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OrangeSprout

16 Year Old Won't go to school

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Dianalynch
1 hour ago, DQMission said:

sorry to hijack, OP, but @Dianalynch do you have any good resources I could share with my older child about screens and ADHD? I will go have a google now, but thought I'd ask on the off chance you had anything to hand.

Sadly I’ve mostly learned the hard way from my own experience with adhd, but here’s a couple of quick links they’re not peer reviewed journals or anything - essentially we can find it harder to self monitor, we’re less able to regulate the use of screens as they’re very stimulating and exciting, dopamine hits by the second 

https://psychcentral.com/lib/controlling-screen-time-for-children-with-adhd/

 

https://chadd.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/ATTN_06_15_TooMuchScreenTime.pdf

 

https://www.additudemag.com/prevent-screen-time-addiction/

 

Eta most articles talk about how parents need to set limits, not as appropriate for your boy who is an older teen and needs to learn to set his own, I haven’t found anything really good on that, my boy is still in grade 1 and I’m the monitor for him, and for myself it was learning the hard way through trial and error, wish I had of been diagnosed at a younger age. 
 

eta again, I remembered this YouTube series - lots of videos, she often has guests as well,  it’s a bit cheesy but targeted at teens. There was a couple she had with a guest Dr Hallowell I found good, it was about working hard to not get on our ‘default track’ ie distracted by internetting, screens and the like, as once we do that’s the end of us for a few hours. 


 

 

 

Edited by Dianalynch
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Prancer is coming
3 hours ago, OrangeSprout said:

 

@prancer No he goes to a long established college.. 
His old high school will be starting years 11 & 12 in the next year or two... I was disappointed he'd miss doing college there BUT then I was worried I'd done the wrong thing by keeping him in a single sex school.
 

Sorry, when I asked about his school, I was meaning where he went last year.  From your description, it seemed easy to narrow it down!  I was at his old high school last week and in a room with ‘year 11s’ up on the wall, so figured they had started doing something.  Subject choice seems pretty limited in the schools going to year 11 this year, and uptake is very small, but the small environment might work.  Sounds like you are doing all the right things.  I know for my kid, the ADHD had the unexpected side affect (well, for me, paed was actually pretty confident the meds would help) of helping my kid’s anxiety.  So whilst his ADHD behaviours may be manageable now he is older, the meds could have been helping with anxiety.

 

He sounds really disconnected.  If there is no friend he seems connected to, does he have a connection to culture?  Karadi or your local Aboriginal centre might be about to help, or the school’s Aboriginal Education worker (not sure of offical title!).  It is great you are communicating with paed, and I would just keep contacting them if you have concerns about your child’s health.  Sounds like you are doing so much to try and help and must be such a worrying time.

2 hours ago, Tinky Winky Woo said:

I think in his circumstance there needs to be some firm expectations in place that need to be non-negotiable.  I have a kid who is ADHD and even being slightly younger can understand that there are the non-negotiable expectations around school.  AHDH is a reason but NOT an excuse in this home.

 

This is great if it works for you, but it is not always that easy.  My kid has a patch of school refusal at the ripe old age of 8.  After a particular bad morning of trying to get out of the house, my kid broke down and told me he could not go to school otherwise I would die.    This was his thinking and all the non negotiable expectations in the world was not going to change his mind.  I am tough about the need to go to school and we did get him there.  But gee, he was 8 then, certainly made me realise with an older kid it would be even harder.

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amdirel
2 hours ago, DQMission said:

If there is also mental illness such as anxiety and/or depression in play, then its unlikely your child will be in a position to respond well to any help put in place by the school until that has been addressed properly. I know that was true for my child, and from your posts it might be true for yours. All the supports in the world cant help a student re-engage with their education when their mental health is poor. 

Yep, this. Similarly all the advice to confiscate devices. It could possibly make the situation worse, as it may make him feel even more out of control of his situation. And if he's socialising with anyone online, he'd lose that interaction too.

I would recommend going to the GP, and see if they think a referral to a psychiatrist is needed.

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Expelliarmus

I have no answers, but mine too. At least now you know you're not alone ...

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71Cath
9 hours ago, Expelliarmus said:

I have no answers, but mine too. At least now you know you're not alone ...

So true!  It definitely feels like you are the only one who cant manage to send your kid to school! Stupid comments from other people like, "just make them go" are less than helpful.

Thinking of you Orange Sprout :)

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Expelliarmus

I also can’t take tech away. He bought his own and knows how to work it all and the wifi better than me. He’d find a work around. Plus he buys his own data. 
 

Don’t get me started on how ‘mental health’ impacts all this. Most of his stuff isn’t mental health, it’s growing up but the narrative around it has changed to mental health issues. 
 

*dons flame suit*

Edited by Expelliarmus
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blimkybill
14 hours ago, Tinky Winky Woo said:

I think in his circumstance there needs to be some firm expectations in place that need to be non-negotiable.  I have a kid who is ADHD and even being slightly younger can understand that there are the non-negotiable expectations around school.  AHDH is a reason but NOT an excuse in this home.

Tell him that you expect him to go to school OR get a full time job.  He won't be able to sit at home and game during the day.  If he chooses to do neither option than he will need to be able to support himself somehow to afford to pay for the internet, food, utilities and other expenses.  Explain to him that you are happy to continue to support him financially (if you are) provided he attends school.  

I know how difficult it is and how easy it is to give in because it really is exhausting but clear, concise, non-negotiable expectations and boundaries are generally what ADHD kids will thrive on.  

The school can also ring to speak to him or ask for a zoom meeting, he does not need to be at the school for this.  

 

Sometimes this approach leads to the teen not meeting the expectation, then things blowing up so they either have to leave home or choose to leave home, then they become homeless or end up in a more difficult situation that takes even longer to resolve. I have seen it with a close friend. That's why I am wary of hard line approaches with 15-18 year olds, especially when mental health is probably playing a part to the extent he possibly feels he cant't get to school. 

I would persevere with trying to get him to engage with a support service of some kind. It's extremely hard though because you can't force him to do anything. 

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DQMission

Good on you for doubting my child's mental illness, Expelliarmus. Yes, there are age and stage involvements, of course, but some kids also have mental illness. Just because you dont think it applies to you child (and I would never presume to tell you otherwise) doesnt mean it doesnt apply to others. FFS I am so sick of the dismissive comments when it comes to vulnerable people. Did you make the same comments back when people dismissed post natal depression? Because thats what everyone else said. 'Its just a stage! Lets not bring mental health into it!'

You are not brave for making that comment and 'donning you flame suit'. You are insensitive at best.

 

Strike through as it has been suggested E wasnt making a general comment. I'll wear the mistake and apologise.

Edited by DQMission
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TigerQueenofSheeba
37 minutes ago, DQMission said:

Good on you for doubting my child's mental illness, Expelliarmus. Yes, there are age and stage involvements, of course, but some kids also have mental illness. Just because you dont think it applies to you child (and I would never presume to tell you otherwise) doesnt mean it doesnt apply to others. FFS I am so sick of the dismissive comments when it comes to vulnerable people. Did you make the same comments back when people dismissed post natal depression? Because thats what everyone else said. 'Its just a stage! Lets not bring mental health into it!'

You are not brave for making that comment and 'donning you flame suit'. You are insensitive at best.

I read it as Expelliarmus talking about her own child only, not yours. 

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DQMission

Fair enough, I'm sorry to E if thats the way she meant it. I read it as she didnt think it applied to her child and then she was talking about the general narrative, but if I misinterpreted, then I apologise.

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Expelliarmus

It’s weird. I knew I’d have to point out I was talking about my son and not anyone else’s. 
 

For your information, not that it’s anyone else’s business, my son has constructed a narrative of mental health issues around himself with the assistance of his sister and an idiot GP. 
 

It’s been extremely stressful. But reasonably sure no one cares. 
 

 

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DQMission

W

Edited by DQMission

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Expelliarmus

No. Screw you. 
 

I’m done here. 

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DQMission

Forget it. Why bother if Im always the villain?

Edited by DQMission

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TigerQueenofSheeba
1 hour ago, Expelliarmus said:

It’s weird. I knew I’d have to point out I was talking about my son and not anyone else’s. 
 

For your information, not that it’s anyone else’s business, my son has constructed a narrative of mental health issues around himself with the assistance of his sister and an idiot GP. 
 

It’s been extremely stressful. But reasonably sure no one cares. 
 

 

My teenager has ASD and ADHD and is extremely manipulative. He knows it too.  He no longer lives with me and where he is at is his last stop before homelessness. 

I didn't see the deleted posts.

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Prancer is coming

I don’t know why people think there needs to be a blanket approach to everything. What works for one person will not work for others.  I think it is good when people talk about their different experiences so the OP can take from it what she wants.  Some kids might have significant mental health issues.  Others may well be bunging things on and manipulating the system.  Sometimes things work because you are lucky,  not because you did superior parenting or intervention.  
 

Kids not attending school is stressful, let alone all the extra havoc COVID 19 has caused by kids having so much time off school.  Shame people felt the need to exit the thread when they had useful info to care.  @Expelliarmusnot sure if it helps, but I care that things have been so stressful.

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Lifesgood

My sympathy is with you OP.

I think this will be my DD in a couple of years. She is 14 and has missed so much school this year due to refusal to go / illness. Today she finally left the house at 9am (school starts at 8.45, takes 45 mins to get there), refused a lift to school offered by DH and caught the bus to my mums place and spent the day there instead. Yesterday she stayed home because it was mufti day and she couldn't face it - after we'd been shopping the day before because she had nothing suitable to wear. 

I'm already at my wits end with it, I think I'll be rocking back and forth in a corner by the time she is 16.

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OrangeSprout
On 03/09/2020 at 7:41 AM, 71Cath said:

So true!  It definitely feels like you are the only one who cant manage to send your kid to school! Stupid comments from other people like, "just make them go" are less than helpful.

Thinking of you Orange Sprout :)

Thank you for your thoughts.

Unless someone has been in a situation like this it is hard for them to know what to do...
There are people in my own family that have said things like "kick him out" .. "pull the cords and take them away".... 
Firstly, I am not the type of parent to kick any of my children out. That is not me.
As for pulling the cords - or removing the devices - that just makes things harder as the anger from him builds up and then it's yelling & swearing and throwing  things - he hasn't done that in a while actually..
But it also increases the tensionin the household tenfold..

My son is 6ft tall.. weighs 100kgs.... yep he is big boy.. and yes he loves his food... but I can definitely not drag him out of the house to make him go anywhere.. whether it be school or appointments.

I am at my wits end.
School mornings stress me out to no end... come Sunday night I can feel a headache coming on in anticipation of Monday morning...it should not be like this.. but sadly it is..
One cannot help question themselves about the way they have bought the child up.. was it something I have done... so many questions and so little answers....

We are all different.
Our kids are all different.
No two people live the same way.
All we can do is offer advice/ideas/suggestions.. and whether one takes them on board is up to them.

Thank you all for your input...

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kerilyntaryn

Yes I can totally relate the stress is so hard and people have all these brilliant ideas and they just have no idea.  Please get some support for yourself.  I have no other advice as my daughter hasn't been to school since year 8 Sep 2 years ago, the stress is better now, it was terrible I just go to work and she just stays home.  hugs and I wish you all the best

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born.a.girl
24 minutes ago, kerilyntaryn said:

Yes I can totally relate the stress is so hard and people have all these brilliant ideas and they just have no idea.  Please get some support for yourself.  I have no other advice as my daughter hasn't been to school since year 8 Sep 2 years ago, the stress is better now, it was terrible I just go to work and she just stays home.  hugs and I wish you all the best

Heartbreaking, I'm sorry.

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OrangeSprout
39 minutes ago, kerilyntaryn said:

Yes I can totally relate the stress is so hard and people have all these brilliant ideas and they just have no idea.  Please get some support for yourself.  I have no other advice as my daughter hasn't been to school since year 8 Sep 2 years ago, the stress is better now, it was terrible I just go to work and she just stays home.  hugs and I wish you all the best

Oh wow that must be terribly hard for you too.
Thank you for your kind words and thoughts.
I do hope that maybe some day this will be better for all of us that have this struggle with our children.

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Lucrezia Bauble

i don’t have any answers OP I’m sorry - you’re definitely not alone and there’s been some good suggestions here. 

one suggestion that someone gave once in here - sorry, I can’t remember who it was - was a book (yeh I know - a book isn’t going to solve your problems ) called How to Talk to Kids so they will Listen, and  Listen so Kids Will Talk” - by Adele Faber and  Elaine Mazlish - I found it *pretty* useful when we were dealing with some very difficult behaviour and he had shut down on us. It’s not an answer - but i found it gave me some good suggestions in how to *open a dialogue* - and that’s all it did - it’s not a silver bullet. But it opened a dialogue, it restored some trust, it helped us get an insight into what the problem might have been. sorry - if it’s a dumb suggestion just disregard it - it’s not for everyone, but if you see it at your local library it might be worth a shot. Good luck - I can feel your pain in your post, it’s incredibly stressful.

 

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kerilyntaryn

Orange Sprout,  if you can make time for yourself,  it is very important for your own sanity,  this gig is tough

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Ozquoll

I was one of those kids - smart, anxious and on the spectrum. I walked out of school forever at age 16 after years of regular truanting. 

My oldest sister saved me by bullying/teasing me into getting a job. Does your son have a particular bond with any of his older siblings who he might listen to? 

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OrangeSprout
21 hours ago, Ozquoll said:

I was one of those kids - smart, anxious and on the spectrum. I walked out of school forever at age 16 after years of regular truanting. 

My oldest sister saved me by bullying/teasing me into getting a job. Does your son have a particular bond with any of his older siblings who he might listen to? 

One he got on well with now live in another state unfortunately and they have next to no contact.
Another one does try to get him to visit or walk her dog but he just doesn't take the offer up.

 

 

21 hours ago, kerilyntaryn said:

Orange Sprout,  if you can make time for yourself,  it is very important for your own sanity,  this gig is tough

Yes one of the support staff from school said  the same.. and with me having a really bad day recently I am going to make an appointment to see my GP and have a chat and see if I should see someone for myself.
It sure is hard work...
Thank you @kerilyntaryn

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