Absences Piling Up? Truancy in Teens vs School Refusal

School refusal and truancy in teens both have to do with missing school, but that’s about all that they have in common. Your child is skipping class, absences are piling up, but you don’t know why it’s happening. Are they scared to go to school? Are they meeting up with their friends? This is where school avoidance and truant behavior diverge. Identifying the differences between the two can help you help your child.

Signs of school refusal vs truancy in teens

School refusal sometimes has to deal with a problem at school that’s causing anxiety, such as bullying. It can also begin with a perceived threat to the family’s wellbeing, such as a sudden medical issue in the parent. Your child wants to stay in a space where they feel safe and relaxed, which is why they’re playing hooky all the time. Signs of this can be frequent ailments like stomach aches/headaches that tend to vanish when you allow them to stay home. Defiant or separation anxiety may also appear in cases of school refusal.

In cases of truancy in teens, it’s much different. Unlike school refusal, truant behavior usually has to deal with teens skipping school to be with friends. Truant teens often believe that going to school isn’t helpful, that it’s a waste of time. This can be due to an unrecognized learning disability that makes it difficult for the student to perform well in school. Truancy in teens usually results in the teen lying about their feelings towards school, unlike school refusal.

Asheville Academy can help

Asheville Academy is a therapeutic boarding school for young girls, ages 10-14. We commonly treat issues such as depression, anxiety, school refusal, and other behavioral problems. We seek to help each one of our girls work towards a brighter future and a healthier self.

For more information about Asheville Academy, contact us today at 800.264.8709