3littleangels asks:

School says son appears not to have learning disability but grades weren't good enough to be promoted to 4th grade. Says he may not be mature enough. Have you heard of such a thing?

The school year has recently ended and my sons grades were not good enough to be promoted to the 4th grade.He goes to tutoring 2dys/wk and I work with him at home, but he still appears to be struggling at times. He knows the work, but he doesn't seem to be focused all the time.The school agrees that he appears not to have any learning disabilities, but he may not be "mature enough". Has anyone ever heard of such a thing?
In Topics: School and Academics, Motivation and achievement at school, My Relationship with my child's school
> 60 days ago



Jun 21, 2010
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What the Expert Says:

Your description makes me believe that the school has NOT done a good job diagnosing your son or providing him with adequate services this past year. I think is is very unlikely that he does not have a learning disability, or more than one, and perhaps Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder as well. It seems to me that the school has not advised your well this past year--he should have been very thoroughly evaluated and I'm sure he should be receiving services more than tutoring. If the school has evaluated him, they haven't done a good enough job, or perhaps he needs a private neuropsychological evaluation.

The bottom line: holding your child back with without having a good grasp on what his deficits are and then addressing them specifically, will simply result in another difficult year for him which will not only be a waste academically, but will be a real blow to his self esteem.

I'd suggest that you fight to have him promoted and in the meantime, have him fully evaluated and figure out what types of in school support he may need (resource room, speech, OT, an aid, medication, counseling, etc) and then make sure that you and the school provide this for him next year.

Holding kids back in anything but kindergarten (perhaps first grade), should always be the last resort, and in your case it isn't. It is often the school's way of trying to get out of doing their job properly without telling parents!

Good Wishes and Great Parenting,
Dr Susan Bartell
JustAsk Expert
Twitter @drsusanbartell
NEW book "The Top 50 Questions Kids Ask"

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Additional Answers (2)

Bluebell2010 writes:
Yes I have. Have him test for ADHD. I had my son test for it and he is. He knows allot of the work, but he can't focus and struggles at times. I is really bad when it come to math. I had my oldest test when he was in the fourth grade. I also might have to have my youngest test for it to because he is showing signs to.
> 60 days ago

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MimiR writes:
Since you are clearly working with him and clearly care deeply, too, I suspect the school is mistaken or there are behavioral issues at work.

There are two possibilities:  Your son is of low intelligence, or he has a learning disability.

A child who has low intelligence but not low enough to be classified as mentally retarded will not qualify for any assistance and will be held back.

A child who is not of low intelligence and is performing that badly either has a learning disability or a behavior problem interfering with his school performance.  

First, what's the source of the problem?  Is he struggling with the material?  Or is he behaving badly so that he doesn't do what he needs to in class?  

First, the second possibility:  Some behavior is just plain bad behavior.  Some apparent bad behvior, particularly if it is school-specific, is actually a learning disability in disguise, ADHD or otherwise.

You was that the school "agrees" that he "appears" not to have a disability--he needs to have a full academic work up and possibly an evaluation for ADHD.  That's the only way to tell what the source of his problems actually are.  If its low IQ, ADHD, a specific learning disability, or whatever else--that will be found.  Many very successful people are learning disabled, and it's a far sight better than the other alternatives.  Make them evaluate him!  "Mature enough" means nothing, and holding him back won't help.
> 60 days ago

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