Your story is very similar to mine. My son’s bday is October and we started him in kindergarten at age 4 because we could tell how smart he is and didn’t see any other issues. When school started, he clearly wasn’t meeting expectations but every year teachers told me he’s so smart that he’d catch up, even after the ADHD and LD diagnoses.
By the end of 4th grade, we just couldn’t move him forward because his experience was so traumatic at school, and even our son wanted to repeat. School pushed back because he was at or above grade level on assessments and has a gifted IQ. We pushed and he repeated 4th grade. It is the best decision we’ve ever made for him (he starts 10th grade next week).
Yes, there are studies that show having kids repeat a grade doesn’t help with academics and often damages their self-esteem. They don’t take into account developmental delays, social issues, age gaps, and executive functioning. Our son went from bullied and trying to throw up every morning to get sent home, to actually making friends and being a little more in line with his peers.
We did end up moving to a new district before the start of his 2nd 4th grade year, which helped, but we would have done it regardless.
ADDitude Community Moderator, Parenting ADHD Trainer & Author, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism