Help - FamilyEducation
02/21/2009 at 15:50 PM

I need some good advise regarding my son, he is 7 years old and in first grade. He struggles with his reading and goes to a special reading class. He also has difficulties with math, he gets frustrated easily giving up on his work. I cannot read his writing, he basically cannot spell. I've worked with him for 1 hour each evening on his sight words and now he is able to read level 2 with a little help on some of the new words. He is in the lower level math in his class but seems to be doing okay in it. I'm wondering if I should hold him back next year? He doesn't have a learning disability, but he is ADHD, he is taking medication that works wonders for him. He doesn't feel like he is as smart as the children in his class, this breaks my heart. I'm wondering if I hold him back if he would feel on top of his class or will be feel bad about being held back?? His teacher feels that I should go ahead and move him up but.....I hate to have to go through this again next year. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

I've been going back and forth w/ this same decision regarding my son who is 5 1/2 and in Kindergarten. My dilema is not only about holding him back b/c of learning difficulties, but also b/c his b-day is in the summer, so he's one of the younger kids in his class. On the other hand, he's been in a spec ed school since he was 3 yrs old. B/c they teach at a slower pace, I have no problem w/ the school advancing him. Here's my thinking at this pt: If your son is in spec classes for reading in public school, keep him in these classes. Also suggest to the school that you want your son in spec math classes as well. Does your son have an IEP? If so, make sure everything is clearly stated in his IEP. If he doesn't have an IEP, get one. Have you had any additional evals/testing conducted outside of school by a dr trained in this area? I wld strongly recommend that. Also, maybe getting your son counceling for his self-esteem issues wldn't be a bad idea either. I don't think holding your son back a grade is going to solve anything. Consider holding him back in only the areas he needs extra help w/. Work w/ your son at home to reinforce what he's learning in school and maybe even consider a private tutor. I find w/ my son that repetition and reinforcement is key in helping him learn. I wish you all the best w/ your son.

Hi, I have 25+ years working at a deaf school with various of disbilities, and a lot of these children have ADHD, what we do with them is because they have short attention span, cut the "studying time" short period, like 15 to 20 minutes each time you spend with him, make it fun. Like with math, use real money, pennies for adding or subtracting, you can also use his toys, like little cars, make it fun for him and it will help hold his attention. Try this first before holding him back a year. I have a 6 year old daughter whom I had in a late age, and found her emotional stability was not ready for a kindergarten when she was five, and I was glad I did that, go with your gut feeling or heart, you may know your son best, talk with his teacher. My daughter has reading problem, and because I am deaf, I use captioning on TV for myself but have found this helps her with reading skills, and that has often helped her with recogizing words. Hope this helps. Darlene

My daughter had much the same trouble i made the hard choice and she is now getting ready to finish her 2nd yr in 3rd grade much the same teachers told me she would be ok i decided when they wanted to make her go to summer school that i had a enough she was always working so hard and never got to be a little girl .i wont tell you it was all easy in the start she cried for the first 2 weeks not knowing anyone and all her friends were in 4th grade but i kept telling her it would get better even though i wasnt sure after a week of the crying everyday most of the day it broke my heart and knowing i made the choice for her it was my fault but it did get better she made friends and now in class she isnt always the last to get done she isnt always the one who doesnt understand who reads the slowest it is and was the best choice i have ever made for her she went from making a 1 on her LDP to 3 in math and reading it is hard children whe they get behind they dont get a chance to catch up because with every new grade comes new things to learn and if a child doesnt know the work from the year before how can they honest get caught up it just makes them behind every year .she also has ADHD

Hi motherof5, I was wondering how you got your school to agree w/ your decision to hold your daughter back. My son is classified, and therefore he has an IEP. We were told that it goes against special ed law to hold a child back (No Child Left Behind). Does your daughter have an IEP? Wld love to hear more info about this from you. Thx. Concerned

Hi ,yes she has a IEP i tried since grade k to keep her held back i just had a feeling it would help but i did what the school wanted and let them make the choice to keep my child going on she just kept being behind when she came to me after the first few weeks in 3 rd asking why she was last getting her work done and slower reading than a lot of them i was so hurt for her and her first year in 3rd she made all 1's on her LDP's ,EOG's . now this year in 3rd so far she has made a 3 in math and a high 3 in reading almost a 4 on her LDP's we will be taking the EOG's soon but honest im not worried .in first grade she was grade k level in reading then in 2nd she was 1st grade level and her first year in grade 3 she was 2nd level now this year in 3rd she is grade level and a little above in reading when i made the choice that what they have done has not worked so it is time for my way i gave it a lot of thought i spoke with her teachers who told me it wouldnt hurt her to stay back but they couldnt go on record saying it ,so i talked with the principal he was the same one who promised things would be different for her if i just kept moving her on "WRONG" i had enough i told him where i stood on the issue and told him that i would speak to them at the county but i got lucky i explained in a email to the county who responded they would check into it .3rd grade is a gateway year for the no child left behind so when they said summer school i said NO and she didnt go ,she had several friends who had the same trouble as her they went to summer school and are now failing LDP 's in fourth .holding her back was the best choice even though it was hard the first few weeks she is now on grade level "yeah"i didnt know if i would ever hear that .I know in NC of several children who stayed back and had IEP's ,I'm not sure if you are aware of this but if your child has a IEP and special ED they can not get a high school diploma they will get a cert.of achievement instead ,my daughter doesnt have that kind but a friend of mine does so her daughter will get the cert. instead and her daughter also stayed back in 3rd grade and is now in 8th

I read your reply above and as for my daughter her IEP has modified work from her first year in 3rd but now we have taken that out all she gets now is write in book during test ,seperate testing she will be pulled out with about 4 other kids to test and read allowed for math only, they will not allow it for reading .this for testing helps due to her having ADD "which i do not medicate her for "and she is passing all test this 2nd yr in 3rd.she also gets as long as she wants on testing i had her tested and she tested low in 2nd that is when we started her IEP for more than just speech .i know that you said your child is a summer baby so is my daughter and i noticed that your child is and has been since in special ed ,as for my choice before i held her back she had title one reading and always had to have the special ed teacher help her in the room but now all she gets is speech and i have told them that is over also .

Donna, Thx so much for the info and for your reply.

Hi~ Has your son had testing done to determine that he does NOT have a learning disability? I always thought that my son did have a learning disability, but all the testing that was done at school did not show that. We finally took my son to see a child psychologist who specializes in learning disabilities, and he diagnosed him with dyslexia and other learning disabilities. He was still not going to qualify for extra services, but because of this doctors reputation, and our persistence, they did finally give him services, and he has really made progress. I have been told that it can be difficult to diagnose learning disabilities before 2nd or 3rd grade, so even if he has been tested, I would ask for further testing, and don't just go by what the school psychologist and other professionals tell you, find out what type of testing your insurance covers. We did have to pay about $800 that our insurance did not cover, but it is the best $800 I ever spent, otherwise he wouldn't have qualified for services, and I would probably be taking him for outside help right now. If you can't afford additional testing, check with local universities, some of them provide free or low cost testing. Botton line, if your gut keeps telling you there is a problem, and you don't like the answers you are getting from school, look elsewhere for help. Hope this helps

My son is in 4th grade age 9. He is a good kid and does not have the discipline issue other than he does not stay on task. His principal and teach have put him on a program that they grade him each day and depending on his score is the amount of free time he gets. For instance, if he gets say 50% or below he looses his break or all breaks. I feel this is not good as he needs to have a break to clear his mind from the work. What I have noticed is that when he does not understand the assignment he will sit in his desk and not do the work. The teacher said she tells him to get to work and she will show him a problem and then let him get to the work. I find that at night during homework, he does the same thing, but if I sit next to him and prompt him, he gets the work done. The teacher said she does not have time to do this with him. I am a full time working mom and I cannot be there to do this so what am I to do. Another issue I have is the teacher sent home a missing assignment report and he has 25 missing assignments just in math. No wonder he cannot understand what to do. My question is what advice to any of you have for me. I have even thought that he is so far behind in 4th grade now that maybe I should put him back in 3rd to catch him up. I am at a loss as to what to do. Any help?

It's an expense, but enroll him in one of the tutoring services. I've never used one, but I have the luxury of being able to budget my time.