Sons Behavior and Grades

Updated on March 08, 2013
J.F. asks from Sibley, LA
12 answers

My 11 yr old son has problems in school.cant concentrate.gets terrible grades in school. Disrespectful to me and siblings. Teachers only have problems getting him to pay attention. Had him tested for add/ADHD but had no signs or symptoms. Ped suggested psych testing and learning disability testing. Looking for answers on what to do. I think he maybe depressed? Problem has been building and he was at risk of flunking school last yr. he barely passed. He is the oldest of four children. His dad and I are fearful he could fail the school year again. He is very intelligent but has tremendous prob with math more than other subjects

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answers from Wichita Falls on

Learning disabilities will cause many of these problems. My son has dyslexia and we had a lot of problems with school til we had him diagnosed. His hostility (and possibly depression) can be linked to the frustration of not being able to do what everyone is telling him he should be able to do.

4 moms found this helpful

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answers from Oklahoma City on

Time to get to the bottom of this before things continue to go downhill. I would make an appointment to have him tested. A pysch evaluation would be good start along with learning disability testing. Also, I would also try and rule out any environmental factors that might be contributing. His disrespect makes me think that maybe one piece of this is that it has been hard for you to establish enough authority with him. If that is the case, a good family therapist can offer some support. It is key to sort this out prior to him hitting his teen years. Blessings.

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answers from Sacramento on

No signs or symptoms? Huh? Lack of focus at school and at home is a huge red flag for possible ADHD. Who did the testing? I agree he needs to be evaluated by a specialist. A neuropsychologist or psychiatrist can assess your son and determine what, if anything, is going on.

Don't settle for the "no, that's not it" you received. A specialist may say, "No that's not it, but let's check for these other possibilities." It won't be just left at "Sorry, but good luck." Push for the answers you need. Your son is depending on you right now to help him.

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answers from Las Vegas on

My son is 11 and while he has good grades and isn't disrespectful, his level of concentration has gone down a bit. I believe this in part to be due to hormones and a growing spurt he is going through at this time (as he is definitely getting taller) ... some might think 11 is too young for the hormone effect, but not me.. It has played a role in my son's behavior..
Also, have you considered your son's diet. I don't know if it's heavy on the sugar and processed foods.. but you may want to keep a food journal and notice if there are changes in his behavior after eating specific foods..

As someone who is currently abstinent from sugar at this time , I can tell you that I feel a HUGE difference.. I have had low grade depression from time to time and since I have been off the sugar, I have been a great deal better.. Mind you, I didn't really even eat too much of it, so goes to show that it may not even take much sugar to affect one's brain chemistry..

I like to take a natural approach .. try a new diet and see if this helps.. Also, maybe sit down and talk with him.. preferably at night when he might be more relaxed and open to it.. maybe right before bedtime... check in with him and ask him about his day... He must might open up and tell you what's on his mind..

good luck

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answers from San Francisco on

What does HE have to say about school? Does he complain that it's hard, or boring? Does he have trouble focusing or working on projects at home, or in other areas, like sports?
It's hard to answer your question without more information. But I would say get some more evaluations done, it can't hurt and it may be tremendously helpful. You don't want him going into middle school struggling so much.

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answers from Wausau on

"Ped suggested psych testing and learning disability testing."

Then do that.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

Have you tried talking to him about how he sees it? Does he find school boring and he is acting out because he is not challenged? Does he not understand things but not want to bring it up and look stupid? What things would he rather learn about? If he could change school - what would his ideal school look like? Does he have issues with real life math or just how it is taught in his school? These issues may be resolvable within his current school. Or it may be that another type of learning (Montessori, Waldorf, etc) might be a much better fit.

Also has he had a hearing test and eye test recently?



answers from San Francisco on

Is he bored? Is there another school that will be more appropriate for him? Have you asked him, in a calm, loving way, what the problem is?

You need to talk to him. Try doing it in the car on a long drive. That's often the best way to talk to boys.

If he's disrespectful, calmly give him a brief consequence that will matter to him, (like take away the video game for a day), until he changes his behavior.



answers from Sacramento on

Is this a sudden problem or has it been building for some time? Is he disrespectful to his teachers and friend's parents?

Who tested him for ADD/ ADHD? Was it through the school or another source? I would write a letter to the school asking for him to be tested for learning disabilities and a psychiatric evaluation through your district's special education department. They will do a comprehensive evaluation.

When was his vision last checked? Sometimes learning problems are as simple as needing glasses.

I would talk to him when it calm and you're doing an activity together like making cookies or shooting basketball. It's less intimidating if you don't sit face to face. No TV, texting, etc and ask him why this is going on. Be prepared to ask a lot of questions and withhold all judgement and opinions. Treat it as a fact-finding mission. Maybe he's being bullied? Let him know that you want to help him with whatever is going on but you're not sure where to start.

Good luck with this. Teens (and pre-teens) are tough nuts to crack but I guarantee it will be worth the effort in the end.



answers from Chicago on

Sounds like he's frustrated and he may have a learning disability. Or he may just learn/think differently than other kids. His frustration is coming out in the form of disrespect.

When my daughter gets behind, she just will stop listening because she doesn't understand what's going on. Thus, the not paying attention. She doesn't learn well from lectures. It's hard to pay attention when you don't understand what's going on or the class is going too fast!

He needs to be evaluated for learning issues, or just learning style.



answers from Nashville on

I'm going through a similar thing with my daughter. She is 8 years old and having difficulty with reading and writing. I sat down with her teacher, guidance counselor, psychologist, etc.... from the school. We have completed the testing and it showed that she has slight ADD and slow processing speed. They don't want to hold her back in school because studies show it makes the problems worse. The kids get bored learning the same stuff over and over again. We agreed not to put her on medication because she has a friendly, polite personality and the medication could dull that. Instead she is getting extra help in the classroom. Her assignments are modified, and she can ask for the teacher to read questions out loud for her during tests. She also leaves the classroom for a smaller group reading class with the special education teacher. It's only been a couple of weeks and she is improving. Much happier with school and more excited to learn.

Definitely have him tested, if not at the school, then by someone his ped recommends. If he is depressed it is probably because he knows he is not keeping up with his peers. My daughter actually verbalized that she felt sad because everyone else can read and she is slow at it.



answers from Miami on

There is no harm in having a school-based evaluation completed. Just keep in mind that schools do not test for "diagnostic" purposes. They test to determine eligibility for special services. If you suspect that your child might require special education services or Section 504 supports, then by all means contact your School Psychologist and set up an appointment. If your child does not have a history of learning problems (learning disabilities don't generally manifest this late), then consider having an evaluation conducted outside of school. If the evaluation reveals the need for school-based services, you can always submit it to the school for consideration.

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