How to know when you need an advocate

It can be difficult to tease out what are normal experiences for all children versus what is out of the norm, especially when we are so accustomed to behaviors that are not typical. So, how do you know when your child is struggling beyond what is expected from any same-aged peer?

Low Academic Performance
Well, first you can look at academic performance. This is a fairly objective measure, and one you can point to and say they are not performing well. Is your student struggling to get Cs? Meaning, they can attain them with a lot of support and infrastructure from you or outside tutoring, but if you left them to their own devices they most certainly would be getting Ds or worse. For elementary students, this would be the “not progressing” or “unsatisfactory” note.

Poor Emotional Regulation
Another indicator is how your student comes home from school each day. After an hour of decompression time, does your child seem depressed or anxious about school? Are they in tears? Are they overwhelmed and unable to focus? Are they having fits about needing to do homework, refusing to do their work, or maybe they sit down to do homework and what should take 30 minutes according to the teacher takes over an hour for your child? Does this happen more than once a week?

School Avoidance
Does your child refuse to get up for school? As children reach adolescence, yes, they are drowsy and difficult to wake for those early days, however, they should not be dreading going to school. While it is well within the norm for kids to not like school, its expectations and accountability, it is not reasonable for your child to avoid it or be anxious about going to school.

Did you answer yes to any of the above three areas, and are not currently getting at least interventional support at your school?

If the answer to this last question is yes, then it is time to seek an educational consultant, or student advocate.

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