Child Needs Year Off from School due to Abuse

I just recently got custody of my son from his abusive other parent. My son has been physically and emotionally abused for years. He is a shell of himself. With multiple mental issues and no self confidence. He starts to cry if someone so much as sneezes near him.

When I went to court the first time…the judge said to the lawyers in confidence…“This child will 100% change custody.” Meaning I would get him…there was pictures, videos, and the child’s clear testimony. And the judge was right…I won 100%…it only took 3 YEARS and during that time she beat him regularly and ramped up her mental torture. And my child was forced to live with their abuser. Taiwan does almost nothing to protect children from abuse.

I want my son to have a year off from school. To heal. To rest. To recoup. But I’ve been told that it can’t be done. I could homeschool…but that would be a new kind of stress…for the both of us. He’s also not very healthy and smaller than everyone in his grade…so going a grade down would help with his physical confidence. Can it be done?

2nd question. Can I sue the government for being aware of my son’s abuse…and for forcing/allowing it to continue for 3 years? Even in America they put a time limit on custody battles…usually 18 months or less. And many other countries ask the child WHO THEY want to live with while the court case plays out. Taiwan abuses children in the most disgusting way.

Any help to the 2 questions would be appreciated.


I do not even know you, but I am in tears here. Bless you for fighting for your child. I wish for this precious child all the happiness he deserves.


Very sad story. Get his English native. He will have at least one subject where he excels far above others in school. And can I recommend sports? I don’t know why but I feel he would be motivated to do well in sports. And that would also build his confidence. Find one or two that he likes and see what he can do. Good luck to you.


My legal question is: Can a Child Miss a Year of Junior High for medical/psychological reasons?

I’ve asked a few people in the education industry and they say it isn’t possible. That children by law…must be in school. But I’m guessing children miss for physical health (cancer) so why can’t they for mental health?


They’re getting medical treatment.

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Yes. And my son needs mental treatment. Depression can kill just as easily as cancer if left untreated. My son was already considering suicide at 9.

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Has he been to see doctors? Maybe if you got some kind of official diagnosis and/or there was a requirement for treatment it might be possible, I don’t know. I guess it’s possible he could end up on a special ed track of some kind as well, so I’d try to find out as much as possible beforehand.


What would be the difference between “a year off” and a “a year homeschooling” in terms of logistics? I had nieces who homeschooled and it was a lot of novels and documentaries. Could be pretty good for him. In Taiwan, you can sometimes still do some activities in the local public school.

+1 on getting him into treatment pronto. In Taiwan it would behoove you to take him to several hospitals and have his records shown to several psychs.

I don’t know if there are more sensitive schools, but you could maybe check out the bilingual schools if you have the means. Going back a grade seems plausible also.


Welcome to the community, DragonC.

Could you say you are home schooling your son, and just keep him home and let him rest?

I suspect that as your son begins to heal, he will want to start learning new things and he may want to interact with other children.

Maybe don’t stick too hard to the idea of a whole year off either. Follow the needs of the child.

My heart goes out to you both.


By the way, have you tried contacting the Community Services Center in Taipei? They could have some insight.


If it’s possible, you would likely need a psychologist for that, that same as an adult would need a doctor to sign off on them missing work.

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For him to gain confidence I want him in a class with those a year younger and smaller than him.

I’m a bit short tempered. Homeschooling a child who already has rage issues…would probably stress both of us.

Plus he needs REST…time to recouperate, play, exercise…regain his health.

He’s already been diagnosed with PTSD.

He has stress issues…not mental retardation. Special ed isn’t the answer.

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Just so you know The Center only offers counseling, and can’t offer any kind of psychiatric diagnosis. I’ve been down that road before. Furthermore The Center isn’t covered by NHI so you will have to pay based on their sliding scale.

You will need to see psychiatrists at a hospital as they will be able to diagnose, but furthermore provide expert testimonies if the school needs them. Not to mention they are covered by NHI as well. You’ll need this as depression is a clinical diagnosis and The Center can only offer psychological advise, but not treatment (such as antidepressants if necessary).

I’m amazed a parent can’t elect to withdraw their child from mainstream education for a year. In the UK you’d just need the head teacher’s approval.

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@DragonC I wish you luck in finding a way to allow your son to relax and heal.

Have you thought about taking a sabbatical with him?
It would allow him rest as well and increase the bond between you two.
And if you are not in Taiwan for an year, I assume he wouldn’t need to be enrolled in a school, too.

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You can. That’s what homeschooling is for.
Or do you mean something else?

I know. I think they could definitely have some insight on his educational situation though. They work with a lot of students.

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The OP seems to be experiencing problems taking a year out. If you know how he can then help him.

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Sorry for these issues, there are some truly shit parents here and there aren’t many resources for the good ones. My wife is a social worker for high risk kids, if you want to PM me your details I can get you in touch with her or one of her peers. There isn’t much government assistance available, but a lot of NGO’s that do a great job with issues like this.


The Center keeps a list of psychologists/psychiatrists in Taipei who can work with foreign residents / expats (i.e., where English will not be a language barrier). For example, just a couple blocks from The Center is the SkyBright Clinic, and there seems to be A LOT of interaction between them (which makes a lot sense given their proximity to each other)

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