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Staying positive when your child is "behind"


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Not easy to do sometimes.  I completely understand. I get depressed upon occasion because I know that with DD hitting 8th next year and still behind in several areas we have a long way to go and technically not a lot of time to get there.  She does not want to delay graduating (she already repeated 4k so she is a bit older than other 7th graders).  And she learns so differently than I do that I struggle sometimes to find ways to help.  This afternoon in science for instance the chapter started with a time line.  I was reading the text with her because she still has decoding issues with fact based text.  She kept rubbing her temples and getting really frustrated.  She kept saying "I don't understand what I am hearing.  What do these words do?  What am I hearing?"  I had no idea what she meant or why she was locking up.  I had to step back and think through her issues.  And finally realized that 1.  She has no sense of the passage of time so time lines seem very confusing to her.  2.  She needs a big picture to anchor her thoughts to.  The chapter didn't give her an explicit reason for why the time line was there in the first place.  Once I explained the time line and why it was there, she was able to better process the info but it still took us nearly 40 minutes to go over two pages.  Videos are not much better.  She cannot process fact based information presented verbally without a LOT of repetition, which gets boring and annoys her, so even though the visual format of a DVD is helpful, it doesn't really help her retain much in the way of details for any subject.  Science is one subject I truly dread for High School  because I know she is going to have to go really, really slowly with a lot of visual and kinesthetic to retain any of it.  Same with history.

 

But I have to focus on how far we have come.  She was not reading, not really, except for halting struggles through two and three sentence 2nd grade readers with pictures, not even 2nd grade level chapter books, even last year.  And now she is reading books like Divergent, The Warriors, etc.  She feels so much more confident in her reading, writing and spelling.  She is completely on board with the remediation we are doing because she sees the changes every day.

 

A year ago DD struggled to even do double digit addition without carrying.  And she would cry whenever she had to do math.  She hated it.  Multiplication was completely beyond her.  But just this morning she filled in a multiplication grid for fun.  And when she hit snags, she didn't panic or get depressed or angry.  She just kept looking for ways to figure it all out.  She studied the patterns.  She had FUN with it.  And that was huge.  She then, for fun, rolled several 10 sided dice over and over to come up with her own multiplication problems to work out on her dry erase board.  Again, huge.  She may not get to Algebra until 10th grade.  Who knows?  But however long everything takes is what it takes.  She IS making progress.  I have to hang on to that.

 

 

Do we have a long way to go?  Yes.  And I do get tired, and frustrated, and worried at times.   But then I see how far we have come and I have to rejoice in our progress.  My kids just have their own timetable.  I can't stress over where someone else thinks they should be.

 

Not sure I helped much. But I do understand.  And you are welcome to come over and commiserate.  :)

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It helps to compare your child to himself (or herself) rather than some mythical "average".  Look at the progress that your child has already made.  There will likely be ups and downs from day to day, so look at where your child was one or two years ago, (assuming there's not a degenerative condition.)

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Thanks, and I agree, you are both absolutely right   :)

 

I think we're so strongly socialized to measure and compare that it can be a challenge to stop doing that. Sometimes I look at what other kids my son's age can do and I think he's just never going to catch up (although the evidence is pointing to him eventually catching up in most areas, just on a slower timetable than normal).  :) He's officially in grade 5, and isn't actually doing anything at 5th grade level: the closest is math, where we are just half way through 4th grade and will be doing 5th by the second half of our school year. He can't do a narration still and he is "supposed" to be in the logic stage of writing by now. :(

 

On the plus side, he attitude is way better than before. I am actually getting smiles and a few positive comments when we do schooly stuff. Yesterday he finished his work with no tantrums again and said "I'm behind, but I'm getting better, aren't I?"  :wub:  

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As far as labels go, he was diagnosed with aspergers, he is also hyperactive and suffers from GI problems for which we don't have a specific diagnosis. Learning-wise, he has very little desire to do anything 'schooly' and is extremely difficult to motivate him, because he often doesn't respond to the normal carrot/stick strategies and doesn't have the desire to be like other children either. He has no confidence in his ability to do anything academic, so even when I give him things that are well within his current capabilities, he will get overwhelmed and freeze up. Once he has decided he can't do anything, he closes down and that's that (for the moment). His executive functioning is virtually non existent.

 

He has a particular issue with writing. Penmanship is not too bad: while he dislikes it and has messy handwriting, but will write legibly when I insist. But he has a massive problem with actually thinking of what to write. We are doing WWE1 (again) at the moment and we have just got to the stage where he can make up a 4-6 word sentence stating one thing he remembers about the passage I have read to him (and even then it's usually a verbatim quote rather than a paraphrase in his own words).

 

The writing is one big area of frustration for me; another would be the simple lack of ability to sit still and apply himself to something. For example, he does math for up to 90 minutes a day, but that will be 30-45 minutes of protesting about how he can't do it, 15-30 minutes of playing with his pencil and eraser, drawing pictures on his scrap paper and generally fiddling, and maybe 15 minutes of actual focused work. The annoying thing is that when he does focus (usually when I decide to sit with him instead of trying to do something on the other side of the room) he will race through the problems with , er, no problem lol. He'll figure things out quickly, sometimes before I even explain them. But the minute I'm not at his elbow prompting him with "OK, what do we do next? Good, calculate that then. etc" he is either making stupid mistakes (multiplying instead of adding, misreading his own writing, etc) or concentrating on something else. 

 

 

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This is totally an "I am reading this book right now" kind of thing. but I am reading The Everyday Parenting Toolkit by Alan Kazdin.  

 

It is an ABA kind of book, but it is not about autism.  Anyway -- on page 66 he starts to talk about a girl whose mother wants her to practice piano independently.  Then it lays out a little program.  It is like -- start with a very small amount of the desired behavior (practicing piano on her own) and then build it up over a period of weeks.  It has a lot of really good ideas I think, to make it more desirable to the girl, and more natural for her to enjoy doing it on her own.  Her mom is still involved, though.

 

It is the kind of thing that works well with my son, as a general thing.  

 

If it was my son ---- I would need to start with trying to identify some reasons that he wasn't doing his work on his own, but would do it very well when I was sitting with him.  

 

My son does not have ADD/ADHD so I am looking at more behavioral things than attention things.  

 

If I tried to do functional behavioral analysis, which is what I try, I would consider first:  is it because he likes your attention?  is it b/c he likes you to sit right by him when he does it?  If he does ---- that is easier to work with I think, to try to have him do just a very small amount on his own and then build it up.  If it were escape and he was just trying to get out of doing it -- I think that first sitting with him so that it eliminates the habit of trying to get out of it, and then working up to him doing small amount on his own, might be an idea to try.  Or other ideas -- hard to know.  But it is possibly something that you could look at and try to address the "working on his own" thing first and then transfer that to the harder tasks.  If he does work independently in some areas, think about what works that maybe you could add.  I don't believe (I realize this is just my opinion, but still, it is my opinion) that kids don't respond at all to carrot-stick things ----- I think it may just need to be more intentional in some ways and in a way they might respond to ----- which might really not look like a traditional carrot-stick thing, but is still providing some motivation and support to get them to do things that are not currently "automatically reinforcing" until some "automatic reinforcement" gets built up as they see they can do it (this is a basic thing to me right now -- it is something I count on).  

 

If there is something really difficult about the way the work is set up, changing that could help.  Doing it in a different format for less writing or something, trying a software, something like that.  

 

If you see how you are prompting him through steps, you can try to teach him to prompt himself through the steps.  Maybe with a template or something, where he moves to self-prompting with supports instead of you prompting him.  

 

But on the other hand -------- maybe he is already doing really well!  Maybe he is already working hard and doing his best!  

 

I think recognizing effort is more important than an end result.  An end result can come, but every day there is effort.  Effort has to matter, too.  When he is an adult, you will want him to feel good about himself even in the middle of some multi-year project he might be dealing with, even if it is not yet finished.  I think kids are a lot like that, there has to be a long view and optimism.  But I think parents need to show those traits and model them to kids.  

 

Have you thought about typing?  Also, I have not gotten into this (my son is younger) but I have had recommended to me a website that talks about accomodations for handwriting, I will link it.  I think handwriting is not always a battle worth fighting when there really are other ways to do the same thing.  

 

I am being problem-solvey, but maybe it is not a problem-solving thing.  Maybe it is more a time to celebrate progress and how good he IS doing.  It is possible, I think it is hard to tell the difference sometimes.  

 

Handwriting Problems Solutions ---- I have not gotten it yet, but this is what is recommended to me for my older son with handwriting difficulties.  And yes, he can do better when someone hassles him, but he really has a hard time with handwriting and it is not a productive thing in his case, to harp on it.  It turns him off a huge amount, as well.  

 

 

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First thing was, as others above said, as much as possible to compare the child's progress to level s/he was at 3, 6 mos. or a year ago, not to other children, and also often not to just a day before, because there are too many short term ups and downs.  

 

We also have been helped a bit by official grade level being red-shirted, so that one can feel somewhat less "behind." If your son were in 4th, he'd only be a little tiny bit "behind" in math, not a year and a half. That said, at this point, in most subjects my son is now either at the right place for his non-redshirted grade, or even ahead, but in the areas where he is weak, there is still a feeling of there being more time to work on things. OTOH there can also be a pervasive feeling of being behind because of redshirting, so that might or might not help emotionally.

 

2nd was to focus on one main thing at a time, whatever seemed most key...for example, reading was key focus for grade 3 when I realized .  I realized then that much I had done in our first year homeschooling was not productive because until a key foundation was in place, what we were trying to do could not be supported. (for example, writing was pretty much a waste of time and effort till reading was in place.)

 

3rd is to try to find materials that fit the child.  WWE and MM, however good they may be, were not especially good fits for my son. Finding the right fit made a big difference in being able to catch up. For example, my son, coming out of brick and mortar school having learned nothing academic, learned all of k-2 math in 2nd grade using, surprise surprise, Spectrum, but by third there was too much reading in it and not enough white space, at that point he did the next 2 levels of math in one year with MUS. 
(Then I let him do MM for a year because he said MUS was boring. Big mistake, and with MM he lost ground.) For writing he has done best with a more or less Bravewriter type approach, and I was trying to show part of how the process would go at a revision stage with my questions to elicit more material in this thread: http://forums.welltrainedmind.com/topic/511656-feedback-needed-for-a-reluctant-writer/

 

4th is schooling year round. Not just to catch up, but to not forget and have to relearn over and over again.

 

5th is limiting the time for school, but trying to do what is done productively. In other words, if only 15 minutes of productive math gets done, try for two productive 15 minute sessions daily, while you are right there to help make it productive, not an unproductive 90 minute session that wears everyone down. Lots of breaks for exercise, chores, and non academics are important here.

 

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It's a marathon, not a sprint.

 

I choose to focus on the progress that my little one has made, not how far she still has to go. She went from being in <1st percentile in expressive language at 3 to the 5th percentile at 4 yrs 9 mos. The speech therapist said that is actually really encouraging progress. We haven't had her re-tested since last fall but it wouldn't surprise me if she has eked out a few more percentile points in the interim. Is she still behind? Absolutely. But she is slowly gaining language skills and in the long run, it's not going to matter that she spoke like a 3 year old when she was 5.

 

{{{hugs}}}

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I have found with my Aspie that things go better when I teach the way he learns best, setting aside my own curricula or methodology desires.  There are some gaps in areas that I am putting off until he is better able to handle the topic or skill, but I am much happier as a teacher when I can see actual success and progress in the areas we do cover.   

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It sounds like this might be the time for you to read something like The Right Side of Normal  by Gaddis.  I don't agree with her take on therapy, but her observations on timetables, etc. really seem to help some people and might free you up to go with your dc.  

 

 

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Focus on loving your children and taking life day by day.  Don't get caught up in the rat race.  It is so easy to do so, and to worry about things that will really matter very little in the grand scheme of things.  This is on my mind a great deal today as I mourn the unexpected loss of Rosie's little boy.  I will spend my weekend making memories, not lessons, and looking into my children's eyes and memorizing the lines of their faces and being grateful that I can hold them and love them.  I light a candle tonight for all parents who have lost a child.

 

Blessings and best wishes to all....

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I have been thinking about your post pretty much nonstop since you posted it. I am *so* guilty of looking at DS's areas where he is behind and forgetting to celebrate what makes them unique and funny and special. 

 

I am really working on my notion that not excelling at school means not having options. And really, it's a silly notion. My family has tons of profoundly dyslexia people in it. My sister is profoundly dyslexic and an amazing preschool teacher. My grandma (also profoundly dyslexic) raised six kids and has had a rocking life. A friend is functionally illiterate and she is remarkably successful as an analyst. It has just been a different path for them. 

 

I'm doing my best to really work to develop DS's life skills and find things that he can be successful with. He's becoming an **amazing** bread-maker (with a side benefit of working to strengthen his hand coordination AND good bread). He is learning housekeeping (so, so slowly). He's growing a garden. He's drawing "inventions."

 

In any case, maybe try to focus on school in school and then spend the rest of the time doing things that she can excel at (even if they are really, really small things / things that *you* may not value but that she does)? 

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I have been thinking about your post pretty much nonstop since you posted it. I am *so* guilty of looking at DS's areas where he is behind and forgetting to celebrate what makes them unique and funny and special. 

 

I am really working on my notion that not excelling at school means not having options. And really, it's a silly notion. My family has tons of profoundly dyslexia people in it. My sister is profoundly dyslexic and an amazing preschool teacher. My grandma (also profoundly dyslexic) raised six kids and has had a rocking life. A friend is functionally illiterate and she is remarkably successful as an analyst. It has just been a different path for them. 

 

I'm doing my best to really work to develop DS's life skills and find things that he can be successful with. He's becoming an **amazing** bread-maker (with a side benefit of working to strengthen his hand coordination AND good bread). He is learning housekeeping (so, so slowly). He's growing a garden. He's drawing "inventions."

 

In any case, maybe try to focus on school in school and then spend the rest of the time doing things that she can excel at (even if they are really, really small things / things that *you* may not value but that she does)? 

Yes.  This really is important.  

 

DH is dyslexic, dysgraphic, and functions very poorly with basic computation, as well as a poor sense of time, really bad executive function skills, etc.  In fact, every time we start prepping to move he gets so overwhelmed he ends up taking lots of naps.  He did poorly in school and they honestly didn't think he would graduate from high school. 

 

But he is a very successful engineer, he is a successful pilot, at times he has had side business where he programs and maintains computers for corporations, he is highly respected in his field, etc.  His parents recognized that the traditional school setting was not his forte.  They did not homeschool him but they did put the emphasis on activities he found interesting, not his grades at school.  MIL drove him all over to meet with people who were into computers even though they were all adults and he was 11.  They helped him save money to buy a used computer at a pawn shop (they didn't have much money and this was before most homes had a computer, or especially a computer for a child).  When he and a friend wanted to learn how to construct a radio tower, they let him (but required him to pull it back down when it nearly crushed their house during a bad storm :) ).

 

And in high school an amazing couple who recognized that some kids do NOT do well in a standard classroom but are very bright and capable started a Broadcast television department at his school that DH thrived in.  Without that class I think he would not have even finished high school.  And those skills got him an internship in a local TV station as a teenager, which led to a part time job while he was still in his senior year.  He still went on to take college level courses but he ended up not needing to complete a degree.  He kept getting promoted and getting more and more job opportunities that delayed his finishing the degree until it really became unnecessary.  He found his strengths and gifts outside of standard academics and has done really well.  He has remained employed continually since he was in his mid-teens.  Was he lucky?  Yes.  But he also had parents that helped him seek out and support his strengths.

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Lovely to hear these stories of success without excelling at school work. 

 

My son about whom I have been complaining because he is almost 11 and can't do a first grade narration, well the other day he designed and built an intercom system between his bedroom and one of his sisters', using bits and pieces other people had thrown away. So yeah, he does have some skills. Also he has some great character traits too, for example he is endlessly generous and always sharing his possessions, time and expertise with his sisters.  :) I probably just need to make more of an effort to avoid taking a deficit focus.

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Lovely to hear these stories of success without excelling at school work. 

 

My son about whom I have been complaining because he is almost 11 and can't do a first grade narration, well the other day he designed and built an intercom system between his bedroom and one of his sisters', using bits and pieces other people had thrown away. So yeah, he does have some skills. Also he has some great character traits too, for example he is endlessly generous and always sharing his possessions, time and expertise with his sisters.  :) I probably just need to make more of an effort to avoid taking a deficit focus.

Work with those strengths.  Find anything and everything that you can to support those.  Get him involved with other kids of similar interest (or even adults).  Look for clubs, etc.  Encourage those strengths as much as humanly possible.  I am trying desperately to do that with both of my kids.  

 

Just today I have finally found a professional artist that is willing to teach DD in a way she is comfortable with.  She is very excited.  Most artists we found in the area just want you to come into a group class and everyone learns how to paint the same thing the same way.  Last time I tried that DD ended up in tears and had a headache for days.  She sees things very differently and needed an instructor that would work WITH her to help her to produce the images she sees in her head, using different mediums, and letting her learn by observation of different techniques, not force her into a cookie cutter box.  Thankfully, we seem to have found that person and she starts next week.  She will also be taking cooking classes this summer and is hopeful we will find a good piano teacher that won't cost too, too much for the fall.  These things are of great interest to her and speak to her strengths so we are trying to focus more on those things, not just on "catching up".  

 

Still searching for DS, but I have to keep hoping that we will find a local outlet for his interests, too...

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My son about whom I have been complaining because he is almost 11 and can't do a first grade narration, well the other day he designed and built an intercom system between his bedroom and one of his sisters', using bits and pieces other people had thrown away. So yeah, he does have some skills. Also he has some great character traits too, for example he is endlessly generous and always sharing his possessions, time and expertise with his sisters.  :) I probably just need to make more of an effort to avoid taking a deficit focus.

 

My son couldn't/wouldn't do a narration to save his life, primarily because he is afraid that he will have to write it down (even if I say I will do the writing). Would he be willing to do a video about his intercom system -- teaching someone how to make one of their own? Or teach you to make one? 

 

Or could he explain to a family member (not you) about the reading? Grandma says, "X, can you tell me about this book? I was thinking about reading it, and am not sure I would like it?"

 

I am working to become a goddess in stealth language arts... Last week I stooped so low as to let them shoot their language arts answers with Nerf gun darts. I wrote NOUN, VERB, and ADJECTIVE on a wipe board, and then gave them words - cat, jump, pretty -- and they shot the appropriate word. In any case, whatever works. 

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 Last week I stooped so low as to let them shoot their language arts answers with Nerf gun darts. I wrote NOUN, VERB, and ADJECTIVE on a wipe board, and then gave them words - cat, jump, pretty -- and they shot the appropriate word. In any case, whatever works. 

 

That's totally kewl :)

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Lovely to hear these stories of success without excelling at school work. 

 

My son about whom I have been complaining because he is almost 11 and can't do a first grade narration, well the other day he designed and built an intercom system between his bedroom and one of his sisters', using bits and pieces other people had thrown away. So yeah, he does have some skills. Also he has some great character traits too, for example he is endlessly generous and always sharing his possessions, time and expertise with his sisters.  :) I probably just need to make more of an effort to avoid taking a deficit focus.

Has he had a speech eval?  Formal psych eval to dig in on what's going on with his language?  Seems to me you're going to have to dig in therapeutically on that narration issue and figure out what's going on.  He might not be visualizing or attending.  He might have working memory issues or sequencing issues.  There might be these other issues you need to work on before narration can happen.  He might need a lot more supports in the process, and you don't know where to bring in those supports.

 

Winston makes grammar more hands-on, but also Writing Tales 2 was terrific for that.  He'd be a great age for it.  Just trim the assignments to fit him and provide the supports he needs to be to be successful.

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My oldest struggles with auditory sequencing (she most likely has CAPD but long story short, we did not end up going back for the second part of the CAPD eval). I had to give up on dictation with her. It just was causing too much frustration and there are plenty of other ways to practice spelling, grammar & mechanics, etc. I've never met SWB and obviously not CM either, but they both strike me as practical people rather than idealogical purists. So while they are in favor of narration, dictation, copywork, etc. I think both would recognize that kids with LD's may need accomodations.

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I have been thinking about this, more, too.

 

I have got the example of my cousin.  He is around my age, 35 or 36.  His whole childhood my aunt and uncle were told he would catch up, just give him time, etc.  He was diagnosed with Aspergers as a young adult - before that, no answers or explanations of any kind.

 

They had a serious deficit model with him.  They were always looking at how he did not measure up and wandering why, trying to fix him, nothing was ever good enough, they could never rest -- they were extremely anxious, particularly my aunt.  

 

I can't imagine, though, having no resources and no understanding and lots of judgment - not a good situation.  

 

So for me -- that is how I *don't* want to be. I don't want any of my kids to think they can do nothing good enough, or not measure up.  It is just not acceptable to me.  

 

But for my aunt, my cousin started out maybe not so behind, and stalled out a little as he got older.  He did not keep up with other kids, even though when he was younger he was not so behind, or it was not too obvious.  It showed up more as he was older.  So in the minds of my aunt and uncle ---- they always just saw him as "behind," never as doing good for himself.

 

For me, my younger son was diagnosed in the severe range ----- for me, with this, I celebrate every good thing.  I can easily say ---- this is much better than I had feared.  It is easy to be positive in many ways -- though I am also just optimistic, and I also have a belief that my children deserve my faith, and God deserves my faith that I do not think he made a mistake with my kids.  

 

So I am really grateful for all his progress.  

 

I think it is harder to feel that way with my older son sometimes, even though he is higher -- b/c I do think he is more capable of being on grade level etc, and it has been possible to get him to grade level. it is the case -- i can conceive of just pushing him and getting a result.  Then I have to deal with "is it better to push him or not push him?"  

 

With my little son it is easier to balance that feeling -- b/c I can really decide what is best for him as best as I am able.  There is no thought of "well, if I pushed him, he could get to this point."  I work with him but it is not a situation where I could buckle down and push him, and with my older son it is.  Or, maybe it is.  I can wonder about it -- what if I had pushed him more, or was pushing him more, how much should I push him, etc.  How much should I pursue and how much should I accept and be happy with.  

 

But I do think it may be harder for kids who are closer or who have been close -- and it feels like it is close.  

 

I had the low moment with the "scoring in the severe range" but since then it has been like -- nowhere to go but up.  

 

My aunt and uncle never had a moment like that -- just a lot of niggling moments over the course of years.  Or -- it seems like that to me.  they are also not as bad as i make them sound, at all, I am just making the point.  They are actually great people, and I think that it is good to have high expectations, too.   

 

I think the important thing is to try to be realistic.  I am embarassed that I have seen my son exceed my expectations.  He is in a little class right now, and the first day, I was thinking "there is no way he will be able to do this," I really thought there was no way.  But he did it!  I have had this happen with a couple of other things -- but I am very fortunate, the pre-school and therapist he sees know when to have a higher expectation than me, and I have been trying to learn my lesson and have higher hopes.  

 

I have also seen that he can be independent and not need me, which is powerful -- and he needs that.  

 

But I am coming from a place of being maybe too low in my thinking, and I do think it is a bad way to be, just as much.  I am trying for a middle ground, but it is something I think of -- b/c I don't want him to be in a bad position, but I don't want to hold him back, either.  In practice I honestly go along with pre-school etc, they seem to know what to do -- I am very involved, but if they think he can do something, i need to say "go for it!"

 

 

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My oldest struggles with auditory sequencing (she most likely has CAPD but long story short, we did not end up going back for the second part of the CAPD eval). I had to give up on dictation with her. It just was causing too much frustration and there are plenty of other ways to practice spelling, grammar & mechanics, etc. I've never met SWB and obviously not CM either, but they both strike me as practical people rather than idealogical purists. So while they are in favor of narration, dictation, copywork, etc. I think both would recognize that kids with LD's may need accomodations.

What did this look like, if you don't mind me asking?  I've been told ds will have issues with sequencing, and it hadn't occurred to me it would affect dictation. 

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What did this look like, if you don't mind me asking?  I've been told ds will have issues with sequencing, and it hadn't occurred to me it would affect dictation.

I will get a paraphrase that has the same "big picture" meaning so I know she was paying attention and heard it but the sequence will be all jumbled.

 

I had to stop giving oral math problems as well because she is unable to repeat back a 4 digit number she's heard in the proper sequence. She'll get all the correct digits but transpose the order. But if she can see the number briefly, then she can repeat it back in the proper sequence. So it's not a working memory issue so much as an auditory processing one.

 

She'll stumble over the pronunciation of multisyllabic words (transposing syllables) if she's only heard the word rather than visually seen it. Now that I'm thinking about it, this may be a big reason why she's resisted learning foreign languages and really wants to study American Sign Language (talk about a *DUH* moment!)

 

Multi-step directions I can't give to her orally or she'll do them in the wrong order. If I write them down for her, she can repeat them back to me in the correct order.

 

She complains about noisy environments frequently. She spent the first part of a pool party (an event that she had been really looking forward to) hiding in a quiet corner until the guests spread out and weren't all congregated in or near the pool.

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