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Please help me prepare for tricky P/T convo - (addressing learning difficulties)

(17 Posts)
ErnesttheBavarian Tue 25-Oct-16 10:53:44

I work in a primary school.

My dd has just changed to this school. I suspect she has ADHD and /or other issues making it difficult for her to keep up. She is bright but SSSLLOOOOWWWWW. She gets good marks in tests (eg 20/20 in spelling tests, when she's never been taught in English before, 95% in maths tests etc, so IQ not an issue, but she is amazingly slow)

Several other kids in the class are slow and have difficulty keeping up.
There's a lot of copying from the board which she finds challenging and often doesn't complete. She can't articulate why - fine motor probklems - can't write so much/so quickly, eye contact with board/book?

Anyway, she isn't the only one. 22 kids in class, I guess 5 have similar problems. I have tried to speak to the teacher, about the kids in general who have problems, but teacher just kept replying with 'she' despite me repeating several times that I'm talking about all the kids, not just my dd. (I work in the school and do support work with some of the kids in dd's class, and other classes, I do not work directly with my dd)

The T seems totally opposed to any suggestions that I've made in the past and is imo quite negative, and just shakes her head and says she/they just have to do it etc when I've tried suggestion alternatives, eg printing off material for a boy with dyslexia for him to just glue it in. Got a big head shake and no for that,.

Anyway, in a couple of days I have a P/T meeting with her and a couple of other T. They are all understandably concerned that she is so slow, in addition she fiddles a lot, is easily distracted, disorganised, loses her stuff, and yes, is a slow worker.

Does anyone have any suggestion for how they can help her/ how we can get her to speed up/cope with the work?
How I can deal with T negativity or unwillingness to adopt strategies?
DD is undergoing testing for ADHD.

Didiplanthis Tue 25-Oct-16 18:20:21

My dd has just been diagnosed with dyslexia with particular problems with slow processing she is very bright but like yours just can't keep up. The ed psych specifically said about providing print outs if lots of board copying not pressuring etc avoiding timed tests and valuing effort rather than output. Google slow processing and see if it rings any bells - there may be more advice out there as well. Mine can read and spell really hard words on their own but can't put it all together quickly.

ErnesttheBavarian Tue 25-Oct-16 21:44:59

Hi did. Yes that sounds familiar. She is hideously slow in the mornings, getting changed, doing homework or writing anything down. I suggested print outs already. Not just for her but all the kids in her class who struggle with so much hoard copying. You would think that I'd asked the teacher to personally write out all the information into each individual exercise book. Honestly, I think so much copying is boring and poi tress anyway. Giving a print out and then an activity where they have to use the knowledge would surely be a better use of time.

Apart from that I don't know how to get her to speed up. Any attempts lead her to getting frustrated and upset or angry then she just stops altogether and it takes ten times longer.

ErnesttheBavarian Tue 25-Oct-16 21:46:15

Sorry. Meant to ask. How old is your dd. How do her teachers cope and what strategies do you have?

MidniteScribbler Wed 26-Oct-16 00:15:05

For one thing, you need to stop talking about the other students in the class. You are mixing up your role as a parent with your role as support in the school. Talk to the teacher about what can be done to help your daughter.

tulippa Wed 26-Oct-16 09:06:12

I think the best thing to do is to see what the recommendations are from the ed psych following your DD's referral for ADHD.

In the meantime be careful how you phrase any suggestions. As a teacher I wouldn't appreciate a parent telling me how I must teach their child but a 'we tried x at home at it seemed to help' comment might be useful. If the teacher is any good she will already be looking into strategies if there are more than one child with similar issues.

On a side note - what's with all the copying off the board? Very outdated for a UK primary (as you have noticed it doesn't suit a lot of young children). Is this a private/overseas school?

Didiplanthis Wed 26-Oct-16 09:20:04

My dd is 7 she is very young so most of her strategies are confidence building - taking the pressure off and rewarding effort not output. She is very able but 'freezes'. In a short time she is already more relaxed and confident which seems to 'unlock' her a bit. It is only reading and writing that her processing affects not day to day activity but there is a book - 'bright kids who can't keep up' I think it's called, which addresses the issues parents face with children with slow processing in all aspects. It might be worth a look.

monkeywithacowface Wed 26-Oct-16 09:24:43

I agree you are blurring your role as parent and TA and this is actually diluting the message you need to get across to the teacher. Focus on your dd's difficulties and if you still don't feel they are being addressed you need to see the SENCO/Head teacher

ErnesttheBavarian Wed 26-Oct-16 12:08:38

The conversation regarding the other pupils in the class was in the context of me working with the other pulls in the class (I am acting SENCO atm). I support these kids and they all have a similar difficulty, so I was speaking to the T as a support T about the kids I support. It just so happens that my dd, who I do not support, has a similar difficulty. No blurring or confusion on my part. but when I, as a professional, was speaking to a colleague about other pulls, the T just keep replying as if i were talking solely about my dd.

Yes, loads of board copying. yes old fashions. yes private. yes not in uk

mrz Wed 26-Oct-16 12:34:37

So you're a teacher working in your child's class but not with your child?

monkeywithacowface Wed 26-Oct-16 14:05:30

If you are the SENCO and a teacher won't act on your recommendations then you need to address it with the head surely?

ErnesttheBavarian Wed 26-Oct-16 16:25:25

I take pupils out of all classes to do intensive 1-2-1 or small group work. I support several pupils from my dd's class, but no, I never work directly with her. And I rarely (never) work IN her class, I take the pupils with me to my room. She doesn't need my support in school. But she does need to speed right up.

I will raise the issue with the Head. You're right. I just came to that conclusion. I am covering a sick leave so in a new, temporary position. I'm not new to the school, though my dd is new.

Anyone else have a dc who is generally very slow? Most of the advice I see relates to much younger children. the slowness is not just with copying or written work, but getting started, finding things, getting changed, all these things are extremely slow.

mrz Wed 26-Oct-16 16:36:50

As SENCO I'm sure you're aware of things like poor working memory and slow processing speed?

ErnesttheBavarian Wed 26-Oct-16 16:45:53

As I said, doing emergency cover. I'm not an expert by any means. emergency situation cropped up at school. Trying my best to be a suitable bridge. I am more than able to support the pupils with what I am employed to support them as iyswim, but I'm no expert and the wider Senco role, and it has temporaily fallen to me.

Nevertheless, this aspect concerns me as it seems to be failing many pupils. And seems a needlessly boring way to go about things.

And no, while I am aware at the coalface with my own dc the problems of slow processing speed, I never had an official name for it, though I know it all too well, and I'm not sure how best to deal with it, which is why I have asked here.

mrz Wed 26-Oct-16 17:01:37

ErnesttheBavarian Wed 26-Oct-16 17:39:12

Thank you! I now learnt that I have definitely got an appalling (zero) working memory. I'll finish reading it later. Very interesting.

mrz Wed 26-Oct-16 17:39:46

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