DS5 is half a year into the Kindergarten program in a small private school. The school is flexible and understanding, and is willing to work with him on whatever level he shows mastery in. The trouble is DS seems to be a completely different person in class from who he is at home. His verbal output is minimal, and participates little in classroom discussions. The teachers tried to tease more out of him by sitting down with him one-on-one to do some grade 1-level problems, but the only things he did well on were arithmetics and spelling; he could not do any of the math word problems, could not re-tell a story he just read, freezes when given open-ended questions, e.g. "tell me something you like about the story".

The thing is, at home, he can do all of the above with ease. He is a mathy kid and is constantly making observations and connections. He rips through the Grade2/3 Singapore math workbooks and is eager to start on Grade 4. He can articulate well to me why he chooses which arithmetic operations for each of the word problems and seldom makes mistakes. For reading, his decoding skill is way ahead of comprehension, yet he just finished reading "James and the Giant Peach", and had no problem telling me what happens in the story, which parts he likes and which he does not. He is happy, chatty, curious, a whirlwind of energy.

So, what's going on here?

We are looking into getting a therapist who might help us understand his problems better and help him cope. We suspect some unhealthy perfectionism and anxiety are at play. There also seems to be a big gap between his social/emotional maturity and intellectually maturity.

For now the school and us have decided not to make any change to his education setting, and simply give him more time to get more comfortable with the environment (though we have already given this half a year...) It hurts me a bit that he seems to be spending a good part of the day feeling anxious and not learning much. The consolation is that he seems to be pretty resilient, and is still our happy little boy outside of the classroom.

Has any one been there or had any further insight?