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So, a little concerned about DD's reading etc, I looked in her friend's book bag <i know, I know>

24 replies

DrHorrible · 15/09/2008 18:33

She is about 9 months behind, and afaik her friend is "average". (Her mum would have be fine with me looking btw, she wasn't about though as I was collecting)

This isn't about me looking at other people's stuff, not a judgey lunchbox thread, it is about me being worried about DD.

We read every other night (she has activities the other nights and is wiped out and will not read - you try talking a stubborn AS child into reading ]).

What can I do to help? Is she likely to just catch up?

I want to leave her a few weeks in the new class before harassing her teacher with my worries.

Her speech is behind (still waiting for SALT after having to cancel her assessment due to pox). Her drawings aren't like the other children's. Her writing is very unclear compared to her friends too.

Her understanding of things is fine (you can explain science etc to her, and she understands, she suddenly comes out with really random comments about stuff she has absorbed etc), it is the skills she is behind on.

She is 5. I feel she should be concentrating on being a child, but at the same time, I don't want to let her down by ignoring problems though.

PLEASE give me some advice.

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Jas · 15/09/2008 18:36

Talk to the school

Fwiw, dd2 wasn't reading at all when she went into yr 1, as a Sep birthday, so almost 6. The school did an intensive course of extra literacy with her during that first term and it gave her the kick start she needed.

LadyMuck · 15/09/2008 18:38

Yes she is likely to just catch up in terms of reading, though 5 mins a day does make a difference. It is worth keeping an eye on but not worth stressing on. I don't think that lots of etra work after school is ever the way to go to be honest, but if she is wiped out because of afterschool activities then you might want to move activities to weekends say.

DrHorrible · 15/09/2008 19:00

the activities she begged for all last year

I'll talk to the school and try not to worry too much

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LostGirl · 15/09/2008 19:46

Could you try doing 5 minutes in the morning, straight after breakfast. My dd (also 5) sounds very similar to yours (especially regarding the total random information she suddenly comes out with) and her writing and drawing are well below average but have found that doing 5 minutes reading has helped improve things in this area at least and she has far greater concentration span first thing than she does by 9am, let alone after school!

ninja · 15/09/2008 19:49

This is the year where kids start to pick up this kind of thing. Don't worry.

Some kids walk at 9 months and some at 20 months - but it's not a good predictor of where they'll be in the end.

CarGirl · 15/09/2008 19:50

5 is still very young, dd2 didn't learn to read until she was 5.5 years.

MrsWeasley · 15/09/2008 19:52

My son was like this so I spoke to the school and was told "not to worry, he is improving" but of course I worried. He hated reading and so they told me to only do it when he wanted to. They didnt want him to be put off.

He is 7 and his reading has improved by leaps and bounds but only really dramatically in the last 6 months.

Have a word with her teacher. keep reading to her and listening to her when she will. oh and try not to worry

DrHorrible · 15/09/2008 19:55

you're all making me feel much better about it all.

The morning reading doesn't happen because of DS - he "helps" (no matter what I try to distract him with). In the evenings DH can take him away

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cory · 15/09/2008 19:57

Ds is only just clicking with reading and he's 8.

MerlinsBeard · 15/09/2008 20:13

in my book(sorry no pun intended!) if she is enjoying reading then she is doing fine

Some children like to read and are good at it naturally, some children like to read but take a bit longer to "get it". Same with maths for eg. She has sooo many other things to worry about that when she settles properly in school with eth new Y1 routine, i am sure she will come along.

In the meantime, ask her teacher what you can do at home thats not pushy to encourage her to read. Maybe write out a simple recipe and get her to read the ingredients out to you?

Trafficcone · 15/09/2008 20:18

How on earth, from a quick squizz in her mates bag can you say with certainty that she's '9 months behind'???
You're totally over analysing and over reacting imo. I had one child who taught himself to read at age 3/4. One who learned to read in the first term of reception age 4.5 and one who read his first book age 7.5 in Yr2.
I can say, hand on heart, when they are 20 no one will be able to tell me which child is which.
I learned to read a year younger than my Dh, we're both very competent readers now.

ALL that matters age 5 is that your Dd loves literature and words. Play word games, recite poems and rhymes, sing songs, read to her and allow her to read to you. Give her a shopping list to read when you go to Tesco (or wherever you go) make it fun and stop stressing!!!

PrincessPeaHead · 15/09/2008 20:19

ds2 has just started in reception and was 5 last week (so v old for his year)
I haven't tried to teach him to read, and consequently he barely recognises the letters in his name. If he was born a week earlier he'd have finished reception and be in Year 1 by now... I'm just saying that 5 is still terribly young, and plenty of 5 year olds aren't even beginning to read yet.
I think the mnost important thing is that she isn't turned off reading. So go gently.

SaintGeorge · 15/09/2008 20:28

DS1(7) was behind with his speech and it really made a difference to his reading ability too.

It is difficult to do the 'new' phonics or sound out words to learn to read, when you are struggling to make the sounds.

Once his speech was sorted, his reading ability caught up in no time.

He didn't get proper help with his speech until March this year. Had 10 weeks of twice weekly sessions at a dedicated language unit. When he started he was (unofficially) reading at about age 5 level. He is now up to speed with his classmates.

Push for that SALT assessment. I really believe it made the world of difference for DS.

SaintGeorge · 15/09/2008 20:29


Fancy not knowing my own kids apart!

DrHorrible · 15/09/2008 20:31

I can't tell mine apart either... one day DS will be very offended

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Frizbe · 15/09/2008 20:36

Agree, chill out about it, ss was being a typical boy and not bothered about reading at all, even got himself into speical measures reading classes, before we managed to find something that made him want to read (dh let him go on wow...) thought that'd make you laugh but he had to learn to read to be able to do it, amazing how quickly he picked it all up, now he's 10 and one of the best in his year Sure dd will get it just fine, some just go quicker than others, for being such a good mum and worrying about dd though.

Jas · 15/09/2008 21:14

Ooh yes, agree with Frizbe. My brother was the same until he discovered the Beano He had a subscription to it for over a decade as for a long time it was all he would read!

Once she is interested she will pick it up.

DD2 spent every second I tried to get her to read to me in reception sliding off the chair and rolling round the floor, anything to avoid even trying.

You couldn't tell now though.

EachPeachPearMum · 15/09/2008 21:38

Flame- DH couldn't read fluently until he was 8 or so, and he is a genius now! I could read at 2.

Seriously, all children develop at different rates, as long as her teacher thinks she is progressing as she should, and she is progressing, that is good news.

'Average' reading ages incorporate all children- some have to be ahead of and behind the curve!

stealthsquiggle · 15/09/2008 21:46

What year is she? Y1? DS's fabulous Y1 teacher maintained that the 'order' the children were in coming into Y1 in terms of reading bore no relation whatsoever to how they would be doing at the beginning of Y2. I haven't had access to enough book bags to judge that but I believe her. Reading 'clicks' for a lot of children some time in Y1.

Bear in mind (I am sure you do) that life is hard work for her dealing with AS (sounds like dyspraxia-type things as well??) and she has probably had it with all things school-related by the end of the day. I personally wouldn't drop the activities if she enjoys them, though - she probably needs the outlet of doing something completely different.

smartiejake · 15/09/2008 22:14

I am not actually very sure how a child of only 5 can be assessed as being 9 months behind in reading. Who does reading tests at this age anyway?

In dd1s class at the end of reception there were children on level 2 ORT and others on level 7 (she was one of the advanced ones)

By the end of year 3 the gap had significantly closed where many of those early readers had plateaued and the slower ones caught up.

DD2 was one of the slower readers at the end of reception. By the end of year 4 (aged 9)she was achieving the same level as children 2 years older and has been assessed as having a reading age of 12.

Lots of kids struggle to start with with reading and then in many cases it clicks and they get it.

SHe is far too young for you to be stressing about it. Keep at it a little and often and don't forget to read to her every day too.

If she has AS then the activities are very important for the development of social skills and I would say vital for her emotional and social development.

DrHorrible · 15/09/2008 22:29

You've all made me feel soo much better - thank you

The 9 months behind thing btw is that the friends who I have spoken to (and the one I rummaged ) went onto the next stage etc in January.

I do think a lot of my worries are my own feelings that I am letting her down. We have been waiting 12 months + for the SALT assessment (I was asking in pre-school about her speech but they kept saying she was fine and would catch up, so she didn't even get suggested for it until this time last year). Her AS issues aren't enough to be glaringly obvious to the community paed (although unless she was severe classic autism, I doubt he'd notice anyway), I don't know about dyspraxia, but yes, she is very awkward and has poor balance etc - one of the reasons I don't want to stop her activities - they are all movement based and I think it will help her.

So many worries been building up for a while and the book bag was the final straw

Her new teacher (and her previous teacher) is lovely and very very caring & dedicated (mum works at the school so knows her iyswim). I have great faith in her supporting us any way we need, I just want to let the poor woman get past the first few weeks before bombarding her with my concerns - especially as I never know how many are genuine and how many are pfb!

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plusonemore · 16/09/2008 09:28

i would talk to the teacher too, but i think you are right to wait a few weeks to let things settle down. There's loads of other activities you could be doing to hellp with reading if thats your particular concern without just reading her books from school. you reading stories to her and stopping to chat about them, predict whats going to happen etc. make a table mat (get her to help) with the key words on (look in the back of her reading book or use this list, play with those stick on letters in the bath, stick words onto skittles and try to knock them down, play games on the computer like these...
by making it fun it takes the pressure off, but little and often is usually the key. Children make great progress at this stage so lots can happen.
hth xx

pudding25 · 16/09/2008 12:05

I teach yr 1. You cannot determine that she is 9mths behind by talking to other parents. No offence but I hate it when parents all 'chat' about school stuff they know nothing about and don't come and speak to the teachers. Parents are always going to be upset and think their child is not doing as well.

Many children start yr 1 not reading much. The progress they make during the yr is astonishing!

You definitely need to have a chat with the teacher. I presume the school is involved in the assessments you are getting done? Can they help speed things up for you?

You are totally right in wanting to keep an eye in you dd, but please don't stress and listen to other parents!

DrHorrible · 16/09/2008 17:48

I am sorry Pudding.

People scare me in rl. I know I need to get over it, but I am so worried about seeming pfb and imagining problems that I have tried to stay away from her teachers as I am constantly convinced I am the neurotic mother

I am actually doing collection tomorrow (been one of those weeks!), so I will see if I can make an appointment with her then.

The assessments so far have been alone. Pre-school kept telling me DD was fine both in speech and AS respects. We then started school proper so I didn't mention either. The first week they changed her book without warning (she doesn't do change without warning ), and she sobbed and refused point blank to read it with me. So, I went in, told them what my concerns were, and they were lovely - they didn't care if she was dx with AS or what, they just asked what set her off, how best to avoid it and/or handle it if it happened etc, and we left it at that.

First parents evening the first term, they asked if we would like speech therapy for her (without me mentioning it), but then a whole load of problems meant she didn't even get her assessment appointment until the holidays, and then she had chicken pox so we had to cancel and wait for a new appointment

I have left off seeing the new teacher for a whole list of reasons(yes, partly my nervousness ), but also because I needed B to settle in and her teacher to get to know her, I needed her teacher to be settled too, she is a lovely woman but she worries a lot and I didn't want to get her flustered the first few weeks of term.

Sorry for the essay The book bag really was just that little thing that has made lots of little worries spill over into "my baby is broken!!"

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