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Anyone deal with dysgraphia, dyscalculia and dyslexia in the same kid?


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A hs mom friend of mine is struggling with her three kids learning issues. The kids are her husband's children from his first marriage, so she's had them for 5 years and continues to struggle with their educational needs.

 

She claims they all have dyslexia, dysgraphia and dyscalculia. She went to recieve training in some program to use with her kids and would like to go for more, but can't afford it right now. She's used MUS, but it's not working for them.

 

The kids are 9, 10 and 14. Two of them are avid readers and love to read. I don't know that the family is as consistent in schoolwork as they could be, but no idea if or how much that affects what she believes she's seeing.

 

I know this is a loaded question with so little info.to go on- but any thoughts? Anyone or anyplace she can contact for support/help? Any books (I know she's read a number already) They don't have internet in their home and she doesn't have a lot of time to research.

 

Thanks for any assistance!!

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My youngest is diagnosed with all three as well. Remediating reading and spelling has been the most successful. It seems that her writing has come a long way, but it will always be a laborious process. But math?? Oh math is just the hardest thing. Just talked with a friend yesterday that is a school psychologist and has been doing testing for years. She said that she agreed... there just aren't the resources out there for remediation of dyscalculia like there are for dyslexia.

 

A couple math resources of interest that I've come across recently:

http://www.crewtonramoneshouseofmath.com/

http://www.kismathcenter.com/

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Can you find out what the program was she got training in? Was it SWR? I wondered, since it has both basic and advanced workshops. My guess is she needs some help to figure out how to make what she already has work better. Things out of the box don't always fit these kids, even when they're meant for strugglers. Sometimes it's a matter of seeing the flexibility and how you can change what you're using. For instance, if she's using SWR, she can take the principles but use them in the context of daily sentence dictation. I actually dictated the sentences from the Wise Guide to my dd for quite a while. With these kids it's not about instant success or perfect teaching methods. It's about doing things over and over a lot of different ways.

 

You said her money is tight, so I hate to even mention this. However some of the things that I would have labeled dysgraphia, dyslexia, etc. in my dd were actually due to vision and visual processing problems. She's still dyslexic, with clear signs of bilaterality problems, difficulty with expressive language, initiation, writing, etc., don't get me wrong. But VT (vision therapy) made a HUGE shift in how it all plays out daily. She's still not a natural speller, but at least she can see the syllables in words, sound them out, and recognize letters as individual components. There was something there that never clicked despite YEARS, and I do mean years, of SWR. And her handwriting, well man that just improved radically. It basically made it easier for the foundational things we were trying to do in math and LA finally to stick. http://www.covd.org is where she'd go to read more about VT, visual processing problems, etc. It's definitely worth checking into.

 

In our case we ended up going for an OT (occupational therapy) evaluation to work on the pain with writing. The OT was the one who unlocked some of the issues for us with motor control and how it connects to writing. Again, your friend's kids could have none of this or tons. My dd turned out to be low muscle tone, and that was causing her pain with writing. But it goes further, spiraling and creating more problems. Low tone leads to low proprioception (sense of self in space) and sensory processing problems. That can affect their ability to write, since of course writing uses muscles and sensory awareness. There can also be dyspraxia or motor control issues that play out with motor planning (jerkiness to their writing) for which you can do something like Callirobics. And I don't really understand it, but by the time you pair the touch of dyspraxia and motor planning with the problems of sensory awareness plus the dyslexia (plus maybe some working memory issues, another good thing to read about), you end up with kids who say HUH a lot, need extra time to process what they're told and get it through the feedback loop, and find it extremely challenging to GET OUT what's inside. My dd used to sit and a paper and just stare at it. She couldn't initiate and get it going. Once she got going, the writing was fine, quite good. It was all inside and couldn't come out. And that's the terrific irony, that some dyslexics have lots and lots of ability to write inside of them, all locked up by the motor planning and just monumental effort needed to do it. When my dd does certain things, it really wears her out. LizzyBee on the special needs board here just posted a link with MRI brain scans of dyslexic brains. They have one section much larger and more active than normal and the others not even working. In other words, they have to work a LOT harder to do what other people take for granted. We finally gave up on latin (having done several years of it with too much effort), and I think you'll hear that kind of thing a common refrain.

 

It's hard to understand these kids, and it wouldn't matter if they were biological or not. If they're not like you, it's especially HARD. I suggest she figure out which side had the dyslexia (since it's often genetic) and talk with that parent or someone similar about their school experiences. That's what I have tried to do, pulling out what they remember good or bad about math, writing, reading, etc. in school. She'll start to notice patterns or find reminices that might apply. For instance my dh has bad memories of K5. No one should have bad memories of K5, but my dh does, lol. Hearing that was the first step in my realizing I needed another way to teach her that was working to her strengths and being patient with her weaknesses. It's lots of plodding, lots of repetition, not just finding the perfect method. I used to repeat the SWR lists 3 years in a row (they recommend 2) and still she wouldn't know them. We've done the same math levels with different materials over and over, trying to get her solid enough on facts (not concepts, facts) to be able to go forward. I've done as many as 3-4 spelling curricula or methods at a time trying to help her. If your friend is feeling worn out, that might be why. It's not easy. It gets discouraging when you do things and don't see results. I suggest she find a mix of things that work for her, some that are independent and some she does with them, so the basics get done every day. Plod, plod, plod. That's the motto here.

Edited by OhElizabeth
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My son was evaluated for dysgraphia by the school..I stopped even looking into it when the OT told me the treatment was, in a nutshell, penmanship lessons. :001_rolleyes: The OT decided he was legible enough that he didn't qualify for help through the school, much to the chagrin of all his teachers. My observation was that the kid was just drawing the letters, and had never transitioned to actually fluent writing. I found he was legible in cursive so he writes in cursive when he can't type. My suggestion to your friend is teach the children to type and teach them cursive until she can get them in to an OT for an evaluation. She should see what the insurance will cover..we had a $1K max.

 

 

 

This seems to be related to dyslexia as well - instead of the letters being a symbol for the sounds in a word, they are simply "pictures" of a word. They aren't completing certain strokes in sequence, but rather reproducing on paper the "picture" they have in their head.

 

We had the same issues with my 8yo and school OT - it was found that (a) he wasn't eligible since he was in 1st grade and wrote like a lower skilled 1st grader (nevermind that he was 3rd grade age!) and (b) it would have been 30 minutes of HWOT once a week.:confused: Why bother, ya know?

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Wow, thank you for sharing so much! I have passed the posts on to my friend and have passed this one on as well.

 

I do not know if it was SWR, but I can certainly find out. We have a dear mutual friend whose dd went through VT. I know the testing is spendy, but maybe she can talk to our mutual friend about it more to see if there's any ideas there. How impressive that finding that out helped your dd so much! That must have been kind of exciting to have some answers and some help.

 

Fascinating stuff on the OT, motor control and writing. I had to read that a few times to catch it all. How overwhelming for your daughter and you and others in the same boat. I have even more sympathy for my friend. I'll see if she can relate to what you have shared.

 

The dyslexia is definately from her husband. I know he has it and to this day doesn't read very well. I can see where his experiences might help bolster her understanding of where the kids are coming from and maybe give her some ideas. I know math has always come easy for her and so it's difficult for her to relate to the kids' struggles in it.

 

My friend's dh works an inhuman number of hours a week and he works nights. He does maintenance work at a meat plant and he's had 3 days off in the past 6 months, I think. She really is a single parent trying to work with her kids and they have a toddler too. She is also spending a lot of time trying to help two parents-one who can't drive and needs rides to doctor's visits and need help running their motel, etc. She has scads on her plate, so dealing with these learning issues on top of everything else is really defeating her. I can see where dealing with the learning issues would be overwhelming on their own!!

 

Thank you again for sharing so much. It's given me lots to think about and I sincerely hope she finds something in your words that will give her hope, insight, help-anything.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Can you find out what the program was she got training in? Was it SWR? I wondered, since it has both basic and advanced workshops. My guess is she needs some help to figure out how to make what she already has work better. Things out of the box don't always fit these kids, even when they're meant for strugglers. Sometimes it's a matter of seeing the flexibility and how you can change what you're using. For instance, if she's using SWR, she can take the principles but use them in the context of daily sentence dictation. I actually dictated the sentences from the Wise Guide to my dd for quite a while. With these kids it's not about instant success or perfect teaching methods. It's about doing things over and over a lot of different ways.

 

You said her money is tight, so I hate to even mention this. However some of the things that I would have labeled dysgraphia, dyslexia, etc. in my dd were actually due to vision and visual processing problems. She's still dyslexic, with clear signs of bilaterality problems, difficulty with expressive language, initiation, writing, etc., don't get me wrong. But VT (vision therapy) made a HUGE shift in how it all plays out daily. She's still not a natural speller, but at least she can see the syllables in words, sound them out, and recognize letters as individual components. There was something there that never clicked despite YEARS, and I do mean years, of SWR. And her handwriting, well man that just improved radically. It basically made it easier for the foundational things we were trying to do in math and LA finally to stick. http://www.covd.org is where she'd go to read more about VT, visual processing problems, etc. It's definitely worth checking into.

 

In our case we ended up going for an OT (occupational therapy) evaluation to work on the pain with writing. The OT was the one who unlocked some of the issues for us with motor control and how it connects to writing. Again, your friend's kids could have none of this or tons. My dd turned out to be low muscle tone, and that was causing her pain with writing. But it goes further, spiraling and creating more problems. Low tone leads to low proprioception (sense of self in space) and sensory processing problems. That can affect their ability to write, since of course writing uses muscles and sensory awareness. There can also be dyspraxia or motor control issues that play out with motor planning (jerkiness to their writing) for which you can do something like Callirobics. And I don't really understand it, but by the time you pair the touch of dyspraxia and motor planning with the problems of sensory awareness plus the dyslexia (plus maybe some working memory issues, another good thing to read about), you end up with kids who say HUH a lot, need extra time to process what they're told and get it through the feedback loop, and find it extremely challenging to GET OUT what's inside. My dd used to sit and a paper and just stare at it. She couldn't initiate and get it going. Once she got going, the writing was fine, quite good. It was all inside and couldn't come out. And that's the terrific irony, that some dyslexics have lots and lots of ability to write inside of them, all locked up by the motor planning and just monumental effort needed to do it. When my dd does certain things, it really wears her out. LizzyBee on the special needs board here just posted a link with MRI brain scans of dyslexic brains. They have one section much larger and more active than normal and the others not even working. In other words, they have to work a LOT harder to do what other people take for granted. We finally gave up on latin (having done several years of it with too much effort), and I think you'll hear that kind of thing a common refrain.

 

It's hard to understand these kids, and it wouldn't matter if they were biological or not. If they're not like you, it's especially HARD. I suggest she figure out which side had the dyslexia (since it's often genetic) and talk with that parent or someone similar about their school experiences. That's what I have tried to do, pulling out what they remember good or bad about math, writing, reading, etc. in school. She'll start to notice patterns or find reminices that might apply. For instance my dh has bad memories of K5. No one should have bad memories of K5, but my dh does, lol. Hearing that was the first step in my realizing I needed another way to teach her that was working to her strengths and being patient with her weaknesses. It's lots of plodding, lots of repetition, not just finding the perfect method. I used to repeat the SWR lists 3 years in a row (they recommend 2) and still she wouldn't know them. We've done the same math levels with different materials over and over, trying to get her solid enough on facts (not concepts, facts) to be able to go forward. I've done as many as 3-4 spelling curricula or methods at a time trying to help her. If your friend is feeling worn out, that might be why. It's not easy. It gets discouraging when you do things and don't see results. I suggest she find a mix of things that work for her, some that are independent and some she does with them, so the basics get done every day. Plod, plod, plod. That's the motto here.

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We have different combos of all three. Now I don't know to what degree exactly, as I am the only one who has any sort of diagnosis. My younger three were all delayed in learning to read.

 

None of us can trace a straight line without going off of it multiple times. I personally experience pain when writing more than half a page. I assume the kids are the same way, but they don't complain a lot. Of course I also teach them to type early. :D

 

I love math, but I have problems recalling my math facts correctly. I do also have problems remembering how to execute certain things, but have developed ways to remember how using simple problems. For example if I were asked to divide 234/5234 I sill wouldn't remember which goes into which. I have to take 1/2 and use that to figure out which one would go into which to reach .5 to know how to work the bigger problem. My oldest and 3rd dd have the same issues. Generally you can tell it is the dyslexia because it shows up one lesson only then goes away. My oldest did all her 3x7 math facts as 28 once. She did all her square roots as squares recently. My 3rd dd has trouble remembering to just check if it is subtraction or division. She tends to get going and to them all one way or the other. :rolleyes: Right Start math is a great program for dyslexics, but it doesn't have enough practice. I would recommend using something like Mammon Math with it. I also have to slow the pace down.

 

My younger two and I all have trouble visualizing words, and hearing their sounds. They have both gone through LiPS and Seeing Stars to develop those abilities. My youngest is also doing Earobics to train his hearing.

 

These issues can be overcome, but it does take time and work.

 

Heather

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