What is school avoidance?
School avoidance is when a child refuses to go to school.
School avoidance is most common in children ages 5 to 11
Children may fake illness and make up excuses to avoid going to school
Other children simply refuse to go
Some children go to school but become anxious or develop various symptoms during the day
Children may avoid school because they have emotional problems, have trouble learning, or have difficulties with a teacher or other children
Work with the school to try to find out what's causing the problem
Sometimes a therapist is needed to understand the problem and help children return to school
What causes school avoidance?
Children may avoid school because they:
Have emotional problems Overview of Mental Health Disorders Children and Adolescents Several important mental health disorders, such as depression, anxiety disorders, and eating disorders, often start during childhood and adolescence. Some disorders, such as autism, start only... read more , such as stress, anxiety, or depression
Have learning difficulties Learning Disorders Learning disorders are problems with the brain’s ability to get, remember, or use information. These problems make it hard to focus and do well in school. Children with learning disorders often... read more and are embarrassed for people to see them do poorly
Feel unwanted or rejected by the other children
Fear their teacher’s strictness or scolding
How can I treat my child’s school avoidance?
Identifying and fixing the problem
Keeping your child in school if at all possible—allowing children to stay home usually just makes school avoidance worse and risks them falling behind
Sometimes, going to a therapist
Children with learning problems may need special assistance. Teachers can help if your child is being bullied or mistreated by other children. School officials can help if your child has difficulties with a teacher. Therapists can help children with emotional difficulties and those with severe school avoidance from any cause.