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Please tell me about your dc who does everything slooooowly

(10 Posts)
FreezerBird Wed 22-Mar-17 12:24:30

DS, age 12, in y7.

He has always, always, been slow to get what's in his head out and onto paper. I think this is a combination of wanting to get it done absolutely right, and just this being the way he is.

I remember at his parents' evening in reception year, that they said he was perfectly capable of doing everything, it just took him a long time. For example, when he was in reception, and they did lots of play based stuff and working in small groups, his teacher would always call him in one of the earliest groups to do a task, because he would stay on with the later groups and continue to do it while the others from his group finished and went off to play. He never objected to this - he enjoyed having the time to get things done as he wanted to.

All through primary it was the same story, and we've worked really hard to help him speed up and to relax a bit about whether it's perfect or not. In y6 we really seemed to be progressing with this.

The other thing we've always been told about him by teachers (and that we see ourselves) is that he is bright and curious with a passionate interest in the world around him; he asks good questions; when he enjoys a subject he will go off and find out more about it independently etc etc. His primary teachers told me they were looking forward to seeing him get into science at secondary and get inspired and challenged by that.

Now into y7 and he's drowning. The 20 minute homeworks he gets take him an hour. He struggles because he can't refer back to his exercise book because he didn't get everything written down in the lesson so the information he needs isn't there. The highest he's ever got in a test is 50%.

I am well aware that there is an element of him having to pull his finger out and just.do.it. But I don't think that's all it is. Also it's hard to push him because his reaction to that tends to be to get upset and demotivated (e.g. if I point out he's spent 45 minutes on a '20 minute' homework and he has two more to do this evening so let's speed up) - then we use more time dealing with that.

School are aware but I don't think they get how worried I am about him - his HoY agrees that his test scores don't seem to be reflecting his ability but other than vague suggestions of extra time nothing else has been said. I can see that extra time will help but there are only so many hours in the day....

Anyway. Thank you for reading this and if you have a child who is similar I would love to hear your tips on how to help him.

Allthebestnamesareused Wed 22-Mar-17 12:31:52

My friend's son was slooooooowww too. Clever enough boy but could never score highly in tests as he never finished them. If they marked what he had done it was consistently 90/100% correct.

In year 6 he was assessed by an ed psych and he has processing issues which means that he has 25% extra time in exams which obviously help. Even now in year 10 she feels she needs to chivvy him along a bit to get down to work. He is on track to get A*/As for GCSEs now.

AlexanderHamilton Wed 22-Mar-17 12:37:46

I would seriously consider getting him tested by an ed psych. My DS was found to have a slow speed of information processing disorder & now gets extra time in exams.

I do feel your pain though. He us supposed to get between 2-3 20-30 minute home works per night but each piece takes up to an hour.

He is also allowed to use a laptop in class to record information.

AChickenCalledKorma Wed 22-Mar-17 12:44:46

Yes, i have a daughter in year 7 who is chronically slow. In primary school she complained about being distracted a lot, and she was in a class that was famous for being disruptive, so that rang true. But the truth is, she does everything slowly, down to and including going to the loo (can be in there 15mins easily and has no idea what she's been doingconfused)

I'm interested that you say your son gets agitated when you try and hurry him. DD2 is prone to total meltdowns when we try and get her moving. Totally counter productive and very, very frustrating for all of us.

I have no answers, but I'm watching in case someone else does. She is very stressed at school at the moment but can't articulate why. I'm wondering if there's a link.

FreezerBird Wed 22-Mar-17 12:54:19

The other thing I should have said was that he does better if one of us sits beside him while he's doing his homework, but his younger sister has disabilities which mean that before DH gets back from work I can't really give DS my undivided attention as I can't really leave her to her own devices.

DS also has a medical condition - but it's not one that should have any impact on his learning in the sense of a learning difficulty. (Although it does mean he leaves his class for 10 minutes twice a day so missing that chunk of school doesn't help either.)

Thanks for comments. It's quite nice just know know it's not just us...

Trifleorbust Wed 22-Mar-17 14:59:48

If he is doing 2-3 times the amount of homework other students are doing, that's both unfair and probably so demotivating that it becomes detrimental. Homework is important but not more so than his mental health.

Can you speak to the HOY and SENCO at the school and request that homework is limited to core subjects and essential other stuff (for example if a lesson depends on something having been done, he should do that, but if it is being set just to fulfil the demands of a policy, some flexibility might well be in order).

dinkystinky Wed 22-Mar-17 15:05:45

Have you had his processing speed checked by an Ed Psych? He sounds rather like my son who is bright, curious, knows all the stuff but so so slow to commit things to paper - its mostly down to his slow processing speed. Speak to the SENCO to get it assessed and an IEP put in place for him - extra time for tests may help but also a more structured lesson plan, ability to record notes rather than write them down, learning touch typing on the computer etc may help. He needs to be helped to find coping mechanisms and to ensure he's not being put under undue time pressure demands he simply cant meet, which will erode his confidence and make everything so much worse.

I read an excellent book from amazon - bright kids that cant keep up - which really helped me (a fast processor) understand what the world is like for my slow processing son.

EndoplasmicReticulum Thu 23-Mar-17 23:37:14

I have one of these! He's always been sloooooowwwww. At everything. He's in Year 6. Secondary is looming. I'm not sure I'll even be able to get him up, dressed, out the house and on the bus in time to be honest.

He's a champion faffer. He will sit at the back of the class doing nothing if his pencil is broken (for example) rather than go and find another. It can take him 15 minutes to put a pair of socks on, and don't get me started on the toilet.

He has SATs soon. He's unlikely to finish them in the time available. That's if he even gets started. I'm sure his lovely (and very patient) teacher will be on hand with an endless supply of pencils.

He won't be hurried. Doesn't respond to either punishment or reward. The rest of the world just has to wait for him.

Don't know what to suggest really but wanted to say it all sounds very familiar.

CauliflowerSqueeze Sat 25-Mar-17 15:19:31

If the homework is supposed to take 20 mins then stop him after 30 and write a note in his planner that he worked for half an hour on it. Speak to the senco. He needs his processing tested and could well be entitled to extra time.

FreezerBird Tue 28-Mar-17 23:12:16

Thanks again all. I emailed his head of year last week and made her a bit more aware of the situation. I have mentioned it to her before but I was much more frank about how concerned I am.

She's made some suggestions which I think will be helpful (e.g. teachers who use powerpoint printing the presentation out for him so he's not spending all his time in class copying things down) and will check in with him every couple of weeks to see if there are any concerns.

I'm happy with that as a starting point and am keeping an ed psych assessment in the back of my mind as a future suggestion.

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