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Y2 DS has problems following spoken instructions

(12 Posts)
follygirl Thu 11-Oct-12 10:29:25

Would really appreciate some input.

My DS is a summer baby so just 6. When he was younger he did have mild speech delay but has since caught up with his peers. His reading is above average as is his spelling and maths.

Whe he was in Reception we were told that he wouldn't follow instructions so we had him assessed on their recommendation. We were told that he was average if not above average for his age. Last year this issue wasn't mentioned and now it's been mentioned again at his parent's evening.

He doesn't have problems following written instructions just verbal. An example the teacher gave was that he was asked to cross the courtyard and find a teacher in an office. He then had to ask her a question. He correctly found the teacher but then couldn't remember what the question was.

I then asked him to do some things last night. He is okay if he can do 2 things one after the other but if there is a long delay between the two instructions he can get confused. For example he had to undress and put his clothes in the laundry basket and then had to get a cup of water from downstairs. He was fine doing the first thing but had forgotten about the second.

I would say that he is a bit of a natural day dreamer and does like to 'zone out'. Would you say that his behaviour is normal for his age?

Other than giving him instructions so that he can 'practise' what can I do? I have asked his teacher to consult the Y1 teacher as to whether this was an issue last year and perhaps we weren't told about it.

Any advice would be great. For what it's worth, his hearing and eyesight are perfect and he does not have any other issues.

MaryBS Thu 11-Oct-12 10:34:12

I think they should make allowances for him, and give him verbal instructions, but back them up with writing them down too. Perhaps when he's a bit older he can write them down for himself, or he might just cope better anyway. I think they are making it into more of an issue than it is by handling it this way!

LeMousquetaireAnonyme Thu 11-Oct-12 10:41:43

Is he trying very hard to remember or day dream on his way?

DD1 (7) is like that but there is so many things in her head (at the moment she is mapping "dreamland", trying to find school work for her 2 yo sister, sort the big bang theory, imagine a world without gravity, and reenacting the last famous 5 she read, plus singing and trying to do the cartwheel, I am sure I am missing something confused), no wonder she can't remember.

She also doesn't listen very well because of the active thinking, she will hear the first part and hear that there is something after but what?

DH is 40 and can't do it either wink.

Meditation and taking notes might help to stay focus (it doesn't work on very stubborn DD).

If he is trying hard, ask the school what their next step would be? GP? senco?

LeMousquetaireAnonyme Thu 11-Oct-12 10:46:03

I forgot to say
An example the teacher gave was that he was asked to cross the courtyard and find a teacher in an office. He then had to ask her a question. He correctly found the teacher but then couldn't remember what the question was.

That would have been very scary for me at that age to do. I would have focus and stressed so much about talking to the teacher and trying to find her, that I would have forgotten half the message. The teacher should have sent him with a note to deliver.

coppertop Thu 11-Oct-12 10:53:31

Did the tests include checking his working memory? It may be that he has difficulties with this.

Some of the strategies that can help include:

- Staff checking that ds has understood instructions. This should be done by asking him to describe what he needs to do, and not just saying "Did you understand?"

- At this age, having instructions in writing so that he can refer to them. As he gets older, encourage him to start making his own notes/lists as he goes along.

- Playing memory games at home. This can include things like a shopping list game, or pairs, or taking away one object and trying to work out which one it is.

-

funnypeculiar Thu 11-Oct-12 10:57:35

This is ds too (he's now in Y4, and getting a bit better).

One thing that helps ds is to recite the thing he has to do/remember (at first out loud, then in his head)

We also did reminder sheets for him (eg things to remember to do before school)

funnypeculiar Thu 11-Oct-12 10:58:38

Reciting instructions back straight after he's told them also helps ds. I'd often find he'd only really got one element of the instructions...

HoratiaWinwood Thu 11-Oct-12 11:15:56

I can't either. I never have been able to.

If I write it down immediately then I can remember (because I remember the written version). Saying it out loud is supposed to help, as funnypeculiar said, but that isn't always possible and it doesn't always work.

It's just different kinds of learning and processing. I am compensated by a near-photographic memory.

follygirl Thu 11-Oct-12 13:20:55

coppertop I will have a look at his test results and see what they assessed him for.

He does have a photographic memory though. We play a memory game where you have to look at a picture for 30 seconds and then answer questions on it. He always gets this right and it can be quite obscure things.

He does understand written instructions but I guess that's because he can re-read the question if he's unsure.

I will ask him to repeat instructions this evening and see if this improves.

FunnysInLaJardin Thu 11-Oct-12 13:24:56

DS1 does this. He is just in DS1 land quite a lot of the time. He sort of screens out the non interesting bits like brush you teeth etc. It is a tad irritating but when it comes down to it it is just him. He is in yr2.

HoratiaWinwood Thu 11-Oct-12 18:57:13

He does understand written instructions but I guess that's because he can re-read the question if he's unsure.

Not necessarily. See my post above. It may just go into his memory better, particularly since as you say he has a photographic memory.

Can you get him to write stuff down? My mother despaired of me until she realised all it took was paper and pen.

follygirl Thu 11-Oct-12 21:07:31

I will try with getting him to write things down.

Will have a go this weekend because we've not had much time today and I don't want to make too big a deal of it.

Thanks for the advice though, it all helps.

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