School-aged Children Who Are Not Progressing Academically: Considerations for Pediatricians
Pediatricians and other pediatric primary care providers may be consulted when families have concerns that their child is not making expected progress in school. Pediatricians care not only for an increasingly diverse population of children who may have behavioral, psychological, and learning difficulties but also for increasing numbers of children with complex and chronic medical problems that can affect the development of the central nervous system and can present with learning and academic concerns. In many instances, pediatric providers require additional information about the nature of cognitive, psychosocial, and educational difficulties that affect their school-aged patients. Our purpose for this report is to describe the current state of the science regarding educational achievement to inform pediatricians’ decisions regarding further evaluation of a child’s challenges. In this report, we review commonly available options for psychological evaluation and/or treatment, medical referrals, and/or recommendations for referral for eligibility determinations at school and review strategies for collaborating with families, schools, and specialists to best serve children and families.