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Stress & anxiety

At a Glance: 8 Stress Factors for Kids With Learning and Attention Issues

By Peg Rosen

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All children face challenges. But kids with learning and attention issues may deal with extra stress related to school and social issues. Here are factors that might cause stress in your child.

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At a Glance: 8 Stressors for Kids With Learning and Attention Issues

Here are some factors that can make school and social issues more stressful. Understanding these challenges may make it easier for you to figure out how to support your child.

1 Your child worries he can’t keep up.
Instead of focusing on the lesson being taught, he’s distracted by how much more everyone seems to know.

2 Your child has a hard time making friends.
If he has social skills issues, he may not have friends he can open up to or blow off steam with.

3 Your child takes longer to complete homework and classwork—and it takes more effort.
That leaves him more exhausted, and with less down time to recharge.

4 Your child experiences failure more than success.
As a result, he may be anxious and fearful about tests, new social situations and more.

5 Your child lacks coping skills.
He may not be able to break down difficult projects into smaller pieces or spread out assignments over time. He may be rigid and get flustered by changes at school.

6 Your child worries about standing out or being “discovered.”
Instead of raising his hand and asking questions, he may simply fall behind. He may worry about being seen with his reading aide and “forget” to go see her.

7 Your child doesn’t have the self-awareness to know he needs help.
This is all the more reason to stay tuned-in to his behavior and ask questions about what’s going on with school and friends.

8 Your child can sense your stress.
He’s absorbing your conversations about him in the front seat of the car and your worries about whether he’ll be able to go to college.
Graphic of At a Glance: 8 Stress Factors for Kids With Learning and Attention Issues
Graphic of At a Glance: 8 Stress Factors for Kids With Learning and Attention Issues

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About the Author

Portrait of Peg Rosen

Peg Rosen writes for digital and print, including ParentCenter, WebMD, Parents, Good Housekeeping and Martha Stewart.

Reviewed by

Portrait of Elizabeth Harstad

Elizabeth Harstad, M.D., M.P.H., is a developmental behavioral pediatrician at Boston Children’s Hospital.

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