Regression in spelling and maths HELP NEEDED

(7 Posts)
georgiegirl Tue 09-Feb-16 22:43:44

Has anyone else experienced a serious regression in their child's maths and spelling abilities? My daughter (in Year 4) is struggling at school. She's been diagnosed with mild to moderate dyslexia and finds it difficult to even add 2 to a number. She can hardly spell any word correctly, and writes all her numbers backwards (she is also extremely stubborn and willful, which makes it hard to help her overcome these challenges). Despite this, she's very articulate (and has a high verbal reasoning IQ, apparently), she reads well and is a lovely sparky character.

HOWEVER, tonight I looked through her books from Year 2, and she was writing nicely and spelling most words correctly (words that she'd struggle to spell now). She also appeared to have been able to do quite complex maths too and wrote all her numbers the correct way then.

I'm gobsmacked to realise that she was doing better in Year 2 than in Year 4. Has she freaked out by the work in Year 4 and gone on mental strike (consciously or unconsciously)? Or could she have had a knock on the head with brain damage (she's always bashing into things)?

She is very young for the year (August birthday) and has an older sister who is a high flyer, so I wonder whether this change in ability could be down to being paralysed with fear at not achieving. But I'm also worried about brain damage. I mean, to write all your numbers the right way round, then to change to writing them backwards...that's pretty strange. Any thoughts?

Verbena37 Wed 10-Feb-16 09:20:28

Hi Georgie Girl,
How and by whom was your DD assessed? Was it through the ed.cosych at school? What are school doing to help her dyslexia?

I have found my DS (yr6) has got progressively worse in handwriting (being assessed for dysgraphia) and writing in English and the private doctors who assessed him before Xmas, believed it's because the pressure from school generally and the tescher has increased. When they're younger, they don't have to think for themselves so much and until yr 3, they have quite structured lessons. It's when they have problems in maths that they have to solve, or to write freely, that perhaps their brains have too much to cope with at once and they find it tricky.

This is very true for my DS but not sure about your DD. DS doesn't have dyslexia so it may be different. The school should be helping by giving her more time to do things shouldn't they and more understanding that she may need more support? Does she also have dyspraxia?

DiamondAge Wed 10-Feb-16 09:24:34

When did she get her diagnosis? Is it possible that stress, or the increase in pace during years 3/4 has led to her dyslexia becoming more noticeable rather than making a sudden appearance?

Acquired or trauma dyslexia does exist:

www.brighthubeducation.com/special-ed-learning-disorders/25250-three-main-types-of-dyslexia/

However it looks like this would appear fairly suddenly after an injury. Are you able to check more of her books to see if her regression was actually more gradual than it currently appears, which may suggest pace or stress?

If there is evidence of a sudden change then I would visit the GP. I would probably do the same if this continues to get worse (assuming that with her diagnosis she'll be getting some support so should start to gradually improve). After all, it never hurts to get things ruled out & have some peace of mind.

kelda Wed 10-Feb-16 09:30:20

If there is any suggestion of regression, take her to the doctor. Take the work with you to show the difference between the years.

Possible reasons could be:
-changes in teaching technique eg. in Year 2 copying from the board, in year 4 expected to write it from memory.
-anxiety that stops her thinking.
-teaching pace has changed.

As the previous poster says, has she got dyspraxia? Has she been assessed by a physio therapist?

Has she ever been seen by a neurologist?

There is probably a simple explanation but I understand you are worried, and a doctor needs to address those fears. My son totally regressed in social skills and concentration when he developed epilepsy, but his is a very unusual case, and treatable. No harm in ruling out more serious causes!

georgiegirl Wed 10-Feb-16 12:35:48

Thank you so much for your responses.
On reflection, I think her regession has been gradual rather than sudden, and from reading your posts, I can well imagine that the increase in the level the kids are expected to work at might have caused her dyslexia and other difficulties to become more apparent. It makes me feel terrible that school has been so stressful for her.

She's getting help and support from the school with dyslexia, and we had her assessed privately with a great educational psychologist (who I've recommend to anyone - Valerie Muter). But I think my daughter might have decided (perhaps unconsciously) that she just can't spell anything or do maths, and so won't even try.

I don' t think she's dyspraxic - she's just very enthusiastic and doesn't have the best eyesight (lazy eye)!

Kelda - thank you for sharing your experiences with your son. I hope he's getting the support he needs. And thanks for your recommendation - I might take my daughter to our GP just in case.

timeKeepingOnMars Wed 10-Feb-16 14:23:39

Maybe she lost confidence with the maths - not understand something fully and then got lost with next steps - maths is often about building on existing knowledge.

You could go back to basic see where she is struggling - perhaps use some of the many published books, or try a maths tutor to pint point and work on the problems, or one of the many on-line maths sites - mathsfactor, khan institute, IXL etc ...

Spelling - how is the school teaching this? Again to to toe or apple and pears would be things you could do to help her.

What is the school take on this regression - are they aware - what do they plan to do about it ?- have their expectorations lowered with the diagnosis ? Have they implemented any suggested recommendations ? If you have examples of the regression take them along to the appointment with her teacher.

RafaIsTheKingOfClay Wed 10-Feb-16 18:03:54

What interventions if any were put in place after the dyslexia diagnosis?

Is it possible that expectations of her have been lowered because of the 'dyslexia' label and that might have led to the regression.

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