I've been having a bit of trouble with my younger son's academics this year. He's in second grade and he's 7 years old. His test scores are all on the upper end of the spectrum, yet his schoolwork and grades are lousy. He even managed to fail writing last semester. We have recently moved and switched schools. I was hoping with a new teacher he would have a better chance. But he's sliding back down again. I had him evaluated for ADHD, but the psychologist was unable to make the diagnosis. However, he still prescribed Adderall to treat my son's "symptoms." It became very clear in the first week that it was not helping. I continued to give it to him for another 2 weeks before discontinuing it. He started regressing with his behavior, and even became defiant, which was never a problem before. We haven't been back to the psychologist, and frankly, I don't think we will be going back to that one.
Anyways, fast forward another week, he's still having problems, albeit not as severe. I was talking to a friend who has a son who is severely autistic. She was very surprised that I had agreed to put him on medication and she suggested I have him tested by an autism specialist. I hadn't really even considered it possible that my son is autistic because I've only experienced children with lower functioning autism. So, I read more about it. I was very surprised, and almost relieved, to see that this might actually be what is going on with him. I have an appointment set up with a different psychologist, one my friend referred, to have him tested.
If he is indeed autistic, then it opens up a whole lot more for his academic future. His teacher can only make very simple accomodations for him otherwise. I know he will end up repeating probably more than one grade if they won't do anything else for him. It really is a complete shame because he's incredibly intelligent. It makes me so annoyed that the school refuses to cultivate that and only focuses on the children's behavior in terms of whether they get to move on.
At the same time, I am quite upset with myself for not recognizing this sooner and possibly saving all of us the heartache. Is there anyone else dealing with an autistic/asperger's child who could offer me any help? So far, the school isn't offering much in the way of referrals or resources. I'd like to know just what I can do and what I can ask for. I want him to have the best chance to succeed.
I just wanted to give you a hug and tell you that there are some amazing women on this board and alot of post about it. I have a little guy your age, he struggles every day. I actually held him back in kindergarten hoping it was just the fact that he is immature.
Does your school system offer the IEP program? That is a good first start. You need to start having meetings with the teachers to have him fully evaluated and trust me, it is not easy. The school system will have a certain time limit to evaluate him. Please use this resource because I have to tell you FINALLY my child was evaluated, we have a dyslexia diagnosis, he not only goes to IEP but he is in special education. Special ed is something that I have always avoided but it has been valuable for my child. He is pulled out of class for as close to one on one attention as the school can offer. Not only that but he will have more time for testing, like the crct.
Holding my son back didn't help anything. If you can find the right resources, hopefully your son shouldn't need to be held back. Don't beat yourself up for not knowing what the problem is, he is only 7!! We haven't even been to the psychologist yet, I have been waiting on the school eval first. Beleive it or not, your school has good resources you just have to bug the crap out of them to get use out of them!!
*hugs* There are several of us on here who have children with autism. Don't beat yourself up for not knowing sooner, sometimes the signs aren't obvious because they're not what you know "autism" to be.
I'm in a group on Facebook that is set up to be able to support and help you find resources when you need them if you'd like to join. It seems a bit quiet lately, but everyone is welcome to post whenever they need to. April will be a busy month on the group though, for Autism Awareness Month.
If you would like you can send me a message at beth and shanew @ gmail . com (no spaces) with your facebook info and I can add you as a friend and to the group.
Miss Molly made her debut on February 21, 2013!
Aug 2013 ~ Matched again!
... your son's grades and behaviors mimic those of my 7 year old daughter right now... autism never crossed my mind. We even had a conference today with the teacher and none of us considered this at all... does your son rush through his work, refusing to check answers, etc? This is what my DD does and it's caused her testing levels to go from normal/above average to below basic. She won't slow down and do the work. She pretends to double check when prompted, but fakes underlining, etc... I'm still not convinced it would be something like autism, but we have suspected a slight dyslexia in the past. She has also started with defiance recently bordering on outright disrespect, which is SO not like her. Oh, what to do... sorry for hijacking there. I hope you get your son's situation figured out.
Mom x 4
GS x 3 - working on 4
We need to start a 7 year old support group!
My husband is a school psychologist... You can always request an full autism assessment if you have concerns ( especially since he is having trouble in school) at least one psychologist in the district should have training in giving autism assessments. If he doesn't have autism at least that will ease your mind. Either way because his academics are affected, he should be evaluated by a school psychologist to find some kinda solution to help him in school. Don't be afraid to ask, it's your right and all services should be free!
Please do not get me started on living in the land of budget cuts!! I had no idea either BUT I babysit for a special ed teacher and dang right there is alot we do not know is available in the normal public school system. Right now her child receives speech, special ed services, she chooses the school and teacher, and a bus comes clear across town to MY home (not hers) to pick him up. I can not even get a bus to come down our rode, my son is expected to walk a half a mile on his own. Let me get off my soap box. But I think it stinks that she knew the system and her child was evaluated before even starting school and I have had to fight for mine to be evaluated for the last 3 years! And I had hoped that knowing her would help me some what, but nope, she's worried about her own kid, not mine. So get ready to get your guns out. lol
Originally Posted by SweetMama
But yes, first of all have a meeting with your childs teacher to get the ball rolling. If your child is having academic problems they should be evualuted. But, It can take time to get them to listen to you. My son was considered high risk and was put into IEP in kindergarten, she showed little improvement, so we held him back hoping it was his age (aug birth day) still showed little improvement but somehow was graduated out of IEP and I had to fight to get him back in. My son is also not a behavioral problem, he's not bothering anyone at school by disrupting the class, I feel like he was put on the back burner because of that. This year he was finally evaluated, when he should have been in the second grade. Now, we are on the right track but it has not been easy. Sorry for being long winded but I just wanted to let you know that services are available, you may have to fight, but they are there.
My DS has had an IEP since he was 3years old, in preschool. When it came time for him to transition out of preschool we met with the school system, at that time we were not sure we wanted him in our public school, but then we went and personally met the teacher who runs the autistic program, and decided we wanted DS with her. So he does not go to the school by us, the bus comes to our door, he is transported to a school further away, but it's because that is were I want my son, and we had it put in the IEP. Had the school district not agreed we would of gotten an advocate and fought, and not sent him to school until they gave us what we wanted for our son. As a parent it's our right and I will dang well fight for what my son needs. All I can say is do the screening, don't stop until you get what your child needs, and then fight the district if you need too, get an advocate, if you ask for one they have to provide it.