School Refusal (cont.)
IN THIS ARTICLE
After a visit with the child's pediatrician a treatment plan should be developed. Consultation with a pediatric neurologist, a doctor who specializes in treating and diagnosing nervous system disorders in children, should be performed if there are any concerns about an underlying neurologic trigger. Consultation with a child and adolescent psychiatrist should be performed both for psychopharmacologic interventions as well as for confirmation of the diagnosis of school refusal. The consultation should also determine if other comorbid disorders (two or more disorders existing at the same time) require treatment and provide a comprehensive treatment plan. The psychiatrist can also conduct the therapy or refer the patient to a psychotherapist for this treatment.
Bettina E Bernstein, DO
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According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition (DSM-IV), separation anxiety is a fairly common anxiety disorder that consists of excessive anxiety beyond that expected for the child's developmental level related to separation or impending separation from the attachment figure (eg, primary caretaker, close family member) occurring in children younger than 18 years and lasting for at least 4 weeks.