Retaining a year or not?

Discussion in 'Special Ed 101' started by Sunshine1966, Mar 25, 2008.

  1. Sunshine1966

    Sunshine1966 New Member

    My difficult child is 5 and has been in his current developmental preschool program for almost 2 1/2 years. The school is suggesting that he go into kindergarten with some services. I am really not comfortable with him jumping from a class of 10-13 kids to a class of over 23! He is not emotionally mature (closer to age 3 in that area) and struggles with a lot of the gross and fine motor skills.

    We had him tested by a neuropyschologist last December and she recommended keeping him in preschool program for another year to give him time to mature and be more prepared for kindergarten.

    What are some of the experiences you have had and is there any good research on retaining children with developmental delay? I have found lots of research on redshirting children in general but nothing specific for kids with learning disabilities, etc.

    I really want him to be ready for whatever he goes into. I don't want to hold him back but I see him get so frustrated with the little things and don't want him to feel like a failure or that he 'can't do it' as he seems to say a lot lately.

    Anyone's advice or experience would be greatly appreciated!
  2. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator

  3. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    We were in the middle of the first round of assessments when it was time to start kindergarten so I opted for another year of preschoool, despite the fact that difficult child was academically miles ahead of his peers.

    With a March birthday he's the oldest in his class and he occasionally has grumbled about that, but I've never once regretted making this choice.
  4. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    I retained both Eeyore and Piglet. I had them redo first grade. With hindsight, it was the best decision I made for both of them. Eeyore is almost 2 years older than most of his classmates as he was already one of the oldest--just missed the cutoff by a few days. He did start liking girls before the other boys in his class but other than that, he fits in perfectly. His diagnosis at the time was daughter. He will be in all regular classes starting in September. Piglet 'graduated' from her IEP over a year ago.

    Go with your mommy instinct. If you feel that now is the right time to retain, then go for it. If you don't retain, you could always decide again after Kindergarten and again after 1st grade.
  5. AmyH

    AmyH New Member

    My difficult child was retained in Kdg. the first few years it was great then in about third grade he decided he was board. Personally I think it was a good move because he is not mature enough to be with the older kids. He is 12 and plays better with 6-7 year olds. But as far as intelligence he is above the rest. He sees no sense in doing homework because it is to easy so he struggles to make good grades. It is a catch 22 either way. I think schools should adapt more to kiddos who fall in this catagory.
  6. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    I agree with others who have suggested going with your mommy instinct.
    If your little one isn't socially mature enough to manage, AND will be in a much larger classroom, then retaining for a year might be a very good idea.

    We kept difficult child back a year in primary school, and then again in high school. Although he's very bright, he is much younger than his years socially and didn't have the self-discipline to manage the academic requirements even with 1:1 support. Even now at 18, he has the social maturity of a much younger child (7 to 12 years old, depending on the day...trending toward older since he's been at Residential Treatment Center (RTC))

    I think advancing him with his age group would have made school even more difficult for difficult child than it was.

    Hope this helps,
  7. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    I would vote for another year of preschool. I substitute teach, and it's easy to see that some of the little guys in kindergarten are just not quite ready to be there. They struggle with the work, they struggle with pencils, they struggle with sitting still, and then they do get discouraged and unhappy. I personally believe it's better to start school a year later than to be held back.
  8. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    We started K in Kindergarten when she was 6, I don't think of it as holding her back since she was not socially ready despite being in school since 2 1/2 yo!!! She was not ready... She is now able to "keep up" with the other kids. She is academically way ahead... but who cares. I think there will always be smarter kids? Her Pre-school did not want to advance her either.
    But for her, and the seriousness of her issues I think it was smart. She may hate me for it later??? I was older than most of my classmates and LOVED it...

    good luck with your decision
  9. Martie

    Martie Moderator


    Here is what the research literature says:

    Delaying school entrance may be helpful ESPECIALLY for boys who are "young in grade" or immature. If a child never "starts" he or she does not feel the stigma that can be and often is associated with retention.

    As you can see from the responses, it CAN work to repeated KDG or first grade, but it also can backfire. My cousin who is four months older than I am, started school a year ahead of me and then repeated first grade. This was a life-time ago and she still bears the scars of being the "dumb" kid in the family, although her family did not view her that way, but everyone in school did.

    Retention for older kids almost NEVER works: an IEP and continuing with same age peers is a much better solution. Occasionally someone will anecdotally report it turned out well to hold back an immature 5th grade boy for a year
    before middle school. This may be true anecdotally but research does not show this for larger groups.

    I did NOT hold my son despite his being very immature, and with a May birthday, young in grade, despite being urged to do so by the SD. I knew his problems were emotional and that he had no LDs, gross or fine motor problems. He had formed relationships in a public school junior KDG class that was going on to KDG together, and he would have felt like my cousin if he had be retained (this would not have been a delay because he was already "in a class." Further, he "stuck out" plenty without what would have felt like a retention to him added in. Also, I knew where he was academically, so even delaying was not a good idea from my point of view. The public school did not know what to do with a kid in KDG who could do long division, so he didn't need to be older, he needed to mature emotionally, and he did eventually but it took about 10 years. Some people fear ED more than other problems, but it is the one disability from which complete recovery is possible. Ex-difficult child will be 21 next month and he graduated from h.s. at 18. I am really glad he wasn't 19. All this is JUST my opinion. I would go with your gut. If you feel that a RETENTION is likely in KDG or first grade, you are far better off with delaying entrance in my opinion.

  10. Christy

    Christy New Member

    Now is an excellent time to give your child an extra year. It will be much harder if you choose to do so in the future. Is the specail needs preschool part of the school district? If so, are they allowing you to make the decision. If so, go for it. If they are reluctant try to use the neurologists reccomendation to sway them.
    Good Luck