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Working Memory Deficit? Confused

(4 Posts)
tselliotscat Thu 03-Mar-16 12:48:58

DS is 8 years old and currently doing very well in school (year 3). He has always been at the top end of the class performance wise and none of his teachers have ever raised any issues about his academic performance. However, compared to my other 2 DS, I have always been a bit worried about the way in which he reads. He frequently misses out small words and despite having a reading age that has measured a year above his actual age, his reading to me seems a bit strained as if it takes him a lot of effort. I have also had concerns about his spelling - while he is capable of scoring 100% in his spelling tests, it takes him a lot of effort (compared to my other children) and his spelling when he writes normally is riddled with silly mistakes. I asked the school to conduct a dyslexia screening test to put my mind at ease but unfortunately it has come back with a few areas of significant weakness (everything else was above average)....he scored very badly in the backwards span test, and badly in rapid naming and semantic fluency. While I am not surprised that something has come up, I am a little surprised at the areas as they would point to a working memory issue. DS is perhaps the least scatty person I have ever encountered. He is perfectly able to remember a long list of instructions and carry them out to the letter (unlike my other sons who I send upstairs to fetch things and never come down).....and he is also pretty amazing at working out complicated mental arithmetic in his head (he is top of his class in mathematics)....it just seems very odd that he can't retain 3 numbers and say them backwards? He is being referred for a formal assessment but this is not until June so in the meantime I am going a little crazy trying to work out what is going on. Does anyone know anything about these screening tests and what this could mean?

lizzytee Thu 03-Mar-16 19:27:08

OP, I don't have in depth knowledge of the tests so I can't comment but am struggling a little to understand your concerns if he is generally doing fine......also not sure how helpful it is to compare your DC3 to his siblings.

FWIW, if he does have a degree of dyslexia it is not helpful to him to refer to spelling mistakes as silly - I suspect you mean they are obvious or in 'easy' high frequency words.

Working memory issues affect people in different ways - my DD has quite significant issues in that area (mental maths, times tables, analogue clocks are hard work) but isn't scatty or disorganised either.

I would suggest you talk to the person who administers the screening test.

Readysteadyknit Thu 03-Mar-16 19:47:30

Digits backwards measures short term memory - poor shot term memory can be one marker for dyslexia.

Einstein and Newton were dyslexic so he is in good company. It is good that the school are now aware and hopefully can put appropriate support in place before June.

rosebiggs Fri 04-Mar-16 21:42:34

Rapid naming isn't working memory. It's the recall of familiar information from long-term memory.
A formal assessment will assess his cognitive skills to give you a clearer picture. Are school putting anything in place in the meantime?

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