This little boy is my Joy Boy.

He is so special to me for multiple reasons besides the obvious ones that he is my son and I’ve spent more time in the hospital with him than any of the others… and that was outside of giving birth to him on my 30th birthday! I’ve trained him well, he tells everyone… “I’m going to be 8 in September and mommy’s 30!”

He is in grade 2 this year and it’s been another difficult one. Last year, he struggled in grade 1 but I am still convinced it had more to do with his teacher than him. This year, however… isn’t any better.

Last week his teacher called us to say that if he doesn’t improve… he will have to repeat this year.

I don’t know what to do. Some have suggested taking him out and homeschooling him and others have said I need to get him tested… tested.… that word scares me. He excels in math (gets A’s) and any social aspect of school (I wonder where he gets that from… no social butterflies here…) He is very smart quick & funny, but he is struggling terribly, especially in spelling & writing. It takes him 2 hours to write out 5 sentences. He can verbalize what he wants to write but can’t get the thoughts onto paper. He has a month to get it in gear.

Any suggestions, outside of the ones I’ve already mentioned?


I'm the Cool Mom of 4, Married to the Preacher Man, but at times I'm a little more Sass than Saint!

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  1. I have learned that "testing" and "labelling" aren't always a bad thing. Can the school offer the testing for free? Or are they all used? Mr. H was IEP'd and it was great for him. Only in the subjects he needed extra help. Now the teachers are encouraging him to move up to the applied courses in school…he was a "better late then early" kid…

  2. Um, my word verification was hicalgod LOL!!

  3. Your story sounds very similar to my oldest, Brandon. In grade 1 he was still really struggling with reading and writing but no trouble at all with communication, then in late grade 1 and early grade 2 he started having frustration outbursts. Fortunately he had the same teacher for K-2, she was awesome and really saw past the behavior and saw his potential. She had him tested for many different things, from ADD to other learning 'differences', they did find that he has short term memory problems, which relays into too many instructions cause him to forget and get frustrated, which is why reading is trouble, too many rules to remember! The school testing process really is no big deal, they keep you informed and here they have an order that they have to go through to rule things out one at a time. The outcome gave Brandon a diagnosis and help at school which has been awesome! Be encouraged!!

    On the other hand I did pull Brandon from school this year, Grade 4, because his teacher this year was terrible and was causing Brandon to go backwards. After many meetings and much frustration I pulled him and have been homeschooling him since Christmas. He will go back to school in Sept with a different teacher which gives me the push I need to get through until then. It is not easy but we will do anything for our kids, especially when they are hurting and struggling. I hope I have been able to give some encouragement, hang in there Shannon, comtinue to love and support him, that is the best!

  4. oh sweetie, don't let those words like testing freak you out… i mean, it's a scary thing as a mom to think that your child might have some sort of issue, BUT figuring out if something is going on is so key. you know all about my struggles with Josh and his speech when he was younger – and we're not out of the woods with him yet because he's got some issues with reading and language still. if you have the option of having him tested then DO it… it's the key to figuring out how his little mind is working and helping him make sense of his challenges. ((((((Hugs)))))) and of course, alongside all of this, and before you do anything, pray… our heavenly Father knows just what is going on with your sweet boy.

  5. Oh, parenting is so hard, isn't it?

    The word "testing" scares me, too, but I do think it could help you figure out what could be going on.

    I know I had learning disabilities in school and once they figured out the "right" way to teach me, things became a million times easier.

    Does the school offer free testing? Or the county? Though it sounds scary, the more information you have, the better.

    He is adorable. Best of luck!!!

  6. Thanks Ruth, Meranda, Krista and Jill.

    The school doesn't offer testing but they do suggest it, that started last year but it was for hearing and an eye exam. Which are always stage 1 for the ADD/ADHD tests…

    I'll have to speak to his teacher to see if this testing – of any kind – is available.

  7. Shash, you might also read about dysgraphia and see if it seems to fit your son. It can sometimes come after a neurological trauma. Maybe the head splitting incident could have been a factor?

  8. You are in the same province as me and I KNOW that they have to make testing available to you for free. You may have to get a referral of some kind but maybe not. I suggest calling your local mental health people and/or your family doctor. Your family doctor can refer you to a pediatrician and he/she can for sure help you out. Also I think the school should have resources as well- our schools out in the sticks are required to so it would only make sense that city schools would too. Educational Psychologists are amazing if you can get in to see one. You can also request an IEP (Individualized Education plan) for him. Fight for it my friend. It IS worth it in the end.

    Don't be afraid of the testing. It has done nothing but help us and my son.

    Praying 🙂

  9. My 2nd to the oldest child, Jordan, was excelling in every subject but reading. His teacher and I talked and we came to the conclusion that we would work with each other to get him on track.

    She sends him home with the reading material a week in advance and we read, analyze discuss, read, analyze, and discuss again. Over the last few weeks he's show great progress!

    Hugs and Mocha,

  10. I am pretty sure the teacher needs to give you some sort of letter to explain whats going on with him, you take him to the dr, and get refered to a pediatrician and then she recommends things you can do
    google research queen you can find some natural remedies online for focus and you know what else Arrianna can't write a proper sentance either and no one has complained to me they say keep reading and working with her and it will come. Prayer and declaration and working with him will suceed. Also the best info i got from a friend is that there is child and youth workers available at the school for free to help strategies give me a call if you need anything free help !!! You should surprise visit the school too to see him in the classroom for an afternoon…

  11. Thanks Joann, I checked out that definition. A lot does make sense. Not the physical muscle stuff but not being able to get the b, d, p, or q's straight. It did start when he had to start writing, although he's had a "focus" issue for a long time.

    I don't think it was related to his head trauma, although that has me questioning all that… they never x-ray'd him… ever. I don't even think my doctor checked him out afterwards, other to look at the stitches.

    I have to go into the school this week… I'll get more info from his teacher, in person. So far… today has been a good day for him.

    P.S. he lost his two front teeth this weekend. He looks hilarious. 🙂

  12. All kids develop at different paces. It could just be that he's not ready for that much writing yet. My daughter still doesn't write much, and she's in 9th grade. She has gotten much better this year.

    Add to general unreadiness is the fact that he's a "boy", and their fine muscle skills (necessary for prolonged writing) may not be "there" yet. And if he's working so hard to just form the letters, it may be more than he can do to think and write at the same time. Can he copy?

    You didn't say if he's reading well … ? If not, that could be a clue, also.

    And if there are problems, it's best to identify them now, before he thinks he can't succeed in school.

    hugs to you.

  13. you know of course my struggle with Foo and her learning….did you know dysgraphia (sp?) runs in our family!!! it's very strong and these types of learning differences do tend to run in families…they are pretty sure that is what Faith's an audio processing disorder…Faith's teacher has to mark her work over letting the other kids do it (remember the dread of passing your test forward for another kid to mark your work!??! yikes I hated that) anyways they were marking her wrong cuz her letters are backwards but the teacher said she knows what she is trying to say…and she can communicate very well!! she can spell her words all correctly outloud but doesn't do it right when writing it out!
    I know you will find the right path for LiLi…he has the best momma ever…well cept for his Auntie Lala..I kind of rock to 🙂

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