My Teen & School Phobia

My son started showing signs of school phobia at the beginning of Grade 11 following the numerous shutdowns of in-person learning. However, if I look back, he and his twin brother began exhibiting signs of school phobia from the beginning in kindergarten. It was only until my one son began missing multiple school days (outside of being late) that I began to worry intensely about the pattern that was beginning to appear. The consequences have been awful– not only grades falling from A to D, but watching my son’s self-esteem, sense of belonging, and anything else that should allow a…

The anxious child- undiagnosed by clueless elementary school staff

Sad and disappointed to read that the plight of today’s school Refuser hasn’t changed much since my nightmare experience in elementary and high school in the late 50’s and  60’s. As a child born with an undiagnosed anxiety disorder I hated school and started running away at age 7. Because I was forced to go to school under fear of the police getting involved I was smart enough to figure out ways to avoid school an avoid the truancy cops. I would leave home in the morning- brown paper lunch bag in hand and walk the 20 minutes to school.…

15 yrs. Grade 9

My heart breaks for my son. I worry about his future, and as it stands, school does not give the support he deserves; he will probably end up in a trade. There’s nothing wrong with that, but if he could be an engineer, the educational system would have to change.

14 yrs. Grade 9

My daughter is a bright, intelligent child. She excelled in grade 7. But she was bored. She would always finish early in class. Teachers would tell her to sit quietly if she had no work, sometimes for up to an hour. She was not allowed to go to the library or out in the hall to play cards, etc. In grade 8 (September/October 2018), she became disillusioned with school and started to talk back to teachers. Then teachers would be rude to her, talk down to her, and send her to the office. She started to fake illness to not…

14 yrs. Grade 9

Our daughter’s IQ is 145 with a processing speed of 96 and a working memory of 100. Because her PS and WM are average, she does not qualify for an LD, according to DSM-V. She would have qualified with DSM-IV. The psychologist told us that she is at a high risk of mental health concerns with this profile but can’t diagnose her with anything. She is a perfectionist and most likely has ADHD. I have ADHD, and so does her brother. Her perfectionism won’t allow her to show her anxiety in public, and her high IQ helps her mask her…

15 yrs. Grade 10

In the second semester of ninth grade, my daughter completely shut down. She is highly intelligent (was advanced a few years in elementary), and I don’t understand why she suddenly stopped getting high marks. She didn’t complete any assignments, and then finally for the month of June, she did not go to school once, not even for final examinations.

16 yrs. Grade 10

My son has always struggled with anxiety, but after witnessing his younger sister get injured by their father – she died a horrific death – he has complex PTSD on top of the anxiety. Neither our legal system nor our school system recognizes his poor attendance as school refusal or as a result of his struggling with his mental health. He’s been labelled a bad kid, lazy, unmotivated, and difficult.

16 yrs. Grade 10

Our daughter always did well in school until grade 8. She was in French Immersion, loved projects, and did well in most subjects. She hardly ever missed a day of school. One year, she got an award for perfect attendance. We noticed that she excelled in certain things like projects, often going over and above what was asked. In grade 8, things changed. Workload increased, more teachers making more demands. Suddenly, she couldn’t make all the assignments perfect the way she wanted. It was harder to get her to school. Grade 9 was more challenging and, although she made it…

13 yrs. Grade 9

While it’s only the third day in the new school year, my 13-year-old daughter has only been to school for about one full day altogether, due to extreme anxiety and school refusal. This has been ongoing since the beginning of grade 7 (she’s now beginning grade 9). Although her elementary school has been wonderful in trying to accommodate her and her needs, it wasn’t enough.