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  • mrs t
    Posts: 7
    hi my son is 9yrs old has recently been diagnosed asd....pda. he has been refusing to go to school,its been 7wks now. the reason....he wants to go back to his old school(he has only been at this school since sept due to us moving) he seemed to settle in well but then just started to refuse to go. the school has many things in place for him but he just refuses. any suggestions.
  • angel child
    Posts: 215
    Gosh I really don't know what to suggest, my son is 9 too and has school refused two mainstream schools, he was in a EBD unit and refsued that, he's now in an EBD school and still refuses some days.

    I would suggest to the school perhpas starting him on low level anxiety tasks first thing in the morning for example, working on the pc, doing an art and craft project.....something he likes that isn't placing too many demands on him.

    Giving him a visual time-table so he knows what is coming next so there leaves no confusion in his mind as to what he is doing.

    A break card so that he can have regular breaks when he needs to with perhaps a safe haven where he can go when he is over-stimulated or begins to get anxious.

    At first you need to get him into school though which will probably be the hardest bit, could he not start back on a part time-table perhaps just going in for the morning and then building it up, does he get 1-1? I must admit when my son was at his worse I was going into school with him on a daily basis, in a room by ourselfs with 2-1 staff just doing fun activities and gradually I would withdraw myself and he had a visual chart with social stories to back up what was happening, it did work with us to some extent but it didn't work for very long and it may be something the school are willing to do with you or they may not.

    Does he tell you why he doesn't want to go to school? when my son was refusing at the begining it was when he was in yr 2 he would never say but now he's 9 he will quite willingly tell me why he wont go to school and doesn't want to go and this helps us loads to work through the problems.

    I hope you manage to get some help with this, it is also worth contacting social services and the education welfare officer to see if you can get some help with it, at one stage we had two autism out-reach workers funded by s/s coming round every morning for 3 hours trying to get my son into school, this was trialed for 3 weeks and they only managed two days, but at least it was someone else's responsibility to try and the fact that they too failed highlighted it was a real problem and not just an attachment problem to myself as I was already out of the house (s/s believed this was the case!!)

    I hope you manage to get things sorted and get some respite for yourself as I know just how hard it can be, take care :lol:
  • mrs t
    Posts: 7
    thankyou for your suggestions. we have tried the part-time approach,the school is open to anything to try to get him back but so far nothing is working. s/s and school welfare are already involved but they haven't come up with anything yet. we are in the process of sorting out getting a statement for him. he just says he wants to go back to his old school but i don't know if that is the right way to go as it i feel it does't cater for his needs so right now i am at a loss as to what to do :?
  • Lixina
    Posts: 289
    Is homeschooling possible for you? If so, that would be one possibility.
  • westd_Moderatorwestd_Moderator
    Posts: 1,292
    What about making it as boring as possible at home, so that he is desperate to go to school in the end??? - not just a flippant comment though of course may be completely unsuitable if he just cannot face it. He is not being bullied or picked on is he? Or feeling excluded in some way? If he will talk to you or make a list of the things he likes/ does not like about both his old and new school this may help him/ you/ the school to find the issue or take action to try and make it nicer for him in his current school..
    hope you do find a solution it must be so hard for you all.......
  • webbwebb
    Posts: 2,578
    Hi mrst

    I had one of my ASD son's at home for 4 years so I know how draining it can be to have a child at home instead of at school!

    If going back to his old school is not an option (I'm sure it probably isn't), then I think you should sit your son down and tell him he can't go back, ever.
    I would give him 2/3 days were school is not mentioned at all.
    I am having to presume that you are happy that school have all support and resources ready for him.
    Then over the weekend explain to him that he will be going to school on Monday (prepare school!). At this point he has a choice to make! There must be something that he loves to do, something that motivates him? With my son its either food or computer time.
    Say to him that if he doesn't go to school from 9-12, he will not be able to play on his computer that day. (If food is the motivator tell him there will be no puddings)
    So if he goes to school he can have his computer time when he gets home.
    If he doesn't go to school he will have no computer time on Monday (or no puddings).
    You have to use a very good motivator!!!

    Now he may hang out for a week, ie no computer for a whole week and it will be a hard week for you but hopefully after a few days/a week he should get the message and he may go to school. This method requires you to be very strong!

    He may also be very angry at you for making him go to school by this method, be prepared for his behaviour to be worse for a week or so.

    It's not easy to make our children do things, every day my PDA son says he hates school and dosen't want to go and makes life very hard every morning but I know he has a brilliant school and is well looked after so I stand my ground and tell him I will have to go to Jail if he doesn't go to school, then I would never be at home to play with him!

    I hate talking to my son this way but it works for us.
    I do hope you find some of the above useful, ask me questions if you need too.
    Could some one else take him to school? My son was always better behaved when my husband took him to school.

    Take Care and I hope you find an answer soon.
  • mrs t
    Posts: 7
    thankyou for all the suggestions. we are willing to try anything. we are trying the boring route at the moment so only time will tell but we can live in hope.
    thanks again :( :?
  • mango69
    Posts: 967
    hi mrs t,
    Welcome to the forum. This sounds like a really tricky one for you. I also home schooled for a while and it wasn't easy, although sometimes very enjoyable.
    When Max moved school his support from the old school came with him to the new school the first time he visited. Is there any possibility that someone he got on with at the old school could come with him a few times to the new school as another way of bedding in the idea that there is no going back?
    Social story?
    Choice of ways to get there?
    Keep us posted.
  • Amanda
    Posts: 281
    Tea and sympathy can reap benefits too. I remember a conversation with Mark that sympathised with him about his school fears, I suppose in a social story type of way.
    I talked) with Mark about not me liking school and not wanting to go at times ( actually I loved it but this was one of those 'unbreakable rules' that the law said we had to do whether we like it or not and I agreed with him that it didnt seem fair. However I assured him that in my case I had been glad I went back because I descovered I liked it afterall and had been missing a lot of good things,
    When using social stories with Mark I have found the indirect approach works best and writing them about someone near to him, but not him has helped the most.
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