Struggling with DD's reading

(4 Posts)
cosmicstardust Thu 29-May-14 22:02:16

Originally posted in primary but I didn't notice this before and wonder if here might be more appropriate blush

DD is just 7- would be year 2 in the UK but we are abroad so she's in her first 'proper' year of school rather than her second. She was adopted a few months ago and is trilingual- English as a third language and fluent in two other languages which use the Cyrillic alphabet. She can read and write in both of these, apparently at an advanced level for her age. She speaks English almost fluently but is selectively mute- she understands an awful lot more English than she often lets on. She won't speak at school but she will complete classwork, which is a recent improvement.

All the classwork she does in school she does in English, but instead of using the Latin alphabet she writes it out in Cyrillic. So at first glance it looks as though she's writing in a completely different language, but if you translate the Cyrillic letters into Latin letters you can see she's writing in English. The little homework she is getting at this stage she does at home, using the Latin alphabet if I sit with her when she does it, but she will not use it at school. Recently her teacher asked me to 'translate' some work she had done in class so she could assess it and apparently the actual standard of what she's producing isn't far off what she would expect by the end of Grade 1, the trouble is it's completely inaccessible because she just won't use the Latin alphabet in class. I'm at a bit of a loss with her really, I don't know if it's a confidence thing and she'll grow out of it or if there's more going on than that. Any advice would be much appreciated.

Gunznroses Fri 30-May-14 08:57:33

This sounds really complex and I didn't want to read and run. I have no experience of this but my first question would be, do you know why she is selectively mute ? the reason for this is perhaps also at the root of her refusing to write using latin alphabet. I think your first port of call should be your GP (if you haven't already) then a referral to CAMHs who will be in a better position to offer the appropriate therapy.

CAMHs are a multidisciplinary team so will have child psychiatry, child psychologists etc all on board. I'm not sure if Speech and Language therapy come under this team as well, but se your GP and take it from there. Good luck

cosmicstardust Fri 30-May-14 20:41:37

She's been selectively mute for at least two years, not sure what triggered it though. There was suspected neglect and abuse when she was originally taken into care. That's what I think too, it seems too much like trying to find a way around her work being readable to me. She is quite happy to use the latin alphabet at home. She's been seen by an ed psych who was useless. I think we have camhs here but will have to check, I would have thought they'd be some sort of equivalent if not.
Thanks.

DrLizShaw Sun 01-Jun-14 12:57:02

Just an idea but if she was adopted from a country that uses the Cyrillic alphabet, maybe it's a way of hanging onto her identity IYSWIM? I wonder if it's worth going down the counselling route.

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