School Refusal

Some children experience significant anxiety about going to school. This anxiety often gets worse during the start of school in the fall, after long holiday breaks, or even after weekends. Children may exhibit oppositional behavior or complain of feeling sick in order to stay home from school. Parents commonly feel conflicted about sending their child to school with complaints of illness and extreme distress, and often give in to their child’s pleadings, inadvertently making the cycle of avoidance worse.

Treatment is individually tailored and typically combines a number of cognitive-behavioral approaches in working with the child, the parents, and the school.