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Barton Or LindaMood Bell For Spelling?


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Hi, Kind Friends,

 

I'm looking for some opinions.

 

As I posted previously, I suspect our younger son has NVLD based on a large discrepancy between his verbal and non verbal cognitive scores. He has only been tested by the school psych at this point, but he ticks off most of the boxes for an NVLD diagnosis, although he has some differences (he actually has very strong spatial skills, for example-he can put together anything).

 

He is currently doing vision therapy, and it is going well. I am hoping to add OT to work on fine motor, gait issues, and overall core strength. He has gone one time, and although I was leery about doing too many therapies, he really loves it and sees it as playing.

 

His biggest academic struggle is with writing-spelling, getting thoughts down, the physical process, grammar/mechanics....the whole thing, really. He has very poor phonemic awareness, but oddly enough, reads above grade level.If you just looked at his writing you would think Dyslexia/dysgraphia.

 

He is currently doing online tutoring with a certified Barton tutor 2x a week. She is working with him on the LIPS program and is looking to move him to Barton. The initial plan was to start with Barton, but he bombed the pre-test. 

 

My question is what to do this summer......There is a LindaMood Bell center near us. It would cost somewhere around 15,000.00, though maybe less since he doesn't need reading. The director said they would almost certainly not do LIPS, since he is a fluent reader. My assumption is they would do Seeing Stars.  She is confident they could help him even though he has visual weaknesses. 

 

Our tutor thinks Barton will be better considering his learning profile. 

 

I know he can use spellcheck at some point, but his spelling is SO poor that we have to do something. 

 

He is currently in public school. I may try homeschooling at some point, but I would still need support for his writing, because he and I are not a good mix when we work together on areas of struggle! 

 

So, in a nutshell: Barton or Seeing Stars for spelling? Should I continue mushing on with the tutor, or pay the big bucks and do LindaMood Bell? 

 

If you've had personal experiences with either, especially with a kiddo with NLD, I'd love to hear about them! 

 

 

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I think if you might pay $15,000 for one summer of tutoring, it would be worth it to look into private testing for NVLD. I think if you look around, maybe you can find someone who would be able to answer this for you.

 

LIPS and Seeing Stars seem like they are different to me. I think ask the Barton tutor "why Lips." Was there a low score on the student screening? If there is, then that is some information. If the student screening was fine, then why does the tutor recommend Lips?

 

I think keep in mind, you talked to someone on the phone (at this point) at LMB. It is not the same as if you had done a preliminary consult (or whatever their process is).

 

I think -- do ask these questions. I think there is more information you get to decide.

 

I am not sure that NVLD is just one profile and that all kids would fit into one specific track. Sometimes kids fit like that, and sometimes they don't.

 

Plus I think looking at NVLD info is not the same as getting it verified. I think NVLD is the kind of thing where it is worth taking that step, bc it is a big thing to make other decisions around.

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I re-read your original post..... so there is weakness with something on the Barton pre-test, but he is a great reader.

 

That seems like there is an unanswered question.

 

Does he read well out loud?

 

Is he using a lot of context clues?

 

Is he getting by with excellent comprehension? (A good thing, but not when it covers up weak decoding.)

 

I think -- ask the Barton tutor her opinion.

 

See if it makes sense.

 

For now I would value someone who has worked with him personally over someone who has only talked on the phone with you.

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Hmm. I have one child with NVLD and another with dyslexia. And I really don't know what to tell you. I think the LMB program sounds extremely expensive. Maybe it would be worth it. I don't know anything about their programs, so I can't say.

 

I think you might benefit from having some more information. When your son learned to read at school, did they use a phonics approach? Could it be possible that he does not have dyslexia but just was not taught phonics?

 

The reason that it is confusing is that dyslexia and NVLD are usually thought to be opposite problems. Students with NVLD tend to have strong decoding skills but weak comprehension, while a child with dyslexia has weak decoding but may have strong comprehension. My daughter with dyslexia can read at grade level due to her strong comprehension skills, even though she cannot spell, cannot sound out words she does not know, and misreads or skips many words when reading aloud. Perhaps this is what your son does?

 

Did your school testing find that he has SLD reading? How old is he? How is he doing with the Barton tutor? Can she work with him throughout the summer? I tend to think that continuing something that is going well -- for example, continuing the Barton tutoring over the summer -- may be a better choice than switching to a different program.

 

Can you find someone to tutor him in person? I suspect that would be a great deal more effective than online tutoring, especially because dyslexia tutoring is multi-sensory.

 

Personally, I would only pay a very large amount for therapy if I knew that it was just the right thing that was needed. There is no prescribed therapy for NVLD as a condition -- there is just therapy for the individual issues, which you seem to be addressing already -- so if your main reason for going to LMB is to help the NVLD, I would just stick with remediating the dyslexia with Barton. If the LMB program is for dyslexia, then you will need to weigh out whether it would be better than Barton.

 

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I don't have much to contribute to the question, not being familiar with LMB.  Just wanted to say that my highly dyslexic, ATROCIOUS speller is currently going through Barton's.  We just started level 4 (homeschooling) and I am just amazed at how much his spelling has improved in the last year.  It is almost miraculous.   :hurray:

 

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Thanks for your wise insights. 

 

I'm planning on having him tested by a private neuropsych but my husband wants to wait until he completes vision therapy. He does have social issues, left sided awkwardness, and visual processing problems. In some ways he seems like he has autism, but he doesn't have the rigid thinking, or the narrow interests. He's very happy-go-lucky, actually.

 

He does read well out loud-uses expression and everything. He is definitely relying heavily on context clues and his large vocabulary. He will skip small words, and he does reversals, and sometimes guesses a word that is similar in length/starts the same. On the other hand, he also reads grade level lists in isolation, though. What he has trouble with are nonsense words and names. 

 

He will be 11 in a few weeks. He is in 4th grade because we waited a year to start kindergarten.

 

He does have an articulation delay, so I've thought perhaps what is going on is that his spelling errors are related to his speech errors. I wish I could explain how he can read a word like sequentially and turn around and spell stick wrong. It's baffling to me. 

 

He had phonics instruction, but I don't think it, "Took," because he is very shaky on vowel sounds, in particular. 

 

At the beginning of the year he was still slightly below grade level in reading, and then in one month he went up three levels. He's consistently been above on the STAR and the DAZE this year. He did get a lower score on a nonsense word test, so yeah....the phonics piece isn't there. He seems to have good comprehension; he does well on the AR tests and son on. He does tend to read books that are fairly immature, for lack of a better word-Magic TreeHouse, Big Nate, Wimpy Kid....so it might be that the comprehension hits a wall at some point.

 

I guess the question is whether decoding/phonics instruction or a more visual kind of instruction is the best strategy for him. 

 

He is doing quite well with the online tutor. He likes to use the computer, and he gets to move the, "Tiles," virtually. I'd love to find him someone to work with in person, but as I'm sure I don't have to tell you there are lots of, "Tutors," around but not very many who have real training in something I know works (at least in theory)! 

 

Thanks for your thoughts. I really appreciate them.

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 He does have social issues, left sided awkwardness, and visual processing problems. In some ways he seems like he has autism, but he doesn't have the rigid thinking, or the narrow interests. He's very happy-go-lucky, actually.

 

Not all kids with ASD have obvious inflexibility issues or difficulties with transition. The interests could also be typical ones but just to a greater extent (my DD's are art, My Little Pony, Barbie, Monster High, Sofia and other Disney princesses, etc.)

 

Before spending $$$ on Lindamood-Bell, I would go get a good neuropsych or developmental pediatrician eval from someone familiar with high-functioning autism. I would get on the waiting list now, even if VT is ongoing.

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Thanks for more good thoughts.

 

We are on a waiting list to see a developmental ped. to rule out autism spectrum.

 

We are not wealthy by any means, but I'm willing to spend big bucks if I know something will work....I guess I sort of feel like the college fund will be for naught if we don't do something-kwim?

 

Thanks again. I do appreciate it. My husband is convinced I'm making mountains out of mole hills, and I'm lacking in folks to bounce ideas off of. 

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I would be very cautious about spending $15K for tutoring, especially if you haven't had evals.  Places like this prey on worried parents.  Sometimes the work is fine, but it's better to eval, know what you're dealing with, and then consider, with full information, whether you want to buy the materials or do it yourself.

 

Why a developmental ped?  ASD is better diagnosed by a team.  Even a psych by himself can miss it and even dev. peds can.  Are they going to do speech and OT evals also?  An ASD clinic will use a team approach.  You're waiting for the dev. ped, but unless he does full psych evals (like 6-8 hours of testing), you STILL won't have any information that actually lets you change how you're working with him.  For that you need full psych testing.

 

I'm just saying your worst case scenario is waiting for an appt and realizing you need to wait AGAIN for ANOTHER appt. with a totally different place.  Just getting up/down on ASD won't give you the info to change how you work with him.  Need OT, SLP, and psych evals, complete information.

 

I'm not trying to ignore you on the rest.  NVLD is DSM4, so it does you no good now.  You want him diagnosed under DSM5.  Either it's ASD, or it's not.  Kwim?  One scenario that happens is that ASD behaviors are so normal in the family that they go unnoticed.  Sometimes it takes a while for you to realize what you were seeing all along.  One way to jumpstart that is to find a behaviorist (BCBA) and bring them in.  Or go to a clinic where they'll spend significant time.  See a lot of these checklists, like the GARS, you answer.  Whether you even notice the things affects whether you can mark them.  So to me, if those behaviors are normal in your family, you don't notice and therefore don't flag them.  That means you have to hang with someone who knows ASD *long enough* that they can see the behaviors themselves.  That means a 1 hour up/down appt is a waste.  Go to an ASD support group, find a behaviorist, find an ASD charter, find a psych who will spend 6-8 hours.  Need more time.

 

The reason for the SLP is to make sure the CELF gets run.  Without detailed language testing, you don't catch things.  Some psychs spend long enough to do it, or it gets farmed to an SLP.  If he's having issues with reading comprehension, inferences, literalness, whatever, you want that detailed testing.  Social skills and pragmatics can also fall to the SLP.

 

I'll tell you our little story.  Was on a waiting list for a swanky ASD-only psych who would do a 1 hour up/down and then tell you to continue for the full eval.  Somebody said no, not enough time and warned that the practice was not homeschool friendly and would blame behaviors on you (parents).  So went to swanky neuropsych who spent 6 hours in theory but only a couple in reality, farming out much to underlings.  Swanky np ignored our concerns, gave use the GARS2 (not for DSM5), and did I mention IGNORED our concerns?  So after another psych says your explanations are not complete (yes, this is a saga), I go to a social skills group where the lady watches him for 1 1/2 hours playing while the person talks with me and person is like you know he's going to get an ASD diagnosis, yes?  And I go, NO, can't cuz I just paid $2200 to be told his behavior was MY FAULT.  Go for a 2nd opinion on the ASD question, and yes ASD.  Next party says no, we agree with 1st (not listening) psych!  So we struggle and finally get ANOTHER report, this time from behaviorist who spends hours with us.  Behaviorist confirms.  

 

Moral of the story?  The less time someone spends or the more they're looking at BESIDES the ASD question and the *lower* their level of experience, the LESS LIKELY you are to get thorough results.  It's not easy even when you try.  But to me, if you go to a place that specializes in autism, when your question is autism, that can help.  Some place where they slow down and take time, lots of time.

Edited by OhElizabeth
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Why a developmental ped?  ASD is better diagnosed by a team.  Even a psych by himself can miss it and even dev. peds can.  Are they going to do speech and OT evals also?  An ASD clinic will use a team approach.  You're waiting for the dev. ped, but unless he does full psych evals (like 6-8 hours of testing), you STILL won't have any information that actually lets you change how you're working with him.  For that you need full psych testing.

 

I'm just saying your worst case scenario is waiting for an appt and realizing you need to wait AGAIN for ANOTHER appt. with a totally different place.  Just getting up/down on ASD won't give you the info to change how you work with him.  Need OT, SLP, and psych evals, complete information.

 

I don't disagree, but having a developmental pediatrician/pediatric neurologist give an ASD diagnosis and make the referrals to the neuropsych, SLP, OT, and ABA clinic can make a significant cost difference depending on the family's insurance & state autism mandates.

 

I just got the Explanation of Benefits for my daughter's most recent SLP eval and it cost $1728. Because we had the proper physician referral, the insurance picked up 90% (and the co-pay should get picked up by Medicaid since she's on the developmental disabilities waiver).

 

Yes, the OP needs to get multiple evals, but the developmental pediatrician is not necessarily a waste of time.

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The reading issues you mention do sound like dyslexia flags to me. He may have issues in comprehension/visualization as well. That sometimes goes along with spectrum stuff, but not always. I don't think it would be my pick to focus on right now given what you describe. It doesn't seem comprehension is the primary problem. And even if it is you can work on that, even with their program, for far less than 15,000.

 

 

I would want to stick with Barton I think, targeting the dyslexia if he's done with LiPs and can pass the screening. Is that possible to do in the summer? If you can't do a Barton tutor during the summer, the levels resell well.

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Crimson, around here private SLPs (private anything, actually) are 1/3 the cost of through the hospital.  So if the op is paying for this herself, she DEFINITELY wants to look into private, mercy.  The same service can be dramatically different in cost outside the hospital system.  Sometimes people don't realize that.  :(

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I've tutored mine with both Barton and Lindamood-Bell. With what you describe with your son having failed the Barton screen, I'd stick with the tutor who's doing LiPS then Barton rather than using a LMB learning center if they won't remediate him with LiPS. If your son is not hearing the sounds in words-- unless he's got an extremely good memory-- spelling will continue to be difficult. LMB would improve his spelling scores and teach him how to spell better. However, as he encounters longer words throughout his education, it's likely that he'll continue to leave off sounds in the middle of words. It might look like faster progress with Seeing Stars, but in the long run I believe LiPS then Barton would serve him better.

 

When I called a LMB center about LiPS after my ds failed the Barton screen, the person on the phone started telling me that my son probably didn't need LiPS. My ds was barely even reading anything at the time.  Without even testing him first, they tried to steer me towards Seeing Stars.  LiPS requires more training than Seeing Stars. To my understanding, not every staff member at LMB center is trained in LiPS. Since you already have a tutor familiar with teaching LiPs, I'd.stick with her. If you have extra time and money to spend on remediation this summer, maybe see if she has some more time available to tutor your son more frequently. 

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I think with it being April, and $15,000 being a lot of money, I think this is not a good summer for LMB. I think it is money to spend when you are confident it is the best use of $15,000, and I don't think you can know that with your current information.

 

Even a couple of years from now, something could come up where you see it would be beneficial, and you could be less able to do it because of spending the money this summer.

 

I think it is not realistic sometimes to think "we will do this one intense push one summer; then things will be a lot better; we won't need to do things in the future if we spend this money now."

 

I think that is possible, it depends on the situation. But if it doesn't work out that way, bc that is not the situation, I think it is something where it is better to try to plan realistically (and optimistically) as early as possible. And that might mean thinking about spending the money on other things over a longer period of time.

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What you are describing sounds like NVLD, and it also sounds like it could be dyslexia. I think you will only know for sure after more evaluations, but let's presume that you need to make a plan for the next six months based just on what you know now, while you wait for appointments that will give you more information.

 

I would focus right now on the possible dyslexia/ reading issues, because there is evidence that remediating reading issues when the child is younger ends up with a better result. Grab that time now. I would stick with the Barton and see if you can step it up over the summer, working three to five times a week with the tutor instead of twice a week. If you can't increase the tutoring time, I would ask the tutor to assign homework that you can do with him on the off days.

 

I would hold off on the LMB program for another year and give Barton a chance, since he is already working with a Barton tutor. I don't see a reason to change, unless you have some really good evidence from an independent source that LMB will give a better result than what you are doing now.

 

Next, about the possible NVLD. OhElizabeth is correct that it is not a diagnosis that is in the DSM5. Because of that, some practitioners will not diagnose it, even if the child has all of the symptoms. I would ask whoever you choose for evaluations whether they diagnose NVLD any more or not. Whether or not NVLD is a current diagnosis or not, it is a real thing that can be separate from autism or can be co-morbid with autism, and it is helpful to know if your child has it. Some people believe that NVLD really should be part of the autism spectrum, because there is a lot of crossover of symptoms with those formerly diagnosed with Asperger's. However, there are many people on the spectrum who do NOT have NVLD. So it's not just a question of whether to call it autism or NVLD; whether NVLD is part of the problem is a real question of its own.

 

With that said, a full multi-factored autism screening with someone who is willing to tease out whether NVLD is involved, as well as whether autism is indicated, would probably be really helpful to you. If it is ASD, it would be good to know, and you may gain access to services that would not be provided to someone who has NVLD but no ASD diagnosis. In advance of your appointment with the developmental pediatrician, I would suggest that you look carefully at the diagnostic criteria for autism in the DSM5 and write down everything that you see in your son that could be related. Write it down, because it is so easy to forget to tell them something during the intake interview. Or they may not ask the questions in a way that would elicit the information from you (this happened to us). When you fill out those surveys and questionnaires that they will give you, if you are uncertain about whether a behavior is significant or not, tell them anyway. Add a page of notes that explains your answers if necessary. Be very thorough.

 

I know you said you don't really suspect autism, because you don't feel he exhibits all of the behaviors. That's great! Hopefully ASD is not an issue. But some repetitive and stim behaviors are not obvious. Sometimes we just chalk things up to "that's just his personality" or "lots of boys make snorting and coughing sounds, because they are boys" or "everyone has a hobby they love" or "all kids love to act out scenes from their favorite movies over and over and over again" (random examples based on my own kid). And we miss the signs of stim behaviors or echolalia (which is not always as obvious as you might think). Doing a lot of reading (which maybe you are already doing) to learn about the different ways that autism presents itself can be helpful.

 

I just wanted to give you those thoughts about sorting about between NVLD and ASD, because it can be really tricky, and having only one diagnosis but always wondering about the other can really become an issue, as we figure out what will best help our kids. DS11 has NVLD, and I am 100% certain that that is a correct diagnosis for him (I was not as sure two years ago), but we are left with questions about autism that are unanswered, and we are probably going to get some more evaluations to sort it out. So I would just advise that you make sure that you cover all of those bases with the evaluations you are getting now.

 

By the way, there are specific educational strategies for helping kids with NVLD that might not apply to all kids with ASD, so knowing whether NVLD is in the mix may really help you work with the school to have an adequate IEP in place for him.

 

When you have your evaluations, request that they test pragmatics and theory of mind. If they are low, hopefully he would qualify for social skills help from the school SLP in his IEP. Remember that for kids with NVLD, social skills often becomes their greatest hurdle when it comes to both interpersonal relationships and employability. These issues tend to get worse as the student ages, so there might be things that will come up that you haven't noticed yet. Keep an eye out. With up to 65% of all communication being nonverbal, people with NVLD have a distinct disadvantage, but due to their high verbal skills, sometimes the deficits are hidden until suddenly there are issues.

 

I agree that the CELF might be helpful for discovering language holes. Also, be sure to tease out the reading comprehension issue, even if you don't see evidence of that now. Kids with NVLD often do better with auditory input, so make sure that they test comprehension both ways -- with material that is read to them, and material that they read on their own. DS11 has hit a reading block right at that third grade level. He can read and understand a Magic Tree House book, for example, but books that have more character development, nonlinear plot structure, inference, figures of speech, or anything that is not concrete and straightforward are very difficult for him. Those more difficult elements seem to kick in around that third grade reading level.

 

Sorry, I don't mean to bombard you with information. Unfortunately, with the mix of issues that you are seeing, you have a lot of things to sort out. I do really think you should focus on the possible dyslexia first. If NVLD is involved, some of the issues will unfold over time, so you don't have to deal with them now, but it's good to be informed and prepared and proactive. I hope some of this is helpful.

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Crimson, around here private SLPs (private anything, actually) are 1/3 the cost of through the hospital.  So if the op is paying for this herself, she DEFINITELY wants to look into private, mercy.  The same service can be dramatically different in cost outside the hospital system.  Sometimes people don't realize that.   :(

 

I paid $250 for SLP testing last June at an oral school for the deaf (it was an add-on to the parent-child workshop we attended) that was just as comprehensive. Unfortunately, we could not use those results for the cochlear implant surgery evaluation. They did use the neuropsych report that Kennedy Krieger wrote but if our primary insurance turns us down and we have to go through Medi-Cal, that will have to be repeated as well with a Medi-Cal approved psych.

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Another note about the reading comprehension thing. When DS11 was tested by the school psychologist, he actually did okay on the reading comprehension portion of the Woodcock Johnson, because the test was designed to be read aloud to him. However, he has extreme deficits in the classroom (reading right around the beginning of a third grade level at the end of fifth grade, so almost three years behind), so we (parents and classroom teacher) knew that it was not an accurate assessment. Because kids with NVLD learn better with verbal input, a reading comprehension screening test that only uses an auditory approach will not necessarily reveal the comprehension issues that happen when the student is reading silently. Be sure to ASK the psychologist to evaluate reading comprehension in a non-auditory way, which might require a separate test.

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I guess the question is whether decoding/phonics instruction or a more visual kind of instruction is the best strategy for him. 

 

 

I just wanted to highlight this comment. If it is NVLD, what he needs is VERBAL instruction, not visual. Multi-sensory is good, but everything should be explained verbally to him.

 

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So, the one part of his evaluation I can't find now is the speech part, but he has been going to speech for articulation since he was 3, so he did get a speech evaluation.

He scored perfectly average on expressive and receptive. She did not test pragmatics because no one had mentioned concerns about his social skills (I initially just referred him for help with his writing). He has always had an above average vocabulary. He does still have an articulation problem, but that has gotten much better.

 

I think our insurance would pay for a private speech evaluation. I don't think the school will do another one so soon. I guess my thought on speech and social skills at the moment is to wait until he's done with the vision therapy, just because I don't think I can add much more.

 

The developmental ped. does assessments with a whole team. It's the largest children's hospital near us. Right now we're on the, "Triage," list. The nurses decide whether or not we get to go on the waiting list for an eval. I guess you can say we're waiting to wait! I could just go to a psychiatrist or psychologist instead.....I did find a psychologist who has some experience with NVLD, and that's who I've been planning on taking him to, but then my regular pediatrician thought we should have a medical doctor check for autism. Could the psych also diagnosis autism, or does it have to be an MD? I am a bit befuddled for sure!  

 

Thanks for all your thoughts. I do think I have some NVLDish tendencies, and my husband and his dad are a little gruff and short with people.....our older son is very social and has a whole gaggle of buddies, so I've always had concerns about #2. But then maybe it's really our first born who is the odd one out of all of us! :)

 

Thanks again! 

 

 

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Hi, all, 

 

I think, for now, I've decided to stick with the Barton tutor. If it isn't, "Clicking," at the end of the summer, I can always look at something else. 

 

Quick question for those of you who have done Barton-How long did it take to get through the initial levels? I've read that spelling doesn't start to improve much until Level 3 or 4. I know the skills in 1 or 2 are important, but ti's hard not to feel like some of it is a waste of time since he does read well.

 

I should add that Susan Barton very nicely answered an email of mine, and she feels confident that he has dyslexia in addition to the (probable) NVLD based on my description. She says kids with NVLD tend to love Barton because it is rule based, which makes sense. 

 

I have emailed the SLP at his school to see if we can do additional testing. I have also connected with a local network for families with kids with special needs, and based on a conversation I had, I think I'm going to quit waiting for the big hospital and find a neuropsychologist to do testing and rule out or in autism as well. We probably won't do that until the fall, because my hubby wants him to do the vision therapy first (He is convinced it is the magic answer......we'll see....)

 

We were able to start OT, which he LOVES, and we're going to work on keyboarding and handwriting here at home. The big missing piece right now is social skills possibly language pragmatics. I think that may have to wait until fall. 

 

 

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The school SLP can run a pragmatics on him.  Sounds like you're making a lot of good changes!  VT probably will help, if he needs it.  

 

I think length of time in the levels varies with age, severity of disability, etc.  If the tutoring is going well and he passed the Barton pretest, then I'd expect, just in general, to be accomplishing one lesson a week.  Maybe more, maybe less, but I'm just saying that would be a starting place.  If it's taking a month to do one lesson, then it would be reasonable to ask if you could do more carryover at home to improve progress.  I sold my levels 1 and 2, so I don't remember how many lessons are in them.  They're pretty brief.  Do you know where the tutor is with him?

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He's actually finishing LIPS right now but should move into Barton soon. He initially bombed the pre-test. 

 

The tutor feels like he's moving at a good pace now. Initially, it was verrrrrry slow. You're right-I should ask her! Insert face palm here-lol.

 

I know the SLP can do the pragmatics, but I'm not sure she's allowed to so soon since we just had the eval.and it would be a new area. I seem to be the only one who thinks his lack of social acumen is a concern. Everyone else just seems to think he's shy.

 

I hope vt helps! Among other things he does have a degree of face blindness. I'm sure it hasn't helped his social chops that he can't tell half the kids apart! Thanks again for your thoughts! 

 

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If getting the diagnosis doesn't matter or increase funding and you just want to start working on it, you could get Zones of Regulation or other materials from SocialThinking.com  That face blindness is probably more than just vision.  It's a meta- level thing, a noticing thing, and you're going to need some extra work to get that to engage.

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One thing to consider about LMB is that they are only very recently moving into using Seeing Stars for all their students. The new owner is sort of phasing out LiPS. Now, Seeing Stars seems like a great program, but only LiPS technically has been researched as effective. Even LiPS done by an amateur like myself is extremely helpful. I just took a friend's daughter through it and we've now begun Barton. I'm about to start it with my DS5 as well since the poor kid is so dyslexic he cannot pass the Barton pre-test. 

 

So I agree with what some others were saying with leaning on his tutor's experience. And personally once I realized LMB's tutors are mostly trained college-students I figured "well, I have a college degree already....I can do that!" So I did :) lol! Someday I might do the formal training because I do find LiPS stuff fascinating! 

 

Also, as for the spelling one constant motto in our Orton-Gillingham class was "good enough for spell-check". And that sounds like a disappointing goal at first but it's not! The truth is most dyslexic kids can't even effectively use spellcheck because their spelling is nonsensical, lol! My daughter's spelling mistakes would have been funny if they didn't have us so worried at the time! Just crazy stuff that makes no sense. But now, while she makes some spelling mistakes, they're logical. It's leaving off a silent-e, or spelling with an a instead of a u for the schwa sound. Spellcheck catches those kinds of mistakes. Spellcheck doesn't catch when you spell butterfly like "b u p f l"  :huh:   but it will catch it if you try to spell it "b u t t u r f l y". (wtm has such a good spellcheck it won't let me misspell the word without dividing the letters like that, haha!)

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OhElizabeth, I don't think the company was sold per se, I think it is now under the control of her daughter? I forget the details. And like Lecka said i bet it'll continue to be published for many years. LMB centers do still offer training courses in it, they just are consistently pushing people away from it in their center tutoring. My friend called them about it and they kept pushing her to do Seeing Stars even though she really just wanted/needed LiPS for her daughter and that's when I called Susan Barton and then did some digging about it online. 

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If getting the diagnosis doesn't matter or increase funding and you just want to start working on it, you could get Zones of Regulation or other materials from SocialThinking.com  That face blindness is probably more than just vision.  It's a meta- level thing, a noticing thing, and you're going to need some extra work to get that to engage.

 

OP, how old is your child? I went back through the thread and didn't see it mentioned (if you did, my apologies). ZoR looks like an excellent program but it may be too advanced if your child is on the younger side.

 

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OP, how old is your child? I went back through the thread and didn't see it mentioned (if you did, my apologies). ZoR looks like an excellent program but it may be too advanced if your child is on the younger side.

 

We've got several threads on SN going right now, I'm getting confused and mixed up, lol.  Really though, I just meant it as an example.  There are faces inside, so it would be a start.  But pretty much anything from SocialThinking would be good.  I even have some face games I've collected.  Lots of ways to hit it.  Anyway would be something like the Model Me Kids videos.

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Hold the phone... LMB has been sold?  How do you know?  As a former employee and LiPS enthusiast, I want to know!

 

I wonder if the new owner will still charge $90/hour for tutoring, and sue anyone who says they teach using LMB methods?!

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Not to muddy the waters and it might not be enough but have you looked at Apples and Pears spelling? It is designed for kids with LDs. The teachers manuals are scripted so anyine reading at a solids 5th grade level could "teach" it and the cost is under $100 per level and might be way less. It is a multi sensory program and worked when nothing else did for my one with NVLD

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Hi, all, 

 

I think, for now, I've decided to stick with the Barton tutor. If it isn't, "Clicking," at the end of the summer, I can always look at something else. 

 

Quick question for those of you who have done Barton-How long did it take to get through the initial levels? I've read that spelling doesn't start to improve much until Level 3 or 4. I know the skills in 1 or 2 are important, but ti's hard not to feel like some of it is a waste of time since he does read well.

 

I should add that Susan Barton very nicely answered an email of mine, and she feels confident that he has dyslexia in addition to the (probable) NVLD based on my description. She says kids with NVLD tend to love Barton because it is rule based, which makes sense. 

 

 

There isn't one answer for the question.  As mentioned by OhE I think it will entirely depend on the child, any comorbid issues/strengths, the tutor, the number of sessions, etc.  Way too many variables to absolutely predict.  

 

For instance, DD took maybe a month or a couple of months to get through Level 1 and then another couple of months maybe to get through Level 2.  There are 5 lessons in Level 1.  Each lesson has multiple parts.  She was taking days to get through each part with real understanding and retention.  They were absolutely essential for her and I am so glad we did them, but it did take effort and time.  

 

DS actually grasped the lessons incredibly quickly and breezed through Level 1 in a week.  He could have gone faster but I chose to keep him to one lesson a day and there were 5 lessons.  Level 2 took longer but not a ton longer.  However, we hit Level 3 and he slowed down to a crawl.  He was grasping the rules immediately for both spelling and reading but he would glitch on certain sound combinations.  DD didn't have that issue.  She just needed a lot longer for the rules to sink in.  In hindsight, what DS needed was a LOT more LiPS.   My mother was tutoring him in LiPS and admitted she really didn't take him very far into the program and the sessions were erratic.

 

There is another board member whose son took a year to get through Level 1 and still another whose child finished the entire Level 1 in an afternoon (probably not actually dyslexic IMHO but that was the diagnosis by the school).

 

Try not to think about it as wasted time.  The levels are not grade levels.  Please don't approach them as grade levels, thinking well my kid is reading at this level so we really should start spelling at that level.  The levels in Barton are not grade levels at all.  They are building blocks.  If you skip levels, you may be building without the foundation.  Spelling is part of those building blocks, even the early levels.  The piece that is missing may be in those early levels.  Without that piece your child and you may continue to spin wheels without a ton of progress.  It would be like trying to do Algebra before you understand what 2 + 2 means.  Some people might succeed.  Most won't.

 

You might also think of it as insurance.  We pay for insurance even though we hope we won't need it.  Maybe your child really won't need Level 1 and Level 2.  Then again, that may very well be the component that is missing for helping spelling to gel.  If you leap ahead and find out you are wrong you lose time, you may lose the willingness of your child to continue the program, and you have to start over.  

 

There ARE placement tests.  You could ask Susan Barton for the placement tests if you are really concerned.

 

ETA:  The reason many students don't see a ton of improvement in spelling until after Level 4 is because it takes getting through all of those levels for all of the building blocks to create enough structure for spelling to improve in a wider range of words.  In other words, some spelling will improve after Level 1/2, but only for what was covered in those first two level (and Level 1 is mainly working on sounds and breaking apart sounds and recombining sounds which will help with spelling but probably no difference will be seen until after Level 2 when the sounds are applied to letter tiles).  Then more rules are added in Level 3 so more words can be spelled well.  Then more rules are added in level 4 and so more words can be spelled well.  Spelling is not a linear progression.  It increases exponentially with each level.  People notice the biggest improvement after Level 4 because by Level 4 a significant number of rules have been covered so a much larger percentage of words in the English language can now be spelled correctly.  I hope that makes sense.

Edited by OneStepAtATime
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Hi, all, 

 

I didn't realize so many other wise thoughts had been shared. 

 

My son is about to turn 11. He is in 4th grade because we waited a year.

 

The SLP is willing to assess pragmatics, but we have to schedule another meeting. Sighs.....

I did find a private provider from the Social Thinking page, and I may investigate that. 

 

To top everything off, he brought home a piece of writing today that was so awful I was almost speechless. They're practicing for the big state test, and he is supposed to take information from a document and use it to support an opinion. He just copied down sentences, naturally! Unbelievably, someone graded this and noted that he had misspellings even though the words were in the text. 'Um...yeah....that would be the dysgraphia. So, basically, he's doing bad copying as his writing. 

 

I am seriously thinking about home schooling next year, but I just don't know ........He already has the social problems typical of NVLD. Will he ever make a friend if we do that? 

 

Anyway, thanks again-that's the current update! Oh, and LindaMood Bell charges more than 95.00 an hour out here! Makes my 45.00 an hour Barton tutor look like a bargain! 

 

 

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Just building on what you said, what did the school psych diagnose him with?  The copying could also be from poor visual memory (you're doing VT and have deficits).  What did the psych diagnose?  He sounds like he's very rigid.  You or the school could work on the paraphrasing.  

 

If you pull him out to homeschool, you would need to make a plan for working on social skills.  You'd want a mixture of interventions and opportunities to be with peers for modeling and practice.  

 

I'm going to a workshop next week on how social thinking impacts reading, etc..  It should be interesting.  I don't think you can work too much on social thinking, flexibility, etc.  You can work on it with social thinking programs, but you can also carry it over to your literature, your history, your Bible or character/values studies, whatever you do.  If you like mythology or opera or Star Trek, you could use them to study social skills.  

 

Fwiw, I think that's where we're going next year.  This year was really the year of stabilizing.  (behavior, speech, sensory)  Now we're going into this new phase of getting into his head so he can understand things.

Edited by OhElizabeth
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In our state school psych's don't diagnose anything apart from the qualifying areas, so on the IEP he has a specific learning disability in written language because of the gap between his verbal cognitive skills and his achievement test. 

 

Off the record, she told me she thinks NLD is probably on the right track. We do have an appointment with a developmental ped. to rule out or in ADHD or ASD. We've been waiting on seeing a neuropsych to confirm or rule out the NVLD until he finishes VT. I have no doubt there are a whole bunch of things contributing to his poor copying. I was just gobsmacked that someone thought it was good writing instruction, and I used to Be a public school teacher, so I tend to look at assignments with a sympathetic eye.

 

That's an interesting point on the writing indicating rigid thinking. I've been thinking he doesn't have that because he is very happy-go-lucky day to day and doesn't have to stick to a routine. But, yes, he did not get the concept of blending his own thoughts with evidence from the text. Sometimes I also think he just goes with the first part of the direction he hears....

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The SLP just ran on ds this Executive Function test sold by Linguisystems.  Executive Functions Test Elementary  You could see if you could get someone to run it.  He's on the upper end, so it should be very informative.  For my ds, age 7, he can "pass" a section with a raw score of 2.  For an older child, the score would have to be high enough that it's really easy to say yes there's a discrepancy.  So anyways, the test is interesting because it looks not only at how they're using working memory with visual and auditory but also has a component on flexible thinking.  

 

I'm glad you're going to be able to get some neuropsych testing!  That will definitely help you sort things out.  My dd had her np eval after VT, so what you're saying makes sense.  For us it was really timely because she had enough improvement under her belt that we could see what was left.

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You guys, 

 

I'm just about to cry. After weeks and weeks of LIPs, he's made progress, but he hasn't passed. 

 

He can't distinguish between th/sh/ch-the same sounds he has trouble with in speech, and short a and short e.

 

Is it possible one poor kid can have trouble with auditory and visual processing?

 

What do I do?? Is there a way to tell if he would be more successful with a visual method? 

 

Is there something else? Ack!!

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You guys, 

 

I'm just about to cry. After weeks and weeks of LIPs, he's made progress, but he hasn't passed. 

 

He can't distinguish between th/sh/ch-the same sounds he has trouble with in speech, and short a and short e.

 

Is it possible one poor kid can have trouble with auditory and visual processing?

 

What do I do?? Is there a way to tell if he would be more successful with a visual method? 

 

Is there something else? Ack!!

Most kids aren't going to distinguish sounds they don't have in their speech.  They're linked.  How old is he?  I'd be asking why his speech therapy isn't working.  Sometimes when people have been told it's "articulation delay" it turns out to be apraxia.  I agree also with getting his hearing checked.  You could have a combination of things going on.  

 

Fwiw, my ds gets PROMPT for his apraxia.  

Edited by OhElizabeth
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He can't distinguish between th/sh/ch-the same sounds he has trouble with in speech, and short a and short e.

 

Can he distinguish between "s" and "sh" words that differ only by the s/sh when you place your hand in front of your mouth so he cannot lip-read?

 

see vs. she

sue vs. shoe

lass vs. lash

 

What about /ch/ vs. /k/ ?

 

chair vs. care

chase vs. case

latch vs. lack

 

If not, that could be a sign of a high-frequency hearing loss.

 

/s/, /sh/, /th/, and /f/ are all high-frequency, low-intensity "fricative" sounds (fricative means that the airflow is constricted but doesn't stop completely as in /b/, /p/, /k/, etc.)

 

/ch/ is a high-frequency, low-intensity "affricate" sound (that means a combined stop + fricative).

 

My daughter struggles with auditory discrimination because of her HF hearing loss and those voiceless fricatives & affricates are some of the hardest for her.

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Weeks and weeks isn't that long (sorry). It was more like months and months and months for my son.

 

Are those the only pairs she doesn't discriminate? It is not so bad if she just has the one.

 

I don't really have advice, bc my son was in speech therapy so I didn't really work on it with him (though I did in some ways).

 

But it is not always a fast process.

 

 

My son also had a problem with his vision tracking, where his eyes jumped at the midline (he did OT and it did get better).

 

Anyway -- he is a good reader now in 5th grade, and he has good articulation now, too.

 

I think if he is confusing a and e if you do matching with letters, okay, it sounds visual.

 

But if it is confusion with knowing which is which in practice, I would suspect more that he is not solid on the sounds. It can take a time and practice.

 

Are you seeing any progress? Any progress is good. This is hard stuff.

 

Once my son got past this level, things did get easier for him, it was not all this hard. He did not just rapidly pick up any part of reading; but nothing was as hard as this stage.

 

My son had a long list of pairs he could not distinguish, including all l and r blends (so fl- cl- gr- tr- type of stuff), -ct at the end of words stayed hard for him for probably a year after he was starting to read, consonants, etc.

 

So he did qualify for speech therapy.

 

But I think if you are seeing progress, don't worry that it is taking time. It is just taking time.

 

You can picture the brain making new connections -- it takes time and practice for that to happen.

 

But once he learns it, it will be there.

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The Late Eight by Ken Bliele is geared towards speech & language pathologists, SLP Assistants, and students in Communicative Disorders so it's a bit more technical than LiPS, but it has some excellent suggestions on how to work on voiced & voiceless /th/, /sh/, and /ch/ as well as /s/, /z/, /l/, and /r/. Maybe see if you can find it through interlibrary loan?

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Or, if a dc is older and not getting the speech, you ask why and get a different intervention.  A PROMPT therapist can get them to understand voiced/voiceless easy peasy with the prompt.  /sh/ and /ch/ are very similar with production.  Ditto the /a/ and /e/.  For a dc to have had tons of speech therapy and not have those things coming, I'm going to go back to basics: hearing and motor planning.  Something is glitchy in one of them.  And if it's not hearing, I'd be wanting a better eval to look at motor planning.  I could get those sounds on him in a hot minute, and I don't even know much PROMPT (only the equivalent of level 1).  They're just super easy prompts, super easy sounds to get.  That /th/ is harder, sure, and the /l/ and /r/ are hard because they require tongue lifts.

 

I'm just saying you could think it's a phonological problem when it's really your speech therapy.

Edited by OhElizabeth
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So, he gets speech 30 mins a week through the school. 

 

She is working with him on not saying Ships for chips and shicken instead of chicken....that sort of thing. He also has a goal about producing the th sound Right now, he'll say things like, "Birfday." I guess in her defense I should say that he has been in speech since he was 3 1/2, and he has made major progress. He was in something like the first percentile when we started, and he now has a standard score of 87, so he technically qualifies only because he's so old-just turned 11. We spent the first almost three years learning to say hard sounds like K. 

 

If we correct him at home, he will fix it, so I guess he can distinguish to a certain extent? 

 

I think part of the issue is we are doing the tutoring online via a Skype like thing. While he IS making progress, I think I may need to let that tutor go and find someone local. The problem has been finding someone local trained in Barton.

 

I'll see if he can tell those sounds you mentioned apart. 

 

He can certainly tell the vowel sounds apart when he is reading-if he sees bed he says, "Bed," not, "Bad," and they don't sound alike......

 

The only testing we've had so far has been from the school psych and at the OT and VT places. I suspect he has NVLD, but we don't have a firm diagnosis. We are going for a consult at the autism place in June. I'm planning on a complete neuropsych testing in the fall. I would like to do it now, but my husband wants to wait until we finish VT. 

 

I know I am being impatient, and I'm probably not making great decisions as a result. Writing is really the only area he struggles in right now, but it is Such a profound struggle, and I already feel like we've waited too long.....Thanks again for all your thoughts. 

 

I will ask about an audiologist referral at his upcoming check up. He's always seemed to hear really well to me, but there is hearing loss in my husband's family (mostly with middle aged folks, though).

 

 

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I think part of the issue is we are doing the tutoring online via a Skype like thing. While he IS making progress, I think I may need to let that tutor go and find someone local. The problem has been finding someone local trained in Barton.

 

Have you considered purchasing Barton and implementing it yourself? Dig around on their website and see if it's something you think is doable for your situation. The more frequent exposure that you would be able to provide implementing it yourself daily (as opposed to weekly with the tutor) would likely help him as well.

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Have you considered purchasing Barton and implementing it yourself? Dig around on their website and see if it's something you think is doable for your situation. The more frequent exposure that you would be able to provide implementing it yourself daily (as opposed to weekly with the tutor) would likely help him as well.

Agreed.  You could keep the sessions shorter, too, on days things are just not working out that well.  You would still be getting in SOME Barton, just a shorter session.  In fact, with DD for a bit I had to keep sessions to about 15 min daily but she did better at times with a shorter session over the entire week than 2-3 much longer sessions only 2 -3 days a week.  Now we do longer sessions 4-5 or even 6 days a week but she is able to handle that now..

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