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Q: My son, whose birthday is in September, has ADHD and started Adderall before school ended. He's doing so much better. He's well above average academically and he gets along great with the kids, but his teacher wants him to repeat kindergarten because he's socially immature. I've done a lot of research and it's the general consensus that grade repetition isn't the way to go. I've also read children with ADHD are normally immature for their age.
Would retaining him be beneficial? He loves school and I would hate to give him the stigma of repeating when it's something he doesn't have control over. I know it would hurt, but could it also help?
A: You've asked a tough question. You're right that normally repeating the grade is not helpful. Your child is young for the grade, however, and repeating might give him more even footing with the other children in kindergarten. Repeating a grade at this age can indeed be beneficial. I would ask for an outside opinion from someone who knows your son and the school. Ask your doctor to recommend someone or ask your school guidance counselor or psychologist for a consultation.
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For more than 20 years, Eileen Marzola has worked with children and adults with learning disabilities and attention deficit disorders, and with their parents and teachers. She has been a regular education classroom teacher, a consultant teacher/resource teacher, an educational evaluator/diagnostician, and has also taught graduate students at the university level. Marzola is an adjunct assistant professor of education at Teachers College, Columbia University, and Hunter College of the City University of New York. She also maintains a private practice in the evaluation and teaching of children with learning disabilities and attention deficit disorders.