Children With School Phobia (Child Psychology Book 8)


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Watch for these signs of school refusal that are sometimes overlooked:. How to get help for your child The best treatment to help children struggling with school refusal includes a team approach. It helps to have a strong team that includes the classroom teacher, family, a school psychologist if available , and any specialist working with the child outside of school. The first step is a comprehensive medical and psychological evaluation.

This will likely include both family and teacher questionnaires or interviews.

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This highly structured form of therapy helps children identify their maladaptive thought patterns and learn adaptive replacement behaviors. Children learn to confront and work through their fears. Some children struggling with school refusal need a graded approach to returning to school. They might return for a small increment of time and gradually build upon it. This is essential for children struggling with anxiety.

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Deep breathing, guided imagery, and mindfulness are all relaxation strategies that kids can practice at home and utilize in school. The treatment team creates a plan to help the student re-enter the classroom. Younger children might benefit from arriving early and helping the teacher in the classroom or helping at the front desk. The plan also includes contingencies to help the student during anxious moments throughout the day i. Anxious children benefit from predictable home routines.

Avoid over-scheduling, as this can increase stress for anxious kids, and put specific morning and evening routines in place. Sleep deprivation exacerbates symptoms of anxiety and depression. It also makes it difficult to get up and out to school in the morning. Establish healthy sleep habits and keep a regular sleep cycle , even during holidays and on the weekends.

Consider requesting a peer buddy for recess, lunch, and other less structured periods as anxiety can spike during these times. Many students who struggle with making and keeping friends feel overwhelmed in the school environment. Social skills groups can help kids learn to relate to their peers and feel comfortable in larger groups.

You might see periods of growth only to experience significant setbacks following school vacations or multiple absences due to physical illness. Pediatricians encouraged to prescribe play for healthy child development. A new study shows parental guidance reduces peer hostility in social situations.

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Preschoolers may also develop school refusal without any experience of school attendance. Generally, the child or adolescent refuses to attend school and experiences significant distress about the idea of attending school. Truancy absent from school without permission may be due to delinquency or conduct disorder and can be differentiated from school refusal.

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The truant student generally brags to others peers about not attending school, whereas the student with school refusal, because of anxiety or fear, tends to be embarrassed or ashamed at his or her inability to attend school. Distress with school attendance may include the following:. Helpful tools to confirm the diagnosis of an anxiety disorder and the level of impairment include the following:. The child or adolescent and his or her family, school staff, and primary-care physician should work together to design a plan to accomplish a gradual return to developmentally expected function in settings such as school, sports, and social events.


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It is very important to acknowledge the level of distress that the child or adolescent feels. Utilizing positive reinforcement aids in encouraging the child's return to the feared situation and becoming comfortable with anticipated brief separations from parents and caregivers. How Is School Refusal Treated? Treatment of school refusal includes several psychological approaches including cognitive behavior therapy along with systematic desensitization, exposure therapy, and operant behavioral techniques.

The goal of therapy is to help the student to restructure his or her thoughts and actions into a more assertive and adaptive framework to allow a rapid return to school. Therapeutic techniques include modeling, role playing, and reward systems for positive behavior change. Play therapy for younger, less verbally oriented children helps to reenact anxiety-provoking situations and master them. Interpersonally oriented individual therapy as well as group therapy can be extremely helpful for adolescents to counteract feelings of low self-esteem, isolation, and inadequacy.

Interpersonally oriented individual therapy centers on the person's maladaptive responses to interpersonal interaction usually involves difficulty in interactions with other people.

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School refusal: identification and management of a paediatric challenge

Obviously, offering a welcoming and safe environment is the first and most important step. In addition, teachers and school staff should help the student identify and recognize the triggers for school refusal. Zero tolerance for bullying, available guidance staff, and opportunities to practice relaxation techniques can significantly reduce anxiety. Psychopharmacologic interventions medicines that affect the mind and behavior may be required for underlying depression , anxiety, or social phobias. Cross-cultural considerations should be taken into account when determining treatment of school refusal.

School Refusal Behavior Assessment & Interventions

Some students sent to boarding school may experience symptoms of physical illness caused by abrupt separation from family. These symptoms may include an inability to eat and hallucinations. Some Native American tribes call these symptoms "bad spirits.


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  • After a visit with the child's pediatrician, a treatment plan should be developed. Consultation with a pediatric neurologist should be undertaken if there are any concerns about an underlying neurologic trigger. Consultation with a child and adolescent psychiatrist should be performed both for psychopharmacologic interventions as well as for confirmation of the diagnosis of school refusal.

    The consultation should also determine if other comorbid disorders two or more disorders existing at the same time require treatment and provide a comprehensive treatment plan.


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    • How to Help a Child Overcome School Refusal | Psychology Today.
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    • The psychiatrist can also conduct the psychological therapy or refer the patient to a psychotherapist for this treatment.

      Children With School Phobia (Child Psychology Book 8) Children With School Phobia (Child Psychology Book 8)
      Children With School Phobia (Child Psychology Book 8) Children With School Phobia (Child Psychology Book 8)
      Children With School Phobia (Child Psychology Book 8) Children With School Phobia (Child Psychology Book 8)
      Children With School Phobia (Child Psychology Book 8) Children With School Phobia (Child Psychology Book 8)
      Children With School Phobia (Child Psychology Book 8) Children With School Phobia (Child Psychology Book 8)
      Children With School Phobia (Child Psychology Book 8) Children With School Phobia (Child Psychology Book 8)
      Children With School Phobia (Child Psychology Book 8) Children With School Phobia (Child Psychology Book 8)
      Children With School Phobia (Child Psychology Book 8) Children With School Phobia (Child Psychology Book 8)
      Children With School Phobia (Child Psychology Book 8)

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