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#1 of 15 Old 08-03-2012, 06:11 PM - Thread Starter
 
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DS was born a week before our state's cut off date. He's scheduled to begin K next year, and I'm on the fence about what to do.

 

- He has a mild neurological disorder that causes motor skill delays. He's about six months behind in gross motor (after lots of PT and OT) and will probably always need support with muscle tone and motor planning. He's almost 4 and cannot draw a single recognizable shape, not even a circle (again, after years of PT and OT). He still cannot dress or undress himself. I'm not sure how all this will translate to classroom performance; I know handwriting will be a struggle, but I'm not sure about his ability to remember and follow classroom routines, and to stay organized when he gets older. He fatigues easily; he still needs a nap and has to take breaks while playing because he gets tired.

 

- BUT, he seems to be really bright. He was an early talker, learned the alphabet early, can count to 20, recognizes all the letters and single digit numbers, has a fantastic memory.

 

- He's been tested to see if he qualified for special education preschool and scored very high on verbal ability and in the gifted range of cognitive ability. And significantly below average on gross and fine motor skills and in one other area, I cannot remember the name, it tested dressing, feeding, personal hygiene, and self help skills.

 

- A fair number of families in our district delay entry for kids at the cut off, so if he starts on time, there will be some kids who are over a year older than him in the same class.

 

- Special ed services in our district are inadequate. The teachers are great, but the district is financially strained and one area that suffers is special ed. Caseloads are high, paras are few, budgets for supplies and resources is low. We cannot move, do private school, or tuition anywhere else.

 

If he wasn't so close to the cut off I wouldn't think of delaying him. And if he wasn't so bright, I wouldn't think of sending him on time. I'm really stuck on what would be best for him.


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#2 of 15 Old 08-03-2012, 09:50 PM
 
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I'd wait until closer to the start of k to decide. A lot can change in a year in.terms of fine motor skills , self help skills, and napping. Four is an age with many developmental changes and he may surprise you by next year.
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#3 of 15 Old 08-04-2012, 07:57 AM
 
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I would wait until closer to the school year next year to decide. Even 6 months is a long time where they can really mature. It varies so widely between district and child. In my area, many families of the cut off kids, hold them back a year if they are close to the cut off or even a few months ahead sometimes if the are boys. That can mean that children that really are on the edge of the cut off, are treated more like "younger children from the other kids and I say that because my girls were both older in the classroom, I did not hold them back but both have birthdays right after the cut off and that is what I would see. There were boys turning 7 last year in K. And depending on my DS1 in 2 years, I just might do that myself. His birthday is in late April but he has delays along with other things, at this point, he functions like he is a year younger then his actual age. If he is functioning high enough then where I think he might stand a chance in K I will probably try it when he turns 5 and unless he does wonderful then I very well might do two years of K. It isn't uncommon to do that in our school so I have no negative associations of it. 


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#4 of 15 Old 08-05-2012, 06:26 PM
 
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A lot can change in a year so I wouldn't make any hard and fast decisions.

Another option is to homeschool for kindergarten (next year when he would be newly 5) and then when he is newly 6 decide if he'd fit better in kindergarten or first grade.
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#5 of 15 Old 08-06-2012, 11:29 AM
 
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Originally Posted by tbone_kneegrabber View Post

A lot can change in a year so I wouldn't make any hard and fast decisions.
Another option is to homeschool for kindergarten (next year when he would be newly 5) and then when he is newly 6 decide if he'd fit better in kindergarten or first grade.

 

 

I agree.

 

My DD , due to a variety of circumstances- did Preschool and then went in to 1st grade at 5 turning 6. It turned out to be a good choice for our family. Yes, they are young for grade and yes, they have some special needs, but yes- academically 1st grade was the better placement at 5 turning 6. 

 

When they were 4- I could not have predicted the future. It is totally different than I thought it would look and we have had a great team behind my DDs for support when they needed it. DH and I do have concerns, but at this time the pros of school at their age and grade outweigh the cons of any other plan. Could that change, sure- then we will reevaluate.

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#6 of 15 Old 08-12-2012, 04:56 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Peony View Post
 There were boys turning 7 last year in K. 

 

 

Wow!!!

Granted our state  has a late cut-off date. But both my DDs wont be 7 until two months after 2nd grade starts!! They are young for grade, but not the only Fall Bdays.

 

Waiting is no common in our area, but in other areas of the state it is. Though it is basically 'summer' birthdays. I work in the schools ( and have been in and around several districts) and have not met a kid that is developing typically that turned 7 during Kindergarten, though I have heard of it.

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#7 of 15 Old 08-12-2012, 11:12 PM
 
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WL - there are two aspects of school. the academic and the social. while the academic is important, the social is equally so - and for someone like your son even more so.

 

kids can be very cruel without meaning to be so.

 

there is teasing at school. even mild. but might be enough to really upset your son without grabbing the attention of the teacher. if your son is uber sensitive to 'mild teasing' the teacher might do nothing. 

 

i would also add to watch and see. because there's a huge change at around 4 1/2.

 

if he is going to be struggling with late motor skills - that might really draw attention to himself which he may dislike - teasing or no teasing.
 


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#8 of 15 Old 08-13-2012, 06:17 AM
 
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Originally Posted by KCMichigan View Post

 

 

Wow!!!

Granted our state  has a late cut-off date. But both my DDs wont be 7 until two months after 2nd grade starts!! They are young for grade, but not the only Fall Bdays.

 

Waiting is no common in our area, but in other areas of the state it is. Though it is basically 'summer' birthdays. I work in the schools ( and have been in and around several districts) and have not met a kid that is developing typically that turned 7 during Kindergarten, though I have heard of it.

We've seen ND kids who turn 7 in K as well.  It is a "wow" thing for me too b/c my kids, too, didn't turn 7 until 2nd.  Our cut date is around mid-Sept to Oct 1 (varies by district) where I live and one of the kids who dd11 knows who turned 7 in K is in GT programming with no disabilities.  I'm not totally sure what motivates holding out that long, but we went the opposite route: grade skipping a kid who was already very young for grade, so it is harder for me to understand that perspective.

 

I guess, in the OP's situation, I'd consider two things: 1) how well can the schools make accommodations for the disability, and 2) how well do they support giftedness (not just high achievement).  It sounds like you are looking at having them place your ds more appropriately for educational purposes while accommodating a disability or having him placed in an educational place that is not appropriate educationally so that it fits his gross motor skills, etc. better and where they'll need to accommodate educationally with GT programming or differentiation.  

 

Part of how well they accommodate GT probably depends on how they define it.  Where we live, the school system is so liberal with defining GT (95th percentile achievement in any area coupled with a variety of things like teacher recommendation, behavioral characteristics, parent recommendation, a group ability test score that is in the 95th percentile for part of it [and also often heavily prepped for kids whose parents want that id], etc.) that GT differentiation isn't very good for gifted kids.  For a kid who is gifted per IQ measures and who has no major cognitive disability to accompany that, the programming is too low level.  Even for 2e kids (I have one who is HG+ with ADD and possible dyslexia), it is also frustrating b/c it is focused more on drill of the next grade up rather than depth or abstract thinking (although she had a GT teacher in elementary for part of the day for whom that wasn't the case).  

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#9 of 15 Old 08-13-2012, 09:45 AM
 
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I agree that it's too early to say now, but I would be leaning toward starting him late if he continues to have those issues with drawing/writing. I think that will be the hardest thing to deal with in school. 

 

My dd1 (going into 6th grade) is probably 2E. She certainly has some anxiety issues that impede her success, but she, too, has an incredible memory and a thirst for knowledge. She scores very well in subjects she's interested in like science (97 percentile), but has struggles in other areas like math (still a B student, but it takes more effort). She doesn't have that birthday near the cut-off thing (hers is Feb), but there were times when we were asked to consider holding her back because of her other issues. We never did and I don't regret that decision, but if she had a birthday near the cut-off I think it might have made sense for her.  In some ways I do think she has more in common with kids a year younger and I do think she might have had an easier time of it with that peer group. As it is, she struggles a bit more, but is really doing okay. I wish she didn't have these issues getting in her way because I think she could really soar then, but she's working through them and succeeding anyway.

 

Our other dd2 is often one of the older kids in her classes (she has a Nov b-day and our cut off is Aug 1) and while at times I wish she was doing the next grade level work overall it's been fine for her to be one of the older kids in her grade.


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#10 of 15 Old 08-13-2012, 10:18 AM
 
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Beanma does have good points and part of what she said also brought to mind another thought: how far out of the norm is your child in terms of intelligence?  If you live in a community where a lot of the kids are above average and you are dealing with moderately gifted (98th percentile IQ approximately), he might be totally fine being the oldest if the GT programming is pretty good.  I do think that my perspective is colored by the fact that we have something like 20% of kids in our GT programming and, for the most part, I wouldn't say that the bell curve is particularly skewed toward well above average like that, and I have two kids who are highly gifted or above (99th-99.9th+ percentile IQ).  The combo of those two has pushed me toward even having my 2e kid be the youngest in grade.

 

She is also not dealing with gross motor delays and I am less certain how those would be accommodated.  One of my kids does have pretty average processing speed and that has been a hard one.  She's the one who is grade skipped and she really fits much better socially and academically being with the older kids/grade (she'll be a 10th grader this year).  OTOH, she really had a hard time keeping up with the quantity of work expected in the pre-AP classes in her school last year.  We've found that, unfortunately, accelerated often is code for "more work" which really doesn't work for kids with slower speed or probably for kids like your ds with motor challenges.  That would be yet another push toward finding out what they'll do for him in GT programming when that becomes available.  FWIW, mine is a very good student none the less, but it is stressful for her to have hours of homework.  I really think that her school just gives too much homework overall, though, unless you are in lower level classes.  It is a huge bummer to have to struggle with too much quantity in order to get closer to the right level, though.

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#11 of 15 Old 08-13-2012, 10:46 AM
 
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I agree with the OPs that a lot can change in a year. I would be hesitant to send a child on the younger end of the age range to K if there are motor delays, especially if services as lacking in your area, but then again, if he's bright, maybe it would be good for him. As for personal hygiene/dressing-- maybe you could talk with the district about what help is available to him. Five year olds without motor delays can have issues with that. I know my son (who was the youngest in his K class this year) had issues with buttoning his pants after he used the bathroom and would therefor hold it in until after school. Once I figured this out, we worked on that skill and also had him wear sweatpants to school until he felt more comfortable. 

 

It's very normal in my area to have older 6 yr olds turning 7 in K, especially boys. I debated whether or not to send my son... but when it came down to it, he's extremely bright and was academically ready. Now that the year is over I can't imagine having waited a year as he would've been bored to tears. Every child is different. 


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#12 of 15 Old 08-13-2012, 12:36 PM
 
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I would learn toward holding him back. Motor skills are a big deal when it comes to school work, and it is an area that many schools have trouble proving support. So much school work is written, and the amount of writing required and how quickly that writing needs to be done just keeps increasing every year. For kids with delays/deficiencies in this area, it can end up effecting every subject.

Giving him both the extra time to mature as well as more ot/pt gives him a better chance of being successful.

Btw, I have a dd who is gifted and on the autism spectrum, and has fine motor issues. Her birthday is right after the cutoff so this isn't a decision we had to make, but it has worked as well for her.

but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#13 of 15 Old 08-13-2012, 02:31 PM
 
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I think you need more time to make the decision. In our area, most people would hold him back.

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#14 of 15 Old 08-31-2012, 07:20 PM - Thread Starter
 
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OP here. These are all such really good thoughts... waiting until closer to the time... considering services for not just for extra help, but also for giftedness.

 

I haven't had him tested to see if he is gifted, but I wonder if that might be helpful? Our school district doesn't offer anything for gifted students, so the testing wouldn't get him placed in any special program, but it might help us to know where his skills are. We know he's smart, but exactly how smart. And I know he compensates very, very well for his delays; he's very polite about never wanting to do crafts or anything requiring using a marker or crayon, comes up with clever sedentary games when his endurance on the playground runs out. I think his intelligence masks many of the things he cannot do.

 

He is going to the school's preschool program this year, so we'll have a chance to see how he does in a school environment. The preschool offers special education services, although technically my son didn't qualify, and he got a spot as a peer model. I would think by April or May we'll have an idea of whether or not he is ready for K.


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#15 of 15 Old 08-31-2012, 08:40 PM
 
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If delayed entry (redshirting) is common in your area I'd really consider it. It's fairly common here and I know several really bright kids with no other issues like LDs or motor skills issues who have summer b-days and were redshirted. I think if he can't draw a circle at 4 that fine motor stuff is really going to be a big issue for him. You might consider introducing him to the computer if you haven't already. Many kids who have problems of one sort or another are able to use keyboarding (or maybe iPads, etc) as a work around. I'm sure your OT/PT and the teachers will be able to advise on that.

 

I think he's young to be tested for giftedness. In our area that's typically done in 3rd grade.

 

I'm sure you will learn a lot about his readiness this year. Hope he has a great one!


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