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Teacher Says Child Is Immature and Disorganized

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

My son is in third grade. He is young for his grade, but not the youngest. In first grade he had a lot of problems with attention, behavior and organization. Teacher suspected ADHD. We set up a behavior chart with him and sent home unfinished work and things improved a bit.  Second grade was a breeze. I mentioned first grade teachers' concerns to the second grade teacher and she repeatedly (when asked specifically by me) said she did not see ANY signs of attention issues.  First progress report from third grade teacher says my son is immature for his age, disorganized, repeatedly ignores instructions and has trouble focusing on his work. She also said he was smart and a nice boy. I am trying to set up a meeting to discuss with her, but I am also having trouble understanding how my son's behavior could be so different year to year.  What should I suggest we do about it?

post #2 of 10
How organized is this teacher compared to the one in second grade? What is your sense about her classroom management abilities? My dd has had very different experiences based on her teacher's management and organization styles. The teachers who are organized, teach organization skills, and manage the classroom well are the ones my dd does best with.
post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 

I have not been in the classroom enough to tell, but the first grade teacher was very disorganized and I know that contributed greatly to the problem. This teacher appears to be organized from what I have seen.  A friend whose son had her two years ago has said that she is very easy going, but did not mention organizational issues at all.

post #4 of 10

What is your child's feelings about school from year to year? How is he handling the work? You said second grade was a breeze. Are you talking behaviorally or academically or both? 


It could be he needs more challenge and that his 2nd grade teacher had been better at giving him that than the 3rd grade teacher is (especially in the first part of the year when so much of the material is review.) Where is he sitting? He might benefit from being closer to the front of class. Is their a change in recess,snack, break times? 


I can only speak for the disorganization. My DS was all over the place in that regard. I really worried about it honestly and we actively worked on his organization skills all through elementary. Come middle school, it all snapped in place and he's really got it together now!

post #5 of 10

What is the environment of the classroom like? Some kids do better in desks in straight rows, an uncluttered atmosphere. Others do well in a busy room, with lots of stimulation, desks clustered for teamwork, etc. Could it be a difference in the rooms, rather than the teachers? Just a thought...

post #6 of 10

What do you see at home and in any extra-curricular activities? If it's ADHD, there should be signs in all aspects of his life not just at school. 


Do you find he's impulsive, easily distracted, disorganized etc. when he has tasks to complete at home? What do you observe when he is doing activities like playing games or working on chores? Do you provide a lot of scheduling, step-by-step instructions or even by-his-side assistance? Or is he fairly independent, reliable and organized at home and this is a problem confined to school? 

post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 

Thanks for these responses. Classrooms are fairly similar, desks for two in rows. Class size is large (30 students, but same as last year). He did well academically last year (average for the class or slightly above).  As for behavior at home, he fits many of the criteria for ADHD (needs repeated directions, forgets what he is doing, is impulsive) however his brother (who excels in the classroom setting) exhibits most of those behaviors at home as well. I met with the teacher yesterday and she is implementing a behavior/work completion charting system with reports to go home each day to me.   We will see what effect that has and then move on from there. It is just disappointing to me to be back in this stressful place (for all of us - my child, me and the teacher) this year after the calm of last year. I would certainly hesitate to pursue an ADHD diagnosis right now, with last year's teacher seeing no signs of it (despite being asked to look for it!) I feel like if it is ADHD it should be evident in all years.

post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 

Whatnextmom - You mentioned that you actively worked on your child's organizational skills in elementary.  Can you explain what types of things you did to develop those skills?

post #9 of 10
Originally Posted by HealthyKid View Post

Whatnextmom - You mentioned that you actively worked on your child's organizational skills in elementary.  Can you explain what types of things you did to develop those skills?


We stuck to a routine which was really good for DS but did not come naturally to the rest of us. We started everyday with a verbal run-down of what was on the schedule including anything he needed to turn in.... I would ASK him to tell me and just fill in where he'd missed as opposed to telling him the schedule and wanting him to parrot. Every night, we did the same as a recap of the day. DS needed a designated homework time and place as well as reminders to double check his backpack to make sure he did everything. He needed to be reminded to put all those things BACK in his backpack. We had a "turn-in" folder which helped... the "homework" folder to come home didn't help nearly as much. He was pretty sharp when it came to the work but he did need help organizing his thoughts on paper. We'd have him outline his papers so he could remember what needed to be said first, second, third, ect. By 4th grade, he was pretty good at the everyday routine without reminders but he still needed help with the pop-ups or unusual things like turning in a photo order that only comes around once a year for example. The first 2 months of 6th grade, he had tons of missing assignments but then it all snapped into place and didn't have any issues the rest of that year or this.


I focused on school in my post, but we sort of did the same thing with every activity. Having him tell us what needed to be done prior, giving reminders when needed, recapping afterwards.

post #10 of 10

We really like the book "Smart but Scattered" for ideas of ways to work on what are called executive function skills. Executive function are skills like organization, focus, self evaluation, follow through, etc.

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