Combined Treatment Best for Kids Who Skip School
WebMD News Archive
"Being able to refer to a nice study like this gives caregivers much
more to offer parents in terms of saying 'we have good reason to believe [your
child] will get better.' Clinicians [now] actually have real data [to help them
decide what] to offer children and their families," Elliott says.
But learning why kids are refusing to go to school is the first step,
Mae Sokol, MD, tells WebMD. "One kid may have a totally different reason
than the next [for skipping school]. Don't rush to your doctor and beg for
[Tofranil],"she says. "Go to your doctor and ask for help. Try therapy
first; medication is just a useful addition." Sokol is a child and
adolescent psychiatrist at the Menninger Clinic in Topeka, Kan.
Because of the potential for serious side effects, children on Tofranil must
be monitored closely, especially when used in combination with other
- Refusal to go to school is a relatively common occurrence, affecting one
out of every 100 children and adolescents. In depressed or anxious kids, that
number is much higher -- as high as one in four, and in some cases even
greater, experts say.
- A new study shows that behavioral therapy in combination with medication
can help these adolescents return to school, but depression may persist.
- Researchers encourage parents to seek help, find out why the child doesn't
want to go to school, and try therapy before using a medication.