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    #85172 09/16/10 07:39 AM
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    Last edited by master of none; 12/27/13 11:52 AM.
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    MasterOfNone, have you treated the anxiety through talk therapy/counseling alone?

    If HSing isn't his first choice or yours, I'd probably seek to work on the anxiety outside school but leave him in place for now.

    I've posted about anxiety meds elsewhere and won't repeat here except to say that for some kids it's a dramatic change for the better.

    I can also recommend CBT as superior to talk therapy in our family's experience: it supports the person in taking control over their anxious thoughts and thinking more realistically.

    HTH, hang in there,
    DeeDee

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    Did the counselor have any recommendations about which way to go?

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    Not homeschooling here so I'm not much help on that end, but I'm wondering if you could do a partial homeschool route? Would his school let him do the music program and you could do the rest? Our charter homeschool program does this all the time- especially in 5th thru highschool. We have kids that come just for one period a day in a special class or a high level math. Maybe it doesn't have to be all or nothing...

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    MON, it's really horrible to watch your content child disappear. When I took DS9, then in 3rd grade, out of school he was so relieved. So this is a bit different than your situation. At the time his anxiety was so high, he wasn't eating, wasn't playing and cried everyday. When we started with a counselor he was concerned that we were actually looking at a spectrum issue. His teacher's evaluation put him on the spectrum. He may not be DYS either, his missed one cutoff by 2 points and has other scores that are well over them. He's now been out of public school for 6 months, still anxious but about 70% less. He is learning happily, has many friends and activities. I don't think he would be diagnosed on the spectrum if evaluated today. I was inspired by a posting from Aimee recently about anxiety and slowing exposing one to the stressor. I think it really helped my son to do a long reset. The subject has come up about returning to school, his idea. We have the ability to just do a class or so though. I know some areas have homeschooling co-op's or I even found a part time private school for homeschoolers. I have to say that homeschooling my child has been the best job I ever had. It may be the next job that you love! I really wish you the best wishes, it's such a tough place to be-

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    My first thought was that at 10, your DS is old enough that it's important he be on board with educational decisions you make, so I was set to say that if he didn't want to be homeschooled, you shouldn't do it.

    Then I read back through your threads about him. It's clear you have a history of problems with getting this school to teach him properly; also clear that music is important to him.

    I still think you shouldn't pull him out if he wants to stay. But I understand your reasons for wanting to pull him out better than I did. Are there any other school options? Partial homeschool coop group options, that might let you at least work partime at the job you love? I think at least you'll need to have a plan for how he can continue his music, but if the school really isn't willing to educate him properly, well, he needs to be educated somehow. I hope you can come up with an option that satisfies both him and you.


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    Our recent problems are nothing compared to yours, and I sympathise with your situation.

    When junior (aka little'un) was having an horrendous time recently(see my posts passim) we told him that if all else failed we would just homeschool - and this lifted a weight off his shoulders - I think it just transferred onto mine. I don't know what I would do if he was more happy to stay at school - it's very very tough and you just have to do your best for the both of you.

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    Originally Posted by master of none
    I guess my question is more about the long term consequences/benefits of growing up learning to cope with constant anxiety in the maintstream vs being removed from it and all it can teach, but being more relaxed for self development (and not needing/learning to cope). Does that make sense?

    Oh, yes, it makes a great deal of sense. That is where we are too. DS does not want to leave elementary school even though it is sometimes making him more anxious than he can handle.

    Our therapy team is of the opinion that it would be a mistake to pull our DS out-- both because it's a "vote of no confidence" (making him think that he really couldn't do it) and because he does need to learn to deal with other people in that kind of social setting. They are big believers in learning to cope. YMMV, of course.

    That said, it is sometimes horrifying and stressful to do it this way, and it is wearing on all of us, DS and family and school staff alike. (And THAT said, he's having his best year ever so far this year; one does have the sense that he's learning how to deal.)

    FWIW, I have heard that current CBT approaches to agoraphobia appear to be effective, but they are dramatic and intense: they require not a bit by bit exposure, but lots of exposure in a short time, repeated until the stimulus becomes boring rather than exciting. It's supposed to be highly treatable.

    What supports could be put into place to help your DS manage? Can he name his triggers, and can a plan be in place to manage them? The school ought to be ready to do a functional behavior analysis to figure this out, and work on reducing the anxiety... though I know they may or may not be.

    Much in sympathy,
    DeeDee

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    Originally Posted by master of none
    Maybe it boils down to having a supportive comfortable environment to learn vs a highly charged environment--a now brainer decision. But it seems like there's so much to lose-- will he lose all the progress he's made handling the social demands of public school, and I'd hate to see him lose it.

    Hi MON-
    I'm wondering what you think that you would lose? It seems to me that any coping skills that he has actually gained are his to keep. Maybe if he is sort of 'callosed' then the calloses would be lost, but if it isn't a genuine integrated skill, and only a outer hardening, then is that something worth keeping?

    I so identify with you just thinking 'this must be who he is' as my DS isn't anxious, but get's grim for so long that I think it must be him. Then a catch a glimmer - last spring he was skipping at BIQ weekend - at age 13, and CTY camp - he feels that he has permission to be himself and I see a whole different kid.

    It's hard to ask you to give up a job you love - will they take you back if you package it as a 'Sabbatical year?' I don't really see it as a vote of no-confidence of your son or the school, just a 'Sabbatical' to see what life is like this way.

    Even though there is a 'state law' against partial homeschooling, I would go up the food chain, perhaps with a doctor's note, asking if he can continue his music at the school. You are paying taxes, right? And the school does have his best interests at heart, right?

    I've never homeschooled, but thought about it often. If you had a chance to travel around the world for 2 months you'd pull him from school - right? So what's wrong with doing that without the trip?

    hope that helps,
    grinity


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    I don't think you can answer this question without an indepth look at what resources you have available as a homeschooler.

    Do you make friends easily?
    Will you be able to find good opportunities for him?
    What is the homeschooling community like in your area?
    Will he be in co-ops or clubs?
    Are you good at coaching him to try new things?

    It is very important how it is presented. I can see it would be very possible for a kid to think they failed and they weren't allowed to go to school any more. So, I would try to bring him in on the discussion. That doesn't mean he's the one responsible for making the decision. But, it does mean that he should understand the choices aren't school or life is just like it normally is during the summer. He should understand that he will still be in activities with other kids. He should understand you will still have expectations that he try new things. I would present it as a chance to work on other things. Also, if you really think it would be better, personally I would not be above manipulating a bit by finding ways to make that first year of homeschooling pretty special and exciting.

    Finally, for what it is worth, the level of anxiety we saw at 7 is entirely different than what we saw at 10. Maturity, more experience, practice, CBT, all can make a huge difference. I understand the feeling that any progress he has is fragile, but I would remember all of life offers opportunities to learn to deal with anxiety. Public school doesn't hold a monopoly on that.

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