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Does my child need counselling?

Q: My five years old son is having severe trouble at school. He can't retain information and wont sit still without fighting. He is happy, sad and extremely loving. He is not being able to cope in the classroom and not at all in other classes too like music etc. Can you please shed some light over this? I have an appointment with a specialist for him next week since I feel he needs help. Despite getting extra help at school and home, he is not learning a thing and cant even write his own name. Please help us.

A:I think 5 years is too young to have completed Grade I and to be failing in it. The problem may be that your son is too young for his class and is not developmentally ready for formal learning and being tested etc. It seems like he is on a Fast Forward mode and is not ready for it. It is wonderful that he is affectionate and responsive to parental love. That is the best preparation for a happy life. I think that people who run preschool centres for children under 6 need a lot more training and orientation on what is suitable to plan for the child in school. Now they just seem to treat the very young child as a miniature High School student! If it is possible, you could get him to see a Psychologist and check on the reasons why your son is not able to cope with school. Also, since you say he is OK in his own classroom, talk to his teacher to find out what actually goes on, what your child's strengths are. Your specialist will also be able to suggest how to gradually get your child interested in learning something. But this should ideally be done through play and through the child's own choice of activities.

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