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Teacher has given me concerns!!!

(25 Posts)
aularaef Mon 19-Sep-11 13:44:08

There has been confusion with reading books (dd choosing books from wrong box) she is only just 6 and is great and enthusiatic reader, new yr2 teacher was unaware of reading level, put note in reading log book and has been rectified....however when i wanted to discuss the different levels of reading in yr2, she seemed to get dismissive and said that to help her academically i need to concentrate on writing as such a vast difference in her brill reading as oppose to poor handwriting....trouble is she finds writing so difficult. She can write nicely, always has something to say, and spelling really good...BUT putting all together is torture for her and she compalins her arm hurts and it takes her forever, although she has been highlighted as "gifted" in yr1 my gut tells me something not right...any suggestions or other mums understand my worries????

newtermnewname Mon 19-Sep-11 13:50:34

Hello. What has she been identified as being "Gifted" in OP?
What does not feel right?
How big is the gulf between written work and reading? What NC levels did she achieve at the end of year one?

savoycabbage Mon 19-Sep-11 14:01:04

The teacher has told you to concentrate on your dd's writing rather than her reading as that is her weaker area. I don't really know what you are asking.

IndigoBell Mon 19-Sep-11 14:08:44

If you think she might have a physical problem with writing, ie her arm hurts, you need her to be checked out by an occupational therapist.

You can try and get an appt on the NHS, by asking your GP to refer you to one, or you can go privately.

aularaef Mon 19-Sep-11 14:13:54

She was gifted at reading, at 5.0 her reading was 7.8 spelling,(was given different and more complex spellings than rest of class) and general knowledge. I was reading up on any ideas on encouraging her want to write, and i came across dysgraphia, now i've got concerns because she fits all the tell tale signs apart from being weak at drawing(which she enjoys)..what i really wanted advice on do I mention to rather scary teacher (not good at confrontation) or wait or am i being paranoid...as said confused, since shes been little always been told "different" (foundation years) looked at adhd but health visitor said shes just a creative thinker when assessed at school...

titchy Mon 19-Sep-11 14:14:59

What are your concersn? She's good at reading - you kow this and the teacher knows this. She's weak in her handwriting - you know this and the teacher knows this? Why the concern with the teacher? Sounds like she's spot on with your dd's abilities.

I doubt she has anything wrong when she says her arm hurts - ds was the same. He just didn't like writing. Even now in yr 6 his writing is pretty crap but he knows he has to get on with it. Most of his homework he now does on the compuetr which helps.

She will have SATS at the end of this year (informal though I think now), so her writing does need addressing. It'll get there though in time...

IndigoBell Mon 19-Sep-11 14:17:16

Does dysgraphia seem like a better fit than dyspraxia?

HerdOfTinyElephants Mon 19-Sep-11 14:20:26

From what you've said, I would have thought that you can have a conversation with the teacher along the lines of "When you say that we should be concentrating on DD's writing because it's so far behind her reading, do you mean that you suspect a specific writing problem such as dysgraphia that needs to be addressed, or do you think that she's within normal limits of variability?".

I don't think it's unusual for writing to be behind reading, though. DS's certainly is and TBH I'm pretty sure that it's just because he doesn't feel like doing it.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

simbo Mon 19-Sep-11 14:32:36

I wouldn't go down the route of labelling your daughter at such a tender age. She sounds quite normal to me, in fact, you could have been describing my dd. You sound as though you are enhancing her strong points ie reading, but not confronting her weakness, probably because you don't want to see her upset. What happened in our case was that she didn't like joining up her writing, finding this harder to do than printing. Although they lose a few marks at Sats for not joining their letters the school just let her do what she was most comfortable with. She still prints now and she is 12.

If you want to speak to the teacher just ask her how you can best help your dd at home. She will probably be happy to give you some tips.

aularaef Tue 20-Sep-11 11:28:14

I know simbo, totally not looking to go down the labelling route, i'm aware that these things go on school records etc, but on the same note, I would hate to think she is finding it impossibly hard to write and i'm doing nothing now and it becomes a problem in the next few years, surely if things are addressed properly at the first instance then her confidence in her own ability won't take a knock.

Part of me thinks she's just 6 she's fine, being my first and not having any other children to compare her to, i'm always amazed at what she can do, and think she's great (normal mum pride) but teachers keep putting little doubts in head, and when I then compare her to her to what her friends mum's say their own can do , I start to question what she can do.

An example:- she did a small page of writing at the w/end about her new fish, It took 2 hours, first line or 2 were neat, then it got gradually worse as it went down the page, her spelling of simple words became a problem, constantly having to use her rubber, and constantly having to ask me what shall I write, she would say a sentence and I would tell her that it was a good idea write it down, and then she couldn't put it down on paper properly, her spacing between words is totally eratic, which can make it hard to read what she has witten, Is this typical or does this sound like a problem, she doesn't have a problem with dictation, copying is o.k she can make silly mistakes(needs rubber close by). Teacher is saying practise writing all the time with her and forget reading with her, but it is so stressful for both of us that I don't want her remembering "mean old mummy always making me work". Ofcourse I can let develope at own pace but like all mums I want her to be confident at school and work well to her capabilities...I know i must sound like a nightmare...

IndigoBell Tue 20-Sep-11 11:33:50

totally not looking to go down the labelling route, i'm aware that these things go on school records etc

How will you get the right help for her without 'labelling her'?

What do you think happens when it's on the school records?

Nobody rushes to 'label' children. But if she's having problems the earlier she gets support for them the better.

I don't know if she has problems or not, if your concerns or valid or not. But I do know that being scared of 'labelling' is not going to help your DD.

Things like handwriting problems are relatively easy to correct at 6, and very very hard to correct at 10.......

You don't need a diagnosis to get help for her. You do need to decide whether or not there actually is a problem, and what you want to do about it.

Dillydaydreaming Tue 20-Sep-11 11:38:58

There's a difference between "labelling" a child and getting appropriate support. My son is dyspraxic and finds writing very difficult (says his arms hurt etc), the school were fabulous at getting thr right support for him AND they were the people who noticed his difficulties.

I think an OT is the person you need to see with regard to this, if it's a difficulty with motor skills then they have all manner of aids to help children in the classroom. My son is nearly 9 now and no longer needs these aids, lots of OT input and hand strengthening exercises have been brilliant.

aularaef Tue 20-Sep-11 11:43:57

Dillydaydreaming ..Did the school organise OT or did you go to your GP?

VinoEsmeralda Tue 20-Sep-11 11:45:19

Just a few ideas to get her to write ( am in a rush so apologies of post is a bit abrupt)

Make a shopping list.
Let her decide what she is going to have for breakfast which she can write down and then decorate with a border, similar for lunch boxes, dinners.
Write postcards to family and friends ( make sure you speak to them so they send her something back)

You need to make it fun for her not a chore.

Also have a look at the (expensive) Nessy software which has amazing amounts of FUN, tasks on the writing beach for which she will earn nuggets and those can be spend at the virtual fair. Might sound bit boring but cant praise that enough, although developed for kids with dylslexia/dyspraxia I use it for my DS (who is also on the top 10% list for literacy and maths) and my DD (also 6) with suspected processing memory problems and it has worked a treat.

She used to be so reluctant to do anything and she loves Nessy and doesnt realise she is learning whilst having fun!

roses12 Tue 20-Sep-11 11:45:30

She's only six IMHO 2hours writing in one sitting is too long . Try 15mins and then a physical break for 5mins. Max 45 mins. Also there a great learn to write books which might be fun. Maybe help You write a shopping list or short emails/letters to relatives. Shell get there. One day it will click

titchy Tue 20-Sep-11 11:59:37

2 hours shock No wonder her writing, spelling and imagination got worse - mine would trying to write for that long!

roses is quite right - 15 mins max. Don't worry too much about the actual writing itself - scruffy is fine as long as it is vaguely readable at this stage. Give her small targets - say 2 sentences in 10 mins. Build up her confidence again. Then 3 sentences in 10 mins. Maybe 5 minutes before thining what tjose sentences will be. Onece she can do that, get her to conentrate on her actual handwriting. I think you need to break it down into small steps, then add another bit once she has the basics mastered.

aularaef Tue 20-Sep-11 12:01:05

Indigobell, I do agree with you but hubby is against doing anything and says give her time, She's only 6! but i don't think he's aware what children are expected to achieve. Parentpride of the things she can do and ignore the things she can't-seems to be his approach.. which is the opposite to me, surely happy children are well rounded? I think I need "Tinyherdofelephants" to come with me and arrange a meeting with teacher giggle...but I think that is the answer really, I just don't want to be that pushy mum always grabbing the teacher at the end of the day. Which may be a cop out, on my part as teacher has her for 1 yr she's mine for ever, and if I don't fight her corner no one else going to....why is school years so hard?

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

mummytime Wed 21-Sep-11 06:16:14

I think school years are so hard because you are being overly hard and anxious about this!

2 HOURs is too long.

Do not worry about neatness too much. Continue with reading, and encourage her to enjoy it.

Forget about dysgraphia for now.

If you are really anxious you could look at some exercises when she is older. But get her to enjoy writing, encourage her to write without worrying about spelling, leaving letters out is okay and so is spelling phonetically (in fact spelling phonetically is great at this age).

If you relax when she is older she will enjoy writing. If you stress so much when she is older she will give up trying because it is too stressful.

Let her do lots of fun stuff, Hama beads for example is great for the small motor skills needed for writing.

Please, please relax a bit.

iggly2 Fri 23-Sep-11 21:01:13

2 hours is tooo long!

Can you not maybe do 2-3 sentances but once a day. Give rwards for each one, with lots of encouragment. That is probably more succesful than 1 hour at the weekend. Does she like the computer? Would it help doing a bit of typing (she could see her creative piece of work at the end looking nice and neat and maybe help getting ideas flowing)? There maybe something physical she may have dysgraphia or dyspraxia but she maybe like lots of children at an age when they cannot write at the same speed as they think and get fustrated.
Just because you can read early does not mean you can write well/tell creative stories they are different skills. A joy of writing is best encouraged.

mrz Sat 24-Sep-11 10:09:56

If writing is physically painful you need to ask your GP for an OT referral if the school are unable to make referrals (not all are).

I would be very wary of labelling a child "gifted" if their reading age was only 2 or 3 years above their chronological age and I am surprised at any school doing so but as school has identified writing as a difficulty you need to find out the root of the problem.

LocalSchoolMum Sat 24-Sep-11 13:40:28

I agree with Mummytime - it's a good idea to do other fun stuff that will improve fine motor skills and not put her off writing. My son had great difficulty with writing - the physical part - and we saw an occupational therapist who recommended various exercises to improve his motor skills. He was encourage to do lots of drawing and colouring as well. She also gave him some tiny pieces of paper with a finger tip image to encourage him to leave a finger space between each word - that can make a big difference to legibility of written work. He had the special shaped pencils and pens as well. He's now 13 and his writing isn't fantastic, but he manages. If things are really bad the school will organise a writing keyboard (alphasmart is one brand) as they get older for the lessons where there needs to be a lot of writing.

aularaef Thu 06-Oct-11 23:33:18

Thanks for all the good advice....I got a handwriting book practicing joined up writing and she does a page most nights, and this week shes been given headteacher award for her writing and also wrote an excellent story which she read out to yr4, school has told her how proud they are of her this week so joined up writing seems to be working. I must just say to mrz the whole giftedness thing as in g&t Iep's are a way of letting teachers and parents work with more naturally able children who are perhaps more in need of constant challenge as oppose to bright children who learn easily, and can manage themselves better, I feel quite often people misinterpret a gifted learner (where learning comes easy) to gifted genius, which I am quite positive my dd is not!!
Also I drew little characters and wrote little bits of nonsense describing them, which she then did her own drawings of characters and wote descriptions about them, which we showed the grandparents and she was given oodles of praise (which she ofcourse loved). I do appreciate i can at times become a little overley concerned with what may seem silly to other more experienced mums, must admit i'm so more relaxed with dd2 (4 yr age gap) but to me she is super special and I want to make sure I ask for advice if I haven't got the answers to problems, because sometimes people have a different angle at looking at things, or can offer little nuggets of wisdom.

ConstantlyCooking Fri 07-Oct-11 09:56:37

Also cutting with scissors and tearing paper can help strengthen the muscles needed for writing.

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