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Old 09-30-2009, 08:39 AM
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Why is my 5th grader slow?

Is my child too slow? My daughter is 11 years old and in 5th grade. Since she was in Kindergarten the teachers would say, she gets distracted easily and she doesn’t finish her tasks. This went on through 4th grade. I took her to a psychologist and she tested for any learning disabilities and they found nothing wrong with her. Was told she needed to learn to stay motivated. She maintains very good grades but since beginning 5th grades some of her grades are dropping because she is not completing her task. The teacher says she knows the work but is very slow and sometimes looks like she is daydreaming, she takes her time with her tasks. What should I do?
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Old 09-30-2009, 10:27 AM
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5th grade was a problem for my dd1 but she settled down after the 1st quarter. The teacher said is was teenage hormons,

I would take your concerns to your doctor and go from there as it sounds like she has ADD or she could be having small sezures where she loses focus on the tasks in front of her.

Roberta
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Old 09-30-2009, 10:32 AM
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Interesting question! I am going to tell you what I know based on my experience as a parent (my kids are 17, 13, and 7) and as a teacher. I've taught grades 1, 2, 5, 7, 8, high school and college.

Some kids just plain work at slower paces than other kids.

In terms of being distracted easily, what have you observed at home, when she is doing homework, reading for pleasure, or doing household tasks? Is she slow doing those things? Can she stay "on task" at home and complete work in a reasonable time frame?

Because I have taught on many levels and because most years I taught foreign language, I spent my days traveling from classroom to classroom. I cannot believe how overstimulating the elementary classrooms are! There was hardly any blackboard space for me to write on. The teachers had stuff all over the walls, windows, hanging from the ceiling, just everywhere. I had trouble concentrating and I'm an adult! So, what is her environment at school like? If she can't concentrate, perhaps she could use a "library carrel" to help focus her attention.

You might also want to get in touch with the Child Study Team at your school and see about getting your daughter evaluated. If she really DOES need the extra time, then it will need to be built into a 504 plan or IEP. This way it cannot be denied her, and will also come in handy when she has to take standardized tests.
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Old 09-30-2009, 10:36 AM
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I agree with Roberta to talk to your doctor. Sounds like she might have ADD.
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Old 09-30-2009, 11:12 AM
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thank you all for your responses. her environment at home is pretty stable. when we get home i have her lay out all her homework and i tell her to do the least hardest first & i ask her how much time will she allow herself to finish it and that seems to work sometimes not all the time.there are when she will finish very quickly, its not always consistent. but most of the time it does take her a while to finish her work
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Old 09-30-2009, 04:15 PM
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Cindy, when I asked about her "environment" at home I meant the physical, not emotional environment. Sorry I wasn't clear about that. What I meant was, does she have a place to do her homework that is free from distractions like TV, radio, computers, other people if they cause her to lose her concentration.

What does her classroom look like? Is there stuff all over? Posters, word walls, charts everywhere? Stuff hanging from ceilings? Is she visually stimulated every second?
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Old 09-30-2009, 04:45 PM
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barbszy, thank you. yes at home she has a place where she does her homework all the time, no distractions. she just takes her sweet time, like no worry in the world. her classroom does seem a little cluttered. her teacher says that sometimes she finishes on time and other times she will work a little than stop, than start again as if no worry. her teacher seems to think its an attitude that "oh, well, if i don't finish so what"; but i don't think its that. she just takes a long time to finish
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Old 10-01-2009, 05:58 AM
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Cindy ,

I also have an 11 year old son who is in 5th grade with exactly the same thing that you are describing. He started having his problems much earlier. I was sent to several different doctors, counselors and psychologists. First, they said that it was a behaviorial issue and put him in classrooms that were geared for those type of children. Then they said that he was "slow" and put him in classrooms with mentally retarded children. Then we were told that he had autism and was put on medications that made him turn into a total zombie. This all happened from the time he was 4 until the time he was 7 years old - so for a full 3 years I went from feeling like I was a horrible mom to just plain desperate for someone to help my son. He was diagnosed with severe ADHD when he was 7. We had to go through several different medications to find the right one for him but over the past two years he has been a totally different child in a good way. He is able to focus much better, he has gone from behind in grade level to right where he is supposed to be, and in some subjects is actually ahead of the game. Most arent as severe as my son, some just have the ADD rather than the ADHD (Attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder)

I'm not saying that is what your daughter has but it may be something you might want to have her tested for.

I do feel for you - hang in there - you are definitely NOT alone!!!



Quote:
Originally Posted by cindy4155
Is my child too slow? My daughter is 11 years old and in 5th grade. Since she was in Kindergarten the teachers would say, she gets distracted easily and she doesn’t finish her tasks. This went on through 4th grade. I took her to a psychologist and she tested for any learning disabilities and they found nothing wrong with her. Was told she needed to learn to stay motivated. She maintains very good grades but since beginning 5th grades some of her grades are dropping because she is not completing her task. The teacher says she knows the work but is very slow and sometimes looks like she is daydreaming, she takes her time with her tasks. What should I do?
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Old 10-01-2009, 06:25 AM
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dear angeleye915,
You don't know how relieved i am to hear your story and i am happy that things are better for your son. your response hit it right on the nose, i too felt like a horrible mom. we took her to see a psychologists, she spoke to my husband, myself and my daughter, than she spoke with my daughter by herself. She gave me a questionaire and one for my daughters teachers, after she reviewed our responses she said my daugher was a normal child and nothing was wrong. at first i felt great about it, but as we started 5th grade with the same problems (not finishing her task and takes her time at everything) i am beginning to wonder if i have to take her back or am i just trying to find a quick fix. i am very confused and feel helpless. on this website i heard a talk from Rick Lavoie who wrote the motivation book and i could relate to what he said about motivating the kid that is tuned-out. i might just read up on that and buy the book for her teacher as well. Thank you all for your wonderful responses. this is a great forum.
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Old 01-29-2010, 05:15 AM
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Cindy, my middle daughter had problems in school too. When she was 3 yrs old, she was diagnosed with retarded bone structure. Her brain had only grown to the size of a 1 & a 1/2 yr old baby. She didn't walk on her own til she was almost 2 yrs old. They said she may grow out of it but then she may stay that way the rest of her life. I was devasted!! She has always been almost 2 yrs behind her age level. I had her tested at school because she was failing.. I couldn't make the teachers & psychologists understand this. They would test her & say she did better than what they expected. But still she was failing, yet they wouldn't hold her back. Finally when she was in the 6th grade, they tested her again & said she needed to be in the special ed class. I had been telling them that since day 1! That teacher was wonderful!!! He worked with her & the other students in the class & was able to help them get passing grades. Special ed classes don't mean a child is retarded.. they are a little slower at learning what they need to know & they need the extra help & the time to learn it at their own pace.

I would keep after the school psychologist to test her periodically. Also have your doctor have her tested for ADD. She may just have a problem concentrating on what she needs to do.

Please keep us posted on how she is doing.
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