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aibu to expect ds2's teacher to fully understand his nuances :)

(25 Posts)
lingle Wed 03-Oct-12 15:00:43

sort of a serious question.

on the reading side, both school and I agree that DS2 can decode fluently but comprehension is the issue. so far so good!

I, of course, have the equivalent of a PhD in DS2-studies. His teacher does not! Her only clues are his SEN-register-for-social-communication-issues status and her observations (which may well be pretty misleading considering he is a child who is a skilled memoriser and extreme visual learner).

so in all seriousness, how far beyond "we need to work on comprehension" can I expect her to get in her year of part-time Ds2-studies?

TheLightPassenger Wed 03-Oct-12 15:31:34

Now in some ways our DS's differ - my DS struggled with decoding and essentially taught himself to read mid year 1 by sight reading and has managed v well. Reading massively helped his comprehension and language in general - eg. the "ed" past tense ending suddenly started making sense to him!

2 issues spring to mind at first blush-
1)is she ignoring his social needs or are you happy with the way he will be supported?
2)does she have any concrete ideas for work on comprehension, or will you need some sort of salt (possibly private SALT input)

Ineedalife Wed 03-Oct-12 16:48:44

So far you are doing better than me Lingle, I have only just realised that Dd3 can skim and find key words in the text to help her answer comprehension questions with out actually reading the text.

She has managed to get to yr5 doing this and is working at above average NC levels for literacyhmm

Because she has done very little homework, ever, this has gone unnoticed by me and obviously by school aswell.

I had a meeting with her teachers last week and enlightened them about her cleverness. They were very impressed at her ability to answer the questions without reading the text but have assured me that she will be strongly encouraged to read all texts in future.

LOL, I am looking forward to finding out whether they manage to achieve this as when I suggested that she needed to read the chapter of her homework book before trying to answer the questions she threw the book one way across the room and her pen the other.

lingle Wed 03-Oct-12 17:02:05

"I had a meeting with her teachers last week and enlightened them about her cleverness"

lol that's typical of the problem really isn't it? kids with "tilted" intelligence don't follow the developmental paths in the teacher-training courses...... and if they are relying on skills the teachers may themselves not have, and if the teacher-trainer books don't describe our children, how are the teachers going to suss our children out? I think most teachers will tend to compare our child to the most similar recent child of their experience....

EllenJaneisstillnotmyname Wed 03-Oct-12 17:06:04

Have a look at Language for Thinking. It's a lovely resource that can be used at all sorts of levels to help DC see beyond the concrete. You can start it early infants at the most basic level and I was using it in Y6 (at a slight stretch) with my very HF charge. Try Winslow press for a good price. It is written to be used at school in small groups or 1:1, but can be easily used at home. Great resource to recommend to the teacher.

lingle Wed 03-Oct-12 17:06:17

hi TLP

honestly, I don't know, it's such an emotional rollercoaster. The friendship with bf has waned (I'm not too sorry about it in a way) and Ds2 now refers to "my friends" or "one of my friends" but a few times a week he will still go and find big brother.

I think he may be hanging on the coattails of the kindlier "leader" boys. he doesn't have specialised interests - his interests are rock music and fart jokes - so I think he can kind of feel part of the crowd (so long as they aren't playing contact sports which he still can't cope with) but is very much on the edge. He lacks social confidence but is probably right to IYSWIM - better to stay on the edge than plunge in and make a fool of yourself....

How is your DS? is he 8 or 9 now?

EllenJaneisstillnotmyname Wed 03-Oct-12 17:08:36

Ineedalife Wed 03-Oct-12 17:10:40

Oh they definitely didnt write about Dd3 in a teacher training book. LOLgrin

Luckily most of the staff at her school are brilliant at listening to me and taking on board what I have said.

At her old school from reception to yr3 they knew nothing about her, what she was capable of or what she struggled with.

She has never heard me say anything negative about the other school but she wrote in a recent autobiography "I went to ..... school before I came here but they didnt understand me!!"

It is a shame that so much of our children's experience at school is based on luck. If they are in a good inclusive school they are lucky, if they get a good teacher who will listen to parents, they are lucky.

If not ???sad

TheLightPassenger Wed 03-Oct-12 17:28:54

ah that's an even better suggestion from Ellen re:Language for Thinking than going down the SALT route at this point!

My lad is now 8.5 (gulp!). It's all going pretty well thus far BUT he's in a v small caring school, with a positive approach (they don't have golden time or traffic lights but instead have reward charts for all the children so every month or so they get a cheap stationery set!). Same teacher as last year as well. I would say friendship wise he is on the fringes a bit too, tends to be friendly with the new kids and to be interested in younger siblings. My DS's specialised interests (other than some pop music to a degree - I actually encourage him to listen to Lady gaga/Britney/Rihanna/Katy Perry to have some common ground with peers) are somewhat geeky (Pokemon, anime etc) - but some of the other boys at school like Beast Quest. He has always been OK (touch wood) with the sequencing/inferencing stuff, the main issue is writing, his written is good (when he tries) but he seems to struggle to produce much iyswim

EllenJaneisstillnotmyname Wed 03-Oct-12 17:53:24

The DC I supported had really, really good reading skills. He could read expressively which gave the illusion that he was understanding what he read. TBH, I don't know how he did it, read so beautifully but just not 'get' the story. It was so deceptive. It was only with the L for T that I realised how much very basic stuff he just didn't get. So it was a good way for him to improve his comprehension, prediction and inferencing skills and at the same time, a way for me to learn about his skills and deficits. I've also seen moondog recommend it. wink

bochead Wed 03-Oct-12 18:14:24

I lurve LFT too - been using it just over a year at moondog's suggestion. It kinda helps me hits the parts of DS other resources do not for want of a better word and doesn't require you to be a SALT guru to have a go with it iykwim.

lingle Wed 03-Oct-12 18:30:31

"read so beautifully but just not 'get' the story. It was so deceptive"

DS2 does this too. with great expression.

If you don't understand what people are saying to you, but you can read their intent by their pitch/tone/facial expression, then I guess you'll end up like DS2. He's great at reading from script.

lingle Wed 03-Oct-12 18:31:19

he gets a lot more than he used to, obviously.....

EllenJaneisstillnotmyname Wed 03-Oct-12 18:53:06

The trouble is that in a class of 30 the teacher may be fooled for months that the understanding is as good as the expressive reading and may think that poor scores in reading comprehension are down to 'not trying' or poor fine motor skills.

lingle Wed 03-Oct-12 19:10:22

well yes Ellen (at least we are at step 1!). where would be expect a teacher to drill down to next after realising there is a comprehension problem?

the book you mentioned.... he likes things like puffle adventure and captain underpants... simpsons cartoon books... does it have simple narratives or is it more examples per page?

auntevil Wed 03-Oct-12 19:22:53

lingle - do they do guided reading groups at school?
Our school is very hot on comprehension rather than skill in decoding. During guided reading they are as a small group asked about the text. There is no hiding place not to answer.Totally sorts the wood from the trees.
Biggest problem with this is when parents say 'but x can read at a much higher level' - yes, but do they understand it?
Any notable problems and intervention programmes put in place.

EllenJaneisstillnotmyname Wed 03-Oct-12 19:44:05

L for T has 50 very simple (deceptively so) narratives about every day situations with 3 levels of 9 questions about the story. Basic concrete questions, eg, where is Peter, answer, in the corner shop. Then slightly harder questions, why is Peter at the corner shop? Answer, to buy some milk. Then harder again, what's the difference between a corner shop and a supermarket. You assess them to decide which level questions to start with.

It's more complex than that, there are 3 levels of asking the questions as well, where you have a picture of the story and you read the story to them, where they have the picture but they read the story and finally no picture and they read the story, so all clues are from the words. You assess them initially to decide what level questions to ask up to, but always start with picture and reading the story to them.

There are activities with each scenario also. The DC I worked with found level a easy, level b pretty easy but struggled with level c. One time he was asked 'What is the same about a duck and a frog. He had no idea what to answer. The story had been all about a pond, he couldn't think that they could both swim, like ponds, eat insects, are small creatures, etc.

sc13 Wed 03-Oct-12 20:16:50

DS (6) has the same issue: his reading is way beyond his comprehension. His SALT has been doing different levels of questions with him, very similar to what Ellen is describing. I think it has been working well with DS. Once you identify the right level of questions for where your DC is at the moment, then you can ask those questions for every book he's reading iyswim. DS also did a lot of sequencing with pictures etc. to help follow the flow of a story.
A lot of the study aids you find in places like WHSmith have comprehension questions ready-made to practice with, also the Ladybird early readers have questions at the back which are good. I wouldn't hesitate to get him 'easy' books and just concentrate on the comprehension. At DS's school, they would give him two books at the time: one at his reading level, and one at his comprehension level. That also worked well.

TheLightPassenger Wed 03-Oct-12 20:23:50

shock. DS did bags of guided reading in year 1, and seemed to be reading books a few levels below where I would have put in. So obviously school were working hard to boost his comprehension but didn't actually tell me(!)

StarlightMcKenzie Wed 03-Oct-12 20:25:48

grrrr, - we have the opposite problem. DS attends a special school, where they are much better trained in these things. Trouble is, we've deliberately held ds' decoding back to keep it in line with his comprehension.

And stopped him from sight reading in favour of phonics/decoding.

School are insistant that he is hyperlexic (actually they're not insistent, just assumptious - (is that a word?))

bialystockandbloom Wed 03-Oct-12 20:57:04

This is a familiar story isn't it - though none the less plaintive for that.

If ds hadn't have started school with a (hard-fought for) statement, there is no way he would get one now. His teachers just see a child who is progressing rapidly through the reading and numeracy levels and who complies with most things, but without my being a pita dialogue with them (and them having to fulfil his statement requirements) they wouldn't see or care that being able to rapidly complete the missing numbers between 1-100 is not actually a very useful life skill, or that asking every single classmate what number house they live at is inappropriate.

Ineedalife Wed 03-Oct-12 21:03:34

Am going for a look at language for thinking, it could be my next purchasesmile

Ineedalife Wed 03-Oct-12 21:05:51

Or, [having looked at the price] I could ask school to buy it because she probably wouldnt do it for me anyway.

EllenJaneisstillnotmyname Wed 03-Oct-12 22:18:38

In Y5 she's probably coming to the end of its usefulness, Ineed so do get school to buy it. grin

Ineedalife Thu 04-Oct-12 08:27:18

Thanks for that ellen, I am seeing the SENCO today so will ask her smile

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