badmommy , Parent asks:

My 9 year old son with ADHD is reading Shakespeare but can't spell.  School's not buying that he's gifted in any way.

Isn't the definition of a learning disability when your ability far surpasses your performance?  My 9 year old son has ADHD and OCD (Obessive Compulsive disorder).  The OCD I suspected by the time he was 18 months old or so- he'd have to line his bath toys up on the ledge of the tub in a particular order and touch each one three times each before he'd get out...but that's just one example.)  The ADHD became more noticable last year, and he's been treated for it.  He has horrific handwriting and his spelling is almost as bad.  He can only remember the proper spelling of words for the test, and sometimes he still gets D's.  By the time a couple of weeks have gone by it's like he never saw those spelling words in his life.  However, the kid loves to read things that are far beyond his grade level- like the Endocrinology Journal and Shakespeare.  He has The Complete Works and eats it up, and he reads extremely well and understands what he's reading.  For example, he noticed that often there'll be characters who "bite their thumb" at other people, and my son says, "They bite their thumb instead of giving the person the finger!"  and I tell him, "well, that was the same thing as giving someone the finger back then."  So not only could this kid understand the words, but he understood the spirit of what they meant.  He has a 504 in place for OT but school refuses to consider that he might be gifted.  And his teacher thinks ADHD is fake and caused by bad parenting!  Any advice?
Member Added on Dec 14, 2012
I finally sought out private testing and paid for it the tune of $1200.  Ugh.  It showed exactly what I suspected.  He's reading at the level of a 17 year old but his processing speed is one step above comatose, and they've suggested I get updated neurological testing for disgraphia.  The kids have to bring books from home to read in their spare time at school and my son's current choice is Michio Kaku's "Physics of the Impossible". He just can't get into it when they read what he perceives to be "baby books" in class.  Because he doesn't score very high on the quizzes involving the baby books, his teacher has the attitude that he's just carrying the physics book around with him as an accessory, like a designer handbag.  It makes me want to pull my hair out.  But the testing I paid for spells it right out in the summary:  My son needs to be classified as learning disabled, no ifs, ands or buts.  It's a shame that I had to do the testing on my own to get anyone to pay attention to what was going on.
In Topics: My Relationship with my child's school, My gifted child, ADHD & attention issues
> 60 days ago



Wayne Yankus
Jun 4, 2010
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What the Expert Says:

Ask for a child study team evaluation of your son.  I would start there. Since he has a 504, he might benefit from further evaluation for an Individual Education Plan.  Ask your principal.

Wayne Yankus, MD, FAAP
expert panelist: pediatrics

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