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Need some suggestions

VA teacher

Senior Member
I have a student in my class that cannot do much of anything. He is 5 years old and has never been around anyone other than family. He has two older brothers who are also very socially delayed. When his oldest brother was in K he was slow but was promoted to 1st. When he was retained in 1st his mother disagreed and pulled him out to "homeschool". She also decided to homeschool the middle child. The 3rd grader needs to be in 2nd, the 1st needs to be in K and the K needs to be in Pre-K. I have spoken with mom and she doesn't seem to be interested in helping her son, only in keeping him in K. He has just learned to write 3 out of 6 letters of his name but this takes at least five minutes for him to accomplish. He can't draw a line from one picture to another. He will not speak, only says "momma's gonna check me out and take me home". I suggested the option of placing him in Pre-K to gain some social skills and the necessary skills for K but she refuses to listen. She didn't show up for the schedule Child-Study meeting. I can't understand why a parent would want their child to fail. How can I help a child that is so far behind the others in class? I have tried cutting his amount of work to complete, instead of writing his name five times only once, but he can't complete that. HELP!!!!! I don't see him heading to 1st next year (but he could pull it out:confused: ) She won't agree to anything to help him. Any ideas?


Senior Member
Simmilar Situation

I have two children who cannot do much. I have children who are capable and won't do much. So I feel your frustration.
I would find out what he would be doing in pre-K and give him some of that work or assignments to do. Punching out items instead of writing or tracing yellow marker. One of my two who cannot do anythng is a second year kindergarten student. Both write their names but knowing what letters they have is another. They do not have the writing issues but have deffinate holes in thier skills. Neither of them in 10 weeks can identify 1-5 but they have one to one correspondence and oral counting skills. One can hear begining sounds and identify the sound but not match the sounds to other objects with the same begining sound (sounds complicated huh?). One was kicked off the bus because he did not follow the driver's directions (Duh he does not follow directions because he has limited language skills). I am lucky because we also have preschool children in the room. The children do not see themselves as doing "preschool work". Unfortunately others see that they do not have as much work or as hard of work as they have.


Junior Member

Option one is to work with him at all times, maybe an assistant or tutor can pull him out at different times. I have had a few students who we just had to do extra work all the time. Send extra homework home.

If she wants him in K, he needs to do K work, send home incomplete work and ask that it be finished, even if it gets scribbled on you know he is developing paper pencil awareness, and soon maybe he’ll develop letters on his own.

Option two schedule a conference with principal or curriculum director, let them flag this as a potential problem for later. Request conference with parent and principal, we usually get a big response from this at my school. Last year I had two students that could still not write their names at the end of year, knowing we practiced everyday, they were retained and are doing much better this year.


Junior Member
little guy

This little guy may just suprise you by the end of the year.... I've seen it happen! Until then, just encourage him, sit him next to children that will be positive influences on him....
Since this is his first experience away from mom and family, he is really out of his element in a room full of 20 or so children in a strange place. Just try to give him a love of school.... he might need a little extra attention and TLC for now, but it sounds like that's what he needs. If he doesn't "get it" by the end of the year, then he repeats, just keep a portfolio and documentation to back up your decision.
I was very shy and sensitive in kindergarten and my teacher went out of her way for me, and I ended up loving school, and am thankful to her to this day....... If you can do that for him, then you can be proud of a job well done. Sometimes we just have to look at a "problem" in a different light.....good luck