Treating children and adolescents

School Refusal

School refusal occurs when a student is unwilling to go to school and experiences severe distress related to school attendance.   Many children with school refusal have an underlying disorder such separation anxiety, social anxiety, or depression.  Undiagnosed learning disabilities may also play a significant role in the development of school refusal.  Appropriate assessment, diagnosis and intervention are essential in returning the child to school.  Fortunately, with careful assessment of the underlying cause, a good behavior plan typically can get the individual to return to school regularly. 

Avoidance of school can lead to a highly volatile home setting with family members often feeling angry at the child or teen.  Fortunately, with careful assessment of the underlying cause, a good behavior plan typically can get the individual to return to school regularly.  Recent research has demonstrated that over 80% of children with school refusal who are treated with CBT attend school at 1-year follow-up. 

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