Our son was doing OK in high school in the first couple of years. In grade 9, he was a fraction away from being an honours student, but was constantly being bullied, and the staff just didn’t seem sure of how best to support him. Previously, it had been suggested he may have autism, but he was “doing well” in class so it wasn’t thought that he needed more support or further assessment. At the start of grade 10, there were a couple of bullying incidents within the same day; this put him in bed for a couple of days straight with anxiety and migraines. After that point, he has had to wear sound-cancelling earphones almost 24/7 due to what is now suspected to be hyperacusis related to PTSD related to those bullying incidents. After that, we tried for the next year and a bit to make the mainstream high school work, but his anxiety and depression kept increasing. After an ASD diagnosis was finally confirmed, we were back at the school, and the support in place was pretty much the same: no additional therapy or mental health support at all. His school refusal started about a month into that September and got worse and worse as the semester went on. He missed the last month of school and ended up failing his science class because he couldn’t go back to even do his exams. He didn’t feel like he was supported well enough to make it through his exams, and he also hadn’t had the time and guidance to learn what he needed to learn. The next semester was the same story and, after another month of not attending school, we switched to a private school that runs similar to a combination of group home with a self-directed learning structure. Our son is now attending 4-5 days a week. In the new setting, he is struggling with the self-directed and semi-independent learning format. The rest of the supports at the new school seem good. There is a small school in the public system that has the mental health support in combination with more traditional classroom learning, but it is not within our district. We would have to move houses to be able to attend there. Next year, we are hoping to be accepted there or to find other options, as within the current school, we expect that our son will take at least an extra year to complete his studies, due to the curriculum differences. We feel between a rock and a hard place. Our son needs the mental health support, but the longer he is in high school, the longer he feels like he’s getting nowhere and having to go to school just to get the piece of paper to move on. We need more small schools, more LST departments trained to help kids like our son, and more treatments available within the school to support these kids.