“That would make it very difficult for me to bring her in again tomorrow.”

“That would make it very difficult for me to bring her in again tomorrow.”

This was something I heard myself saying recently.  I was with senior staff from Lily’s school and we were (again) racking our brains to think how else to help.

Lily is struggling to attend school, thanks to recently being overwhelmed with memories linked to trauma from a different school.  As part of this, someone suggested a firmer approach was used.  To be frank, that would be a disaster and I think we all knew it, it was just that we feel like we have tried everything else.

Getting interim advice from CAMHS is proving to be a horrible, soul destroying process (despite this being the recommendation of their own clinical psychologist when she discharged Lily last September).  So without this help we are stuck, working together, with Lily, desperately wondering if we are doing the right thing, especially since what we are trying doesn’t seem to be getting us very far.

It occurred to me, however, that this could be a useful phrase for parents whose children attend a school with a ‘much less helpful’ approach…

For example,

“When his IEP isn’t carefully followed it’s much more difficult for me to get him into school the next day.”

“If she feels penalised for struggling, then she finds it very hard to leave the house to go to school the next morning.”

“If he feels trapped at school and not allowed to leave when he needs to, it is almost impossible for him to manage to go the school the next day.”

“If he falls behind with his work becasue it hasn’t been differentiated for him he can’t motivate himself to get to school the next day.”

“If she feels she has been punished unfairly/hasn’t been able to process and explain what happened…” You get the picture

“If you do that, it’s likely that I won’t be able to bring her in the next day.”


I do hope these random thoughts come in handy?  A way of demonstrating that you can only do so much if once your child is at school they ‘get it all wrong’.

Stay calm fellow warriors, day at a time and when all else fails drink gin …


8 thoughts on ““That would make it very difficult for me to bring her in again tomorrow.”

  1. I don’t know if it’s helpful, and you’ve probably tried it already but we were recommended ‘graded exposure’ techniques for overcoming shutdown and withdrawal associated with trauma. So if Lily is finding it difficult to get in could she make s concession to do 2 thing associated with going in eg getting in her uniform and going out of the front door then coming back again. Next day going to stand outside school, coming back again. Next day sitting reading for 5 mins in reception area etc. Building up gradually to each step with lots of down time, reassurance and praise. I’d add in ratio breathing at each step so she can feel calmer. Teach her to recognise her fright/flight reaction, sit with it safely somewhere she is in control then push it a little further each day but putting her in control. It is like starting all over again & it is painfully slow but trauma is unpredictable and debilitating and overcoming it can take a very long time.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Problem with graded approach is that one is not trying to overcome an irrational fear.

        Our children’s fears are well grounded.

        By illustration, would you use a graded approach to training your child to put its fingers on a hot cooker top?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thank you. So true (almost always) – i totally agree – and also that when adult do graded approach THEY control the exposure. Unusually in the case of Lily it is traumatic memories from a different school. this school has been amazing but flooding of old memories happened at the new school after being there for nearly 2 years. Battling this association is tricky it seems. So far completely taking off the pressure (not even ‘encouraging’ her) seems to be working best. Ugh. I wish those responsible for causing so much harm and devastation in one family had an inkling of what they have done. It is so hard not to be bitter and angry 😦


      3. To be clear – I’m not in any way advocating a return to a school which has traumatised and failed a child. But not all schools are bad schools and trauma responses can be utterly debilitating. We are in a similar position – traumatic memories of one inappropriate school being triggered at a different supportive specialist school. I want my daughter to have control over her life and to be able to overcome her traumatic experience of school and learning, on her terms with the help and assistance of trusted adults. The alternative is never leaving the house. We’ve done that for a long time and it’s not good for either of us.

        Liked by 1 person

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