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First grade son not doing as well as he should in school.


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Lovliqueen January 10, 2009


My son is 7 and in the first grade and he was doing so well in school for the first 2 months. Now it has completely down falled. The only thing that he cares about is tv, and his video games. I have restricted his game to him only playing on Sat and a little on Sunday. I have restricted his tv time to one hour on weekdays. I find that he does well on his homework, but school work where he works alone he doesn't do so well. He is a pretty good reader, but he doesn't seem to comprehend what he has read. If I read to he he can tell me what happens in the stories. His teacher has pointed out that he is using uppercase letters in his writing where he should he using lower cases. She and I have told him several times not to do this and we try to get him to work on his handwriting. I just don't know what to do. I am going to call around and look for free or low cost tutoring for him. I fell he has the " I don't care attitude". Any advice will be great. Thanks!

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healthy11 January 10, 2009


Hi. I'm also in the Chicago area, but in the suburbs.
I have a son (now a teen) who sounds a lot like your son when he was younger... I'll be honest, his writing is still poor, but he is in college. He has a high IQ, but he also was found to have ADHD (attention deficit) and dyslexia (reading disability) and dysgraphia (written expression disorder.)

I'm not a doctor, and only doctors can diagnose medical conditions like ADHD, but often kids with attentional issues find TV/videos fun (the screen is moving, even if they're sitting quietly) but when you ask a child with ADHD to sit still and do quiet desk work, they really have a hard time. If I were you, I'd recommend reading a bit on the site www.help4adhd.org, and maybe attending a CHADD parent support meeting in your area (www.chadd.org) and make an appointment with your son's pediatrician.

As far as the reading goes, there could be several reasons why your son has trouble....some kids don't have the best phonemic awareness, so they spend a lot more effort decoding each word, and by the time they get to the end of a sentence or paragraph, they forget what they read. Kids with ADHD often have weaker working memories. Educational testing can, and really should be done on all kids who are struggling, but I know there's a new approach, called RTI (Response to Intervention) where schools try different teaching strategies/methodologies to remediate weak academic areas. I don't know exactly how the Chicago Public School system is doing RTI, but there are supposed to be 3 tiers in Illinois, where if the first approach doesn't work, they try more intensive things next, etc. You should ask your son's school about it, and what they're doing with him.
The other thing available in the area, although they're in LaGrange, is free evaluation and tutoring for students who might have dyslexia....you can find out more about it through http://www.childrenslearningcenters.org/about/about.html
I hope this helps. You might also like to join Greatschools Learning and Attention Difficulties Group at http://community.greatschools.net/groups/11554

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Lovliqueen January 10, 2009


Thanks for the advice Healthy11. I have never thought about those things and I am going to get him tested for those disorders. I work with some teachers and maybe they can refer me to some places. Thanks for the links, I will check them out to!



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