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What is my next step?
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What is my next step?

I have a four children.  My 10 year old daughter has severe mood swings, feelings of hoplessness, anxiety to the point of complete meltdown (crying uncontrollably, hyperventilating, etc.).  She is struggling in school to the point where she may have to repeat the 5th grade.  I have been at war with her teacher thinking she is just not being instructed properly.  But I've come to the conclusion that maybe she has a learning disability or some kind of mental disorder that is not allowing her to learn....As parents we are very concerned for our daughter and are eager to find a solution.  She also claimed to not be able to read print in school, so we took her to a optometrist who told us that her eyes are perfectly fine...We are besides ourselves with what to do....HELP
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Learning DIsorders (LD) in children can often cause secondary anxiety and depression as school is such big part of a child's life and 10 years old is a good age to have it assessed. I would start by talking to the school counselor and see how long it would take for the school to assess her for learning disabiltiies. If it is too long for you to wait you can see a child psychologist who does testing and they can assess her for both academic and emotional functioning (may be expensive starting at $400 and up, unless there is a university nearby with a psychology clinic that does testing). FYI, you may be more likely to get an LD diagnosis from an independent psychologist versus what the school may find based on different criteria for differences in standardized testing scores. Her Academic Achievement will be compared to her intellectual ability to determine if a LD exists. Often times schools are more hesitant to give the diagnosis because they then have to provide specialized services for thos students identified as LD. It does not mena you cannot get a good evaluation from a school, just that the criteria may be more stringent at the school. Something to keep in mind. ALso I am not surprised her eyes were fine. To a child with an LD such as Reading Disorder it is a processing problem from the eye to the brain which cannot be detected by reading letters on a typical eye exam. If she is diagnosed with an LD there are lots of accommodations she may need at school such as longer times to take tests, having things read aloud to her, and having information repeated for her. Not the end of the world, just soemthing to take into consideration. I hope she has other things she excels at which bring her enjoyment. There may be ways to incorporate areas of strengths into her school work so she feels more successful. Hope this helps.
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Severe anxiety interferes with learning and often gives the appearance of a learning disability.  I do not know if this is your problem, but I do know of several children who were diagnosed with learning disabilities when, in fact, they suffered from severe anxiety.  The anxiety prevented the child from learning and only the lessening of the anxiety did the child begin to "learn" in school.  This can take several months or even years.  I write this so that even if diagnosed with a "learning disability", you may not have "found the correct answer".  By the way - can your daughter read the print at home?  If she can, this could mean an "anxiety/mental health" disorder; if not, then probably a "learning" disorder.

Severe meltdowns, feelings of hopelessness, and mood swings are common to children suffering from anxiety, especially if these occur in the home and not at school.  So, the opposite to the above post can also be true - severe anxiety and depression can cause what appears to be learning issues.  I do not mean to confuse you - just be aware of both scenarios.
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Ok so I am having the EXACT same issue with my daughter who is 9.  This is the hardest thing I've ever had to go through. I only have 1 other child so my life is not THAT hectic.... but she has changed DRASTICALLY over the last 3 to 6 months. I am having her go to do some testing outside of the school.  But this is a lengthy process and yes my daughter could possibly repeat the 3rd grade if I am not proactive and quick about it.  We have actually changed up our schedule and tried to be more organized and be more hands on with her but this doesn't seem to work either.  Hers is her reading 100%.  And we too have had her eyes checked.  UGH!  I'm so at a loss but want you to know you aren't alone.  If you ever need to chat, feel free!  
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