In addition to customising the child or young person’s experience at school and carefully considering expectations, demands and environmental changes that can be made, there will also be a need for emotional wellbeing support. The most natural and effective way to do this is by developing rapport and a positive relationship with the young person based on trust and openness. Most people rely on the relationships with those closest to recover from challenging situations, however for some, a more targeted individual response may be necessary.
If someone in the school is trained in therapeutic approaches (e.g. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), it is worth considering direct work with the young person around their EBSA. Once the reasons for EBSA have been identified, therapeutic approaches may help the young person to understand: what is happening; why it is happening; and how they can help themselves on a daily basis when faced with anxiety-provoking situations around school attendance. Practitioners can use CBT based strategies in their conversations with the young person. Further guidance in this area can be found on the Healthier Minds website.
In some cases, outside agencies may be best placed to offer direct support depending on the nature and severity of the emotional wellbeing need, for example through the Healthier Minds Service or Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services.