If your teen seems to be struggling more than other kids in school, it may not be their fault. Anxiety and depression are significant problems in middle school and high school students. Some parents aren't sure if their child is struggling because of a chemical imbalance like depression or if they're struggling because they don't like school. Some signs to look for are:
- If your child is not going to school
- If your child is going but staying in the office for most of the day
- If your child gets there and immediately feels the urge to leave
- If your child regularly needs to leave school early
Many school systems will tell you that if you get your child to school, they will be able to help them, but it's possible that your child needs a little bit more than hands-on teaching or special attention.
You can ask your child's teachers if they offer an IEP (Individualized Educational Program) and if they think your child would benefit from this program. It may also be helpful to have your child see a therapist that specializes in helping teens with anxiety or depression. Sometimes the child is simply distracted by what is going on at home or in their personal life and the problems are short-lived, but either way, it could be worth it to have them see a therapist to talk through what they're dealing with.
An educational attorney or advocate could be a great resource for you and your teen. They often have experience with these types of problems and have recommendations for therapists and programs.