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My child has problems retaining information
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My child has problems retaining information

My child is in the 1st grade and is on a 1st week of kindergarden level.  He has problems retaining information.  We can go over information with him and when we ask a question about what we just went over he doesnt know.  We go over information over and over and if I wait a couple of minutes and ask him what we went over he cannot repeat it. He seems to not be focused and has problems sitting still while in class and home.  When you ask him a question he just looks at you confused like he doesnt know what you are talking about.  
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He may just be over-whelmed with the first week of school.  However, my son was like this and he was diagnosed with ADD.  We did put him on medication and his grades shot straight up.  Not sure I'd have allowed him on medication now that they have learned so much more about it all.  But if I hadn't, he would never have made it thru school, and he did outgrow this!  Also, talk to his teacher about this for suggestions and help.  Good luck and take care.
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I was wondering if any changes came about for you. Everything you said is the exact problem we are having with my stepson. He moved in with us in Jan. as a 1st grader and since then he is in half day of Kindergarten, we have the same issues and so do the teachers, one teacher called it learned helplessness, he believes he can't do anything without someones help so he won't even try. As soon as a teacher walks away from him he stops working, and now I think they not only might hold him back but I think to Kindergarten not just 1st grade. I don't know how to make things click for him if we are doing something wrong,or if he is so far damaged from the lack of attention to his schoolwork and how socially inept he is due to his moms severe depression. We are taking him to a psychologist next month and can hopefully get some answers and help, right now our life is like 50 first dates, everyday it's explaining the same set of instructions over again.
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Hi,  this is an older post and you may get more responses if you start your own thread.  You go to the top of this forum page and hit post question to do that.  More usually answer that way. :>)

I had some of this with my older child.  He'd been diagnosed at 4 with sensory issues so that we started to work on 'things' at a fairly young age.  Pretty much right off the bat, they'd have me work on assignments with him.  He got dependent on this and is a bit insecure, lacking confidence and things ARE hard for him such as fine motor skills and writing.  I, in protective mother mode, sat and helped him with his practice work.  We then wanted him to become a bit more independent----  so, I'd have him run around, do something physical (some kids need this to have mental organization and focus when sitting down to do work, even during the school day), then have a comfortable spot set up with a fidget (some kids just do good with something to hold in their hand and play around with when getting instructions/doing work) and something to eat or chew (licorice or bubble gum work well----------  this is an occupational therapy tip as many kids get focused through the oral work of eating/chewing these items----------  you can have this at home to begin working on independent learning to then carry over to school) and then go through the directions.  Then have something quick to do and say I'll be right back, you get started and do one problem or color one pattern or whatever the work is while I'm gone.  Just do one son and I'll be right back.  If it isn't done when you get back, do one WITH him (not for him) and then say you have something to do and you'll be right back, do the next one, just that one while you are gone.  And keep trying this. And if he makes an attempt------------  praise him.  Even if he gets it wrong.  That he tried to do work on his own is worthy of clapping!!  Some kids will have issues of even trying for fear of failure.  

I think it is good that you are seeing a psychologist.  He lived in an unstalbe environment before and then is uprooted . . . which is good but still very hard on a child.  It will have an effect on one's emotional ability.

They may request some type of evaluations for him and that is a good thing.  That is how you get intervention at school and he needs this.  Mammo makes a good point in that something more could be going on.  With my son, it wasn't add but sensory integration disorder.  If anything like that is at the root of it----  it is helpful to know so that you can address it from that angle.  My son has never taken medication but has done occupational therapy to work on his sensory issues--------  he's in second grade and does quite well.  I still sit with him for homework--  he does it and I oversee but he works independently completely at school.  I ask him to ask for help when he needs it as he often doesn't want to ask for help now.  

Something else that helps with learned helplessness is to offer him lots of choices.  This will make him more cognitively engaged.  Lots and lots of choices about lots of things.  I would give him a task in which he is doing something FOR someone else which sparks the inner core of wanting to be proactive.  Praise him like crazy for everything related to this.   I would socialize with him a lot and help him with what they call 'social scripts' if he has trouble.  Does he have trouble in this area?  Often kids with learned helplessness are isolated socially and have trouble connecting to others.  You can help him with that if this is the case and I have lots of ideas if you need them.  He may see that he WANTS to be like the other kids that way too.  

One area they may test him for is receptive speech.  To make sure he is understanding.  My son has motor planning issues related to his sensory integration disorder and some kids like him and others with different issues have trouble actually understanding the incoming information----  organizing it and making sense of it.  In those cases they work with a step process to present instruction, clear, easy steps and may include things like pictures to help.  My son's motor planning issues are made better by what OT's call "heavy work".  It is like  night and day with him if he has had plenty of this type of activity.  I can give you more info on that as well if you need it.  

Passive learning is not the best way to learn.  So, finding ways for him to be an active learner will benefit him.  Picking out the book at story time will help him engage more for example.  Having him play an easy game with a school peer that he picks is another example.  

Anyway, stay in touch and let me know what you think of the above suggestions.  good luck and really, from the botton of my heart, bless you for caring about this little boy, your step son so much and trying to help him.  peace
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