Helping parents cope with students' refusal to go to school

Parents who are coping with a child who refuses to go to school are invited to a free workshop titled Taking Ownership of Your Child’s Education When Your Child Refuses to Go to School: A Workshop about School Refusal, Anxiety, and How to Move Forward.

It will take place on Tuesday, Dec. 5, from 7 to 9 p.m. at The Westport Day School, 372 Danbury Road, Suite 190, in Wilton. The speakers will be special education law attorney Lawrence W. Berliner; Dr. Mark Beitel, co-founder of the Westport Day School; and Lauren Seltzer, director of admissions and assistant clinical director at Grove School.

The Westport Day School is a private therapeutic day school for students in grades six through 12 and postgraduate year. The Grove School is a private therapeutic boarding and day school for students in grades seven through twelve and postgraduate year in Madison, Conn.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, approximately 25% of American teenagers will be diagnosed with an anxiety disorder and 6% will receive a severe diagnosis. This workshop will address these growing trends, help parents understand the reasons why their child refuses to go to school, find an appropriate education, and discuss how a therapeutic placement can offer a supportive learning environment.

Focus of the workshop:

  • Special education laws and your child’s rights;

  • Top 10 Checklist: Strategies for the school year and beyond;

  • Turning Point: The parents’ road ahead when their child’s rights are denied by the school;

  • School Refusal: Understanding what’s behind a child who refuses to go to school;

  • How to re-engage a child in an appropriate supportive learning environment;

  • Tackling anxiety issues;

  • Models of Therapeutic Education: The Westport Day School and Grove School.

To register, call Rachel Berliner, public relations assistant at the Law Office of Lawrence W. Berliner, LLC at 203-255-0582 or email