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My son is 6. He just started first grade at a public elementary school. He is struggling. His reading and math are not to grade level. He zones out and cannot answer simple questions.

He was read a word problem by his teacher: John has five apples and Sue has four apples. How many apples altogether? He drew 20 apples on the paper. He is on a PEP at school and goes to tutoring every Monday for an hour after school. I am worried about him not passing the first grade. What should I do?

I understand your concerns. You describe several difficulties that might suggest that your son might have a learning or language disability. If he is in a PEP program, the professionals at the program probably share a similar concern. Have you discussed your concerns with them? Usually several professionals are part of the PEP team. Another approach would be to meet with the principal of his school, requesting a meeting with the special education team to discuss what they see as his problems and what they are doing to address them. Do not lose time. Keep pushing to get clarification on what his areas of difficulty are and what can be done to help.

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