It could have worked?

So first day back at school today after half term and a weeks holiday.
It was supposed to be an easy morning…….because that is what school had planned.

It was a good idea, but one I knew was destined to fail.
‘Go with it’ I thought, ‘it may work. It might be the incentive she needs’.
My head and heart laughed and wondered what on earth I was thinking!

The plan was based around my girls current obsession, Pokémon.
For any neurotypical child it would have possibly worked.
For my child? No.

The big idea?
For everyday my girl gets into school on time she was to receive a Pokémon card.
Simple concept, an instant reward.
A great strategy that would work……wouldn’t it?
That’s the thing.
It WOULD work for other, lesser activities, but not for getting her to school.
The reward is great, the instant praise is great, it is great…
..BUT..
it does not take away her anxiety, it does not take away what my girl is trying to avoid, therefore it is of no interest to her.

My girls lateness, school refusal, school avoidance, is not a new issue.
It has been a problem since she started school.
We don’t know the reasons why, my girl won’t/can’t communicate her feelings.
We can assume, we can guess, we have done some detective work and guessed at the things she is avoiding, but we don’t actually know.
It is so frustrating and makes for stressful mornings for us all.

She does go though!
It is rare for her to refuse to go to school completely.
She gets there between 10 and 12 most days.
Not ideal I know, but at least she goes.

It is going to be a long term problem that cannot be fixed instantly.
We have tried every reward system possible with little change.
My girl initially reponds well to them, but after a couple of days the anxiety gets too much and we are back to square one.

This time I was optimistic.
This time I thought Pokémon would lure her in.
We’d talked about it all holiday, tried so hard to get my girl excited about it.
But it is 10.10am and my girl is still home.
….she will go in though so we have not lost every battle!

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