im worried about my little brother

March 4, 2007 6:31am CST
My little brother has completely given up on going to school / leaving the house. He's just turned 15 and over the last few months my mother and i have been trying everything to get him to go to school. It terrible but we've even tried bribing him. My nan gave us all £100 each but my brother's was on the condition that he goes to school for a month. It's bad but it's the last resort solution. He was doing quite well but then last week he relapsed and didn't go at all. I don't think he's lazy, and I know it's not the worst think in the world but I think he's actually got serious self-estee issues, because when we ask him why he doen't want to go he says it's cause he's scared of being laughed at, scared of falling over infront of people, scared of having to speak infront of the class and so on. The teachers really don't understnd at all, his headteacher just thinks he can't be bothered to put the effort in. I feel so bad for him, because I know he's a bit shy, and he suffers severely with dyslexia which holds him back on simple reading and writing tasks. But at the same time he can't help himself if he doesn't face it. Has anyone experienced that sort of thing with their kids or people they know or even themselves? I would love to hear about it, or any ideas anyone has because I think this is something that needs to be changed sooner than later. Thanks alot!
1 person likes this
5 responses
@beaniegdi (1966)
4 Mar 07
my youngest son is severly dyslexic and wouldn't go to school. Even when I was threatened with prison if he didn't go he still couldn't. it used to make him ill. i was always at the doctors with him, in the end the doctor said the dyslexia was causing him stress which he was turning in on himself and making him ill. he referred him to a child psychiatrist who he could talk to . in the end my son had to change school and go to a medical unit which was part of a referral unit, one part for children like my son who found school stressful and children who were bullied or pregnant and the other part of this referral unit was for children who had been excluded from school for their behaviouir. have you talked to his doctor, lots of young boys are prone to depression so this is something that may need more help than a bribe. my son is 19 now and this is behind us but it was a nightmare time for us both. the school does nt sound very helpfull, what does his special needs teacher say? Is there another school that he could change to that has more experience with helping children with dyslexia. imagine if you couldn't do your job and was afraid everytime you went into work, day in day out and instead of being able to change job you were made to carry on going even if it was making you ill with stress. we don't do this to adults but we do it all the time with children. dyslexia is only suffered by people with a high IQ so he will be a deep thinker anyway which can also make them more anxious. good luck with this as it is not a problem that is easily sorted out but does need professional help to deal with.
4 Mar 07
Thank you, I couldn't have asked for a better response! I absolutely sympathise for your son and yourself for going throught it all, but at the same time it's great for me to know we're not alone in this situation and gives me hope that this won't be debilitating for him in future. You're right, he's very intelligent, he's got a great memory and although we don't really have deep chats, i know he is a deep thinker, like myself. I know he feels low about it all, and it's not that he's lazy at all he just doesn't feel adequate. I hate hearing anyone have a go at him about it because I know he can't help it. I think his special needs teacher is sympathetic but it's trying to get his doctor to make a move that will help. My mum took him to the doctors last week and I said 'please try not to leave without having the dr. refer him to a councilor'. I said this becasue I know from personal experience that the doctors here tend to try to send you off with medication, rather than involve therapy. They didn't refer him to a counciler, they gave him beta blockers and told him to go and see his school councilor. Do you think this will be enough? Because, I don't think he will want to go and see the councilor, he's too anxious to go to school, let alone having his friends know he's seeing the councilor. How did your son get over the anxiety, what was the best thing for him, the medication or psychiatry? Would you reckomend me trying to have my brother change schools? He's in year 10 now so I'm concerned that might not be a good thing, gfor him to up and leave all his friends? Thanks again, this is really great help!
1 person likes this
• United States
8 Mar 07
Maybe he could try unschooling! If it is the environment of school that he dreads (and I can TOTALLY relate to that, as I HATED school when I was a kid) this may help. Also since he is dyslexic, he probably learns differently than other kids in OTHER ways too! Try telling him that he doesn't have to go back to school, but he must keep his brain sharp while he's out. Sit down with him and come up with some goals for things he can learn within a trial period. You can go to the library and check out books on homeschooling and "unschooling" (student guided homeschooling) to help you out. Unschooling students can go to museums and galleries and lectures, etc, or read books, in order to learn. He may really like that if he gets to learn what interests him! Let him set his own schedule with times that he wil work on an assignment or activity, followed by times that he will take a break to watch TV or play video games or whatever it is he does. Many kids with dyslexia or other learning disorders are actually extremely smart, but they just learn so differently, that school is painful for them. If you let your brother lead the way, and encourage him, he can learn on his own! - Angel http://www.blogcharm.com/4kids
1 person likes this
• United States
7 Mar 07
My son had a hard time in school also... sad to say this, but his teachers did not help the problem at all! He quit school at 16 because he was told (by a teacher) that it was legal for him to do so... He is now 24 and he works so hard everyday. He wishes now he would have finished school. You are concerned about your brother, talk to him, take him to a counselor, anything to help him. Be there for him, if nothing else get him to at least homeschool. he needs an education, if not his life will be soooo hard for him. God bless you for caring. Good luck.
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@EvanHunter (4028)
• United States
9 Jun 07
Well I think everyone offered some very good ideas about this subject the only thing that hit me was when I was at that age I hated having to stand up in class myself. the reason being was when you get to be about that age your body begins to have a mind of your own if you know what I mean and standing up during class can be a very embarrassing thing for a young man.
@soccermom (3200)
• United States
9 Mar 07
I had the same problem with making it to school when I was your brothers age. I have ADD and my problem was staying focused, after 5 minutes of class I was so bored, which led to some pretty crazy behavior resulting in getting picked on, by teachers and students. I can understand your brothers fears about worrying he's goingto get laughed at, kids his age can be very cruel, especially towards kids that are different. Goingt o the doctor is a good step, if I were your mom I'd go back and demand that he be referred to a counselor, and not just the school counselor. Be supportive of him, and in a gentle way try to impress the importance of an education on him. Keep us updated!!