Feeling victimized

At a Glance: Triggers That Can Make High-Schoolers Feel Like Victims

By Kate Kelly

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High-schoolers with learning and attention issues probably have learned to work around some of their challenges. But as graduation looms, they may feel isolated and less capable than their peers. Some situations can trigger feelings of being a victim.

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At a Glance: Triggers That make High-Schoolers Feel Like Victims
From important tests to decisions about college, teens have a lot on their plate in high school. Situations like these can take a toll on kids with learning and attention issues. Here’s how—and ways you can help.
High-Stakes Tests
What’s happening: Your child is stressed over having to pass your state’s standardized tests to get her high school diploma.
Your child may feel: Not as smart as everyone else. Graduation is a given for other seniors, or so she thinks. But she worries about not being able to pass that test no matter how hard she tries.
What you can do: Together you can talk to the school to see what her options are. These might include using accommodations, waiving the requirement or receiving extra test-preparation help. She might also be able to retake the test.
Questions About College
What’s happening: Everyone’s asking your child where she’s going to college. She doesn’t even know if she’s going—or what she wants to do after high school.
Your child may feel: Isolated. Most kids seem to have a plan, while she’s feeling lost. She’s overwhelmed by questions she doesn’t know how to answer.
What you can do: Talk with your child about her strengths and interests, not just her plans. Brainstorm things she can say when people ask. And ramp up the transition-planning process. The more you do to prepare, the more your child will have to discuss.
No Date for the Prom!
What’s happening: Your child doesn’t have a date for the prom. She knows other kids who are going in groups, but doesn’t know how to ask if she can join them.
Your child may feel: Excluded and invisible. Everyone is talking about the prom, but nobody has asked what she’s doing.
What you can do: If your child really wants to go, brainstorm ways she can ask other kids. Or suggest that she work at the prom so she can be there without needing a date. If she doesn’t want to go, help her plan something else she could do that night.
Graphic of At a glance: Triggers that make high schoolers feel like victims
Graphic of At a glance: Triggers that make high schoolers feel like victims

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About the Author

Portrait of Kate Kelly

Kate Kelly has been writing and editing for more than 20 years, with a focus on parenting.

Reviewed by

Portrait of Sheldon Horowitz

Sheldon H. Horowitz, Ed.D., is senior director of learning resources and research at the National Center for Learning Disabilities.

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