Unfortunately, one paragraph would not even begin to explain the pain, anguish, and heartache our family has undergone over the last 10 years around school refusal. We are truly exhausted. Our son could read at 2 1/2 and was so excited to start JK and follow his two older sisters to “big” school. He went the first day and came home and refused to go back the next day and almost every day since, and he is now in grade 10. He was eventually asked to leave JK in October that year because “he isn’t ready for school and he questions the teacher too much”. We then tried private school, which cost a fortune and wasn’t much better for him until grade 5. Most days, he was taken kicking and screaming, and some days, even in his PJs. He started having behavioural issues and disrupting the class, and spent more time in the principal’s office than in class. Because of the way he/we were being treated, we moved him back to the public elementary school. Eventually, halfway through grade 7, the school asked us to withdraw our son and homeschool him. This was their suggestion. He remained home for the remainder of 7 and all of 8. He started mainstream high school in grade 9 by his choice and missed many days, but still passed all his courses. Now, in grade 10, things are continually getting worse. He has missed 90+ days this year already. Over this 10-year period, our son turned from a friendly, outgoing little boy that questioned things, was eager to learn and take on new challenges, was intelligent beyond his years, loved to read and draw and write, was happy and such a delight, into a young boy that was angry, depressed, smashed dishware, threatened to kill himself, talked of suicide, slept all the time and was defiant about everything, refused to read or write or do any type of schoolwork. The issues originally were based on school refusal. Now, at 15 years old, he very rarely leaves the house for any reason. He prefers to be alone and has periods where he will sleep for days on end. He has no friends, hasn’t ever been invited to someone’s house or to a birthday party, won’t join school clubs or teams. Even things like going to a restaurant to eat or on a family vacation aren’t enough to get him out of the house anymore. We have tried doctors, paediatrician, psychologist, psychiatrist, intensive family therapy, and nothing appears to make a difference. He has had blood tests and MRI to make sure nothing physically was wrong. He will assist in making a plan for himself to get to school, but in the moment nothing can get him to go. He has been physically sick he has passed out. We have bribed him with all manner of items even most recently on the suggestion of paediatrician, and offered to pay him for every day he attends with an immediate cash amount each day. Even though he thought that was a good idea and agreed, he has not been able to attend. He is now failing all his classes; this just perpetuates the vicious cycle for him. His school refusal now affects his entire life. He is no longer disruptive in school and not as defiant at home, and we find that when school is taken totally out of the equation, he slowly comes back to being able to participate more in life. We truly fear for our son’s future. He still seeks out learning and knowledge using the internet and is a wonderful musician who refuses to play in front of anyone but his teacher. How will he get an education that will allow him to someday get a job to support himself? He has so much potential and is missing out on so much of what life has to offer. We are not, and it appears no one is, able to help him. We now allow him to make the choice each morning if he is able to go to school, and if not, we do not bribe or coerce; we accept and carry on. He says that he wishes he could be like everyone else and that he would do anything to be more normal. Hopefully, your research will help others in the same situation.