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Red flags for LD or 2e?


Staceyshoe
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I'm realizing that my youngest has an extreme preference for VSL. He's obviously very bright (and has some spectacular spatial abilities), but sometimes I wonder if he's *capable* of learning through traditional auditory methods. At what point does learning style cross the line into a learning problem? When do you start to consider whether there is a learning disability causing such an extreme preference in learning style? Are there any "red flags" I need to watch for?

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Here is a checklist with red flags for Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD). However, you should be aware that most Aud.D.'s won't do CAPD testing until age 7 or 8 because some kids are "late bloomers" and just naturally take longer for their brains to mature. Early CAPD testing is likely to have false positives for that reason. However, if you suspect CAPD, you can get started on a relatively inexpensive auditory training software like Earobics or HearBuilder while waiting for your child to be old enough for CAPD testing.
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A red flag for me would be prolonged difficulty when the material is taught in a way that matches the child's learning style.

 

I have an extreme VSL. It sure is an interesting journey. I've suspected 2E or LD along the way, but the examiner said no. His differences were a result of his learning style. I'm still adjusting how I teach him and I often have to think outside the box.

 

What types of things are you seeing?

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Thank you both! I'm about to go check out the links you posted, Crimson Wife!:)

 

The thing I'm noticing is just a HUGE difference in his ability to learn visual information vs auditory information. I don't recall ever teaching him his letters or numbers (though surely we did at some point). It seemed like he just knew them. No one taught him right or left--he figured it out himself at age 2. Also at age 2, he could tell me which way to turn at every intersection even miles from home on roads we'd never travelled together. It's like there's a map in his brain. His memory for the image of a word is amazing, but he doesn't recognize the word again if the font is very different or the word is capitalized. (I actually stopped answering his question "what is this word?" because I could see that he was never going to sound out words if I did that.) He builds elaborate lego structures and train tracks that would be impressive for a kid twice his age. He started doing 500 piece puzzles (with more proficiency than I can) around his 4th birthday. He was fascinated with maps and easily memorized the names of the states without us really trying to teach him--just answering his repeated questions.

 

On the auditory side, we sang a little song about the days of the week (he loves music) for 9 months until it sunk in. A few days off from singing, and he forgot it all. I want him to learn our address, so we've been saying our street name aloud together multiple times a day for a month. (There's construction happening so plenty of opportunity to throw it out there when a cement truck or something captures his attention.) He was able to come up with it for the first time yesterday--after probably 100 repetitions. He is learning phonics and how to sound out words.

 

Hearing is acute according to dr's screenings and our observations. But speech has always been difficult. For a while, he fell below the range of "normal" in his vocabulary. He's now 4.5. He's understandable but doesn't make certain sounds so articulation isn't great. He doesn't use pronouns or prepositions correctly. His speech patterns are immature. Occasionally word order is mixed up and we need to interpret his meaning. He often needs to concentrate to spit his words out at all (but other times, it's automatic). He might say, "Do I have to eat ice cream?" instead of "Can I eat ice cream?"--that kind of thing that we've learned to interpret for him but can confuse others. (Again, not always but it's not unusual either.)

 

The thing that I am seeing is that he seems to just instantly "get" anything that's visual. I sometimes feel like anything that's purely verbal just does in one ear and out the other. It doesn't stick. He is actively listening--even singing/saying something along with me. Is this an extreme learning preference? Just the way his brain is wired? A sign of immaturity and a still-developing brain? Or a sign that there is a possible learning issue that I need to be watching for?

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Here is a checklist with red flags for Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD). However, you should be aware that most Aud.D.'s won't do CAPD testing until age 7 or 8 because some kids are "late bloomers" and just naturally take longer for their brains to mature. Early CAPD testing is likely to have false positives for that reason. However, if you suspect CAPD, you can get started on a relatively inexpensive auditory training software like Earobics or HearBuilder while waiting for your child to be old enough for CAPD testing.

 

Very interesting! If we are dealing with this, it would be the "tolerance/fading" subtype. I'll have to think about some ways to test this at home and see exactly what on this list presents consistent challenges.

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The thing that I am seeing is that he seems to just instantly "get" anything that's visual. I sometimes feel like anything that's purely verbal just does in one ear and out the other. It doesn't stick. He is actively listening--even singing/saying something along with me. Is this an extreme learning preference? Just the way his brain is wired? A sign of immaturity and a still-developing brain? Or a sign that there is a possible learning issue that I need to be watching for?

 

Wow, he is doing some pretty amazing things for his age! It sounds like the issues you are seeing can be related to how his brain is wired. Based on the things you said I would recommend getting an evaluation with a speech therapist who has experience with language and auditory processing difficulties. Even if his brain is wired differently there are ways you can help him learn to process auditory information easier.

 

(Former SLP)

Edited by Wehomeschool
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The thing I'm noticing is just a HUGE difference in his ability to learn visual information vs auditory information. I don't recall ever teaching him his letters or numbers (though surely we did at some point). It seemed like he just knew them. No one taught him right or left--he figured it out himself at age 2. Also at age 2, he could tell me which way to turn at every intersection even miles from home on roads we'd never travelled together. It's like there's a map in his brain. His memory for the image of a word is amazing, but he doesn't recognize the word again if the font is very different or the word is capitalized. (I actually stopped answering his question "what is this word?" because I could see that he was never going to sound out words if I did that.) He builds elaborate lego structures and train tracks that would be impressive for a kid twice his age. He started doing 500 piece puzzles (with more proficiency than I can) around his 4th birthday. He was fascinated with maps and easily memorized the names of the states without us really trying to teach him--just answering his repeated questions.

 

 

This is giving more information than you did on the special needs part of the board, which helps give better information. From my experience of raising very different children, I sifted out the various components. For instance, in this section, I can see a lot of right-brained (VSL) traits in your son. Being great with directions, spatially doing puzzles, maps, building with LEGO and train constructions, and using his great visual mind to learn things. All of that is typical of a right-brained learner.

 

Hearing is acute according to dr's screenings and our observations. But speech has always been difficult. For a while, he fell below the range of "normal" in his vocabulary. He's now 4.5. He's understandable but doesn't make certain sounds so articulation isn't great. He doesn't use pronouns or prepositions correctly. His speech patterns are immature. Occasionally word order is mixed up and we need to interpret his meaning. He often needs to concentrate to spit his words out at all (but other times, it's automatic). He might say, "Do I have to eat ice cream?" instead of "Can I eat ice cream?"--that kind of thing that we've learned to interpret for him but can confuse others. (Again, not always but it's not unusual either.)

 

 

Learning his alphabet at a very young age visually, but not being able to generalize, having odd speaking patterns, and not doing well with pronouns and other kind of language also is a lot like my builder son that was able to do a lot of the things you said above with his right-brained skills. He was diagnosed with high functioning autism when he was 5. I may never have suspected if he didn't have a brother who was more affected with autism. Mine had chronic ear infections when he was younger, and that's what I attributed his other differences noted above as.

 

 

 

The thing that I am seeing is that he seems to just instantly "get" anything that's visual. I sometimes feel like anything that's purely verbal just does in one ear and out the other. It doesn't stick. He is actively listening--even singing/saying something along with me. Is this an extreme learning preference? Just the way his brain is wired? A sign of immaturity and a still-developing brain? Or a sign that there is a possible learning issue that I need to be watching for?

 

 

Those on the autism spectrum tend to be highly visual. Those on the high functioning end can have amazing abilities. Mine that yours sounds just like is now 21 and functioning really well. I actually didn't do a lot of special therapies with him because he always had a lot of amazing talent, as you're seeing with your son. My personal opinion is that you should go with his highly visual abilities because he has the capacity to stun the world with new insights if we nurture their different brain that can bring us different levels of knowledge. Think about it, you have to see/think differently in order to produce something different, yes?

 

By deciding, for instance, that you're going to force him to sound out words and do phonics, instead of learning in the way that comes easily to him, isn't that stunting his strengths and gifts? And by potentially stunting his strengths and gifts and steering them to the "normal" (i.e., left-brained, what we're used to deciding is "normal" from how school teaches), then do we risk losing what he may be able to bless the world with? Sure, work with him with language, if you desire, with his pronouns and such. But also allow him to continue to flourish in his gifts and strengths. I mean, look at the amazing stuff he's doing! Mine did, too, and he has an amazing mind and is totally finding his place in the world.

 

This is my perspective and experience. You have to make your own decisions. My son told me at about 18 that he was surely glad I homeschooled him, and that he wouldn't be where he is if it weren't for my gift-centered learning environment I believed in. He did work out his weak areas enough where it doesn't negatively impact him (starting around the 11-13 year mark), he is well-versed in how he learns best, advocates for himself, and even chose to pursue a life experience that centers in all of his weaknesses. But, it's because he is centered in his foundation on his strengths.

 

Okay, I guess I better stop. Can you tell I feel strongly about this because your son is almost a carbon copy of mine at that age...from your description. Oh, here's a post about his beginning college success: http://www.therightsideofnormal.com/2012/02/28/a-strengths-based-choice-for-college/ (By the way, he did get accepted into the private university to which he applied to transfer. He will be pursuing a computer science degree with a minor in math, after returning from his two-year mission in California.)

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