Jayne Demsky

Dear Schools, We Need Your Help Now More than Ever.

Dear Schools and Educators,

We wish you all an excellent start to the 2021 school year. We know your staff has been challenged just like families as we faced school closures last year. Hopefully, you had some time to relax this summer.

Thank you for caring for our kids and for all your hard work.

We know you have a lot of issues to deal with right now, but we can help you with one that we are familiar with as well.

That is is school avoidance. The kids that can’t leave their homes or walk into a school building.

School avoidance is often misunderstood, and it can be complicated. 

We want to work with you to share the facts about school avoidance, best practices, and evidence-based interventions, such as exposure therapy.

We need your help now more than ever as there is a shortage of mental health professionals. Your school’s mental health professionals may be the only access kids have to mental health support.

The most successful outcomes for school avoidance kids are a result of the school supporting and working with the family.

We speak to school avoidance families every day, and many are struggling and don’t feel supported by their schools.

Some schools do understand and have been wonderful working with families and their kids. So, thank you.

You may not be aware of this or be able to see things from our perspective, so we want to share some recent comments we have heard from parents of school avoidant kids:

“We still have another week before school starts here. My 8th grader seems ready for a fresh start, and I’m trying not to be anxious about it, but I think I have PTSD from the trauma of last year.”

“I’m really anxious about school starting next week. I met with w/his 504 team, and they are not willing to provide a gradual reentry (said she can leave a study hall). Privately both the guidance counselor and school psychologist agree that she needs a diff plan – but they say silent at the meeting.”

“I’m so scared of next week, and I’m actually so scared as I know all the anxiety will be back and the stress and worry, my levels are thru the roof.”

“I know the feeling. Pure dread. It’s so hard.”

“Our public schools are just not willing to be helpful, and in fact, ours was so far from helpful they were traumatizing.”

“My son struggles with this issue. He’s in 6th grade now, but it started in 3rd. It’s made for a challenging relationship with the school – and it’s been eye-opening how much work is needed in this area.”

“I don’t feel like anyone in the school district understands! They have been little to no help. We are drowning here.”

Thanks for listening. We value our schools and educators and want to work together so we can best help our kids.

Here is our website with school avoidance facts and an intervention roadmap.

Thanks for listening. Let us know how we can help.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Jayne Demsky

The School Avoidance Alliance

Jayne Demsky
Author: Jayne Demsky

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