1st grade retention?: Anyone have... - CHADD's ADHD Pare...

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1st grade retention?

tszklare
tszklare

Anyone have experience with deciding to retain their first grader with adhd? Our son has made a lot of gains this year and is JUST under grade level academically. Socially he is improving (thanks to medication as well) but still have some issues with peers. To add to this, he is also the youngest in his class which is causing me to lean toward retention as well...

He is on an IEP which will help but we don’t want him to keep struggling so much especially as school gets harder! Psychologist recommends retention but the school absolutely does not. Ultimately our decision....so confused!

10 Replies

I would hold him back, especially if his birthday is in the second half of the year. Our ADHD boys are 2-3 years behind their peers and it's better to hold him back now than in a higher grade. Insist that the school holds him back - this will also prepare you for all the battles with school that will come in the future!

tszklare
tszklare in reply to seller

Thanks. Yes, he is a July birthday (just barely made the cut to enter kindergarten 2 years ago.). If we hold him back he will be in line with kids more his age. I guess I’m more worried he will be bored doing the same projects again in 1st grade and have low self esteem because the friends he did have are going up a grade.

seller
seller in reply to tszklare

Try not to worry about this - he's so young, he really won't realize that some of his friends are moving up. Better to do this now than later, when it might make a bigger impact. And don't worry about him being bored. I would ask that he have a different teacher so it all seems different to him. You might also talk with the teacher and explain the situation (if she doesn't already know) and see what can be worked out. I wish we had held our son back in kindergarten or first grade - he has a late June birthday.

tszklare
tszklare in reply to seller

Good point! His IEP instructor (special ed teacher) said that holding back now will place him in a group of students who are more likely to drop out of high school 🙄 and into depression...scare tactics I’m sure as they don’t want students retained for their ratings

seller
seller in reply to tszklare

His IEP teacher needs to be fired. I would definitely remember this conversation! Unless you live in a very small town, with only one small school, your son will just be placed in another classroom with different kids, some of whom will be a little younger. (Some won't because many parents hold their boys back before starting kindergarten - I have several friends who did this, with good results.) Do not take any of this seriously. You know your son better than anyone. The kids who drop out of high school are the ones who are never had any type of ADHD interventions, like meds or IEP's.

Hi, we held back our ADHD son also in first grade and it is the best decision we ever made. He is finishing 4th grade now and I can't even imagine if it was 5th grade and he had to go to middle school next year where things are MUCH different. Even though he is 10 and mentally he has all the age-appropriate knowledge, emotionally he is 7. Not to mention that ADHD is an "executive function disorder" and just because they have knowledge doesn't mean they can use it correctly. I am absolutely an advocate for giving a child an extra year to grow and adjust. I do not think you will regret it.

tszklare
tszklare in reply to ElinaK35

Thank you! It sounds like your experience has been really positive holding him back. Did he have any resentment when he was initially held back in first grade? How did you overcome this, if so?

ElinaK35
ElinaK35 in reply to tszklare

He didn't have any resentment... at the time we moved so he was actually going to a new school anyway. Hence no one at the new school knew that he was held back except his teacher. At first the teacher didn't understand why we chose to hold him back but in a few months she was like "Ooooh, now I get it"... it was obvious he needed it. I would like to think that kids in first grade wouldn't be as mean about it as let's say 4th grade. So if you are contemplating this, then it's better to do it while he is so young rather than later on.

Hello! I was hoping to get an update from you. did you hold your son back and did it work for him? My son is currently in first grade with a September birthday so he just made the cut-off. the school is forcing me to hold him back - the psychologist says not to. I'm in a quandary! He is in private school with limited resources - although he will go to a different first grade teacher. Should I pull him and send him to public school? I don't think repeating first grade is necessarily a bad thing but I don't want him to suffer emotionally. We are very new to this ADHD thing and a bit overwhelmed. tia!

tszklare
tszklare in reply to bluemomma

We did ending up holding him back. So he just finished 1st grade (for the 2nd time!). At the beginning of the year he was not too happy about having to do it again. He did receive some comments from his classmates and questions about why he’s in 1st grade again. Ultimately though, he made so many more gains academically and socially this year, we are glad we did it. I think in the long run it will really help him. He finished the year just above average (against 1st grade peers). So we are happy with that. Also behaviorally he has done much better (balance of medication and behavioral reinforcement). If we had the option to repeat at another school we may have done that. But I would feel the need to stick with that same school system as got older (after you decide if you’re holding him back or not). My son will be 8 in July and starting 2nd grade in August. Good luck!

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