Why School Stress Is Devastating for Our Children

Published by: ADDitude Magazine
Written by: Jerome Schultz

Chronic stress at school can make kids (particularly those with ADHD or LD) dread going — and change their brains for the worse. But parents and teachers can help alleviate the stress that is stopping these bright kids from succeeding.

For over 35 years, I’ve carried out comprehensive neuropsychological evaluations of kids and young adults, seeking to confirm, clarify, or rule out a diagnosis of ADHD. I’ve focused on the relationship between attention and the learning disabilities that often go along with ADHD. My role as a diagnostician has been to identify a pattern of neurocognitive weaknesses and strengths, so that I can help my clients and their parents better understand how they learn best.

An important part of the neuropsychological evaluation is to teach students what they can do to overcome or work around impediments to efficient learning and manage stress at school. This process is helpful, but it often falls short of my goal of helping a client change his or her learning trajectory. Many times, after I used test results to explain a client’s learning profile or convince a student that he or she had the cognitive capability to do well in school, I heard, “If I’m so smart, why do I feel dumb all the time?” Click here to read the rest of the story.

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