School Avoidance

School avoidance is not uncommon and your child may complain of not feeling well, with vague, unexplainable symptoms. While you might try to manage school refusal on your own, if your child’s school avoidance lasts more than one week, you and your child may need professional assistance to deal with it.

First your child should be examined by a doctor who can rule out physical illness. Once physical illness has been eliminated as a cause of your child’s symptoms and school refusal persists, the doctor may recommend seeing a psychologist.

Children who school refuse may exhibit the following signs:

  •         50 per cent or less school attendance during the past month
  •         Tearfulness at school or before/returning home from school
  •         increase in stomach-aches, dizziness, headaches and other physical complaints
  •         lack of friends, social isolation or withdrawal
  •         decreased participation in class activities
  •         your child is aggressive or purposely disobeys consistently for a length of time
  •         refuses to go to sleep because of worries or fears
  •         has excessive meltdowns for no apparent reason

To discuss your concerns further with an AIM psychologist, contact 6150 8339 or

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