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What To Do If Your Child is Falling Behind in School


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School can be a difficult and challenging time for your child. It is here that they learn more about their capabilities, grow as an individual and learn things they will carry throughout their lives.

Some children easily succeed with school while others have difficulty comprehending assignments, interacting with other students and achieving simple tasks. Because of this, your child may end up falling behind in school, which will only make their situation worse and more stressful to handle.

Learning disabilities are extremely common among younger children, as elementary school is where these disabilities tend to appear. There is no reason to worry if your child has a learning disability, as they can be treated with doctors, teachers and even school counselors.

1. Have a conference.

If your child is showing signs of a learning disability, you need to sit down with a doctor, your child’s teacher and school administration. Doctors will be able to diagnose your child with the appropriate disorder and could possibly recommend specialists or medication that will help deter the disability.

Teachers will be able to change their learning style to help your child accomplish more, and school administration may be able to provide your child with tutoring sessions or place them in a smaller, more specialized, classroom.

2. Help your child cope.

Finding out that your child has a learning disability can be hard for them to handle. It may lower their self esteem or generate emotions and reactions that your child has never before experienced. At this time, it is important for you to talk with your child about what it means and how it’s going to be fixed. If you can, show them examples of celebrities or role models that have gone through the same thing. You can even use examples of your own struggles with school. By helping them cope, you can easily switch their outlook from negative to positive.

3. Encourage their achievements.

Find the things that your child is good at and allow them to enjoy and succeed in those items. If your child is great at sports, sign them up for different sports teams. Are they good at drawing? Enroll them in an art class. When your child succeeds, it will help them gain higher self esteem and keep the focus away from the areas they have trouble with.

4. Provide them with a designated study space.

Rather than have your child do schoolwork at the kitchen table where there are numerous distractions, set up their own comfortable study area. Put a desk in your office to make them feel important. Decorate it with useful guides to help them with studying and make sure that every supply they will need is there. This can make them feel important, and it can also provide them with the tools and quietness they need to learn better.

5. Have regular meetings with teachers.

Meet with your child’s teacher to see how their progress has been in class. You can even ask the teacher for some additional worksheets that focus on what your child was learning in class. If you help your child practice these worksheets at home, it can help them conquer their learning disabilities and show your their own progress.

Don’t let your child’s learning disability discourage you, and don’t let it discourage your child. Not everyone is good at all subjects, and you need to teach your child how to be confident about the areas that he or she is good at instead of those that they’re not. If you find that these tactics are not helping your child improve, you may want to get a second opinion from another doctor. If your child was misdiagnosed, it could be the reason why the help you’re providing is not working.

Ben Myers is a college English professor.  He is currently grading a huge stack of Animal Farm essays.  In his spare time, Ben likes to write about learning methods and learning disabilities.

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