School Refusal Hope

You are not alone

School Refusal Hope is a site dedicated to helping families who are struggling with their child's school refusal.  We provide listings of different treatment programs around the country that can help children who avoid school. We also share the names of therapeutic and small boarding schools around the country where your child may thrive. We also provide support in the form of other families who have been down the same road as you.



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Understanding School Refusal, by Joel L. Young MD from Psychology Today Sept, 2017

“For a small fraction of kids, the problem goes deeper. Some kids simply refuse to go to school, or fight going to school so hard that each morning becomes a miserable battle. This phenomenon, known as school refusal, isn’t a behavior problem. You can’t punish your child out of school refusal. Instead, it’s a form of anxiety that demands treatment. Here’s what you need to know…..

Dr. Young makes an important point that I feel is worth sharing: “children who are afraid of school, being forced to go to school can be extremely distressing. In this way, going to school becomes like a phobia. Consider how you’d feel if forced to do the thing that scares you most. That’s how your child feels”

Looking back at the times when my son couldn’t leave his bed, when he held on for dear life to his covers over his head…I get very sad. As I write this, it is bringing tears to my eyes. There were mornings that we were so frustrated, that we would try to pull the covers off of him. We would start calm, but as seconds past and he wouldn’t move, we would lose our cool and start yelling. Boy do I regret this. Now I think about how horrible he felt. His anxiety wouldn’t allow him to leave his bed and on top of it, we were mad at him and out of control.

You are not alone

A few years ago I decided that I should know how to use Twitter. I learn so much from google, so I asked, and I learned. I started volunteering for the National Alliance on Mental Illness out of New Jersey and managed a Facebook and Twitter account for our county affiliate. I also have my own personal account @jmdemsky. Getting on to twitter opened me up to a whole NEW WORLD. I couldn’t believe how many mental health related accounts there were. I know the U.S. statistics , 1 in 5 people deal with mental illness. But actually seeing the vast numbers of people and accounts talking about mental health every day made it very clear and very real….this is universal…many people are experiencing the same challenges. Besides it being comforting to know how common mental illness is, the information is valuable. You will come across information about therapy, medications, hope, recovery, new research, experts on specific types of mental illnesses, advocacy groups, non-profits dedicated to helping you, self-care, publications dedicated to specific mental illnesses, groups fighting to end mental health stigma


Disclaimer:  This site is designed by School Refusal Hope to assist parents, family, friends and other caregivers with finding resources to understand and cope with school refusal, as well as to increase public awareness regarding school refusal.  The contents of this website are presented for informational and educational purposes only. Nothing on this website is to be construed as professional advice on medical, legal, technical or therapeutic matters.  By accessing and using the information on this site, you agree to waive any rights to hold the site developer(s), or any individual and/or group associated with this site, liable for any damage that may result from the use of the information presented.