School Refusal - Rubenzahl, Knudsen & Associates ...

School Refusal - Rubenzahl, Knudsen & Associates ...

School Refusal Causes of School Refusal Avoiding School-Related Stimuli that Provokes Negative Affectivity Escape Aversive Social and/or Evaluative Situations Attention from Others Tangible Rewards Outside of School School Refusal Assessment Scale - Revised

Parent and Child versions 24 items on each version 0-6 rating for each item Obtain total and average score for each of 4 scales Scale with highest score is treatment focus If average scores are within 0.5 point its a tie

Avoiding School-Related Stimuli that Provokes Negative Affectivity Psychoeducation Feelings Thermometer (SUDS) Habituation Anxiety & Avoidance Hierarchy

Deep Breathing and Relaxation Training Systematic Desensitization In Vivo Desensitization Avoiding School-Related Stimuli that Provokes Negative Affectivity Between sessions child listens to audio of insession desensitization, then talks with parents When not attending school the child should wake as if normal school day and the day should be structured (do school work during school hours; no fun until after school time) Gradual return to school

Expect and encourage attendance unless clearly ill If truly ill: rest in bed or do school work Escape Aversive Social and/or Evaluative Situations Psychoeducation

Anxiety & Avoidance Hierarchy Feelings Thermometer (SUDS) Identifying Negative Thoughts Helpful Thoughts STOP Cognitive Restructuring Strategies for specific source(s) of anxiety Involving parents and others Escape Aversive Social and/or Evaluative Situations

Exposure In session and between sessions Gradual return to school Expect and encourage attendance unless clearly ill Refusing School for Attention Parent training Unlike previous 2 types, treatment for this subtype is primarily with parents

Gather information about parental expectations & punishments routines: morning, evening, and night Major goal = shift parental attention away from school refusal and toward attendance by restructuring parental commands establishing fixed daily routines implementing rewards and punishments Refusing School for Attention Forced school attendance

An option with this subtype of school refusal, but use with caution If refusal is only for attention and there is no significant distress or anxiety Two adults take child to school and meet school staff at door; school staff then escort child to class Child is <11 years old and missing most days Rewards for attending school If refusal is persistent implement daytime procedures that are school-like, followed by punishments for after-school hours Refusing School for Tangible Rewards

Common reasons include drugs, videogames, excessive sleep, excessive time with older friends Major goal = help family members develop a better way of solving problems reducing conflict increasing rewards for attendance decreasing rewards for absences Therapy equally involves parents and child, both separately and together

Refusing School for Tangible Rewards Negotiate contract between parent(s) and child Ask child for input first Negotiate initial contracts separately with child and with parents First contract(s) should be basic and for non-school refusal behavior Link responsibilities and privileges Family should have regular brief family meetings between sessions

Refusing School for Tangible Rewards Communication skills training Peer refusal skills training Develop interventions for sleep disorders and for getting up in the morning

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