Missing School to Attend Therapy

photo by Thought Catalog

If your child is struggling with a mental health concern it is important to get her the help that she needs. However, between the time demands of school, extracurricular activities, and family commitments it can seem impossible to find time to attend therapy. Many parents are hesitant to schedule therapy during school hours because they are afraid of the consequences of their child missing out on instructional time. Will he fall behind? Will her teacher be willing to provide work that was missed? Will the school worry that my child is absent too frequently? 

Prioritizing Your Child’s Mental Health

Parenting is often about making hard decisions and sometimes that means choosing to address your child’s long term well being despite the fears that may come up with taking your child out of school for therapy sessions. It can be helpful to remember that mental health concerns significantly impact your child’s ability to learn. By prioritizing your child’s mental health right now you are ensuring that her long-term learning is supported.

Mental Health Concerns Impact Learning

If you are concerned about your child’s mental health, you can be assured that their learning is already being impacted negatively. Anxiety influences working memory, making it difficult to learn and remember what is being taught. Depression impairs cognitive functioning and can make it hard to concentrate, remember events and details, and make simple decisions in the classroom. Trauma disrupts the brain’s ability to focus on and retain teacher instructions.

Deciding on the Best Time for your Child to Miss School

  • Talk with you child’s teacher about natural breaks that happen during the school day that will allow you child to leave and return with the least amount of disruption to the class.
  • Consider scheduling therapy during a subject that your child does not like or is struggling with so that your child is excited to attend therapy sessions.
  • Ask you child what time of day they would like to attend therapy.
  • Think about scheduling therapy session at the beginning or end of the school day so that you child simply arrives to school late or leaves early.

Remember that by making your child’s mental health a priority you are supporting their education even if it means missing school!

Next Steps

If you are concerned about your child's Mental Health or have received a diagnosis for your child that you need support with Edgar Psychological can help.

Psychologists that Specialize in Children

Vivian Houg has extensive experience providing treatment for children and adolescents with mental health concerns.