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Should I focus more on DS education needs or SEN?

(9 Posts)
notgivingin789 Fri 30-Dec-16 02:35:57

Hey all,

I have a nearly 7 year old DS who has a severe language disorder (verbal dyspraxia) and communication difficulties. His understanding of language is of a 6 year old but expressively is of a 2 year old !

When DS was younger many therapists advised that I shouldn't really be teaching DS academic stuff and should just focus on his speech and language skills. So I did this, but when DS was nearing 6 he took a high interest in learning the jolly phonics and got on with it well, though he is very behind in his reading and I feel very guilty that I didn't push him as I was so concerned with his speech and language needs. So as of 6 months ago I've been following the jolly phonics structure and DS is flying with it and can blend some words ! Though I know his very behind from his typical age group and I feel very guilty as this was my fault and that I shouldn't of listened to the therapists sad.

I'm finding it very difficult combining teaching DS how to speak/understand and develop his communication skills and teaching him academic stuff. His very into Maths too ! though he finds it difficult to understand new concepts of language (e.g adding, subtracting).

Usually, I would spend the majority of the day teaching DS his language/communication skills and in the evenings, teaching him the academic stuff (I do put more emphasis into reading as it is very important !).

Though I'm worried that I will overload DS with too much language. DS doesn't have any learning difficulties (he has been tested) but as learning to read, numbers, adding/subtracting, dividing etc. are in itself a language, I'm finding that I have to over teach him.

What do you Mumsnetters advise ?

SaltyMyDear Fri 30-Dec-16 02:48:12

I think at the moment while he's still young it'll be very easy for him to catch up academically once his language improves.

There is only so much you can do - and it sounds like you're doing an enormous amount.

notgivingin789 Fri 30-Dec-16 03:35:57

Thanks Salt so do you think it's best to mainly focus on his language needs and then maybe focus on the academics on the weekend ?

I am finding as DS language needs are improving its becoming much easier to teach him more academic stuff.

Ditsy4 Fri 30-Dec-16 04:55:47

Does your DS attend school or are you HE?
I have worked wit a great number of children with SN including those with S&L difficulties. I would say do some work on combining the two. In Maths could you make and A4 card with the symbol and a word then as he learns that then add new words in a different colour to the sheet. + addition, the sum of etc.
Great news about the Jollly Phonics there are small books available through ELC which have activities in them. You could photocopy them so he has lots of repetition. Does he use Makaton? AsI found teaching those with speak difficulties or processing Makaton helped lessen frustrations. It also meant we could communicate in the hall etcgrin Teaching him Old MacDonald's Farm would be great fun for you both.
I would teach little and often. So some academic work every morning but just short lessons of 15 mins and follow this up with practical activities such as baking where he will be learning Maths skills but the main focus would be on language acquisition. He won't realise he is learning because it is fun. If you repeat the activity each week he will learn.
The reading needs to be kept short about 5 - 10 minutes a day but then time enjoying books. Going to the library will be beneficial. If you are HS could you take him to a session for younger children so he listens to the librarian reading stories. At home read books like Hairy McClary as the rhythm and rhyme are very good for language acquisition. Children love to hear the same story over and over again at that age and younger and this is part of the process. I hope this helps.
Take a camera when you go out and you can make a book together which means the language can be written and re-read and enjoyed.
I think you are doing a great job by the way😄

notgivingin789 Fri 30-Dec-16 12:51:06

Thanks Ditsy this is excellent advice !!! DS is using Makaton but I use Cued Articulation to help him learn the phonetics. DS is at a specialist school. I have the JP phonetics books but what JP book has the activities in them??? That would be excellent. Rhyming books are such an obvious choice, I don't know why I didn't think of that !!! We will make a trip to the library.

You know to help DS with his reading do you think it will be worth labelling items around the house e.g.( fridge, clock etc) and encourage him to blend the words as we both are reading the labels ??

Thanks a lot again !

Ditsy4 Fri 30-Dec-16 23:24:59

Yes it would but some will be sight words which won't blend . That is ok though and a good way of learning them.
The books I am on about are small and thin. Less than A4 and square. They link pictures of the characters with writing. The children loved them and I let them colour some of the picture in ( time restraints or I would let them do all of it.) I bought them in ELC a long time ago. I will have a look but I don't know how to do links.

Ditsy4 Fri 30-Dec-16 23:33:58

Found them. They are called Jolly Phonics Workbooks and are available from Scolastic Books for £9.99 for all seven. There are lots of images too. The books are graded though.
You will love Hairy McClary if you haven't encounter them before. Also look for Jeanne Willis The Monster Bed and she wrote some other books too. Poems too you can get some great ones from The Works. Thick paperbacks such as A Poem a Day. The enriching language will develop his listening skills. Have fun!

Ditsy4 Fri 30-Dec-16 23:37:46

Oh and give him a shopping list. I used to cut the labels off. It makes them involved and they don't miss behave because they are too busy looking out for the right packet. Leave some of the picture on at first but as he hones his skills he will start to recognise the word. Think TESCO van or ASDA most kids can recognise those wagons😊

notgivingin789 Sat 31-Dec-16 16:22:50

Thanks Ditsy Scolastic only deliver to schools right ? They don't seem to deliver to your personal home address. Thanks for your book suggestions ! I'm off to Amazon to order those books ! DS loves reading books in general, though because of his language needs, he gets bored when the written words of the books are too long. So rhyming books will be better for him.

What do you mean by when you wrote down "you cut the labels" on the shopping list? It sounds like something DS will be interested in.

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