Hi, I am new to this site and am reaching out for some help in knowing the right path to take with my 8 year old son. Back in May he suddenly started refusing to go to school after being home ill for a few days. It was a real struggle for about a month to get him there with the school having to restrain him to keep him there while I left. We determined that there was no problem at the school and once the separation occurred and he settled down, he had a great day. The last 3 weeks of the year he was able to go in because he had a real desire to "earn" hermit crabs if he went to school. Over the summer he continued to have separation issues and also started really showing signs of other anxieties...what happens if I touch this, will I die or get sick? He dwells on these thoughts for excessive amounts of time and continues to ask the same questions. That has improved a little bit because I have tried putting the answering of the question back on him with a "what do you think" approach. In June we were finally able to get him into a psychologist for cognitive behavioral therapy, but so far this has been unsuccessful as he refuses to cooperate. We finally were able to get into a pediatric psychologist who prescribed a low dose of clonazapam to help settle his worries to help him start the school year & facilitate cog. behavioral therapy. Although he has had a fairly good start to the school year (8 good mornings, 3 poor), he still refuses the therapy. I am at my wits end not knowing what to do...the med he is currently taking is only for short term (2-3 mo.) & he's already been on it a month. The pediatrician also suggested zoloft, as he has seen the most success with this medication in treating anxiety in children this age, but he would have to take this for at least 1 year. We were really hoping to not have to medicate him, but our family life is a real disaster. I am always walking on eggshells trying to leave the house without incident or wondering if he will be able to go into school without incident. Our 11 year old daughter is having a hard time dealing with all the time he is taking to deal with his issues. What is really frustrating is the fact that up until May he was always very independent and willing to try new things. Now, it is like he is possessed by some very immature being who is anxious and fearful of being without me. When his worries cause him to not be able to do something he wants to do, he becomes very angry and will lash out, usually at me. I never dreamed that I would be dealing with any of this, so any advice would be appreciated!
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