March 11, 2017 at 11:57AM
People will say “just MAKE him go.” And “Let him know school isn’t a choice.” And “He’ll get over it.” Maybe those words would help … if my child
didn’t have anxiety and depression and a side of high-functioning autism
When your child is on the floor having a panic attack at the
thought of going to school and he is still in his pajamas “just MAKE him go”
doesn’t really apply.
When this happens on a daily basis…. “just MAKE him go”
doesn’t really apply.
And when you DO eventually, EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. Get him to
school…. “Just make him go” doesn’t really apply.
Instead it is reminding your child to slow down. Reminding him of the friends he will see that
day. Asking him what he is afraid
of. What is behind all that
anxiety. And hoping that today, today he
will have the words to tell you.
often the anxiety is just a wordless, nameless “I just can’t face it” feeling.
And behind it all?
You know that once he is at school he does well. He has very supportive teachers who just love
him and care for him and will give him the space he needs when he needs
it. Who meet him where he is at and don’t
pressure him to be someone he isn’t. Who
understand his anxiety and depression and ASD and work with it and give him
loads of support. And who report all the
great things he did each day, all the smiles, and friendships, and fun.
Slowly, with hugs and reassurance that he WILL, in fact, be
ok, my son gets up off the floor. We
discuss bringing a stuffie from home in his backpack for reassurance as he gets
dressed. His body slowly relaxes. His face shifts from fear to calm. We pack things up for school, put on shoes
and jacket, get into the car.
brief moment of anxiety “Idon’twanttogo. I don’t want to go!”
Reminding him that the day is short and then it will be
over, going through the routine of the day.
Reminding him of the stuffie he has in his backpack if he needs it. He gets in and buckles up. We get to school and walk to the lines with
no more incidents.
I walk him over to his teacher. There is a “routine” to our hand-offs. My son needs predictability. He thrives on it. Two hugs and two kisses for mom. Then he gives a hug to his teacher and holds
her hand for a while. The teacher gives
me a silent questioning look “How did it go this morning?” I give her a shake of the head, a frown “not
so good” We have a silent conversation. But he’s fine now, with his teacher.
I walk away, go to the car.
And sit and shed my own silent tears.
This process is hard on mom too.
via The Mighty