My child’s school has told me about a concern. What do I do next?
Your child’s school may contact you if they see signs that your child may be experiencing mental health challenges or learning difficulties. The school may also point out any concerning behaviour that is disrupting the class.
School teachers might be the first to notice behaviour that needs to be looked into. For example, they may notice if a child:
- is withdrawn from peers
- is not engaged/withdrawn from class work
- has intense worries or fears that get in the way of daily activities
- has trouble sitting still, listening and staying focused on tasks
- is bored, overwhelmed, or having difficulty learning
- is frustrated or angry
These symptoms may or may not be showing up at home. It may help to ask questions so you will have a better understanding about what is happening at school. For example, are there particular times when they notice changes in your child’s behaviour?
Step 1: Meet with the teacher
The teacher will usually arrange a meeting with you if your child is having difficulty learning or coping at school. They may suggest connecting you with other school services or recommend assessments. You should ask what services and supports are available to you and your child.
Step 2: Talk with your family doctor
If the concerns are ongoing, make an appointment with your family doctor or pediatrician to discuss the concerns. You can then take this information back to the school and work together to support your child in school. If you don't have a family doctor or pediatrician, you can also visit a walk in clinic to discuss your concerns and ask for a referral on to a pediatrician.
Step 3: Work with the teacher and school support staff to support your child
Stay in contact with the teacher to keep track of your child's behaviour and deal with concerns in the classroom.