Here some suggested organisations that offer expert advice on SN.
LD verses communication(10 Posts)
Ok so not sure if anyone can point me in the right direction but I'm having a really hard time untangling where DD2's issues are stopping her from learning.
She is 6 1/2 and can't recognise all the letters in the alphabet, and writes all her numbers backwards. She can't write her name without getting some letters the wrong way round (or the case wrong). She can read some very simple words dog, cat etc but finds 'car' difficult because the 'a' is a long sound rather than short.
She has been observed by OT, ASL and SALT in school, they have all come up with huge communication difficulties but no one has said anything about learning difficulties.
She has always hated learning things and HATES school (even though they love her, can't do enough to help her, set up extra therapy for her make sure she has safe escape routes and time out then she needs it).
Has anyone had any experience of this, or advice. Feeling pretty in the dark about it (and I was an English teacher in my former life :-s)
Different issues here but have you tried irlens glasses/overlays? They only work for a very few but if that's the issue its the easiest most magical fix ever. Testing here was about £40 but glasses were £100+. They only test after you've tried the overlays at home (but on line). Worth a punt.
If that doesn't help (or to be honest even if it does) what have you done at home? There are lots of great apps and reading schemes and equipment.
Oooo will try that (and also seem to remember her cousin needed the overlays and work printed on a particular shade of green paper).
At home I have done endless reading to her (fiction and non fiction - a mix of books of her and my choice), apps, flash cards, encouragement to learn, breaks from it so as not to overload her. At one point I put out all her Skylanders out with a flash card with the first letter (b under Blizard chill etc) photographed them, printed and laminated them and made them her own cards (I admit I was a bit mad at that point though).
For Maths we do Lego counting and she has learned the times tables because her sister wanted to learn them and we have a car CD of 'jazzy' songs. For the maths it is more as and when.
I also wonder about her lack of grip (she really only just started using the normal grip for her pencil - before she held it in her fist). She says it hurts to write. Could this be an issue with learning?
Both me and ds get hand pain with writing (hypermobility) and have different preferences for pens. It's worth trying different pens and different grips to see what helps. Some people get on well with fixed grips which hold the fingers in the ideal grip, they make me and ds hurt more as we need to keep adjusting grip. It's trial and error really. A good OT will have a range of options to try out and make recommendations.
OT are fabulous and make the child so comfortable that they can do more than they are used to which is lovely to see and a good reminder that support does work.
I found the Montessori method of teaching reading extremely effective as it is so hands on and doesn't push pen on paper in traditional ways. She did after all design it originally for children with SN . Certainly solid alphabets are brilliant as are "pink boxes" (word building exercises).
This book is probably teaching you to do things you do anyway but I found great for reminding me to teach slowly and make it fun.
Phonic books have a reading scheme that takes you from very first sounding all the way to reading in a very logical and paced way. (I think Dandelion Launchers???)
Montessori@home have a reading game which is actually a reading scheme set out as questions iykwim. I think it is better for a more sight reading biased child but that may be her crutch into reading.
Keep going, baby steps all build up to walking one day.
I think you are confused between specific and generalised learning difficulties. Language disorder, speech disorder, social communication disorder, autism, dyslexia and dyspraxia are all specific learning difficulties, but the child may be in the normal intelligence range. A moderate learning difficulty (iq below 70) or severe learning difficulty (iq below 50) are generalised learning difficulties.
A language disorder can depress verbal iq, but the child still has a non-verbal iq within the normal range; conversely dyspraxia can depress non-verbal Iq (although the child can still be within the normal range on say Ravens matrices, one sub-test of the non-verbal tests) and the child is within the normal range on verbal iq. Some children with a language disorder and dyspraxia may have a spiky profile, because verbal and non-verbal sub tests are affected - it's the skill of the educational psychologist to determine if a child has a language disorder and dyspraxia, but is fundamentally within the normal intelligence range; or their scores are low because of a moderate learning difficulty. It depends what the ed psy report says about dd (although LAs can try to put children with communication difficulties and dyspraxia in MLD schools, partly if they can't cope in mainstream, but more importantly for them, it's cheaper than an out of county specialist speech and language school. Parents need to have their wits about them to make sure their child gets the right provisions.
However, from what you say, my dd was exactly as you describe at that age due to specific learning difficulties - language disorder, phonological processing disorder, dyslexia and dyspraxia - but underneath it all, quite bright. IMO, you can see how lively they are in the eyes, if within the normal intelligence range. It took dd years to get b and d, 3 and 5 the right way round - years of tracing the letters with her finger in a sand tray, writing in big letters on newspaper, tracing the letters with my finger on her bare back, and the language unit made a b and d in fake fur, for her to feel....Rules such as the magic e had to be taught explicitly, Toe by Toe really helped her, as did Write from the Start!
Thank you everyone! There are certainly quite a lot of things to think about and work on there. Anomia wow, I knew about all those different presentations (from long ago - former life etc) however putting them together was a bit of a reeducation. It is an amazing list, you are clearly very clued up, thank you.
I do think she is quite bright despite being late to talk and still getting mixed up with words "but you said that LATER" (instead of earlier). But she knows what she means and she does think about things lots and has a good memory for some things (well events anyway). The EP is the only person who hasn't seen DD2 yet (because they say she is very compliant in school and they have far more behavioural issues with others that the EP has had to look at as a priority) but she will see her next month. Hopefully she will have done suggestions. As ever many thanks everyone
Typing with one finger on an I-pad, while DD was also talking to me does not make for the most ordered thinking!
Anyway, if you have not done so already, I suggest you put in a request for assessment for an EHC plan ASAP!
I'm in Scotland and as far as I can gather it's not so structured up here so can't :-( ASL have been great and we have a GIRFEC meeting next month and this might also be a care/education plan but I don't know. I was trained in England so no points of ref to go on. (But def thanks again for the list as I'm going to see if she fits into any of them and work on it from there!)
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