How Grade Retention Affects Children With Learning Disabilities

How Grade Retention Affects Children With Learning Disabilities

Grade retention refers to the type of practice of keeping a child in the same grade for more than, let\’s say, one year. The reason can be because of poor school performance. In major cases, the parents and the teachers retain students because they do not master the skills needed to be successful in the next grade. They believe that receiving the same such instruction for another year will provide them enough time to learn those skills and mature them physically and intellectually.


Retention Works Under Some Circumstances-

  1. Retention of a child may work if a child has missed a lot of instruction because of absences.
  2. Retention of a child is valid if the instruction has been inconsistent because of reluctant family and attendance relocations.
  3. Retention is also valid when a child has a birthday which makes him or her younger than most other students at his or her grade level.
  4. Retention is valid if the child has experienced certain illnesses or emotional traumas that have impacted his ability to stay and maintain his attention and stamina in the classroom. When may retention not help?

Many kinds of research have been conducted to find the effectiveness of retention. However, as shown earlier, retention in many cases alone is not sufficient to solve the queries of students learning problems. For example, if a student is experiencing a certain learning disability as well as underachievement or any kind of learning problem, then retention alone cannot be the helpful criteria. In that case, students need educational support such as-

  • Extra or additional instruction apart from the school day
  • Special intervention in colleges and schools for focusing on areas of weak concepts and topics.
  • Refer the school with the special education team to consider the evaluation of extreme possible disabilities in learning.

What Are The Negative Sides Of Retention?

  1. Students\’ self-esteem gets affected as the friends move up a greater level or a grade level without them.
  2. When the student is more mature or physical than the other, the other one feels self-conscious about being smaller or appearing younger.

What Can Be Done To Avoid Issues With Retention?

Firstly, we can ensure that the problems with attendance are addressed properly. Children with very chronic attendance problems are likely to go on falling behind and are likely to drop out than other children. If this method is implemented properly, it works a lot for the child\’s future.


We can address the health problems of the student, which affect the ability to learn because it necessitates a child to miss a lot of school because of that medical health. Talking with the school principal about the possibility of things that can be done to work can help a lot for the child. Also, arranging for the teachers to provide assignments to the child to complete at home only can work. If a child is suffering from a particular disability, then she may receive specially designed instructions as necessary to reach her at home.

Watching frequent movies should be avoided at a time. Parents can reduce the negative impact on their children by working upon with school and learning how to help the child talk to them. Coaching beyond this school day can work a lot in their academic problems to be solved at home. If it\’s not available, the parent needs to be prepared to provide some extensive support at home and provide them with some special private programs at their own expense.

Considering the best support available for the child and the classroom expectation will decide the child\’s future to retain him or her. The child counselor, the teacher, and the school principal can help in various ways to evaluate the child\’s needs and the support needed to them.

Can The Child Be Held Back A Grade?


The grade retention has increased in a way that over the past 25 years, an estimate of 15% of the students in the US has also been held back each year. The deficiency in reading skills is most of the common reasons for greater attention concern. These are warranted in a way such that research shows that most of the students who are still studying below grade level in 3rd grade rarely catch up in later years.

Reading is the most basic step for all future learning, and hence students who are behind in reading are likely to struggle in all types of academic areas. For example, if the child has missed a lot of school due to a certain illness or some geographic reason, the next move of repeating a grade may be just what they need to catch up on. But the same holds if the child has experienced emotional trauma during the last time, such as the death of a close family member.

However, if such factors do not apply, it is important to consider why and why your child has not made the expected academic process. For example, suppose the child is in kindergarten and is developed as mentally immature for that age. Also, if that is the case, the child is likely behind their peers in social and emotional skills and struggles with many learning areas. So giving them another level to grow in maturity may just be what they need.

In contrast, if the child is on track in many other areas and is struggling with pre-literacy skills, then repeating the child is not likely to have a good way. A searching study by the National Center for Education has found that most of the children who repeated their class were still behind their none retained period in reading. At the end of first grade, the problems acquiring literacy skills may be due to learning disorder and may be due to learning the same information, in the same way, the second time. So this is not at all an effective approach.


The state accountability for educational standards has resulted in a great height of great retention as the solution for various types of academic eras.

Children learning with disabilities generally do not benefit from repeating the grade unless they are taught with a different approach. The second time it is also important to consider the emotional impact of grade interpretation for many children. Repeating a grade field feels like a failure, and it can damage their self-esteem for many. Therefore, retention here negatively affects all areas of academic achievement and social-emotional criteria.

In addition, retention is associated with a great behavior problem. Retention is also one of the strongest predictors of dropping out of high school. So to decide the decision, holding on the child back requires career consideration of many complex factors. However, determining the reasons for the child\’s lack of progress may help a lot. If the child has not been tested for a particular learning disability, it is very critical to have that completed as soon as possible. This gives so much needed information and visual of the type and intensity needed to help the child proceed in school.

What Should A Parent Do?


As the parent of a struggling student, the parent might get a letter from the school at any time telling that the child is a candidate for detention at the end of the particular school year. What does that mean? We knew that our child was struggling, but we hadn\’t thought anything. Staying in the same grade in another year is all about answering factual questions. The question starts racing towards the mind. It is necessary to know if the child will improve. If he stays back in the same grade for another year, how this all will affect him? Self-confidence and self-worth are all about the process.

To answer all these questions and make it clear, it is important to understand the meaning of retention.

Research Regarding That Retention: What Is It Saying?

Retention refers to a student remaining in the same academic year for another year. It is also known as repeating a particular grade. This is opposite to social promotion, in which underperforming students are promoted to the next grade despite the academic problems faced.


Past researchers\’ retention does not help the children with any kind of learning disabilities, including the children with dyslexia. If this student is unsure or the parent is unsure about the learning disability, then the overall evaluation system should be kept in order. The only way to help the learners is to provide them with proper, proven technologies; unfortunately, if it is not done, then nothing can be changed.

Recent research by a sociologist of Notre Dam, Megan Andrew, reviewed that retention at any age gap can hurt the child. She discovered that over 60% of dropouts claim they are retained. An article focusing on the study can be read here. The most important takeaway from Ms. Andrew is that the study is not a parent show to guide on retention. She replied by email, giving answers that holding a child back is a very private decision. The most important thing is to review the child\’s academic problems, whether we hold her back or pass her on to the next grade. If the under academic problems are not addressed, then nothing can be changed.

Many other people also offered great information on retention and how it can affect a child with dialects here. So once we go to her website, we get to know a lot about retention. Even mainstream parenting news and magazines publish articles that do not favor retention. They received bundles of emails each week from parents who wanted to know if keeping the child in the same grade for another year was a perfect decision or not.


Also, according to Rets law on retention, the conclusion can be based on the research shown in a few articles as addressing the child\’s academic problems and getting the proper replenishment as well as interventions. This can be the proper solution. So it depends on all the facts and figures and relating them to the child. The parent, the teachers, the guide, the coach can help a lot in knowing whether retention can be good or bad for every student. This is because every student has their capabilities and their interventions.

Everyone is different in his or her way, so deciding which students\’ capability is what and whether retention will suit or not is a huge topic. In some ways, it can be good, and it can be bad in some ways. So it depends upon the student\’s capability to know about those capabilities as well as the teacher; the parents are the best method to let the children visualize their flaws and let the parents visualize about their child.

Disability is itself a huge threat, but that does not mean the children should stop studying. The thing that matters in life, living life in any way and focusing on the aim the particular child wants, is what matters in the complete worldly era. Whether children have retention, backlogs, or flaws and failures, becoming successful is important.



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