View Full Version : ADHD School frustrations with trying to skip grades.


Silvercloud
12-05-13, 02:34 AM
I am very frustrated and I am not sure what to do. I have a 6 year old daughter who has ADHD (thus why I am on this forum). My daughter is always board in her 1st grade class. When she is on her medication she can focus and is an extremely quick learner. I have been trying to get her passed into second grade but the school is trying to discourage it. I was very upset when they gave her a 10 page math test in a class full of students talking and playing and 55 minutes to complete it and told me that it was proof that she is not ready for second grade.

I am not sure what to do. With my ADHD growing up I always had to work extremely hard to keep up with my peers, so now it is hard to know what is best for my child who has the opposite issue and is ahead of her peers.

Examples of things that I feel means that she is ready for 2nd grade.
1) she is reading chapter books

2) She learned how to do double digit addition with regrouping in 10 minutes even though she had never done more then single digit addition in school. She then completed 2 pages of it without 1 wrong answer.

3) I spend 3 minutes explaining what times (multiplication) is and then I ask her " what is 3x3" and she said "9 silly". She also understood that 4X1=4 and that anything x0 would be nothing.

Now please let me know your opinions.... I am not one to be offended if you think I am doing something wrong, I just want what is best for my daughter.

dvdnvwls
12-05-13, 03:11 AM
Welcome to the forum.

I was in a similar situation when I was in first grade. I had ADHD but we never knew (wasn't diagnosed till my 40s), and was far ahead in learning concepts. The problem is immaturity - kids with ADHD are approximately 30% behind other kids in emotional maturity - regardless of being ahead in school. From 1st grade to 2nd grade is not a big deal that way - being like a 5-year-old with the 7-year-olds is not all that bad - but fast forward to 6th grade, and being emotionally like she's 7-and-a-half when she's with kids who are 11 - you can see the problems coming, right?

sarahsweets
12-05-13, 05:05 AM
I personally don't see the point in skipping grades at such a young age. When shes in fourth of fifth grade maybe but the social skills she is learning now are more important than skipping ahead a grade.

LynneC
12-05-13, 06:52 AM
Hi silvercloud, and welcome...:)
I agree with the prior two posts; she will gain benefit socially by staying with her peers. Perhaps you could talk with her teacher about how to keep your daughter from becoming bored is the classroom when her work is finished. Some ideas would be letting her read a chapter book, letting her draw or color if she likes to do those things, and helping the teacher with small tasks like passing out worksheets, collecting student work, etc...

You may want to have her tested for giftedness as well; not sure what age the testing can be done though...(testing by a child psychologist or developmental pediatrician who is qualifiied to assess a young child)

Corina86
12-05-13, 07:48 AM
I agree with Sarahsweets. I was among the 4 best students in my class from 1st to 4th grade (7-11 years old in Romania), due to getting a lot of help from my parent as well as from my main teacher, but I was way behind on social skills, physical education, not to mention lack of focus, attention and memory. Being with older peers could've been damaging for my self-esteem, because I would've felt like a freak from an earlier age (I started to feel like one during puberty anyway).

Ms. Mango
12-05-13, 11:16 PM
Schools don't like to skip bright kids, even those without ADHD. You're fighting a losing battle; time to change tactics.

Consider getting some private testing done with a neuropsych or psychologist. S/he may also be helpful in coming up with educational strategies the school may agree to. Maybe some academic differentiation now and the possibility of graduating early down the road.

Check out the Wrightslaw website to see what accommodations she can receive. Some states provide IEPs for gifted students. Also check out the eric (.gov) site and hogiesgifted for ideas and resources for gifted kids.

CrazyLazyGal
12-06-13, 12:27 AM
I could have skipped grades many times but didn't. I read Little House on the Prairie in 1st grade even though I had only started to learn English 2-3 years earlier. I had all 50 states memorized in kindergarten. I figured out the Rubik's Cube on my own in 3rd grade, and I can still do it. So academically, I was ahead of my peers by a lot. Socially, however, I was and still am behind my peers.

Some of my classmates skipped grades. Those classmates later struggled either for social or educational reasons. Eventually they turned out fine, but they had to go through some tough times.

Better for her to be the brightest kid in her grade than to struggle in a higher grade. Kids with ADHD are already at a higher risk of having low self esteem.

JenE
12-06-13, 12:22 PM
I never skipped any grades in school but because of the age cut off I was one of the youngest, one of the smallest in my class each year. All my friends were at least 6mos older and most were a full year older. I graduated high school valedictorian but socially, I was behind always. I was also very introverted so I never felt like I fit in. My non-ADHD DD is in the same boat agewise. She is very bright and does fine in school but all her classmates are older. At least she is more outgoing so she does better socially than I did.

My ADHD son is also very bright and possibly even gifted in mathematics but he is so much less mature than his friends that moving him up would be a disaster. The social skills as just as important as the academics.

I would leave them where they are and pursue additional or more challenging assignments within the classroom. Perhaps she can even help other classmates as a "study buddy".

Abi
12-06-13, 03:50 PM
I CANNOT STRESS HOW STRONGLY I ADVISE AGAINST GRADE SKIPPING

I was jumped straight from Grade 1 to Grade 3 due to being supposedly 'gifted'. I had no problems academically, but I'd just gotten used to my Grade 1 friends, and I got thrown in with a bunch of older kids (and I was/am immature for my age anyway). These kids were strangers, and they resented me for having been "the chosen one" for having skipped a grade.

I was bullied to the point of needing psychological intervention. Later I became friends with the bullies and bullied others (among various other behavioural problems such as ditching school, ditching class, stealing, etc.)

The Principal was lax with me cos of my grades and my performance in countrywide olympiads and other academic competitions which made the school look good. As a result, some (not all) teachers became resentful towards me and bullied me over stupid things.

I could go on and on... but the bottom line is

GRADE SKIPPING IS UNHEALTHY FOR EVEN NT CHILDREN. FOR NEURODIVERSE CHILDREN, IT'S DISASTEROUS

I still resent my father for encouraging the school to skip me (amoung a long list of other things.)

Don't make the same mistake. Let her have as "normal" a childhood and young-adulthood as possible.

Again, I can't find the words to stress how strongly I discourage this.

Abi
12-06-13, 03:52 PM
OH, and welcome to ADDF and stuff :)

Silvercloud
12-06-13, 05:36 PM
Thank you everyone, I have been reading everything and I am taking it all under advisement. :) How would I know if she is "gifted"? I don't know if she is just very smart, or if it is something more then that toward the gifted spectrum. I know she does a lot of things that are not normal for her age, but I dont know if she is just into the stuff because she has so much energy and spare time from going 100 miles per hour. She also loves medical books and learning how the body works, and everything to do with prenatal development. Also I am not sure how to handle things like her wanting a suture (sp?) kit for x-mass so she can learn to sew wounds. Her love of medical stuff is really separating her from her peers and they don't want to be around her very much.

TygerSan
12-06-13, 06:08 PM
Can you enroll her in a science club or something? That's what helped me out when I was admittedly a bit older.

I had my parents read me first aid books as bed time stories

I once took a mole that our cat had killed, grabbed the dissection kit that I got for the holidays, and dissected it with the kids in the neighborhood watching. I think they thought it was pretty cool? :scratch:

I like to think I came out ok. Wound up being a scientist, too.

Abi
12-06-13, 07:42 PM
I agree with Tyger. Provide her with books. Let her join a science club, speech and drama classes, chess club, etc.

Get her a telescope. When she's older, a chemistry kit. Classic literature. Computer programming. Etc, etc.

Hml1976
12-06-13, 08:33 PM
So I have a 7yr old with ADHD who is highly gifted, has an IQ in the 98% blah blah etc.

We sent him to a private catholic school. It isn't very expensive in the grand scheme of these things about 5k a year, a lot less than the fancier private school. He's in a class of about a dozen kids and gets to work at his own level while not skipping grades and staying in his peer group. It's worth giving up vacations and a new car for us to send him there.

I realize this isn't an option for everyone but I thought I would share our experience as an alternative. It is in my limited experience difficult to get help for gifted children in public schools, depending on your district of course.

ETA we aren't Catholic.

Ms. Mango
12-07-13, 02:28 PM
Thank you everyone, I have been reading everything and I am taking it all under advisement. :) How would I know if she is "gifted"? I don't know if she is just very smart, or if it is something more then that toward the gifted spectrum. I know she does a lot of things that are not normal for her age, but I dont know if she is just into the stuff because she has so much energy and spare time from going 100 miles per hour. She also loves medical books and learning how the body works, and everything to do with prenatal development. Also I am not sure how to handle things like her wanting a suture (sp?) kit for x-mass so she can learn to sew wounds. Her love of medical stuff is really separating her from her peers and they don't want to be around her very much.

The school or your own hired gun (neuropsych or psychologist) can test for giftedness--they'd administer an IQ test. You might want to consider private testing because, if you're dealing with a gifted child, she's 2E (twice exceptional, having both a high IQ and ADHD). Some additional testing might be helpful to find her strengths and weaknesses.

The school will always be looking out for its best interests, someone you hire will be your resource for making informed decisions for your DD. Private testing can be expensive though, so it's not an option for everyone. Insurance may cover it, call your provider to find out.

Abi's post makes me think about my SIL. My ILs pretty much demanded that she be skipped a grade in elementary school. I think they did it more for themselves than for her. (I'm not even remotely implying that's what you're doing.) While they were bragging to their friends and relatives that their daughter skipped a grade they failed to consider what that would mean as she got older. High school was a big problem--for them. They didn't want her getting attention from boys nearly five years older, they didn't want her making friends with kids with licenses--and cars, getting invited to parties, etc.

Worse than that, grade skipping is a bust unless you're profoundly gifted across all areas and have the maturity to deal with a courseload (homework) more intense than is generally appropriate for your chronological age. My SIL was smart, but wasn't working 1+ grades above in all areas. High school was difficult because she struggled in math and science. So, instead of staying with kids her age and being one of the top performers in her grade, she moved up and was more middle of the road academically.

Another thing is that teaching and learning have changed since I went to school (maybe not for you, though, I'm pretty old :rolleyes:). There is such an emphasis on collaborative learning! This really demands social skills that ADHD kids struggle with. My DS is in 5th grade and is finally becomming more comfortable working with others in groups.

The problems of gifted kids are real. You have to be creative and find other avenues of learning, outside of school, that satisfy this type of kid. You feel that her interests are such that it is a turn off for her peers, but I guarantee you that 2nd graders won't be any more fascinated with her grasp of medical information. Try and find some outlets for her to express her interests but also see if she has interests in common with kids her age to help her socially.

Abi
12-07-13, 02:51 PM
I think they did it more for themselves than for her. (I'm not even remotely implying that's what you're doing.) While they were bragging to their friends and relatives that their daughter skipped a grade they failed to consider what that would mean as she got older

This.