My 2nd grader reading/writing struggles - CHADD's ADHD Pare...

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My 2nd grader reading/writing struggles


I am writing about my other son today. I have a 7 year old son who I believe is struggling in reading comprehension assignments. When I approach the teacher about it, she doesn’t think it’s a big deal. I have been looking at his graded reading assignments and they do not make sense. Instead of answering the question, he just rewrites the question. He had to write about a person and his accomplishments. His teacher told him to go write why is he important? He literally wrote down “why is he important” instead of answering the question. He did this for most of the questions. Also on other questions he says he doesn’t understand what they mean. I guess the vocal? Has anyone ever had this kind of experience or any advice on what I can do to help him. He is going to 3rd next year and I am worried he will fall behind.

17 Replies

*vocab not vocal

It sounds like he’s taking the instructions write this and he puts “this” on the paper. I am not an expert and have no idea what that means. Sylvan learning centers will provide your kid with a free assessment. I have a friend that did it for her son. He was reading at a K level in 1st grade and after 9 months of tutoring, he was reading at a 2nd grade level going into 2nd grade. My daughter was reading below first grade level, so she gets pulled out of the classroom to sit with a reading specialist. I also gave her sit with a reading tutor once a week. (Not because I want her to be this perfect student because I see how much she struggles and it’s helped tremendously). All that said, if you don’t want to go the tutoring route, trust your gut. Request (in writing) that your son be tested for a reading deficiency. They have to act on it.

Thank you for your reply.

I will look into the tutoring. Thanks again

I think you should ask for a full psychoeducational evaluation- it could be he is just developing on his own schedule, or it could be something like dyslexia or an auditory processing delay. How does he do when you read to him and ask him a question about the story? Kids are interesting and they are all different. If you get him evaluated ask them do identify strengths and write about them in the report along with areas of delay or need.

in reply to abryans

Hello, he seems to understand the story. But when asked a more detailed question, he may struggle. He seems to understand the story itself. But he is always asking me what is that suppose to mean. Like when he is ask what’s the difference in math. He doesn’t subtract, he says one is short and one is long. Instead of finding the difference.

Hello! I know what you are going through. I am currently going through the same struggle (same grade also 2nd grade boy). He is a very bright kid and had lots of compliments from his Math and Science teacher. When it comes to reading comprehension and writing he struggles with it. He is starting to even not answer some questions so I met with his teacher and she said that she has to do one on one with him. She also noticed he's more distracted now. So I think he might be going through a growth spurt or something because we are in the middle of changing his medication dose or giving him an addition dose in the afternoon as he is only using a short acting.

Have you asked your son if it's hard for him? I asked him last night and he told me he doesn't do the work because he said it's hard. For my son I see that he needs a lot of motivation and lots of praises to build up his confidence when it comes to reading since he says its hard for him. I'm still figuring things out here little by little on how to help him at home and eventually at school. I will first work on having him enjoy reading AGAIN.....because he used to! He would read the Dog man book in one day whenever he gets the new series. So I am trying to be more motivating without putting too much pressure on him. I'll also give more time before bed to read with him. More time for him to read to me and I read to him while asking questions through out for comprehension. So far that is my plan. I hope it helps him.

Have you looked into pyschoeducational evaluation? To see if he has any other learning disability

I hope we figure this out! Keep us updated on this and I'll do the same!


Thank-you for sharing the struggles you guys are having. If we think of learning like building a multiple layer cake it is important to have a strong base to the cake ( these are like the first few years of school. Knowledge is suppose to build on it's self. So please act now so you/he can learn what is the best way to help him.

The teacher in the classroom usually knows how to teach kids who learn without struggles. So in her mind she might be thinking give your child more time. But really you need to know if your child has any weakness ( listening to directions, writing the main points, etc). One of the tools used is an assessment for academics done by a Specialist or a psycho- emotional done by a school psychologist. It would be very helpful if you ask the school to assess your child asap. The sooner you assess and get the results, the more time he has to use them.

Hope this helps.

Yes, do you live in the USA? Ask to test your son for dyslexia? They have what they call IOP meetings with school Specialist. Be warned in my case the school could of cared less. My daughter's the one who CARED enough to give me this information. Once I did, I had to Fight for everything, they wanted to give up on her telling me she was unemployable. I went to Every meetingand Never gave up. She's 35 and employed. So if you haven't tried it? Do it, You owe it to him for his Future. Good Luck son has the same issues, but he writes how the word sounds. Which it isn’t spelled correctly. He refuses to read to me at all. He is too embarrassed. And he is afraid I will be disappointed. So I have tried alternative ways to get him to read to me. Even giving him my phone and asking him what the person text back. I asked for a reading tutor but it took two additional grading sessions to finally get one! And he senses that his teacher is annoyed with him if he even asks a question so he refuses to participate. Which really makes me angry that she is so negative.

Hello all and thank you for your reply. My son can read just fine and typically understands the story and can recall it. But when it comes down to answering detailed questions, he write like one word and it has nothing to do with the answer. I’m not sure, but I don’t think it’s dyslexia. The teacher said she was going to talk to the OT at the school. I am going to get some workbooks and work with him one on one and see what he is understanding. I have been concerned since the beginning of the school year and I felt like it was brushed off. Here we are at the end of the year and I don’t see much improvement.

A neuropsych (although I think they like to do it when they turn 8) gave me so much insight into my son. He tested super high on the IQ but his working memory is poorer. We also just had an eye test done and this eye doctor found a convergence insufficiency which means things get blurry when a book is held too close. This doesn’t relate to your son but it did remind me that checking hearing and eyesight is super important as well. With convergency insufficiency tour brain starts compensating by forming maladaptive ways of viewing. Interesting. I guess my point is don’t give up questioning things especially if he is struggling. My son didn’t do what your son does but he definitely struggles in second grade writing the answer. He may not understand just yet what the questions mean. He is doing a good job telling you it’s hard for him. Question is why? Maybe it’s as simple as he isn’t getting it or maybe more complicated. Good luck! “You’re gonna know if you keep on asking questions “. I love this song my MGMT. It’s been my mantra.

Highly recommend psycho-educational testing through your sons school district. This is the age my son was diagnosed with a reading, writing and short term memory disability. He was getting B’s in reading but I could tell he was struggling. I ended up moving him to a special school for 3 years to get his reading/writing on grade level. Still to this day he struggles with these subjects because they don’t come easy for him like math and science. I have a tutor that works with him once a week at home to give him extra support. I tried a tutoring center with him for 6 months and the cost was very $$ and I found it wasn’t as productive as having a one on one tutor at home. Too many kids and distractions at a tutor center as well.

My son was similar in second grade, he needs them to repeat directions and it is a big deal 3rd grade is more involved.

in reply to Sullivan47

Hello. So any advice on what u did.

He has a 504, I do writing and comprehension books at home, but just one page a night, also I use non stimulant with omega and vitamins, he will try a stimulant next year for 4th grade, I think 3 teachers and staying organized will be a handful

I would suggest getting the school to evaluate him and request an iep

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