Is it too late to get help for this school year?
About this time of year I frequently hear this concern raised. Unfortunately, it is often put another way, “Should we just forget about this year, and hope next year is better”. The parent will usually continue: “We have tried our best, we’ve talked to him (or her), we’ve encouraged him, we’ve pushed him as hard as we can, we’ve even tried tutoring and counseling, hoping for the best, and nothing seems to have gotten better. The school is talking about holding him back and putting him in a special class.”
Usually, as I inquire further into the child’s problems, I will hear that he (or she) is having significant problems academically and can’t seem to focus or retain what he’s learned at home, or is having lots of behavior problems at school, lacks confidence, is isolated… or all of the above.
There are really two parts to this question. For the first part, no, it is definitely not too late to get help for this school year. It is at the end of the school year that the evaluations and decisions are made as to what is best for the child in the coming year and we are definitely not at that point yet. I have worked with many teachers, and I am consistently told that if they see significant improvement in academics and/or behavior before the end of the year, it can definitely effect their decisions.
A parent’s attitude toward this question is also critically important to their child. Your decision to accept these problems as unavoidable, and/or to give up on this school year, as opposed to not giving up and continuing to find the solution to your child’s difficulties, makes an indelible impression on how your child sees themselves and their approach to solving problems. If you take the first option, things will probably get worse for them as they will sense your’ giving up, and they will too. They will also think less is expected of them and they may put forth less effort. If you choose the second option, and ground that for them firmly in the fact that the problems do not represent their true self or abilities, and that they are worth these extra efforts to solve the problems, then you have the opposite effect and their self esteem and effort climbs. So does your chances of final success for the school year.
The second part of the question regards whether or the not the proper underlying cause of the problem is being addressed. While tutoring and counseling definitely have their place, the problems mentioned here are more likely stemming from ADHD. This is a disorder that many parents reject testing for and if present, treating, because they understandably fear what they think is the unavoidable use of medication with its undesirable side-effects and rigors. There is, however, a much preferable alternative to this scenario. An effective, non-side effect treatment known as Neurofeedback allows for a child or adult to relearn the concentration and sensory mechanisms of their brain. From this, the attention and/or hyperactivity disorder can be alleviated. If you would like more information in regards to Attention Deficit Disorder or Neurofeedback, please do not hesitiate to contact Alta Neuro-Imaging (located in Placentia, CA).