School Refuser - The Blog

Thursday, 20 May 2010

From hope to despair - and back to hope

I read every entry in the Forum. Some bring tears to my eyes, some make me angry and some make me laugh. But most of all, they bring a sense of amazement at the strength we need, and find if we dig deep enough, to cope with the difficulties we face in the care of our children who cannot, for whatever reason, get themselves into school.

This week has been a roller coaster ranging from hope to despair - and back to hope. But for me, the anger is still there. Too many people just do not understand our plight. And these people include the very ones who should be offering support and care. Schools seem to have no method of communication with parents (or children) when the pupil is not attending regularly. Why not? Agencies with responsibilities for the care of our children do not seem to be able to communicate amongst themselves. Or us. Why not?

I have also been reading of the strength some of our youngsters are showing in seeking a way to overcome this phobia (if that is what it is). So there is still hope!

And I have been reading of the support the parents have been receiving from each other. And that certainly brings hope.

The other theme this week has been on the subject of 'taking action'. 'Somebody should do something' is a popular cry. I suppose that somebody' is me and you...

Monday, 17 May 2010

Useful books

A couple of books have been brought to my attention:
  • School Refusal in Adolescence (Parent, Adolescent and Child Training Skills) by Martin Herbert - a highly accessible and practical guide is designed for anyone working with children, adolescents and their families.

  • In "Can't Go, Won't Go" Mike Fortune-Wood looks at the scale of the problem and how families are treated by a range of statutory authorities.Interspersed with moving accounts from families who have struggled with school refusal, sometimes over a decade or more, this important and ground-breaking book sign-posts the need for better communication and strategies from service providers from schools to psychologists. It suggests that the current trend to either medicalise or demonise children who refuse to go to school will only add to society's problems as well as damaging the individuals concerned. Fortune-Wood goes on to document an alternative approach; that of removing children from school to home educate them, suggesting that far from leading to disaster (as professionals often predict) this can become a life enhancing decision.

Further books on the subject can be found in our book shop.