"School Refusal" is sometimes also referred to as school avoidance and school phobia. It describes a child's refusal to attend school. It can start as periodically missing school a day here and a day there. It can escalate into missing days of school at a time. It can also lead to children to refuse going to school altogether. Children may refuse school by crying, screaming, hiding or may complain of feeling sick. School refusal is usually related to one or more emotional disorders. It is often seen in conjunction with anxiety, social phobia, depression, Asperger's syndrome and obsessive compulsive disorder. School refusers are not refusing school to be defiant or get attention. There are usually underlying factors and emotional issues causing this behavior.
Living with School Refusal
School Refusal can wreak havoc on a child and their family. It is challenging because the child may not be able to articulate why they are avoiding school. Each day the child misses school work, the more work has to be made up and this creates even more stress. Additionally, some school districts do not understand school refusal. The district can and end up blaming the parents for not getting their child to school. Sometimes the school personnel will say the child is being manipulative and defiant. Also, the child may feel embarrased by their school refusal and avoid their friends and create more isolation.