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How to Identify “Shut-down” learners: What parents need to know

 Struggles in school?  See the following article from the Greatschools website, about kids who are struggling at school

 http://www.greatschools.org/gk/articles/understanding-shut-down-learners/ 

 The article notes that “Shut-down learners are children who become academically discouraged and disconnected from school over time”.  The early warning signs range from academic issues, such as “dislike of reading” or “hatred of writing” to more behavioral and emotional manifestations such as “increasing anger toward school” or “a sense that the child is increasingly disconnected, discouraged, and unmotivated”.

 Seven points are noted for parents to help prevent shut-down learners:

1.       Trust your gut

2.      Know what you are targeting

3.      Take the heat out of the interaction

4.      Turn down the [emotional] temperature

5.      Find someone to connect with and mentor your child in school

6.      Maintain a sense of equilibrium

7.      Support your child

Is your child showing any signs of shutting down?  Trust your gut!   Then, get support for you and your child.  The first step might be a consultation with an educational services provider like ILD:  http://www.ildlex.org/consultations

At ILD, here’s what you might expect at an initial consultation: You will meet with a psychologist, educational specialist, or language specialist to review their child’s educational background and developmental history, and to find out the main concerns.  This consultation is the first step to understanding their child’s unique situation and is the beginning of a relationship with the whole family.  You’ll be asked to complete a questionnaire to bring to the meeting, along with other relevant information, such as report cards and samples of student work.  Your concerns will be heard, specific questions will be addressed, and suggestions will be made for next steps.

Outside support, in collaboration with your child’s team at school, can also help you through the process of understanding your child’s needs and targeted strategies to help your child succeed.   A full service provider includes psychologists, as well as reading & math specialists, speech-language therapists, learning disability specialists, and executive function coaches.

Check out ILD’s full range of services, including comprehensive neuro-psychological assessments, remedial instruction, strategy instruction (educational therapy), executive function coaching, and counseling:  http://www.ildlex.org/

 

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