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?
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
(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.)