10 year old drop out

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-01-2003
10 year old drop out
Sun, 06-01-2003 - 3:00pm
Please need help. My soon to be 10 year old was diagnosed with ADD a year ago. As everyone knows it has been a rocky road. He has been called every name in the book. At this point his self esteem is extreamly low, to make matters worst, his teacher has recomended retention for the upcoming year. My son is very aware of the recommendation and has no interest in returning to school. He says he is tired of being called stupid. The school was very aware of his situation from the first day. But of course, there wasn't any coperation on the school's behalf. The teacher would like to have a conference with me and my son on tuesday. My question is: Will it be in my son's best interest, to be retained or not. I will gladly accept any suggstions on this issue. Thx Melody

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-26-2000
Sun, 06-01-2003 - 4:00pm
Retention is always a tricky thing...and sometimes a crystal ball would be helpful.

I had to face this last year with my 1st grader. A little easier decision than with a 10 year old. He had the most horrible year with a wicked witch teacher. Homework was a big tear fest every night. He wouldn't read at all unless I threatened him with bodily harm. I felt like to send him on would be to always sentence him to be at the bottom of the class.

The decision was somewhat easier because he had no close friends. We did not make it seem like he had failed, but rather that we were giving him a 2nd chance to do well. He groaned and moaned a little over the summer, but all in all, he was most worried about moving to the next level in Cub Scouts.

This year he did simply awesome. He had a teacher who liked him. He made "A" Honor Roll the 1st 2 quarters. He made a couple of really good friends. It was like a phoenix rising from the ashes. Now he will go to 2nd grade and be able to have a fighting chance.

You know your son best. Is there a certain teacher that might be really good for him if he repeats? Someone who can work on self-esteem with him? Could tutoring or some other program boost him enough to go to the next grade?

I feel for you, because it's not an easy decision to make - either way.

Good luck!



PJPIIadoration.jpg picture by Kimberly_sahm

Avatar for keke0116
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Mon, 06-02-2003 - 6:26am
I think you need to look at the full picture ... Do they want to retain your son because he's failing, not understanding the work, not 'getting it' ... or is he not getting it because he has some issues and special needs that weren't met? Would a summer in summer school or with a tutor help push him far enough along to get him up to the next grade, or would he do better repeating the grade entirely? And, if he is retained, would he just be in the same situation with the same school that has apparently failed him? Are there other options (schools) for next year?

ADD/ADHD does not have anything to do with 'intelligence.' Heck, I know of several ADD/ADHD kids (mine included) that are actually 'gifted.' But, not all kids learn the same ... and sometimes they need to be taught differently. Are you at all familiar with Mel Levine's program, All Kinds of Minds? Check out this website (before your meeting tomorrow, if possible) ... http://www.allkindsofminds.org/

It seems to me like the school has failed, not your son. He was diagnosed with ADHD a year ago, and I'm assuming that the school has been made aware of this. Is he on any meds? Is that helping? Does he have an IEP in place? If so, has the school followed through on the things they were supposed to do?

The big concern right now is his age ... If he is falling behind, you definitely want him up to speed before he enters middle school because at that time, there is less individual attention, more teachers to contend with, and more possibility of falling through the cracks in the system. So, if you decide that holding him back will benefit HIM in the long run, then this is the time for it ... but, if possible, look into switching schools. At least that way he can start with a clean slate and no preconceived notions. Also, spend the summer working with him ... get a tutor if you can't teach him yourself (as many parents can't ... I know I can't teach my son anything!) Computer programs and workbooks are great ideas, too, and very effective. Read with him as much as possible, too.

Good luck. Let us know how it goes.



<?xml:namespace prefix = v ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:vml" />
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-01-2003
Mon, 06-02-2003 - 8:46am
Thanks for you advice. My son was on adderal for some tome, but they inceased the mg and his whole persona changed in the worth way. I have elected to change schools however summer school is not an option. The funds are just not there. But I have decided to send him to a tutoring program over the summer. I went to meeting, two weeks before Christmas, to request psychological testing through the school system.....They aggreed. It is now June 2 and he has been tested. There is an IEP in place. He's not hyper, he is the opposite. I don't know where to turn. I am very concerned with my son's future.
iVillage Member
Registered: 08-17-2003
Tue, 08-19-2003 - 9:31pm
I have 4 kids. As of this fall, I have a boy in 7th, and girls in 5th, 2nd, and kindergarden. My son and middle daughter have ADD, while my oldest daughter has ADHD. Hers is bad enough to NEED to be medicated! Both of my older 2 kids have been each held back,(at dif. grade levels and dif. years), as recommended by the school. My son was supposed to be held back again for this yr, too, but they decided to see how he'd do in 7th and if there wasn't enough of an improvement, then he'd be held back in 7th again.

Well, my older 2 are from my ex, and they live w/him in Florida and I live in California. So needless to say, I have little impact on how they're raised. Unfortunately for them, their father has a "who gives a sh_t" attitude. He dropped out of school mid-way thru 9th grade, and can't read or write worth a darn. He doesn't make sure they do their homework, my son doesn't even bring his books home! And I've tried talking to my ex about this and all he says is that their homework is their responsibility! My 11 y/o daughter still doesn't know how to write in cursive! I could choke him!

My 2nd grader, too, has ADD, but she's the opposite of them, she's extremely intelligent and can read anything you put in front of her face! She's read as many as 12 books in one day! And that she did when she was only 6! So it all depends on how they're raised. That has a big part to do w/it.

I can understand his not wanting to be held back because of being called stupid and all. Why don't you get an interdistrict transfer and hold him back, but take him to a dif. school where no one knows him and he can make a fresh start? That way it'll all basically be stuff that's he's already learned in the other school and it'll mostly be review for him and he'll be more confident because he's familiar w/it already.

It's worth a shot.