School refusal happens when a child repeatedly avoids school or experiences severe distress related to school. What causes this behavior among children? While depression as well as academic and social struggles may be to blame, studies show that anxiety disorders are the leading cause of these actions. Consider some common habits that may accompany school refusal:
- Children may complain of feeling ill as a reason for avoiding school (as opposed to admitting anxious feelings or another cause)
- Parents may engage with doctor visits and medical tests that lead to no discernable condition
- Children who make a habit of school refusal often find it difficult to return to school the longer they are away
At the OCD and Anxiety Center in Chicago, we’ll start by correctly diagnosing the reason(s) for your child’s school refusal. Following this, we commonly use exposure therapy to help bring your child back to school as early as possible.
Regardless of what is causing your child to refuse school—OCD, a phobia, social anxiety, or some other disorder—we’ll develop a plan with your family and school system that will help your child rise above their challenges. To learn more about our process, contact us here.