Location: Gonic, NH
Number of kids: 2
Ages of kids: 1.5 and 11
Problem: My son who is 11 has very bad anxiety attacks about going to school every morning. He says to me he is feeling sick, nausea, headaches, he even broke out in hives twice. He has been to see a psychologist, and at the last visit she suggested we wait a while to come back, it has been about two months and he has been fine. Until January 2, he went back to school after a long vacation and it all started over again. Do you thing we should start going back? Do you think this will last forever?
I am going crazy with this whole thing. I come to work feeling guilty because I made him go to school feeling that way. Also how do I know if he is really sick or just having another attack. Is there any one else with this sort of problem I could talk with.
Solution submitted by KathyT from Zanesville, OH: I have been through the same thing with my 11 year old son. Two years he missed approximately 12 days each year. At least half of those days were anxiety related, I believe now. A psychiatrist should be able to help, unlike the psychologist, he/she can prescribe medication at a low dose, yet helpful with the anxiety. Don't be embarrassed. My son's outlook changed in one week! Don't get discouraged either. I would suggest a pediatric psychiatrist if there is one nearby. But the important thing is that you feel comfortable, and that your son feels comfortable. They have their personalities and styles, so don't give up if the first one seems uncaring, arrogant, or he's off the wall. Some are downright human!
He may not need medication at all, but there is nothing to lose by having him evaluated, and everything to gain. Our Doc picked up on some fine motor skill deficits that the school psychologist mentioned in his report, but never addressed or called our attention to.
Another solution submitted by "Guidance Lady": As a guidance counselor, I am the first person parents and teachers turn to when a child does not want to come to school. Talk to your child's teacher and see how your child does after you leave him at school. If he settles down after a few minutes, then you should keep doing what you are doing now. It may also help if you remind your child about his visits to the psychologist. If he remembers what helped before, he can try it again.
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