Anonymous asks:

Why is our 3rd grader suddenly having trouble focusing?

Our grandson is in the third grade. He use to do well in school. This year, it has become harder and harder for him to focus. His grades are suffering. They are saying he could be held back unless he brings his grades way up.
His parents are taking him next week to be tested for ADHD. He can sit still just fine. It is his mind that wanders.
If he is not ADHD. What else could it be?
What can we do to help?
In Topics: Learning issues and special needs
> 60 days ago



Feb 18, 2011
Subscribe to Expert

What the Expert Says:

Hello and thank you for writing to JustAsk,

It is difficult to see children who were successful in the early grades meet with trouble as third graders.  My experience as a School Psychologist and a parent tells me that this is not unusual. This is why I believe so..

1- The typeface in books becomes smaller and more challenging to read.  The vocabulary in stories also becomes much more difficult.  Some children find it very difficult to adjust to this change. And the stories themselves are more complex overall.

2- Math also becomes much more challenging.  Math starts to integrate higher level concepts such as fractions, multiplication and division in the third grade.  Word problems also are sprinkled throughout the third grade curriculum.

3- Science and Social Studies also are more of a mainstay in third grade.

Overall, the third grade curriculum is a large leap from second grade. Sometimes, a child with a learning challenges can compensate during the earlier years but then "hit a wall" once they enter the third or fourth grade.  ADHD, as one example,   may be masked by frequent breaks given in school during the earlier years and then comes more evident when a child is required to sit and concentrate for longer periods of time.

And as another factor, children sometimes experience physical changes, as well. You may want to have your grandson's vision tested, too.

Good luck and I hope this helps.

Louise Sattler, NCSP
Nationally Certified School Psychologist

Did you find this answer useful?
Feb 10, 2011

Best Answer!

what's this?
from a fellow member
Read this article I've linked below, it will explain other causes and provide steps to take.  Best wishes!
Did you find this answer useful?

Additional Answers (1)

Answer this question


You are about to choose ${username}'s answer as the best answer.

Cancel | Continue

*You can change the best answer in the future if you think that you received a better answer

How likely are you to recommend to your friends and colleagues?

Not at all likely
Extremely likely