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.

 Who do I reach out to at school for help?

The Child Study Team (sometimes called the Student Study Team or other like terms) is the first place you should go to for assistance at your school.  I didn’t know this when we first started dealing with my son’s school refusal. I just assumed that his guidance counselor was the one to help us. I constantly asked her for help getting my son a 504 plan. She never told me to contact the child study team myself. I wasted precious weeks banging my head against the wall with her. The CST are the contacts at your school in charge of evaluating for a 504 plan or an IEP. Later on when I had no choice but to hire a lawyer (don’t worry, our case was extreme, you most likely won’t need an attorney), she told me to always document your requests with a time stamp. There are state guidelines which dictate how many days the school has before they must respond to your request. Protect yourself and send an email and follow up to make sure they acknowledge receipt. You can also drop off a letter with this request at school, but you should ask whoever collects it from you to stamp a received date on it (and watch them do it). And get a copy for yourself.

The CST is usually made up of a school psychologist and social workers. Their job is to determine if your child qualifies for special education.

Special education is a broad term used to by the law to describe specially designed instruction that meets the unique needs of a child who has a disability. These services are provided by the public school system and are free of charge. Your child may qualify for modifications of homework or tests, extended test taking time, extended deadlines, classes that include a special education teacher in addition to the regular teacher. Other assistance can be in the form of getting copies of teacher’s notes, assignments and projects broken down into manageable steps, copies of teacher study guides for tests, access to specialists, learning aids and technology based assistance….Services can also include instruction at home, in hospitals and institutions.

In order for the CST team to qualify a child for services, they must be found to have one of the 13 categories of special education and it must adversely affect their educational performance.

If your child does not qualify for services under IDEA, they may qualify for modifications under Section 504 of the American Disabilities Act of 1973.



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.