Families affected by school refusal share their stories

The experiences of a 14-year-old boy, whose social anxiety disorder has led to him missing school for much of the academic year, have prompted others to come forward to share their stories. The BBC reports.

Kai, from Chesterfield, has a condition known as school refusal, but his mother Debbie Bendall said he was treated like a truant and the family had faced threats of fines over his non-attendance.

Since Kai’s story was published, a number of people have come forward to tell similar stories of how their conditions affected their school life.

Harry (not his real name), who is 14, was diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) at the age of six and autism at nine.

He has not been to school at all since February 2018, which has led to his mother, a trained social worker, being taken to court and fined.

She said her son had pathological demand avoidance – a behaviour profile within the autistic spectrum – which meant he needed to be in “control of everything”.

Mind said children experiencing social anxiety disorder or school refusal experienced emotional distress about attending school.

Watch and read more about more experiences and how the education system is letting families down Families affected by school refusal share their stories  

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