vcherry asks:

My Daughter has adhd,odd and school thobia she is 11 and in the fourth grade.

It is very hard to learn, their are to many teachers in the class, the kids make fun of her . I have had uncontrollable seizures all my life and when she knows I will be alone she is scared I will have a seizure and no one will be thereto help her, I think her Doctors give her the wrong medicine for her problems she will stay up all night , she can't sleep and when I do give her the medicine she won't wake up for school. I have had to go to court two years in a row for her missing school, they don't care if she had doctors notes or not. I took her out of school and she cried and I put her back in . then she did not go for two days, she gets mad and cusses at me , That is not my girl I don't know what is wrong. I love her so much. Her real father and I do not live together he says to Spank her but, I do no believe in that. I just want my girl back please help me. I want whats right for her. Thank you for your help She has a lot of problems with her school work , she needs to be tested. I have asked since she was in the first grade, and they always make up an excuse I have even gone to the board of education
In Topics: My Relationship with my child's school, Learning disabilities, ADHD & attention issues
> 60 days ago



Mar 19, 2009
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What the Expert Says:

Dear vcherry,

You and your daughter have been through a great deal, and I can tell that you have a very close, tight bond. It sounds like you have a very full plate, and I am hopeful that we can begin to put together a plan to help your daughter develop greater comfort at school and achieve success academically.

I imagine that some of your daughter's school refusal relates to your medical condition. It is not uncommon for children with school refusal to unconsciously decide that they should be at home to help take care of a parent or family member. She understandably worries and it must be very difficult for her to be at school, knowing that you are vulnerable to a seizure attack. Thus, it is very important that you work very hard to communicate to your daughter that you and your doctors are working very hard to manage your seizure condition. If you are confident that you can manage your condition, your daughter will most likely feel safer attending school and being away from you. If you are already working to reassure your daughter, I would encourage you to re-double your efforts. It is important that your daughter attends school and begins to develop a more positive relationship with school.

I have included a link below to an excellent article on school phobia/refusal. In addition to reassuring your daughter that you are safe, there are a number of things you can do to encourage your daughter to attend school more regularly. Provide incentives for your daughter to attend school. If you have the tools, start tracking your daughter's attendance on a calendar. Give her a sticker for each day that she attends school. Try giving her a reward for each sticker that she earns. These incentives do not need to be expensive. Perhaps, she can earn some special time with you - twenty minutes of reading together, a ten minutes of dancing to your favorite songs, a walk around the neighborhood together.

Also, you should reduce the positive benefits that she gets when she does not attend school. She should not particularly enjoy the days that she stays home. Often, children who refuse to attend school get the added benefit of spending special time with their parent all day. Have her work on schoolwork and keep her on a schedule.

I do think that you should revisit medication with your daughter's doctor. It is not uncommon for doctors to prescribe a medication (such as an antidepressant) for children who refuse to attend school. She may be struggling with side effects or she may be so anxious, that she can't sleep. Establish a bedtime routine that involves relaxing and quiet activities, such as quiet music or reading.

Finally, I think that you need to continue to advocate for your daughter at school. There are a number of strategies that the school can implement to help her better manage her own behavior. For instance, a behavior plan would include an analysis of the situations that seem to trigger her "bad" behavior. These situations can be averted and/or adults can learn to better manage them. For more on this, take a look at the second link below.

Good luck. I know this is only scratching the surface, but please let us know if we can be of further assistance.

L. Compian, Ph.D.
Counseling Psychologist Expert Panel
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