Does your child understand why he struggles in school? Does she know her own learning profile? Is your child an Educational Optimist?
By the time your child enters high school he should be moving towards being a self advocate. He should be able to clearly articulate his learning profile to his teachers. This is important because you can be sure that if your child is having difficulty with some aspect of school ~ reading, writing, math, social interactions ~ he is well aware of his struggles. He may tell you:
“I can’t stand school,”
“I hate to read,”
“I don’t like math,”
or even say,
“Everything is fine, I’m okay.”
Your adolescent may have trouble sleeping, claim they are ill in the morning, and ask to stay home. At this stage in the learning process they are well aware of their struggles even though they may not be able to articulate them clearly.
As adults we need to recognize that there is a problem early on, and ACKNOWLEDGE a student’s abilities as well as her differences. The first call to action is to get an up-dated evaluation, one that is descriptive and thorough. With this information you and your daughter will then know her average abilities, strengths and weaknesses.
I work with many adolescents who cannot describe how they learn best, what trips them up in the process and why they struggle in school, which has led to my creating a service called Study Re-Boot.
Study Re-Boot provides a safe, non-judgmental environment for students to talk about their learning profile, their school challenges & to collaborate on an action plan. Study Re-Boot marks a transition where young people take a step away from depending completely on adults to accommodate for their learning differences, to becoming self advocates.
Study Re-Boot can be done in conjunction with the school’s learning specialist so there is direct carry over into the classroom. The goal is for students to walk away with a stronger sense of self and an action plan that helps them take the next steps towards independence so they too can become Educational Optimists based on reality.
Caryl Frankenberger, Ed.M.