My daughters anxiety causes meltdowns at school: What can I do for her?

I have a six-year-old daughter who is in kindergarten. She has been diagnosed with generalized anxiety and separation anxiety. At this time, she is not on medication. She told me she hated school and it’s hard to go there and be without me. She has a paraprofessional who is with her all day because she frequently has meltdowns while in school. Last week was her worst week yet. She was removed from the classroom and brought to their " safe room" so she could calm down because she became physical with peers or staff. One day she bit the gym teacher thru her mask and had punctured his skin, and made him bleed. She does have meltdowns at home but is never physical. I have her seeing a counselor, and we just had our first appointment with a child psychiatrist. Seeing my daughter become so panicked and crying because she does not want to go back to school breaks my heart. Anyone else has a similar story to share? Any advice on how to handle this situation with the school?

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That’s something more than anxiety. Sounds more like ODD and also anxiety. My friends kid would be like this and he has ptsd ODD anxiety but he’s gotten wayyyy better with medication

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Can she be home schooled?

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A safety item, a teddy or blanket or a picture of you.

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If you can homeschool her or do distance learning at all I highly recommend it. My eight year old has terrible anxiety, though she’s never had “meltdowns” or been physically violent to anyone or herself, I chose to do the virtual learning stuff this whole school year when it became available due to COVID and she has done amazing. Straight As the whole year, she’s dedicated to it and stays focused. I am so happy with her lowered levels of anxiety I’m considering actually homeschooling her next year if schools don’t give the option for this distance learning again.

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Having had a daughter that had meltdowns similar to what you’re describing, I’d suggest an ASD assessment. Worst case scenario, it’s a waste of time. Best case, she gets the help she needs.

My daughter is now 16 and only NOW getting the help she needs. It took until this year for someone to suggest she could be on the spectrum. Had we figured this out years ago, she wouldn’t likely be struggling right now.

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Why are you making her go, get her homeschooled. There are home schooling groups

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I wouldn’t suggest homeschooling unfortunately in my opinion it’ll only make the issue worse later on. With time and help you can face this issue early on and since she’s in school they are able to help you get the help also. I know when my son was having issues the drs wouldn’t just listen to me it helped when I had the school on my side. With homeschooling my younger sister decided to do homeschool my mom left her. Since she’s been home schooled the last few years (she’s going to be 16) she now has worse anxiety. She no longer goes to hang out with friends she don’t talk to friends she wouldn’t even go on vacation with us last year she wanted to stay home with my mom. Letting her stay home didn’t help her manage her social anxiety it just enabled her to hide and not deal with it the way she needs to. I’d say right now you are doing what you can and your on the right track of getting her help so keep going and getting the drs involved. It takes time but I feel its better to work it out the younger they are

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Is she is a behavioral classroom?
What does her Iep say?

I’m so scared my 5 yr old will be doing this he starts in September, I’m his only comfort zone to him :sob:

Have you made sure something else isn’t happening at the school? I really hate to say it but sexual harassment or abuse can make children act like this and have anxiety

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Ask for behavioral intervention

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My granddaughter has this very situation. Make sure she has a special plan in place for her when this happens. Independent plan. She has that right as a child with a disability. And you have plenty of paperwork to prove it. Maybe you have already done this. My heart goes out to you. I had to take my son with epilepsy out of school in his sophomore year because the nurse didn’t know what to do when he had a seizure. Bumped his head in her very office. She freaked out. There is online school. He And a friend did this.

Have you considered giving her vitamins and minerals for healthy nervous system, that can calm her anxiety

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My oldest was diagnosed with ODD and anxiety when she was in the second grade. One thing I found outside of and IEP is she had less problems with a sensory necklace, something she could chew or play with that didn’t distract others.

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My son has anxiety and many other diagnoses his in a small class and only does half days

My son was the same, after 4 years of schooling kinder-grade 2. The school suggested a paediatric nurse. He was then referred to a specialist doctor and diagnosed with adhd. Since the diagnosis he was put onto Ritalin and done a complete 180

I am not at all trained in child phycology nor am I able to speak for anyones experience but my own . That being said I am just sharing in order to give you an adult child’s perspective of what being diagnosed with separation anxiety at age six was like for me.

It has only recently been rediscovered the truth hidden deep inside , the real problem manifested in the behavior and physical sickness the anxiety would cause me and go on to be diagnosed as separation anxiety . I grew up repeating this narrative and diagnosis when asked and lets just say this was only a symptom of a much deeper rooted problem , one that on the surface appeared to be some sort of behavior defect but the reality was I was living with a terrible secret , one that fear prevented me from speaking of , one that a child should never be forced to live with and understand , one that stayed hidden behind the false narrative and label of a child therapist and handed down in my school files and eventually the guilt and shame of my secret allowed for me to bury it deep inside only to come and resurface after completely destroying myself from inside out as an adult. My mom and principal would have to physically remove me from the car sometimes . My mom fearing truancy court and unable to constantly combat my resistance to getting out at school tried her best but it only created more suffering . When I was feeling these anxiety attacks and resisting going to school and getting sick to my stomach and unable to breathe she thought it was me just being a brat so she thought parking in the front of school and calling some of my friends over would embarrass me enough to stop . But when going through this panic there is no such thing as decision making based off logic or fear of shame and embarrassment. Although I am not sure how I would think she could of done things better , I do feel being labeled and given a narrative without really exploring the root of the problem just set me down the path to self destruct and is not something that I feel any child should be forced to endure , especially from a so called professional. I hope this is not the case for your child but it should be given more exploration by professional with experience in child trauma and may take some time to build relationship and trust to even begin to uncover

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I would definitely make medication a last resort. Some medication interferes with the children daily functioning. I have a nephew who started certain medications and basically turned him in to a zombie. He would not eat. He slept and starred off into space.

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My oldest son had a similar issue at this age. The first month of scool i had to wLk him in andd stay with him in the class room then gradually backed off as he felt more comfortable. It took a few months but it helped in the long run. He is now grown and doing quite well