School refusal and some reasons to be cheerful

In other homes, there are children getting up, having breakfast, going to school, playing sport, finishing their homework and doing it all again the next day.  But not here in special needs land.  There has been barely a day in recent weeks when both of my younger children have gone to school.  Smiley has had some undiagnosed problem which makes eating and drinking painful, while my son has just been unable to go to school.  I still don't know why.  I've tried everything: schedules, reward charts, bribery, pleading, you name it.  Nothing has worked.  Now I just want to know why.  And if anyone has some suggestions on how to get a 12 year old boy to (1) work out what is bothering him, and (2) explain it to me, please don't hold back!

Anyway I've scratched around and found some reasons to be cheerful, so here goes:

Back at school


Thanks to the magic of Solpadeine, I finally got my daughter fully rehydrated yesterday and eating small meals.  Shoppers in Lidl were startled by a sudden burst of laughter in the aisles.  I was delighted.  And so I sent her back into school this morning, just for a half day, just to see.  The verdict?  She was a little quieter than usual, but ate and drank well.  In the meantime I got to go for a run and wash my hair, which it badly needed!


The Wet Room is Go


Finally after months and months of choosing builders, swotting up on PEI and COF ratings (durability and slipperiness) and generally panicking about getting ripped off, I have chosen a builder,  a start date has been fixed (Monday) and the tiles have been bought.  By me, this morning!  Showering Smiley will never be the same hassle again...


The Little Things


From chocolate and coffee, to the scent and glory of the early spring flowers defying the odds and the Irish weather in my neighbours' gardens, there's always something to take my mind off special needs land.  Having my son at home means lots of interesting conversations about topics like black holes, nano-technology and possible uses for scorpion venom - a potential cure for cancer, in case you're interested.  You see if he doesn't go to school, all his consoles and his laptop are locked away until 4pm, and he accepts that.  He understands the need to learn during school hours, so that is what he does, with a bit of direction and frantic searching for ideas from yours truly.

Feeling better


Despite all this, as Smiley got better, and with the support of all my friends, I began to feel better, and now I'm well out of the black hole that I was in a few weeks ago.  I hope to stay away from that grim place for a very long time...


Reasons to be Cheerful



14 comments:

  1. Take my hat of to you and all mums caring for children with special needs. I can't even imagine as I struggle with my 3 all the time and they have individual but not special needs. You must have great inner strength. I loved your paragraph on Little things in particular. Have a lovely week

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    1. Thank you, and I hope that you have a good week too, and some things sorted x

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  2. so glad Smiley is on the mend and getting back to her normal routine. No idea on school refusal front unfortunately I haven't got an old enough child to relate to. Glad you managed to get your me time back I know how important that is to a sense of well being

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    1. I don't think any of us can do without at least some 'me' time :)

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  3. I found Art Therapy great for getting my son to identify his feelings and talk about them. We also tried CBT around the same time. One or both worked for us- I couldn't say which for sure. All I can say with certainty is that getting him to school became easier.Hope things improve.

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    1. Thanks so much anonymous, I hadn't thought of art therapy x

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  4. I just popped on here to see how Smiley (and you) was doing - I can't sleep - and I'm so happy she's feeling better. Did you get to the bottom of what was wrong? Was it a virus? Sorry I haven't been about much, March is my busiest month xx

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    1. Sorry you can't sleep, that sucks, and yes Smiley seems to be better, but no answers as to what was wrong, just hope it doesn't recur xx

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  5. Glad to hear you are out the black hole, I'm so sorry that things are so very tough for you. I don't say it lightly when I say I have such respect for you as a mother. Wishing you a good weekend, Mich x

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  6. I found this site http://www.do2learn.com/index.htm - especially the social skills section - really useful when my teenage dyspraxic son was struggling with communications/feelings stuff.

    Glad you managed to get some time for yourself this week too, it make such a difference doesn't it?

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    1. Thanks so much for the link to that site, I plan to have a really good trawl through it this week x

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  7. Oh sweetheart, if I could create a pill to make school refusal go away......I would be rich! Who knows what is going on in that superb mind of his, I had the same problem last year........this year he is at +90% attendance!? It just went away, I don't know why, and I don't care!

    As for finding happy thoughts, well done you! That is a challenge in itself some days. Glad Smiley is feeling better, what a worry that must of been xx

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    1. Yes that pill would surely come in very handy alright, but it's wonderful to hear that it could be just a passing phase, that's the most useful thing that anyone has said so far xx

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