10 Resources To Support A Teen Struggling In School

Posted on February 5th, 2015

Do you ever look at your teen and know that they are struggling in school, but you have no idea how to help? You want to get the support that they need, but you may not know where to start. Here are 10 places to get help for your teen:

1. Parents. Plenty of other parents have been in your situation, and they can provide practical, compassionate advice. They may know local professionals, schools and other resources to help. Be sure that they respect your teen’s privacy if it is a sensitive topic.

2. eBooks. There are eBooks out now regarding learning disabilities, attention problems, depression, anxiety and a range of other issues. Thousands of eBooks are available on www.amazon.com. I recommend searching for the words “practical” or “workbook” to find advice you can use now. Parents can email us at info@prattcenter.com for books to meet specific needs.

3. Local Organizations. Parents Helping Parents, Parent Education Network-Silicon Valley and Parents’ Place are groups are run by parents for parents, and they often run seminars and support groups.

4. National Organizations. There are many helpful organizations, such as Learning Disabilities Association of America, Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/ Hyperactivity Disorder and others.

5. Counselors. School counselors can support your teen at school and negotiate with teachers if needed. Your teen may need resource support, modified curriculum or educational accommodations. This process can take a while, and it is helpful to start early.

6. Pediatricians. Many pediatricians have great general parenting advice, and they know local providers. There may be medical issues to rule out, and some problems can be treated with medications.

7. Ministers. For some families, a religious leader can be a source of support and information. Youth group leaders work with a range of teens, and they may run youth groups that can be a source of support and friendship.

8. Parenting blogs. There are tons of blogs and web site out there that deal with parenting, including this one. You may want to look at www.psychologytoday.com and www.parenting.com for advice on a range of topics.

9. Magazines. There are several traditional parenting magazines with great general suggestions and resources, and there are many specialty magazines dedicated to specific issues. Magazines such as Your Teen and Today’s Parent can provide excellent general suggestions, while those like EP Magazine can provide information for parents of teens with special needs.

10. Psychologists. Many teens need psychological testing to document learning disabilities, ADHD, depression, anxiety, intellectual disabilities and autism spectrum disorder. Comprehensive testing can document areas of disability and clarify needed accommodations. Psychologists often go with parents to school meetings to present results. Visit us at www.prattcenter.com for more information about psychological testing.


How have you been able to help when your teen has struggled in school?

What resources have you found useful?

Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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Would you like additional guidance in this area? Los Gatos Teen Therapy provides individual teen therapy, family therapy, group therapy, parent support counseling, and in-home teen and family coaching 7 days a week, including afternoons, evenings, and weekends. For more information, contact us at 408.389.3538.

4 thoughts on “10 Resources To Support A Teen Struggling In School

  1. Rhy

    My daughter really cares about her grades. she mostly gets A’s in all her subjects except when participation is added in. she is very shy and does not like to raise her hand or talk in class she has a lot of anxiety about talking in front of a large group or having the incorrect answer she’s really disappointed that she gets marked down because of a her lack of participation. she doesn’t feel she has a lot of control over being very shy or anxious to speak in class and she’s not comfortable learning tools to over come her shyness. We have offered her cognitive behavioral therapy as a way to gain the skills , not just for high school but for her future still she’s just not ready. Does anyone have any advice?

  2. Lindsay Smith

    Thank you for these great resources! I really appreciate the wide range of options you have offered to help parents help their teens. Rhy, there are two articles that were previously posted that may be helpful for your daughter. The article about Managing Performance Anxiety in Teens, specifically the part about visualization (she can visualize herself answering well or even not getting the correct answer, but still being supported by her peers). The article about The Hidden Cost of Perfectionism may also be helpful for her, learning that it is ok to make mistakes and knowing that we are not always expected to have the right answer. She may also decide that speaking up in class is not worth it to her and she can choose to be ok with accepting the mark downs for lack of participation. Even this simple acceptance strategy can be empowering to her.

  3. BrendanPrattPh.D.

    Thank you so much for your comments. There are many parents and students in that situation. If a child has good grades, schools often overlook warning signs. Anxious students are often quiet and compliant, so that also tends not to raise red flags for them. I would say the first step is to help them to see the impact that anxiety has on her. The impact might include worrying, low participation, low processing speed, variable test performance and so forth. I have written a few other blog posts that are more specifically related to anxiety.


    Los Gatos Teen Therapy is a great resource for compassionate therapists who know how to work with anxious adolescents. I can help with psychological testing and educational support if needed.

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