How Can a Child Psychologist Help Your Child at School?
As a parent, you want the best for your child, including success in school. Learning difficulties, behavioral problems, anxiety and emotional complications can interfere with academic progress. Here is how a child psychologist helps teachers and parents ensure children’s success at school.
Teachers know best how to help children learn. Child psychologists understand the social, emotional and behavioral factors that sometimes interfere with learning. What better way is there to help children overcome learning difficulties than to bring teachers and psychologists together?
By working with your child’s teachers, a child psychologist can provide answers to four crucial questions:
- Which internal struggles are interfering with learning?
- What are your child’s cognitive, emotional and social strengths, which can be leveraged to promote learning?
- What learning styles work best for your child?
- What techniques will best help your child manage behavioral difficulties at school?
Together, teachers and psychologists have the combined expertise to develop strategies and techniques that will overcome the barriers interfering with your child’s learning.
School districts across the country are equipped to assess learning aptitude and achievement. A child psychologist specializes in assessing children’s psychological and emotional challenges. Exchanging that information is beneficial in creating successful school-based interventions.
Here’s an example:
John, a 4th grader, is performing at the 2nd grade level in reading comprehension. Aptitude tests show his ability is similar to his peers and there is no indication of a learning disability. However, a psychological evaluation indicates that he suffers from poor self-esteem resulting from the recent relocation of his family from another part of the country. Classroom observations by a psychologist show behaviors consistent with a diagnosis of ADHD.
This picture of John and his struggles emerges from a combination of information and expertise from his teachers and his psychologist. Their combined contributions result in depth and accuracy in understanding John’s challenges.
In some cases, treatment or intervention by a psychologist at school works best. Your child might feel more comfortable and secure seeing a therapist at school rather than at an office.
When problems are largely school-based (for example, bullying or isolation from peers), talking with children in that setting makes the interventions more reality based and the solutions more practical.
Groups of students, not just individuals, can benefit from a child psychologist. Working with groups of students at school makes for more effective outreach to the environment in which any individual student learns.
What is the best way to help a child who has learning and behavioral difficulties?
You may look to teachers for help with the academic components of your child’s struggles and to a psychologist for the emotional components, yet still wonder what is best for your child.
Teamwork is often the answer. By bringing a child psychologist into the school setting to work collaboratively with teachers, your child will benefit from a more comprehensive approach.
Dr. Kenneth Roberson is a child psychologist with over 20 years of experience. To schedule a free initial consultation, please call 415-922-1122.