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School Performance Problems

Going Back to School


Updated August 03, 2011

School Performance Problems

There are many reasons for children to underperform at school, including a lack of motivation to do well, problems at home or with peers, poor work habits or study skills, emotional and behavior problems, learning disabilities (such as dyslexia), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, mental retardation or below average intelligence and other medical problems, including anxiety and depression. It is important to find the reason for your child's poor performance, especially if she is failing, and come up with a treatment plan so that she can perform up to her full potential.

Another reason to get your child help, is that doing poorly in school can easily lead to problems with low self-esteem, behavior problems and depression.

It is sometimes difficult to figure out if a child's problems at school are caused by their other medical problems, such as depression, or if these other problems began because of their poor school performance. Children who do poorly at school may be under a lot of stress, and will develop different ways to cope with this stress. Some may externalize their feelings, which can lead to acting out and behavior problems or becoming the class clown. Other children will internalize their feelings, and will develop almost daily complaints of headaches or stomachaches. A thorough evaluation by an experienced professional is usually needed to correctly diagnose children with complex problems.

When you realize your child has a problem at school, you should schedule a meeting with her teacher to discuss the problem. Other resources that may be helpful including talking with the school psychologist or counselor or your pediatrician. The most important thing is to begin to get help as soon as you recognize that there may be a problem.

If your child had problems at school last year, try to get help before going back to school again. Simply waiting to see if a new school year will help your child's problems go away rarely helps anything.

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