Is Your Child a Shut-Down Learner?

Is your child a “shut-down learner”? Shut-down learners are children who become discouraged at school and disconnected over time.

But how do kids become shut-down learners? Some factors might include problems with early education development, confusion for the child in a learning environment, or the inability to communicate need help to parents or teacher leading to frustration and shut down.

A common question we encounter is, “What are the signs of shut-down learner?”

While there are many ways to diagnose this issue, some symptoms can include:

  • A sense that the child is increasingly disconnected, discouraged, and unmotivated
  • Fundamental skill weaknesses with reading, writing, and spelling, leading to diminished self-esteem
  • Increased avoidance of school tasks
  • Dislike of reading
  • Hatred of writing
  • Little or no gratification from school
  • Increasing anger toward school

Shut-down learners can be assisted in a number of ways, but one of the best things you can do is talk to your child and a school professional for help. If your child is of middle school age or older (those preteen and teenage years when the development of a sense of self is critical), it is particularly important for him or her to have at least one person in school who really values him or her and will rally on your child’s behalf — even if he or she isn’t succeeding academically.

Every child has academic strengths and weaknesses but we’re here to help you emphasize the positives and curb the negatives. Academic discouragement is debilitating to both children and families. Connecting with your child’s natural strengths and letting him or her know that you are both on the same team can make an enormous difference in preventing your child from becoming a shut-down learner.

For more information about special education programs in New Jersey at the Deron School in Union or Montclair, give us a call at 908.206.0444 to schedule an appointment.

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