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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec. 26, 2008
    Posts
    1,075

    Default Anyone have a child with dyslexia?

    We have been having issues with our oldest son who is in first grade. He is way behind in reading and struggles with writing (mostly in writing words and sentences not the actual writing part)

    In the beginning of the year the teacher teacher and I met. She had a great out look. "I will try this and this and I am sure he'll catch up" I told her then I thought that he had a processing disorder. He mixes things up, forgets things he knows etc. For example in kindergarten we start working on sight words such as and, he, the. Even still, a year and more later, all of a sudden we don't know AND ( as an example it happens with numbers and words. I think teacher thought I might have been a bit dramatic and assured me that he would be fine. Between special-ed for speech (which they are really working on reading comprehension and not speech itself) and occupational therapy for the hand writing and us all working together he will be great.

    So then comes Spring conferences...He is NO WHERE near where he should be. Teacher told me she thought he would improve MUCH faster then he has. Go figure...

    He is social at grade level. He participates, tries hard, pays attention and gets along with the other children. This is the only area he REALLY struggles. Math is getting better far faster then reading and writing. His science and social studies are on par with his age. He shows no signs of ADD, ADHD, or an over all learning delay.

    So I have started to read up on dyslexia. We think I have a very minor case of it. He is struggling in all the same areas that I struggled with and that my mother struggled with (she's still not a strong reader). He's just to a greater degree then me. The more I read the more I am sure that it's dyslexia. If not certainly a processing disorder of another nature.

    The school has scaled back on Special-ed services (again go figure). They don't test until 2nd grade for learning disabilities. Teacher claims she's frustrated at the school because her "hands are tied" at this point.

    Through talking with a special-ed teacher from a different district I found out I can demand they test now instead of paying to have it done with a private dr. Never knew that and feel the teacher could have mentioned it.

    So I guess I am frustrated and would like to hear if anyone else has dealt with this and what techniques you used to help your child learn.

    TIA



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug. 19, 2010
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    155

    Default

    What you are referring to, and what you would ask for, is a "Student Study Team" assessment. The "SST" is a team assembled, which includes you, to determine if your child does in fact have a learning disability, or if some other factor is the reason for your child's delay (in your child's case, only a specific area).

    It may be that your child will catch up in the next year or two, and that physical immaturity may be the reason he is unable to read at the same level as the other children. There is a large variation on what is "normal," by the way, and even if his reading skills are outside the norm, that doesn't mean he won't catch up, and this is the reason students are not assessed until 2nd grade.

    What would I do? As a teacher, who has completed the courses for a "mild/moderate" special education credential, and has been teaching special education students for four years, I would not be so quick to put my on child in special education just yet. I would try to make reading a pleasurable activity for my child by reading to him, having him follow along, maybe help him make some flash cards and reward him for reviewing a few of them each day, but make it a Low Stress activity with no punishment for not wanting to do these things. Do you read for pleasure? If not, try to read every day, a magazine, newspaper, book, etc., so that your child sees you reading and sees that you value reading.

    If by 7 or 8 your child is still struggling with reading and this is the only area of concern, then I would probably opt for what is called a "Section 504" plan http://www.greatschools.org/special-...gs?content=868 Your child will be able to avail himself of accommodations, such as extra time on tests and assignments, alternative (quiet) setting for tests, etc., but will not be pulled out for special ed instruction. This might be all he needs. It'd try this first and see if he improves.

    If you are still not happy with the way things are progressing at public school, you may want to look into the Waldorf Schools. http://www.whywaldorfworks.org/ They don't even start teaching their students to read until they are 7, which is when the majority of children are physically ready to learn to read. A friend of mine is a teacher and Waldorf method instructor, and her own child, who "marched to a different drummer" found great success in the Waldorf system, and is now a successful marine biologist who just completed her graduate studies.

    Stay involved. You and your child will know best what is working for him, and with the guidance of teachers, administrators, counselors, and other professionals, you will find the best path in life for him. It doesn't mean that your child is not smart, he just may learn differently or need more time to process what he reads. Not everyone fits neatly into a particular style of teaching, and teachers are supposed to accommodate different learning styles, but with 25 or more students in a classroom at once, this is not easy to accomplish. Another teacher may connect with your child in a more effective way--everyone is different, not better or worse, including teachers.

    The saddest thing I see as a special ed. teacher is lack of parental involvment. This breaks my heart. On the other hand, students thrive when their parents keep a close watch on their children, and keep them pointed in the right direction all the way through high school--this is true of all students.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan. 4, 2007
    Location
    TX
    Posts
    45,245

    Default

    May want to start here, so you can get help with a professional evaluation, then go from that:

    http://www.wrightslaw.com/



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec. 13, 1999
    Location
    land of enchantment and chile
    Posts
    1,450

    Default Scottish Rite Temple of Texas

    You don't say where you are but research out the above organization. They supported a hospital for "crippled children" and still do but expanded their work to dyslexia and other learning disabilities. They have made it part of their mission to train teachers in a curriculum to help students with this. The sooner you get him diagnosed and into treatment the quicker he will be able to deal with it. My son ,17, struggled for years until we had him diagnosed and "certified" dyslexic. He also had dysgraphia and dyscalcula. (writing and numbers) so don't be surprised if other Dys- pop up too. After 3 years of tutoring and reworking things, he is a solid B student in high school. Will he ever like reading-never and his idea of essays and other writing assignments are very much the Joe Friday of Dragnet style -"Just the facts ma'am" But he is very strong in other skill sets. As I said we have the proof of the dyslexia (certified) as this will help him get extra time for written exams etc. to help compensate for this.

    But do have hope, there are many ways to cope with this and he will learn to work with it to his advantage.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec. 13, 1999
    Location
    land of enchantment and chile
    Posts
    1,450

    Default one more thing

    you can demand the test now but be perhaps prepared for a waiting list. We paid for our son's test and it was about 3-400 dollars. But worth every penny, as we had it right then and there and could go forward with the treatment.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec. 26, 2008
    Posts
    1,075

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by HorsingRound View Post
    What you are referring to, and what you would ask for, is a "Student Study Team" assessment. The "SST" is a team assembled, which includes you, to determine if your child does in fact have a learning disability, or if some other factor is the reason for your child's delay (in your child's case, only a specific area).

    It may be that your child will catch up in the next year or two, and that physical immaturity may be the reason he is unable to read at the same level as the other children. There is a large variation on what is "normal," by the way, and even if his reading skills are outside the norm, that doesn't mean he won't catch up, and this is the reason students are not assessed until 2nd grade.

    What would I do? As a teacher, who has completed the courses for a "mild/moderate" special education credential, and has been teaching special education students for four years, I would not be so quick to put my on child in special education just yet. I would try to make reading a pleasurable activity for my child by reading to him, having him follow along, maybe help him make some flash cards and reward him for reviewing a few of them each day, but make it a Low Stress activity with no punishment for not wanting to do these things. Do you read for pleasure? If not, try to read every day, a magazine, newspaper, book, etc., so that your child sees you reading and sees that you value reading.

    If by 7 or 8 your child is still struggling with reading and this is the only area of concern, then I would probably opt for what is called a "Section 504" plan http://www.greatschools.org/special-...gs?content=868 Your child will be able to avail himself of accommodations, such as extra time on tests and assignments, alternative (quiet) setting for tests, etc., but will not be pulled out for special ed instruction. This might be all he needs. It'd try this first and see if he improves.

    If you are still not happy with the way things are progressing at public school, you may want to look into the Waldorf Schools. http://www.whywaldorfworks.org/ They don't even start teaching their students to read until they are 7, which is when the majority of children are physically ready to learn to read. A friend of mine is a teacher and Waldorf method instructor, and her own child, who "marched to a different drummer" found great success in the Waldorf system, and is now a successful marine biologist who just completed her graduate studies.

    Stay involved. You and your child will know best what is working for him, and with the guidance of teachers, administrators, counselors, and other professionals, you will find the best path in life for him. It doesn't mean that your child is not smart, he just may learn differently or need more time to process what he reads. Not everyone fits neatly into a particular style of teaching, and teachers are supposed to accommodate different learning styles, but with 25 or more students in a classroom at once, this is not easy to accomplish. Another teacher may connect with your child in a more effective way--everyone is different, not better or worse, including teachers.

    The saddest thing I see as a special ed. teacher is lack of parental involvment. This breaks my heart. On the other hand, students thrive when their parents keep a close watch on their children, and keep them pointed in the right direction all the way through high school--this is true of all students.
    I appreciate your input being involved in the system and all. It seems there are as many variations in your field as everything else as I have been told by others in your same field to really push the system and get him tested NOW.

    I would like to clarify a few things just for future references...

    1. My son is 7. I have also read and understand (being a riding teacher0 that not all students progress at the same rate.

    2. I am by no means "pushing' my son into the special education program. I, however, am not a parent that is in denial that something is not "quiet right" with my child. As an adult who has mild dyslexia and was never diagnosed, I see where my child is struggling and how it's different from just being behind. I also don't want my child labeled in school by his teachers as "lazy" or "slow" because he is not either of those things and I have seen to many brilliant and smart kids get labeled this way and they turn into those things....

    3. I read daily. to the point of driving my husband nuts. I am a book freak....but I wasn't until middle school when i really picked up on reading...My son is read to daily. He has been since he was a baby. He LOVES stories. We do out loud reading and flash cards. He NEVER gets punished for not doing well BUT I am trying to prevent teachers in the future from doing just that. I remember getting in trouble because my "journals" in 2nd grade were sloppy, short, and mis-spelled. I don't want my child going through that.

    He shows classic signs of dyslexia. This is not something he will "grow" out of but it is something that I can get figured out so he can be taught to the best of his ability.

    Again I do appreciate your in put. It shows both sides of the problem, what you deal with as a teacher, and what we deal with here at home.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec. 26, 2008
    Posts
    1,075

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bluey View Post
    May want to start here, so you can get help with a professional evaluation, then go from that:

    http://www.wrightslaw.com/
    Thank you!



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec. 20, 2003
    Location
    N. Augusta, SC (but forever a BUCKEYE!)
    Posts
    1,791

    Default

    It sounds as though your son already has an IEP (via your comment about Sp. Ed. services through speech). If so, send an e-mail or phone the Special Education teacher in his school that is his case manager (this, in fact, will not be his regular education teacher) and request a meeting. In said meeting, request that your child begin additional testing based on your concerns.

    I have a student who is in the 8th grade who also has an IEP for speech, but he is no longer eligible for services through speech because he's met all of his goals. That said, his team of teachers have always felt that there's something far more than 'just speech' and that there's processing difficulties, but the parent never wanted additional testing. Now that we're in the 8th grade and he may be losing his special education services and assistance, the parents are requesting the testing.

    Also, I realize your frustration with your child's regular education teacher, but please know that MOST regular ed. teachers are not up to date with special education protocol. The problem is that the requirements change so often, that even some of the special education teachers are kept in the dark until the main sp. ed. chairperson fills them in with changes to policy and protocol.

    If your child does NOT have an IEP already, he needs to begin the RTI process (Response to Intervention). The teachers will have to document certain behaviors and the like, as well as try different intervention strategies that may or may not help your child, then there will have to be documented evidence that moves your child through the RTI tiers so that a special education screening can be completed.
    Random horse pics http://www.flickr.com/photos/glfprncs/
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  9. #9
    Join Date
    May. 4, 2003
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    15,848

    Default

    Cannot offer constructive advice...

    but when my daughter was at university her roommate was very dyslexic and she went through his papers for him changing all his 'k's to 'c's where necessary, etc. and helping out his computer program when it made mistakes. This roommate was taking his Masters in Engineering!!

    My godson is very dyslexic, too, but his parents put him into a special school very early in his diagnosis and he blossomed and is a wonderful young man, following his passion as a fishing guide, full of self-esteem and is very conversational, has a lot of common sense, is knowledgeable in all sorts of topics. He is popular and we love him.



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec. 13, 1999
    Location
    land of enchantment and chile
    Posts
    1,450

    Default Texas Scottish Rite Hospital

    NLK, Please consider this website www.tsrhc.org They do treat dyslexia here. The tutors who helped my son and my sister-in-law's sister trained with these guys. They have made it part of their mission. BTW as I read my last post, my son does like to read but probably will never love it as much as you and I do. (I belong to a book club that has existed since 1994)



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