Stacy Hladek, Family Resource Coordinator | Families First
As I mentioned in my previous blog, we have had an increase in calls to our Family Support Line related to children refusing to go to school. If you did not read the previous blog, it would be a good place to start regarding general information on heading off school avoidance in children.
What is school avoidance? The website, Human Illnesses, defined school avoidance as “when children and teens repeatedly stay home from school or are repeatedly sent home from school, because of emotional problems or because of aches and pains that are caused by emotions or stress and not by medical illness”. School avoidance, also referred to as school phobia or school refusal, occurs in approximately 2-5% of school age children. It is most common in 5-6 year olds and 10-11 year olds.
Typical behaviors for a child or teen that has school avoidance is for them to come up with reasons not to go to school, to complain of physical symptoms shortly before it is time to go to school, or to make repeated visits to the school nurse or counselor once at school, with similar physical complaints.