Maturity Issues 8-year-old - input from experienced parents? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 7 Old 04-17-2012, 02:29 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My son has always been very quirky, I believe he is ADHD as his behavior is very impulsive and sometimes the obvious eludes him, despite being gifted. He is very smart on one hand, but can be impressively oblivious.

 

Since preschool, every single teacher has commented that he is 1. very smart, and 2. very immature

 

He was then promoted to 2nd grade after the first trimester of 1st, after having been found to be proficient in most 2nd grade subject matter and beyond. He is now in 3rd grade, and his new school is bombarding me with all sorts of forms for analysis. I am now told that they want to hold him back in the 3rd grade for another year due to his lack of maturity - despite the fact that he gets near perfect grades. 

 

I agree that he lacks maturity, and that we need to seek solutions. I deal with these frustrations every day. However, I am outraged at the idea that he could spend an entire school year effectively learning NOTHING - merely because the school doesn't want (or isnt able to) provide services for a kid with differing abilities.

His behavior gets worse by 500% when he is bored, so obviously (it seems to me) having him repeat material that he's already mastered would completely backfire and cause him to regress into an infintile state! (theoretically)

Despite being in a class of kids 1 year older than he is, I don't think he is even on par with kids his own age or possibly those who are younger. He seems to be on his own seperate wavelength.

I want to believe that the school has his best interest in mind, but a public school with 30 kids in a class and having limited resources, I am worried that they are trying to do whats easy for them versus whats right for my kid. I could be wrong. I don't know.

 

I would LOVE to hear from some parents with older kids who may have children with similar issues or dealt with school issues such as this - Because honestly, I don't know where to go from here.

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#2 of 7 Old 04-19-2012, 06:15 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Claire Lamont View Post

My son has always been very quirky, I believe he is ADHD as his behavior is very impulsive and sometimes the obvious eludes him, despite being gifted. He is very smart on one hand, but can be impressively oblivious.

 

Since preschool, every single teacher has commented that he is 1. very smart, and 2. very immature

 

He was then promoted to 2nd grade after the first trimester of 1st, after having been found to be proficient in most 2nd grade subject matter and beyond. He is now in 3rd grade, and his new school is bombarding me with all sorts of forms for analysis. I am now told that they want to hold him back in the 3rd grade for another year due to his lack of maturity - despite the fact that he gets near perfect grades. 

 

I agree that he lacks maturity, and that we need to seek solutions. I deal with these frustrations every day. However, I am outraged at the idea that he could spend an entire school year effectively learning NOTHING - merely because the school doesn't want (or isnt able to) provide services for a kid with differing abilities.

His behavior gets worse by 500% when he is bored, so obviously (it seems to me) having him repeat material that he's already mastered would completely backfire and cause him to regress into an infintile state! (theoretically)

Despite being in a class of kids 1 year older than he is, I don't think he is even on par with kids his own age or possibly those who are younger. He seems to be on his own seperate wavelength.

I want to believe that the school has his best interest in mind, but a public school with 30 kids in a class and having limited resources, I am worried that they are trying to do whats easy for them versus whats right for my kid. I could be wrong. I don't know.

 

I would LOVE to hear from some parents with older kids who may have children with similar issues or dealt with school issues such as this - Because honestly, I don't know where to go from here.

 

 

I'm not clear on a few things. You say he lacks maturity and there are concerns about his behaviour, but I'm not entirely clear on how that is presenting.  Is it disruptive behaviour or poor social skills or lack of organization or inability to attend to and complete school work or trouble working independently or something else or a combination of some or all of these problems? Is anything being done now to help him with this? What plan is in place to help him improve? Without more information, it's difficult to make suggestions. However, if you search the subforum for "behaviour" and "executive function", you may find some helpful ideas.

 

You mention that it's a new school. Have his behaviour problems been exacerbated by a recent move? Is it likely that he will cope with any adjustment issues and settle in a little better next year?   

 

You mention that the school is sending you "forms for analysis". Are these questionaires about his home life and behaviour for you to fill out as part of a psycho-educational assessment? Are they consent  forms for the school psychologist to assess him?

 

My sense is that he would do well with an enriched curriculum and possibly subject acceleration in some core subjects,  along with a program to help him with his executive functioning. Possibly that wasn't an option at his former school, but have you explored the idea of classroom accommodations with this new school?   

 

 

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#3 of 7 Old 04-20-2012, 12:05 AM
 
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I don't have much time to post but have your looked at asynchronous development?  This is something most of us have dealt with, his brain is functioning on the level of a 4th or 5th grader while is emotions are age appropriate.


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#4 of 7 Old 04-21-2012, 06:21 AM
 
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I have an 8-yr-old who falls into the slightly quirky, somewhat immature, and gifted spectrum, too.  He does have behavior issues in school - some teachers deal with them much better than others. He's also young - he has a summer birthday, making him one of the youngest in class, and he's in a mixed class, so he's a few years behind some kids.  

 

The last thing I would do is hold him back a year.  He needs to be doing work at his level - moving up, not back.  I would trust your instincts on this one.  If he is academically handling the harder material, and you notice he has problems when he's bored, then holding him back sounds like a potential disaster.  I like ollyoxenfree's suggestion - enrichment, along with some classes to help him along with the social maturity part.  I don't think our school has such classes, but I've heard them mentioned by others on this board.  If he does have ADHD, there might be other ways to help him, too.  But it looks like whatever his social/emotional issues are, they are not impeding his ability to get his work done and done well in school, which is good.  Some kids just take a little longer to mature, too. 

 

We ended up pushing hard to get my son accelerated in math, because that was an area where he was clearly working ahead of the class.  After 2 years of worksheets on his own, we finally got him moved up a grade level in that.  He also finally reached the grade level where the G/T program started (although it's ridiculously minimal (30 min a week)). I wish we were in a district that had funds for a full G/T classroom, but that's not going to happen any time soon.  

 

It sounds like time for a conference with his teachers to find out how to help him best and make sure he doesn't slip through the cracks.  I would fight for him to move forward, not backward.  

 

 

 

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#5 of 7 Old 04-21-2012, 10:59 AM
 
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Have you read Webb's Misdiagnosis book?  

 

I agree that holding him back is likely a mistake.  Have you considered having him privately tested?

 

When schools start to pathologize everything, it's a good time to step up as your child's best advocate and get them to slow down the train.  It sounds like there's a problem and they've jumped to a solution, without first methodically investigating the variables at play and considering a wider variety of options.


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#6 of 7 Old 04-22-2012, 05:22 PM
 
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I am going to be another voice that advises a great deal of caution regarding retaining your ds.  It sounds like there are multiple factors at work-maturity, attention/focus issues, and giftedness.  He will mature, you can be sure of it.  The silly, young 1st or 2nd grader can look very different only a few years later.  The attention piece, whether it's add/adhd or not, will either persist or get better.  You will deal with it either way, and slowing down the academic piece probably isn't going to help.  Challenging him at his level is so important.  He may need support to move forward and succeed because there is a part of moving along in school that requires increased focus and maturity.  This may just be slower coming for him.  But sitting and being unfocused and bored isn't a better solution.

 

I would pursue what ever evals you can, esp. given that you said he is sometimes on his own "wavelength", and the school is feeling like he needs something.  I would get as much info as you can prior to any decision making.  

 

My own child had a tough k-2nd experience.  We are so fortunate that a subject acceleration in his strongest area seems to have helped.  We needed caring thoughtful teachers to push this forward, but thankfully we have such individuals!  Keep advocating.  For many of our kids, their trajectory through the school years is not completely smooth.

 

I also enc. you to post on the special needs board for info on evals, etc.  There is a wealth of experience and support on that lovely board!

 

Good luck.

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#7 of 7 Old 04-28-2012, 06:38 AM
 
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There's no way I would agree to hold back a child with nearly perfect grades.  That's one issue.

 

The separate issue is the immaturity. What exactly does that mean?  He can't sit still?  He bothers other kids when they're trying to work?  He cries in class?  Any of those things should be dealt with individually as a behavior issue.

 

Do not let them lump the two things together.  They are different.  Academics vs. Behavior.  Perhaps he's a candidate for a behavioral iep that will give him some supports.

 

Best of luck

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