School difficulties: what impact they can have on the child

School difficulties (ED) are an increasingly frequent reason for consultation in primary care. It is a “new morbidity”, a different type of consultation.

In our “ knowledge society ”, learning guarantees the personal and social success of the child, and is one of the most vehement wishes of the parents. They invest a lot of time and money in learning. Your well-being is largely related to the success or failure of your children. These problems have a significant impact, both on the child and on the family. They are the reason for disagreements, confrontations and family pain.

School difficulties affect reading, writing, calculation and social communication. Although they have a wide clinical expressiveness.

Currently, there are treatments that in many cases improve school and social performance, and allow the child to join a satisfactory life.

Learning difficulties

Learning disorders can affect understanding what is read, what is heard, and what is integrated into the brain. This means that children who have them cannot learn in the same way or at the same rate as others. These limitations are manifested to: speak, listen, read, write, spell, remember, organize and analyze information, or learn mathematics.

They also affect other brain functions, such as coordination, self-control, attention, concentration, or impulsivity.

Learning disabilities are neurobiological disorders, which cause the brain to function or be structured in a different way. These children are neither “dumb” nor “lazy ”. Their brains process information in a different way.

It is estimated that approximately 5% of children have a learning disorder related to dyslexia.

Children with learning disorders may present:

– difficulty learning the alphabet and recognizing letters and sounds;

– errors when reading aloud;

– no reading comprehension;

– spelling difficulties;

– clumsiness and disorder to write;

– difficulty expressing ideas in writing;

– delay and limitations in language and vocabulary;

– difficulty remembering sounds and differentiating letters;

– poor sense of humor;

– problems following instructions;

– difficulty pronouncing words or differentiating them;

– difficulty organizing tasks;

– clumsiness in conversations (not taking turns, getting too close to the listener);

– Difficulty following the order of numbers or concepts that you read.

Lack of recognition of these difficulties by parents or educators, or indifference to them (“ he’ll get over it… ”) can create an emotional problem. Many of these children are victims of teasing or bullying by their peers or friends, and sometimes by the teachers themselves. It is not uncommon for even parents, without understanding the problem, to attribute it to laziness or negligence.

These children present inappropriate behaviors of physical or social isolation. Or even violent with classmates or teachers. Its isolation causes the symptoms to remain hidden. It takes longer to diagnose. Thus learning is more and more limited.

Impact on the child

Children with school difficulties are aware of what is happening around them. However, they do not know how to understand and express their feelings and needs. Their frustration and sadness is not surprising, especially when compared to other children.

The symptoms of learning disorders can appear alone or in combination with others , such as:

  • somatizations (vomiting, abdominal pain, headaches…),
  • inattention, forgetfulness,
  • circumvention and concealment of daily work,
  • susceptibility,
  • tendency to sadness, depression and low self-esteem,
  • exaggerated shyness,
  • anxiety,
  • evasion of their responsibilities,
  • blaming others for their own behavior
  • discrepancy between their good opinion of themselves and their school results (“ they have a thing for me ”).

Impact on the family

It is not surprising that parents have a hard time understanding why their child is like this and what the problem is. Parents may find it difficult to communicate with their child.

Being the parent of a child with school difficulties is uncomfortable. It produces disgust, disappointment, shame and guilt. They have more pressure, frustration and separations than other families where this problem does not occur.

Parents often have a hard time understanding why their child is like this and what the problem is. Parents may find it difficult to communicate with their child.

But when it is diagnosed and they are informed, they feel some relief, understanding the reason. Other times they are confused. It should be explained to them that school difficulties are not due to their being “bad parents”, and that there are treatments with good results.

These children need routines, family structure, and order . When this is altered, for example on vacation, it is easier for problems to start. That is why you have to be prepared to master the situation. There are ways to reduce tension and release energy when they are very restless.

Your siblings may react with jealousy, shame, teasing, or guilt. They are their way of getting attention. And it is not uncommon for clashes between parents to occur.

At school these children cannot keep up with the same rhythm as the others. The multidisciplinary teams recommend adapting the school to the child by making some changes, with recommendations to teachers or professors, and also to families. And in some special case, the child must be changed from school.

But children with school difficulties, like all other children, continue to learn and progress, and once they overcome their problems they can aspire to the same goals as any other child and achieve a fulfilling life. 

Previous articleEducation without gender or number: when diversity is a value and not a determining factor
Next article15 historical events that occurred in the world while Fidel Castro ruled Cuba