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My ds who is 5 next week can't seem to consistently count to 5

(23 Posts)
Overrun Sun 18-Oct-09 17:53:55

Occasionally he can do it, but most of the time he gets some numbers muddled up. Also he can't seem to remember his birthday, people ask him and he says he doesn't know.
I have been really coaching him on that fact that he is 4 this week, but now of course he is turning 5 on thursday.
If I ask him how old he is going to be, even if we have just discussed it, he will guess 6 or 7 or 1. I am worrying that there is a problem here.
Other slightly unusual things about him, it took him a very long time to learn the difference between a horse and a cow, and he still confuses butter with cheese. He is much better with colours now, but can muddle these up sometimes as well.
School have noticed that he can't do these things. I think we should be worried, my husband thinks that he is not sufficiently motivated, as he can remember names of planets and Dr Who Aliens easily enough. But I think if there is a pattern he doesn't cope with that. He is very strong willed so for a long time I too thought he just didn't want to.
Any ideas?

BonsoirAnna Sun 18-Oct-09 17:56:19

I too would be slightly worried if a 5 year old didn't know the things you mention - my DD will be 5 in November and has mastered all the things you mention worry you. She doesn't know the first thing about planets or Dr Who aliens, though!

Maybe you should ask for a referral to an ed psych for an assessment?

Overrun Sun 18-Oct-09 18:18:07

It is certainly out of keeping with what his older brother could do and his twin ds as well. I think I might talk to the school this week.
I would be interested to hear from any one whose child is similar too

duckyfuzz Sun 18-Oct-09 18:22:44

hello overrun, haven't seen you around for ages (dingdong here), haven't really got anything useful to say, but I think I woudl be worried in the same situation, I think my DTs are the same age as your older DS (6 in Dec. What (if anything) do school suggest?

Overrun Sun 18-Oct-09 18:25:50

Hi, nice to hear from you. The school haven't said anything about his numbers yet, it was highlighted in the school nursery's report that he couldn't do it. So the school are aware.

LIZS Sun 18-Oct-09 18:27:52

Talk to the teacher first. It seems unusual but could be less evident in the classroom. tbh I suspect it is too early to ask for an assessment unless he presents other issues aside from sequencing but if it impacting on progress with basic literacy and numeracy they may give him an IEP and some specific sessions to help.

duckyfuzz Sun 18-Oct-09 18:29:49

maybe wait and see how he settles down, mine struggled with the 'having to do things just because its expected' side of school and even now DT2 has fought against reading books from school on a regular basis, even though she can do it. Is there a parents' evening coming up?

Littlefish Sun 18-Oct-09 18:36:15

I think you should be talking to his teacher about this. Is he able to compare objects and talk about longer/shorter? Can he find two matching objects in a larger group? Can he count out a group of 2 or 3 objects? Can he follow simple instructions e.g. go and get the blue car.?

Re. the birthday thing - my dd is nearly 5 and has only just started remembering this.

Overrun Sun 18-Oct-09 18:36:50

We just had one, but it was only a week or so in to term so very early. We talked about the fact that he wont do as he is told, for eg, if he doesn't want to sit down at quiet time he just wonders off.
I think I haven't worried too much about it before now, as he has always been a very stubborn child, who is impossible to coax into doing something he doesn't want to. But now I can't help feeling a bit worried.
He counted to 10 the other day, after we sang a song with him, but as I said before he is very inconsistent.

Overrun Sun 18-Oct-09 18:38:16

Littlefish - he can do all of those things. I think I will set up an appt with his teacher asap

Clary Sun 18-Oct-09 18:53:31

overrun I have known children in reception who can't count beyond 2 FWIW.
I must say I was surprised but it's clearly not unheard of.

Lots of chidlren in yr 1 I know don't know when their birthday is!

However, coupled with other things you mention, I think it is a bit of a concern and echo others' suggestions of speaking to teacher.

sarah293 Sun 18-Oct-09 18:59:33

Message withdrawn

piscesmoon Sun 18-Oct-09 19:16:20

I wouldn't worry-he is very little. I remember my brother having to be bribed to count to ten in the infants! He always said 'don't bother me!'My father promised him a penny a number and he laboriously made the effort. He went to grammar school and a good university.

piscesmoon Sun 18-Oct-09 19:18:43

If you ask many reception DCs the date of their birthday they will say 'my mummy hasn't told me'!! (I suspect that mummy has!)

Overrun Sun 18-Oct-09 19:32:16

DT2 always seems to do things in his own sweet time, and it's great to hear from other people with ds's who were also late counting. And to hear that it is not umcommon in reception class children.

Clary Sun 18-Oct-09 19:33:47

yes re birthdays, we took pix for school calendar the other week and I got confused with one group (we did them by month of birthday) so I asked a couple of them "when's yr birthday" (ie January or February) and they had no idea!

zebramummy Sun 18-Oct-09 19:55:51

my ds (now 4) went through a phase of calling a helmet a 'ballgown' - it was only because he 'got' both of these words at around the same time. After a couple of weeks of: 'daddy, put your ballgown on" in the mornings, he sorted it out. his counting is also a bit hit and miss - tangible objects he can go on up to fifty or so, counting things in a picture often results in him adding one extra on beyond 3

mathanxiety Sun 18-Oct-09 19:58:23

Does he associate the numbers' names with quantities of things? Can he tell you there are three plates on the table, for instance, or is it just remembering the order of the words he's having problems with? If he uses fingers to count, does it help?

acebaby Sun 18-Oct-09 20:18:15

have you thought about getting some cuisinaire (sp?) rods. DS1 has come on so fast since we started playing with them. He started off using them for building but quickly progressed to lining them up and doing simple sums.

Of course, do as the others say and talk to his teacher as well!

Scottie22 Sun 18-Oct-09 21:25:16

Hmmm - strange if he has a good memory for the things he is interested in - planets and aliens. Having a 5 year old boy myself I can definitely testify to the lack of motivation for learning things that have no interest. Ds doesn't remember his birthday without prompting though he does know his age.

Hope you get a chance to discuss properly with his teacher. Counting songs might be more interesting for him?

Overrun Mon 19-Oct-09 15:00:24

I've just been reading the most recent posts, thanks for supportive comments and good advice.
Math anxiety, he can count things like plates, but only consistenly up to about 4. He has learnt a song which counts up to 10, and can sing this more easily than he can count up to 10 without singing.

What are cusianire rods (sp), they sound interesting

mathanxiety Mon 19-Oct-09 15:33:36

Here's a reference They are scored rods, marked at centimeter intervals, and they usually come in different colours. They can be used to represent different numbers, 1-10 or beyond, and can also be used to show concepts like length, area, etc. They give a visual idea of ascending or descending order -- you can line them up like pan pipes and see the low numbers and higher numbers. They're really useful for visualisation and children can handle them, build with them, etc., so math becomes more concrete, less of an abstraction.

Overrun Mon 19-Oct-09 16:11:59

Thanks Mathanxiety. By chance I came across the Special Needs teacher and had a brief chat so she is going to talk to his teacher as well. At least I have started the process.

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