Helping Troubled Teens With Academic Deficiencies


When teens struggle with behavioral, mental or emotional issues, it can affect their schoolwork and academic performances. When parents notice that their teen boy’s grades and attendance has plummeted due to the struggles they face, the immediate concern is to get treatment for those issues and deal with school later.  However, when looking at a comprehensive treatment plan for troubled teen boys, academics is still worth paying attention to.

At Sundance Canyon Academy, troubled teen boys can receive the effective therapy they need, and also get moving on their academic goals at the same time. Professional treatment for mental, emotional or behavioral challenges doesn’t have to exclude school, and Sundance Canyon Academy proves that.

Teen Problems in School

When schoolwork suffers, parents usually need to examine what’s going on in their child’s life. The cause may be something small and easily fixed, or a symptom of a much larger issue that needs professional attention.

Here are some of the more common things that cause problems at school:

  • Learning disabilities. Teens who may have skated by in school thus far may be confronted with legitimate learning disabilities that have gone undiagnosed until now. It’s not uncommon for issues like dyslexia or ADD/ADHD to be diagnosed in the middle school and high school years.
  • Physical problems. Whether it’s something simple like a lack of sleep or bad eyesight, to a more serious physical condition like thyroid problems or anemia, students who one did well in school and are now dropping may have something physically interfering with their ability to learn.
  • Emotional issues. A range of emotional disorders can block a teen’s ability to learn and grow. Examples include anxiety, depression, trauma, and more.
  • Outside interference. This could be anything that a teenager is experiencing that can slow down or stop their ability to succeed in school. It could be bullying, a new crush or dating relationship, abuse at home or even substance abuse. Declining grades when everything else physical or mental checks out may indicate something is going on outside the walls of the home or school.

No matter what the cause of the school slump, parents should pay immediate attention before the damage to becomes too great.

How Parents Can Help

Teens who need professional help for emotional, behavioral or other issues need a therapist. Teens who need help in school need trained teachers. But Parental involvement can go a long way to minimize the harm that poor academics can inflict on a teen’s future. When it comes to helping troubled teenagers in school, parents can do a lot to assess what kind of help the teen needs.

  1. Talk to the teen. Even the most involved parents may not know all that is going on with their teenage son, so it’s a good idea to start talking about anything that might be going on. Letting a teen know that a parent is open and willing to listen may be the push he needs to start talking about problems. Even if the teen rejects the parents, it’s still sending a good message of care and concern.
  2. Talk to the teachers. Teachers see a side of teenagers that parents never get to see–how they are at school. Meeting with teachers is a wonderful way to get a new perspective on teens, and parents can compare notes and issues with the teachers. Getting on the same page as a troubled teen’s teachers can go a long way in identifying the problems that are leading to the school slump.
  3. Arrange for outside help. If the teen is open to it, parents can arrange for outside help for academics, like a tutor. Especially if the teenager is getting help or treatment for other issues that were interfering with school, a tutor or outside study session can help the teen get back to previous levels and stay caught up with the grade.
  4. Look into therapeutic boarding schools. As scary as it sounds, therapeutic boarding schools may be the answer to getting a teen the therapy and academic help needed. Sometimes traditional schools simply don’t have the experience, resources or staff to help teens with serious challenges to get better and do well in school. These facilities are designed to treat teens and keep them academically on top.

How Sundance Canyon Academy Can Help

Students who struggle in traditional school may find more success in a place like Sundance Canyon Academy. At the teen help facility, students get individualized education plans that cater to their specific needs and challenges. Licensed teachers hold small classes and work one-on-one with students who need it. Not only can students who were once struggling meet grade level testing requirements, but many go on to complete college prep courses.

By combining therapy with academics at Sundance Canyon Academy, troubled teens who need more help than a traditional school or parents can offer can get the education they need to stay on track toward graduation. Instead of writing off their trouble teen as a lost cause, it’s important that parents look at all the options, including therapeutic boarding school, to ensure that their teen has the best chance of success in a career.