Stephanie - posted on 02/02/2009 ( 3 moms have responded )
Our 2nd child (of six) is 9yo and in 3rd grade. He attends a classical, advanced-education style charter school in a class of about 22 students. He needs some more 1-1 attention to help him succeed in class. His teacher has done very well but is wearing thin and also giving him so much more attention than the others that it's too much for the other students to have to deal with.
Academically, he's brilliant. Amazing memory and perception. He's began reading when he was 4yo but he struggles with reading comprehension. He loves to write stories but if asked to write about specific subjects he generally starts to wander off subject or just gives ridiculously short answers because it's almost too slow for him to take the time to think it through and write it out well. He understands many things the other children don't. They were listening to some very classical instrumental pieces (can't remember the composer) and they were to try to guess which piece represented which seasons of the year. He selected all four correctly while no one else did in the entire grade of 3 classes, including the teachers. His teacher pointed this out to me, lol.
Emotionally & socially, he is a immature and awkward in some ways. But in many he's right on with the average 9yo boy. He sometimes burst into tears dramatically if he starts feeling embarrassed and awkward in class (buy my completely normal 10yo son also started crying a lot in 3rd grade, too). He struggles with 1-1 conversations of just normal chatting. He generally likes to talk about whatever is on his mind, whether the other person has a clue what he's talking about or cares or is even listening. Sometimes he'll finish his conversation for a minutes or so after they've walked away already. Then he gets mad if they weren't listening. All of these sound normal but are not. He plays decently well with his siblings but he doesn't like to change types of play beyond what He wants to play.
Behaviorally, he tends to burst out with comments or noises and sound that he generally finds very funny and thinks others feel so, too. As an entertaining, slapstick kind of humor generally. He is a very sensative, kind, and sweet boy and doesn't get into trouble with anger or fighting. He does argue sometimes but mostly with kids. He doesn't hurt himself or others. He doesn't make messes, break things, or do things with his body that are strange at all beyond what a normal 9yo boys does. He has never had any physical disabilities.
It's very hard to pin-point what exactly is wrong. Because all of these things could be very normal, yet they are not. Anyone who spends time with him atter a while can usually tell there's something 'different' about him. His bad behavior definately often comes off as being disruptive, rude, bratty, or just the ADD kid in class. He might be ADD but he isn't hyper and he can focus on things if he's interested in them, he initiates it, or it's presented in short segments that keep his attention. Speeches and long talks lose him very quickly. He has to be re-focused to keep working on worksheets with every problem because he just doesn't want to do it and will not write anything or just goes into his own world of playing despite the fact that sometimes every other child is focused on writing quietly, or studying, or working on a group project.
He was a late talker and only spoke 6 words at 3yo. He was over 4 1/2 before he started having regular conversations beyond short answers and just following along. He was never defiant and never had tantrums. He quietly went along and we barely knew his personality beyond being a quiet, sweet boy who didn't mind playing alone yet liked to have his family nearby. We had him tested with specialists and an autism specialist as well and they said he was "PDD", were uncertain about Austistic, but he rated close to the scale. He's never been reevaluated because he's done decently well in school and in general. We actually qualified for social security (I think that's what it's called) but I actually never pursued it because I felt insulted as if they were saying, "We're sorry for your broken boy. Here's some money to compensate your time raising him."
But now in 3rd grade he's beginning to struggle severely with attention and focusing and we're taking him to the Ped. next week to find out what can be done to help him. At this point, he might fail 3rd grade but if that looks like what will happen, we'll pull him and homeschool him the remainder of the 3rd grade year. We did homeschool him for 1st grade. He does want to succeed but hates to do homework and school work and it seems to be mostly because of attention & interest. Again, that seems like many 3rd grade boys, lol.
I'd love any advice, similar experiences, and direction. Thanks!