Is your child with autism or another disability showing signs of school refusal behavior? Are you at your wits end and do not know what to do? Would you like to learn about treatment and educational strategies for school refusal behavior that could benefit your child in special education? This article will be discussing school refusal behavior, treatments and educational services and strategies that could help your child in this area.
Successful treatment in this area depends on why the child is experiencing this difficulty. Could be due to many reasons but I will discuss a few:
1. Inappropriate treatment by special education personnel. This could be due to the staffs attitudes or perceived negative behavior of your child. This occurs quite often when school personnel do not receive the proper training, in how to positively deal with negative behavior.
2. Inappropriate amount and type of special education services to help your child make progress in their education. When children are not being taught they tend to either develop negative behavior, anxiety, or depression, which could be contributing to school refusal behavior.
3. Anxiety or depression could be a reason that your child is having this difficulty; though it would be important to figure out why your child has developed these. Was their a particular incident that occurred at school that affected your child? Were they restrained or secluded by special education staff? These are just a few possibilities that you can consider.
4. Difficulty with other children due to your child's difficulty with social skills and social cues.
Below are several things that you should consider that may help your child;
1. Consider a few observations over a several day period at different times of the day. See how your child interacts with school staff, and how they interact with other children. Notice any particular problems-make an appointment to discuss these issues with school personnel. If your child's teacher cannot deal with your child's behavior ask for specific training in the area of Positive Behavioral Supports (PBS).
2. Talk to other students or parents that are in the building and see if they have noticed any difficulty. I find this to be a wonderful way to truly find the truth about what is going on in your child's school!
3. Check and make sure that your child is learning by asking for progress monitoring, check your child's district and state standardized testing, and look at your state standards for the grade your child is in. If your child is not making appropriate progress they may be developing anxiety which can contribute to this disorder.
4. Check your child's IEP and make sure that staff is following the IEP and that your child is receiving all the services that are listed. I have heard from many parents who just assumed that their child was getting the services until something happened, and they found out their child was not getting the special education services listed on their IEP.
5. Ask for psychological counseling with a trained psychologist, if your child needs it. If your school does not have a trained psychologist who can do counseling, the school district is required by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) to pay for an outside person, if your child needs it! You will probably have to fight for an outside person, but your child is worth it!
6. If all of these strategies do not work consider taking your child to a trained Psychiatrist to see if your child could benefit from medication to help them. Also they could recommend a trained psychologist that could provide counseling for your child. The school needs to pay for this though, since it is related to educational difficulties.
7. Your child may need another teacher or a different placement that can meet their educational and emotional needs.
By trying all of these strategies you will well be on your way to helping your child with their school refusal behavior!