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My middle schooler has school bus anxiety
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momofworry posted:
My daughter started middle school last year. The first day of school, she could not find her bus at the end of the day and it left without her. A few times in the next couple weeks after that she was so worried about the bus in the morning that she threw up. But she made it through the rest of the year just fine. This year, she will not get on the bus. The first day of school she was so nervous she vomited and locked herself in her room. Even the thought of us making her get on the bus makes her vomit. We are in counseling now, but it is to the point that the only thing left to do is to have her get on that bus. And she will not - she knows she will throw up and there is no close friend for her to sit with and she is worried everyone will see her throwing up. She rejects all attempts at relaxation techniques and suggestions on talking herself through this. She just keeps saying they do not work. Driving her to school is an option, although difficult, this year but next year when her brother needs to get on a bus to his school, driving her will not be an option. My husband gets angry with her at times for not trying and I am just emotionally exhausted over trying to find ways to help her. Any suggestions at all??
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momuv4girls responded:
Is this the only anxiety in her life? Does she act this way about anything else?
Once she's at school, she is fine?

Maybe, a new therapist could be more helpful ?

CBT is found to be very helpful for those who suffer from anxiety - here is a blurb about it:
http://psychology.about.com/od/psychotherapy/a/cbt.htm

You could search for a therapist who works specifically with teens using CBT.

In the meantime, I would drive her to school - no need to add this stress to her (and your) life right now.

Hopefully with some good therapy, she can overcome her struggles.

Take care!
-Kathleen
 
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Reid Wilson, PhD responded:
Hey, momofworry-

I'm sorry to hear of your family's struggle with your daughter's refusal to ride the bus and her fear of vomiting. momuv4girls gave some good advice about finding a therapist to help. You can go here to find a national list of specialists in anxiety disorders. Of course, look for one who works specifically with children.

As an alternative (or in the meantime), we have just released a free self-help e-book for kids just like your daughter. It's called Playing with Anxiety: Casey's Guide for Teens and Kids . It's written through the voice of a 14-year-old girl who has overcome these kinds of fears yourself. And it teaches your child or teen seven principles ("7 pieces of the puzzle"). You can go here to download it for free: www.playingwithanxiety.com . On that website you will see a companion book for parents.
 
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momofworry replied to Reid Wilson, PhD's response:
Thank you both for your replies! We are seeing a therapist right now and she is wonderful - my daughter loves her and she has helped her get through other situations. This getting on the bus is just one hurdle we cannot seem to get her over. Dr. Reid, I will download the book to see if it can make more of a difference. For now, we keep working with her and supporting her and that is all we can do.


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