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Everything posted by herekittykitty

  1. In addition, please keep in mind that school evaluations may not provide the same standardized tests that a private one would. The goal of a school evaluation is to determine if the child is eligible for special education. In my state, it is very rare that anything standardized would be used. So it's free, but keep that in mind. The goal of a private eval is to determine or rule out any diagnoses, and standardized tests are always used. I totally understand about the $. If that is an issue, remember you don't need to have a diagnosis to help your child. It's better in that case to put your resources towards curriculum and learning how YOU can help your child. A couple of years ago I did extensive research on the curricula that seem to work best for kids with dyslexia. This board was a huge source of info. I put the ones that were most commonly recommended by parents and other experts here: http://www.decodingdyslexiaiowa.org/homeschooling/. Given all that you have said, I would skip the eval but don't just sit around and wait for it to click. I would do as much research as I could online and from books, and choose one of these curricula and get going on it. Good luck.
  2. Have you looked at ST Math? I use it as a supplement to Math U See. It's available on the homeschool buyers coop. It is a visually based computer program designed to teach and reinforce concepts. I really like it.
  3. I think the reason there are basically 2 different camps here - it's probably fine, and it could be dyslexia - are because they are both possible. There is no way to know without testing your child's skills in 2 basic areas: phonological awareness and rapid naming. These 2 skills are the building blocks of reading, and are when tested in K and 1st are highly predictive of later reading problems. Phonological awareness is the ability to hear and manipulate the sounds in words. This is not to be confused with phonics (knowing that letters represent sounds). A good article on PA is here: https://www.superduperinc.com/handouts/pdf/172%20Phonological%20Awareness.pdf Rapid naming is the ability to quickly retrieve the right words for things known to the child. So if you show them pictures of known animals, or cards of basic colors, can they quickly say the name? Problems with rapid naming are essentially trouble finding the right word. Picture two 6 or 7 year olds, both not reading, both appearing typical. One has good phonological awareness and rapid naming, and for this child it will just click, because the building blocks are in place. The other has poor phonological awareness and difficulty with rapid naming and with need systematic, direct, explicit reading and spelling instruction. This second one likely has dyslexia. I would research these concepts, and dyslexia, and if you have ANY concerns I would get an eval and start remediation right away. The one thing almost all experts agree on is that the years between 1st and 3rd grade are the most fruitful to intervene. If you wait it out until 3rd or later, it takes twice as long to make the same amount of progress. I know a lot of parents who wished they would not have waited for it to click. Good luck.
  4. Yes, he has had several OT evals plus several years of private OT. I am feeling really wishy washy about this whole test stuff. This is what has been going through my head - I've never given one, I don't absolutely have to, but t would be good to do it to get an idea of strong areas/areas to work on, and give him some gentle exposure to testing, but then again maybe I shouldn't put him through it. Sigh!
  5. He could circle answers but could not handle a test bubble sheet. Too many visual processing issues, even after VT. A large print test is a good idea. Though he would do better hearing the answers read to him, and then answering orally with me circling. One of the reasons I was looking at the Stanford 10 is because of the online possibility. He loves computers, coding, etc and any kind of tech. I can order either of them for home use here, and either proctor myself or have someone else do it. I believe I have until April 30th. It doesn't sound like anyone thinks there is a huge difference between these 2 tests? The 504 plan is sufficient for him to have accommodations for both the Stanford and the Iowa test - I read both of their guidelines last night. I am surprised a state would have rules saying if a child gets acccomodations via a 504 plan those don't extend to standardized tests? But then again, stranger things have occurred. And incidentally, the law governing 504 plans (Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act) applies to postsecondary education, whereas the federal IDEA (governing IEPs) does not Thanks all for the thoughts.
  6. I am looking at either the Iowa test or the Stanford 10. Heathermomster, what about the Stanford 10 was stressful? Or was it just testing in general? OhElizabeth, do you suggest the Woodcock because it is shorter? I would prefer to do one of the more traditional tests if we are going to do it. He does not have an IEP, and I have no plans to pursue one. I am not looking for the school to remediate any of his deficits - that ship sailed long ago! I actually withdrew him from an IEP back in the day to homeschool. He will continue doing core subjects at home but may attend middle school a bit more for their electives. He does have a 504 plan. I do have friends who would gladly administer the test, however I worry about having someone else do the math test because of the scribing that is needed.
  7. Hello! It has been a long time since I have been here. I am back because this forum has always been a wealth of help and information. My 5th grader has dyslexia, dysgraphia and dyscalculia. I am thinking of giving him a standardized test at home. We have never done one. However he may attend a few more classes in middle school next year, and I know they would like to see one, and I would kind of like to know too. However I am not sure which one to choose. I am considering the Iowa test or the online Stanford 10. Have any of you used these? Any feedback about what would be best for a kid with multiple disabilities? I would give him accommodations (reading the test except for the reading portion, unlimited time, breaks, etc). Some background info: He has been dual enrolled since 2nd grade, participating in specials and a few other classes at school. He reads at grade level (though he can't sustain it for longer reading and uses audio books for that). He is a behind in spelling, but is making good progress with Apples and Pears (we are on book B). Math is a struggle. We use Math U See and ST Math, and a calculator. Math difficulties are made much worse by his severe dysgraphia. He has done literally years of private OT for gross and fine motor skills, and still can't write numbers legibly. For math at home, I scribe for him or he uses tech. He is a pretty fluent typist and uses Dragon too for writing. Thanks for any input.
  8. One of the Davis program components is also a midline crossing activity with koosh balls. I do think OT can be a good thing - just find a good OT, which can be easier said than done.
  9. One of the biggest things I would recommend is to choose something that is truly MULTI SENSORY for your child. That is why Orton Gillingham programs tend to be so effective. Davis is also a very multisensory experience. There is a lot of evidence that is the multisensory nature of the instruction that really cements things for kids with dyslexia and actually changes their neural pathways when they read. There is MRI research actually showing new pathways of brain activity after OG instruction. OG is the methodology of choice at every single private school for dyslexics as well. And I say this as someone who did not choose OG either - I'm just telling you what is out there. Also not saying that AAR is a bad reading program, it is just not recommended by dyslexia experts because it is not considered multi sensory or systematic enough. We actually use Dancing Bears because it is actually quite consistent with Davis in its use of morphemes and the cursor. But yes the stories are weird. However my son loves them. Best of luck to you.
  10. Honestly the best thing for you to do is to read the book by Ron Davis. Essentially Davis believes that dyslexics have trouble holding their perceptual point in one constant place, and the Davis program helps people learn to control this 3D perceptual ability to see things from many angles. Another part of Davis' work is the idea that dyslexics think in pictures, not words, and become disoriented when they try to read words that have no visual image associated with them, ie all of the sight words, like is, what, this, etc. Plastlina clay is used to construct the alphabet as well as to make models of sight words. I don't have any research to back it up, but have observed that dyslexics with visual processing issues often do well with the Davis method, whereas those with auditory processing issues usually need OG.
  11. My son's dysgraphia sounds like your daughter's - pretty severe. My father has it too. We do handwriting practice most days, but as many have said, we find other ways for him to demonstrate what he knows. We do almost all of math on a whiteboard - no worksheets. All stories, writing composition is dictated via Dragon. We've done some OT as time and money have allowed with no real improvement. I suppose if, as the previous poster suggested, she cannot write her name, you should pursue OT - but honestly if all the OT is going to do is make her practice more (as many do), you may not see much improvement. It's a brain based issue. You might consider Neuronet. We did about 1/2 of it and took a break, and handwriting improved. We are going to start again soon.
  12. I have a dyslexic 3rd grader and am active in several dyslexia related groups. Here are the reading programs that get the most support and endorsements from parents: Orton Gillingham programs like Barton or Wilson - multisensory, systematic and the gold standard for dyslexia (AAR is may have elements but it is not OG and not intended for dyslexia, personally I would not choose it for dyslexia) Aabecedarian - good for milder dyslexics, less heavy on rules than OG which may be a better fit for kids with processing issues Dancing Bears - morpheme approach, published by Sound Foundations in Britain Davis Dyslexia - a very different approach, read Gift of Dyslexia by Ron Davis, seems to work very well for some dyslexics but not for all. Works very well for the dyslexics in my family. I hope this helps. This is sort of my summary of what I read and what people in the groups/boards that I frequent report.
  13. I also think there is something going on, and unfortunately evals are often the only way to know. I'd start saving or looking for lower cost options of screenings, assessments etc. Working memory, processing speed, auditory and visual processing are all foundational skills - and if there are issues with them - and it sounds like there are - you aren't going to get very far with academics. Those things need to be assessed and improved before academics will get better. I think we have all felt frustrated with our child with special needs at times, so do know that you are not alone. If you can't find a way to evaluate right now, I would honestly take a break from what you are doing that isn't working, strongly limit TV and electronic time, and encourage reading and projects related to animals or anything else that interests her.
  14. I would check out signs and symptoms of dyslexia here: http://www.bartonreading.com/pdf/Dys%20warning%20signs.pdf as well as review your family history of people having difficulty with reading, writing or spelling. I don't think there is anything necessarily wrong. But dyslexia can be identified at the age your daughter is now, so it's a worth a few minutes of research. And it is occurs in 1 in 5 people. If you don't see warning signs, I would continue to work with her on a good phonics program and it will happen. I am a member of several groups for parents of dyslexic children, and one that is recommended by parents and tutors alike, for dyslexics and non dyslexics, is Aabecedarian.
  15. This is a new book on teaching tips for VSL. It's written by Betty Maxwell who does a lot of work with Linda Silverman. I have it and I think it has a lot of practical tips. http://www.amazon.com/Picture-It-Teaching-Visual-Spatial-Learners/dp/1478282312/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1390802467&sr=8-1&keywords=betty+maxwell
  16. That's a neat vocabulary resource, thanks for sharing.
  17. Barton is very expensive. What the previous poster said is correct though - you can get about 75% back via resale. That's something to think about. It's also a fraction of the cost of a tutor. I think much of what you pay for with Barton is the open and go factor - if you haven't seen it, it is extremely scripted and easy to implement. I think Wilson is less money, but less open and go. Personally I think O-G is becoming a buzz word. Many of the programs listed on this thread IMO are not O-G reading programs. Again being O-G based just means they might have SOME elements. So if you are really looking for that to help a struggling reader, you need to be careful. Much of what you decide on, IMO, should be based on the severity of your child's reading struggles. If your child is mild to moderate, you might be able to get by with a strong phonics program like AAR. If they are moderate, or severe or profound, you're going to need O-G. There just aren't many children who don't respond well to it. It's tedious work, but it doesn't miss anything or take any skills for granted. With Barton for example, you literally go through several levels before letter symbols are introduced. I am also active in an online dyslexia support group, and one inexpensive method that is suggested for struggling readers is: Aabecedarin - this is not an O-G program. It is Phonographix. The creator has some background in O-G but went a little different direction with this program. If your child is mild to moderately dyslexic, many are having good results with this. The book "Reading Reflex" is also the Phonographix approach and inexpensive. From my reading about Phonographix vs. O-G: Phonographix is less heavy on the rules, which can be helpful if your child has working memory or processing speed issues. I know someone who tutors in both O-G and Aabecedarian, and that is what she told me about how she decides what to use. She also said if she is on the fence, she starts with Aabecedarian because of cost, and if it's not working she goes to Barton. I hope this helps a little. I can sympathize with the cost of things.
  18. What is everyone getting? So far for my 3rd grader I have: Grammar Cop Mental Math Kids Can't Resist Dot to Dots, Mazes, Word Searches (OT activities for visual processsing issues) Would love other ideas as there is so much to sort through.
  19. I am active with several dyslexia organizations. if you want an Orton-Gillingham program, use one on the list provided by Susan Barton (linked by a previous poster). It really isn't enough to be "O-G based." Many programs state that, but you want the real deal.
  20. I also completed the training and have done about half of the Integrated Rhythms program with my 3rd grade son. We stopped because the writing exercises were very very hard for him. He has dysgraphia and we decided to do some OT for a bit. I do plan to resume. I think Neuronet is a great program. The science behind it makes a lot of sense IMO.
  21. Sorry for the multiple posts - but I just wanted to vehemently agree with those who advised that you should not rely on your public school to remediate dyslexia, or to offer an evidence-based approach for it. I am part of my state's Decoding Dyslexia group, and we have yet to find a school in our state that offers anything. A few have agreed to do an O-G program at parent request. Those are typically smaller and private schools, and they are the exception to the rule. I would not wait. If you get started now your child will be so much better off than if you wait. Good luck.
  22. Just as an aside, in my research about reading programs, Aabecedarian can be just as good as Barton - if it is a good match for your student. It is a Phonographix approach and from what I have read, works well with dyslexic kids who aren't too severe or profound. It is less rule based than Barton, which according to my research, can be a better fit if your child has working memory and processing speed problems and simply can't handle all of those rules. If I were in your shoes, I might consider it before Barton because it does work well for a decent portion of dyslexics and it is a lot less money. There is also a Yahoo support group for Aabecedarian users that is moderated by the program developer.
  23. I have several friends and acquaintances that have been in your shoes. What seems to work best, if you can work it out, is to do Barton at home with her, 2-3x week and not have her do any remedial reading instruction at school. If they do spelling words, try to coordinate them with what you are working on with Barton. Also, see if the school would allow you (or a tutor) to demonstrate Barton for them. It demystifies what you're doing and also really help them understand how hard she is working. The Barton tutors I know who have done this said it is incredibly eye opening for the teacher. They just have no idea how hard it is for a dyslexic child. I know some who have had their kids doing Barton at home, and in special ed reading at school, and the special ed reading interferes with Barton. They can't get the school to understand that Barton is more effective than what they are offering, and it just gets messy. It can be really challenging, and it all depends on how much your school is willing to partner with you. If she doesn't have an IEP for reading, it's almost easier. I know someone else who hired a lawyer (but did not sue). The lawyer attended meetings and essentially used the school's data (which showed lack of progress in reading) to require that an O-G reading program be used with their child. Their child did get the Wilson method at school for a year or so, but it wasn't enough. They ended up hiring a private tutor. I think you need to ask yourself what your goals are. Do you want to make the school provide O-G? The definitely consult a lawyer. Or do you just want to get the quickest most efficient help for your child? If that is the case, do the Barton yourself or hire a tutor.
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