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Kindergartener with Possible Learning Disabilities

My youngest (turned 5 in Dec.) has just finished his first week of Kindergarten. I got a call from his teacher tonight with some concerns. She feels he is not on the same education level as the other kids in his class. He has had speech issues/delays and has been getting speech therapy for that since he was 3. I guess my question is...how do I help a child that possibly has a learning dissability? He does not know his alphabet...can not identify his letters by name...has no clue what sounds the letters make..etc. He gets easily mixed up on his colors as well. I feel like he just learned how to say these things...where the other kids have been able to say them longer and therefore he struggles with it all. Did I make the wrong decision to send him? I really wanted to wait a year but his preschool teacher felt he was ready and he would be so much older than the other kids in his class if I would have waited a year. I don't know...I am just so worried and feel so bad for him. I want to help him and don't want him to have to stop going or to have to repeat kindergarten. I am worried that the other kids will always think he is not smart...which he truly is a bright and intelligent boy...it just comes slower and harder for him. I just feel like crying and i feel so helpless...what do I do?

What can I do next?

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At only a week in, I think that it might be very early to tell how he will do. I'm a huge proponent of music (as a music teacher) because not only does it teach the stuff they need in a way that will remember - but listening actually wires their brain for learning. Videos are good, but it's actually better to have more music that the can focus on just sound - especially for recognizing sounds of the letters.

My son's pediatrician is concerned about my 2yr old so she referred me to the Center for Child Health & Development. They do evaluations & therapy. You just call & get some forms to fill out then they call you back & set up an appointment. Their number is ###-###-####. They work with kids with learning & behavioral problems.

Is there a reason you can't pull him out and let him start kindergarten at age six instead of five?

Give him another year of speech therapy, and do some heavy home-schooling in the meantime ????

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Hello S.! I have a 21 year old that has a learning disability, and now, looking back on it, I wish that I would have been wise enough to challenge the school system early on to get him the help he needed at a younger age; he received his diagnosis in 6th grade. While I had asked 2 years earlier, because he also had a DX of ADD/ADHD, everyone saw that behavior and let that cloud the issue of the Learning Disability. Getting him help early, while you can impact things like his attitude toward shcool, getting the school to help him according to his learning style (not everyone learns in the same way!) etc. can make things better for him in the long run. I also work at the Missouri Developmental Disabilities Resource Center which is a part of the Institute for Human Development at UMKC. We have information on learning disabilities, connections to resources, and even trained mentor parents that can listen to you, provide emotional support, and share experience. All of these are provided free of charge. Please feel free to contact the MODDRC at ###-###-#### (out of greater KC? Call 800-444-0821) or feel free to e-mail me at ____@____.com.
Sincerely, J. Hatfield-Callen

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Hi S.,
As a former kindergarten teacher and current special education teacher, I would first say give him just a little more time in the classroom. Keep in touch with the teacher to see what you can work on at home. It is possible some of his speech delays have affected other areas of his learning as well, but not necessarily. If the concerns continue after you feel he's really had solid time to adjust to his new classroom, teacher, friends, school, etc. then you can also request to have him evaluated. You can check with his teacher about that, but I would first just give him some adjusting time. Good luck. M.

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You have got some great responses here! I will ditto what a lot of others have said and tell you not to stress out! Take your time and follow your heart, you know him best. I have always been told you are your child's first and best teacher. Try incorporating these things into your daily routine. (You may already, and he will "get it")
I don't know if you chose to watch educational TV or DVDs with him, but I loved the Baby Einstein series. One thing though, I always sat and watched it with my now 4 year old and still do with my 17 month old. It shows them lots of everyday stuff and gives you a great opportunity to explain and explore the world in the quiet of your home.
A great DVD for the alphabet is Leap Frog's Letter Factory! I highly recommend this one, my daughter knew the sounds the letters made before she knew how to sing her ABCs! She still loves watching it, thankfully as I would love for the littlest one to benefit from it as well!
Again, I say follow your heart and no matter what boost that little guys confidence!
Best wishes, J.

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To begin with, I would take a deep breath and relax a little. It has only been a week into the school year and I have seen children make remarkable progress by Ocotber. Each child is different and I don't feel one week is ample time to make an acurate judgement, especially in Kindergarten where the child is making a huge transisiton and adjustment. You need to trust your instincts as his mother. If you know that he is a child that needs extra time and practice, share that with the teacher and tell her you want to help as much as you can at home. Ask her to communicate what can be done to help at home. If your child's preschool teacher felt he was ready, then it is likely that it was a better choice then leaving him out a year. With speech and language delays, your child may know more than he is able to communicate. Look for ways to get information without speech suach as pointing out things. Many students enter Kindergarten with the same knowledge or less than what your child has by your description and do just fine. If your child is already receiving services then you can always discuss other concerns with those providing the services. Unfortunately, general learning diabilities are hard to get a diagnosis for at this age. Your best bet is to be an advocate for your child with the teacher and provide extra support at home to help him progress through the year. I know this is a lot but right know patience will be your virtue. I am a preschool teacher that helps parents make these types of decisions each year and look at how to best help my students prepare for kindergarten. My main concern...can they interact with other students and can they follow directions. The other stuff is nice but can come if they have the ability to do the other things first. Hope this helps:)

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I am a former elementary school teacher, so I can provide advice from a teacher's perspective.

1. Most of the skills you mentioned are skills that your kindergartener should master by the END of the year. Yes, many children enter K knowing most of those things, but that is irrelevant. What is important is that he master those by the end of the year. You have a lot of time on your side!

2. If your child DOES in fact have a learning disability, being in school is the best place for him. Once diagnosed, he will receive individualized services.

3. Many parents with delayed children are in denial, so the teacher is most likely planting seeds early. She doesn't want to get to the end of the year and have you say, "I didn't know he was struggling." We hear that all the time.

4. If your son gets to the end of the year and needs to repeat K, it will not be the end of the world. It is harder on parents than kids at that age. He won't think it's a big deal unless you make it one. It would be much different if he was pushed along and then had to repeat 4th or 5th grade.

5. You are your son's best advocate. If you believe he has a learning disability, then have him evaluated. Speak with your child's teacher, the special education teacher, your child's pediatrician, and so forth. You didn't mention anything specific, but only physicians can diagnose ADD or ADHD. Teachers can provide feedback for the physician, but it is a medical diagnosis.

6. Support your child's teacher in all ways possible. If she asks you to practice certain skills with your son on a daily basis, then make that a priority. You are your child's best teacher. Speak to him a lot. Point out colors and shapes as you drive down the road or shop in the grocery store. Look for letters on packages or road signs. Have him help you count things as you pick them up or put them away. Find as many opportunities as possible to incorporate those skills into everyday life. Don't make it a "lesson". Make it a natural part of your conversations with him.

Hopefully, some of these suggestions will be helpful!

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My daughter has always struggled in school. I felt helpless at times. I really fought for her at school and the district we were in at the time would not help me. They wanted her to be a year and a half behind before they would do any testing. We moved to KS when she was starting 3rd grade. We did a written request for testing and she's dyslexic. It effects her speech, memory, reading, etc. She now has an IEP and is doing well. My point is don't give up. Keep encouraging your son and working with the school to get him the help he needs. See a pediatrician, google his symptoms, and build his confidence. Do anything to help yourself feel equipped to help him in the best way you can. My daughter is very athletic and we keep her busy in sports to help with her self esteem and confidence. Good luck! You will get through this.

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Keep in mind the school makes money off of each child they can classify as special needs. They tried to tell me my son needed speech therapy at five for sounds he should have mastered by age seven. I know there is a chance your son may need the special help, but don't let them totally freak you out, listen to what they have to say and listen to your heart as well before making any decisions on what to do. Good luck, R.

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There is several things you can do keep up on the speech therapy and call your school district and ask them if they have someone to do an evaluation on your son I live in 501 district in Topeka I know there are several resources here and i'm sure where you live there is to they may be free of charge.This way you know what his needs are and can get him some more therapy.AS a mom it is hard to see your child struggle I have a 5 yr old since he isn't 5 yet till Sept. he has to wait to go into kindergarten he'll be almost 6 yrs old and that is ok with us he is ready to go but the rules won't allow him to.One more yr.for some it makes a huge difference.Help your son starting today go over the ABC's in the car sing the song over and over.A school store has ABC posters for really cheap buy one set it at eyelevel for him and go over the ABC's and sounds.If your childs teacher has concern ask her what you can do and if there is a referall she can give you to get him properly evaluated.Does your pediatricain have any concerns?SAHM of 2 and 1 more on the way

Hi S.! My brother was diagnosed with ADHD and Dyslexia when he was in Kindergarten. He was 20 when he graduated. My dad was military so he never was able to go to preschool.
I felt real sorry for him as a kid. The teacher he had encouraged my parents to not pull him out and let him stay in and she would personally help him. She was an awesome teacher! She was also his teacher when he was in the first grade. We ended up switching schools before the new school year. At that school their cirriculum was 2 years advanced. Instead of doing 2nd grade work, he was doing 4th grade work. We held him back in the 1st grade. He did very well. With his ADHD he was put on Ritalin. It helped, but made him zombie like. Because of his learning disability my mom changed him to another school because their LD program was so much better and it showed. Math was always a hard subject for him. Spelling always came in second. When he was finishing the 6th grade my mom decided she'll home school him for his 7th grade. When it was time for a new school year the principal said he can either go to the 8th or stay back in the 7th. He chose to stay back and do 7th all over again. When he graduated he was the oldest in his class. He was 20. That never stopped him from finishing school. He still struggles with his Dyslexia. That will never go away. I would say it's ok to wait another year. It's always better to be safe educationaly than regret the "why didn't I do this...".

This is a very real difficult time for you. I have been a special education teacher (now retired) for the last 30 years. Those critical language/speech skills do impact reading development, so working closely with your school on how to help your child is critical early in the school experience. A good parent support group is also helpful. Your special services person would be a good contact for you. Also getting involved with others in learning how kids learn is a big help. There is a company called Discovery Toys that teaches parents what they can do to help their kids learn through quality play materials and experiences. If you would be interested, please contact me at www.discoverytoyslink.com/lindybrizendine

Have you ever thought about the possibility that your child may have Attention Deficit Disorder? I suggest you find a good child psychologist, tell him/her what is going on and get him tested. It might be a learning disability or a learning impairment, there is a difference. Also if he does have ADHD or ADD I wouldnt jump on the bandwagon with drugs. My son was diagnosed with ADHD when he was in the third grade, the schools want the parent to go with drugs particularly if the child is hyper, but the longterm affects of such drugs can result in a chemical dependency for the child later in life or may cause manic depressive behaviours, in some cases. I chose not to go with drugs, instead I forced the school to do their job. Now my son is in the eighth grade and is an Honor Roll student; so I recommend you get him tested by a professional and then decide from there on what to do.

Pat M./St. Louis, MO

Hi S.! I know you must feel very frustrated, but sounds like you are well aware of your son's development and are trying to be proactive for him. I was an Occupational Therapist in a public school system before I started my own family. Parents, like you, who want to be involved are GREAT! Is your son still receiving Speech Therapy? Not sure how it is in MO, but in NC, all therapies are available to children in the public/private school setting as part of their curriculum; based on evaluation, of course. If he is not receiving any services at this time, try meeting with the school counselor or his teacher to find out the procedure for having him evaluated for services. In NC the classroom teacher could request a referral, but again, I'm not sure of the situation in MO. But either his classroom teacher or the school counselor should be able to head you in the right direction. Best of luck to your little man as he starts school!

You need to speak up and be an advocate for your son. If the teacher has already voiced her opinions about this, and you are seeing the same problems, then you need to bring this up to the Board of Education or the Principal. Request that they put him in a Special Education or Learning Disability class. They will test him to see where he's at and where he should be put. This is very important! You can't just let it slide and feel sorry for him. It's not your fault. It's not his fault! The schools have to give him special education at no cost to you. This will only benefit him. Who knows, once in the program and he starts to grasp the ideas, maybe he could actually be removed from the program and put into a regular classroom. This is what happened with my now 11 yr. old nephew...he's brilliant! He has a special IEP that has been made for him, and he's in a regular class with his own peers. My sister had him put in Special ED/LD program when she realized he couldn't even pass Kindergarten. He repeated Kindergarten, eventhough his TWIN went on to first grade. Now they are in the same grade (his twin got held back one year due to behavioral issues), and they are doing great!

S.- I had the same problem with my son. He started sheech classes at 3 and I wasn't sure if he was ready for kindergarten but his twin sister was so we started. He struggled at first but around the end of the first semester the light came on and he caught up. He has always loved to draw so I got him to draw out the alphabet and numbers. By the end of the school year he was actually ahead of grade level and now is a straight A 8th grader. It was frustating but he caught on. Your son just needs a little time and I am sure he will get it too. I remember thinking that the school demanded too much to start kindergarten. I thought they taught all the stuff but they want them to know it already. I figured if we needed to repeat we would but wanted to start because of October birthday he would be older too. Hang in there It has only been a week and too early even for a teacher to know what's up! Good luck J.

My four-year-old who will turn five in December has the same issues. I am concerned about kindergarten for him next fall. Please e-mail me at ____@____.com if you get any helpful responses. I would love to know what to do too! Take care! I can relate! Kati

These moms are absolutely correct. First, don't stress out. All kids learn at different ages and have different learning styles. But the schools have a lot of resources to help you with, definitely enlist them. Our daughter struggled also. Our situation is a little different because we homeschool, but her "kindergarten" year she had not interest at all in learning. I didn't stress out then, because she was so young. However, it continued into first grade as well with not wanting anything to do with phonics, english, language arts in general. We played a lot of games so she would not realize she was learning, for instance alphabet bingo, we used Scrabble tiles, she made letters out of playdough, formed letters out of sticks in the yard. The thing she liked the best was when I put all of the letters on a Twister mat (had to color two extra circles on it) and then we used flash cards. I would call out a letter and she would have to jump on it. If she couldn't get it right away I would tell her what color it was on. It she still couldn't get it, then I would show her the flash cards. Once she knew her letters, I would do the same thing but call out letter sounds. The summer after first grade she found out her friends could read and she kicked it into high gear and was reading chapter books by the middle of 2nd grade. She is an incredible reader now (starting 4th grade). But I didn't stress out and push her too fast or make her feel bad for taking things slow, she just learned a different way than my older daughter. I think that is the key.

Do you have an active IEP within the school? If not suggest one. That will tell you if he does have any learning disabilities . Talk to the Special Needs department at the school and let them know your concerns there are many thing that they can do help you and your son. also talk to your doctor.I have a 6 yr. old that has Learning problems along with other things and the school along with his doctors have helped a lot.

You have just described my sisters son. He is in 1st grade and doing ok. He did have to repeat Kindergarten but that is ok. Don't let that freak you out! It gave him a second chance to let it soak in. Let him do it at his pace. My sisters son is very bright as you describe your son. It will be just fine. Just be patient and help him along and make sure you have a good teacher. Don't settle for one who has no patience. Be persistent and pursue any worries! Be strong and positive for him. He will be fine!

Is there a reason you can't pull him out and let him start kindergarten at age six instead of five?

Give him another year of speech therapy, and do some heavy home-schooling in the meantime ????

I was in the same boat as you just a few years back. I was stressed out and worried too. I had spent the entire summer before Kindergarten Trying to get her "ready" by the school standards, meanwhile feeling like I was partially to blame, was I doing something wrong etc... My daughter is in second grade now, she is confident, she has friends, she does have to go and have one on one time with a special education teacher and the teachers she has had so far have been aware of the circumstances and been very supportive. I wish I had spent less time being worried and feeling anxiety ridden, what I am most proud of my daughter is her unwavering enthusiasm. I think I am finally "getting it" as her parent, trust me right now at your sons age he should be excited about learning, not stressed out, and as I have learned...so what if it takes him a little longer than the other kids to "get it" he will in his own time. Right now the best advice I can offer is to have a good line of communication open with the teacher, be your sons cheerleader and make learning fun, not a chore. And if you have any problems or feel like you aren't getting the support from his teacher be pro active in making sure he gets what he needs, I am in the process of getting my daughter evaluated, the test is relatively simple its called CARS, it can help you get an IEP I am not sure what it stands for....I think Idependant education plan. It will be ok, take a deep breath and I will pray that you have fabulous people in your sons path to help guide, teach and inspire him to the greatness I know he is capable of = )
Good luck!

Hi S.

In my opinion, I would wait a little bit more to send him to K and, I would work with him at home. You are his first teacher and his mom, so it would be really helpful to teach him things (colors, sounds, shapes, abc's, and all he needs to start K well prepared) by playing and singing with your little boy. Bath time is a very good time to play with letters and numbers and say to him how they sound and what they are. You can incorporate knowledge in everything you do with him (counting cheerios at breakfast, looking for green things at lunch times or shapes in a soup, etc) That helps a LOT..
Remember that every kid is different and learns at different pace, sometimes for us, moms, they seem to be behind or with problems, but the truth is not always is the case. We have to give our children some time to adapt to new things, and most of the time is not at our pace, or in our time...so be patient.
Give him some time and do not rush into enroll him in K yet. Only after this little mom's homework you may think of Speech therapy or any other support, try and try again..I assure you he will be more than fine!

Good Luck

First of all...realize that the teacher is not a professional when it comes to recognizing learning disabilities. 2nd...don't panic...your precious little boy is a gift from God no matter what his general IQ turns out to be. Your first stop needs to be with your pediatrician...he can either do the diagnosis himself or point you to a specialist who can. I work in a pharmacy and I have seen so many children ( sometimes entire families of children) put on medicine for hyperactivity...or ADHD. Sometimes I wonder how MY generation managed to survive..without all of those medications!!!!!
So....dont panic....get a first opinion...and a 2nd opinion from doctors....and just love your little boy...for whomever he is!!!!
R. Ann

It sounds like the preschool teacher maybe did not want to deal with him anymore (not meaning anything bad about your son) you know that teachers send kids through school even if they do need to be held back all the time. I think that maybe you need to pull him out of kindergarten and find a preschool for kids that have a learning disability.

Sending you child off to school is one of the hardest things to do, especially when you child needs extra help. For me, I was afraid no one would see my child as this beautiful person that I saw. First, I have been told if a child needs to be held back, kindergarden is the best grade because children don't even notice. But that may not be what happens, especially when they are noticing his needs so early in the year and addressing them right away. Most likey they will set him up with speech if they have not already. They will probably do some testing and hopefully set him up with a special educator for a certain amount of time out of the week, a few times a week but keep him in the regular class room most of the time. But this is also speculation. You are most definatly not helpless. And you can not see yourself as that if you want to help you child. You are his advocate, you are his champion. Get on the internet, research special education techniques with his specific problems, go to the library, join support groups, post forums and bulletin boards for material from teachers to work at home with. Get a good knowledge of what's going on. Have an open channel of communication between you and his school and ask questions, every question. Teachers appreciate parents who are involved because it makes thier job easier. When my daughter was first diagnosed with cerebral palsy I had little idea what that was or what was in store for us. The information found helpful on the internet and any resources I printed and put in a three ring binder. I hope this helps

Don't jump the gun and start worrying that he has a learning disability. If his preschool teacher thought that he was ready for kindergarten, then perhaps the problem is that he's having trouble adjusting to it. Meet with his new teacher and discuss ways that you can work together to help him and give it a little time before having him tested for special education. If he does continue to have problems then you can explore other options. Also, if holding him back is an option, now is the time to do it. There is very little stigma in being held back in kindergarten. Better to do it now than in 3rd or 4th grade. Kids learn at different rates and in different ways. Become a partner with his teacher to make sure you are both coming at him in a way that is nurturing and helpful. Good luck!

Hi S.,

Make an appointment with your child's teacher so you can talk with her. Tell her exactly what you have told us, of your fears and anxiety for him.
She should be able to offer all kinds of suggestions for help. Most school systems have help available. You just have to ask.

My son's pediatrician is concerned about my 2yr old so she referred me to the Center for Child Health & Development. They do evaluations & therapy. You just call & get some forms to fill out then they call you back & set up an appointment. Their number is ###-###-####. They work with kids with learning & behavioral problems.

Does your school district have a transition class? Did the teacher have recommendations? Some districts have special classes that kids are in for 30-60 minutes a day to help them catch up.

Will your son let you help him? Maybe incorporate games into your family time. Twister has colors and right/left. Candyland has colors. If you have a bookstore that has a teachers section or a teacher supply store that may have some things you can do to help him learn things. Good Luck!!!


I would have him tested, there may be nothing wrong, just a slow learner, but either way by getting him tested you will know for sure. C. F./____@____.com

Hi S.,
I think waiting a few more weeks would be a good idea. In every new thing our children go through there is always a transition period.

On another note here are some websites that I use to tech my daycare kids their letters and numbers.
This website has activites you can do and worksheets you can print out and letter books, my daycare kids really enjoy them.

Here is another website
this is another free website, this one offers The Itty Bitty Books, you can print them out for shapes and colors, printing out these little books are really easy for the parents. You just print cut them into individual pages and staple together (I don't put it together the way it says to). These are little books you can take with you on the go.
I know I wasn't probably that much help but I thought I would offer these, W. B.

S. you just described my sons beginning kindegartin experience and my painful plea for help as well. Every child is different so I would not presume to tell you what to do, i can only tell you what happened within our own family. I was young and did not understand that I had several options. First of all he did not have to stay in kindergartin, but I thought he did. If I had it to do all over again I would take him out and work with him at home for a year before sending him back. I didnt though and I watched as he failed to acheive during that year. I had the job of breaking it to him that he would not being going on to first grade with the other kids. The next year he already knew all of the activities that would take place and could answer most questions because he had been through it once before. He was older than the other kids but no one seemed to mind. He did well that year but as time went on it became a yearly thing. Learning new skills took more time for him than it did for other children, yet he seemed to thrive at home and enjoyed learning there. He began to hate school and everything in it. By 5th grade we were taking him out of school to home school him. For our family it was the best decision we could have made. He thrived and learned at his own pace. There are many options out there. You could give him another year, maybe he will do well where he is in a few months. You may find a small private school with more one on one help. Home schooling is an option for some peopel. One thing that I realized though, he was unaware of how slow he was in comparison to the other children for the first year. So although you are hurting for him right now, there is a good chance that he is unaware and feels no concerns himself. That gives you some time to do your research and decide what is best for him and your family, he is your son and I know you will making the best and the most loving decision that you can. Good luck and God bless!

At only a week in, I think that it might be very early to tell how he will do. I'm a huge proponent of music (as a music teacher) because not only does it teach the stuff they need in a way that will remember - but listening actually wires their brain for learning. Videos are good, but it's actually better to have more music that the can focus on just sound - especially for recognizing sounds of the letters.

First of all my daughter turned 5 in July and has started Kindergarten and she dosen't know all her letters and the sounds and I know others who didn't when they first went to kindergarten - I think that part is normal. And if you felt that it would be OK to wait a year then it would have been fine. My oldest daughter is in first grade and is 7. She is 6 months to a year older than all the other kids, no one notices. It's better for them to be older and get whats going on than for them to struggle. I seen where someone else mentioned ADD - that could be a possibility. My sister is ADD, she was held back a year and it made a huge diffrence for her. And it never bothered her that she was a year older than the others. Not every kid is ready for Kindergarted right at 5 - go wit your gut! You know your son better than anyone. Have him checked out by your doctor (but I know that most don't even want to talk about ADD untill the kids are in school). But just that extra year a pre-school may make all the diffrence in the world. Good luck!!

I skimmed through the other responses, and I know my son is still too young for me to know exactly what you're going thru but I think this is a little ridiculous. People start their children out in school at such a young age and then expect them to be writing and reading when they start Kindergarten or consider them learning disabled?! Do we really want our kids to feel like they don't measure up to others when they're too young to understand these expectations??? I can't imagine we all knew how to do this when we started school.
I don't have any numbers for you to call, or stories of my own children to try and compare. I just simply wanted to say that my guess would be that your son is NORMAL!!!! He's 5 - let him be 5 and learn at his own pace. Don't let others make you think there's something wrong with him. I know it's hard with the expectations put on small children these days - and everyone wanting to classify them. I'm not sure what your options are, but I doubt he needs special ed because he didn't spend the summer working on his penmanship!! He just needs love and attention - which it sounds like he's getting in the right way at home!!! Again, this is just my opinion. Best of luck to you and you sweet, SMART, fun little one!!!!

Hi, S. -

I say go ahead and get your son tested. Getting the information helps a lots. My story might help.

I first noticed my daughter struggling in kindergarten too. Her preschool wasn't very academic and she was socially doing OK. But once in kindergarten, it became clear she had some problems with language and pre-reading skills (and ADD, actually).

After a couple of years and nothing getting better, my husband and I decided we wanted an independent evaluation because it just seemed like the school had its own agenda when they wanted to evaluate her. We took her to Dr. Karen Jordan ###-###-####, www.drjordan.org), who did a really thorough evaluation of her and really listened to our concerns. She spent a lot of time with my daughter to figure out what was going on. then she explained it all really clearly to us.

With her report in hand, we got an IEP meeting and all the accommodations we asked for at school. We're really happy we got the diagnosis and were able to intervene early. My daughter is really making progress, and we're off to a good year so far.

Good luck to you!

That's tough. I'm wondering why in the heck the preschool teacher said he was ready. Have you considered home schooling and maybe getting a tutor for him? I guess the main thing you need to find out is what specific learning disability he has. Reach is a really good place. I think maybe Rainbows United may do something similar. Good luck!

Shelly B,
I have walked in your shoes. I have cryed too. Please have your child tested. The sooner you have extra help the better. You child can get help now and "catch up" or at least be with the other children their age. Two of my sons have dyslexia and are bright boys who have trouble reading. With the correct help they are reading and doing all the lessons with their class.
Please know you can help your son to have a good year in kindergarten and for the rest of his schooling. He may just need a different way of learning. We had tutors for one on one a few days a week after school and it worked for us. Please ask for your son to be tested for learning difficultes. Yes you would like your kindergartener tested.
Good luck.

I am grateful that you asked this. Today is my daughters 3rd day of kindergarten and her teacher pulled me aside this morning and informed me that she was concerned that my daughter can't write her name well, she will just scribble at the top of her papers and asked if her writing with her left hand was "normal" and I assured her that she is left handed and she wasn't happy about that fact but she will just have to deal with it lol I know my child is bright, I don't think she is a slow learner, and I'm sure she is not the only child in her class with this "issue". I told the teacher that I will work with he at home on her writing, I came home with the thoughts of what if my daughter is behind because I don't want her self esteem to be damaged but after reading the responses your question got I feel much better and more confident. I do know that my child learns more from looking at a picture or letter. If she sees a letter she can write it but if you just ask her to write it she gets confused.


First of all congrats to you for being so aware of where you son is and open to suggestions from his teachers. While one piece of advice was correct - the teacher is not allowed to diagnose a learning disability - she is an expert in child development and aware of where a child may be struggling or falling behind. I didn't see you mention any problems with attention - so while you could look into it I wouldn't jump the gun on any meds yet.

I taught kindergarten for several years and then at a school for children with learning disabilities where I taught students to read. You are better off catching any delays early in order to help your son read (especially since boys overall are known not to be drawn to reading)

I would recommend a program called FUNdations. I taught it to my kindergartners and students with learning disabilities and it works wonders. You could search for a tutor trained in this program or contact the school where I worked to get put in touch with a tutor trained in the program. If you would like more info send me an e-mail (____@____.com) Most of all be patient with your son - it may take him longer - but ALL kids are capable of learning!! :) And don't worry too much about the other kids - just continue to build your son's self-esteem and his other talents and abilities will shine through!! Best wishes.



There are some things you can do to assure that your youngest is able to do the best he can do. Maybe he will never be as sharp as his classmates but there are things that can affect children and the way they learn.

1) diet - remove all fast/preserved foods. Feed him only the fresh whole foods - as many raw and/or organic as possible.

2) be sure to start his day with a good quality protein shake and multi. Other nutrients may be neccesary as well.

3)Go through the house and get rid of all the cleaner and personal care products that have either DANGER, WARNING or CAUTION on the label. Need help to figure that out - just call me.

4) Make sure he gets adequate sleep (10-14 hours)

5) Give him lots of one-on-one attention, be patient and ask the school for help in this area as well.

There is much to tell you in depth in each of these areas. If you would like to know more - just call me. There are other options to try before going the drug route.

A Little bit about me: I am a Shaklee Dist. and a Health and Wellness Advisor. I help people make informed choices and lifestyle changes to improve their individual health and/or the health of the environment. AND...Yes I recommend safe, non-toxic 'green' cleaners to everyone, even those who don't have children with ADHD. My website is www.shaklee.net/ser
It is my passion to educate young Mom's about the things they can change within their household that can have a profound affect on those that reside there. If I can help in any other way - please let me know.


In our school district we have what they call title one. They help special needs children. Back in my day they called it remedial. My youngest WILL be 5 in Dec. And has been going through speech therapy since she was 3. I am hoping that she will also be ready next year. I suggest looking into your schools program for this extra tutoring. Our teachers are also required to do a certain amount of tutoring after school. He will be fine. I think he is ready. You need to work on this at home also. Sing songs Get CDs with all the nursery rhymes on them. Go through this year and if he doesnt improve go ahead and repeat kindergarten. It would be better than to have to repeat any other grade. I know lots of kids that are way older than alot of kids in their grade. In Missouri, you dont even have to send them till they are 7. And they dont have to go to kindergarten. 7 yrs, 1st grade is what is required. Go talk to the principal. Maybe he just needs a teacher that has better knowledge of this. HE IS NOT THE ONLY KID OUT THERE WITH THIS DISABILITY> Do not worry. You wouldnt believe the levels of disabilities out there that are in mainstream education. Read books lots of books to him. that helps also. Keep your head up mom it will get easier. I know how you feel.

S., first off do not get discouraged. It is hard to hear that your child has some learning issues. He just needs some extra help and that is ok. The best thing for him is to be in school and if it is a public school you need to have him on an IEP (Individual Education Plan) I believe this is what it is called. My daughter just finished Kindergarten last year and she was on an IEP for speech and will continue to be on one in the 1st grade. Talk to his teacher and say ok, what can we do?

I too worried about the other kids picking on my daughter for not being able to communicate properly with them, she has gotten better but speech is still a huge concern for me. I shouldn't have worried so much my daughter is just fine and has many friends. Kids at this age look beyond most things that concern us and as parents we are even a bit more critical of our own kids and we worry about them more than need be!

My best advice is ask for help and find out what they can do to help your son.

You can get him tested at the school and see where he is. Talk to his teacher, and if needed talk to the principal about the steps needed to start the process. They will have a meeting with you with the results and answer any questions you have. I wouldn't wait too long, as you don't want him to fall too behind. He might catch on too. They do a lot of repetative things in Kindergarten which may help. I would get him tested so he can get the extra help he needs, if it's what he needs. Just remember to communicate a lot with the teacher(s). That's what has always helped me. You will feel better knowing how your boy is doing (good/bad) with occassional updates. Be strong! No matter what, you love your litte boy and that's all that matters. You can work through all the little bumps that have been thrown in your way. :-)

I agree whole-heartedly with Denise A. I teach in KCK, and I have seen this as well. I won't repeat everything she said, since she said it so well. The only thing I would add is that there are some kids who are diagnosed as "Developmentally Delayed". This is a temporary label, in case this is a concern of yours. It allows the special education department to provide the extra help he needs to catch up with the other kids without permanently labeling him. The testing that would give the school this diagnosis would let you know exactly where he is struggling. Good luck!

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