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Helping children with SN learn, what is out there?

(24 Posts)
brokenspacebar Fri 18-Sep-09 12:02:40

I know this could have been in education, but I wonder if anyone has used something in particular, that has really helped their dc learn.

There is so much stuff out there it feels quite overwhelming tryting to decide what might help. I thought some wise mners might want to share their advice/tips/links to products?

My ds is 5, just started ms school, he has language/social problems, "asd traits".

I am worried I am failing him, because he is harder to teach than my dd. He is a visual learner.

My first purchase so far has been some pencils yoropen pencils because my ds is reluctant to write - he wants his hand held when he writes. I am trying to let him direct the pencil, he will draw with chalk and pens etc at home, but only sometimes.

I also wonder about getting a leapfrog type product for learning to read? My ds loves gadgets so I think it might help.

sickofsocalledexperts Fri 18-Sep-09 13:45:21

My DS learned a lot through DVDs, but then he loves them to start with so it was the right medium for him . I used a lot of Baby Bumblebee DVDs - the counting ones and ABC ones are great, as are opposites and colours. I also used the "saying the letter sounds" portion of the Jolly Phonics DVD to teach him his letters. Not sure how verbal your DS is , some of these DVDs might be too junior if he's a good talker. With writing, for starters ALL boys this age are reluctant to write (they'd prefer to run/climb/bounce) but with my DS it is just a boring case of practice, practice, practice and little rewards every time he does a bit of writing. We use lots of websites (eg poisson rouge) but the leapfrog didn't work for us. Good luck!

Barmymummy Fri 18-Sep-09 13:52:22

Yep leapfrog hasn't worked with us either sad

Jo5677 Fri 18-Sep-09 15:39:12

I quite like this website for a couple of links/resources http://www.dotolearn.com/

Marne Fri 18-Sep-09 15:57:38

Dd1 has learned a lot from the PC and DVD's, we tried leapfrog but they were not interested in it.

staryeyed Fri 18-Sep-09 16:16:10

Ds doesn't like leapfrog either. Ds has learned from starfall.com Letters and sounds (although not that much as this is a problem area for him. Im sure baby Einstein dvds have helped Im sure with shapes and numbers. We are about to try baby bumblebee for vocabulary (ds is non verbal).

TotalChaos Fri 18-Sep-09 16:41:08

depends which one you are thinking of leapfrog wise - there's one I liked the look of but never got round to buying:-

www.leapfrogshop.co.uk/leapfrogshop/word-whammer-fridge-phonics.html

but I don't think the leapfrog Tag is of much use at all at the earliest stages of reading. Like other posters, I found DVDs more useful than gadgets, or for Phonics, there are Fun with Phonics DVDs (from the CBeebies program), or the Jolly Phonics song book and CD, which has visuals (actions) which go with each of the letter sounds.

www.headsprout.com is a good but pricey phonics based reading program (first 3 lessons are free to try out)

TotalChaos Fri 18-Sep-09 16:43:42

oh and also agree that BabyBumblebee is good. The Sing and Sign DVDs are also quite nice even if you aren't heavily into signing, as it's useful having hand movements to go with different basic concepts.

brokenspacebar Fri 18-Sep-09 19:52:59

Cheers for the responses, I will look at the links.

magso Fri 18-Sep-09 20:01:59

Ds has LD and asd so all learning is a struggle (he is 9 but functions more like a 3-4 year old). He got on well with a leapster hand held game console. He has learnt letters from it and is getting on with numbers. There are several levels to play at. My critism is how limited the system is but it is handy when travelling or in waiting room.

HairyMaclary Fri 18-Sep-09 20:08:24

I think this may be for older children but I have heard really good things about Snowdrop. For children with LD's, presume not severe though, they devise specific exercises or tasks to help. These can all be done at home.

I haven't used them myself though so just going on a couple of recommendations.

sarah293 Fri 18-Sep-09 20:17:57

Message withdrawn

brokenspacebar Fri 18-Sep-09 20:43:41

That is good to know Magso, I wondered about it being limited.

Snowdrop sounds interesting.

You are right Riven.

tingler Fri 18-Sep-09 20:51:09

Brokenspacebar, how is your child with visual learning as opposed to auditory processing?

Phoenix4725 Fri 18-Sep-09 20:51:39

for ds computers seem to be the key he loves them were using starfall now.He has issueswith gross and fine motor controls so making pencil holiding hard so school will be looking towards laptop

brokenspacebar Fri 18-Sep-09 23:18:38

Ds is much better with visual learning tingler, I think his auditory processing is part of his language delay/disorder - he has improved so much in the last two years, he is a different child, but his speech is still quirky/doesn't flow like his peers - school have been great and he is getting really good support at the moment.

Saying that he loves books and stories, and books are one of the incentives teachers at school are using with him - "do x and we will read y kind" of thing. Ds has got a good memory considering, he memorises books at school, so he can now "read" what is on the page of the Biff and Chip books he is getting at school. I am not worried about him learning to read yet, I just feel if he needs more support with stuff, then I want to be ready to give him it.

Phoenix, computers are great, I have been reading about laptops being used in classrooms, ds can write his name on the computer now (with a wee bit of help, but he knows the letters in his name), but cannot manage with the pencil - wish his middle name was his first name, only 3 letters, so much easier to write!

tingler Sun 20-Sep-09 19:45:34

broken, have you tried a calendar and a timetimer? Moondog writes about both these. They have both worked well with my visual learner - I've even been inspired to create my own version of the kitchen clock for visual learners and he's learning to tell the time.

brokenspacebar Sun 20-Sep-09 21:29:13

tingler - We used sand timers, the school let us bring some home, 1 minute and 5 minute, but ds seems not to need them just now, he gets a bit grumpy when his time is up, but tickling usually works as a distraction atm - or he just has a fairly minor strop.

tingler Sun 20-Sep-09 21:51:43

He sounds like a good boy!

Timers (esp. timetimers) and calendars don't have to be used just for discipline, but also for helping with understanding.

We have created a big family tree. That helps. We need to do another one for neighbours. Not sure whether to include the grumpy man next door!!!!

brokenspacebar Sun 20-Sep-09 22:41:48

We are working on pronouns with ds just now, family tree might be a really good idea - he gets mixed up with she/he/her etc... he will say "Mummy are you my son?" "is X (our dd) my brother?" he just has a mental block, talks about boys being she and girls being he... he really has changed so much in the last two years, still quirky, and delayed, but he is lovely to be with mostly. (I hesitate to post on here much, because my ds is really only mildly affected by his problems atm, but we don't really fit into the nt world either iykwim.)

I often think your ds sounds very similar to my ds - when he was the same age - re language issues.

Not sure about calendar, though I have followed the posts between you and moondog. Ds does love time and numbers, and went to bed with dd's watch on (which has stopped), and has been saying look at the time a lot today.

tingler Mon 21-Sep-09 09:04:39

"Mummy are you my son?" "is X (our dd) my brother?"

Subject to what SALTS might say, my immediate thought for solving that problem would be:

1. Design huge family tree and stick it on the kitchen wall, using photos that you can print out again later. The additional good thing about a family tree is that it doesn't look like a huge "LOOK AT MY SPECIAL NEEDS" thing in your kitchen but merely makes the world believe you are supermummy.

2. After a good few weeks of looking at it, print out the photos again in a different format. Put a "key person" in the middle and the others around the key person in a circle, with an arrow linking each of them to the key person with the words "son", "mother", "daughter" etc. You could start with one with him in the middle, then move on to one with dd in the middle (because most of it will be the same and I guess she'll want her own). And use different colours for each word to help him word-memorise (he does that rather than reading, right?). So he looks at dd in the middle and thinks "right, what am I to dd?" and follows the arrow and it says brother. But to see the "sister" one he has to walk to a different display showing him in the middle. Do you see what I mean?

If he loves time he will love the calendar. DS2 crosses the day off each night and in the morning if I'm not sure what the date is I can ask DS2 (seriously! he knows!).

I'm also dying for someone else to try my kitchen clock idea. Have you seen the thread? Do you fancy trying it? DS2 announced yesterday "look daddy it's 9 o'clock in the morning" and DH nearly spilled his coffee. He has now forgiven me for wrecking clock smile as DS2 can now tell the time by the hour and morning/afternoon/evening.

brokenspacebar Mon 21-Sep-09 10:14:14

I do like your clock idea, especially taking the minute hand off, it is a very good idea, you should be selling them(in all that spare time you havewink).

I would put a picture of the grumpy neighbour on the family tree, but can you get a picture of him?

tingler Mon 21-Sep-09 10:17:32

His wife would probably set the doberman on me......

Maybe I'll just take a photo of the doberman baring its teeth at me. I feel that says all that needs to be said really......

brokenspacebar Mon 21-Sep-09 10:23:16

That would be my ds's worst nightmare having a scary dog next door - we do have a slightly scary dog next door, but nice neighbours, who re-home dogs. The most recent dog would be lovely, but needs training, has growled at ds, who is scared of dogs.

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