FOCUS with Starr Commonwealth's Chief Clinical Officer Caelan Soma, PsyD, LMSW

Back to School: Normalize Reactions

Many caregivers and parents are curious about the signs they might see that children are feeling worried about the return to school. Here are some common symptoms kids experience when they experience stress.

  • Tearfulness
  • Regression
  • Clingy
  • Complaints of headaches and/or stomachaches
  • Resistance going to school; school refusal
  • Opposition and defiance
  • Withdrawn behavior

It is important to normalize reactions for the first few weeks while getting back into a new routine – especially after last years’ breaks from in-person school for many students. All transitions create some stress and you can expect to see some changes in all children, but if they persist longer than the first few weeks, then you should see if the child might benefit from some additional support.

By Dr. Caelan Soma, PsyD, LMSW

Dr. Caelan Soma, PsyD, LMSW, Chief Clinical Officer, provides oversight for all clinical operations and research at Starr Commonwealth. Dr. Soma provides trauma assessment and trauma informed, resilience focused intervention for youth utilizing evidence-based practices, including TLC’s SITCAP® model programs.

About Starr Commonwealth

Starr Commonwealth is dedicated to the mission to lead with courage to create positive experiences so that all children, families, and communities flourish. We specialize in residential, community-based, educational, and professional training programs that build on the strengths of children, adults, and families in communities around the world. To schedule a training or consultation, please contact or call 800-837-5591.