Our expert says:
No one can be discriminated against because of mental illness. Your child has every right to attend school according to the South African Bill of Rights. It may be helpful to get him assessed by a psychiatrist and a psychologist. If you do not have medical aid, you can get him assessed at a government hospital near you. This will enable him to receive the correct treatment and this should help his behaviour. It may be useful to meet with the teachers at the school to discuss the situation. Teachers are sometimes overworked and may perceive destructive behaviour to be caused by defiance. However, if they are made aware of the disorder, they may be more accommodating.
In children, stress and mood disorders are often marked by irritability and acting out behaviour. Children often don't have the means to express how they are feeling and why they are feeling that way. Sometimes play therapy can give children a space to voice their feelings in a containing environment. However, assessment by both a psychiatrist and psychologist is very important as at this stage he may present a danger to himself or others.
I wish you well.
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