Is your child having difficulty learning at school? Perhaps they try to avoid going or misbehave in class because they can’t do the work. When a child is struggling it can impact the whole family. Firstly, please know you and your child are not alone. Secondly, there are ways you can manage and improve the situation.
It is important to grasp an understanding of which areas your child is experiencing difficulty. Children struggle academically for numerous reasons so it is imperative to pinpoint the exact cause as the road to take is dependent on the root cause. This process may be lengthy but it is best to cover all bases. The first port of call is your child’s school and often a report card will give a good indication of the areas that need addressing. Unfortunately, this information may give you the deficits but not explain the ‘why’. Attending the parent-teacher interviews and asking for more specific information will help guide your course of action.
Often, teachers will refer students to the school learning support team for individual programs and integrated assistance in the classroom. In some cases, schools may recommend you take your child to see a specialist. Do not worry if your child’s teacher suggests this, it is useful to partake in assessments and appointments to exclude specific behavioural disorders, learning disabilities or impairments that are the underlying reason for issues at school. It may be appropriate to visit with speech therapists, occupational therapists, paediatricians, tutors, psychologists, audiologists and/or optometrists – depending on the recommendation of the school or the areas that require further investigation. This extensive list may seem overwhelming but it is not intended as a mandatory list of what to do but rather a recommendation of where to go to get further assistance. These services will often suggest ways you can support your child’s learning at home, ways the school can adjust learning to cater for your child’s individual needs and equip you with knowledge and tools to be an advocate for your child’s learning based on the information they obtain. With a significant understanding and appropriate strategies and services in place, your child has a greater chance of improvement and achieving his or her personal best.
As featured in: Glenmore Gazette, Emu + Leonay Gazette & Oran Park Gazette - August '18
Sara Drebber is an educational consultant, teacher, writer and mother of three.