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Published On:29 October 2010
Posted by Indian Muslim Observer

Scholastic Problems in Adolescence

By Dr. Vivek Sharma

Being young is greatly overestimated ...
Any failure seems so total. Later on you realize you can have another go.
(Mary Quant 1934 - Interview in Observer 5th May 1996)

Adolescence originates from "Adolescere" the Latin word, meaning to grow to maturity, which is a dreaded age for others as they are difficult to be managed.

Adolescents of today are living in the modern era in 6 major zones

• School Education
• Violence
• Sexual
• Home Atmosphere
• Materialism
• Computer, T.V. & Media

All of which have an impact on adolescent development and behaviour. Since there is a high emphasis on educational achievement, in a highly literate and achievement-oriented society, anything that affects this causes serious concern to parents. Poor academic performance is a symptom, which has many underlying causes. The reasons for poor performance have been given below:

1. In adolescent

• Sensory deficits & visual problems
• Long term illnesses
• Mental retardation, learning disability and attention deficit disorder
• Emotional disorders like anxiety, depression, disobedience and school phobia
• Poor motivation
• Certain medications like anti allergic, anti epileptic, anti asthmatics and recreational drugs

2. Environmental Factors

• Home, school, peers, teachers
• Deprived/discordant home atmosphere (poorly disciplined, broken homes, fighting parents)
• Lack of encouragement, problem with siblings, educational back ground of parents, over expectation of parents
• Adolescent pre-occupation with their own body and other problems
• More interest in co-curricular activities, ignoring studies
• Medium of instruction different from the mother tongue, high student-teacher ratio, teacher-student relationship
• Overcrowded ill-equipped class rooms, faulty learning techniques, faulty teaching strategies, not acquired basic skill/knowledge for higher classes

How Companions and Care Givers can help?

• Selecting the time
• Keeping away all distractions inclusive of TV & Computer
• Ways of learning using Survey, Questioning, Reading, Recall and Reviewing
• Try to identify the style of learning suitable to the individual
• Start learning with the easiest: do not put off the most difficult till the end. In between there should be a short time for rest
• Parents should appreciate and reinforce the effort made by the individual and not the outcome alone
• Encourage the individual the exploit his fullest potential rather than making comparisons with other children in the family or outside
• Let not learning be forced, help the individual learn at his pace and style
• Do not keep on nagging, criticizing, humiliating or making negative statements in the presence of others
• Talking to the teacher and requesting for a different approach. Change of place or class and at times even the school
• Help the child develop more defensive strategies through outdoor games
• Teach the individual to be assertive by using assertive training
• Many a time the therapist may have to call the family members to ensure their help and co-operation so that the disturbed adolescent outlive the problem
• If there are problems between the parents, family counseling may be necessary
• At times even the help/support of a classmate or teacher would be necessary

There is no single or simple way of achieving success. Using some of the strategies in your particular situation should help to create a learning environment that will promote success and a positive attitude toward academic performance.

[Dr. Vivek Sharma is a Consultant Paediatrician based in Jaipur. He can be contacted at drvivek_sharma@rediffmail.com]

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Posted by Indian Muslim Observer on October 29, 2010. Filed under , , , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Feel free to leave a response

By Indian Muslim Observer on October 29, 2010. Filed under , , , . Follow any responses to the RSS 2.0. Leave a response

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