Aspergers children can find the school environment overwhelming and they sometimes refuse to attend. Their challenges in social understanding, sensory sensitivity, pragmatic language issues and anxiety contribute to issues with school attendance. There can be wide variation in causes and degrees of refusal. School refusal may happen for one day then become more frequent without professional Aspergers children can find the school environment overwhelming and they sometimes refuse to attend.
Their challenges in social understanding, sensory sensitivity, pragmatic language issues and anxiety contribute to issues with school attendance. There can be wide variation in causes and degrees of refusal. School refusal may happen for one day then become more frequent without professional assessment and strategies created in partnership with your school to support their school engagement.
Parents and teachers who notice these behaviours should record increased absences or patterns, and access support if these continue. A complete evaluation should be made by qualified professionals to determine whether the child has another psychological or physical disorder.
It can be exhausting and frustrating for parents to deal with, but remember it is far worse for the student who feels such intense anxiety, fear and overwhelm about going to school. It is important to resolve the issues around school or the student they may develop on-going educational, emotional, and social problems.
Information specifically about Aspergers/ASD and school refusal is limited.
Top tips for Reintegration
The UK National Autistic Society
This organization has a webpage where they look at the reasons that could be behind this. They also suggest strategies to try at home and school to help students maintain school attendance or reintegrate them back into school. www.autism.org.uk/about/in-education/exclusion/school-refusal-strategies.aspx
Delivered in partnership with the Melbourne Graduate School of Education, the Royal Children’s Hospital Mental Health and Travancore School, a mental health-focused special school in Melbourne’s north-west, the students aged between 11 and 14 have been school refusing for between three months and two years and have diagnoses of anxiety and/or mood disorders.
Cool 2b@School works with the young person, parents, families and the school to develop an understanding of the causes of school refusal and to support the young person’s return to school. The program aims at early intervention, so families and schools are encouraged to contact us as soon as a problem is noticed. The program also provides professional consultancy to schools aimed at supporting students, parents and the school staff.
VICTORIAN GOVERNMENT NAVIGATOR PROGRAM
The Navigator program works to support disengaged young people to return to education and learning.
Navigator works with young people, their families and support networks to address issues underlying disengagement and help them re-engage with their education.
It is delivered by community agencies, who work closely with local schools and school area teams. Services are being piloted across eight Department areas, each tailored to its local community. More at : www.education.vic.gov.au/school/teachers/.../Pages/
The Quirky Kid Clinic
Child, Adolescent and Family Psychology Clinic based in Sydney and Wollongong
OTHER SCHOOLING OPTIONS
The AYCE (Access Yea Community Education) Program
The AYCE (Access Yea Community Education) Program aims at providing education for students who, for a wide variety of reasons, are not enrolled at a school. In 1999 the school ran a pilot program and, in practice, the program attracted mainly students who had been, up until that time, home educated. www.myayce.com
Currajong School is a non-denominational, co-educational school with classes from Prep to Year 8 with small class numbers. The criteria for enrolment are social, emotional and behavioural disorders, and the length of placement is three years (longer if required). There should be positive indicators of children’s potential and ability to sustain changes made and to reintegrate into mainstream education following placement at Currajong.
Alia College is a small, not-for-profit, independent, secondary school. The college has a mainstream academic focus aiming for the best possible tertiary entrance score along with a style that is variously described as holistic and/or community and/or democratic and/or family-like. www.alia.vic.edu.au/about.php
The Pavillion School (Mill Park)
This is a state secondary school for students who have disengaged or been excluded from school. It aims to re-engage young people by providing relevant and individually tailored education programs.
Berengarra School (Box Hill)
Berengarra is a non-profit co-educational secondary school that meets the individual needs of students of normal intelligence but with social and emotional problems. Their program is based on a model that incorporates cognitive behaviour, narrative, and solution-focused therapies. The school is a loop out of the mainstream system and students generally stay for between six months and two years.
Monash University School Refusal Program referrals and resources
This program is no longer taking applications but offers the following information:
Home Schooling resources: www.education.vic.gov.au/school/parents/primary/Pages/homeschool.aspx
School phobia/school refusal Australia - closed group you can join for support and information. They also run a face to face peer support group which AV has been supporting.
Overcoming school refusal
Booklet excerpt about school refusal: www.psych4schools.com.au/excerpt/school-refusal
Beth Bodycote is studying this and her website is at www.notfineinschool.org.uk plus she has a FB page
Help for anxiety disorders:
Please also see our Aspergers Victoria Professional Directory - Tutors page as well as our Teen Group details on our Groups page. Many kids with school exclusion attend our groups and appreciate understanding peers and social time.
Source of image : https://adaa.org/living-with-anxiety/children/school-refusal
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