Is it ADHD or something else?

49: Educational Strategies to Address School Refusal

As the number of kids with school refusal behavior continues to increase, parents continue to wonder what they should do and what the school can do to help and motivate their kids to return to school.


As the number of kids with school refusal behavior continues to increase, parents continue to wonder what they should do and what the school can do to help and motivate their kids to return to school.

And that's what I'm here for – to provide you with the best educational strategies you can utilize in addressing your kid's school refusal symptoms and behavior.

Assess the needs of the student

Kids refusing to go to school is an ever-growing problem. Parents need help ensuring that their kids do even the basic things like preparing for school, getting on the bus, getting out of the car, and many more.

Typically, kids who refuse to go to school struggle with mental health, social, attention, or learning issues. That's understandable because when someone's brain is overstimulated, they won't be able to think or learn properly.

For the part of school professionals or teachers, they can incorporate flexibility and creativity in the activities for the students. We want them to change their negative mindset about school as much as possible.

And as parents, we need to have a deeper understanding of what's happening with our kids. That's why it's necessary to collaborate with teachers to assess your kid's needs since they're the ones who are with them in an environment away from home.

Concerning this, another strategy to address school refusal is to have a team meeting involving the support circle for your kid. Figure out what's going on and devise a plan you've all agreed on.

Focus on psychoeducation once you've identified the root causes

Whether you're a school professional or a parent, don't assume you know the underlying issue. Most people think the reason why kids refuse to attend school is because of their attention seeking-behavior. However, that's not the case.

Kids don't want to not go to school; they also want to find a solution to treat school refusal. They want to solve the problem that makes them not want to be in school, regardless of the reason.

Once we've identified the root cause, we must educate the school personnel because we have to focus on psychoeducation. It will help the student understand themselves better since psychoeducation combines cognitive behavior therapy, therapy in general, and education.

We also want to look particularly at their emotional and coping skills when they're confronted with challenges and shut down. It doesn't mean we won't do anything to help them, but we have to assess how they process their thoughts and feelings at some point.

Create a detailed return plan.

Having been gone for quite a while, some kids have missed many of their classes. Since we're talking about strategies to treat school refusal, we must include creating a detailed return plan.

Understandably, these students will struggle to adjust as they return to school. They will have trouble getting up early in the morning and preparing for school, and that's okay.

Creating a tiered or step-by-step plan for your kid's return will be better. We want the return plan to be as detailed and precise as possible for the child and the parents.

In line with this, it's also necessary to create safe exposures. We wouldn't want to rush our kids into returning to school as they need some time adjusting. However, we must be careful in helping them return to prevent their irrational fears or intrusive thoughts from clouding their minds again.

Keep in mind that what we're trying to do is the reinforcement and shaping of our desired behaviors. The process may take some time, but it will be worth every attempt, time, and effort.

No matter where you are in your journey, we have resources to help you:

Get the Ultimate School Accommodations Guide Here! It's absolutely FREE and covers 30 of the most common issues that parents like you are facing. Get it today!

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