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The Link Between School Refusal & ASD / Autism

There's been a long standing suspicion....well, more than a suspicion by Kay, that Autistic Spectrum Disorder or Condition and the Autistic Spectrum have a strong relationship to children suffering from School Phobia and School Refusal. Every time a parent wrote to Kay, they discussed their child in detail, indicating certain traits of Autism, or that they had a diagnosis, or were fighting the system for a diagnosis. Such occurrences were too frequent to be ignored. Kay was also drawn to the fact her son has Tourettes Syndrome which sits on the spectrum. Her daughter has ASD and has experienced issues with attending school and anxiety. We don't have a study to make this a factual statement; just a gathering of information that continues to strengthen this theory. To help you gain trust in this theory, Kay decided to post a question on a social media support group

Kay asked :

About 90% of families that make a request to this group tell me of their child who has either been

1. Diagnosed with ASD

2. Diagnosed with autism

3. Suspicions of ASD/autism

4. Fighting for a diagnosis of ASD/autism

...... you get the point.

I've stated for years that their is a strong link between school refusal, anxiety and ASD/Autism. With each post and message, this continues to be reinforced.

For this if you without answers, diagnosis or suspicion, please research. This may become a suspicion, which gives you the answer and leads to a diagnosis.

Please state a YES below if any of you have suspicions, diagnosis or are currently fighting this so other parents still in the dark can see how strongly ASD/autism is a factor.

Because of the huge response, would anyone be willing to be quoted named or anonymously on my website to give visitors direction Or at least something to think about. Please INBOX ME and state clearly if you want to be anonymous or not.


  • - Parents Comments (quoted with permission) - although many wanted to remain anonymous due to ongoing issues
  • - The post received 116 responses of 'yes' within 7hrs with numbers increasing.

“Yes, Totally!” – Anonymous

"Yes. Awaiting CAMHs appointment, was referred before but diverted to young minds. Turned down to get an assessment for EHCP so need to appeal. So desperately sad for my child and all the others going through this" – anonymous

"Yes. Before we came out of system to HE it was confirmed that ‘L’ is def on autism spectrum but could not pinpoint where as she was so stressed and anxious she would not engage with CAMHS " - anonymous

"My 14 year old son has a diagnosis of ASD, ADHD and Sensory Processing Disorder (among other conditions) and suffers with severe anxiety to the point he's not only missed almost 2 full years of high school but barely left the house at all for over a year. After a fight with with LEA. They agreed to name our chosen school, a specialist independent ASD specific school with a low sensory unit, and he's attended 100% since he started in May. He's a completely different child now, he still doesn't leave the house for anything other than school, but he's much happier. My advice to any parent with a school refusing child would be to trust your own instincts, no one knows a child like it's parents. " - Emma O'Neill

“Yes, my son has an ASD diagnosis" – anonymous

"My son has ASD and was diagnosed through the school refusal problem. I am starting my dissertation soon for my degree and my topic is going to be an exploration of School Refusal and ASD, so will be following this thread with interest" - Rebecca English

"Yes, anxiety diagnosis age 14 (when school refusal started) and ASC and ADHD diagnosed age 15. Complete shock to get the ASC diagnosis (still hasn't sunk in) but I suspected it was something causing the anxiety disorder/school refusal after I saw your website a year ago"

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