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We have a 15-year-old that has been tested through the school system two times and all they seem to come up with is immaturity. We have consulted with a child psychologist who thought, after reviewing his prior evaluations, our son may have a problem with his executive thought process. Because of insurance issues we could not continue with the psychologist.

We have turned back to the school district. They are in the process of evaluating him again for the third time.

Our son is thoughtful, caring, and loving, and he is a self-taught percussionist. He loves to play the drums and the African djembi. He plays amazingly well! He loves to write poetry and song lyrics. I think he is quite gifted. But he can’t make it in school.

He’s in 9th grade and only passed English and Gym. He tries very hard and when he fails he tends to give up. He says “Mom why do I have to try so hard?” Please help us with a suggestion on what we can do for him. Where should we turn next?

Thank you,


Dear Anne: I feel for you. Your son sounds like he has difficulties. The important question is why. If he only passed English in his current grade, this means that he failed at least four other major subjects. You are correct. You do need to find out why.

Here is what I suggest: First, clarify with your school professionals what testing they plan to do. At a minimum, these studies should include an IQ test (usually the Wechsler) and a battery of educational testing. If they do not plan to do this, ask why. Second, request that you receive a copy of the results of these studies before you meet with the school to discuss them. You need to review the results with an educational consultant. It is important to learn what is going on and to rely on other inputs.

If you cannot find a consultant on your own, contact the Learning Disabilities Association of America and get the name and phone number of your closest chapter. (go to - click on your state for the state chapter then look for information on your closest chapter).

Don’t give up on your son. Best of success.

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