By Suzyn Jacobson, LCSW
Clinical Director, Family Priority, LLC
School refusal presents challenges for parents, students and schools. There are many reasons why children refuse to attend school. As a parent, it is important to recognize the function of this behavior in order to determine the particular reinforcement systems that support school refusal. Children may avoid school because something there is making them feel badly, or because they are trying to escape negative social situations or because they are seeking attention. There are underlying mental health problems that frequently impact this behavior. These include: Depression, Separation Anxiety, Social Anxiety, Generalized Anxiety, Oppositional Defiant Disorder and undiagnosed learning problems.