School Anxiety » School Anxiety

School Anxiety

School refusal behavior refers to children aged 5 to 17 years who refuse to attend school and/or have trouble remaining in classes for an entire day.  This is a common problem that many parents face, so do not feel alone! Roughly 6% of students in the US are absent each day, and 1% of these students are exhibiting chronic school refusal2. School refusal behavior is a difficult and widespread problem, and can develop into more serious problems if left untreated.  Specifically, your child may show school refusal behaviors that include:

  • Being completely absent from school.
  • Going to school but then leaving school during the course of the day.
  • Skipping classes or being frequently tardy to school.
  • Going to school but only after behavior problems in the morning, such as throwing temper tantrums or refusing to move.
  • Having unusual distress about going to school and pleading with you or your spouse not to not make him or her go back to school.

Although children show many different school refusal behaviors, the underlying causes have repeatedly been found to cluster in four areas. Clinical research1 indicates that children tend to refuse school in order to receive attention from parents; obtain reward/rewarding activities outside school; avoid social situations that cause anxiety; and avoid performing or being evaluated in front of others. The ACLD Tillotson School Anxiety Program targets the latter two functions of school refusal. 




The ACLD Tillotson School Anxiety Program utilizes a two prong process for enrollment of students. First, with approval from your local school district, and in consultation with ACLD Tillotson staff, we will provide a tour of our program facilities which includes explanations of program components and a glance at a typical day of attendance. Following agreement on the appropriateness of your child for our program, the counseling staff will then contact you to conduct an intake specific to your child’s behavioral health history and current mental health needs and functioning.


If you would like more information about this program please contact 412-325-2465.