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My 6.5 year old DS is struggling academically at school

(9 Posts)
hyperspacebug Thu 08-Feb-18 20:29:55

I guess I am looking for some brainstorming...

I had mid-term review with teacher about my DS6.5 in Y2. She said he works really hard at everything but is finding things tricky. He's 'working towards expected level' level. Teacher wants to get him up to speed for SATS.

None of this is a surprise. What I don't know is how to support him in best way. Me and my husband are from all from families that found school easy. My older DS is 99% percentile for verbal/non-verbal (long story as why school organised test) just to show the contrast.

The main issue I found with my DS6.5 is his working memory. If we've done something, we won't remember it a minute later. I just followed his lead most of his childhood, but whenever I encouraged him to read, the progress was extremely slow. He was well above 5 before he could decode words and even now he's still very far from fluent reader (still decodes every letter rather than look and recognise whole word). Maths isn't easy for him either.

His verbal expression is also limited which is not helped by low vocabulary. He prefers playing with younger children in school.

His hearing was tested, it was fine. Not too sure about dyslexia. School is organising speech and language support, but nothing has come through yet ('still working on it')

Is there such a thing as being a late bloomer? Or does it look like he's likely to struggle for the rest of his school life? Makes me question what environment he should be in...and overtly formal academic certainly isn't one of them.

Laura0806 Thu 08-Feb-18 21:12:33

I could have written your post exactly! even down to the older DC who is flying through school and was taught with the year above for everything. My year 2 DS is well below expectations , doesn't concentrate well and has no interest in school but I suspect dyslexia. I am going to get him assessed shortly-for this and dyscalculia. I keep thinking he is maybe just immature and he will pick up as he goes through primary but he too has a very poor working memory. Quite often he has forgotten the teacher's instructions by the time he has sat down. He also struggles with language and understanding the question. He need thinks repeating over and over and then the next week seems to forget again. Sorry, I'm no help but just to say I am going through exactly the same thought process

Brighteyes27 Thu 08-Feb-18 21:25:24

I could have written your post too elder DS flying high academically and doing well at a grammar school was always ‘chomping at the bit’ to be on the next reading level and also did very well with maths etc etc
DD a year younger bright/sharp enough verbally, left handed late/slow reader (guessing words I.e. would sound out bird as parrot based on illustration in book etc). I suspected dyslexia so had her tested at 8 and she is dyslexic she is now good at art maths and science and works hard at secondary but her written work/presentation still let her down now in year 8.
Encourage and support your DC and try to give them confidence in other areas not just academic areas. Also reading anything ‘Top Trumps’ or comics whatever is valuable in my view let your D.C. chose their own books some of the school books are very boring and uninteresting. It’s not easy for either you or your D.C..
It also annoys me how lazy my DS is and how easily he sails through school with little effort whereas DD works very hard and gets very tired and frustrated.
Also your D.C. could be a late bloomer some children are.

hyperspacebug Fri 09-Feb-18 09:49:16

Quite often he has forgotten the teacher's instructions by the time he has sat down. He also struggles with language and understanding the question. He need thinks repeating over and over and then the next week seems to forget again.

Exactly this.

Recently we did some spelling practice. Evening 1 - little improvement, evening 2 - as if he hasn't remembered anything - scary, evening 3 - got some words right. There is hope.

I do wonder what's in store for children with memory like that long term.

hyperspacebug Fri 09-Feb-18 09:59:30

I also support him in things he's enjoying and comfortable with - like Forest school which he absolutely loves and doing practical stuff. He won't leave me alone in kitchen and can make mean veg kebabs.

But these aren't exactly big part of school.

ifIonlyknew Fri 09-Feb-18 13:56:33

it does sound like dyslexia or something to me. but I am not an expert. one of my children has something not quite right but we haven't got very far with what!

however I have discovered from talking with an educational psychologist in a parent phone in that our council do that she should still get support regardless of diagnosis or not. They don't normally do the dyslexia testing until yr2/3 in my experience so I think you can start pushing for that now and at least see if it can be arranged for a date/term. If funds allow then it is worth looking at going private. worth looking on your council website and seeing if they do a phone in like ours do. i only did it this last week and just to have someone listen and make suggestions of things to try that we hadn't thought of and school hadn't suggested because they didn't seem to think there was a problem (LONG story) has been reassuring for me. x

halesie Fri 09-Feb-18 14:04:03

Hi OP, my experience is different with my DS who's autistic and has a speech delay but in our experience NHS speech & language support is v limited as they just don't have the resources. If you can afford to get a good private speech therapist in to help do try it. We did that to help DS as he struggles with joint attention as well as speech and it helped enormously with his transition to school - now helping while he's at school. Has made a huge difference to his ability to join in at school and he enjoys it more too.

lorisparkle Fri 09-Feb-18 15:24:43

In our area once a referral to speech and language therapy is made they will do an initial assessment in 2 weeks. I personally would keep pushing and pushing for an educational psychologist assessment as well as a SALT assessment. If you don’t get any success we looked at a private EP assessment and it was about £400. The school did one in the end and we paid for a private dyslexia assessment. Well worth the money I felt. In my experience when you have a child with any additional needs you have to become ‘that parent’. Good luck!

Naty1 Fri 09-Feb-18 21:37:11

Sounds like he is one of the younger ones in the year too.
How are you practicing spelling? With writing it down? As i have a very poor memory but can remember written stuff.
It siunds like he is sounding out correctly but not being able to rapidly do this in his head (and frequently enough) to commot to memory. Do your school do any/many sight words? Maybe some flashcards would help for speed/repetition etc?

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