Reatining a child that has struggles in every grade - FamilyEducation
Reatining a child that has struggles in every grade
07/09/2007 at 10:31 AM

My son is 11 years old.  He just finished the 6th grade.  Technically he should probably only should have just finished the 5th grade but i started him early so he could attend a speech class at school at an early age.  Anyway, he is learning disabilities.  He is 2 years behind in reading and 1 year behin in math. He has always been in inclusion classes.  I struggle every year on whether i should hold him back. This past year was VERY hard for him.  He barely passed all year long. I talked to several of his teahcers and they agree with me that I should hold him back in the 6th grade again.  I have even discussed it with my son and he wants to be held back.  He is a VERY emotional child.  He cries at school all the time.  He is picked on all the time.  But that's a whole different issue.  My concern is whether to hold him back.  I know I should but the principals at the school are givign me a really hard time.  They said that it will scar him and hurt him worse. The assistant principal basically told me that there job is to get the kids through middle school and then let the high school deal with them. Should i ignore the princpals advice and do what I know is best for my child.  I am tired of them just pushing him on the the next grade.  He needs a real education and that is not what they are offering him..

Hey afreeman,


I am sure this is a very hard decision for you.  If his teachers feel that it is the best thing, he feels it is the best thing and you feel it is the best thing then I think you have to consider all those opinions.  What you might want to do is to consult with a counselor to see what they say are could be the long term problems with either option.




Have you considered home schooling your son? I had trouble with my son also when he was in 5th grade I talked to him about staying back and he knew he should and agreed to it but his Dad was so concerned about how it would reflect upon him for his son to "fail" and fussed so bad my son decided he didn't want to be held back when he was in 8th I worked full time and home schooled him his grades improved dramtically he passed the test he had to take through the school system. But he was lonely he is an only child and we live in a very rural area so I sent him back to school he struggled and gave up at 16 I gave him the choice of going to vo-tech to get his GED and a trade he got his GED and graduated from vo-tech auto body with honors and several awards. he was also very emotional cried alot  was picked on etc. But he came out of his shell and bloomed when he started vo-tech the difference was the kids were responsibe for their behavior. he was never a behavior problem but if the teachers ever got upset and yelled at another student he always took it as they were mad at him. If he ever asked for help they kept telling him to try his main problem was he was such a perfectionist if he wasn't  sure he was right he would not write anything down he needed reassured constantly he was doing things right we talked alot about his pride about having to be perfect and we also talked alot about God and I reminded him daily that all that was expected of him was to be his very best not the very bet. Hope this helps I stood beside my son faithfully even when the teachers would say he wasn't trying I believed in him encouraged him and it was worthit because after he graduated he thanked me for all the support and he told me I was the only person that ever convinced him that he was loved.


Have you considered home schooling your son? I had alot of problems with my son also failing grades,crying being picked on etc. I took my son out in 8th grade and home schooled him his reading scores and his math scores improved dramatically I was afraid to do it at fist because I had struggled just like my son. I was convinced I was to dumb to do it but I couldn't stand my sons pain. The only problem I had was he was lonely we live in a very rural area so there was no other kids to play with so I let him go back to school. I did what I could to encourge and support him. I had to ignore what the teachers said about him because I new the root of the problem was he didn't believe he was smart and his pride was consuming him. We stuggled until he got 16 and I gave him the choice of finishing school or going to vo-tech to take the GED and getting a trade. He choose vo-tech and he blossomed the kids didn't pick on him so bad the teachers were supportive and encouraging. He graduated with honors and recieved several awards. I'm not condeming the school system or the teachers  there is nothing wrong with tradition if it works  for you and your childs and meets his needs but if its not working for you and your child try something different. If he's already failing what do you have to lose.


I strongly urge that you consider home schooling for at least 2 years.  Additionally I hope you will look into Wilson Language for a tutor to teach your son how to read.  This is an amazing organization.  They will help you to locate a trained tutor in your area.  If there is no one in your area you can order the books yourself.  Stay away from the chain store tutoring places, they are not equiped to deal with most students with LD - no matter what they advertise.

Secondly, I do agree that holding him back would create issues in the future.  I am assuming that he attends the public school system in your area.  It would be a miricle if any public school system actually was equiped to handle any child with LD. 

My 17 year old son is Dyslexic and was taken out of the school system early on.  Students with LD have rights given to them by the Federal Government.  You will need to have a psychological evaluation done (this is a specific one just for LD issues).  I suggest that you do this independent of the schools because they are usually backed up and I think you would be happier with the results from an outside person.  Once this is completed you will have the information that is required to demand help for your son. 

Most likely your son is actually very bright dispite any accademic problems.  My son has an above average IQ and has many interests and accomplishments including being an Eagle Scout.  I am positive that if he had remained in the public schools, he would not only failed but he would have considered himself a failure. One of his good friends fell through the cracks of the school system and his parents just believed the school was right.  He was held back one grade as well.  I can tell you he has talents, but did not have the support he needed and frankly had a miserable time all throughout school.


I would have to strongly disagree with you when you said that you doubt that "ANY" public school could deal with learning disabilities.  I would like to know how you came to that conclusion.  Have you done a study on other school districts in different areas to see that they lack the ability to teach children with LD.  My own school district has a wonderful program with children with LD.  My daughter completed an IEP and was diagnosed with a LD and will be getting all of the help she needs.  She has all of their programs available and feel very lucky we have such a wonderful school system.  I don't know if the OP has the same type of help offered to her but if she does I would suggest that she takes full advantage of it before she decides to homeschool her child.  A child with LD should have all of the professional help he/she can be offered to help them learn.