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Child & Teen Health

School refusal: When a child won’t go to school

September 18, 2018

About the Author

photo of Julia Martin Burch, PhD

Julia Martin Burch, PhD, Contributor

Julia Martin Burch, PhD, is a staff psychologist in the McLean Anxiety Mastery Program at McLean Hospital. Dr. Martin Burch works with children, teens, and parents, and specializes in cognitive behavioral therapy for anxiety, obsessive compulsive … See Full Bio
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October 11, 2018

This could be based on a deeper problem: PANS/PANDAS.

E.W. Cordon
September 23, 2018

I went to school for 16 years with a lot of anxiety and social phobias. I don’t know if I could do it again. Graduated from college but was able to retain very little. Let me be clear about something. I would never let a child of mine go through what I went through. Never, never! Now, I feel as if I suffer from PTSD. Short temper, angry, negative. Not good.

Francis Bemonet
September 22, 2018

Maybe the child is right to not like school.

Holly Volpe
October 16, 2018

I appreciate you saying this. My son’s school avoidance started in kinder. So I homeschooled him through 5th grade. This year, 6th grade, he decided he wanted to go to school. After a couple weeks in, the refusing started. I am torn between accepting school isn’t for him (and homeschool again) or somehow forced big him to go, which is impossible because he’ll just run away from the school. But I’m getting pressured to make him work through this.

Dr. Montazer
September 21, 2018

Make staying home boring- is totally counter-productive and defeats the purpose of resolving “school refusal” problem. Home is the safest and best haven for all of us including children to return to! What if a child that refuses to go to school, refuses to go home? Where is he or she supposed to go?

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