Why graded hierarchies aren't always the right thing for school attendance difficulties
Thanks for this. We used exposure therapy for my son when he was 6 and I still regret it. He had a phobia of one part of the freeway near us that had roller-coaster-like bumps. The psychologist we worked with had us push him so hard and he did eventually learn to tolerate the experience but it did not feel right to me and still doesn't. I wish I had your voice in my head then encouraging me to follow my instincts. I would have honored his autonomy more.
Absolutely - sad how genuinely helpful approaches for some psychological issues are misappropriated and then cause harm. Thanks for your work. 🌸
But what is the solution for children who are finding it too hard to go to school because of neurodivergence? You can avoid rollercoasters, you have that choice. What would happen if the government decided you must go on a roller coaster every day for 14 years, or face prosecution?
This. I think this is the problem of having to describe what my youngest experiences at school as 'anxiety' because that's what the system accepts, when it's actually so much more complex. Sensory overwhelm, fear of humiliation/powerful adults' responses, and the effort of masking are harder to 'fix' - because they are the fault of the environment not the child? So it gets boiled down and 1 size fits all gets applied to their SEN too. I used to refer to the reason she was absent as anxiety caused by school not being able to meet her complex social, emotional and educational needs, but when they contested even the 'anxiety' and started blaming me, it got simplified in the discourse (when you're backed into a corner you use the pointiest stick to defend yourself) I decided this was fine for keeping school at bay because the complexity would be clear in her EHCP, but it turns out that EHC panel like a reductive (and lower cost) conclusion as much as anybody.