May 5, 2020 at 1:35 pm #171187
I have a 5yo son who attended Pre-K at the elementary school where he will (or is supposed to) attend this fall. Just before spring break, we had parent-teacher conferences. His teacher asked if we had thought about holding him back. She said he is just fine academically, but his social/behavioral development could benefit from the extra year.
My son is a busybody, talkative, and really social. He is a nice and capable kid, but self-regulation needs some help. He can be a handful…but I thought, “geez…he can’t be the worst kid they’ve encountered.” I feel like whether he is held back or not, my son is always going to be one of the funny/show-off kids in class. That’s just him. At the time…which seems like forever ago, it was hard for me to tell if his antics (and the teacher feedback that came with it) were just part of the territory of having an outgoing kid or if it’s something more serious that I need to be proactive about.
I sent an email to the principal to get recommendations for testing and to see if we could set up a time, at some point, to visit with the kindergarten teachers that he would have next year. This was just as spring break started and then the schools have been closed since then….BUT he never even responded to my email.
Fast forward two years…I mean…two months:
I have been working from home with the whole pandemic thing and tried the home-school while working for the first couple of weeks, but soon realized I wasn’t doing a very good job and he really needed more structure and socialization (he’s an only child). I had found him a really great (small) in-home daycare that he’s gone to for about a month. A week or two ago, the provider started to raise behavior issues: not listening to directions, calling the other kids names (“loser”), and one instance of hitting. *sigh*
Last week, we met with his pediatrician, who…luckily…specializes in ADHD, and received some great resources and a referral for evaluation. I called the psychologist yesterday and hope to maybe get him in soon for an assessment (if they are doing those things right now).
Yesterday, childcare provider told me that she wanted to scale back on her daycare due to COVID and could this be his last week. Seemed reasonable to me…I said I understood. I told her this morning that today would be his last day and asked if he could maybe come back next summer. She said something to the effect of “if I have room.”
So, now I am back to square one…it feels really lonely. I don’t feel supported by the school, which is supposedly excellent and was named a “blue ribbon school.” Everyone talks about how great it is, but I’ve only experienced snootiness from them… What am I doing wrong? I’m not an expert parent, but I’m not stupid and have never been a “nightmare parent” to them.
I don’t know what my question is here. I suppose I don’t really have one, but I am letting it get to me a bit…I feel sad and worried. It’s probably this plus all the other shitty stuff happening right now. Maybe tell me about your experiences if similar… and what worked or what mistakes you made. TY
May 6, 2020 at 10:05 am #171237
Our experiences are very similar. My son couldn’t do anything right in kindergarten, according to his teacher. She constantly told us we hadn’t prepared him and he need more responsibilities at home to “fix” his behavior at school. The reports from school contrasted what we knew our son to be — kind, eager to please, etc. So I finally went to the pediatrician when a change in teacher and school the following year helped very little. I didn’t even suspect ADHD.
We held my son back in 4th grade. He was above grade level academically when tested, but he was way behind socially and had zero executive functioning skills. I had to demand that he repeat. My son’s special ed teacher told me he would be scarred for life and damaged forever (her words) if we held him back. It turned out to be the best decision we ever made for him.
Every school year starting in kindergarten I’d ask if he needs to be held back and they’d always say that he’s smart and he’d catch up. He didn’t, because intelligence has nothing to do with functioning.
If you have any thoughts that he may not be ready to go on, I’d have him repeat now, in K.
As for the response and behavior of the school… it’s typical for students with ADHD. Most teachers and lots of administrators just don’t get ADHD. They just see “bad behavior” which it’s not. Without a diagnosis, you’ll get little traction with support and such before 3rd or 4th grade, if then. Even with the diagnosis, getting appropriate accommodations and services (and understanding) can be an uphill battle. I don’t mean to be Debbie Downer here, simply sharing the realities.
In my opinion – and I’m just a mom who has lived it – your best course of action is to have him repeat (this year has been so disrupted anyway) and see his pediatrician about a referral for evaluation.
ADDitude Community Moderator, Parenting ADHD Coach & Author, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism
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