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To push ahead with school or not?
  • SGCmum
    Posts: 84
    Hi. I'd love to hear people opinions and experiences with going to school with severe anxiety. I have told my 11 year old daughter I am happy for her to stay off school until she is managing her anxiety better. She was ok the first week of holidays, but now the thought of going back is bringing back her episodes of freezing, even being unable to talk, nausea visual disturbances etc. I am happy to keep her off, although part of me wonders if it is really for the best, as I'm not sure how she will then manage to get back to school. Prior to this she has missed a several days, and been sent home a few times . It is not an easy option for her as she feels she has failed. It is this sense of failure, and also if being different, and the concern about comments from other people that drive her to keep going in, even if I think she doesn't need to. This also stops her accepting the alternatives offered by the school, such as taking time out during the day. My instinct is to keep her off, but I worry also that this will do more harm than good.
  • webbwebb
    Posts: 2,564
    It is a really difficult decision to make and from your post I can hear you are weighing up all the pros and cons.
    I also had the same decision to make when my son was in Yr7 ie 12 yrs old and whilst he did have the feelings of failure when he first was off school, within 3 months he didn't want to go back and we looked for alternative schooling.
    In our county we had a few options to choose from but if you don't have many options accept mainstream school, it may be good to look at therapies or medication for the anxiety and keep trying school?

    (My son got 7 GCSE's A*, A's and one B - 12 hrs of education per wk mainly at home. His anxiety and stress were lower. At 16 he went to college and then Uni)

    Only you and your daughter can decide what is the right thing for her.
  • SGCmum
    Posts: 84
    Thanks Webb. It's very encouraging to know that these alternatives can work. It's also good for me to hear as my 18 year old is hoping to go to uni after her year off, and I had wondered if it was even possible to make it through all the demands that involves.
  • Rubytuesday
    Posts: 284
    Hi, my daughter started school refusing in Year 7... we pushed her to keep going in and it led to a complete breakdown and she’s still out of school nearly 2 years later. So I would say go with your instinct! There are alternatives and our children’s mental health is the most important thing.
  • SGCmum
    Posts: 84
    Thank you. I think I needed these comments to stick to my instincts, as other people don't see what I do and it seems like I'm over reacting.
  • RhanHRhanH
    Posts: 1,130
    It can be hard sticking to our instincts but I've found that when I wonder a slightly different path, often due to outside pressure, I'm always drawn back and then wonder why I listened in the first place, as I knew where I should have gone. My New Year resolution is to have the courage of my convictions!
    Wishing you all the best. xxx
  • June67
    Posts: 795
    My cousin's daughter had lots of issues in primary school and her parents were not heard so they home educated both children for primary school. Then their daughter asked to go to secondary school after hearing about it through children she had met through a music group she had joined. She has settled relatively successfully with support and is starting to make some friends through her shared music interest. I think the fact that it has come from her and has been her choice has been the key thing in how well it's going. The important thing is what your child wants and what she can cope with there are many routes to any destination, you just have to find the right 'sat nav' to help go with your gut.
  • SGCmum
    Posts: 84
    Thank you. I think I do need to get my daughter in a better place mentally before she can consider coping with school. I still have lingering doubts but you have all really helped.

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