16 answers

My Teen Daughter Not Doing Well in School

Hi

I am from Chennai, India. I have a teen daughter. She is now in 8th grade in school. For the past three years, she is only getting warning pass. All her teachers say that she is a sweet child, likes to do group activities and creative. Her only problem is studies. She is very very slow. She takes more than 2 days to complete a lesson and always fails in the school exams. She is attending dance and music classes and doing fine in music but again in dance she dances well buit keeps a blank face without any expression while performing. At school also her teachers complain that she will be lost in her own world. While studying also, first 1 or 2 lines, she appears to concentrate, then slowly she will be lost in her own world. Is there any treatment for such a problem? I am a working mother and always try and spend time with her. She is a sweet child, well behaved at school, ofcourse at time aggressive and fighting with her brother at home. She likes food, likes to dress up etc. She is like any other child except for studies. Please let me know if there is any treatment for this problem.

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

I would get her tested for learning disabilities. She might have a focusing problem. If she does have a learning disability she will qualify for special help. Plus she will then be able to complete her work and her confidence in herself will increase. Good luck.

5 moms found this helpful

HI L.,

I am wondering how well she did in her studies before now. I agree with the below comments, it could be a learning disability, a difficulty in concentration due to some disorder, or it could also be depression. I didn't notice anyone else mention that. Depression can make it hard to concentrate, have failing grades, and be expressionless.

Have a talk with her, see if she has any insight into her struggles. Have her tested. Maybe she learns differently than others. Most importantly, tell her you love her.

Good luck,
: ) M.D.

3 moms found this helpful

More Answers

I would get her tested for learning disabilities. She might have a focusing problem. If she does have a learning disability she will qualify for special help. Plus she will then be able to complete her work and her confidence in herself will increase. Good luck.

5 moms found this helpful

Hi there,
I too thought maybe Asberger's or ADD. I struggled it was very frustrating taking at least an hour longer than the class to complete a test. I was diagnosed with ADD in college and got the help I needed, don't wait, get her tested. I also struggled with Depression on and off since I was 12 and now that I am 31 have had some major break through's on that by getting help in various ways. Also no matter what the outcome of the tests really let her know that it's not a big deal different people need extra help in different areas. Make sure she knows that it's just part of the learning process she is perfectly fine. That was part of my problem probably a big part believing that I was slow and couldn't keep up kept me stuck there, by telling her often about the things she is doing well and improving will build her confidence if she learns how to talk to herself positively she will be so much better off. Maybe you could take her to counseling too, she could have a chance to talk about how she feels sometimes it's easier for a kid to talk to someone else first, but encourage her to talk to you about it too, and be understanding, and encouraging. Validate her frustrations and then let her know you believe in her and that is capable and good, and you love her. If she does see a counselor make sure it is someone that she can connect with it may take going through several to find the right one for her.
Another thing to consider is that so many of these things are cause by things that you might not think of. Like ADD so many cases are now being linked to allergies and if she is eating or exposed to something she is allergic too that can have this effect on the brain. So get her tested for allergies too. I am a big believer in the benefits of chiropractic care as well since our spine is our life line, and the way our brain communicates with our body. It works best when it is well and in proper alignment. Lastly I believe in prayer, I would pray about how to help her and listen for inspirations to come. I wish you both well. Hope this helps.

5 moms found this helpful

I wonder if she is dyslexic? Has she been tested for any learning differences?
The blank look on her face, the taking so long to do her work, sounds like she is struggling.Ask the school if she can be tested and evaluated for any learning disabilities.. When was the last time her eyes were checked?

.Have you watched her writing? Have you watched her eyes as she reads? Does she read for fun? Does she write on the computer, like keep a journal or a blog?

Also once children reach this age, if they have not been taught how to study, in a way that works for them, this is the result. They become overwhelmed with the amount of work that is given to them on a daily basis.

I suggest you find an exceptional tutor, who can teach your daughter some different study habits. Yes they are different techniques for different sorts of students.

4 moms found this helpful

Mom. I am concered about your daughter if this has been going on for 3 yrs. If this were my daughter I would talk to your Pedatrician today and make an appt. It sounds like she needs to be tested for some type of learning disability or possilbity even Asberger's autism. Just curious what her social skills are like, does she interact with girls her age and have friends, You can call the school she attends and talk to the Guidance dept to see about the school district testing her as it should be at no cost but don't delay. You may even want to her her evaluated privately if you can afford to. I dont mean to alarm you but I would do it as soon as you can. If you go the private testing route ask your Pediatrician who they recommend to be the best for testing in your area, I would also get her a tutor asap in the subjest of school she is not doing well in. She is about to enter a critical period in her education, high school, where her grades will be so important iif she plans to go to college. You are a good Mom for trying to get help for your daughter. Hope this helps, good luck and keep us posted.

3 moms found this helpful

HI L.,

I am wondering how well she did in her studies before now. I agree with the below comments, it could be a learning disability, a difficulty in concentration due to some disorder, or it could also be depression. I didn't notice anyone else mention that. Depression can make it hard to concentrate, have failing grades, and be expressionless.

Have a talk with her, see if she has any insight into her struggles. Have her tested. Maybe she learns differently than others. Most importantly, tell her you love her.

Good luck,
: ) M.D.

3 moms found this helpful

I haven't seen this question from any moms so I will ask. I see that you are from Chennai, India and by the way I hope you enjoy the USA. /AT any rate, I am wondering if you are bilingual, such as speaking in a different language at home and then in school if everything is concentrated in English. I am seeing (I subbed for ten plus years, worked as a bilingual tutor and am a teaching assistant) that sometimes it is a little bit more of a struggle to read and that also when there are bilingual programs there are more aimed at different cultures and not necessarily Indian. It is possible that perhaps it is just a little difficult to learn even if in ESL instruction when there are concentrations of other groups. So a tutor or IEP would be great to get some extra help or even just some one on one learning with a kind and caring person. There are programs where volunteers come in and read with a student, perhaps she can partake of those? One mother said she is concentrating in dance and I agree with that. She sounds fun, and nice and normal and you are doing a great job. Please keep us posted.

3 moms found this helpful

Mindy is right, L.. Please don't worry that she doesn't show expression on her face when she dances. She is concentrating so hard on her dancing - that is why - and many others do that. When she is better at dancing, it will be easier for her to think about the intricacies of expression and body movements.

Not everyone is academically inclined, L.. If she has trouble doing or understanding the work, it is easier for her to stop paying attention and "go into her own world." Finding out what's what would help her so much. Write a letter to the school asking for her to be tested for learning disabilities.

Good luck,
D.

3 moms found this helpful

My eldest daughter is very similar. We home school and I know my daughter is very intelligent and capable of good work, but it takes a very long time and recently she has been frustrated by her own inability to concentrate. She failed some exams outside of the scope of our work at home and then dug in and decided not to let that happen again, somehow she quickly readjusted and over studied so that she could receive a perfect score. She is an accomplished pianist but the blank face you describe is hers as well...I just considered it intense concentration. She's been complaining of not being able to focus. Lately we have been discussing the possiblity of learning disabilities...dyslexia, ADD, mainly because I've been reading a book called The Gift of Dyslexia on behalf of another son. Many of the qualities you described are in that book. If you are enrolled in a public school consider having her tested. Also, be sure to keep up her dance and music classes and the things that she considers herself good at...and loves to do...let her know how amazing she is for all she is doing and she'll work out the learning issues. Don't be afraid to enlist the teachers' help, they seem to be observing all that you describe and may not associate it with a learning disabilty...probably because she's a good kid and isn't hyperactive.

3 moms found this helpful

My 4th grader has been having trouble with school work (reading level has dropped) and other things. She too seems lost in her own world. I emailed the school psychologist and her teacher and asked for help. We have a meeting on Monday to discuss her and see what the next step should be. Dyslexia runs in my husband's and my family as does depression and other disorders. It could be that she's still adjusting to 4th grade. BTW, these things are new for my daughter. Is your daughter's behavior new too?

I think you are right to be concerned and I think you should contact the school psychologist or counseler and ask for help. Together, you can find out what is wrong (if anything) and get your daughter the help she needs.

Good luck.

3 moms found this helpful

Is it possible that she has a learning disability? Will she read a book out loud to you while you listen to her? She may be having difficulties comprehending what she is reading...that can cause lots of detachment.

If you are living in Illinois there should be some help for her. I don't know where Alden is so I can't direct you. The teachers should have a clue as to what the challenge is.

2 moms found this helpful

time to get an iep and ask her if she needs tutoring. but definately get the iep

2 moms found this helpful

When a child is having difficulties in school, especially with failing tests, paying attention, without having behavioral issues, the teacher should bring this up to the parents and suggest that she be tested. Talk to her teacher, explaining your concerns and that you'd like her tested as soon as possible as you're very concerned considering her age. This is always the first best place to start as the testing doesn't cost anything. If the teacher won't do anything go the administration as there are accomodations that can be placed for your daughter to help her succeed in the classroom. The testing may also determine what her issues are and again these accomodations will be in place on an I.E.P., which will carry her thru her entire education, including college. Don't depend entirely on the school system for an accurate evaluation, but its the first step. Also, talk to her doctor, explain the problems she's having, and your concerns. If he doesn't offer any direction, change doctors. Today there are so many diagnosis's that again can help direct you to the correct therapies, groups, etc, that will help make her life so much easier. Remember that you're her best advocate.

1 mom found this helpful

I'm sorry, how frustrating for you and I'm sure for her also. It's possible that there may be some learning disabilities. If she is failing, her school should offer some additional help - contact the principal to ask what resources are available for struggling students. Whether there is any treatment available depends on what her diagnosis is. You can have some testing done for various disorders and disabilities through school, and you can start with her school counselor, but only a doctor can give a medical diagnosis. If she gets a diagnosis of a learning disability or some type of disorder like ADD, she may qualify for a 504 or IEP plan, special ed services, etc.
Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

You may want to see your family doctor, and perhaps a neurologist, to check for conditions that could affect her focus/attention (a mild, "spacing out" form of seizure disorder comes to mind, for me, given her description). Just my 2 cents worth.

1 mom found this helpful

How long has your daughter been attending school in the US? Did she grow up here or in India? Do you speak English in the home?

The reason I'm asking is because part of the problem may be a language problem. Are you sure that she does not have any problems reading the english language?

As you suggested, it could be a medical problem. I would discuss it with her doctor and have her tested for various learning disabilities.

1 mom found this helpful

hai laxmi i am from chennai,i can feel your pain,i would ask you to encourage your child in al her likings, dont always frustrate her by saying study..study.. ask her to help with you in kitchen and you share your school days with her and make her feel comfortable.dont think it as a problem i think if she concentrate well she can do... you explain her duty is to study and shine in her studies for a bright future ... cool down and handle her carefully

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