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Exceptional Lives Team
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March 3, 2021

What Can I Do to Help if My Child is Struggling in School?

There are many reasons why a child may struggle in school. The good news is that there are ways to help!

 

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There are many reasons why a child may struggle in school. The good news is that there are ways to help!

Maybe they need a different kind of teaching:

  • Children learn in different ways and some kinds of instruction work better for certain kids.

  • If this is the cause of your child’s trouble, some new teaching strategies can help! An example: Small Group Instruction. A few kids may work in a group with the teacher to get more personalized instruction for part of the class.

  • Your school has a whole menu of strategies, or interventions, that teachers can try. But if they don’t help, there are other options.

Maybe they have a learning disability:

  • There are several types of learning disabilities that make it harder for kids to learn. The most familiar one is Dyslexia, but there are other kinds as well. 

  • There are tests that can identify if a child has a learning disability, and there are teaching techniques that can help your child learn.

  • If they have a learning disability that affects their progress and requires specialized instruction, they should qualify for special education services.

Maybe they have a developmental disability:

  • Developmental delays or disabilities can also affect learning. Autism is one example. Kids can also have specific kinds of delays that affect their communication, motor coordination, or ability to regulate their emotions. These can all affect learning.

  • There are special therapies to help kids with developmental disabilities. Examples are Speech Therapy, Behavioral Therapy, and Occupational Therapy (OT).

  • If they have a developmental disability that affects their learning, they should qualify for special education services.

Maybe they have trouble focusing:

  • There are some simple ways to reduce distractions and help kids focus.

  • Examples: putting their desk up front near the teacher, doing individual work in a quiet corner with dividers around their desk, or using headphones to cancel noise.

  • An evaluation can tell if someone has ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder). This is a condition where their brain processes things differently. There are strategies and medicines that can help. If a child has ADHD and it affects their learning, they should qualify for special education services.

What can I do to help?

  • Talk to your child’s teacher and ask for a meeting.

  • Discuss your concerns and decide on a plan to try some new strategies.

  • Then keep observing your child’s progress and stay in touch with the teacher.

  • If the strategies do not work and you’re still concerned, you have a right to ask for a special education evaluation.

Want to learn more? Take a look at our full Guide: What to Do If Your Child Struggles in School. This was written for Louisiana, but most of the information applies to kids from anywhere!

You can also join us on Facebook by subscribing to our Massachusetts or Louisiana Group, or sign up for our bi-weekly newsletter

This blog was originally published on October 18, 2019.

 

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