September 14, 2010

School refusal... "It’s not a diagnosis... It’s not a disorder; it’s a symptom.”

The medical symptom of avoiding school.

21 comments:

Fred4Pres said...

It is a symptom of wanting to do something fun for the day.

Triangle Man said...

Attaboy Fred, shut down those anxious little punks! The little scamps just want to play stickball all day instead of their multiplication tables. The idea that they could be avoiding school as a symptom of an underlying mental health concern is preposterous!

MadisonMan said...

Interesting that the father of the child is not mentioned.

TRO said...

"The idea that they could be avoiding school as a symptom of an underlying mental health concern is preposterous!"

I'd say for 95% of them it is . . . preposterous that is. Then again, there might be a large percentage who just have parents who have their own hypocondria issues which they are transferring to the child. I certainly know a mother like that.

That leaves 5% for the psyhologists to make money off of.

Martha said...

Anxiety associated with going to school is real. My youngest willingly went off to school every day but unbeknown to me he did not speak at all to anyone once he was in the classroom. This was a kindergarten class in a selective private school. The students tended to be old for kindergarten and socially precocious. Only recently I read that this is a symptom called selective mutism. Fortunately after the first semester, my son began talking and interacting with his teachers.

k*thy said...

This is very real - a canary in a coal mine, as they say, to something more serious. It's not preposterous.

That leaves 5% for the psyhologists to make money off of.

...and a lot of the other 95% will be treated, in some way, as adults. Better to pay attention to it with the young.

Steve said...

I suffered from this affliction from kindergarten through second grade. My mother even took me to a psychiatrist. When the principal called me in one day (I was home "sick") in third grade and let me know that this was unacceptable, I was cured. Amazing how the whole "discipline" thing works. I have four children - youngest is a senior in high school. They have never suffered the affliction, so it must not be genetic.

TerriW said...

It's also possible that the usual institutional school setting is not appropriate for all children. (Particularly young boys. Heck, even the Spartans didn't turn their boys over to the state to raise until they were 7.)

The kid has no control over the situation unless he is "sick," and then he can get away from school. For the child who wants to avoid school, the incentives are clear.

Lynne said...

Oddly, I once had a coworker tell me that when she was in elementary school her mother would freqently keep her at home- because her mother didn't like to be alone.

I don't know how much school she missed, but when I was working w/her, she told me she had been diagnosed with borderline personality disorder and hospitalized more than once.

E.M. Davis said...

Crime is the disease. Cobra is the cure.

Weren't the 80s secretly awesome?

GMay said...

Amazing how we used to get by as a society without the Psychs' guiding hand. Must now be ancient techniques lost to the sands of time.

Much like our ruling lawyerly elite writing laws to drum up business for their cabal, the Psychs have to put food on the table somehow. It's all sciency and stuff.

d-day said...

I had this in first grade. I do have anxiety, and it manifested itself at the time as stomach upset so bad I would get dizzy and throw up.

When my parents found out that I was spending all day at the nurse's office, they told the school just to put a barf dish on my desk in case I was sick.

After 1 day, it turned out I was more anxious about the barf dish than I was about school. Problem solved!

The Crack Emcee said...

Steve said:

"When the principal called me in one day (I was home 'sick') in third grade and let me know that this was unacceptable, I was cured. Amazing how the whole 'discipline' thing works."

And D-Day said:

"When my parents found out that I was spending all day at the nurse's office, they told the school just to put a barf dish on my desk in case I was sick.

After 1 day, it turned out I was more anxious about the barf dish than I was about school. Problem solved!"


The Macho Response - it works!

Pogo said...

Clearly hugs are needed.

But not by any male teachers.
And by the appropriate race.
And the hugs should be brief.
And approved inclusive non-gendered nonthreatening language used.
And videotaped.
And documented.
And wavers signed.
And alcohol-based cleansers used.

Enjoy school, kids!

Pogo said...

Did I mention our school superintendent had a glass desk built for $10,000, and no one knew where it went, and when a secretary reported it was being used "off campus", she got canned?

But clearly our schools need more money, and who could be against the school referendum?

Pogo said...

As you can see, i got some 'school refusal' my own self right here.

Just Say No to Schools.

HT said...

GMay said...

Amazing how we used to get by as a society without the Psychs' guiding hand. Must now be ancient techniques lost to the sands of time.

Much like our ruling lawyerly elite writing laws to drum up business for their cabal, the Psychs have to put food on the table somehow. It's all sciency and stuff.


Except it's not sciency at all. This would be a whole other matter if it was. Psychiatry and the whole notion of chemical imbalance is not borne out by the science.

I believe in behavior modification and in extreme cases, extensive talk therapy (Take These Broken Wings). Some people develop some messed up coping mechanisms to extremely stressful family situations, and they must be brought back, but they must be brought back in a calm loving atmosphere, not chemically lobotomized.

About this article, I don't have much of a comment. I read it. Who wasn't anxious going to school? It's a minefield! Mostly it's the social stuff, but sometimes it's academics.

GMay said...

HT, I know. I forgot to close my sarcasm tag.

smxwl said...

I started to refuse school in junior high (now called middle school most places) - the 7th grade transition to many classrooms, PE in a gym, etc. Hated being teased in the lockerroom, the casual cruelty, the unimpeded crassness of an involuntary institution with benevolent but negligent overseers.

Since I refused to go, my (divorced) mother was presented with the choice of juvenile hall (jail) or private institutionalization. So at the age of 12 I was taken to a private mental hospital and met lots of psychologists, one of whom diddled me while we drove around on the way to a supervised school visit. I was later presented with a choice of a scholarship to an elite private high school or a return to my public school, and I chose the latter. Decided to beat them at their own game, went to MIT, did well.

But I think monopoly public education is gradually destroying our productive culture, and wrecking the lives of countless "unusual" kids like I was. The sooner it is fragmented and privatized, and given for free only to the neediest, the better off we will all be.

c3 said...

This is "old news".

I didn't read to the end of the article but hopefully it stated current teaching on treatment of "school refusal":

If no clear medical contraindication the first and most important step is to get the child back into school.

lyssalovelyredhead said...

I was "sick" a lot in middle school. I was picked on a bit and didn't like my teachers, and there was a lot of pressure to fit in. Also, there was nothing the least bit useful or challenging going on in the classrooms- I could have missed weeks at a time (not that I did) and still stayed perfectly caught up. I don't think it was too much to be a major issue, though, and I was never called on it.

In high school, however, there were a lot fewer peer issues. (I guess there were more options to be youself and fit in where you wanted, since it was bigger. I remember very few incidents where anyone was picked on in my HS.) Also, I was in a lot of AP classes and had a lot of extra-curriculars which involved actual responsibilities. If I missed time, I actually missed things. Cleared the problem right up.

- Lyssa