2nd grader that is falling behind - Mothering Forums

Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
Old 02-27-2009, 10:32 PM - Thread Starter
 
Mary's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Posts: 472
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
My nephew is a great kid. He's got an exhuberant personality and a sharp mind, very athletic, BUT school is a completely uphill battle for him. My sister is trying so hard to help him, but she can't sit beside him and make him do his work in school. He literally is just not engaged in school. Getting him to focus is like pulling teeth. He has writing asignments that he simply doesn't do. He hates to read (struggles through it) and he moans and groans his way through math. He cries his way through homework. Many times my sister wants to strangle him. I have a feeling that it is an attention problem and it isn't a matter of will power for him. He simply does not know how to focus and apply himself or he simply can't. He is falling behind because of it.

My sister volunteers for his class and sees how things go. She is totally on top of him. He recently switched classes into the more advanced (gifted) class to see if this would help. His old class had a number of behavioral problems and it made his innattention worse. Now he is in a better class, but he still isn't engaged, he still isn't doing his work. They have these big writing assignments (like, write a story that involves an animal accomplishing two tasks) and it is so overwhelming for him that he simply doesn't do it.

Has anyone had an experience like this? What can my sister do?
Mary is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 02-28-2009, 12:10 AM
 
fadedgirl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 193
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
If he struggles through reading, that could be the root of his problem. A child that cannot read well at that age probably cannot write well, or understand half of what he needs to because of his lack of reading ability. And then all of school would definitely be an uphill battle. My child loves headsprout.com and its how she taught herself to read. Its just an idea your sis might want to check out if she feels his reading needs improvement.

But I'm confused by your post because then you state that they put him in a gifted class, which I cannot see any school doing to a kid that isn't reading or comprehending at above level.
fadedgirl is offline  
Old 02-28-2009, 12:16 AM
 
AngieB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Northern California
Posts: 1,526
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
This was my son to a "T". After 3 1/2 years of struggling through school we decided to try medication and it has changed not only my ds's life but mine as well. I'm not saying rush him to the dr. and put him on drugs. I'm just sharing my personal story.
Has your sister requested and IEP for him? That would be my first step. I would also suggest taking him to his Dr. and talking to the dr. about the problems to rule out any medical issues. Take hime to the eye dr. and check that. Does he have problems at home or is it only at school that he can't focus? This is a important piece to the puzzle. If he can focus at home and in other areas of his life, than it usually rules out things like ADD and becomes more of a discipline issue.

I hope they can get it worked out, I know how stressful this must be for your sister.
AngieB is offline  
Old 02-28-2009, 12:16 AM
 
fadedgirl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 193
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
PS: There are many other ways for your sister to help her son with reading, aside from several other online programs. What do his teachers say?
fadedgirl is offline  
Old 02-28-2009, 06:02 AM - Thread Starter
 
Mary's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Posts: 472
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
They put him in the other class because the bad behavior in his other class really brought him down. There were some serious problems in there and it exasperated his basic problem- not being able to focus. The idea was that maybe he would do better with fewer distractions.

The teacher hasn't been very helpful to my sister. My sis will ask about his writing asignment and how much progress he has made and the teacher will say that he still has until x day to complete it, and then she will sort of brush it off. My sister feels like she is jumping up and down banging her head against a wall and her son is still falling through the cracks.

I have suggested that she take her son to the doctor and look for an underlying cause. She hasn't done that though. I think she is worried that they will want to medicate, whereas it seems like she thinks this is more a matter of willpower. As far as focusing at home, he can focus on things he enjoys- he can tell you every little thing that happened in an episode of a cartoon, for instance. He has a high energy level. I don't know though. We live far away, I don't get to see them that often. They do have a lot of media in their life and he can be impulsive.
Mary is offline  
Old 02-28-2009, 06:58 AM
 
weliveintheforest's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: British Columbia
Posts: 5,521
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Is there any chance he could be switched to a different type of school? (waldorf or other alternative type of education?)

Does he have to be in school at all? Has that been explored as a possibility? I'm asking because I was a similar kid, tested as 'gifted' yet did not do well in school and had attention problems. I think I would have thrived in a different environment.

Could a food sensitivity could be an issue?

BC Mum of four ('05, '07, '11 and 06/14!)     
weliveintheforest is offline  
Old 02-28-2009, 02:51 PM
 
lilyka's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Sioux Falls, SD
Posts: 17,896
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
have they evaluated him for an IEP? that made all the difference for my dd. REading was effecting he in every other subject. She now has a team of amazing teachers and all the personal one on one help she needs. we didn't have to lift a finger execept go tp a few meetings (at which point I gave the school permission to do whatever they needed to do as far as swithing curriculum and classes etc) and she is truely blossoming and loves school now. If she were re-evaluated today she would no doubt not qualify for help but they have promised me she will continue to be in her special classes until she is ready to move out. she has gone from 2 grade levels behind (huge for a third grader) to likely ending the year above grade level. definitely look at having him evaluated.

The truest answer to violence is love. The truest answer to death is life. The only prevention for violence is for the heart to have no violence within it.  We cannot prevent evil through any system devised by mankind. But we can grapple with evil and defeat it, but only with love—real love.

lilyka is offline  
Old 02-28-2009, 06:06 PM
 
snowmom5's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 756
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
It sounds like he needs a full evaluation for learning disabilities. There are so many different ones, nothing jumps out from what you wrote as what the problem would be with him. While you can start with the school district, I tend not to trust their evals a whole lot; if you can afford it, a private neuropsych evaluation may be the way to go. I might start with something simple like ruling out vision and eye tracking problems www.covd.org , which is one of many things that could easily cause the issues you describe (this type of eval though is not something the school will do; have to see the right kind of optometrist). I'd probably prefer to rule out things like vision (and dyslexia type stuff) and other LDs before getting around to adhd.

(The vision stuff comes to mind for me only because we have dealt with that. The homework that used to take hours is now done in a snap, after the completion of vision therapy.)
snowmom5 is offline  
 
User Tag List

Thread Tools


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off