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What is wrong with my daughter?

(53 Posts)
Etah Sat 28-Jun-14 11:29:33

She is 7 and is considered dyslexic, not sure if the school is doing enough but she is getting better at reading...unless well below her peers. Her teacher keeps complaining she is not reading the book in her book bag but it is too difficult for her. She reads at home but mostly pictures book for young children. Spelling is still a struggle.

I sat down to do some maths with ther this morning and she can not work out:

_ + 1 = 3

4 + _ = 4

and other similar problems.

This was on a computer website recommended by the school.
Usually she does staff like this for homework, I have to seat beside her with beads or numicon, she struggles but works out the answers eventually.
Today she couldn't do it easily all by herself not even using her fingers.

Don't get me started on times tables.

It is so frustrating and I know I must handle it better. I want to give her a good childhood with lots of extra curricular activities and interesting things to do and lots of play time but now I am starting to think I am doing it all wrong and should give up swimming, ballet, drama, playground, park and just stay at home teaching her.

The only way I can pay any kind of tutoring is if I cut any of the activities above which I struggle very much, save and go without myself to provide for her.

I am glad I am not working in August, so instead of spending the days out having fun I will mostly concentrate on working with her at home. She will still have few days holidays with GPs though.

Also I need to go and talk to teacher and SENCO again, don't I? Always when I do (not a lot though, but I had to push for a dyslexia assessment) I feel like I am being U and it is my fault I don't do enough at home, and I am one of "those" parents...don't I know she will "click" eventually?

I can't believe she will start Y3 like this!

What do you think?
Am I over reacting?

Etah Sat 28-Jun-14 11:37:05

Or should I just do lots of work/educational games with her on holidays and speak to SENCO and new teacher at the beginning of Y3?

LIZS Sat 28-Jun-14 11:39:49

Could she have dyscalculia ?

neolara Sat 28-Jun-14 11:41:16

Does your dd's school use numicon? If so, I would ask to photocopy the teaching pack and spend 10 mins a day going through the exercises one by one. The teaching pack is written so that anyone can give the "lesson". Your dd will pick it up in absolutely no time whatsoever.

ILoveCoreyHaim Sat 28-Jun-14 11:46:18

Is she getting extra help in school
Dd2 was identified as needing help before the end if reception but the school were a nightmare. I struggled to get help and had a few disagreements with the Senco. This school year has been great for her. At the end of the last school year we got a new head. The school had way below the average of children who had statements. Que a shake up. All the kids identifies as needing help were assessed. She was immediately given outside help and the teachers given a learning plan implementing practices to help her. She would see the senco plus have a lesson every week with someone brought in to help her. This year she has done brilliant. Shes tearing through the readers and its now catching up to her peers.

I cant praise the new head enough, the whole department was shaken up and the kids given the help they need. On speaking to other parents we were all having the same problem getting help.

throckenholt Sat 28-Jun-14 11:47:01

Try it with things (say apples, or cups of drink for the table - anything that makes it real to her). Bring it into everyday life all the time (in the car going to activities for example - little and often).

Do it visually at first, with words. Then just with words, and then with words and write the numbers at the same time.

I am sure she can do the arithmetic - she just doesn't associate the ideas with the numbers yet. Tables are irrelevant at the moment - no use at all until she gets the concept of numbers.

Lots of practice and keep it fun - build her confidence. She is probably convinced she is stupid at the moment if she is struggling with reading and doesn't get numbers either.

Don't take the other fun stuff away - it will make her feel even worse and as if she doesn't deserve to have fun because she isn't good enough.

ILoveCoreyHaim Sat 28-Jun-14 11:47:21

BTW she is in YR5 currently and is took till now to get help

weird2014 Sat 28-Jun-14 11:54:50

Some children need to be able to visualise things. Numicon, counting beads all help but also of great help is practical every day things. Incorporate times tables and simple number bonds into everyday activities, baking, shopping, getting dressed anything you can think of. This might help her to see the practical application and help things fall into place and get you both out over the summer without it being obvious that she is 'working'.

Reassure her lots of other people are the same, her brain just works a bit differently to how things are traditionally taught.

BackforGood Sat 28-Jun-14 11:55:03

I would certainly ask to have an appointment with her class teacher and the SENCo before you break up, and tell them exactly what you have told us.

Tell them that she enjoys looking at books (take in a few of what she likes, to show them) but that she seems to really struggle with the one that comes home in her book bag. Ask them to tell you how you can help her at home.
Tell them about the maths, show them what you are doing at the moment. Ask them if they believe she can do things like that in school and if so, can thy show you the method they are using so you can be consistent at home. If they say she can't, then they need to be breaking down the work she is doing to engage her at the level she is working at. If they say she can, then it will help if you are all using the same methods, language etc to give her further practice.

I certainly wouldn't make her give up other activities to do more school work - if you were struggling for 6 hours a day at work, imagine how you'd feel if you then had to come home and do hours more in your time off! (I speak as a teacher, SENCo and parent). Same with the holidays - nothing wrong with doing 10mins a day, but don't let work take over the holidays.

Also, continue to read to her, and talk to and listen to her. Take her places and talk about what you see - maybe make a scrap book of places you've been in the Summer holidays, so she's still writing / drawing / remembering / learning without it seeming like work.

spanky2 Sat 28-Jun-14 11:58:48

For the maths problems give her dry pasta shapes to work out the sums. With dyscalcula you cannot visualise the numbers. Also if you have poor working memory it affects being able to remember all the numbers to calculate a sum.

ILoveCoreyHaim Sat 28-Jun-14 12:02:25

My dd used to get very frustrated if she couldn't do something. What really helped with me was getting a Nintendo DS with educational games and sitting with her while she done them. She thought is was a game instead of having to sit at the table doing work. There's loads of stuff online to help as well as sitting down doing it on paper.

ILoveCoreyHaim Sat 28-Jun-14 12:03:47

I dont think my dd is dyslexic, i think she has auditory processing disorder although she hasnt had a diagnosis.

spanky2 Sat 28-Jun-14 12:04:05

Ds1 ( now year five,) started year three unable to read. He didn't even know all the sounds of the alphabet. He has learnt to read after school and in the holidays. He recently got a level 4a in his qca tests, which is what an average year six gets in their sats. We are now working on writing after school. There are lots of fun games on the internet. We also bought a learning programme called Nessy, which will help you know where to start. We have reading and spelling but there is also one for maths. If you pay to get your dd assessed formally it will help her get support at school.

LIZS Sat 28-Jun-14 12:06:53

Some of the junior brain/maths trainer games are very good for reinforcing things like number bonds and practicing mental maths skills.

spanky2 Sat 28-Jun-14 12:06:56

I think for auditory processing disorder you need an assessment by a specialist in occupational health. My DS has dyspraxia.

Etah Sat 28-Jun-14 12:08:48

Well the school is apparently "outstanding".

I had to push the teacher in reception and Y1 for more support until I have had enough in Y2 and went straight to SENCO. SENCO first told me that DD was not on her SEN list and wanted to send me on my way...but I had done some research and ticked some boxes from researches that helps identify children with dyslexia and convinced SENCO to assess her. When I was talking to the Child's Psychologist I also expressed my concern about maths but they didn't do anything re: dyscalculia just dyslexia. I will find the report and post results here later.
The CP was supposed to came back to the school and talk to me and give me some strategies, but she never came back nor the SENCO ever mentioned anything after the report.

The CP made some recommendation for special work with DD and I am not sure what it is, but DD just brought home 2 pieces of paper with 2 words written on it and she had to memorise for the week and she was supposed to get 2 words every week but this never went ahead.
Apparently the school paid someone to come and read for her for a while and play some sneak and ladders BUT it was during school hours and DD had to be pulled OUT of lessons to do so...

I have bought numicon myself, I have it at home!
DD do work out simple maths problems with concrete objects, however the school keeps signing up for these websites and giving the children the password, of course they want to "play" and it scared the hell out of me when she can't just see that _ +1 = 3.

They are supposed to do extra homework on these websites too and the teachers can see what they done so I wanted to give it a go.

KiaOraOAotearoa Sat 28-Jun-14 12:17:59

I cannot visualise numbers, I am quite severely dyslexic, shirt term memory virtually inexistent. The examples you gave above, OP, makes no sense to me whatsoever. And I am almost 10 times older than your DD.
What I had to do is learn by rota. Learnt not to question it, just learn it by heart. Still doesn't make sense unless I use my own version of numicon, I use colours and height.
Please don't spend the summer forcing her to learn something she will never understand the traditional way. Just get specialised help.
I know how you feel, I know how she feels. If it is any consolation, I work with numbers, I am a professional, went to Uni, did postgrad stuff, highly skilled and specialised in my field and I am quite open about my learning difficulty. I also happen to have an IQ higher than a lot of the population. I know it doesn't add up. But she'll be fine, just tell her how smart and quirky and special she is. Good luck.

KiaOraOAotearoa Sat 28-Jun-14 12:18:39

Sorry for the typos smile

hellskitty Sat 28-Jun-14 12:25:40

She is not ready for abstract maths yet which is what you are asking her to do .If you gave her 3 grapes and asked he how many more to make 4 , I am sure she would know.So what you need to do is do this practically and at the same time record it ie 3+(space) =4 and then get her to write in the missing number .Do it again and again until she ca relate practical to written.

Etah Sat 28-Jun-14 12:29:28

Thanks Kia and you all.

Kia I am quite intrigued by your post but I need t go out now and will come back later, please do so too. I have loads of questions and specially how to get appropriate help for her or specialise myself and help her at home.

She was so excited when I let her do the games on the computer, then could not see __ + 1=3 and she got really upset within herself...
And I know I really need to change my views asap because for me not seeing __ + 1=3 is just unimaginable...

toomuchicecream Sat 28-Jun-14 12:33:04

Can she skip count? Ie count in 2s 5s or 10s, forwards and backwards? Until she can do that no point in doing times tables.

ILoveCoreyHaim Sat 28-Jun-14 12:40:20


I cant afford to go private and i have tried to get a statement. From research i have done i think this is what she has. The test which were done beginning of this year if you failed one bit (she got 2 out of 10) you would normally fail another bit (she got 8 out of 10). She is also quite good at maths which she has never struggled with. When the school gave her learning books she would enjoy doing the maths but would get frustrated with the English. One teacher said there is no way you could say xxx go and get the red book from the middle shelf on the blue bookcase. Reading was a nightmare as she would forget a word from one page to the next.

didiimaginethis Sat 28-Jun-14 12:42:34

I've seen children struggle with this quite a bit over the years in my KS2 maths class, questions like:
_ + 5 = 15
8 = __ +3
10 = _ - 20 etc (or a box/question mark/symbol instead of line)

The first thing that needs to happen is ensure children know what = sign means. I know we will all say 'equals' but what does that really mean? It means: Is the same as (or the same value as).

So, look at _ + 1 = 3 again. Both sides of the equal sign need to have the same value, one side is 3, so that means the other side must also be 3. What do we need to add to 1 to make 3? 2! (Sorry, that is how I would try and explain it to a child, hope it wasn't patronising)

This type of maths is very early algebra. What it does rely on is an understanding of what the equals sign actually means and a good understanding of number bonds.

In my experience, quite a few children struggle with questions like this because the sum is presented in such a different fashion. If they had 1+ 2 = _ most would be able to find the answer of 3.

Ensure your daughter understands what the equals sign means and use objects to help her visualise these sort of sums i.e. 1 banana on one side of table, big +, -, = signs cut from card and placed in right places, 3 bananas on other side of equals sign. This side has 3 bananas, the equals sign tells us 'is the same as' so how many bananas do we need on this side to make the sum balance?

But don't spend the whole summer doing maths with her, does the SENCO think she might have dyscalcula?

ILoveCoreyHaim Sat 28-Jun-14 12:45:25

Well the school is apparently "outstanding".

same here, i actually considered moving her to a poor school which had an excelled SEN department. Our school were more jnterested in the 'outstanding kids'. Been great for dd 1 and 3. Not so great for dd2 until the new head arrived. Luckily she will be going to the local academy who have and excellent SEN dept.

ILoveCoreyHaim Sat 28-Jun-14 12:50:57

My dd gets 2 lessons per week in a group of kids needing extra help and up until last month for an hour per week outside help was brought in. She also gets a few one on one sessions within the school. The school has been told lessons must be explained to her and she has to sit in the front row away from doors and windows. They have to make sure they have her attention and engage her as she wanders.

sounds like you have a useless SEN dept like ours used to be. A change by the head has made a huge difference to many of the kids in the school.

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