Recovery from extreme school refusal?

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Recovery from extreme school refusal?
« on: July 12, 2019, 04:18:44 PM »
Iím wondering if anyone here has any insight into extreme school refusal?  Anyone have older or teen kids that came out the other side successfully?

My former SS15 pretty much refused school most of second semester.
Got into a PHP in May and dropped out.
Got into summer school last week and again dropped out.
Yet still wants to go to the same HS apparently?

Any advice I could pass through to his NPD Dad, my ex, would be good. He listens to me but heís not doing enough or anything that seems to work and itís his usual smirk and shrug approach to raising kids. Says home schooling is not possible because he canít oversee it blah blah.

Iím going to have lunch or dinner with former SS15 soon and heartbroken that heís going to have to repeat most of freshman year.
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When we have the courage to do what we need to do, we unleash mighty forces that come to our aid.



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Re: Recovery from extreme school refusal?
« Reply #1 on: July 12, 2019, 08:42:40 PM »
My DD18 just graduated in June, and I have to tell you.... it was a very long journey getting her there.

She stopped going to school in 10th grade, and chose Wilderness Program then a Therapeutic Boarding School.... lost the year she'd gained skipping 4th grade.  I took it harder than DD did, honestly.   I don't know why it's so hard to make peace with, but it is. 

DD could have finished that year,  as she'd caught herself up,  but asked for help she felt was more important.  I was lucky enough to be able to make that happen for her.  She benefitted tremendously from her time in the woods, and time with the great T at boarding school.

DD's SEnior year was going OK until we visited cousins out of the Country over Christmas.  At that point, DD came to grips with her inability to control her eating habits, and asked for help again.  She'd begun the familiar pattern of not going to school a day or two a week, then 3 then finally wouldn't go at all.  She asked for help when she was missing 3 days a week.  She stopped going at all after engaging with the T,  so things didn't get better real quick.

The T attended school meetings with us.  School meetings were around dd attending limited classes since she had so much anxiety around attending school.

I think DD didn't like friends and classmates coming up to her and saying things like... "You're alive!"  "Where have you been?" 

DD had anxiety around falling behind in classes she should have been acing, and I think that was mostly her being bored, and more interested in her very rich online life, and social circle of friends who enjoy writing together.  DD didn't have friends at school, bc her best friends graduated ahead of her, bc she lost that year.

I'd say it would help if you knew why ss was refusing school.  If it's anxiety, or a social situation he's avoiding, or has he fallen behind in work, and started feeling hopeless?

If it's anxiety, and falling behind then the school can come up with a limited class schedule to help him make it through.  He has to meet certain criteria for that.... a doctor has to give him a dx.... I think DD's was fragile child syndrome, or something like that.  Our school had already been through the at home schooling, with one after school day attendance with a teacher who oversaw progress, and checked dd's work, which was stellar at that point.  The schools want to help the kids succeed, iME.   DD always had someone in her corner from the school, advocating for her.  I think that's something the dad needs to help his son put in place. 

I have to say that I wish I'd have worried less about her missing school, and more about her mental health.  The truth is, most of the adults in her life were focused on her "just getting through school."  That wasn't the answer,  and it was important that dd advocated for herself, and found a way to feel better.   Relaxing into alternative plans more quickly would have been helpful, IME.

If ss is hanging out with the wrong crowd, doing drugs, or convinced a hs diploma isn't for him, I don't know what to tell you.  That wasn't what I was dealing with.

DD18 has taken a job since graduating.   She's joined a work out center, and used her grad money to pay for private trainer sessions, which she's committed to happily, even through the pain.  She's happy, and active, and engaged in life again, which happened like magic after school ended.  I know she's thinking about college, and I expect she'll come up with a plan soon for that.  She can't wait to get into dorm life again.  She really enjoyed living in a dorm at boarding school. 

Sometimes it's difficult for teens to SEE their world's going to open up, really open up, after they graduate hs.  My dd is so much happier now that she's out..... she was so miserable.  She couldn't see the forest for the trees, as they say.

I'm surprised ss isn't attending summer school, bc what I know about it, it's a lot less time and work than regular school for the same credits.

I hope his dad will get him to a good T, if he hasn't already. 

If there's a learning disability, or struggle... that's another issue, IME.  Some kids are ruined by early school struggles, and emotionally beaten down, and defeated. 

If that's the case,  there's some amazing neurofeedback programs available to improve comprehension, and deficits.   My youngest dd17 just completed 3 weeks of neuro feedback, and experienced 77% improvement in 3 very important areas of comprehension,and focus... she went from 1% to 77%!  In three weeks!  That's amazing, and it's a miracle she's as happy, and well adjusted as she is.   Most kids with that level of deficit are miserable in school.

Don't worry about ss missing a year.  Focus on why he's struggling, IME.  In the end, that's what's going to be important, IME.

Good luck,


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