Perhaps the biggest problem with school for trichsters is not the social anxiety which sometimes is a symptom of the disorder, but more the organizational challenges the trichster faces. Will he or she have the right equipment and homework, or even arrive on time, to the right place?
Most children with Trichotillomania have problems in school, which seem not to be related to the disorder. However, trichsters are very sensitive individuals, not best suited to large groups of children. The change from a small junior school to a big high school, is often when pulling begins.
Your child may have learning difficulties which are difficult to detect. He or she may have problems concentrating for long periods of time, and medication commonly handed out for trichotillomania DO make these attention problems worse. If your child has been diagnosed as having ADHD AND Trichotillomania, this could be an example of the clinician not understanding the complexities of Trichotillomania and its attention related problems.
It is a good idea to tell your child's school, although we suggest you obtain the child's permission. Ask which teacher they trust, and go along together, to talk to the school. Show your child that asking for help can be beneficial and is not a sign of weakness. Ask the teacher to look out for your child in particular, because they will need extra support. If the teacher says they don't believe in treating children differently, explain that your child IS different and needs appropriate care. Be prepared to stand your ground. No teacher should EVER draw the class's attention to a child's pulling, and if they do, this is grounds for complaint not only to the head teacher, but higher if necessary.
Try to alleviate stress for your child as much as possible, listen to after school stresses and ask, "What's the best thing you could do to resolve that?" so that you show faith in the child's ability to solve problems for herself. Show trust and make sure your child has a variety of interests and people around.
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