Problems in school

We’re having problems with Gavin at school.  He failed a test a couple weeks ago and took a retest yesterday. While his grade improved to a “C”, he still didn’t do too well. 

The reason for that is he’s refusing to read the directions, so he’s getting points off for things that could have been easily avoided.

He’s not answering questions correctly and he didn’t even write his full name on the paper.  It appears that the main reason for these mistakes is the same reason that he gets so frustrated in Math class, he won’t read or follow instructions.
I’m not sure how we address this because his teachers are constantly trying and he just doesn’t listen.  Perhaps he’s just too preoccupied with something else?

Either way, when you approach him about this, he just gets upset. 🙁

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Rob Gorski

Full time, work from home single Dad to my 3 amazing boys. Oh...and creator fo this blog. :-)
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Kathy Brower

My son’s aide reads the directions to him, then repeats them when he gets distracted or off-task. She also scribes when needed but it’s mostly that he reads the directions at the beginning and forgets by the time he finishes a few problems.

Angela McDonough

i posted this on the blog but i will post it here to Have the school give him a scribe someone who reads the tests to him and if needed writes his verbal answers for him

Heather Young Luke

Could there be any reading problems? If warranted, an Accomodation on an IEP can provide for test questions/directions to be read aloud.

PurpleLogic Barfield

Sounds like he is rushing to be done with it. What do the students do if they finish a test early? Are they given free time?


Is it an active refusal to read the directions? How are they making that determination?  Are they sure he can read the directions?   With his difficulties in thought processing, he could be having trouble focusing on the task or remembering how to read some of the words; they may appear to him as a jumble some of the times.  It might be better to have them try to read the directions to him, then have him repeat them back.  Or even highlighting the instructions to make them stand out more on his paper could work. Could he take the tests orally or using a large space to write out his answers?


i know you have him in a speical school ot help him, but to me as an outsider it seems that he needs someone maybe temporarily to make sure that he put his name on his paper, to read the directions and make sure he understands them and then possibly make the test shorter because he is getting frustrated. he may have something on his mind. kids generally (i am by no means an expert) dont want to talk about stuff that isnt going well. i like the other poster that mentioned a check list. in my last job (most jobs) for instance i have a check list of what I need to do after the sale which is given by the company to help and the first thing on the list is to make sure that your employee number is on the contract so you would get credit! you think they wouldnt have to tell us that but it is necessary. I will tell you of a siutation of where recently i had to take a test that said there are four words that may describe you and to put a check mark in the column of one word that describes you the most and a check mark in a column that describes you in the least. I undoubtly didnt read the directons correctly as i put a check mark for two that describe me and one that didnt. i am a NT person with average intellegience, can read and knew how important this test was for a job (that i needed and glad i didnt get lol). I cant even tell you how I got the directions wrong. I know I read them. Also, I can’t tell you how may times with my NT kids I have said in the past “did you not read the directions? did you read the directions? why didnt you read the directions? it was frustrating! I dont have an answer just wanted you to know that it just happended to me and happended to my NT kids and have heard other parents compain “why don;t they read directions” I know you worry it may be a sign of something worse and if you do I validate your feelings on that. it is hard to figure out what is a normal probelm or something terrible that is making this happen and a medical professional not being able to helo.

Full Spectrum Mama

AngelaMcDonough That’s a great point: I always ask my son, “Did you do your best?” and, if so, that’s good enough for me! Of course we need to make sure they have whatever resources they need to get there!


have it put in his IEP that he have a scribe for tests that is someone who reads and in Codys case also writes his answers for him unless its something he can type  You can have this both my boys have someone read tests to them but hey a C is not to bad as long as he did his best

Full Spectrum Mama

I have similar concerns with my son. One thing that really helps him organize is using graph paper and he can check off stuff on “His” graph paper (like: “read instructions…[check]”and then compartmentalize/organize  answers. For what it’s worth. It is so hard when it seems like our kids aren’t fitting in the “right” boxes and therefore not doing as well at school as they could be…