Jessica Kingsley Publishers. 267 pages, £16.95
Stress is something to which we are all susceptible but the extent to which we are affected by it, and are able to deal with it, depends on our own personal threshold. When a child is overburdened by unresolved stress, the effects are manifested in a variety of ways, school phobia being only a symptom of a wider problem where the source of the stress is not necessarily rooted in school.
An emotionally distressed child cannot function effectively, and the fears that bind him or her impinge on the entire family. Such a child needs help, reassurance and guidance to find his or her way out of this downward spiral.
The book looks at all aspects of school phobia (which professionals refer to as school refusal or avoidance) including: phobias, panic attacks and anxiety disorders; triggers of school phobia and its true nature; bullying; social anxiety, shyness and selective mutism, and professional help.
Practical advice is given in detail and helps children develop self-talk techniques for use throughout their life.
School Phobia, Panic Attacks and Anxiety in Children is relevant to parents, carers and professionals working with sensitive children aged 5 to 16 that are so anxious about going to school it makes them ill, giving valuable insight into this much-misunderstood multi-faceted condition. Some pages are photocopiable to give to the child's teachers. It is an invaluable resource for anyone that works with children.
This book has been contracted with Grupo Editorial Lumen in Argentina to produce a Spanish edition and with Pro Die Kiadó in Hungary to produce a Hungarian edition.
Anita Bratherton, principal officer, pupil inclusion unit, National Children's Bureau
Children Now 17-23 November 2004
'...It is broken down into readable segments, which fit together as a whole, but also work as standalone chapters, something all readers will find helpful. Also helpful is the fact that Márianna Csóti provides web site details as well as other references at the close of each chapter.
'For parents with a child going through problems, this book will be invaluable in showing them that they are not alone. Csóti - whose own child experienced school phobia - gives examples of places where families can find support as well as highlighting what parents and children can do to help themselves.
'...Professionals will find this book useful as a one-stop guide to anxiety problems in children who are missing school.
'For those who have yet to come across a child with school phobia or panic attacks, it should help them to understand the issues these children may be facing, as well as raise awareness of areas they may not have considered such as the impact of Asperger Syndrome and autism.
'Csóti outlines practical ways to help young people going through problems, but is also adamant about what she feels will not work, often drawing on personal experience, which gives a degree of credibility to her verdicts.
'She endeavours to give a balanced overview as to what school phobia is and is not, where panic attacks fit in and what happens when children suffer from excessive anxiety. What comes across is the fact that, to quote Csóti, "school phobia is not a true phobia. It is far more complex and can involve a range of disorders".'
Reviewer from Amazon.co.uk: jem5128 from Wales, United Kingdom
I am an Education Social Work student as well as a mother of two, and I myself was shy and afraid of school as a child. Whilst researching the topic of school phobia for my course I came across a variety of material relating to the subject, but found that the book "school phobia, panic attacks and anxiety in children - by Marianna Csoti" was the most useful resource in terms of giving parents real and practical advice on how best to deal with the problem.
This book is laid out in an easy to read format and outlines all the main topics relating to school phobia. It provides a very real and very human approach to treating school anxiety and phobia and certainly increased my understanding of the subject immensely. Not only does it empower parents to take an active role in their child's recovery it also gives social workers, teachers, and other professionals, a very real insight into some of the hurdles that parents and children must overcome.
I highly recommend this book to anyone working with young people in schools and especially to parents who want to really understand all aspects of school phobia and how to make their children's journey through school a little easier.