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School Phobia

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School Refusal or School Phobia

family of three  with teenager having conflict

School refusal can be defined as any refusal by a child to attend school or to have difficulty attending classes for an entire day. Children who miss long periods of school time, skip classes, arrive to school late, miss sporadic periods of school time, display severe morning misbehaviors in attempts to refuse school and attend school with great dread and physical complaints may fall within the “school refusal” category.

According to studies, school refusal is present in approximately 5% of school-aged children. Left untreated, school refusal may lead to many long-term dysfunctions.  School refusal often co-exists with other mental health disorders such as separation anxiety disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) and depression.

It is important to identify the issues that lead to a child’s school refusal so that the child can get the treatment that he or she needs. If school refusal has been caused by bullying or cyber-bullying, it is critical to intervene immediately so that the child will feel safe.

Knowledgeable and experienced school lawyers

We have experience advocating for appropriate placements and services for children with school refusal issues. If you need help advocating for your child, please contact us. We understand the steps that are necessary to get your child the free appropriate public education he or she is legally entitled to receive.


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