Hi Barbara, I have a first grader with some developmental delays. He's had a very difficult time with reading, and although he's made progress this year, he is no where near his peers and a few levels under the benchmark level. He is on an IEP [Individual Education Plan] for language and sensory issues.
I'm considering holding him back, but I'm not sure how to make that decision. The school he's in is great, but because he's on an IEP, I've been led to believe (by my own peers) that they will not consider holding him back with the same consideration as a typically developing student. His teachers have commented (lovingly) that he's a "very young" 6. (They mean emotionally.)
There seems to be so much polarizing information out there, I don't even know where to begin. To complicate things, his sibling is one grade behind, so if my son is held back, he would forever more be in the same grade as his brother; this decision impacts both of their lives in a very direct way.
My son is very sweet, bright and imaginative, and very sensitive emotionally. He doesn't have many friends his own age - somehow they are all a year or two older or younger.
My fear is that he will always be struggling to catch up, which will eventually wear away at his confidence and his ability to love learning.
I'm fearful of the "social stigma" of keeping him back a year, however there's no guarantee that he's not going to get picked on anyway because of his learning issues. In his mind, staying back a year might not be a big deal, but I don't dare ask him because I don't want to tip my hand, and he has no real power over this decision.
Can you point me towards some sources that would help me make this huge decision? Obviously, I'm fearful of making a mistake.
From: Kate in Southie, South Boston