Ask the Experts

A Fair Grade

“Last year our bright five-year-old daughter, who has symptoms of ADHD, missed the public school cut-off due to her late fall birth date. We placed her in private kindergarten, and are now unsure whether to start her in kindergarten or in first grade this year in public school.”

Research into age and academic achievement indicates that children who are relatively younger than their classmates tend to slide into the lower third of their class years later. Those who were given one extra year, and, subsequently, ended up being older than most of their classmates, tend to be at the top of their class.

I would give your daughter the gift of time. Even though she is bright, it wouldn’t be fair to her always to compete with people almost 11 months ahead in brain growth and maturity. The maturity disadvantage would be even more apparent for a child with ADHD.