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Dr. Fred Piaser

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Many children experience school phobia. This is a refusal to attend school because of a fear of leaving home. It may also result from a desire to avoid an unpleasant experience at school. It is more a problem of separation then a fear of school. This can create stress for both children and parents. This condition is most common from kindergarten to second grade. The children involved are usually good students with obsessive traits. The child may use a variety of physical complaints to help them get out of going to school. These complaints may include headache, nausea, abdominal pain, dizziness, and weakness. There may even be vomiting and cough. These symptoms usually disappear at night, on weekends, and during holidays.

School phobias can come on almost any time. Events that trigger them include the arrival of a new baby or a move to a new home.  Illness or conflict within the family, or improper class placement, can also cause them. What should you do if you suspect school phobia? First you should make sure that these symptoms do not represent a real illness. Try to return him to school as soon as possible. Make it clear to your child that minor illness is not a reason to stay home. Try to determine the cause of the phobia and discuss it with your child. If your child does not return to regular school attendance quickly, a minor problem could become a chronic difficulty. Once you discover the root of the problem, your child will begin to enjoy the challenges before him.

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