School refusal or school phobia refers to severe emotional upset experienced by young people at the prospect of attending school.
This can often result in significant, ongoing absences from school.
While the emphasis is on children and teens attending school, caring for children refusing to go to school also places significant burden on parents and carers. The toll can often go unnoticed, whether it is the stress of trying to get kids to attend school, worry about the impacts to children of non-attendance, family stress caused by school refusal, parent or carer mental health, or financial stresses resulting from the need to change jobs or cut back on work hours to support a school refusing child.
School Phobia / School Refusal Australia recognises the challenges and aims to provide a forum to support parents and carers of school refusing young people. We are a group of Australian parents who are supporting beautiful children and teenagers experiencing ‘school can’t’ – or what the literature refers to as school refusal.
We also recognise that children and teens on the autism spectrum make up a disproportionate number of school refusers. Our mission is to make a positive difference to the lives of parents and carers of school refusing young people, by:
- connecting carers of school-refusing children, teenagers and young adults
- providing forums for carers to provide and receive peer support and to share their experiences with other carers
- providing information regarding useful support services for carers and school avoiding children and teenagers, including those with autism
- providing carers with knowledge of education options for school avoiding children and teenagers
Have you ever had experience with your child refusing to attend school? Tell us in the comments below.