It’s back-to-school month in Kane County, a wonderful time of the year when students return to classes, catch up with their friends and get started on a new season of learning and extracurricular activities.
For some students, though, the start of school isn’t so easy or so fun.
According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, about 5 percent of students suffer from anxiety-based school refusal disorder. At this time of year, those students are often agonizing about the start of classes, worrying so much that they can’t sleep at night, waking up the next day trying to think of a reason — any reason — not to go to school.
Anxiety-based school refusal disorder commonly takes place when the student is between the ages of 5 and 6 and between ages 10 and 11, and at times of transition, such as entering middle and high school, the ADAA says.
Children who suffer from school refusal tend to have average or above-average intelligence. But they may develop serious educational or social problems if their fears and anxiety keep them away from school and friends for any length of time.
If you have a child who is struggling with going to school, there are many steps that can be taken to assist them in getting back to school. Sometimes it may be as easy as having a meeting with a child and a teacher to resolve potential conflicts. If your child is refusing to leave home altogether, different interventions may need to be put in place.
To help parents cope with back-to-school anxiety, the Kane County Regional Office of Education is offering a free workshop for parents and community members. The School Anxiety/Refusal Workshop will be held from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 27, at the Kane County Regional Office of Education.
The workshop will be facilitated by Thuy Pham, PsyD, a clinical psychologist and clinical supervisor of the AMITA Alexian Brothers Behavioral Health Hospital Adolescent Partial Hospitalization Program, where she provides group therapy, family therapy, and case management services. Dr. Pham also worked with youth at Alexian Brothers’ School Anxiety/School Refusal Program prior to obtaining her current position.
To register for the workshop, please visit the Kane ROE’s registration website and register with this link.
About the Kane County Regional Office of Education
Led by Regional Superintendent of Schools Patricia Dal Santo, the Kane County ROE is located in Geneva and serves nine school districts. From teacher licensure assistance to professional development, the ROE’s mission is to advocate for education, provide leadership and perform regulatory functions. Learn more about the ROE’s offerings on Facebook, Twitter and by signing up for the semimonthly newsletter.