Where Families Find Support & Solutions

School Refusal and How The School Solution Helps

Nathan wakes up sweating again, gasping for air, not knowing where he is. This has been happening more frequently since his acne started to get out of control and some of the kids at school started to make fun of him.

He wakes up in the middle of the night after having dreamed that he is bare naked in front of his entire 7th grade class. A panic attack ensues, and he feels humiliated and alone. It’s the same dream every time, and it always leaves him with this feeling of doom about going to school the next day. Today, he decides that if he just stays in his bed and refuses to go to school, maybe he won’t ever have to go through the doors of that dreaded place. His fear has paralyzed him.

How The School Solution Can Help with School Refusal

How The School Solution Can Help with School Refusal

School refusal is a serious issue affecting thousands of students in the United States

According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, school refusal is defined as “the disorder of a child who refuses to go to school on a regular basis.” It is “often a symptom of a deeper problem” such as anxiety or depression, and it may be a sign that a psychiatric evaluation is necessary. In addition, eMedicine reports that “studies show that psychiatric disorders are the cause for a large percentage of students who fail to complete high school in the United States.”. If you feel like you have maxed out all resources that are available to get your child to participate in school, there is still hope.

An educational consultant like The School Solution is an excellent resource for helping students regularly attend school, no matter what their background is. Although school refusal may affect students of any race, gender, socioeconomic status, ethnicity, sexual orientation or academic ability, these are a few characteristics generally seen in students who refuse to go to school:

  • Poverty: One of the most prevalent characteristics of students who regularly miss school is that they are living in homes at, near or below the poverty line.
  • Fear: There is usually something that is keeping the student from feeling safe at school or on the way to or from school. It might be a bully on the walk to school, fear of reading aloud because of a speech impediment, an obvious physical ailment such as acne or obesity, or any number of other fears.
  • Psychiatric disorder: School refusal is not in itself a diagnosable disorder, but it is usually a symptom expressed in students who suffer from anxiety or depression.

The experienced and highly renowned staff at The School Solution undergo a very structured process to aid families in finding educational alternatives for students who, for whatever reason, refuse to go to school. First, they go through an intake process in which the family meets with the educational consultant to discuss findings of assessments, history, goals, and a timeline for your family’s individual needs. Next, the educational consultant will interview teachers, principles, mental health professionals and family members to get a full overview of the student’s needs. In this step, she will also research and contact programs which seem appropriate for the student. Finally, the student engages in a new environment in which he or she is able to have his or her needs met and simultaneously discover academic success.

Karen at The School Solution has been recognized as a resource for entire networks of educational options for students who refuse to attend schools. There is a broad spectrum of programs, including but not limited to:

  • Supportive Schools
  • Therapeutic Schools and Treatment Centers
  • Wilderness Programs
  • Young Adult Programs
  • Traditional Boarding Schools

Like Nathan, who suffers from intense fear of what might happen to him at school because of the way he looks, your child may feel lost and alone in her refusal to attend school. However, there is a vast array of options available that will help her find academic success as well as wholeness on a deeper personal level. Call The School Solution today to help her find her place.

Call us at 847.242.0865 or email Karen at kmabie@theschoolsolution.com.


Karen was immensely helpful when my ex-wife and I were confronted by a terrible problem — our very bright and engaging son had dropped out of high school, was using marijuana, and was drifting in life.

- Parent of a young adult



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