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.