Five Learning Problems that Demand Immediate Intervention

By Dr. Raymond Huntington

Childhood has plenty of ups and downs. And for most children, school presents both opportunities to grow and challenges to overcome. Problems are part of growing up, but when it comes to navigating school, do you find yourself unsure when to step in and help your child and when to let him or her handle a problem alone?

Deciphering big problems from small ones isn’t always straightforward. Here are five types of learning problems that should prompt you to take immediate action:

  1. Trouble completing work – When you observe your child doing homework, does it seem like he or she often works on it for a long time but struggles to finish? Is your child a chronic procrastinator? Effort on homework should yield at least some good results, so if you notice your child putting in the work but not getting the grades or finished assignments to show for it, something is wrong.
  2. Angry and uninterested – If your child gets mad easily during homework or studying, that’s a red flag. Frustration is common and to be expected sometimes. However, if your child gets angry easily at school and during homework and that often leads to giving up altogether, it could be an avoidance tactic because your child lacks both skills and confidence. If you saw this worsen during remote learning last spring, it’s time to dig into what’s really going on.
  3. A bad attitude – A bad attitude could take many forms. Your child might make negative comments about school, teachers, difficult subjects and classes on a regular basis. Maybe your child frequently puts him or herself down. Mood swings are normal as children develop, but if these changes seem big and don’t go away, there’s a good chance that school challenges might be the main culprit.
  4. Constantly distracted – Digital tools and technology can be a big distraction for today’s students, but what about when your child is alone in a room with nothing to steal his or her attention other than homework? Does your child zone out on a regular basis or find ways to avoid doing homework no matter what? Do you have to nag and micromanage to get your child to do anything? Do teachers report that your child seems lost in class and cannot recall simple directions? These could be indicators of a bigger issue such as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and are worth exploring further.
  5. Homework difficulty every night – The purpose of homework is to reinforce concepts taught in class, and while some homework is intended to be quick and other homework might push your child to attempt new material independently, pay attention to your child’s homework sessions. If it’s rare for a night to go by when your child doesn’t throw up his or her hands in frustration due to not understanding things, your child might be missing essential skills. This needs correction before the problem worsens.

If you notice one or several of these learning problems, call Huntington to help make your child’s back to school transition as seamless as possible. It’s not too late to begin getting your child back on track to close some of the skill gaps that appeared or widened during remote learning and over summer break. We’ll work with your child to get to the root of any problems and develop a learning plan that will help your child make this a better school year.