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Question
Posted by: Chan | 2011/03/15

son will be 8 in grade 1

I was advised by a counseling psychologist that my son is severely ADD and she would recommend that if he does not make enough progress on medication this year that we should let him repeat grade R. This would mean that when he does go to grade 1 he would turn 8 in january. How will this effect his self esteem ? When he plays sport at school he will have to play in his age group not with his class mates. Am I setting him up for a lifetime of explaining why he is older or should I be thinking more about him not coping academically.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

I'd think the potential impact on his self-esteem would be part of what a good counselling psychologist would take into account, and would depend very much on how everything was explained to him. I don't think a lifetime of explanations is required, if he understands what is happening now.
He will need to see a paediatrician or child psychiatrist for re-assessment before styarting on medication for ADHD, and their opinion would be most important in reaching the decision about what to do about schooling.

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Our users say:
Posted by: Sally | 2011/03/17

im a step mom to a child who had learning difficulties ,met her a few years ago when her dad introduced me to her , we now live together ,i realised that she hd a learning difficulty after i was notified by the school,to cut long story short ,basically she was asked by all these different schools to repeat certain grades and she is now 18 and doing grade 7,her peers are doing matric or in their first year at university ,it has been a major blow on her self esteem ,people always ask hoew old she is and what grade she''s doing and it embarrases her ,she is so reserved and i would advise that if you have a choice dont put your child through that ..

Reply to Sally
Posted by: Phil | 2011/03/16

You know what  keeping a child back is not allways the best option. Look for someone else to give you good advice. Because a qualified person would have given you better options.
I was in the same position  once a week at 5 in the morning I drove through to Pretoria from JHB to make it in time for the first therapy session. Did some therapy at home and in PTA for a couple of months  my son was ready for grade R. He is in grade 7 now  and has been fine since.
Rather then keeping him back, prepare him with intense therapy from a profesional.
Just for in case you are nearby. This lady is the only person that does child pshychology and visuall therapy in SA  people go to her from all over.
Elsa du Plessis 012 344 4835 in Hatfield PTA

Reply to Phil
Posted by: Purple | 2011/03/16

In addition to discussing this with the psychologist, remember that you need to submit an application to the department of education for your child to repeat grade R, which requires input from the teacher and the principal and the psychologist and that the department make the final decision.

Your child will not be the only child who is kept back.

Remember also to find your own peadiatrician and psychologist that are not recommended by the school so that you get independent assessments.

Sometimes parents are told their children have ADHD when the reaility is the child just isn''st getting enough excercise and doesn''t go to bed early enough (7 or 8pm at that age) so they are chronichally tired and have too much unreleased energy and so they can''t sit still and behave in class. Once they are running around more and going to bed at a decent hour and there is some routine in their lives the problem goes away.

Reply to Purple
Posted by: cybershrink | 2011/03/15

I'd think the potential impact on his self-esteem would be part of what a good counselling psychologist would take into account, and would depend very much on how everything was explained to him. I don't think a lifetime of explanations is required, if he understands what is happening now.
He will need to see a paediatrician or child psychiatrist for re-assessment before styarting on medication for ADHD, and their opinion would be most important in reaching the decision about what to do about schooling.

Reply to cybershrink

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