Hello. I am a mum of two teenagers. A 14 year old boy and a 12 year old girl. They are far from perfect but they are well behaved, have a great bunch of friends in and out of school and play sports etc. Both kids go to the best schools in the city, but my daughter is struggling academically. My daughter has been an average student since year 1, receiving A’s through to D’s. She started secondary school this year at a highly regarded girl’s school. They recommended that she should get an educational psychologist assessment done so they could understand her learning challenges and get an individual learning plan in place to support her. As a result of the assessment it was reported she had some learning difficulties and suffers generalized anxiety. The anxiety diagnosis took us by surprise, but we knew she needed extra help in the class room. She is not medicated nor is she seeing a psychologist regularly, but she does meet with the school councilor often. The reason we placed her at this school was because of its exceptional reputation for delivering a solid foundation for young women, offering life-wide learning whilst nurturing and supporting the students. The opportunities were far greater than any other local school and because of these attributes we felt she would grow academically, socially and emotionally. However 3 months ago she told us she wanted to leave because the work was too much and too difficult. She has been having panic attacks when having to present to the class, or go to unfamiliar places where she doesn’t know anyone. She also visits the quiet room often (daily) to clear her head and cry. It breaks my heart. She feels she isn’t smart enough to keep up in class and has started to fail in a couple of core subjects. She does really well in the elective subjects (PE, Art, Tech, Drama) and we encourage her to focus on what she loves and what she is good at. We want to give her the best education and pathway for a bright, promising and successful future, but are we being delusional. She wants to be with her primary school friends, who also have learning difficulties but are getting A’s because they go to a local state high school and attend special year 5 Math and English classes. They seem to be having small wins which means they develop more confidence in the classroom which is great. But is that enough? Whatever school she goes to she will still have learning difficulties and anxiety. Perhaps we should we be asking for more support from her current school, should we look for a tutor, or are by encouraging her to stay will it be detrimental to her wellbeing over time? Today I made an appointment to see her GP so we can get some advice on how to manage the panic attacks and anxiety. Maybe these issues could be the root cause of her learning difficulties, I don’t know, but it’s a start. Has anyone else been through a similar situation and able to offer some advice or share their story. Thanks for reading.
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