{Ask an Advocate} problems at school but not at home

Today’s question:

My teacher’s son says that he has problem following directions in school. We do not see that at home. He follows house routine very well. He has trouble expressing himself especially when is something a little complicated. What can the school do for him? and what can I do at home to help?

Well, when you filled out my form, you also stated that your son is 6 years old. He’s a relative newbie as far as being in school. The demands at school are much different than the demands at home, especially if you are just 6 and new to it all. The social demands are different, the routine is different….all of it. So it shouldn’t be a surprise to them that behavior at home and school is different.

If you do not have any academic concerns (reading, writing, how he is doing keeping up with his peers) and he is keeping up with the group except for in these areas, I would pursue executive functioning issues. Executive Functioning encompasses the sometimes-hard-to-define skills for kids. When your EF skills are fine, you don’t notice and you take them for granted. But when a kid doesn’t have them, boy is it noticeable! The National Center for Learning Disabilities has a tremendous amount of information on their website about Executive Functioning.

If this is all it is, he’s young enough that you can probably help him develop skills to learn EF and compensate for what doesn’t come naturally for him. You also alluded to some expressive language issues, so maybe you want to have him evaluated for that as well. All of my answers, of course, are based on the few sentences that you’ve written to me. If he has these issues in addition to having an already diagnosed disability and has an IEP, then you just need to request more evaluations and bring it to the IEP team’s attention and get these areas of need added to his IEP.


Good Luck and keep us posted!

From time to time this blog may generate compensation through free products, sponsorship, advertising/ads, and links. But trust me, it's not 'retire early' kind of money and most of it goes back to keeping the blog online and fast, as well as lobbying trips for special needs kids. Any form of compensation will in no way influence my opinion or content of the blog post-I only work with brands that I already use and love, or think that will benefit kids with special needs. I am committed to providing honest and open opinion and commentary. I reserve the right to decline offers of advertising and sponsorships if it is not consistent with the goals and philosophy of this blog and its readers (and I turn down way more than I accept!). For inquiries about advertising or product reviews, please send an email to info@adayinourshoes.com. This blog is intended to offer general advice and should not be construed as either legal advice, medical advice or state or federal policy. For your family's needs, you may need more specific help from a local professional. A reminder that terminology and procedures may vary from state to state.


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