School avoidance affects teens at Leesville Road High School every day.
School avoidance, also known as school refusal, is a manifestation of anxiety characterized by the presence of an anxiety disorder, no concurrent DSM-IV conduct disorder, and less than an 80% attendance record over the span of two weeks.
Students who experience school avoidance may feel overwhelmed from their anxiety, along with the burden of getting behind on schoolwork.
“My anxiety makes it really hard for me to come to school sometimes … I try to come to school but sometimes it’s just too much,” said an anonymous senior.
“Sometimes it helps to just be alone, but I don’t want to get behind on my schoolwork,” said an anonymous junior.
Students suffering with school avoidance are often perceived as “lazy” or “unmotivated.” However, the internal struggles students suffer run far deeper. Students with autism and ADHD are twice as likely to suffer from school avoidance.
For students suffering, cognitive behavioral therapy and exposure therapy are the most effective methods of treatment.