by Gillian Liebrandt, Millennium Learning
School can be a struggle for any student. Some thrive in a teacher-led environment. Others excel in certain areas, and need a little help in others, and some students find school to be a long-term, everyday struggle.
With some extra help from teachers, those short-term challenges can often be helped, but those children with ongoing struggles in school may need support beyond the classroom to truly succeed academically.
SPOTTING THE SIGNS
Here are five telltale signs that your child may be struggling in school:
1) Your child has trouble paying attention – appears to be careless and unmotivated.
Learning and behaviour depend on the child having solid attention skills. Often children aren’t paying attention because they are not processing the information coming at them efficiently, and simply take a mental break. Children are generally eager to learn, but when school becomes a place of stress and anxiety, they lose their motivation to learn.
2) Homework is a constant struggle. Your child forgets or loses assignments.
If you do not understand what you are supposed to do, you avoid doing it. Quite often homework is a nightly family battle, so children find ways to get around it. It is easier to be in trouble at school for not doing the homework than to battle with parents.
3) Your child has a poor memory and needs to have things repeated.
Parents often conclude that their child has a poor or selective memory, when they really have a processing problem. Memory and attention go hand in hand. If a child is unable to focus long enough to let the information in, or is unable to hold on to it, it becomes difficult to learn or remember.
4) Your child needs ongoing tutoring to keep up in school.
If your child seems to need ongoing tutoring to keep up with school, there is a larger issue. Tutoring should address short term difficulties but should not be a way of life for a child or family.
5) Your child is disorganized.
Organization requires executive functioning. If the executive functioning is weak, a student often lacks the ability to self-monitor the quality of their work or the ability to get it done on time. Your child may also demonstrate poor planning and time management skills.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
If your child checks all of these boxes, don’t worry, there are ways that you can help them to succeed.
An educational therapist can work with your child to assess to their learning challenges. They can then initiate a plan to help your child progress beyond their challenges. The brain has plasticity and is capable of change. Every child deserves a chance to succeed.
Here are just five of the ways that an educational therapist can determine the difficulties that your child is facing in school, and help you to find an effective solution:
1) Understand the causes of the learning difficulties.
2) Know the skills necessary for fast, efficient learning.
3) Find out what skills are weak.
4) Learn what needs to happen to improve learning skills.
5) Take the necessary steps to help your child/student acquire the skills needed to become a successful student.
To learn more about educational therapy, please visit Millennium Learning.