Boys traditionally behind in Kindergarten and First Grade?

Diana - posted on 02/04/2009 ( 7 moms have responded )

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Hi Everyone, my son will be 6 1/2 on March 13th. He has been recently diagnosed with a learning disability. I am now a bit upset because he was born in September and we had the option to have him start Kindergarten a year later but we decided to give it a go. Now the school board claims he is about 6 months behind especially in his reading. I feel guilty. Maybe I should have kept him behind?

Anyway, he is in Catholic school and it is very tough. They had midterms in 1st Grade! I never heard of this! Well if anyone can give me some insight I would appreciate it!

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Kristen - posted on 04/15/2009

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Forgot to mention that I had asked if it would be in his interest to hold him back a year. His teacher told me that if we hold him back it is seen as the intervention and any therapy or assistance he could get to help his skills catch up from the public school system would be taken off the table. So if you are looking at the option of holding your son back a year, please ask them if he will still be eligible for the assistance his learning disability requires. Have a feeling that legally they can not withhold assistance, but the time that battle requires would be time lost he could be getting help.

Kristen - posted on 04/15/2009

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After the first Parent Teacher meeting I had HUGE levels of guilt. His fifth birthday was the first day of school. I had lost sleep over starting him early, but this meeting and the guilt that followed made me lose more sleep. By the next meeting I hit the teacher with tough questions: Are you certain it is a learning disability and not that he is the youngest in the class? Is he bored? (This was taken offensively, but it was a good question!) What exactly does he do when he seems distracted?

I thought it was motivation, nothing motivated him to do his work in class. Teacher hadn't tried a reward system yet, but the one she described didn't sound like it would motivate my boy who was use to a creative silly mother. Asked to make a treasure map and she could reward him with pieces of it. She thought he may earn one the first day, he earned four! Other systems have had less to similar success, but the task of creating these has alleviated the guilt, as now I can do something to help. Figure out what you can do to work on filling the gap to get him caught up.

Aside from this experience, yes, boys fine motor skills are normally slow to develop. So if your son reads fine, but writes horribly, he is normal. They have actually shown brain scans of same age boys and girls that show this area of the brain are less developed. So handwriting skills, coloring within the lines, etc. are normally not those of their female peers at this stage of life. My pediatrician mentioned he never caught up in the handwriting skills, as is normal with most doctors ;-)

Jenny - posted on 03/03/2009

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my son is an oct baby, I also put him in kindergarten the year early...which I regret ...I now homeschool

Angela - posted on 02/25/2009

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My son has ADHD and when we sent him to a lutheran school in Kidergarten he was almost a year behind...but with small classes they should be able to work one-on-one with him to help him get caught up....My son is now in 3rd grade and is still struggling but the teachers are very helpful in where he needs the help and keeps me informed of any problems to work on.....I think you did ok by getting him started--maybe work with him a little each night with flashcards or start with a real simple book like dr. seuss and see where that goes...its frustrating sometimes but with a little work he will catch up and be just fine....

Desiree - posted on 02/18/2009

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My son was always behind. I didn't help that he wasn't diagnosed ADHD until mid-way through first grade. After being diagnosed and put on the right medication he did great but was still behind and was held back. He was recently diagnosed with a learning disability and put in a special one on one class for a couple of hours a week and it seems to be helping. He is still behind but doing a lot better than before, I just wish I had him tested in kindergarten, I think if I could have had him diagnosed with ADHD then that he wouldn't have fallen so far behnd and would have had the tools he needed to concentrate/learn. Right now he is over halfway through his second year in first grade and is only reading at a beginning first grade level but he tries so hard that I know he will catch up and hopefully be where he needs to be by the end of the school year.

[deleted account]

My son is an October boy and was always significantly behind emotionally and academically. We didn't have a choice of holding him back in Kindergarten. By the end of grade 3 he was still hanging out with kids 2 years younger than him, had no friends his own age, and he was about 2 years behind academically in public school. We moved him to a private school with an individual program where kids are streamed and brought up gradually as they progress. He was very happythere right from the beginning, started working to get caught up with great support and had tons of friends his own age. It was a gret decision. Its a financial strain but worth every penny to have a son who is social, happy, and academically confident and at grade level. He's now in grade 7, totally caught up. It took along time - dont expect too much in too short a time.

[deleted account]

My son went to "Early 5" kindergarten when he was 5 1/2 years old. We had to get special permission from the principal to do this. Otherwise, I was just going to hold him out another year. He started regular half day kindergarten when he was 6 1/2 years old. He also has a March birthday. At the end of that second year, his teacher told me he was behind the other kids and would enter first grade already behind. I asked his (public) school to do testing, but they told us that he had not failed yet. They test to measure the difference in ability and achievement, very hard to measure at this level. I already knew he had global developmental delay, was diagnosed Failure to Thrive, ADHD, and more. I had him tested by a private Educational Psychologist. They can make recommendations for classroom accomodations. Our public school must accept these testing results and recommendations (they cannot test again for 3 years). My son is now 10 and getting speech thereapy, occupational therapy, phyical therapy, and assistance from the Learning Resource Center, he also eats lunch with a smaller social group called: Lunch Bunch. This is all in the public school. My older daughter went to private Christian school for 5 years, then both of them went to a smaller International private school for 2 years. The private schools do not have the resources to provide special services. As a parent, I have had to get aggressive in finding a school with services. I also pay for some special therapy outside of school. If you know any teachers in your area, it is helpful to talk to them about what is available. Also, my state government has an educational website that I have referred to. Unfortunately, the "Acts" there for reading are very wordy and difficult to understand if you are not an educational professional. At any rate, you are doing the right thing starting now. I have learned that a delay in services is a double delay in progress. Do not let your pediatrician or other specialists tell you: Let's wait and see. This attitude has been frustrating to me and I am sure has held my son back in development. Best Wishes.

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