What to do with a kid who's just slow?

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LostAngeles
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Post by LostAngeles »

Generalissimo's giving some very good advice here. Your (step)son could use a tutor or a "study buddy". If he has a good friend that's doing the same work, but better you can always enlist them. Or better yet, talk to the school and have them give up an honor student. Said student will now have something nice on thei college app.

If the school did the testing, try and see if there's another facility around you that will do the testing. Just my experience, but sometimes the schools don't want to bother.

Carlos
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Re: What to do with a kid who's just slow?

Post by Carlos »

Sundog wrote:

Suggestions are welcome, with thanks.
Hi Sundog:

13 is a crucial age in any kid.

My wife and I have 4 teenagers. My daughter is now 13. She is a good student though , but we also care all them with love and respect.

Maybe calling your step son "slow" is not the best thing you can do.
Kids have many kind of reactions , most of their "wierd" reactions are because it is the way they are trying to show us that something else is going wrong.
You and your wife know him better than us.

An advice?
Well, I am always with the power of love. But maybe a cheap one is to give yourself time to be with him.
Just both of two , alone. Maybe a camping , maybe just a walk, maybe just a trip to another place.
Look, at that age , boys are opening to a new sexual life. Tell him how it was your experience at that age, if you don't have any ....invent one . Talk with him about different topics , avoid to mention the school stuff.
When he will listening to you, he can find the afinity that maybe it is lost. He can see you as a friend or like a daddy he can trust .
Forget about punishments about TV or games.

Help him knowing about him a little more. Your asking for advice is good. You want something better for him.
And being OK with him is being OK in your marriage.
The answer it is inside you.
Good luck.

Thanks,
Carlos

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Sundog
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Re: What to do with a kid who's just slow?

Post by Sundog »

Carlos wrote:
Sundog wrote:

Suggestions are welcome, with thanks.
Hi Sundog:

13 is a crucial age in any kid.

My wife and I have 4 teenagers. My daughter is now 13. She is a good student though , but we also care all them with love and respect.

Maybe calling your step son "slow" is not the best thing you can do.
:shock: I would never demean him by doing so.
Kids have many kind of reactions , most of their "wierd" reactions are because it is the way they are trying to show us that something else is going wrong.
You and your wife know him better than us.

An advice?
Well, I am always with the power of love. But maybe a cheap one is to give yourself time to be with him.
Just both of two , alone. Maybe a camping , maybe just a walk, maybe just a trip to another place.
Look, at that age , boys are opening to a new sexual life. Tell him how it was your experience at that age, if you don't have any ....invent one . Talk with him about different topics , avoid to mention the school stuff.
When he will listening to you, he can find the afinity that maybe it is lost. He can see you as a friend or like a daddy he can trust .
Forget about punishments about TV or games.
It wouldn't be punishment. Punishment is useless in this situation. He really does spend WAY too much time in front of a tube and needs to cut down. I should have made that clearer.

Help him knowing about him a little more. Your asking for advice is good. You want something better for him.
And being OK with him is being OK in your marriage.
The answer it is inside you.
Good luck.

Thanks,
Carlos
It's a difficult situation. The kid's father is a lowlife who only bothers to take the time to see them every couple of months, and who owes over $30,000 in back child support, but the boy naturally worships his dad. It's difficult for me to find the right balance, I think he really doesn't like me very much. I can't blame him, I'm not his real dad.

I appreciate your obviously sincere advice and good wishes.

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Mycroft
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Re: What to do with a kid who's just slow?

Post by Mycroft »

Sundog wrote:
Carlos wrote:
Sundog wrote:
It's a difficult situation. The kid's father is a lowlife who only bothers to take the time to see them every couple of months, and who owes over $30,000 in back child support, but the boy naturally worships his dad. It's difficult for me to find the right balance, I think he really doesn't like me very much. I can't blame him, I'm not his real dad.
Maybe his problem has more to do with depression than with anything else. Would your insurance cover some psych evaluations?

Also, what subjects is he getting B's in? What subjects is he failing?

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Sundog
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Re: What to do with a kid who's just slow?

Post by Sundog »

Mycroft wrote: Maybe his problem has more to do with depression than with anything else. Would your insurance cover some psych evaluations?
Yes (it covered mine ;) ). I think this is worth doing anyway. Whether it's a cause or a result I think he is showing definite signs of it.
Also, what subjects is he getting B's in? What subjects is he failing?
He does well in history, believe it or not! His main problems are in science and math, especially math.

Here's an anecdote that might shed some light. The other day at lunch we were eating soup, and he was using a fork instead of a spoon. What on Earth that indicates is beyond me but it's the sort of thing he does. Another example: He can't get the names of his stepsisters (my daughters) straight, though he's known them all his life. Now what's up with that? :?

Another example: Not long ago he forgot the word "train" as referring to a locomotive. Simply couldn't pull up the word.

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TruthSeeker
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Post by TruthSeeker »

Given your anecdotes, I'll repeat what I said before....have him assessed by a licensed neuropsychologist. He/she will be able to assess depression as well as learning disabilities, memory or cognitive problems, minimal brains dysfunction etc. In other words, something far more comprehensive than a learning disability assessment

Good luck.

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Sundog
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Post by Sundog »

TruthSeeker wrote:Given your anecdotes, I'll repeat what I said before....have him assessed by a licensed neuropsychologist. He/she will be able to assess depression as well as learning disabilities, memory or cognitive problems, minimal brains dysfunction etc. In other words, something far more comprehensive than a learning disability assessment

Good luck.
I think you are absolutely right.

When he's back from spending the summer at his loser dad's I intend to get the ball rolling on this. Thanks very much for your input.

Saxlover
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Post by Saxlover »

First of all I'd like to say this.
There is nothing wrong with being slow. Some people are not academic, there is no shame in that.

These sites might be of interest to you.

http://www.ldonline.org/
http://www.ld.org/LDInfoZone/InfoZone_FactSheet_LD.cfm


What are the Signs of a Learning Disability?
There is no one sign that shows a person has a learning disability. Experts look for a noticeable difference between how well a child does in school and how well he or she could do, given his or her intelligence or ability. There are also certain clues that may mean a child has a learning disability. We've listed a few below. Most relate to elementary school tasks, because learning disabilities tend to be identified in elementary school. A child probably won't show all of these signs, or even most of them. However, if a child shows a number of these problems, then parents and the teacher should consider the possibility that the child has a learning disability.

When a child has a learning disability, he or she:

may have trouble learning the alphabet, rhyming words, or connecting letters to their sounds;
may make many mistakes when reading aloud, and repeat and pause often;
may not understand what he or she reads;
may have real trouble with spelling;
may have very messy handwriting or hold a pencil awkwardly;
may struggle to express ideas in writing;
may learn language late and have a limited vocabulary;
may have trouble remembering the sounds that letters make or hearing slight differences between words;
may have trouble understanding jokes, comic strips, and sarcasm;
may have trouble following directions;
may mispronounce words or use a wrong word that sounds similar;
may have trouble organizing what he or she wants to say or not be able to think of the word he or she needs for writing or conversation;
may not follow the social rules of conversation, such as taking turns, and may stand too close to the listener;
may confuse math symbols and misread numbers;
may not be able to retell a story in order (what happened first, second, third); or
may not know where to begin a task or how to go on from there.
If a child has unexpected problems learning to read, write, listen, speak, or do math, then teachers and parents may want to investigate more. The same is true if the child is struggling to do any one of these skills. The child may need to be evaluated to see if he or she has a learning disability. IDEA's Definition of "Learning Disability"
Our nation's special education law, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, defines a specific learning disability as . . .

". . . a disorder in one or more of the basic psychological processes involved in understanding or in using language, spoken or written, that may manifest itself in an imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell, or do mathematical calculations, including conditions such as perceptual disabilities, brain injury, minimal brain dysfunction, dyslexia, and developmental aphasia."

However, learning disabilities do not include, "…learning problems that are primarily the result of visual, hearing, or motor disabilities, of mental retardation, of emotional disturbance, or of environmental, cultural, or economic disadvantage." 34 Code of Federal Regulations §300.7(c)(10)

A child with learning disabilities needs understanding and emotional support, as well as opportunities to experience success in other activities. Allowing a child to release tensions and frustrations through sports or artistic activities can be helpful.
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/lear ... rders.html
http://www.ldaca.org/gram/thompson.htm

For the boy.

http://www.sparktop.org/intro.htmlA Kids' Only website where no two brains spark alike - a place where kids who learn differently can create awesome stuff... play
great games... connect with other kids... and discover new ways to succeed in school and in life


http://www.dyslexia.com/
http://www.dyslexia-teacher.com/

I hope this helps him and you need to be just as involved as his mum.

Saxlover
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Post by Saxlover »

You mentioned he reads well. Have you heard him read?

kitty
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Post by kitty »

well I teach at a school, and have a daughter with severe learning disabilities. Her school (where I work) didn't want to test her as she was doing "well". I just knew she wasn't.

If a kid can get B's in some classes and is not even up to average levels in others it's a big "learning disability" flag. The school can make modifications, but you need to keep pushing for more testing. Getting others involved is great. Also the parent that complains gets the services. Sad, but true. Looking for a word, that is such an indicator of language processing problems. Reading has nothing to do with it! Remember, the schools have limited budgets. They don't want another child with a learning disability. Very simple solutions can help though. Many of the children at our public school qualify for double sets of books. One set stays at school, the other at home. That is because while these children are working on remembering to bring home thier books, until they have learned it, they have a double set. They aren't lazy. They usually have some form of ADD. It's really a LOT harder for them! The sad thing is that children with learning disabilites often put in far more hours with homework than the "normal" or "gifted" child. My daughter can only learn math one on one. The tutor tries several different methods of teaching a new concept to her until she finds one that works. Then my daughter just takes off. I have to pay for it, but the public schools should cover this. Check and see if your state has an intervention program to keep kids in school. Most states do have one. They can provide early tutoring and intervention to assure your step son graduates. Call the high school and ask them. Go visit the guidance office and let them know you will be back and back and back (in a nice way, but they often only want to offer the limited services to families they feel will be supportive. They aren't going to waste money on kids considered a lost cause.)

Good luck! There is help out there, let them know at the school you will do what it takes to get his grades up. Tell them your assessment of what skills he still needs to learn. Don't worry about catch up. Once he has those basic skills down, he will catch up quickly. And remember to be sure he has something he feels he does well. My daughter takes jewelry making class, and she feels great when she creates something (I'm talking real jewlery making here, with propane torches!). Does he play a sport or have a hobby? He needs to feel good about something he does.

You have to remember, he probably has no more clue than you do what to do to remedy the situation. He needs someone to show him. If he is a good kid, then it's not that he is lazy. don't give up, or he will.

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Brian
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Post by Brian »

I can't offer advice, only hope. A testimonial.
I was a fuck up all through grade school and high school. C's & D's mostly.
I picked up alot of things on the way. I stopped doing homework around 7th grade. I just stopped doing it. Going to detention was easier.
In college I pulled an easy 3.5 average. It was the enviroment. Once it was my choice and I didn't have to raise my hand to take a piss everything changed.
Bear with him.
The Book of Love has music in it,
In fact that's where music comes from,
Some of it's just transcendental,
Some of it is really dumb.

-Magnetic Fields

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tamiO
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Post by tamiO »

Brian wrote:I can't offer advice, only hope. A testimonial.
I was a fuck up all through grade school and high school. C's & D's mostly.
I picked up alot of things on the way. I stopped doing homework around 7th grade. I just stopped doing it. Going to detention was easier.
In college I pulled an easy 3.5 average. It was the enviroment. Once it was my choice and I didn't have to raise my hand to take a piss everything changed.
Bear with him.
Your story is common. I rescue intelligent and bored kids in high school and get them into college early. When they realise they can actually "just do that", what a change! It's very empowering for them. I wish someone had done it for me, so I provide that for others.

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Doctor X
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Post by Doctor X »

Reaches for some change. . . .
Another example: He can't get the names of his stepsisters (my daughters) straight, though he's known them all his life. Now what's up with that?
I am horrible with names. Most of the time it is lack of attention to them--never both to move from short-term memory.

However, more likely, this is a reaction to considering his step-sisters not part of his family--a defense mechanism.

The problem with neuropsych testing is it is only good for gross problems and is operator dependent. Furthermore, there is a major fatigue problem that can affect performance.

Incidentally, ADD gets over-diagnosed. A kid who can spend hours playing a video game . . . watching television . . . sitting on a computer surfing . . . READ TOKIEN! . . . is not suffering from ADD. This may piss off parents, but sorry. It is nice to give a "simple" illness to a complex problem--look at politicians.

True ADD is not a mystery to figure out. I am suspicious since he has NOT been diagnosed he does not have it.

Learning disabilities tend to cross boundaries. Now, this gets into what you define a learning disability: I do not like math. Is that a "disability?" Seriously. My point is that an actual disability--a real problem--is usually not confined to one area--you see effects in many areas.

Anyways, young teens DO NOT talk. YOU are part of the problem.--in their mind. Lot of pride issues, fitting in issues, sexual issues that are embarrassing to a kid.

What to do?

1. Do what you have done--cut out the TV/video games--not as punishment . . . limit it.

2. Make sure he has "something" after school--sport, club, games . . . this was some advise from a bizarre group of educators--Ph.D. types who taught in HSs but they stated that teens need a few hours of concentration on something other than school--thus not just pissing about. Worked for the kids in their HS.

"I'm not interested" is a problem . . . especially if the HS offers nothing. I would suggest--personally--the "wierd"--a martial art, fencing, full-contact cribbige . . . something that attracts attention.

3. PAINFUL: it would be great if you had the money to pay for tutors, but you also have to get him to WANT to pay attention in school during certain classes. Unfortunately, this requires a lot of work on your part and his mum. You cannot attend classes with him, obviously, and you would not want to. However, you CAN take the time to discuss homework with him . . . in . . . excruciating . . . detail. Seriously. It is painful.

For one thing, it solves the TV/Video problems--you are doing HW together.

He will not like this, you will have to work to explain a very important concept in life--you have to suffer through subjects you hate. It is called "work."

4. Less Painful: the National Honors Society at a lot of HS require the sniveling bastards who kissed ass for the grades get into it to TUTOR. Tutors and kids can help another to learn--such as a study group at college.

Problem--most tutors who are HS age . . . and most HS age kids are USELESS. They are not as interested in success. So you have to look carefully. If you are lucky, and find one through NHS--and they are FREE--you have taken a major step. It is worth the gamble.

5. Communication: Good luck. Honesty works, frankly, even if it does not seem to. Simple explanation of "why" this is important does slowly communicate "your point." In other words, explaining why concentrating on grades, school work, et cetera, are important. This is not a "lecture." This is demonstrating that there is a reason for learning subjects he does not like. Also, be willing to provide access to communication. Imagine this conversation:
SD: Really, I want you to feel free to talk to me about any subject. I will not judge you.

Son: Great. I have this date with Margaret Mary Mulcahey, and when I go down on her, should I--

SD: You're gounded!!!
Okay . . . a little extreme . . . what I mean is find a means of discussing subjects, or someone he trusts--you mentioned his church--where he can "bitch" about what bothers him.

Enough bloviating. . . .

--J.D.
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