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My son........

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
I posted about my 8yr old a little over a month ago and the problems I was having with him. Well I have some good news and bad news. The good news is the family counselor came and met with me today on my lunch about what needs to be done. We set a guideline of where I would like to see him and the problems he is having in school and home. We are meeting with her again on thursday of next week...
The bad news is I got a letter from his teacher today saying he's still not doing as well as he should be. He is 8 yrs old and should be in the 2nd grade but was held back in kindergarten. The letter stated "Due to his low reading level he is at risk for possible retention again"...Im at a loss on what to do now. He has tutors who come to his school 3 times a week, we do homework every night before he's allowed to do anything, and we read 2 books every night. When I talked to his father tonight his only respose was "well, he's NOT getting held back again. I will make sure of it." I jus told him "you dont have a choice if the school wants to do it, they will."
Im at a dead end. If I was finacially better off, I would put him in private school. Does anyone have any suggestions?
post #2 of 18
has he been tested for learning disabilities.... I havent gotten the entire story as I am fairly new here, but I worked as a school social worker and now work as a university professor but also with students with disabilities and I would wonder if he has learning disabilities...... if he does then it is the schools responsibility to have appropriate tutoring and/or other services in place under IDEA ...... .... I agree with your husband about holding him back again..... it may not impact him now but I would be concerned when he was in high school socially being two years older than the other kids.....

I would look at having the school do educational testing ..... and if there is any other kinds of things going on based on your description of a family counselor coming.... I would want to see him on an IEP and coded that would require the school to put additional services into place to get him up to speed or address his weaknesses if nothing else.....

this may mean they pay for a summer tutor or additional one on one instruction.....
S
post #3 of 18
I'm not a mom... but have you thought about Homeschooling him? I don't know if this would work for your situation but that way you would have the whole day to set down your rules and to enforce them.

If you are willing to be inspected (I think by the school board) every year then you can get the money you pay for public schooling (my parents didn't do this because it wasn't much $, but it might be different for you).

Calvert School in Baltimore offers correspondence courses for 1-8th (last time I checked) if you don't want to plan the curriculum yourself.

http://www.calvertschool.org

It would be expensive but still less so than a private school. I was homeschooled until highschool and it worked very well for me.

The only danger I forsee is that he would refuse to do his work. Not being a mom, I've no idea how you would circumvent that...

Good luck!
post #4 of 18
I'm not an educator and I don't have any kids so I'm not sure how good my advice will be but I'll try anyways.

It seems to me like you and your son are on the right way... with all the studying, counseling and reading. I wouldn't worry that much about him being held back. Don't see it as a failure or as a sign that your son is not smart or that he is not progressing. I know there's a stigma attached to being held back a grade and it would be better for your son not to be held back, but it's not the end of the world.
Make sure that your son doesn't see it as a major failure and that he knows how much progress he is making. As long as he doesn't see it as a sign that he should give up, being held back a grade shouldn't be a disaster for him.

Then again, I don't mean to say that you should resign to the idea that your son might be held back. But if things improving for your son, keep doing what you're doing, talk to the teacher and the counselor to find out what needs to improve at school and work on that too.

You certainly seem to be doing a great job with your son . Keep helping him, show interest in his progress and get as much help from the counselor as you can. Don't worry too much about the rest... things will work out for him in the long run, I'm sure.
post #5 of 18
Has he been evaluated by the school psychologist for any possible learning issues? If he was retained in Kdg. and is still struggling and below level in 2nd grade, there is something wrong.

Even if Dad does manage to avoid a retention this year, if he scores in Level 1 on FCAT in the 3rd grade and cannot demonstrate on level reading, he will be retained in 3rd. That's the law in Florida.

I would begin to push the guidance counselor and the administration, if necessary, for your son to be tested. Struggling in school is frustrating, will make him hate school, and increases his chances of dropping out down the road.
post #6 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shalva
I would look at having the school do educational testing ..... and if there is any other kinds of things going on based on your description of a family counselor coming.... I would want to see him on an IEP and coded that would require the school to put additional services into place to get him up to speed or address his weaknesses if nothing else.....
An IEP only comes about after a student has been evaluated and found to qualify for services as a 'student with disabilities'. If he is tested and found to qualify, all of that will come with the package.
post #7 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deb25
An IEP only comes about after a student has been evaluated and found to qualify for services as a 'student with disabilities'. If he is tested and found to qualify, all of that will come with the package.
yes I am aware of that I also suggested testing...... however, he could also be coded based on some of the mental health issues that appear to be happening.... I agree and also mentioned in my post that he should be tested for learning disabilities.... then if none exist I would continue to push for coding based on the behavioral issues as they could be considered and most likely are emotional disabilities.....

S
post #8 of 18
I have no advice but I will share my story. Our daughter was having a lot of difficulty in Grade 2. The school contacted us to let us know she was reading below level and that she had behavioural issues. I started spending at least one hour each night before bedtime from early October teaching her to read phonetically. By Christmas her reading had improved dramatically. I was also fortunate to have been at the school one day that I was off work and was taking her to lunch. I witnessed first hand an incident where her teacher had blatantly tried to get her into trouble with the principal. At that point I realized that her teacher just didn't like her and I'm sure our daughter picked up on that. I had her tested through our doctor's office who found that there was nothing wrong with her. The special ed teacher also tested her to find that she was actually above the grade level but chose not to show it to this teacher.

Our doctor offered to intervene and have her switched to another teacher, but we declined and instead explained to our daughter that there would always be people who may not like her but that she must learn to get along with and that it would only be for a few months. We learned a couple of years later that at least 5 other parents had removed their children from this teacher's class - hmmmm wonder why!

I don't know if that is a possibility in your situation, but it can't hurt to check out his relationship with his teacher.

Good luck with your son - I truly believe this is a crucial time in their lives and that it impacts on how they feel about school later on as well.
post #9 of 18
I agree with getting the school to test your son for any learning disabilities. I just had this done for my 12 yr. old son before Xmas. That way you'll know now when he's still young enough to help him out. Also, I personally wouldn't force the issue of him progressing to the next grade. If he's that far behind it will just make it more stressful for him to have harder work. I think if staying back is necessary for him to catch up then so be it. Just my 2 cents worth. I wish you well with this, I know how frustrating it is.
post #10 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yosemite
I have no advice but I will share my story. Our daughter was having a lot of difficulty in Grade 2. The school contacted us to let us know she was reading below level and that she had behavioural issues. I started spending at least one hour each night before bedtime from early October teaching her to read phonetically. By Christmas her reading had improved dramatically. I was also fortunate to have been at the school one day that I was off work and was taking her to lunch. I witnessed first hand an incident where her teacher had blatantly tried to get her into trouble with the principal. At that point I realized that her teacher just didn't like her and I'm sure our daughter picked up on that. I had her tested through our doctor's office who found that there was nothing wrong with her. The special ed teacher also tested her to find that she was actually above the grade level but chose not to show it to this teacher.

Our doctor offered to intervene and have her switched to another teacher, but we declined and instead explained to our daughter that there would always be people who may not like her but that she must learn to get along with and that it would only be for a few months. We learned a couple of years later that at least 5 other parents had removed their children from this teacher's class - hmmmm wonder why!

I don't know if that is a possibility in your situation, but it can't hurt to check out his relationship with his teacher.

Good luck with your son - I truly believe this is a crucial time in their lives and that it impacts on how they feel about school later on as well.
This was similar to something I was going to say. My sister was told last year that her little girl, Lauren, was having trouble in preschool and could have learning disabilities. Lauren is actually very bright for her age, extremely verbal, can already read and write a little, and has a fantastic memory. Her only issue is that she is extremely, shall we say, strong-willed. BUT she didn't really get along with her teacher. Not that her teacher disliked her or anything; it's just that her teaching style and Lauren's learning style didn't mesh well. Maybe your son has similar issues.

Still, I would definitely have him tested for any learning disabilities. Those can contribute to acting out, too, I bet; it would be really frustrating to try and try and just not get it because of dyslexia or some other disability.
post #11 of 18
Thread Starter 
Thanks everyone. They started doing testing at the begining of the year but so far, I have not heard anything besides the letter yesterday and in it it stated that they were still in the beginings of testing him....That shocks me because they are halfway thru the school year and only in the begining? I am going to call the school today and find out what is going on.

I would love to home-school him seeing as how I was an early graduate w/honors at 16 but being a working mom, it makes it almost impossible to do that.

I thought at first it could be the teacher but after speaking with her I know that's not the case. He had this problem at another school in a different county last year so Im positive it's not the teacher.
When I sit down to read with him or do his homework, he will cry and throw a temper tantrum and try to get out of doing it but of course I wont let him. His teacher pointed out to me that the only time he reads is if the book has pictures. Take the pictures away, and he can't read it. It's association.
It really upsets me because he should be going into the 3rd grade and is now looking at repeating the 1st.
post #12 of 18
ok im a mom when my daughter was lil before i put her in reg school i had her tested to see if she would have a learning disability like me and her father first tests were ok come first grade (at an all girls privet school) she wasnt doing well in reading they wanted her tested at the bryn mawr child study instute resultes came back she does have a learning disability and they recomended a few schools for us to look at ok in the end she has been going to what is called a quaker school also called a friends school with in one week her being there she was reading shes been there for 4-5 yrs and is doing great even though its extreamly expensive (21,400 a year) i thank my father for that one i would sugest to you have him tested on all leavles the school should be able to show you wear to go and if at all posible try to get him into a school designed for his needs i beg you do not consider homeschooling it will only make things worse if he does have a disabilty he needs a structured enviorment homeschooling is best for children w/o a disability best of luck to you odette
post #13 of 18
I'm surprised that they are still testing him, surely they should have finished by now?.

In this country children don't tend to get 'held back' but those who need it should get extra help with numeracy & literacy. If only some of the children I see struggling to read (at age 14/15 even!) got the help & support you are giving your son! i wish you all the best, hope your situation gets resolved soon.
post #14 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by DixieDarlin256
The bad news is I got a letter from his teacher today saying he's still not doing as well as he should be. He is 8 yrs old and should be in the 2nd grade but was held back in kindergarten. The letter stated "Due to his low reading level he is at risk for possible retention again"...Im at a loss on what to do now. He has tutors who come to his school 3 times a week, we do homework every night before he's allowed to do anything, and we read 2 books every night. When I talked to his father tonight his only respose was "well, he's NOT getting held back again. I will make sure of it." I jus told him "you dont have a choice if the school wants to do it, they will."
Im at a dead end. If I was finacially better off, I would put him in private school. Does anyone have any suggestions?
i know some others have posted about this, but since it's my area, i want to, also.
i am a special education teacher in a primary [pre k-2nd] school. i'm surprised that they're talking about retention again instead of testing - is it common in Florida to retain that often? here, if we retain in 1st grade, they can't be retained again until 3rd, & then only if they don't pass the state test. you should definitely look into testing - & check out dyslexia testing as well. intelligent children, who do well in subjects other than reading, are prime candidates for learning to read using a system for teaching dyslexic people, even if they are not 'classic' dyslexic. here are some websites that might help you...
Special Education Law & Advocacy Strategies
Marc's Special Education Page - lots of Special ed links
Technical Assistance for Parents
Florida Special Education - another w/lots of links
Family Network on Disabilities of Florida
Online Resources for Special Education in Florida
*edited to add...in Texas, once the parent has signed the consent form to have her child tested for a learning disability, testing must be completed & and ARD {Admission, Review & Dismissal} meeting called to discuss results w/in 60 days of the date on the consent form.
post #15 of 18
Reading is such a mysterious skill -- some people learn it best one way, some another... see if this helps you:

When I was little, we were stationed in Germany, and the only entertainment I had was the American comic books we got at the PX every few months. My father read the same comic books to me over and over again, and I sat in his lap and watched the words go by on the page.

One night when I was almost three years old, I stopped him and said, "Daddy, you skipped that word." "Oh? Well, what word is that?" And I told him. And he asked me to read some more, and I did... and he got a book off the shelf that I couldn't have simply memorized, and I read THAT to him, too. I'd learned to read by ACCIDENT, just by watching the words as they were read to me.

As a result, I've always read faster and more easily... and the whole phonetics thing came along naturally when I started encountering bigger, less familiar words. I really believe that, for some people, this method is far better than phonetics.

Also: my younger brother is absolutely brilliant, always has been, an incredibly vibrant mind and an IQ well into the genius range -- yet when he was a kid, he could not read to save his life. They passed him into second grade because he was so smart that he picked everything up easily without reading, but of course, it remained an issue. My father worked with him every night, reading to him while Noel followed along, looking at the words...

And one night, Noel suddenly GOT it. Just like that, boom, he could read with no trouble at all.

I hope your boy tests out with no learning disabilities... and if he does, and if whatever teaching methods are being used on him now aren't working, you might just try something as simple as letting him watch while you read aloud. It sure works in our family!

Good luck...
post #16 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by CarolPetunia
Reading is such a mysterious skill -- some people learn it best one way, some another...

Good luck...
my mother, also a teacher, used to refer to something she called "the reading light"...at a certain time in a child's life, they suddenly 'get' reading - she says the light comes on. for most children, this happens between the ages of 5 and 7, altho some are earlier & some later. if a child is truly learning disabled, their light needs some assistance in order to work.
post #17 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by DixieDarlin256
Thanks everyone. They started doing testing at the begining of the year but so far, I have not heard anything besides the letter yesterday and in it it stated that they were still in the beginings of testing him....That shocks me because they are halfway thru the school year and only in the begining? I am going to call the school today and find out what is going on.

I would love to home-school him seeing as how I was an early graduate w/honors at 16 but being a working mom, it makes it almost impossible to do that.

I thought at first it could be the teacher but after speaking with her I know that's not the case. He had this problem at another school in a different county last year so Im positive it's not the teacher.
When I sit down to read with him or do his homework, he will cry and throw a temper tantrum and try to get out of doing it but of course I wont let him. His teacher pointed out to me that the only time he reads is if the book has pictures. Take the pictures away, and he can't read it. It's association.
It really upsets me because he should be going into the 3rd grade and is now looking at repeating the 1st.
Have you met with a team from the school and signed papers giving your permission to test him? Were you given paperwork regarding your rights as a parent? If these things did not happen, the formal testing process has not yet begun for your son. Normally, there is a period of time in which interventions must be attempted before testing is recommended and started, but once you sign permission for formal testing and the Exceptional Student process begins, legally the process can only take so long. Please PM me for more info.
post #18 of 18
Thread Starter 
No, they didnt have me sign ANYTHING. Just said they would test him but couldnt test him on certain things because he doesnt have severe behavioural problems in school.
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