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Son not doing well in public school - Page 2

post #21 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post
Keeping him out for the entire week will result in a huge pile of work -- which he will need to write to complete.

If you are going to do this, then get his work from school and have it do it at home this week, or he will be so far behind he will sink.

One of my kids has fine motor issues and missing school is a HUGE deal.
I do not deny this.

Maybe the Op can work with it, though?

Perhaps she can bring her son up to profeciency in the areas missed, and then let him move on.

I find the whole "they have to do everything they missed thing" annoying. My DD missed one day of school and came home with a serious amount of homework. I was not amused. If she missed a week or so, I would talk to the teacher about just doing the basics.

It is almost gauranteed the OP's son will miss more school - with religous holidays, illness, etc. For a child with writing issues there needs to be a better plan than "here are reams of work they must do for the days they missed".

If the Op thinks he will or should have to make up the work when he returns, letting him know this might motivate him to go back to school sooner rather than later. Of course, it may not. Missing today may be more important to him than extra work tomorrow.
post #22 of 41
i am sorry if you already addressed this, i may have missed a post.
there are keyboard machines (like a typewriter, not a computer) for kids with fine motor skill issues, if he is diagnosed with disgraphia or if the school is willing to admit that the amount of writing requjired is difficult for him to complete and he needs assitance. one of my brothers used one for a few yers in elementary school.
and in terms of keeping him home- i would keep him home, but get the work from the teacher. you can go in and say, he is sick and will be home all week, can i get his work, or could you send it home with a neighbor to be dropped off?

then you can work on it at home, and discuss the issue with him about the need for him to go to school, that you are trying to come up with a better situation for him,but he needs to do his part and show up.

i agree with kathy that physically forcing someone like that is not a good idea.
post #23 of 41
Thread Starter 
He missed school on Friday due to illness (he truly was sick; he couldn't even talk) so I have most of his books home. Maybe I'll sit down with him at the kitchen table and do the schoolwork that they're most likely to be doing in school today.
post #24 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruthla View Post
He missed school on Friday due to illness (he truly was sick; he couldn't even talk) so I have most of his books home. Maybe I'll sit down with him at the kitchen table and do the schoolwork that they're most likely to be doing in school today.
If you call the office, they'll have his assignments by the end of the day.
post #25 of 41
I know someone who uses a keyboard at school to do all his writing because handwriting was extremely laborious and much too time-consuming for him. I believe he is in the 5th grade. Unfortunately, I'm not sure what the process was in order for him to get the keyboard. I think he has a dyslexia diagnosis. Regardless, it was a great help to him.

Best wishes to you on working out a solution that best fits for your son. Hopefully, it will just be a matter of getting him access to the tools he needs to make his time at school worthwhile and low stress!
post #26 of 41
Thread Starter 
The principal called me back yesterday afternoon, and we set up an appointment for all 3 of us (me, DS, and the principal) for Thursday morning before school starts. I still have the appointment with the teacher on Friday mid-morning, but that will just be the two of us.

He happily went to school this morning- he even made it to the bus on time, although I was willing to drive him. Tomorrow I'm definitely driving him so we can meet with the principal before school starts.
post #27 of 41
My DS is in second grade and also struggles with handwriting. DS already has an IEP for autism spectrum disorder, and gets OT services privately (insurance covers up to 50 visits per year for us, and he did not qualify to get it through school). OT has DEFINITELY helped, but in the meantime, his teacher has been willing to work with us on homework. Any assignments that would be very writing intensive she will allow me to either scribe for him or help him do it on the computer. I do try to make sure he does some writing practice by writing his spelling words, but at least this way it is not so overwhelming for him. One thing my DS's OT has suggested is to do a lot of other fine motor work besides writing to help build muscle endurance. Things like building with Legos, using tweezers, playing with playdough or clay, doing a LiteBrite, anything that causes him to use hand muscles is helpful.

I hope the meeting goes well for you tomorrow!
post #28 of 41
I don't have much to add to what everyone else has said here, but in terms of printers, have you looked at the free or used sections of Craigslist or Freecycle? A lot of times, people are just giving away working equipment for free.
post #29 of 41
Here's sending you good thoughts for your meeting
post #30 of 41
Thread Starter 
OK, he's been officially moved into the 3rd grade, starting today.

The OT saw him yesterday and gave him a printout of exercises to do at home, as well as specific products I need to buy for him to do that. I need to see if I can find therapy putty locally; buying it online means spending $7.50 on the item and another $7.50 just on shipping! He's not scheduled for regular OT in school, although she will be following his progress. So those exercises will get started as soon as I can get ahold of the appropriate materials.

I'll talk to him after school and see how he liked his first day of 3rd grade.
post #31 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruthla View Post
OK, he's been officially moved into the 3rd grade, starting today.
Is this good? Is this a solution you are happy about?

I started to put a but I wasn't sure if that's how you were feeling about it.
post #32 of 41
Thread Starter 
I think he belongs in 3rd grade, but I'm not so sure that the transition at this time is a good thing. He should have been put into 3rd grade in September, and I told them that in June when I signed him up. I'm sorry I wasn't more forceful about it "Yes, I know he did well on the assessment tests that took half an hour, but I still don't think he can handle the sheer volume of 4th grade work for an entire day."

Heck, I should have made him repeat kindergarten (in a new school) instead of pushing him ahead to first grade when he was 4.75. He's been playing catch-up ever since. He did fine in 1st grade after his 6th birthday, and fine in 2nd grade after his 7th birthday. 3rd grade he was homeschooled so it didn't matter- we worked at his level, without much attention paid to "grade level" or what the rest of the 3rd graders were doing.

I think he belongs in 3rd grade and should have been there all along. He'll now learn cursive writing with the rest of the class instead of me having to teach him, on top of all his other work. The math and ELA will be less challenging, so he'll do better in those subjects, plus he won't use as much mental energy on them, making him more capable of paying attention in other subjects. He's now one of the oldest in the class, not one of the youngest, and he'll feel smarter compared to his peers (he's no longer "the stupid one" who can't keep up.)

But I'm nervous about the transition in the midlde of the school year. What will it do to his self-esteem if he has trouble in the younger grade? Will the other kids tease him for "failing" 4th grade? I'll know a lot more this afternoon when I hear how his first day went.

And I still have to locate this therapy putty. Should I break down and spend $15 with shipping for a $7.50 item, or keep trying to find it in a local store?
post #33 of 41
This is a recipe for therapy putty...no idea how good it is, but you can try:

http://www.ehow.com/way_5478794_ther...ty-recipe.html

I hope your son thrives in third; I also think it is possible that he will not be happy about the switch today, but may come to appreciate it as time goes on. Give it time.
post #34 of 41
Thread Starter 
He came home from school very happy today!

Thanks for that recipe- I think I have all (both) the ingredients in the house, and I can make it later today or tomorrow.
post #35 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruthla View Post
But I'm nervous about the transition in the midlde of the school year. What will it do to his self-esteem if he has trouble in the younger grade? Will the other kids tease him for "failing" 4th grade? I'll know a lot more this afternoon when I hear how his first day went.
I read along the thread w/o anything to add until just now. I'm not sure if this is your family's first year in PS, but in DC's school this time of the year is still very much "the beginning of the year".

We just had a child move from 3rd to 2nd and it seemed from the outside to be good timing and I don't think any of the kids thought much of it.

I can totally relate to feeling right about the original placement, but I think it's ok to do it this way - and also better than repeating the year within the school. But, even that doesn't seem to be as big a deal in DC's school as I remember it used to be when we were kids.

Anyway, I know your DS said he enjoyed his day and I'm glad. I think the kids may even think he's cool for having "made it into 4th" in the first place...maybe.

Good luck with the rest of the year.
post #36 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruthla View Post
But I'm nervous about the transition in the midlde of the school year. What will it do to his self-esteem if he has trouble in the younger grade? Will the other kids tease him for "failing" 4th grade? I'll know a lot more this afternoon when I hear how his first day went.
He did not fail 4th grade. The school officials made a mistake,but ofcourse they were to (whats the word I am looking for???) arrogant(maybe) to admit they were wrong. Adults make mistakes.

Best wishes to him!
post #37 of 41
Public schools just don't move very quickly. You sound like you are on the right track with pushing for the various meetings.

I agree a 504 plan is a good way to go. Get an "emergency version" in place asap that asks for a decreased work load for a certain amount of time. Then follow through with the school OT assessing him and starting some work.

Here are some of the things we had listed for my son's 504 plan:

Allowed to keep thera-putty in his desk (good for building hand and finger strength and for massaging hands when tired. The Autism Shop has some putty available that changes color with the warmth of your hand which makes my son want to use it. Or get one of those sand filled rubber balloons used for hand strengthening.

Allow writing to be broken up into 1/2 hour time blocks including tests.
(We didn't have this one, but it seems like it would be good for your son)

Adjust assignments to remove some writing. More short answer and less full sentences.

Allowed to use mechanical pencils (his grade is not normally allowed to use them but they help him relax his hand and not press too hard)

For larger writing assignments that can not be easily modified, have an assistant to whom he can dictate the initial ideas.

Fewer transitions from task to task. More independence to complete his work before being required to jump to a new task (this was the teacher's idea and it is working well although I haven't been able to see exactly how it is implemented).
post #38 of 41
Thread Starter 
I know he didn't fail 4th grade, but I was worried his former classmates would see it that way. I had a lot of apprehension about his switch from 4th to 3rd grade, but the school handled it beautifully. The first day, his former 4th grade classmates kept asking him to come back to 4th grade, but now (half a week later) he's settled in and all the kids have quietly accepted that he's a 3rd grader now.

Since switching to 3rd grade, school has been everything I imagined it would be when I made the decision to stop homeschooling him. Instead of coming home every day angry and complaining of "The worst day EVER!!!", he's happy in school and excited to get there in the mornings.

I need to touch base with his new teacher and see how he's doing academically. I'm honestly not sure if he still needs any accomodations at all for his handwriting delay- it seems like he's been able to do the amount of writing required for 3rd grade. I anyway need to talk to her about the Halloween party (see my other thread.)
post #39 of 41
That's SO great to know he's happy where he is now!
post #40 of 41
I'm so glad that things are going well for him!!!!
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