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dlcourtney
dlcourtney asks:
Q:

My 9 yr old son won't go to school because he feels like a loner and has no friends. What do I do?

I have a 9 yr old boy who suffers from many medical conditions:ADHD, Bipolar, Absence Seizures and an undiagnosed muscular/nuerilogical problem that we haven't been able to get answers on why his face will have spasms which cause his tongue to protrude out of his mouth for many hours. School started today and my son absolutely will not go to school. We have been having these issues for the last 2 yrs and it doesn't seem to be getting any better. He has no friends because the kids at school either hit on him, blame him for problems or call him names. Last year he sat at lunch by himself and would get told by other students that they didn't like to sit by him because he was a gross eater and no one would play with him because they were afraid of him because they have seen him have one of his muscular spasms. Such words and actions are painful to a child. I wasn't surprised that he did this today because he's been very quiet and depressed looking the past couple of days. What do I do because therapy hasn't been working, we are afraid to put him on anymore medications and I'm about at my Witt's end.
In Topics: Self esteem and identity, Anxiety, Friendships and peer relationships
> 60 days ago

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Expert

lkauffman
Sep 14, 2010
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What the Expert Says:

I'm sorry to hear about all that your son and family have been through. It sounds like school has been a very difficult place for him, and it is certainly understandable that he would be reluctant to get going with a new school year

I assume that has been qualified for special education and has an IEP. Is that right? If so, I suggest that you speak with the special education coordinator, principal, or whomever your contact is on IEP issues at the school and request that a meeting be scheduled. The objective of the meeting is to develop a better plan for supporting your son's emotional well-being at school.

The meeting can be prefaced with the facts: Your son has tried to make school work for him over the past two years with little success. Something needs to change. The team will identify strategies for making school more enjoyable for him. Perhaps a student can be assigned to be his "buddy" during lunch (a kind and understanding student), he can be assigned "jobs" during recess to better integrate him into games and activities, etc. If, for some reason, acceptable strategies are not suggested, he may benefit from a different kind of school environment. No option should be off the table.

I suggest that you consult with someone from a Parent Training and Information Center (PTI) in your local area about your case before the meeting. See below for a link that can take you to PTIs in your state - just select your state in the dropdown.

Good luck!

Laura Kauffman, Ph.D.
Licensed Child Psychologist
Education.com JustAsk Expert
http://www.drlaurakauffman.com/
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