When the School Isn't on Board
Unfortunately, there are certain institutions that will not address your child's depression, nor will they make any special accommodations to help him. When this is the case, you have a real dilemma.
Do you withdraw your child from the school he is attending and place him in one that is more attuned to his needs? Do you continue to push the present school system until you find anyone who will listen?
Only you can make these decisions, but if the school is absolutely not going to be helpful, you will have to find ways to help your child on your own. This may require finding him a tutor or mentor who can help him develop ways to navigate through school life.
Some parents find that when the school cannot or will not participate in helping a child that is depressed it's easier to homeschool him. This concept has been growing in popularity and more parents than ever are homeschooling their children for a variety of reasons.
There are obvious advantages to homeschooling your depressed child. First, you can help him minimize his distractions and find ways to help him tolerate the process of learning. You can also allow him to take more breaks if necessary, and he can do his schoolwork at times that are easier for him.
Enlisting the Treating Professional's Help
Perhaps his therapist who is treating his depression can help him learn skills to overcome or to compensate for the cognitive changes he is experiencing. As well, he may need help learning new social strategies to compensate for his difficulties. The most important thing to do is to make sure these issues get addressed whether at school or at home.
Get lots of information and advice before taking on your child as a student. Your role will be that of a teacher, not a parent. Can you tolerate the time it will demand, and can you be an effective teacher? If you aren't able to discipline and motivate your child as his teacher, you might consider another alternative.
Often, if your treating professional is willing, a letter or a phone call from her can get the school's attention. Just because the teacher hasn't listened to you, do not overlook the authority the treating professional appears to have that the school might be more open to hearing from.
Understand that even though your child may spend the majority of his time at school, the school is not going to be the major player in the treatment of your child's depression. The school is merely another piece of the treatment team, and they need to be kept informed as much as possible. Encouraging the school to be involved in your child's treatment of depression can have an effect on the length of time your child is depressed, and can prevent him from having an unsuccessful school experience.