Hello, this is my first post on the forums. I've been registered and reading for quite some time, and should have come on before now to say thank you for all the tips and info I've gleaned. Now I've reached a point where I'm not really sure what to do, or how to do it, and could really use some advice specific to my situation. This is about my daughter, K. She turned 7 in December.
From the time she could talk well, she has had very good phonemic awareness. She would say a word and ask, "now what does that start with?" and "what's at the end?". By preschool she knew all her single letter phonograms just from our talking about words (at her request). She loved rhyming. Her comprehension has always been great with read-alouds, and she has enjoyed listening to chapter books since she was around 4. Loves audiobooks. Excellent vocabulary. K talks all. the. time. To the point it is annoying to the rest of us. Talking and moving, always talking and moving. 😀 I mention all this to make clear that this kid LOVES words and stories.
We're in LOE Foundations C. Two or three times, in B and C, we've completely stopped new lessons because it just seems to go too fast (too many new phonograms to learn). This is fine with me. We work on fluency, games, phonogram review until it seems she's ready, and then move ahead. It has never seemed like her reading ability is what it should be, given her interest and background, and the explicit phonics, but she always seemed to be making some progress and was so young, I didn't worry too much about it.
She does not seem to have much visual memory. For example, if I had a penny for every time I heard /t/ /h/ /e/ . . . . it took several hundred times of reading this word for her to recognize the /th/, much less recognize the whole word. LOE doesn't have much repetition, and I recognized that she needed more, so we have added it in. But it still takes so many times decoding a word to seem to recognize it at all.
She had a big leap around the time she turned 6, where she was able to read things like Biscuit and Frog and Toad with enough fluency to begin to enjoy it. Now, she can read those books with little error as long as she is paying attention. She can decode most words in Mercy Watson now, but frequently not with enough fluency to understand what she has read. If she has a minute or two where she is spot-on with attention, she can read it fluently, but this doesn't happen often.
She doesn't seem to reverse letters when she is reading, but does when writing (b, d, p, etc). She has convergence insufficiency and we have done vision therapy (we see a developmental optometrist) for a long time. Last visit, we were told that if she were to visit a new optometrist, they wouldn't know she had CI. She still has eyestrain and tires very easily when reading, rubs eyes.
Don't know if it matters, but probably 3 years ago, I printed out the RAN color sheets (I think that is what they are called?) that someone posted here. She did very poorly on them, but with practice has improved.
On one hand, it doesn't seem like she's far away from normal with reading . . . on the other hand, there is just something nagging at me that it is harder than it should be. Every single thing has been taught explicitly and practiced over and over. If she decodes a word and it appears again 3 words later, it usually has to be completely decoded again from beginning to end. And I read about stealth dyslexia and think maybe it's just masked by the explicit instruction, like it's just enough to get us this far but how far will it go . . . then again, maybe I just need to cultivate more patience . . . and I go in circles.
Other issues: She has always had a good grasp of math concepts. However, at the same time, there seems to be a lag between her actual understanding and output (verbal). Things like skip-counting have taken so much repetition to grasp. I have had 2 grandparents with Alzheimer's and 1 with dementia. Very often, the look on her face is exactly how theirs was when they were still aware of things . . . it was clear they could understand the words you said, and they knew they should easily be able to respond, but they just could not process what the words meant. Kwim? If I ask a question (even something very easy that she completely has down) I need to wait several seconds for the answer. She will say, "hold on, hold on, I've got it." and then finishes thinking. She also often tries to cover up her taking time to think by drawing out words, like "Ok . . . you know this one . . . of course I do too . . . . the answer . . . . is . . ." In addition, anything with multiple numbers or steps requires me to repeat a lot, anything that requires her to hold things in her head. So I am wondering about working memory and processing speed. Another thing I just thought of is that she does not seem to recognize some obvious patterns in sound. For example, if I say, "201, 202, 203 . ." and then she is to continue the pattern, she has no idea. I then say, "hmmm, 1, 2, 3 . . what comes next?" "4, 5, 6" "So 201, 202, 203," and then from the next room her brother calls, "204, 205, 206 . . ." while she is completely stumped. He doesn't have nearly the understanding of numbers that she does, but he hears the pattern. She has improved on this very recently, but that is an example.
She constantly asks, "What?" after we say things. (A couple years ago, we had her hearing tested due to this. It is fine.) Many times, she heard, it just takes several seconds for her to process. Or at least, that is what it seems like. K is so very loud, she is always the loudest person in the room and it also seems like she doesn't hear because she's always making loud noises or talking loudly.
I find myself getting very irritated with her at things like this. Also, with most of it, like the reading, it is frustrating because on the rare occasions she really focuses, there is marked improvement. But of course, she can't focus so closely all the time. She is really such a wonderful kid, and this post feels like I'm harping on all the irritating things, lol.
I spoke with the ped about some of this recently, and she really didn't know. She said that normally it's all handled by the school and so she wasn't sure what to do. (K is so articulate and behaved so well that I got the idea she really didn't think there was much going on.) I suggested a neuropsych eval and she was agreeable. We actually don't even need a referral, she is covered by OK Medicaid and because it's due to adoption they don't require a PCP or referral.
Sorry this was so very long, I don't even know what to ask now. lol Probably much of that info wasn't needed. Am I overthinking things and these really aren't issues? Some of it seems within the realm of normal, but I don't want to delay further if I need to be doing something. What do I need to do? And if a neuropsych eval is the thing to do, does anyone have any recommendations in Oklahoma?