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Being told your child is behind cognitively

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Old 11-18-2010, 09:55 AM   #1
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Being told your child is behind cognitively


Just writing to see what others think. Just a place to vent here a little I guess. My wife and I are upset about information that our son's preschool just gave us. His teachers have told us that our son seems very "young" for his age. He will turn 5 in January and they said he acts much younger than this.

They are also concerned with his cognitive abilities. He only attends pre-school twice a week 3 hours/day. Their specific concerns are related to letter recognition, recognizing his name, knowing where items are in the room that they've used all year and his language.
Our son was born 5.5 weeks early and has had early intervention on and off. We were worried about an Autism Spectrum Disorder a couple of years ago and had him evaluated by a Developmental Pediatrician and they did not diagnose him with anything. They thought he was just slightly behind and they weren't concerned.

He's the sweetest kid really. He has a few behavior issues (gets upset and cries at things that I don't think most boys his age would). He's very sensitive and worries about little things.
We just don't know how to take this information? We don't want to panic but no one wants to hear that their kid may have cognitive issues. I work in the disability field so I do have quite a bit of background knowledge.

We are having him re-evaluated by a Pediatric Psychologist next month so hopefully we'll get some more answers. My wife is so scared that he won't be able to go to kindergarten next year and that worries us. They've already mentioned that they don't think he'll be ready for kindergarten next year.

Any advice or suggestions from medical folks or parents that have gone through this?

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Old 11-24-2010, 10:07 AM   #2
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Re: Being told your child is behind cognitively

Some kids mature later than others. If he is immature, his frontal lobe inhis brain isn't well formed yet, his focus is surely poor, he can be very impulsive, he wouldn't remember where things are, poor focus can effect his learning of letters and words. Think about it- he's only in school for 6 hours a week. Can he go more often, or is he not able to handle more? I sent my kids 5 days a week at 3 hours a day to pre-school-then picked them up to take them to a sitter.

I don't know where you are but can you contact early intervention again? They could do a quick assessment. Since he has a history of being a little behind- this isn't an abnormal change. He may be one of those kids that need an extra year to mature- nothing wrong with that.

I would suggest giving him the extra year rather than pushing him into school, if he starts behind, he will spend his time trying to catch up rather than being equal with his peers.


Old 12-05-2010, 12:23 PM   #3
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Re: Being told your child is behind cognitively

We too have had the early intervention in with our son. Some of the things they've had to say have been hard to take and quite upsetting, as you feel you want the best for your children and they're telling you they have concerns. So I completely sympathise with how your feeling.
Pup had some good things to say, all the advice we've been given has been to get our son into different programs as early as possible. He had portage, which is a form of play therapy from 12mths, then he had an integration program into nursery from 2 1/2. Definatly give your son as much pre school as you can.
Pup is also right, if he's not ready don't push him, he'll spend his time trying to catch up and not reaching his full potential.
HOWEVER, he's not there yet and there is time. Spend time with him playing, reading books, talking to him, things you probably do already but don't think about. What are the pre schools targets for him and ask them what you can do at home to help
Your right to get the re assessment, keep us posted as to how he goes and bring up all your concerns. Then you've done all you can as a parent.
Its hard, but remember, your not alone, you are the best person to be your son's parent, to help him reach his potential. Keep that in your mind x x

Old 12-05-2010, 12:33 PM   #4
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Re: Being told your child is behind cognitively

Boys particularly mature later. I know many who've been held back to repeat kindergarten and are a year older now than most in their classes. I would have him evaluated but there most likely isn't anything abnormal per se, just the slow maturing of males.

Old 08-29-2011, 08:31 PM   #5
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Re: Being told your child is behind cognitively

Nicklaus, are you in the United States? Our school systems have rushed to make reading skills a requirement at younger and younger ages. Kindergarten used to be for learning to be in a school environment, for playing in order to learn, and perhaps an introduction to letters and sounds.

Now it's expected that your child can read by the end of kindergarten. This is a bad choice, because many children just aren't ready yet. This leads to them falling behind immediately, which is a great shame. It can also lead to a lack of confidence, and even the feeling that they aren't smart.

In reality it has nothing to do with that. It's just that children mature at different rates, and always have. As a teacher, it infuriates me, but that's the system.

The commenters were right: read as often as possible with him, talk about the stories and books you enjoy together, play rhyming games and sound games.

For example: I see something in this room that starts with this sound: b-b-b-b-b. Have him make a guess, and if he chooses something that doesn't start with 'b', give a couple examples. No, it starts with 'b-', like 'banana' and 'bike.' If necessary, give more hints, like its color or shape. Each time you play though, continue to use the sound as the first clue.

There are hundreds of other games to play, and they will all help.

I hope he's doing OK.

Old 08-29-2011, 08:32 PM   #6
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Re: Being told your child is behind cognitively

Oh, I just noticed that your post was quite old. Sorry! I'm new here.

I hope your little boy is doing OK. What has happened between now and then?

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