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Therapists Share Ways To Pinpoint Students Who Struggle Socially, Academically

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For some parents the first day of school can be a stressful time.

Thoughts can vary from "Will he or she keep their grades up this year," or "how can I tell if my child is excelling socially and academically?"

Psychiatrists said bullying is one of the main reasons students struggle both socially and academically in schools.

"Probably one of the biggest issues with children and teenagers is having problems in school," said Molly McCartney, Beacon Barn Therapeutic Farm LLC. "Whether it's on an academic level or a social level, it's very difficult for children these days. Especially now-a-days with the technology."

McCartney said there are many changes students can go through if they are struggling in school.

"Anywhere from a change in their eating habits, their sleeping patterns, socializing. Sometimes it's a change in who they are socializing with or maybe who they're not socializing with. Anger issues and even acting out in violence," she said.

Taylor County Schools teaches its faculty ways to pinpoint these kinds of students.

"Always be aware that something may change. If the student's grades start to drop, or they start to miss school, or start to be late for a class. Just try to be aware of everything that's going on so we can pick up on it early and provide the assistance that's needed," said Bob Maynard, Taylor County Superintendent of Schools.

"We have some wonderful guidance counselors that are very proactive in finding kids and making connections and working to work with teachers to get them where they need to be," said Dr. Joseph Findley, Grafton High School Principal.

Therapists said dealing with a struggling student can be draining on a parent.

"My biggest recommendation for them is to take care of themselves. To prevent burnout," McCartney said. "If they're burnout, they aren't going to be able to be there for their children the way that they want to be."

If you notice your child's grades may be slipping or there is a change in attitude, psychiatrists urge you to sit down and have a one-on-one discussion with them.

If that doesn't seem to work you can contact the school board or receive further help.

McCartney said she will be offering groups for adolescents, as well as a parent support group.

It will allow parents to come together and talk to others about things they are going through. It is free and open to the public.

You can contact McCartney at 304-903-8198.