My 9-year-old son has always had a lot of anxiety around school, but this year we have experienced flat-out school refusal where I’ve had to miss work. It’s affecting our income. Now that he’s a “big kid”, I can’t simply make him go or carry him to the car like I used to (while dying inside). I’ve had to look deeper at why this is happening, and what I see is sensory overload, fatigue, and low self-confidence. He is simply shutting down, and I’m not sure why. We need professional help. While he is very bright and a “pleasure to have in class”, his output this year is almost zero. After having met with his teacher and school counsellors, they recommended having him assessed so that a formal IEP can be put in place to address his specific needs. Problem is: the wait time for this to happen through the school is approximately 3 years (!!!!!), and if we do it privately, it costs between $2,400-4,000. We will somehow have to find a way to raise the funds, but in the meantime, we don’t know how to positively support him, and he’s getting further and further behind. It feels like we’re drowning. The one amazing thing is his teacher who sees that he’s a great, smart kid and has offered several accommodations without having an IEP (like having a soft morning start as a library helper, temporarily eliminating homework, allowing him to use a keyboard instead of writing by hand, taking breaks to walk the school when needed – she’s amazing!!) BUT despite all this, he continues to refuse, saying he just “hates it there, hates the people, hates the teachers, hates the principal, hates math” and anything else he can think of. Truth is, there are lots of people there he likes, and they like him. We are struggling.