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Would you be concerned about these literacy difficulties - year 2

(31 Posts)
belindarose Thu 15-Oct-15 19:51:43

Very little writing produced

Always 'too tired' to read/ write at home

Cries a lot at writing tasks

Can't copy anything written

Reversal of some letters (even her own initial) and reversal of lots of digraphs and short words ('fo' for 'of' for example)

Reversal of numerals and digits within numbers (not a place value issue as she is excellent with this)

Despite good phonics based teaching of reading, will often see a letter in the middle of a word and make a guess from that, or will read the last syllable in a word first.

Struggles with some printed texts - capital letters, different fonts (especially 'a')

She's always loved being read to and can often be really fluent when reading aloud.

Handwriting is joined, cursive, well sized, legible.

She is hugely imaginative and loves to draw and tell stories.

Good logic and mental maths, although written output at school looks minimal.

Any alarm bells for anyone?

MrsKCastle Thu 15-Oct-15 21:19:20

Yes, that would concern me. The 'too tired' and cries about writing suggest a real lack of confidence. Has she had a recent eye test? I would certainly have a chat with the teacher and see if you can find some strategies for doing some quick, simple reading/writing practice- things she can enjoy and be proud of.

belindarose Thu 15-Oct-15 21:23:12

Eye test was fine.

Teacher has no concerns, but the school tends to have low expectations in many ways. Teacher had 'noticed' reversals etc but has only heard her read twice this term so hadn't much to say about her reading.

TheTroubleWithAngels Thu 15-Oct-15 21:48:23

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

cariadlet Thu 15-Oct-15 21:50:22

I'd be concerned about some of this. I'm currently teaching Year 1 and there are quite a few children in my class who reverse letters and numbers. I'm constantly having to correct them. But I'd expect almost all of the children to have grown out of this by the end of the year.

From your description, there does seem to be a bit of a mismatch between your dd's strengths (eg her imagination and good mental maths) and what she is able/has the confidence to get down on paper.

bodenbiscuit Thu 15-Oct-15 21:55:45

My dd in year 2 has trouble with handwriting and reversing letters and is dyspraxic. What have the school said? Luckily our school have been very supportive. But this is not always the case.

Fairenuff Thu 15-Oct-15 22:23:13

Yes, I would be concerned.

May09Bump Thu 15-Oct-15 22:26:43

What hand does she write with?

Ferguson Thu 15-Oct-15 22:33:19

If she has ideas for a story/recount, can she DICTATE her ideas to a tape recorder, or a phone that records. She can listen to it back, amend as necessary, and finally hand write or type it up. As a TA I used this method with boys who were VERY reluctant writers in Yr2.

EskSmith Thu 15-Oct-15 22:42:15

Reversal of letters/numbers is still fairly common at the start of y2. Reluctance does seem to indicate a lack of confidence. As her teacher I would as Angels said have a close eye on her but not be overly worried yet.

maizieD Thu 15-Oct-15 23:54:52

I was interested in the inability to copy anything written. The only child I worked with who was completely unable to copy anything was completely unable to read. Consequently, while they could perhaps copy a word or two they very soon lost their place in the text as they were unable to read a) what they had already written and b) the word before the next one to copy.

Can OP perhaps say a little more about this inability?

belindarose Fri 16-Oct-15 01:16:46

Thanks for all thoughts and ideas. Ferguson, she doesn't have the stamina for that process you describe.

Writing a sentence during homework takes at least 5 minutes. It worries me a lot that she will often say something like 'Stretching out his trunk, the elephant took a thirsty gulp' and then 'oh, I'll just write 'it had a drink'.

Confidence is an issue - generally as well as in literacy. School have said this over two years. DD's own attitude (instilled in her by school) is 'everybody's different, we all write differently' and she does not compare herself unfavourably to others (yet).

Copying - homework was to copy out a favourite poem. She loves poems so eagerly chose something ridiculously long and old fashioned. Realising some children would choose a 4 liner or a limerick, I helped by writing out the middle, leaving her with two short verses to copy. She needed constant help to stay on the right line, copy the next word, spell the word correctly etc, despite bring able to read the whole text and each individual word.

So everything takes a long time, requiring concentration and stamina she hadn't got.

School aren't worried - she's well behaved and seemingly happy. We are changing schools shortly (house move).

belindarose Fri 16-Oct-15 01:18:10

Crying about writing doesn't happen at school - just at home. At school, she does it, but very little (neat and pretty - maybe this covers up lack of content...)

belindarose Fri 16-Oct-15 01:20:29

Right handed. Good fine motor skills - accurate cutting out, good pencil grip, lots of interest in arty crafty stuff. Good organisation in that she can get out all get things, make something, plan ahead.

belindarose Fri 16-Oct-15 06:27:19

She's not 'neat and pretty' (she's wild and beautiful) but her writing is. She's the youngest in the class.

mrz Fri 16-Oct-15 06:57:31

Often children this age write simple sentences because they can't spell the interesting words they used verbally.
I would be concerned about lack of stamina and to some extent the small handwriting (which may it may not be a physical issue - impossible to say without observing her writing). Does she complain that her hand is tired/hurts?
Reversals are very common at this age and often helped by insisting on correct letter formation.

belindarose Fri 16-Oct-15 07:02:44

Thanks. The handwriting isn't tiny. Just more mature I think than the rest of the class - looks like year 4 handwriting. It may be that she's so keen to get that right that it's slowing her down and thus requiring more stamina to get the work down.

She doesn't complain of her hand hurting. No hypermobility issues although she does have sound sensitivity. I'll get an audiology referral if I can.

belindarose Fri 16-Oct-15 07:04:04

I meant 'little' in terms of quantity in PP, not size. Sorry to be unclear.

tshirtsuntan Fri 16-Oct-15 07:11:34

Sounds exactly like my son, same age, same difficulties. I asked the school for help as we had the crying at home if asked to read or write and lots of him being very upset (saying he's stupid, an idiot etc) eye test was fine. The special needs teacher at school conducted a visual stress test with him, it's sort of a precursor to a dyslexia test and identified some processing problems. He now has reading/writing interventions which were one to one initially to build his confidence and the difference is amazing, he has gone up three reading levels in two weeks and is so much more confident in writing. After making very little progress in two years this is fantastic for him. Maybe you could ask the school about the test?

minniebear Fri 16-Oct-15 07:13:50

As a Y2 teacher, I'd say this is fairly common. The letter/digraph reversals would ring alarm bells, but that said if she's young for the year it could just be her age. Something that strikes me is it could be more down to a need for perfect work/fear of making mistakes. I've taught so many children with perfect handwriting etc who are reluctant to write/write the simplest sentence because they know their limitations and hate the thought of messy work. So they keep to their comfort zone. It becomes a frustrating time because you know they can achieve more, but until they can take a risk and attempt new spellings, it's a catch 22. I've found plenty of "Have a go! What'll happen if it's wrong?" type relaxed encouragement helps, as does having a rough work pad where mistakes don't matter. Also, as keen as we are to help, it may help to leave her to it.

Cymraesfach Fri 16-Oct-15 07:49:22

I have come across a child like this in one of my classes. She was diagnosed with visual stress and later diagnosed with dyslexia. Try asking her if the letters on the page move. Also try printing something for her to read on different colour paper. If the letters are moving this would explain why she can't copy. If you see a difference buy some overlays from amazon.

MrEBear Fri 16-Oct-15 08:33:43

That screams dyslexia to me, not necessarily visual stress letters moving, but some sort of left / right brain thing / poor working memory. Not being able to hold something in brain long enough to copy it. The well behaved bit makes me wonder if school aren't seeing the issues you are, and are they thinking that she is at her level, ie have low expectations of her?
When she does write does she make spelling errors? Can she consistently write her own name? That was the biggest give away to my mum when she read something I'd written when I was about 8, my name was written 3/4 different ways on the same page.

I'm sure my mum would have been told the same as you, she's the youngest, time yet, wait and see....I personally don't see any harm in having her tested or at least asking the school to get a little help, a printed sheet to be copied rather than coping from a board, that at least means she can use a marker to keep her place.

maizieD Fri 16-Oct-15 12:22:44

I'm a little concerned at anyone other than an optometrist should be trusted to 'diagnose' a visual problem.

Having said that I would personally suspect, from the description given by the OP, that her dd may have a problem with poorly developed eye tracking muscles which could be traced back to how she was taught to read. Tracking from left to right all through a word is not an inherent skill; it has to be learned from reading instruction which focuses consistently on sounding out and blending from left to right, from the start to the end of a word. This develops and strengthens the tracking muscles. If the child has been taught to look for words within words, or 'parts' that they might recognise,or looking for clues in pictures, they will look at any part of the word (as the OP describes), or all over the page,when trying to work out what a words says and never manage to develop the vital L to R tracking. This may well account for the difficulty in copying, too, as the child may not be focussing on the words in a L to R sequence.

So I would be looking at the initial reading instruction for a possible explanation. Was she taught only to sound out and blend from L to R all thorugh the word or were a number of different word attack 'strategies encouraged?

I might also be wondering about the quality of any eye test she might have had. It needs to be very thorough. The child I worked with who couldn't copy at all had had eye tests but they'd somehow managed to miss an astigmatism...(eventually diagnosed by a very experienced optometrist)

TheTroubleWithAngels Fri 16-Oct-15 12:56:58

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

belindarose Fri 16-Oct-15 20:20:15

Thanks again for all replies.

She has been taught solely by phonics methods, left to right decoding in reception and year 1 (same teacher) and I have used only this method at home.

School do not think there's a problem. I think this is a low expectation issue (very low demand school in lots of ways which has suited dd socially and emotionally, not so academically I guess) and there is no way they would be assessing her for difficulties.

We are moving schools, but as she doesn't present as a problem, I imagine the new school will want to allow her to settle in before they make any judgements.

I'm worried for her now. sad

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