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I don't wish to label but what should I be looking for?

(21 Posts)
Dungandbother Fri 20-Nov-15 17:41:32

DS 5 is showing signs of struggling in Y1.
I have an older DD who is academically able. When DS was little, I thought boy you're way smarter than your sister. He is, but he's street smart and it's not coming out at school.

He has fine motor delay, it's not improving (I've posted before about this). He is on an intervention for it.
Now he's on a phonics intervention as well, for phase 2.

He is reading old Biff ORT level 3 nice and fluently. Phonic books he can read higher level but not so fluently. I have the Usbourne and Songbirds at home. We read every night.
He does Write from start every night. His handwriting is poor. No letters are formed correctly and his write from start work is also poor. His numbers are better. He's ok at simple maths, doubling, halving.

He has amazing advanced vocab, knowledge of the world type stuff and a wicked sense of humour.
Picks up facts quickly.
He is struggling with certain fonts. This type of a or g's and Q if in a serif font are throwing him, he can't identify them.

Red flags for what?

KohINoorPencil Fri 20-Nov-15 17:49:41

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ragged Fri 20-Nov-15 17:58:05

I think he sounds within normal too, but you could get his eyes checked.

Ferguson Fri 20-Nov-15 18:18:12

'Adult' style of fonts can confuse children, when they are taught to print, or get used to seeing 'infant' styles of text. Show him the alphabet in varied fonts on the computer - children like 'spooky' or 'ghost' styles - and explain there are many different kinds of print.

Try this book, which he should enjoy and could be useful:

An inexpensive and easy to use book, that can encourage children with reading, spelling and writing, and really help them to understand Phonics, is reviewed in the MN Book Reviews section. Just search ‘Phonics’ and my name.

Dungandbother Fri 20-Nov-15 18:27:16

I would be grateful for any teachers input as well. I know Ferguson's accolades

I am not comparing.

He has fallen far behind.

Sirzy Fri 20-Nov-15 18:31:11

That doesn't sound far behind, but that's not to say that their isn't something. Have you spoken to his teacher and the senco?

Maybe worth reposting in one of the special needs boards.

Him being on an intervention for phonics yet able to read level 3 books doesn't make much sense though. Ds is just about to finish at level 3 phonics but is only on level 2 books (close to moving up, he reads level 3 in school)

ragged Fri 20-Nov-15 18:50:53

Is he memorising the L3 books, can he read them fluently the first time he picks them up?

Dungandbother Fri 20-Nov-15 19:47:10

Thanks for replying
Yes, it seems odd to me. His teacher is very young. I expressed my concerns at parents eve but she had nothing to say, hasn't a reply to my queries.

Senco has given him pencil grips

He has memorised enough words by sight and uses phonics mostly to decode. He can't fathom silent e words. And uses pictures for the stupid words in the old books.

parrotonmyshoulder Fri 20-Nov-15 19:51:16

My DD was similar in year one - I was just about to start OT referral (privately) and it's suddenly all clicking in year 2.

I would say either give it time, or find an OT.

Dungandbother Fri 20-Nov-15 21:43:31

Thanks Parrot
I will do that. There are lots of Physio's in my family... Not quite the right experts but qualified enough to give me an opinion causing me to have concerns.

I don't feel confident with the school. I guess that's ultimately my problem here. sad

parrotonmyshoulder Fri 20-Nov-15 21:51:24

I wasn't confident with school either. They didn't notice anything I was noticing. I'm a teacher myself which actually hasn't helped much, except that I know lots of other professionals to draw on!

parrotonmyshoulder Fri 20-Nov-15 21:53:27

I will still go for an OT assessment in the next few months if DD doesn't continue to progress as as rapidly as she has suddenly begun to. We are moving schools shortly so I'll give the new one some time I think.

Dungandbother Fri 20-Nov-15 22:40:37

Thanks again Parrot for sharing. It helps!

Changing schools isn't an option to us. Oversubscribed London and there are no school places available... Plus childcare, single working mum logistics.

So I need to be on top of this.

WildStallions Fri 20-Nov-15 22:57:00

I think there are loads of red flags for SPLD there and you should look that up.

I also think you're right to be worried. Level 3 books in Y1 is not great.

But it's not about what he can or can't do. You know him. And you know there's something wrong.

It's very easy for his teacher (and posters) to say it'll click later. Maybe it will, maybe it won't.

But I say listen to your gut. You have some reason to think there's a problem. Listen to that.

And Google SpLD.

RafaIsTheKingOfClay Sat 21-Nov-15 00:14:27

As far as old ORT books go, level 3 at this point in year 1 is fine. Especially as you say he's reading them fluently so I'd imagine he could probably manage 4 OK. It certainly wouldn't suggest that he's a long way behind or has a huge problem.

Phonics intervention for phase 2 would make him a long way behind, but you say that he's using phonics to decode. Something doesn't quite fit there. o you have any specific concerns about his phonics skills.

OT referral is probably worth thinking about for the fine motor stuff. Especially if you don't think it's improving with the intervention he is having.

ClashOfUsernames Sat 21-Nov-15 01:12:50

Watching with interest. Dd is year one and on red -ort level two., and struggling reading them. She also has letter formation issues (backwards and mirror writing) and can't even copy words properly. She sounds like she is further behind than your ds but our school isn't doing anything despite noticing these issues. She regularly gets less than 5/10 in her spelling tests too.

parrotonmyshoulder Sat 21-Nov-15 02:40:31

Clash, my DD couldn't copy words at all. Still not consistently in y2. And frequent reversals of digraphs and individual letters. No interest from y2 teacher at all. We get pages of spelling 'practice' sheets sent home that she's done, with the spelling repeatedly wrong (usually a digraph reversal).

She's using a great spelling app at home called Squeebles - although no evidence of improvement in written spelling yet. When I say it clicked for her, it's only just enough to stop me panicking and the fact we're moving anyway is making me hold off a bit longer. Her reading is now fine (often lovely) after a very, very slow start.

Dungandbother Sat 21-Nov-15 07:01:21

Ferguson
Found your review. We have that book, I will get it out again. Thank you.

Wildstallions
I think his reading is behind too, not excessively and it doesn't match to the family traits of Dyslexia which affects reading far more.
My gut is telling me something is amiss and thank you for reminding me that I have a finely tuned mother radar.

Kings
I am going to try him in a level higher at home on old ORT, might give me some food for thought

His phonics is good to a point but it seems to have stalled. I will go research the phases again.

Dungandbother Sat 21-Nov-15 07:05:23

Clash it is such a worry. Is she your first?
I am not comparing my DC but because he is my 2nd, I can see the vast difference between them. So perhaps I wouldn't have acted otherwise.

I rang our school Senco. DS teacher had put him on interventions but without the Senco. She had not met my son.
She has been kind and helpful (very much so in fact) since I spoke with her.

Trouble is, we learn as we go. There's no helpful list saying what to do, who to speak to and how worried to get when.

thatone Sat 21-Nov-15 07:15:21

OP have a look at the "abc does" blog, there is a section on development of fine motor skills and pencil grip, and ideas for how to strengthen these.

ClashOfUsernames Sat 21-Nov-15 10:40:48

Parrot, interesting you day about the digraph reversals. This week the teacher actually wrote win her spelling book that she got them the wrong way around but because we know about the issue she is giving her 6/10. So she got them wrong but they are saying they are right because they know she reverses?! confused

Dung, no not my first. But oldest has ADHD/ASD/ other stuff and is home ed. Middle has possible dyslexia but is improving...just...and school aren't worried. I was worried about middle but dd is 'worse' than he was and having school admit something is a big step (I flagged it through out reception). I know there is something going on. CT said she would speak to SENCO but no feedback from that so far. (Usual)

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