulled her out because she was clearly traumatized. But she refused to learn at home. So we gave her a lot of time to decompress and reduced demands on her. For about 8 months she had a lot of connected time with us and very few demands. Unfortunately she still continued to worsen in her anxiety and even had other disturbing psychiatric symptoms. She can't take meds because she is genetically unable to metabolize most psychiatric meds. This fall, after a lot of prayer, we made the decision to send her back, but to a new school, and with an IEP and a seemingly very supportive staff. Unfortunately she is showing all of the signs she did 9 months ago, right before she stopped being able to sleep and stopped being able to attend school. The school thinks all of her issues are a matter of behavior and that she has to learn sensory stamina. I shared the sensory funnel with her IEP team but they don't get it. All I know is that she comes home with zero capacity, even with a shortened day, and we are having a lot of meltdowns. Her behavior is clearly showing that she isn't ok. She reports the same struggles at the new school. Lunch and recess are particularly bad. But so is any academic demand. We made arrangements for her to not have to eat in the cafeteria and she can choose to sit inside and do art during recess. She is supposed to get up to 3 sensory breaks a day but isn't very good at advocating for herself. We've tried everything we can think of and she is still showing signs that this won't go on much longer. Is this child abuse sending my child in when I know it's traumatizing her? What choice do I have when she won't learn at home? She won't do any online learning and also won't learn with me from books or even just being read to. I'm out of ideas. I don't want legal troubles and I don't want my daughter to be in perpetual psychiatric crisis. Finally, after years of wait lists we finally secured OT and PT for her just about 6 weeks ago. But she comes home so drained of capacity that she is completely losing it when it's time for her OT appointment. Unfortunately we don't have other options for time of day or day of week. And the next available option for OT is 15 months out. My kid needs to learn how to regulate. I am feeling exhausted and hopeless. What am I missing? Apart from not having capacity for reasons I truly can't help, what am I missing? Our child gets tons of attention, interaction with people she likes and trusts (her PSW and her favorite "big sister/babysitter" as well as as much time with me as I can possibly manage). She gets to spend lots of time playing video games. The school is accommodating to the extent that they can. What more can anybody do? Help!
Posted by sophiegoss at 2022-09-23 16:36:45 UTC