school refusers

a resource for parents 

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School Refusal
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Update 6 years later!

Hi there! I last posted 6 years ago! My school refuser had gone in just for his GCSE's and passed 5. He went onto choose 6th form college, I think that's where I had got up to.

He then chose a university ( secretly and impulsively) and got a 2:1
He is just finishing a MSC and has already gained a job on leaving.

I wanted to tell you the good news.

The turning point was leaving school ( officially) and choosing his own path and subject he was passionate about. For him focusing on a subject he was in control of made such a difference. He learnt to drive and as soon as he had his own car family gatherings became bearable as he was be able to come and go under his own steam.
He still has his quirks and anxieties but when he is in control of plans, timings etc it is a calmer life.

We never did get to the bottom of why he refused to go to school, he won't say.
All I can say is that studying so many subjects did not suit his brain. He has flourished since he was able to study one subject in depth, a subject of his own choosing.

He often takes himself off on trips abroad and is really capable of doing the planning etc. i'm very proud of him, and am definitely a less stressed mum now.

So in my case there is a happy ending.

Re: Update 6 years later!

I am so pleased to see your update. It has been a long haul for you both, but you got through it. Wonderful.

We still have our ups and downs, but are mostly positive (outwardly anyway) and i think that point about being in control of their own destiny is really valid. That is when the positive change came.

My daughter shared something of her circumstances on social media, and is getting lots of responses from boys, usually reticent about talking about such issues. I hope this is a sign of the times.

I hope you are now getting more time for yourself? You deserve it!

Yours aye,


Re: Update 6 years later!

Hi Simon,
That is an interesting point about girls vs boys talking about these issues. When your daughter was going through this, was she able to talk with you about it then or does she find only now, looking back, she is able to talk about the anxiety?
My son was able to talk at one stage with some guys he played games with on line about anxiety and not really surprising, a couple of them suffered the same. With his friends at school he found it impossible. No kid wants to admit to anxiety.

I know many on here find their sons or daughters not really able to communicate what the problem is and are often reluctant to accept or receive help. I wonder on average if girls accept help more? My son has on occasions accepted help and support and at other time refused it but whenever I wanted to talk to him about strategies or ways forward, he shut down and he still does. He gets annoyed if I bring up anything related to his anxiety. Was there a turning point for your daughter in regard to this?
Take care,
Linda xx

Re: Update 6 years later!

The odd thing is that she thinks now she was able to talk about her issues, but she was very self-protective then, mainly because she found no one understood the problem she was facing.
Having said that, she did, very bravely, write an article for her school magazine.