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My child is 7 yrs old. His b-day is in june. His 2nd grade teacher is telling me he's having trouble with


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scooterT November 5, 2008


finishing his class work in class. She states that he's a smart boy and able to do the work, but is easily distracted. He would rather play with his pencils or color. She is relating this to maturity, therefore saying that he won't be ready for 3rd grade, and I should think about retaining him, to have him repeat 2nd grade. I'm not to sure that is the way to go if he's able to do all of the academic work. thanks for you time and suggestions-Lacey

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healthy11 November 5, 2008


I'm rather surprised that the teacher is suggesting retention and this school year is barely underway. Truthfully, I understand your situation. My son also has a June birthday, and I heard the same complaints. Did your son's first grade teacher also express concerns?

While immaturity might be a part of your son's issues, his tendancies to be distracted might be caused by other things, too. A smart child might be bored, and if something else is more interesting to them, they'll often focus on it instead. A child might actually have a medical condition like ADHD, and that's not just a matter of "immaturity." In that case, repeating a year could actually make matters worse, since a child is apt to be more bored than before. Believe it or not, some kids can be gifted AND have attention deficits, and teachers really struggle to handle those children! (That's what my son ended up being diagnosed as.)

How does your son act at home? Does he follow through with tasks, etc? We obviously don't have enough knowledge of your son to know what's going on. A decision about retaining your son doesn't have to be made now, and a lot can happen in 6 months...In the meantime, you might want to read some past conversations on the topic of retention/repeating a grade...If you go to the upper right corner of this page, you'll see a place to "Search community by keyword" and will find quite a few discussions. Her'e's one: http://community.greatschools.net/q-and-a/138511/How-do-I-know-if-retaining-my-3rd-grader-another-year-because-of-social-immaturity-is-the-right-thing-to-do


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trooper November 6, 2008


Request in writing a formal educational and psychological testing for your child. You need to get quantitative information about your child's learning and social profile. Then, you can determine the appropriate intervention to assist your son. Your son might need special education services.

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scooterT November 6, 2008


I am requesting that my son has a special education evaluation. My hope is that this test will point us in the right direction, and see what he may need help with. My son is definitly able to complete tasks at home, some times he does need reminders. But at home it's one to one, since he's an only child. My son did have the same issues in 1st grade. When I asked his first grade teacher what I could do about this, I was told "nothing, because you can't make a child mature soon than their ready to." I was also told, from someone outside of the school, that diagnosing a child at 7yrs with ADD is kind of young. What was your expirence with having a child diagnosed with ADD?

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healthy11 November 6, 2008


scooterT, actually the DSM-IV (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual) which doctors use to diagnose ADHD, says that the symptoms do have to be present prior to age 7, in multiple settings (ie, school and home.)

My son is also an only child, so I didn't have any others to compare him to, but I was a "Room Mom" and when I'd volunteer in the classroom, I could see that my son was far less focused and needed more supervision/redirection than most of his classmates. His teachers in kindergarten and first grade both complained about him, with the first grade teacher calling him "an underachiever" since he was bright, but seemingly not willing to do the work she assigned.

We live in a metropolitan area, and started to attend CHADD meetings to learn more about ADHD (there was no widespread internet use when my son was in elementary school) and ultimately, we decided to have him formally evaluated. I was not surprised by the outcome, which confirmed his ADHD -combined type. (There are 3 types, and kids with the inattentive variety don't even exhibit the hyperactivity that characterizes the other types.)
You can read much more about attentional disorders at sites like www.help4adhd.org

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trooper November 7, 2008


My son was diagnosed with adhd in the second grade. I had always suspected that there was some type of problem. As an infant my son was colicky. He had difficulty with feeding. Any motion or sounds he would hear would distract him from feeding even then. As a toddler, he was in constant motion, He could never really sit in my lap for a story. He had a terrible time sleeping. It was if his brain would not stop working enough to let him sleep. His impulsivity increased as his tiredness increased. Yet, he was a delightful, curious,happy child. He was achieving all his milestones. He acquired speech early,walked, counted, and read. He could do puzzles- complicated jigsaw puzzles -that he could stay focused on. In fact, that is what really muddied the waters. When he really was interested in something - he would become consumed. There was no pulling him away. He had to stick with it until it was completed. He was a perfectionist - and was years ahead intellectually. But, if you gave him a three part direction - like put your socks on, then your shoes. and come downstairs - he would always miss something. In school, when he had papers to do - they would be perfect - except for the questions he didn't' answer because he would forget to turn the page over. As organizational demands increased - he would fall further behind. I had formal testing done by the school and independently. His doctor started him on medication. Initially, the meds helped with focusing - but they made him feel very anxious. When the meds wore off - it was like a crash and burn effect. It took years of evaluations and experimentation to get the right balance. Today he still takes medication. Now that he is a teenager - he has learned to recognize the signs of when he is not focusing. He will need medication probably all his life. It is just how his brain works. He drives a car - and will be entering college next fall.

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healthy11 November 7, 2008


Scooter, my son's "story" is much like trooper's son, although in addition to being gifted (very high IQ) and having ADHD, my son also was found to have dyslexia and dysgraphia (reading and writing disabilities.) My son is currently a college freshman.

There's actually a term, "2e" or "twice exceptional," which is used when referring to students at "both extremes" of the learning curve, meaning gifted and having attentional and/or learning issues. Should you want to read more, I've compiled many articles and resources in the "2e" group at http://community.greatschools.net/groups/16042

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dawnsblessed November 12, 2008


How do you feel about it? You know him better then his teacher. I am currently going thru a similar situation and I was against the school on this decision. I truely felt that they were making an error and because they are a charter shcool which makes there own decisions they did not care they did it against my will. Even though he passed all of his classes. But now the worse part is that I despise them for it and now have NO desire to support my childrens charter school. NO more donations, no more volunteering. I will only support my childs individual class. They did not want to support my child why should I want to support them.

I would suggest that you get him privately tested. If they are leaving the decision up to you make it after getting the consultation from the doctor as well as the school. Sometimes the schools have other reasons to fail him. Get in that school and find out was really going on! Good Luck!

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christine2983 November 6, 2009


Scooter..I am having the same problem with my son...He is 6 years old and ikn first grade..He turned six in August...I was told by his teacher today he has a hard time paying attention, and he plays with his pencils and colors pictures instead of doing schoolwork..She said its maturity at this age..I have a meeting with her Thursday so we can hopefully get to the bottom of this....He has not had a problem once this school year until recently....He has an extreme hard time in fluency, reading...He cant read, so Im thinking this is the reason he gets distracted easily....

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healthy11 November 7, 2009


I invite everyone with a child who is struggling in school to join Greatschools Learning and Attention Difficulties Group at http://community.greatschools.net/groups/11554 to learn more about testing and evaluation, accommodations and remediation approaches, etc.



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