Studies have shown that school refusal behavior starts as early as ages 5 to 6, with a second stage at 10 or 12. The reasons children refuse to go to school vary and can range from separation anxiety to performance anxiety, to wanting to stay at home and play video games.
Katherine K. Dahlsgaard, PhD, Lead Psychologist of the Anxiety Behaviors Clinic at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, authored a guest blog post for the Philly.com Healthy Kids blog addressing school refusal.
Dr. Dahlsgaard believes that helping children develop coping strategies, working with parents on creating a system to reinforce attendance and eliminate rewards for staying home, and getting school personnel involved in the treatment is the most successful treatment of school refusal behavior. Dr. Dahlsgaard provides trusted resources parents can use with their children.