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What do you think the problem might be with dd?

(69 Posts)
GooseyLoosey Mon 18-Jul-11 08:06:36

Dd is just finishing Yr 2.

Her teacher has finally confirmed to us that her failure to listen/comprehend what he says goes beyond the norm and is affecting her education. I have been worried for a while, but managed to convince myself that there was no real problem and I just expected too much from her. The teacher suggested taking her to the GP as otherwise we will find it hard to access any help at school as her behaviour is great and her attainment is average. I am going to do this, but am trying to work out what the problem might be in advance.

It is not just a failure to pay attention with dd but a complete failure to process what is said to her. Some examples might help:

She will ask what is for tea. I will answer. She will ask again. I will answer again. She will ask again and I will say I have already answered twice - what was the answer I gave. Most of the time, with some thought, she will be able to tell me what the answer was - but she does have to think about it. This happens all the time (but she generally appears to hear just fine).

I was explaining that the plot of a book was about "people looking for water" and her immediate response was "what is water". I said "you know what water is - think". She said "I don't", I said "you do". Eventually she was able to tell me.

She has a favourite episode of a television programme which we have recorded and she has watched many times. Recently she wanted to refer to the episode to me and she described it in terms of what people were wearing and the visual events that happened in it rather than giving a narrative of the plot.

She often watches a programme like Scooby Do and really has no clue who is doing what to who and what is happening.

In terms of attainment - she is a 2a and 2b (pretty much exactly where she was last year). She is the youngest in the year and has a late Aug birthday.

Any ideas?

feckwit Mon 18-Jul-11 08:23:47

My first though was hearing, I presume you have had her hearing properly checked? My frien's daughter has some hearing issues only diagnosed this year in year 4. The fact your daughter refers to the scooby doo film etc in a visual way not the plot suggests she is missing the plot through lack of audio to me.

Asking what is water etc could be her way of confirming she heard correctly...

My friend's daughter has hearing aids now. When she walked put wearing them the first time she commented she could hear birds singing, she never had before. None of us had noticed though!

GooseyLoosey Mon 18-Jul-11 08:25:41

Her hearing was checked ages ago and was fine. She hears if you whisper "chocolate" behind her, but I guess that is too simplistic.

That's one thing on the list to ask the GP - thanks.

oddgirl Mon 18-Jul-11 09:34:11

I would get her hearing tested but it may not be actual hearing but more an auditory processing problem where the messaging gets muddled. This is even more evident in school where that messaging is competing with the surrounding noise. My DS has similar problems and we recently went to see an excellent audiologist who gave us these tips for home/school:
*position her at the front of the class where she can see the teachers face (may use lip reading to help her processing more than you think)
*Check comprehension after each instruction by asking her what she has understood not simply "did you understand"
* If you need to repeat an instruction, rephrase it as you often use simpler grammar
*Pre-learning material-get the teacher to give you topic work in advance so new vocab is familiar to her
*Buddy her with someone to support her understanding
*Give "listening breaks" where she can go somewhere quiet for 5 minutes
*At home spend 15 mins a day listening to an audio CD story then ask her questions to check comprehension-start easy then develop
*Gradually introduce some white noise from a radio to "compete" with the CD and see if she can still listen to the story...then when she can do this introduce quiet adult voices (Radio 4 for example) step would be to listen while childrens voices are in the background
*improve auditory discrimination by getting her to copy loud and soft on an instrument


WowOoo Mon 18-Jul-11 09:52:43

OddGirl has given you fantastic advice there.
When ds had a similar kind of problem we spoke to him a lot about it. He said:

I need more time to finish what I'm already thinking about
I can hear but I don't understand really what I should do
I do need you to tell me again and again because i forget.

You could say he's away with the fairies, but i also think my expectations for him were too high sometimes. He's slowly getting better at responding and actingon instructions.
I'd take your dd to doctor so you can rule things out for peace of mind.

If i whisper chocolate near ds he responds at once also! And also has no real idea what on earth is happening on Scooby Do...!
He needs regular quiet time and improves when I send him to his room to play alone or do a task.
Hope things get better for dd

cat64 Mon 18-Jul-11 09:55:30

Message withdrawn

IndigoBell Mon 18-Jul-11 09:56:55

Auditory Processing Disorder is one thing to investigate. A normal hearing test doesn't check for this.

Also, she could have Auditory Discrimination Problems - which is not the same as Auditory Processing Disorder. (Discrimination is a hearing problem, whereas processing isn't...) (And again a normal hearing test doesn't check for this)

Also maybe Attention Deficit Disorder - Predominantly Inattentive.

GooseyLoosey Mon 18-Jul-11 10:19:45

Ooh - thanks all. Will ask GP about ADD and auditory processing too.

ADD had sprung to mind, although when I read about it, it seemed to suggest that children with this condition can have difficulties maintaining appropriate relationships with their peers and she certainly has no problems in this regard. She is certainly a fidget and wriggles constantly. However, would a child with ADD not process the answer to a question which they have asked and which is given immediately?

The auditory processing stuff is new to me. Simplictically, I assumed that you can hear or you cannot. I certainly sounds a possibility as dh has referred to her as having a kind of aural dislexia. Wotuld the GP be familiar with this and are tests for it easy to arrange?

On the other hand, thinking about it, I suspect her problems may go beyond this. She will often say she cannot find something. I will tell her exactly where to look. She will come back saying she cannot find it. I will tell her to look again and that it is definitely there. She still cannot see it. If I look, it is exactly where I have told her and in plain sight - I guess that this may be more an attention thing?

Those of you with children with auditory processing issues - do the school support your children or do you have to provide all of the support at home?

Lancelottie Mon 18-Jul-11 10:20:45

Both of my boys would do things like that (one has Aspergers, the other ADHD).

The older, more articulate one describes the problem very much like Wowooo's son's first comment -- needing more time to finish what he was already thinking about. He hates it if someone repeats the message while he's thinking, though, as then he has to start again.

The younger one says sometimes he hears the sounds and starts playing with them in his head to make them into patterns, or thinking about other words like that, or how you would say them if you were James Bond. God knows how he ever gets any information out of it at all especially when it involves homework or finding his socks.

Lancelottie Mon 18-Jul-11 10:22:18

Goosey, we call that 'boy looking' in this house. Clearly I need to stop making gender-biased stereotypical judgements of sock-finding ability.

GooseyLoosey Mon 18-Jul-11 10:26:55

I know what you mean about "boy-looking" - I would have assumed that of my 2 children dd would have been better at finding things. In fact ds is a born "finder" and I will often task him to find things I have lost!

Am finding being told that dd has a problem very hard to cope with and am already feeling guilty beyond belief - did I do things when pregnant that I should not have done - should I have left a longer gap between ds and dd - why can't I be more patient with her. Its awful!

TheClaw Mon 18-Jul-11 10:27:06

This is all ringing so many bells with me. My DD is often 'away with the fairies'! Instructions have to be repeated so many times. The standard hearing test was fine and the woman laughed that children have selective hearing but I think it is more than that.

Oddgirl there are some really useful pointers there thank you. She is moving into Y2 next year and will have a lovely teacher who is approachable (not like this year) so I may talk to her about positioning DD in the front row as at the moment she is back row and I don't think this helps. Maybe also ensure she is positioned facing the front of the class and not side on.

Goosey - it does sound like a processing disorder - let us know how you get on at the Doctors as I may go down that route myself at some point.

GooseyLoosey Mon 18-Jul-11 10:34:33

TheClaw - I too have been told "some children hear what they want to" and "other girls are dreamy too". But when I pressed about whether dd was in a league of her own, they were forced to agree that she was.

I suspect that she gets by in school by watching what others do and copying. I have watched her at after school activities and this is deffinitely what she does - she does not even look at the instructor but watches the other children.

Lancelottie Mon 18-Jul-11 10:35:35

Ah yes, the guilt. I suppose it's no good saying 'Just don't feel guilty', is it? We seem to be programmed to feel unreasonably guilty whenever our kids struggle. Must be something our mothers ate in pregnancy...

Lancelottie Mon 18-Jul-11 10:36:18

Ah, not Aspie, then. Pretty much the definition of Asperger's is 'doesn't automatically copy the other kids'.

oddgirl Mon 18-Jul-11 10:37:13

No problem Claw-the audiologist said to me that positioning is vital because the sound becomes proportionally distorted the further away you are as its at its purest when it leaves the teachers lips. Add into that the horrendous acoustics present in most schools where sound just bounces off hard surfaces, she said its like the child being faced with a "wall of sound" which s/he then has to try and unpick. Some classrooms have an FM soundfield system where the teacher wears a transmitter-this ensures sound reaches all pupils at its purest form. I was utterly amazed that our bog standard state school actually dose have this system so it may be worth asking about.

Goosey-the fact she fidgets does suggest a degree of processing problems as many children fidget in an attenpt to try and listen and comprehend what is said.
As Indigo said a normal NHS hearing test wont pick up processing or discrimination issues


Lancelottie Mon 18-Jul-11 10:37:20

(sorry, shouldn't use Aspie as it annoys people. My only excuse is that my son rather likes this term.)

Lancelottie Mon 18-Jul-11 10:39:06

I don't know if this is relevant, but the audiologist who tested DS2 said that the only way she could make him listen was to occupy both his hands with something to fiddle with.

Sadly, school still persist with the 'STOP fiddling and listen to me!' tactic. Might have to have another go at persuading them out of that one.

Fifis25StottieCakes Mon 18-Jul-11 10:42:43

Im having the same sort of problems with dd2 whos leaving YR2. She has had problems with concentration since reception. Is still on level 2 books and is behind with writing as she gets muddled up.

I have been refered to the educational department at the hospital through the doctor as the school are reluctant to do anything. They thought she had a learning dealy. Things are starting to move now. Shes had the basic test ie hearing and is awaiting a sleep test as i think she may habe sleep apnea. Hopefully it will all be sorted out by the juniors.

TheClaw Mon 18-Jul-11 10:44:04

Yes I can relate to that. My DD has recently admitted that she copies work back at her table as she doesn't know what they are supposed to be doing. I asked her to put her hand up and ask but she wouldn't want to draw attention to herself. This year she has said things like how come everyone else knows what to do and they're all clever. She has very little confidence in herself which I am working on.

At swimming she is the same. The teacher gives instructions and off she goes doing something completely different. He has picked up on this though and mostly clarifies with her if she knows what she is doing or he directs his words to her and she gets it first time. Just watching from the sides has made me see that she needs full focus to hear what is being said.

She is a 3 weeks into taking Omega3 Fish oils and her reading and willingness to read has picked up!

Our problem is compounded in that she is a twin and her sister has a photographic memory and fab auditory processing so it is hard not to compare. DD was prem and IUGR (intra-uterine growth restriction) which I worry may have affected her in some way.

GooseyLoosey Mon 18-Jul-11 10:44:07

So fidgeting can be a sign of a processing problem? That's interesting and not something I would have thought of - I had thought that it was just down to a lack of attention.

I have noticed that dd clicks her fingers when she is trying to concentrate hard on telling me something - it is as though if she does that it eliminates the other distractions.

I am particularly keen on sorting this out now if I can as dd's teacher next year is very much the "sit still and listen" type (ds has just had her for a year) and will not really do touchy feely strategies unless she has to.

IndigoBell Mon 18-Jul-11 10:51:11

As well as high dose Omega Fish Oils (which I def recommend you try for any kid who is struggling in class) a number of us on the SN board have been trying Behaviour Balance - and between us we've seen some quite remarkable improvements.

GooseyLoosey Mon 18-Jul-11 10:56:34

TheClaw - I know what you mean about comparing. Ds is only 15 months older than dd and his school report described him as a "truly exceptional child". I know that I should not compare them, but it is always there in the back of your mind -ds can do this, why can't you.

We have given them fish oils since they were toddlers so can't try that now sadly.

GooseyLoosey Mon 18-Jul-11 10:57:45

Thanks Indigo have ordered some.

Fifis25StottieCakes Mon 18-Jul-11 11:03:43

Yes i also second the omega capsuals. Ive been using the Tesco ones. They are normally on 3 for 2

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