Educators Employ Strategies To Help Kids With Anxiety Return To School []


Your child doesn't want to go to school. It's a daily struggle that many parents are familiar with.

But what if your child refuses to go to school?

Mental health professionals and educators say what used to be considered run-of-the-mill truancy could actually be something else. Some cases of chronic absenteeism are now being called "school refusal," which is triggered by anxiety, depression, family crises and other traumatic events. It can lead to weeks or even months of missed school days.

The Anxiety and Depression Association of America estimates anxiety-based school refusal affects 2 to 5 percent of school-age children. It is often triggered when students are transitioning into middle or high school. Doctors say it should be treated with flexibility and therapy - not punishment.

[For more on this story by SAMANTHA RAPHELSON, go to]

Photo: Anxiety-based school refusal affects 2 to 5 percent of school-age children. Some schools are employing new strategies to help these students overcome their symptoms. Anna_Isaeva/Getty Images/iStockphoto

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Underlying the term "refusal" are so many assumptions. Specifically, that there is a choice being made. When we can understand what is beneath this aversion, we can help choice exist. This cannot be achieved by the adults in the situation being frustrated, hopeless, and punitive. So many solutions are coming to a head. Thank you for this post. I hope we can continue to shift this conversation to a more solution-focused approach for kids and adults in distress.

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