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Feel like I am failing her. Please help.

(9 Posts)
SkipToTheEnd Tue 07-Jun-11 12:52:11

DD is 10. She has always struggled with reading, writing, spelling - with everything really. It was always thought she just had confidence issues with reading which was impacting on all other areas.

She has just moved to this new school in January and had an amazing teacher who has pushed for assessments and finally taken things seriously.

After initial tests we've been told she 'most certainly' has dyslexia and is undergoing ore assessments. Before half term she was assessed by a speech,language and communication therapist. She's just rang me with the findings and it's really upset me sad

DD has severe 'auditory memory' problems. She couldn't repeat back a sentence in the correct order. She had severe problems with concepts such as first and last etc.

She reeled off a list of problems sad

She said that we might struggle to get her ready for High school in a year - that she'll struggle to cope with the different learning styles expected of her. I don't know what this means. I don't know what will happen if we can't get her ready. Where will she go?

Her cofidence is ery low and the therapist said that as the test went on and DD became aware she was getting these things wrong she began to disengage which is something we really need to avoid as a priority.

How did I not know it was this bad? I just thought she needed a bit of extra help. I thought she was forgetful and didn't listen when I asked her to do things but she can't follow these instructions apparently. It's never been her fault sad

I've really fucked up now haven't I? I should have been helping her, not getting so imptient. I should have realised. She must feel so useless when I tell her of for not listening.

Sorry, i need to get this out now whilst DS is sleeping sad

SkipToTheEnd Tue 07-Jun-11 13:09:41

I'm just so frightened she will always struggle. I feel like her life will be different now, not what I'd imagined for her.

I know it's not that bad. I know shes a funny, bubbly girl I'm just so scared.

how do I build up her confidence? how can I make her believe she will learn these things? What do I do now?

does anyone know where I can go for help online etc?

How can I be a better mum and have more patience?

Lancelottie Tue 07-Jun-11 13:24:21

Hey, it's not your fault at all. Your DD's other school didn't pick up the real problem, and they've seen thousands of children, so how were you meant to see this?

I suspect you will need to apply for a Statement (of Special Educational Needs), and you can do this yourself, but as your new school sounds very on the ball, I'd ask their advice.

It takes time to assimilate this sort of information. And yes, it's gutting when all your merry assumptions about how their life will be suddenly seem to go up in smoke. Possibly you don't want to be bombarded by stories of famous people who've made it to the top despite (or because of?) dyslexia, but there are plenty out there, and your daughter sounds a darling.

My DS has a different problem (autism) but the right education has made an amazing difference, and he's wrangling with GCSEs along with all the rest of his year group right now.

Hoping someone with more relevant experience will be along soon (probably cross-posting with half a dozen of them!)

SkipToTheEnd Tue 07-Jun-11 18:06:32

Thanks Lancelottie.

I think I freaked out a bit there! I'm just feeling sad for her. I don't want her to always struggle.

I know it's not the end of her world, I know people have it much much worse but I'm just feeling this crushing guilt sad

But I can't wallow in it. I will get over it and get proactive. I just need to get this out of my system.

Now, how should I help with her confidence? I don't know were to start.

madwomanintheattic Tue 07-Jun-11 18:24:56

first thing to do is call the school and ask to set up a meeting with the senco and class teacher. if the therapists who assessed dd can be there that would be better, but you should take the full report and go through it with the school staff. and push for full dyslexia assessment etc.

you need to ask their opinion on how they intend to proceed. as dd has (now) external help, they will have her on their 'school action plus' (sa+) list, and they should be drawing up an iep (individual education plan) as to how they intend to help her.

an iep will set out targets for dd. (you may have had ieps before? if so, try and find them and start a file - if they or you intend to apply for statutory assessment and statementing it is useful to have these records).

iep targets do not just have to be academic, they can also target softer areas such as social skills or confidence, so you can ask them about that.

discuss whether statutory assessment is appropriate at this point or whether you need to get some more referrals and reports prior to decision. (sometimes it is easier the more 'proof' you have, and the backing of an educational setting).

and lastly - none of this is your fault - it's a shock, but as lancelottie says, the professionals didn't know either. smile so be kind to yourself, but now start getting organised to find out what will help dd best.

was the slt referral a one-off for assessment, or is it a continuing therapy now? (for the apd etc) or do you need a referral to access that therapy? (you might need to ask your gp for a referral to a developmental paediatrician - sometimes it's quicker than going through the ed route - resources are finite and slt often have a long waiting list)

ask the senco/ class teacher about transition to secondary. do you know which secondary she will be attending? often the learning support departments in secondary schools are better equipped than primarys, and if larger, have more experience. they will be bused to dealing with all sorts of sn/ sen. but you do need to start investigating what support she needs, and discussing it with the new school. (just realised she isn't going in spetember - but next year, in which case you will be fine. you have plenty of time to get assessments done, reports in, and then apply for statement if necessary)

honestly, it will all be ok.

she hasn't changed person overnight. she's still the same dd you had yesterday, just that now you know (or are finding out) how to help her. so this is all good news. not a bad thing. smile

madwomanintheattic Tue 07-Jun-11 18:26:04

has she seen ed psych? might be useful to get an ed psych report in, too. smile

SkipToTheEnd Tue 07-Jun-11 18:51:39

madwoman Thank you so much for your post.

We are waiting for the report to come and then will meet with the Senco and the teacher. She has been on a school action plan for a while with daily reading and spelling help. We have know about the dyslexia for a couple of months - she's waiting for a complete assessment though. It's just this Auditory memory stuff that's knocked me a bit. Maybe because it's not something I've heard of. Dyslexia seemed like something she can overcome. I was confidant she'd still be able to do whatever she wants to albeit with some support systems in place.

But this seems so huge to overcome. She had severe difficulty in following instructions and orders beyond one or two steps. She had little grasp of concepts like first and last and could not use them correctly - I knew she struggled with more then' and 'less then' but thought it was from a mathematical point. She just doesn't seem to be ale to process instructions and information. I'm finding it hard to see how we could make that work in an adult employment type way sad

I don't know anything about statementing at this stage. She has been referred for a full educational psychology report so that's a good step.

I think the Speech therapist was a one off assessment although I'm ashamed to say I never thought to ask. She talked of putting a program together for DD but I don't know if that is for the school to follow alone.

And thank you so much for putting into perspective. She is still my DD and hasn't changed at all. (she's sat wearing her brothers training pants on her head because he put them there and finds it hilarious.

It's me that will have to change. And I will, for her.

madwomanintheattic Tue 07-Jun-11 20:01:34

there are lots of parents of children with auditory memory/ processing issues on the sn board - not sure if you have found your way over there yet? (sometimes alongside other issues, sometimes not)

maybe start a thread asking about that in particular? i'm sure you'll get some good links to read up. it's getting pretty busy over there though, so you might have to bump a few times over the day to catch the right people. very knowledgable types. wink


it sounds as though school are on the ball, though. that's definitely half the battle.

KATTT Wed 08-Jun-11 12:48:22

She sounds like my daughter who's also 10. I felt (feel?) so guilty about all the times I shouted at her, all the homework sessions that ended in tears. But I (and you) did my best and I do my best.

I don't want to come over as highly sceptical but don't assume the school's needs and your daughter's needs are one in the same - they may be and I really hope you've got a good school, but in my experience we ended up fighting against the school for help. Go with them, co-operate and be pleasant, but be willing to think - is this best for my daughter or best for them?

One other thing - When my daughter gets very down, I say to her that although school seems like a big deal now, in the huge horizon of her life school is just a tiny part. It will get better.

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