School is exciting for most children. However, anticipating a new grade, a new classroom, a new teacher, making friends, facing bullies, feeling “uncool” or coping with academic pressures can fuel anxiety, even dread. This anxiety may be experienced through such symptoms as headaches, stomachaches, sleep difficulties, and even school refusal. The School Refusal Program Program (SRP) provides evaluation and Cognitive Behavioral interventions for school refusing students between the ages of 5 to 18.
Goals of The School Refusal Program:
- Increase collaborative efforts between student, parent, and school during school refusal episodes.
- Decrease tardiness and absenteeism resulting in improved academic performance, social interactions, and family relationships.
- Reach students who are academically, socially, and emotionally struggling who have chosen school refusal as a way of managing their struggles. The intention of The School Refusal Program is not to be a punitive or "policing" program. Rather, the goal is to provide consistent, collaborative, and supportive interventions such that the student is fully responsible for his/her participation in the program and school attendance.
The school refusal program is a collaborative effort among students, parents, and educators to ensure academic, social, and emotional success for students.
The School Refusal Program targets the following:
- Negotiations about school attendance between student, parent, and school. The SRP will assist students with self-advocating rather than presenting with school refusal behaviors. The SRP will also assist parents and school manage negotiations by remaining consistent, calm, and connected to the student.
- Tardy or absenteeism prior to or during school. The SRP will address the protocol for the student, parent, and school when a student is tardy or absent.
- Pattern of physical complaints (headaches, stomachaches, nausea, etc) prior to or during school which result in tardiness or absenteeism. The SRP will assist the student, parents, and school with a protocol to determine if the physical complaints warrant tardy or absenteeism.
- How to handle missed or incomplete school work due to student being tardy or absent. The SRP will assist in determining a protocol for missed or incomplete school work due to school refusal behaviors.
What are the benefits of participating in The School Refusal Program?
Some common traditional ways parents, educators, and mental health professionals have tried:
- Increasing the student's self-esteem in the classroom.
- Teaching the student to "relax" so they can cope with an situation at school that makes them upset.
- Forcing the student to go to school.
- Negotiating a solution to the school refusal problem among family members.
In general, these interventions work for the short term but do not have long term success. The School Refusal Program offers Cognitive Behavioral interventions that have lasting success.
"why aren't you going to school today?"..... "I don't know"..... with the school refusal program there is no more guesswork!
The School Refusal Program: A New Model for Addressing School Refusal Behaviors
- The SRP will identify specific reasons for School Refusal Behavior. The SRP takes the guess work out of the school refusal behaviors.
- The SRP will provide specific protocols for student, parents, and school depending on specific reasons for school refusal behaviors.
- The student is highly responsible for advocating for self and is expected to be an active participant
- Parents and Educators become less of a facilitator by modeling expectations.
- Natural consequences always win out when the student refuses to participate in the program.
By participating in The School Refusal Program, you are identifying the specific reasons and establishing Cognitive Behavioral interventions for school refusal behaviors. This is a big win for students, parents, and educators as it gives all more control of school refusal behaviors!