The School Refusal Track is a psychiatric program in Chicago and Northbrook that provides short-term stabilization for children who are having trouble attending school. Many of these children struggle with mood and anxiety symptoms that manifest as school refusal behavior. Currently this track is only available for patients admitted to PHP.
School refusal behaviors may include complaints of being ill with a stomach ache, a sore throat, or a headache upon waking up. These complaints usually resolve once the child is allowed to remain at home, but may resurface the next morning. Children may also avoid school by frequently requesting to visit the nurse’s office, showing up tardy to classes or not showing up at all, and by being absent on test days or for classes or events that may trigger performance anxiety, such as giving presentations or participating in sports or physical education classes. Other symptoms of school-avoidance include temper tantrums, crying spells, and panic attacks before, during, or related to school.
Our goal is to help patients return to the classroom by providing them with the strategies and the confidence needed to effectively deal with anxiety and depressive symptoms that present when faced with daily stressors.