Testing, Testing…is this thing on? : The Practical Side

August is all things back to school—clothes, supplies, book bags, lunchboxes, you name it. I am writing this in July and school stuff is already on sale at most of the stores I frequent. Whether you have a kindergartner, a middle schooler or a freshman in high school, navigating the ins and outs of the school experience—from bus routes, to paying for lunches to what afterschool club your child should join–can be daunting.What is more unnerving is realizing that your child has an extra need outside of knowing if her sandals are in school dress code or how she can get tutoring in math after school hours. What do you do if you feel your child is having a mental, emotional or behavioral issue in school that needs to be addressed within the school setting?

First, look for warning signs that your child may need extra support. For example, does your child often get behavior notices sent home? Do they have trouble getting along with peers? Do they struggle to keep up with their assignments—what is due when and what they should bring home each night? Do they take longer to complete their homework each night than you feel is normal due to trouble understanding their work or trouble focusing.

Or perhaps their issues are different. Does your kiddo complain of stomachaches or headaches before going to school? Do they ask to stay home from school often? Report feeling nervous? Or talk about not liking school in general?

Whether your child has ADHD, anxiety, depression or an intellectual and developmental disability, there will likely be clues that emerge in preschool and kindergarten. One of the most important things I tell parents is this: If you as their parent/guardian feel that something is not quite right, DO NOT ignore that gut feeling! More times than not I have found that when a caregiver feels something needs to be addressed, it does.

In the personal blog on this piece I will specifically share how to advocate for your child when they need extra help at school. For now, take inventory of your child and their unique personality and needs as the school year approaches. Do you think they will need extra support this year and if so what kind? Also, if your child would benefit from counseling, we offer individual and family counseling. Our seasoned therapists are trained to understand and meet the developmental needs of children of all ages. Please contact Life Enhancement Counseling Services today at 407-443-8862 to schedule an appointment with one of our Orlando mental health counselors.


Yolanda Brailey