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AVOIDING SCHOOL

Many times a child is reluctant to go to school. There are many reasons for school avoidance.
1. Genuine fear of going to school
2. Fear of teacher
3. Separation anxiety from parents
4. Teased by friends
5. Worried what's happening at home,

How should the situation be handled ?
1.

A child should be made to feel very comfortable with the teacher. The teachers aim should be to help the child separate from home and adjust toschool and the outside world.

2.

An attempt should be made to understand the childs behaviour. If one understands the behaviour, one would respond to the child accordingly.

3.

Sometimes, when a child is new to a school, its advisable for either parents to spend some days in the class room till the child becomes familiar with the new surroundings and people.

4.

A stable home atmosphere many a times children avoid school since they are worried whats happening at home if parents are fighting. Parents safety could be the thought on childs mind which could keep the child away from school.

 

CASE STUDY

Past History 
Radhika a seven year old girl was referred by her parents to the child guidance clinic. She remained absent quite a few times in class. Whenever present, she always complained of a stomachache, would get her teacher to call her mother and then get going home with incomplete worksheets in class. At first, it started with crying spells while leaving home, got a little quiet after reaching school, but as soon as the written work or reading began, she would complain of gripes in the stomach. This became a habit with her. The teacher realized this and Radhika was taken to the counsellor.

History of worms in the stomach was present, all milestones were normal and there was no major illness in the past. Poor appetite with wrong eating habits was present. It was found that Radhika used to wrestle with spellings and math's and had a very poor handwriting. In contrast, her language skills were excellent. Her testing showed a discrepancy between verbal and performance scores.

On questioning, it was found that Radhika had developed a great fear of her teacher who was strict in teaching and demanded complete work. She was very scared of being punished as the teacher had done so very often before to other students.

Radhika had also failed to develop essential visual perception and eye-hand skills. This made her even more insecure in the classroom. She could not trust anyone and look upon anyone for help. This made her uncomfortable and she always looked forward to going home, which made her feel safer and secure. Her parents confided that she prefers being at home, rather that playing with friends in the neighbourhood.


Treatment
a.

It is important to recognize that Radhika has classroom difficulties and these can have emotional repercussions. Therefore she requires sensitive handling, both at home and at school to prevent further damage to her self-image.

b.

Her parents must focus on enjoying the time they spend together with Radhika. They must include one-to-one time that is not related to schoolwork.

c.

They must make Radhika aware of her strengths and provide opportunities for her to develop them. They must boost her esteem by encouraging self-reliance.

d.

They must be aware of negative influences at Radhika's school, like children who tease, make the teacher aware of the child's sensitive nature and the homework expectations that are unrealistic.

e.

Radhika must be made aware of how she learns best and at least one parent should stay nearby for support, during homework sessions.

Radhika was made to sit closer to her class teacher. She was made to feel important by the class teacher. She was asked to distribute books in the class, take control in between the periods and some leadership qualities were also encouraged. This made Radhika more confident and happy and slowly this fear of her teacher decreased.

Radhika needed the confidence and the trust of her teacher. She needed to be in a receptive and happy frame of mind. Her parent's attitude also helped her.

 

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