When a teen is struggling with depression, there should be an expectation of a certain level of disorganization, forgetfulness and trouble concentrating. The good news is, there are accommodations that can be made in order to help reduce some of those setbacks.
Be flexible on due dates or attendance, allow extra time for homework or tests, or find other ways to reduce classroom stress. This doesn’t mean eliminate expectations or rules, it simply means when a student is having a particularly hard time, a little flexibility can go a long way.
Find the Good
Depression is a constant state of bleakness and discouragement. When you see a student doing well, make a make point to say something.
Basic human kindness is always a good idea, but is vital for a kid who is struggling. Try checking in with them, ask them how their day is going or what they may need from you to feel supported in class.
Validate and Encourage
If all else has failed, it is important to advocate for a child who may need more formalized support in school. Explore helping the student and their parent advocate for an IEP case study or a 504 plan that allows for extended time, sitting in the front of the class, late arrival, relaxed attendance regulations or tutoring assistance.
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