10 yr old with ADHD and suicidal ideations and Emergency exclusion from school

Leah - posted on 04/15/2012 ( 9 moms have responded )

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My 10 yr old son was removed from school, emergency exclusion, weds due to yelling that he felt like blowing up the school and later telling principle that he only wants to hurt himself not anyone else. Come to find out that since january he has had thoughts/feelings of "hurting" himself. He says he even tried to choke himself with the seatbelt one day when I yelled at him. He has. Even diagnosed (years ago) with ADHD, mild seperation anxiety, depression, dysgraphia, unofficial PTSD and is currently on concerta and a nightly dose of tenex.
He has had a rough time in school and his current school (been there 3 yrs) has failed numerous times to intervene when he has been bullied etc. he told me and his counselor that he feels sad and lonely at school as he has no friends at school, gets picked on, bullied, not listened to, he hates being different, but the worst is when he gets yelled at by grown ups-when he is telled at is when he feels like hurting himself.
It is so heartbreaking. ..
He has finally started talking about these feelings and it scares the hell out of me. We haven't met with the safety rep for the schools yet but I know the principle does not want him back at that school (she has been pushing all year for him to be put in a self contained classroom due to fighting and really I don't want him back at that school as they are just adding to his problems.
The question is if I don't put him back at that school then where do I put him? There is a therapeutic private school placement within our neighboring school district that I feel would be excellent for him. The school district has told me however that that is a last resort school as it is considered the most restrictive environment as he would not be around and general Ed students. The school has said we would have to try and fail a self contained classroom for behaviorally disturbed kids at the public school. My concern with that is he is already depressed due to not fitting in with gen Ed kids and being picked on so wouldn't this classroom make things worse as his former peers will see him there and know he's in that classroom? I wouldn't mind taking him to the homeschool resource Ctr for classes but then I have to leave my job.
How can I help situations get better?

Oh I am also calling for appt with children's hospital for a new full eval and psychiatrist as his current psych is hard to reach his counselor is great though.

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Heather - posted on 04/24/2012

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Have you considered hospitalizing him immediately? IMO, that should be loked at before you even consider putting him back in school. It is a very dangerous line to walk when your kid has expressed the desire to hurt himself. Every threat of suicide should be taken seriously. He is crying out for help.

Bonita - posted on 04/22/2012

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My 11-year-old son was placed on Strattera around Christmas time last year. He also has anxiety and had been on Celexa for years. When he was started on Straterra, our pediatrician stopped his Celexa. In February, he started having depression and by Mid-March he started confiding in me how depressed and sad he was and that he wanted to hurt himself. After a visit to crisis intervention, it was deemed necessary to place in the hospital for inpatient care. he was there for 10 days. He is slowly coming out of his depression (and back on anxiety meds), but has developed severe anger outbursts (which he never had before - these also started in February). We just saw the psychiatrist and are weaning him off the Strattera. He had been on Vyvanse and Daytranna and he did not have these anger problems. We had also been recommended that if our son was not able to transition back into public school to go to a therapeutic school.

My heart goes out to you -- you just feel so helpless. Try a new psychiatrist -- they should definitely be more accessible.

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Anne - posted on 04/30/2012

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Have you asked the school for a "home-bound" placement while you work out what is best for your son?
They don't like doing that, but it gives you a quick- time limited period where you can keep your son safe and also start forcing their hand.
The school has a duty to make sure your child is safe. If you think the placement they are recommending would hurt him (the idea of putting him some place just so he can fail and then gets to be placed somewhere more likely to help him- you know- that's crazy and you just need to say that, real loud and direct and often).
safety, safety, safety.

The only good thing about your son's dilemma is it is extreme. If you haven't been battering on the doors of school and local social workers, the local exceptional children's program director- do.
keep saying "he's a child at risk".
They have a legal responsibility to help him. If the principal wants him out of her/his school you might also try leveling with her. Tell her- we both know this is not a good situation. He needs to be in a better situation. What they are recommending is nuts- here is what I want . . .
You can appeal to her legal requirement- maybe even some deep seated compassion (hopefully) in helping you take all the difficult things that have happened and get her to help you advocate to get your son where he can hope to succeed.

good luck! I'm so sorry you and your child are dealing with this.

Bonita - posted on 04/25/2012

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Thank you Heather -- Yes it was the toughest decision my husband and I have made -- but we knew we had to do it. He is getting better day by day. Thanks for your kind words :)

Heather - posted on 04/25/2012

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Bonita~ I am sorry, I did not read your post thoroughly as I was in a hurry this morning. I am sorry to hear what you are going through with your son, but I know that you know that you are doing the best thing for him. As a parent, I think it must be THE HARDEST decision to make, but one that can save a life.

Leah - posted on 04/25/2012

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I didn't say I was opposed to the EBD classroom, the problem is that in general the EBD class will add to his depression and is not a viable solution. I will not just send him back to the school until which is what all these meetings and evaluations are for.

Heather - posted on 04/25/2012

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Hospitalization is a drastic step, and no one wants to hospitalize their child. But, you get immediate attention by a psychiatrist, including a complete psych and med evaluation. It seems he needs to take a break and get stable before you put him in any new enviroment, which is a stress trigger itself. If he is threatening to blow up the school, he does not need to be there, nor can the school let him. Until his behaviors get straightened out it sounds like he does need to be in contained classroom for behaviorally disturbed kids, he is behaviorally disturbed. Respectfully, it is not about what he wants at this point. It is about getting him the help he needs so that he can be safe with himself and other students.

Leah - posted on 04/24/2012

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We are working very closely with his counselor, psychiatrist, and school. We are requesting a transfer to therapeutic day school or alternative environment as school is the trigger. He wants to be back at school just wants some changes.

Bonita - posted on 04/22/2012

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Also, from what I hear, we should be thankful that our children tell us their true feelings - many kids don't. As heartbreaking as it is to hear that they would rather be in "heaven" as my son said, at least you know you can help and are aware they have a problem.

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