charleecrat's picture

chronic illness and school anxiety

our child has had asthma all his life.  he is 11.  he got the RSV virus that started his asthma at four months of age,now he had a repeat exposure to the virus and had 103.6 for 13 days.  we sent him back to school week before last for three days and found that he was still sick with high fever and 77 pulse ox.  After three weeks and loads of steriods he is getting back to normal and now has developed a phobia about walking from class to class and doesnt want to return to school.  he has had makeup work all his school years as he is always sick.  the school has informed us that he will just be retained in 5th grade no exceptions.  they are not working with us to help him get caught up and frankly treat us as if we are faking.  I even had to listen to the assistant principle tell me if she were me she would " FIND A WAY TO MAKE HIM WELL" that was a direct quote.  I almost fell out of my chair.


We love our child and want the best for him but feel at a loss as to help him overcome is anxiety regarding his school and I cant say I blame him for his fears as his school has really disappointed me.


any suggestions, we are at a loss

tiebreaker's picture

i know just how you feel, i know im older but when my daughter was at school, she was only able to do three days a week due to the fact she suffered with migrain  at least every week, at one point it was only twice a week she attended school. i must say the school was very good about it. and we had a bit of help. but when she went to the senior school thing got much worse. in the end  like your child she became fearfull of even walking into the school. this was due to many reasons .one lack of confidence, two pressure from friends, because there was no continuety, and three, her illness had then become a phobia to her. and i was dealing with two things. at this time in her life i thought in her best interest that i should at least take control of the situation. so i took her out of school and with the help of the county council I  taught her myself at home. we did the curiculim and they would check up at differant times to see how she was doing, this way she was happy and was learning again. i would not recomend it to everyone but it worked for her. she came out with high levels in exams. and i feel very proud of both of us. of course she had to get her confidence back but being able to control her own illness without the added trauma of going to school at that time helped a great deal. its not for everyone but it is another way forward for those whose lives are affected by a long term illness. the child begins to feel worthless as if there making a fuss. we need to take control of this as regards teachers etc. remember they are our   servants we pay for them, they should treat us likewise. eventually she was able to have the confidence to go to college and did not look back but you need help to face the situation head on because the situation will not get better on its own. dont worry to much about the opions of others your child will follow you and your ways. good luck, hope this helps.

Trisscity's picture

I agree with the mother who said she eventually home schooled her child. I know this is not possible for everyone, but if you can do it I'd consider it as an option. My friend's daughter also suffers from "stomach migraines" which sometimes put her out of school for days at a time. The school treated my friend as if they were faking it also. I mean why in the world would someone fake this? Then on top of that the teacher's would make comments in class to the other kids like, "Well Ashlynn's not hear AGAIN today, big surprise." She is very smart and has had very little trouble making her work up, but the treatment they receive from the school is awful. Now there are treatments she can receive intravenously if she goes to the hospital that get rid of the headache faster so she doesn't suffer as much. 

rockgjmom's picture

It may be time to exercise your right to putting him in a differnet school which will be more sensitve to his situation.

I would also compalin to the administration, school board etc... people get sick it's, not on purpose, they should be treated with dignity no matter what age.

Where is the school counselor, he/she should be helping him with his feeling about walking the hallways, being out sick, getting caught up.....

angelbabymb's picture

my daughter has severe anxiety its been a problem for about 3 yrs now she is now in high school she gets sick quite often and as her mother i feel that i do not have the support from the school i feel they are thinking i am not a good parent but what am i supposed to do when my child is ill for what ever reason i feel really alone on this .

SnglDad's picture

I don't know if someone else had spoke of stomach migraines, but I think I have mentioned them on here. First of all when you say testing please tell me they have done an MRI. If not, insist on one with and without contrast. An ENT DR.should be looking for possible inner ear infection. These can go on for years undiagnosed and result in similar symptoms. Ask your daughter to sit and listen, does she hear ringing in her ears? When she chews or swallows does she hear "popping and clicking"?

My son has suffered from stomach migraines. I would get calls at work and be told that he had a headache and was vomiting. Our best guess at what triggers them is not enough sleep, and too much sun. He also had some issues with vertigo, but this was unrelated as we later found out that he had an allergy to grass. The vertigo was allergy related, and is not an issue now.

The migraines start off as a typical migraine headache, but after a little while he starts to feel nauseated and will eventually vomit. We now have a new prescription to stop the nausea. The headaches are controlled with Motrin. Good luck to you and your daughter. I hope this info helps in some way. Please keep us informed as to her progress.

acitez's picture

This one turned out good.

My 6th grader was complaining of stomach aches every day after lunch.



But I have learned in the last 25 years that if my kid says "stomach hurts" and I ignore it, I will be cleaning up vomit. So I took her to the doctor, who ordered an X-ray.

Turns out her descending colon was full of poop.

If I had just ignored it, it is possible that the condition could have worsened and developed into life-changing, perhaps life-threatening problems.

The Dr. gave a prescription for a new kind of laxative, which I did not fill. I told her to drink more water (the doctor's recommendation) and if she wasn't better by Monday, we'd buy the pills.

She's well.

But it wasn't anxiety, it was an unrelated medical problem. Don't dismiss your kid's complaints.

Whether it is medical or social, the problem needs to be discovered and addressed.

concerned mom's picture
concerned mom

If things are really that bad, I wld consider homeschooling your son or getting him a private tutor. Obviously he won't be comfortable in school if he's sick.
When your son is feeling good, get him involved in social activies in your town, through your church or through another social organization or homeschool group. Good luck.

mommission's picture

My son has an illness called Cyclical Vomiting Syndrome...or CVS. It is "Childhood Migraine," and was diagnosed when he was 5. He vomits profusely & his head hurts so bad he feels like he wants to die.
He takes medication as needed and has never missed a day of school because of it as he usually has his episodes in the evening.

See a pediatric gastrointerologist. Look up CVS there is a huge nationwide society.

My 15 year-old daughter has recently been diagnosed
with genetic neurological migraine. She has missed over 50 days of school. The school refused to take my doctors note back in Feb. again in April. I am seeking legal advice.