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Child with LD Dreads Middle School
Q: I'm ten and a half. I started in an LD classroom, and stayed there for three and a half years. I changed to a regular classroom in fifth grade, and started getting A's. Then we moved, and I started a new school. I started getting F's. I have to start middle school, and I'm afraid. What can I do?
A: First of all, I think most kids are a little afraid of going to middle school, but they won't admit it. So part of what you're feeling is very normal. That feeling goes away pretty quickly after you meet your teachers (who understand how kids feel when they come to middle school) and your new friends.
You're probably more scared than other kids since you had that bad experience in math in your old school. I think you should ask your parents to take you to the middle school to meet the new teachers and the guidance counselor before school starts. They might be able to show you around and let you know what kind of help you can get (if you need it).
If you don't have time to go before school starts, then just make sure you set up a meeting with the guidance counselor at the start of the year. Tell the guidance counselor about your worries, and check in with her often in the first few days and weeks of school. Tell your math teacher that you really want to do well, and that you might need some extra help in the beginning. That way, the teacher can check your work more often and get you the help you need. If you are in a resource room or learning center, then that teacher will be very helpful, too.
I'm sure you'll do just fine. Good luck!
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Jerome (Jerry) Schultz is the founding clinical director of the Learning Lab @ Lesley University, a program that provides assessment, tutoring, and case management services for children with learning challenges. Schultz holds a Ph.D. from Boston College, and has completed postdoctoral fellowships in both clinical psychology and pediatric neuropsychology.