We Still Love John

October 13, 2009

When Children Refuse School

Filed under: #2: problem analysis, #3: discovery and reporting — Elizabeth Hope @ 4:30 pm

Looking at John, it struck me that he could possibly be at the start of a more serious set of problems of school refusal, if it gets worse.

I found this very good book about the reasons children begin to refuse school, or display disinterest in learning, and possible solutions we can employ to help them in such a situation.

The author covers four reasons for school refusal: to avoid negative social or evaluative situations at school, to receive attention from a parent or a significant other, and to obtain tangible rewards outside of school. Positive support at school for John would therefore be very important, because school refusal can contribute to a child’s academic, social, and psychological problems, impact a child’s chances for future educational, financial, and personal success, and significantly affect family functioning.

Fortunately, the recommended solution is in line with our project — CBT!

“This manual includes tools for assessing a child’s reasons for school refusal behavior and is based on a functional, prescriptive model. It presents well-tested techniques arranged by function to tailor treatment to a child’s particular characteristics. Each treatment package also contains a detailed discussion of special topics pertinent to treating youths with school refusal behavior, such as medication, panic attacks, and being teased. A corresponding workbook is also available for parents, who often play an important part in a child’s recovery. This comprehensive program is an invaluable resource for clinicians treating school refusal behavior.”

It’s recommended for use with children who are completely absent from school, who attend but then leave school during the day, who go to school following intense morning behavioral problems, or who display unusual distress during school days leading to pleas to parents or others for future non-attendance.

The book is: When Children Refuse School: A Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy Approach Therapist Guide (Treatments That Work), by  Christopher A. Kearney and Anne Marie Albano.

Christopher A. Kearney
Christopher A. Kearney (Author)
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(Author), Anne Marie Albano

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