My 10 year old son is one of the greatest kids you would ever want to meet. He is sweet, smart, sensitive and wickedly funny. He tries really hard to follow rules and be a good student. He doesn't like to fail though and if he doesn't think he can do something he just shuts down. I can see it in his eyes when this is happening.
I went to a meeting today with his teachers. He is in speech therapy for some minor articulation problems. Since speech therapy is under the special education umbrella, a full individual education plan (IEP) meeting has to be done. At the meeting his teacher expressed concerns that he is reading a full grade level below where he should be reading. Even at that level his comprehension is very low. She says that he tries hard in class and isn't lazy at all. I see this at home too. He is very conscientious with his work. He gets his homework done on time. He gets frustrated sometimes though because he doesn't understand the concepts. This is where the shut down happens.
The testing that they have done indicates that his performance does not meet up with his intelligence. This could be an indication of a slight learning disability. They are going to do further testing to determine what is going on in his learning process. Hopefully the school can make a few accomodations for him and all will be well.
It brings up memories for me of my own school career. When I was his age I was tested and my IQ was well above average, but I was barely passing the core subjects at school. I was labeled as unmotivated and lazy. My brother struggled all through school and ended up quitting school in the 12th grade. He is a very smart man and very talented too. I can almost bet that he had some sort of undiagnosed learning disability. I hope that we will be able to nip this in the bud at this stage so it doesn't blossom in to a full grown problem. I don't want him to grow to hate school. He still has a lot of years ahead of him in the classroom. I don't want to push him beyond his limit, but I do want him to push himself to be the best that he can be.