87. The Retention Decision

podcast May 19, 2022

In this episode, I am talking about the dreaded decision of whether or not to pursue promoting your child to the next grade level or holding them back a year.  For our kids, this is often such a difficult decision because while they may be advanced in some areas they are likely delayed in other areas both academically and socially.

We have had two years of unprecedented disruptions in learning with COVID so depending on what grade your child is in will determine how much if at all your child’s learning has been impacted.

Overall, research shows that retention does not lead to better outcomes.  They argue that the literacy gains made during a retention year do not stay with a child long-term or help them catch up. In this episode, I am sharing with you some things you need to know as well as things you should consider so that you can make an informed decision for yourself and your child, and your family.

Promoting students to the next grade negating their mastery of basic skills, in my opinion, is not the answer, it is simply pushing them through, and then when they arrive in middle and high school it is an even bigger problem.

Many parents believe that retention will allow their children to have more time to develop socially so there isn’t such a broad gap between where they are socially and where their peers are. People with autism, at every age and severity level, tend to be young for their age.

Ultimately, the decision to have a child repeat a grade is a hard one, especially for a child with autism. Follow your instincts and ask questions about any and all concerns you have as well as share with the school administrators and team what you feel is the best decision for your child.

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