F.E.A.S.T's Around The Dinner Table forum

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We have a meeting planned next week at our d's school to discuss options/plans for her phased return. She has been out of school since Oct 2014; had a few trips in for individual lessons back in the autumn but things then went downhill, anxiety was through the roof, and no more home leave (she has been IP since June) was had until Christmas.

She is now WR, but still very much troubled by urges to self harm/suicidal thoughts/depression/anxiety etc. Although a few friends have kept in touch, she is worried about being "adrift" having been out of school so long. Since she wasn't able to maintain going in for lessons in the autumn, she is too far behind to take exams in the summer (she is in yr 12 (lower 6th form), just doing AS in 1 subject this year). She will have to resit the year so will be with the year below for the next academic year - something which she desperately didn't want to happen, but now it has - something else to fuel the depression and low self-esteem.

I would love to know how others have handled this stage of recovery - what was most useful for your kids in terms of support from school, what can we reasonably expect school to do (she is fearful that she will slip back into throwing lunch in the bin, coming out of lessons, pacing the corridors, cutting in the toilets - all the old ED behaviours from before she was taken out of school), how have they overcome the difficulty of slotting in to a new year group which already has its established social groups, what support from you has been most helpful for them?

This seems such a difficult prospect - largely since none of us knows how she is going to manage these challenges in reality, however much we try to talk things through in advance. And since she has been IP in hospital or residential units for the best part of the last year, the big wide world seems a very scary and overwhelming place. And I'm not at all convinced, even now, that she really wants change and recovery from her anorexia....


Mum to 17 year old daughter with AN,1 year IP from Feb 2015, discharged Feb 2016, WR but mentally nowhere near where she needs to be. Remained stable but rapid weight loss again leading to admission to specialist ED unit Sept 2016. Back round the circle...
Hi Hebrides - is a change of school out of the question. She could do her As level this year and then start at a sixth form college in september. Or... Try to get her into a sixth form college now? At least that way everyone is still newish and she doesn't have to go down a year in her existing svhool. Presumably she would be expected to do the part 2 of her as course with her existing class and the rest with the lower /repeat class next year? Just a thought. Going back to school is hard and can cause stress but they do need to be with other young people too. Hope it goes well for you bothx
Could your d do her work from last year but still move class with her peers?we were able to do this and for the time my d remained at school (but that's a whole other kettle of fish) it did make things easier.does she have to do full days?the stress of being back at school means a possible slip back,maybe instead of returning full time it would be better for her to do three days a week or five half days.we had to chop and change a lot with what my d could manage and found this to be a good way to do it as my d was exhausted by the end of the morning.
Pushing too hard too fast can have its own problems and you have already gone through so much,as has your d.
I guess the thing is to make the school be a bit flexible-and often they are-and to be flexible yourself about this.
Good luck,
If she is going to go back a year, which so many do at As level, and she has not yet got accustomed to homelife can you leave the school issue until you know she will be safe and cope? It sounds like it an additional stress to add to the mix. Colleges tend to have better counselling services but even they are teachers and yhere is only so much they can do for one pupil.
Until she can cope at home, school will be an additional burden.
She can only go back to school when she is ready and that means in a much safer more stable position health wise.
Try to focus on the health issues first and foremost and she needs to do the same.
Education will have to wait.maybe by september she will be strong and stable and it wont be a doubt or worry like it is now.
NELLY D 20 bulimic since age 12, diagnosed in 2011. 20 months useless CAMHs,7 months great IP, home March 14..... more useless CAMHs.now an adult & no MH services are involved. I reached the end of my tether, tied a knot in it and am hanging on. ED/Bulimia treatmentis in the dark ages in West Sussex.