Is Your Child Struggling In School?
Are you concerned that your child’s learning style may not be normal? Have you wondered if the dominant public school model is okay for your child or if a private or alternative school would be a better fit? Are you feeling anxious about your child’s academic development and question if he or she is getting what they need in order to be successful in the future? Does your child resist homework and complain about not being smart? Do you receive reports or calls from teachers indicating that there is a problem? Have there already been a few interventions – such as meetings, assessments or extra help – that haven’t led to noticeable improvements?
Figuring out if your child’s academic development is on the right track can be challenging. And, this challenge can be made more difficult if there are learning, behavioral or attention problems occurring as well – which is often the case. It’s normal to feel frustrated, anxious and concerned that your child may fall behind. It can also be heart wrenching to see your child struggle and not know how to help.
You Are Not Alone
Some children have a harder time in school than others. While some children seem to breeze through, others need a little more help. Just because your child is struggling now, that doesn’t need to always be the case. There are resources and strategies that can lead to significant improvements. With help, many children have overcome school issues and gone on to have productive and gratifying educational experiences.
Psychoeducational Testing Can Help Pinpoint the Problem(s) and Offer Effective Recommendations to Address Them
BPS director Dr. Jan Hittelman is also an experienced school psychologist and has evaluated hundreds of school-age children during his 30-year career. When done correctly, psychological testing can help pinpoint the source(s) of the problem and provide specific recommendations to improve things. Please contact Dr. Hittelman directly if you would like more information on whether a psychoeducational assessment would be appropriate for your child.
Therapy Can Also Help Your Child Get On Track
The good news is that therapy can be extremely effective in helping children work through school-related issues. Getting help now – before your child enters middle school – can prevent a whole other layer of challenges from occurring. Early intervention also prevents negative patterns from being engrained. A therapist can catch and address an issue before your child falls too far behind.
Your highly qualified and experienced BPS team can help you and your child figure out and begin to address the root causes of the school issues. They can help determine if your child’s issue is behavioral, emotional, attention-related or the result of a learning disability. Once the source is identified – which in and of itself can provide some immediate relief – you’ll work together to develop strategies and a plan for moving forward.
As a parent, you’ll get help developing structure and routines and learn how to best support your child. You’ll learn about your child’s specific needs and what you can do at home or ask for from their school to ensure that your child feels more successful. You’ll become equipped with real tools. A challenging and frustrating experience can become more manageable, and school can become more enjoyable and productive for your child.
But you still may have questions or concerns…
I think that my child would benefit from more help, but I’m not sure that we can afford it right now.
The time to deal with these issues is now. This is your child’s life and wellbeing. Addressing your child’s issues with an expert in counseling for child school issues early on can prevent a host of problems from occurring as he or she enters new educational environments, such as middle school. Investing in your child’s academic development now may not only address the issues, but also prevent him or her from falling behind as school work becomes more advanced and demanding.
Many people come to BPS having worked with other therapists who were not trained to work specifically with children’s school issues or who they or their child couldn’t relate with – which is a waste of time and money. At BPS, we’ll conduct an initial assessment and match you with a therapist who is trained and experienced in children’s school issues and whose personality is a good match for you and your child. Once you find that good match, making a commitment to your child may be one of the most valuable investments there is. Imagine getting your child’s academic development on track and seeing him or her feeling and functioning better on a regular basis. Ask yourself what that’s worth.
If money still is an issue, you can talk with your BPS therapist to see if they work on a sliding scale. They may also be able to help you find other lower cost resources in the community.
Isn’t it the school’s job to figure this out? I don’t see why outside help is necessary.
If your child is consistently struggling with school and interventions have not been beneficial, outside support may be helpful. And, as parents, we have a responsibility to be involved in our child’s learning process. A qualified and experienced psychologist can evaluate your child’s learning issues. And a licensed therapist can help you figure out how to best help your child and provide you both with guidance and support through this stressful time.
The good news is that catching and addressing these issues early can help your child get on a corrective course now. Your BPS team can help determine what your child’s issues are and help you both work through them. You’ll learn what sort of resources are available and appropriate for you child and get help plugging into them. With help, your child can develop a positive attitude toward their learning process, which can make a big difference in the long-term.
Lots of kids have problems at school at some time or another and grow out of it. I expect that will happen for my child, too.
You may be right. Children develop in different ways and at different times. However, if your child is past kindergarten or first grade – when there is a wide range of acceptable school performance – and is still struggling to keep up with grade level work, there may be bigger issues at play. You may want to dig in a little and figure out the root source of their challenges. There are some children who simply will not grow out of school struggles – whose struggles may actually continue to get worse as they get older. This is why early intervention is so important and effective. With help, you can figure out what is going on and develop the tools to help support him or her now and through their educational development.
We encourage you to schedule an initial assessment with a BPS therapist, trained by BPS Director, Dr. Jan Hittelman. We will work with you to determine what your child’s specific issues are, if additional psychological testing is warranted, and ensure a good match between you, your child and a BPS therapist in terms of personality, style and expertise.
You can also check out our free, online therapist directory, which will match you and your child with a therapist who has expertise working with children and school issues.