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9yo DD still can't tell time, gets v upset

(24 Posts)
peeriebear Tue 05-Jul-11 21:21:08

Title says it all, really. DD1 had time- telling homework this week and still she just can not get it. She always asks us the time instead of trying to work it out; if I say "you tell me, have a look" she will simply not try and if I ask her to actually make the effort to have a go she gets angry. I have tried and tried to help her; she just can't do it. tonight she had a huge tearful tantrum over her homework because she simply has no understanding whatsoever of it, not even the digital clock sad This isn't something we've ignored over the years. Nothing has gone in.
She also struggles with spelling and written grammar, her handwriting is terrible and her reading is halting and slow. Bottom sets for english and maths. However she has a very creative and wide imagination, gets good grades for creative writing (where they don't mark down for poor writing/spelling), draws a lot, makes up games both on paper and with toys etc.
What on earth can we try next? School make all the right noises but I just don't feel like she is making any progress.

PGTip Tue 05-Jul-11 21:29:02

Had this with dc. We started with a big clock with big numbers and wrote a little 5 by the number 1, 10 by the number 2 etc. Also wrote 'PAST' on the 1-5 side and 'TO' on the 7-11 side. Spent a few days just going over 1 o'clock, 2 o'clock etc. Did this til they got it. Then moved on to half past the hour, took a little longer but got there. Then went to quarter past (started by saying 15 minutes past/to) and once they had all of that we mined on to 5 past, 10 past etc & 20 to, 10 to etc. It took at least a month. Also bought a watch from argos that had all the extras that we had drawn on the clock. HTH smile

Tinkerisdead Tue 05-Jul-11 21:31:17

Hi I'm not really in a good position to give advice but I had to respond because I was exactly like this. I can remember at about 9 trying so hard to learn the time and I used to lash out because it seemed so obvious even little tots could do it.

Looking back I didn't understand fractions so people telling me a quarter to or a quarter past didn't make sense. Even now I can't work out 24 hour clock if something says say 19:10 I have to count from 1800 as I know that's 6.

I have maths gcse etc but fractions, negative numbers or long multiplication.

To learn the time I had to abandon the quarter hour concepts and work by counting minutes. I had pictures of clock faces to draw on too. What didn't help was people like my mum who says it's 'five and twenty to six' I couldn't add that up to take it off the hour.

Demiwave Tue 05-Jul-11 21:31:40

Sounds like she is showing sigans of dyslexia - I would make enquiries about having her properly assessed.

Demiwave Tue 05-Jul-11 21:32:00

sorry - signs not sigans

thisisyesterday Tue 05-Jul-11 21:32:10

i was like this. i was about 9 or 10 when my teacher sat me down and explained it AGAIN and i finally got it

the problem was, i just hadn't understood or couldn't comprehend, that each number on the clock had 2 different meanings. so, the clock they taught us on only had the hours on it. I had no idea that the number 1 also represented 5 minutes. iyswim?

with all the other things she struggles with though, has her teacher suggested anything? do you feel she may have some sort of special needs?

Tinkerisdead Tue 05-Jul-11 21:32:41

Sorry stupid phone. I meant I have a gcse in maths but struggled with those areas hugely.

mo3d Tue 05-Jul-11 21:34:36

My daughter had problems similar to yours. Still couldn't tell the time even by year 7. Because of other issues we had her assessed and she has mild dyslexia. Her main prob is with her short term working memory which affects most things.

I don't want to throw labels around, but your daughter does sound similar to mine.

TheBreastmilksOnMe Tue 05-Jul-11 21:35:15

It sounds like she may have dyspraxia or dyslexia. It is important that you raise theses concerns with her teacher as it sounds like she could do with some extra support at school and the earlier she gets it, the better.

LeoTheLateBloomer Tue 05-Jul-11 21:37:48

I would definitely be asking to have her assessed for dyslexia.

peeriebear Tue 05-Jul-11 21:38:41

I've suggested it (dyslexia) to her teachers and nothing much seems to be happening. I am going to gently see if/how we can get her learning things over summer (without it being 'lessons' IYSWIM) and in september I am going to her new teacher to push for her to be properly looked at, not fobbed off. They have given her coloured acetate for reading to see if it helps- DD said it did to her, but I didn't hear any improvement (would I though? I don't know). Thanks for the advice, it's horrible to see her struggle, she gets so frustrated then explodes!

paddingtonbear1 Tue 05-Jul-11 21:40:32

peeriebear, I could have written a similar post to yours this week. I wish I had some good advice! Like you, we have tried various things. Tbh I am now looking into getting dd a tutor, in the hope that this will help her catch up a bit.

Danthe4th Tue 05-Jul-11 21:40:56

My son has the same troubles and is dyslexic and on school action, he also struggles with sequencing any numbers or days of the week that sort of thing. Has your dd got an IEP in school which identifies her needs and how they are helping her.
I would ask for tests for dyslexia and dyscalculia and if the school won't perhaps you could have them done yourself, thats what we had to do.

silverfrog Tue 05-Jul-11 21:42:59

I ahve recently got my dd this teaching hands clock

we got the magnetic set too - it ocmes with pointers on how to use ti to learn effectively.

(we got it for dd1 (severe ASD) becasue she is fascinated with clocks and desperately wanted to learn to tell the time. we have not really been able to explain stuff to her easily. she is now, a couple of months on, telling the time independently, and can also arrange the magnetic set for o' clock, half past and quarter past/to times. working on the rest)

thisisyesterday Tue 05-Jul-11 21:43:01

if you want her assessed and the school aren't playing ball then go to your GP. th GP can refer you

Carrotsandcelery Tue 05-Jul-11 21:43:11

I had similar time telling problems as a child and my dd (10) is now showing signs of the same difficulties.

One of the things that has helped her is getting a watch. We delayed this as she couldn't tell the time but actually wearing a watch has encouraged her to look at it when we talk about the time (eg heading off for an after school activity).

The other thing that helped was that we made a big clock dial out of a cereal packet and one of those pins that split down the middle so that the back of them can be folded flat.

We left it hanging around the kitchen and every now and again set it to a different time. We didn't ask dd about it or mention it but eventually she started picking it up and figuring out the time. Then she would reset it and "test" us (knowing I was awful at it boosted her confidence as she knows I have a perfectly satisfying life etc despite this problem.)

We stepped back from testing her ourselves as I can remember that rabbit in the headlights feeling of blind panic whenever anyone tested me. We just let her look at clocks a lot and let her own mind think about them.

She is not brilliant now but it has helped a lot.

Good luck

mo3d Tue 05-Jul-11 21:43:59

The coloured acetate stops the whiteness of the paper glaring inbetween the words on the page. It's one symptom of dyslexia, where instead of the words standing out on the page, the white bits stand out instead. This is one area my daughter didn't have a prob.

Frustration is something my dd suffered with. She would sit in front of the computer completely unable to read a question then find a web site and look for information. It was all too much because she would forget what bit she was doing. Would end in tears and saying she was stupid.

silverfrog Tue 05-Jul-11 21:44:04

oh, also, if you have an ipod touch/ipad there are a few good apps that help, but I htink would be de-motivating if she is really struggling. dd1 has only enjoyed them since she began to get a bit of a handle on the whole thing.

paddingtonbear1 Tue 05-Jul-11 21:45:26

Danthe4th can I just ask, if you have tests done privately do the school take notice of them? I did wonder about dd possibly having dyslexia, but school seem reluctant to test - and they are supposed to be 'dyslexia friendly'!

mo3d Tue 05-Jul-11 21:50:08

I had my dd tested privately when she was in yr 7. The school acknowledged she was dyslexic and she is given extra time for exams. But to be honest I don't feel much else is being done to help her.

zippy539 Tue 05-Jul-11 21:51:08

She sounds exactly like DS who is dyslexic. Do go to the GP and get an assessment - then if it's a dyslexic/dyscalculic issue you'll be able to get onto the school for some extra support. smile

LittlePushka Tue 05-Jul-11 22:02:04

Sounds like dyscalculia to me. My neice was exactly the same and eventually, after the primary school kept fobbing my sister when she raised the issue time and time again, the secondary school spotted it in the first half term, had her tested . By the end of the first term she was statemented and having extra help and knows how to cope with her problems so much better.

I would recommend you press the school SENCO for testing asap. My niece spent the whole of her primary education in a partial fog, necessarily I fear.

startail Tue 05-Jul-11 23:53:06

Having trouble telling the time is a classic sign of dyslexia.

This puzzled me when I read it because I'm mildly dyslexic and I like clocks.
However, my dyslexic DD1 couldn't cope with them at all. Even at 12 she'll only have a digital watch, she still cannot read an analogue clock.

Dyslexics have difficulties with working memory (I drive people mad because they have to give me phone numbers only 3 numbers at a time).
There's a lot of information to hold in your head at once when reading a clock. What numbers are the hands pointing at, what does each stand for and is it past or to? You loose track of any of these facts and it goes wrong.
My DD and I suspect yours realise they've lost the plot and panic.

Primary schools are disgracefully bad at testing for dyslexia, we ended up paying for a private assessment. I'm afraid you will have to keep on at them. Ours only listened when they realised DD was going to mess up their SATS results - suddenly they found her a scribe and she got them two level 5's (and one of those was English!)

The senior school are much better, they may not have the resources to offer a huge amount of extra help, but at least they understand and are supportive.

cory Wed 06-Jul-11 08:27:13

My ds only just grasped this as he turned 11- but then we are thinking about having him assessed when he gets to secondary (meeting with SENCO next week). He also struggles with coordination (shoelaces), getting organised and attention.

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