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Some concerns about my son Y4(9 Posts)
I have been a regular on these boards under various names for a few years as I have a DD who has learning difficulties. she is not diagnosed with anything, but has some significant difficulties around SAL, attention and fine and gross motor skills.
However I am getting increasingly concerned about my DS and was wondering if others had any thoughts. I want to talk to school, but don't want to come across as a mother who makes a fuss and who thinks that any difficulties should be put down to SN.
So DS is Y4 (8 years old) but is one of the youngest with a birthday at the end of August.
His levels are always where they 'should be'.
He enjoys maths and science and topic work and wants to be an engineer. He is bright (don't we all say that?) but I have always felt that his 'weakness' in reading and writing holds him back.
My concerns are;
Hates reading. Gets quite distressed when reading to me and hits his head when he can't read words. He is getting better though and in recent weeks it is getting more flowing. He will often start reading in the middle of the word and has trouble with r and n and gets them muddled. Gets saw and was muddled when reading and often read words as complete nonsense. However as other times he will read really quite long words well. He'll get on a flow and do OK.
Writing - he is getting increasingly more and more upset about his writing. He cannot spell well and is now getting very upset by this. It is very difficult to get him to do his literacy homework (maths is fine).
Yesterday I asked him to just write his home work not to worry about spelling just to try and write what he wants. In 20 minutes he wrote 12 lines. There are some of the spellings;
umes - arms
dird - bird (spelt right in other places)
nocing - knocking
weacrass - weakness
cach - catch
bids - birds
sart - short
alwys - always
His hand writing is messy and not joined up (another thing he is worried about and gets upset about).
He is very disorganised and is guaranteed to knock something over and leave a huge mess behind him.
After another homework session ended in my frustration and his tears I asked him if he would like some extra help outside school and he lit up and said yes.
I have accused him of not trying hard enough before (not proud of this) but do you think he could be dyslexic and/or dyspraxic?
Would really appreciate your thoughts.
He could be dyslexic or have irlens syndrome or visual processing difficulties.
It can be quite hard to tell but you could either try an OT for a visual processing assessment or an EP for a dyslexia assessment or an optician with an interest in these kinds of visual difficulties.
My Dd3 has Asd and literacy difficulties, the first EP that tested her said she was dylexic but she has since been tested again and the second more specialist EP said that it is her ASD that effects the way that she learns and percieves things
My Dd2 is more classically dyslexic, she hates reading because it is such a chore, she cant spell very well and often her writing doesnt make sense.However she has found her way and is now a water sports instructor at a well known childrens activity holiday company!! Irrelevant but proving that academics are not the be all and end all.
It is a very complex area.
I am sure someone else will come along with more advice.
It does sound as if dyslexia and/or dyspraxia are possibilities. Have you discussed this with anyone at school? Sometimes they have IT programmes which are not complete diagnostic tools but are at least a pointer. Or, if you can afford it, get an educational psychology assessment.
I haven't discussed it at school yet I am going to talk to class teacher this week.
To be honest I had enough trouble getting professionals to meet with and help my daughter and her difficulties are really quite obvious. My son is making expected progress and is at expected levels so I am not sure that school will be that concerned.
My plan is to meet with them to outline my concerns, see what they think and if they will put support in and what that will look like.
Alongside this I will get an independent Ed Psych assessment done. Are dyslexia action worth looking in to? Or does anyone have anyone they can recommend? I got in touch with someone who saw my daughter but she doesn't have appointments until September and I need to get a handle on this sooner.
Once I know what we are dealing with (dyslexia or something else) then I will get some tutoring for him to help him catch up and gain some more confidence.
I used to live near a Stradbroke! I have got loads of questions for you at the moment:
Has he ever had ear infections? How clear is he when he talks?
Can he close his eyes and touch his nose? What is his grip like on a pen/pencil? How much force does he use when he writes? Can he balance on one leg? Can he ride a bike?
Does he like being read to? How good is he at following instructions?
His spelling is an interesting mix of omission, reversal and phonetically correct. All his endings are right and it is obvious he has learnt some of the spelling rules. How long does it take him to learn a word? Can he remember it the next day? How does he go about learning words/facts?
Never had ear infections. Very healthy. Hearing is fine as for as I know.
Very clear when he talks. Can mispronounce some things. Always uppose instead of supposed.
He says much instead of many all the time. So will say 'how much apples'?Also gets past tense wrong so catched instead of caught. But he has a good vocabulary.
Yes he can close his eyes and touch his nose. His grip on pencil is OK. It is a tripod grip. His force is OK, not too hard or soft. Yes he can balance on one leg and ride a bike.
He LOVES being read to and wants me to read to him every night. Which I do.
He isn't great at following instructions. If I ask him to get something he will either forget that I asked him, what I asked him to get or where I said it was.
How long does it take him to learn to spell a word? No idea. We have never had spellings home from school and he hates writing so much I haven't pushed it at home. He likes little rhymes to remember how words are spelt.
He doesn't learn words/facts. That sounds ridiculous. He picks things up like science and maths and remembers them. I am not sure what you mean by learning things.
Oh I told him about the election the other day and political parties and MPs and seats etc. I tried to tell him, but he didn't understand. I sat down with a piece of paper and drew it all and he was interested and remembered it and asked questions. Is that the kind of thing you mean?
Thank you for your reply!
Some things sound like my dsypraxic son. Is he hyper mobile? My ds can't ride a bike. He's got bad working memory and gets tense wrong. Could be a mild mix of a few things.
My ds2 is my main concern so getting school to listen with ds1 is very hard. They didn't even listen within ds2 so I know that's not easy
Do you think a SALT needs to look at him - would verbal dyspraxia or SLI be a better fit? Both can impact on literacy.
What would you like school to say/do? At the very least, what have they noticed? Do you like/rate his present teacher?
Is he chatty? Is there a big gap between what he can talk about and his writing?
Is there anyone in RL that you trust and could ask to advise you on who would be the best person to look at him? Realistically, if it is various things going on, he will need different people to help sort him. But as a starter, it would be ideal to get one person whose input is going to make a major difference.
Keep going - remember it is having a great parent in your corner that is the biggie!
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