THERE ARE SOME PAINFUL FACTS ABOUT SICK KIDS WHO MISS SCHOOL OFTEN, OR FOR LONG PERIODS, AND THESE FACTS NEED OUR ONGOING ATTENTION TO GET CHANGE
The experience of more than 60,000 Australian kids with critical or chronic illness or injury is one of isolation and marginalisation (ABS, 2015; ARACY, 2015).
While entitled to a continuing education, the reality is that kids who are absent are forgotten in a busy school (ARACY, 2015).
Frequent or extended school absences, for illness or treatment, can have profound and enduring consequences:
- delays in developmental skills due to missed experiences
- school refusal and absenteeism
- academic under-achievement
- behavioural problems
- increased anxiety
- attention and concentration problems
- reintegration difficulties
- specific learning needs
- low self-esteem
- disruption of friendships
- difficulties in forming and maintaining relationships
- reduced opportunities for social support
- increased vulnerability to other life stressors or secondary illnesses
- peer rejection
(Donnan and Webster, 2011; Whiteford, 2010; Shaw and McCabe, 2008; Dockett, 2004; Shiu, 2001).
School absence leads to a host of education-limiting issues that the student experiences when they return to the classroom and can limit the achievement of their social and economic potential.