Has anyone had they’re child with #Autism repeat a grade? I could really use some advice..

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We have a problem and it’s much bigger than we first thought.  As you know, Gavin is supposed to be moving on to high school in the Fall. Unfortunately, that won’t be happening, at least if Lizze and I have anything to say about it. 

Here’s the problem.  Take a look at the papers below.  Does this look like 8th grade level? How about 7th grade or even 6th grade?



For this assignment, Gavin was supposed to look up his vocabulary words in the dictionary and then create a sentence using the words. 

We’ve also learned that when Gavin takes a test, his teacher gives it back to him in order to correct his mistakes before she grades it.  That’s the only reason he’s passing.  We just saw a test he got back and he had missed almost every answer which would have obviously been a failing grade. 

However, instead of failing, he was allowed to correct his answers and ended up getting 100%.


If the above paper is an indication of his abilities, he shouldn’t even be in the 8th grade, let alone moving on to high school.

Something that Dr. Pattie clarified for me tonight has to do with overall intelligence and how that translates into real world ability. This is where there is a great deal confusion.

For Gavin to be able to manipulate and pull off all these calculated schemes that he does, there has to be a high level of intelligence. Dr. Reynolds says that Gavin has a very, very high level of intelligence and Dr. Pattie agrees. 

This all makes sense until you see his school work….

However, what I learned is that there are different types of intelligence and while Gavin has the ability to manipulate and play people, he can’t seem to construct coherent sentences out of his vocabulary.  This applies to Math, Science and every other subject.

So while I know that Gavin is most likely capable of writing better sentences or at least writing sentences that make sense, his academic abilities overall are lacking.

Lizze and I set up a meeting with the school to discuss our options. I’ll let you know how this goes. 

Dr. Pattie is going to be doing testing on Gavin to try and gauge his abilities vs what we’re actually seeing.  For example, is he blowing the work off or not applying himself? Is he doing his absolute best and this is all beyond his capabilities?

We need more information but what I suspect is that Gavin is being held to an incredibly low standard and that’s the only reason he’s even doing as well as he is. 

How do you decide to hold your child back? To what standard should a the school be holding him to?

I’m really frustrated right now and I’m totally lost…….

Does anyone have experience with this type thing? I could really use some advice….

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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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Val Cross

Schools are under terrific pressure to make sure all kids pass, to the point of ridiculousness. If you have any friends who are teachers, they will tell you the same. I would also be concerned if Gavin was ready for the social aspect of high school. Would he still be at Anderson?


Those are great questions. It is also vital to have an answer to the question regarding if it really is too high of a level for him or is he just not applying himself. My son’s experience is that he is being passed do the next grade level even though he is not comprehending the grade level. He is in his chronological age appropriate class while being given the previous grade level for where he actually is, academically.

Christy Garrett

I held my daughter back in first grade because she was struggling. It was for her benefit even though she wasn’t failing.

Brianna L.

Yes, I have had to hold my ASD daughter back two times and will mostly likely be doing it again for next year. she is suppose to be in the 11th grade this year but she only in the eight grade and she will most likely repeating the eight grade. If the school doesn’t tell you they want to keep them back a year then you have to request it and i don’t know if you have to do it where you are at but i had to prove that it will benefit my daughter in some way in she was kept back a year. Usually requesting that my daughter be kept back a year, the school puts her in summer school to see how she does, then determines if she should be kept back which she always has been kept back when i request it. But then again even if i don’t kept her back a year she still always goes to summer school just because it could helps her education and it gives her an extra month of the therapy she gets a school, which is usually the only benefit she gets out of summer school, but hey i take anything i can get at this point. So if you think it will benefit Gavin then keep him back a year and if you haven’t try to see if his school does summer school that he could attend.


Hi. We are considering exactly this at the moment for our ASD child. They want to put him in a mixed class for another year so he would be with children his same age and some younger (we are in England). We are torn as on one hand he is bright but on the other he is emotionally behind his peers. Mind you I hate that term ‘behind his peers’. His peers are not the children without ASD but rather others with ASD. So he is actually on par if not exceeding his peers! but that’s another rant for another day. I feel for you as we cannot decide either. The worry is that holding him back is easier for the school as they don’t need to exert as much effort in helping him, they have another year almost.


I think you are doing exactly the right thing by getting more information. I would also take what the school says very seriously. They are professionals, know Gavin, have seen a lot of kids over the years, and they must also have a good idea about what is demanded in the relevant high schools. There are some high schools where that is a perfectly fine level of achievement and others where you wouldn’t get past day 1. Do you know anything about the high school he would go to?