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Not really progressing in year 3........sorry might be long!

(26 Posts)
Becaroooo Wed 02-Mar-11 10:15:42

....ds1 is 7 (8 in June) and in year 3 at his new school.

He had a very bad experience at his old school - was forced into learning to read/write before he was ready and it has had a devastating impact on his confidence and happiness.

He is a summer baby and had some developmental delay as a baby....late to sit unaided, roll, late talker etc etc

Came to my senses after he was diagnosed with symptoms of clinical depression and took him out of that school and home schooled him for 10 months last year - he went back into a small village primary last November.

He likes it and is getting his confidence back, which is lovely.

It was parents evening last night and his teacher is very pleased with him - he has fitted in really well and is well behaved smile

However, he is still very behind in his reading and writing - which is obvioulsy impacting his other subjects too.

I am so sad and disappointed sad I really hoped she would tell me that ds1 was forging ahead and hes not and I dont know why.

I have tried so many things to help him;
toe by toe
step by step
jolly phonics
etc etc etc
Nothing has really worked

We have a house full of books, any book he expresses an interest in, I buy it. We also listen to audio books.

He still doesn not know all the letter names (he knows all the letter sounds and has done since he was 5)

His teacher says he is "stuck" at phase 3/4 in letters and sounds.

He goes up into year 4 in September and I am getting increasingly worried about him. He has been assessed and they have "no concerns" but told me he has "gaps" in his knowledge.

He is supposed to get 30 mins 1-1 per week but its not been happening recently as the teacher is off sick.

What can I do??????

How can I help him?????

Do some kids just never learn to read or write very well?

Am I going to have to accept that ds1 has a learning disability? And if so, how do I get him the help he needs?

Really depressed this morning.......sad

squidgy12 Wed 02-Mar-11 10:28:35

Message withdrawn

Becaroooo Wed 02-Mar-11 10:42:37

Hi squidgy He doesnt really like lego. If he isnt watching his dvds he is playing outside or on his model railway.

We read to him and his brother a lot, although it tends to be non fiction for ds1 (top gear books, animal books etc)

His letter formation is really quite good, just very LARGE and he forgets his finger spaces a lot.

I looked at one of his books yesterday and he had written a story based on Red Riding Hood and the first paragraph went;

"It was a meisty nite. Red Riding hud saw a mistirius shadow in the wuds"

(It was a misty night. Red riding Hood saw a mysterious shadow in the woods.)

I can understand it, but shows how much he is struggling.

He is so intelligent, with a fab vocabulary. sigh.....

Becaroooo Wed 02-Mar-11 10:43:49

.......have just ordered the level 3 set of words and pictures books and dvds from amazon.....

IndigoBell Wed 02-Mar-11 10:46:36

Becaroo, you know I am in a very similar position to you and my DD has not been able to learn to read at all despite all the high quality synthetic phonics teaching in the world.

I spent a whole year trying to teach her to read and made no progress at all, and since then have instead tried to work out what the real problem is ( having ruled out bad teaching )

So far I have found 4 different underlying problems.

* Vision Problems
* Attention Problems
* Auditory Problems
* Neuro Development Problems

I am working through therapies for all of the above and are starting to make huge progress. DD is not reading yet, but is def making progress for the first time ever.

So I recommend you need to investigate all of the above causes, but doing that is not easy or cheap.

Attention Problems

At Christmas we thought she may have ADD-Predominantly Inattentive. I have no idea if she did or not. The paed refused to see her. But we read all about this and tried her on Omega Fish Oil and straight away noticed a huge improvement.

Bizarrely enough we also started refloxology (foot massage) with her - and this also helped her attention / alertness. I have no idea why, but at this point don't really care.

There have been loads and loads of studies done though that prove that Omega Fish Oil does help.

Vision Problems

We had no idea she had any vision problems. 2 opticians said she was fine. She appeared fine. But when we took her to a behaviour optometrist he found loads of small problems. Basically her long distance vision was fine, and her close vision wasn't.

We did 5 weeks vision therapy with her and cured her vision problems. Surprisingly this had very little effect on her reading. But I'm still glad we cured her vision problems.

Neuro Development Problems

This means she has retained reflexes. Her baby reflexes haven't disappeared. Retained Reflex therapy is brilliant (we have done it with DS), and we will start it with her very soon. It takes about a year to complete, so is no quick fix.

The baby development problems you describe could well indicate your DS also has retained reflexes.

Hearing Problems

Again an audiologist told me her hearing was fine. But it turns out it wasn't. She had hypersensitive hearing, auditory discrimination problems and auditory processing delay. Last week she did AIT to cure all these problems.

The AIT has made a vast improvement to her.

Unfortunately I think you need to investigate and rule out all of the above underlying problems. If you are in London I highly recommend you start with the Sound Learning Centre.

But I really don't think you will be able to solve his reading problems with more 'learn to read' schemes......

IndigoBell Wed 02-Mar-11 10:47:41

Becaroo - your son's writing is miles ahead of my DDs.

Becaroooo Wed 02-Mar-11 10:52:40

Hi indigo

I am in Derbyshire.

I was looking into behavioural optometrists at the weekend funnily enough (after your recommendation!) but the only one I found is quite a long way from here sad Still, might be worth the trip I think. Its £80 for the test.

Could you tell me a bit more about retained reflexes and the therapy please? thanks!

So glad your interventions are helping and that your dd is making progress x

IndigoBell Wed 02-Mar-11 11:06:55

Your baby reflexes, like the startle reflex and the sucking reflex are meant to disappear and be replaced with adult postural reflexes.

The therapy is actually just OT, but specifically designed to help with the reflexes. And a number of different OTs offer this therapy (often calling it diff names)

My DS has been doing it for almost a year now and has made huge improvements. Every night he does 5 - 10 minutes of easy physical exercises. You can't believe that they would work, but they do.

Here are some places that do it:

Sound Learning Centre



And here's one of many threads I have done about it:
Retained Reflexes

Academically DS has come on hugely. He made 2 years progress in 1 term - in almost all subjects. Not sure how much this was due to reducing his anxiety so he could actually work in class, and how much directly due to the therapy - I suspect a lot of both.

DS and DD have (supposedly) very different problems ( ASD / Dyspraxia vs Dyslexia ) - but DD def has retained reflexes. Both the optometrist and SLC have told us this.

oddgirl Wed 02-Mar-11 11:18:45

Hiya Becaroooo-I am with Indigo-retained reflex therapy can really really help with aspects of neuro developmental delay-just google retained primitive reflexes. My DS (5) has motor and verbal dyspraxia and is borderline ASD. We have done reflex therapy for around a year and seen huge leaps in development and behaviour. He has gone from being below average reader to one of the top in his class. Writing is a real struggle but now he can at least attempt to write in a straight line-before letters were massive and random on the sheet of paper as his spatial perception was so poor. We are also going to look at behavioural optometry but want to finish reflex therapy first.
Would also 2nd omega oils-make sure they have high EPA to DHA ratio-it is now thought the EPA is more important for behavioural stuff and the DHA is more important in utero. Advice is to go for one with at least a 3:1 EPA:DHA ratio.

Becaroooo Wed 02-Mar-11 12:47:51

Thanks guys, will definately look into you know if you can get the therapy via BUPA?

Re; retained ds1 has always walked on tip toe (we have gradually over the years got him to walk properly in shoes but at home he walks on tip toe. This has left him with very short hamstrings as he struggles at karate to so some of the stretches) and he...well...we call it him "prancing" blush He literally cannot sit still...he sort of "prances" up and down the room on tip toe whilst watching TV, more so when what he is watching is exciting/funny etc

He also sometimes makes quite jerky movements with his arms and legs...not sure he realises he is doing it tbh. In the car for example, he will be sat forward, not realxing in his seat, with his arms bent.(???)

God, I am making him sound really strange, arent I?

I have mentioned all this to his Paediatrician (who he sees twice a year due to his asthma/excema) and he basically said he is fine, nothing to worry about.

We are seeing his Paed tomorrow.....should I be talking to him about all this???????

Becaroooo Wed 02-Mar-11 13:00:18

...have just lokoed on the INPP website....ds1 ticks so many boxes sad

God, is it hideously expensive???

Becaroooo Wed 02-Mar-11 13:16:53

....have spoken to a lady at INPP at chester.

Have filled out an initial online questionairre and they should be ringing me back next week to see if they can help Tom.

Its costs £350 plus VAT.

Will have to take ds1 out of school for a day to do it, but thats ok.

Just dont want to get my hopes up, you know?

Thanks so much for all your advice x

IndigoBell Wed 02-Mar-11 14:12:48

He can't sit still - that can be due to AD/HD or due to his vestibular and Proprioception senses being out.

Vestibular sense is your sense of movement. And your Proprioception sense is the sense of where your body is.

(So for example, can he close his eyes and touch his nose - I asked DS to do this. He closed his eyes and bought his finger up to almost his nose and then he said 'I've forgotten where my nose is' )

If those senses are out kids will move constantly. If their sense of movement is out they don't even know if they are moving or not. And if their Proprioception is out they don't know where there body is, so they don't know if they are sitting properly - so they keep moving so they can feel the chair.

The retained reflexes therapy will fix these problems.

veritythebrave Wed 02-Mar-11 14:32:23

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

veritythebrave Wed 02-Mar-11 14:34:39

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Becaroooo Wed 02-Mar-11 17:38:14

Verity sad I am sorry to hear that.

Dh gets a (small) bonus from work at the end of this month...we were going to book a holiday for next year but it will go on the assessment instead.

Becaroooo Wed 02-Mar-11 17:38:53

Yes verity sounds very similar to Tom.

reup Wed 02-Mar-11 21:11:10

I think we may have the same son. He's 8 in June tiptoes, jumps when excited when watching tv too. He is a good reader though but has some trouble tracking words. I read indigobell links before but bot sure if we can afford to follow any up. School says he us easily distracted and his writing and handwriting is poor.

Please post and let us know how you get on.

IndigoBell Wed 02-Mar-11 21:26:08

reup - here are some vision exercises your son can do for free.

Omega Fish Oil isn't very expensive....

If his handwriting is very poor and he walks on tiptoes you should be able to get your GP to refer you to an OT (Occupational Therapist) or possibly even a paedetrician for free.

Good luck.

Becaroooo Wed 02-Mar-11 21:32:54

I will reup

I am definately making an appt with my GP tomorrow and pushing on with some of the therapies indigo has suggested.

Thanks so much for your replies. I feel so alone with this.

reup Wed 02-Mar-11 21:33:24

He's having physio and wearing splints for the tip toeing. Evidently my brother and nephew did it too.

Thanks for the link. Will have a good look tomorrow.

Which brand of fish oil do you use?

I got the sit n move cushion but he is not keen.

School was going to sit him by himself for some activities but still have not sorted it.

He is also a real chewer. But I know quit a few kids like this. His little brother has started telling him off for it now!

IndigoBell Wed 02-Mar-11 21:49:19

I have tried all sorts of fish oils grin

Nature's Own

Sorry the move n sit cushion didn't work out. My DS loves his. Did your DS try it for carpet time or for working at his desk?

reup Wed 02-Mar-11 21:51:32

We have only tried it at home so far for his handwriting practice. Was going to see if it worked at home before taking it to school. I'll try it again when he gets his homework.

IndigoBell Wed 02-Mar-11 22:02:07

Try it at school. Tell his teacher that an OT recommended he have it.

(Well, my OT did recommend it, and that's how I got one)

reup Wed 22-Jun-11 19:12:31

Any news?

My ds is now having 1:1 tuition via the school. He's halfway through the 10 sessions and frankly nothing has improved. In his optional says they got a ta to write for him but the never informed us of this.

He has taken fish oils but we haven't persevered withe cushion.

He does extra homework with the tuition and I broke down in tears today seeing quite how bad it was. He had 3 checklists near him and I reminded him about capital letters and he still started off lower case.

Hope you have had more success!

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