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FloridaLisa

I need some experienced input & direction for a *late bloomer.*

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I've homeschooled for 19 years. Graduated 5. Different personalities, strengths, weaknesses, curricula needs. 

 

My youngest is in 5th grade and she's behind grade level. She was slow to nurse (not until 3 months and until we tried e v e r y t h i n g, pumped and bottle fed until she could at 3 months), slow to walk, slow to talk. She has been slow to read (she reads but I'd say on a 3rd grade level), still prefers an improper pencil grip, has no so great handwriting. She's been slow at math -- we just switched to MUS and she's on Gamma. She's doing much better with going back to nail things down conceptually and using MUS's manipulative approach. 

 

I've not had her tested because all along, I thought if we schooled diligently and kept at it, she would catch up. She's my first to academically struggle and I've had to learn how to adjust curriculum and teaching. 

 

Our teacher evaluator last year described her as a late bloomer. As a mom, not an expert, I'd say that's spot on. She hits the milestones, just late. 

 

So I've honestly not thought there are LDs, but more that she developmentally just gets many of these things later. ALSO, she's the baby of the family and likes it. Until very recently, I had to continually ask her not to baby talk. 

 

Here's where I'd love input:

 

1) Should I have her evaluated? 

2) What does that look like? Where do I start? 

3) Does any of this ring a bell for you? Have any of you walked a path like this?

4) What have you used curriculum or teaching wise that has helped? 

 

Thank you!

 

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I would suggest testing by a neuropsych. It is pricey, but well worth it, in my experience (had to do it with 2/4 kids). If that is not possible, depending on your state laws, you may be able to have testing done by the school district. Usually not as comprehensive as the neuropsych, but still may be beneficial (and is free). Understanding the full picture of strengths and weaknesses will help with curriculum planning.

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I homeshoold 2 that were a peace of cake in hIndsight. I thought i was the teacher of the year. Then I had a daughter who refuses to learn anything from me and is willful so I let her try school and she excels at it.

My baby is a late bloomer as well. He takes more energy than the other three did combined. Some of the advice you might get depends on your long term plans.do you plan to homeschool all the way through? Public school demands confirmity and it's tough being behind.

 

If you can have her evaluated I would strongly recomend the wisc IQ test , if language is important have an SLP do receptive and expressive language testing as well. Then if you want to know or grade level you could ask for achievement testing I did so that it would have been around 250 for that. My insurance covered the rest.

 

This would help you to know what you are dealing with.

 

The IQ part can tell you her processing speed, working memory auditory planning , her object recall memory, executive functioning. All very important in trying to help her. If her birthday was close to summer I would have just bumped her a grade even at home but that would be too hurtful now.

 

So my answer is you need some data. I suspect that she being the baby has a very different personality and inner drive than her siblings . You might have to problem solve to get her motivated and hungry for learning.look for ways to encourage her to have her own thing and expect her to make her own lunch put her clothes in the wash. Things like that. Step back a little so she will step up. Is there anything she is wild interested in? If so work to have that be a project she incorporates in learning. Also put her in a musical instrument. Woek on fixing the grip by having her write on a white board on the wall. It is very hard to have a crappy grip in that position and it teaches writing with the shoulder. Set up rewards and look for what motivates her

Edited by exercise_guru
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Hi Lisa--I have one that was delayed in a lot of things from babyhood. Like your daughter, he just seemed to take longer to get there than my oldest had, but he always got there. Of course homeschooling was perfect for this, since there was no prescribed time for when he "needed" to read, write, tie his shoes, etc.

 

We had some testing/therapies done when he was around 10/11/12, because it was obvious that he had to work so much harder at everything than most kids. What I didn't get at this time was a formal evaluation, and I wish I had. Because a few years later I knew that's what we needed. We were facing high school with a kid who needed double or triple the time to complete average work, and with the onset of puberty, it seemed like everything got even harder.

 

He was formally evaluated at 15 with a neuropsych. One diagnosis surprised me then--he's on the autism spectrum--but looking back, it shouldn't have. Learning-wise, I didn't get answers, but I got explanations. His processing speed and working memory are ridiculously low, and while these are not things that you really "fix," they can be improved and accommodated. I've been able to adjust my expectations and learning strategies to help him in the way he learns best.

 

I'm in your area and can pass along the name of the evaluator we used if you want to PM me.

 

 

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I would suggest testing by a neuropsych. It is pricey, but well worth it, in my experience (had to do it with 2/4 kids). If that is not possible, depending on your state laws, you may be able to have testing done by the school district. Usually not as comprehensive as the neuropsych, but still may be beneficial (and is free). Understanding the full picture of strengths and weaknesses will help with curriculum planning.

 

Tried to like this and it won't let me!

 

Thank you all for sharing your experience. So the mutual conclusion is a YES on testing. I'm also happy to see a couple of you saying that homeschooling allowed you to teach to your child b/c I've really struggled with whether I'm still serving her or whether she would *perform* better for an outside teacher and enjoy the peer environment. My mama gut tells me she might feel the struggle whereas she doesn't now and feel some sort of labeling, strata system that she isn't getting now. 

 

Thanks so much! I'll begin to follow with some testing. 

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Your comment about nursing and walking late, pencil grip issues, (along with talking and reading late) make me wonder if she has retained primitive reflexes too. I'd consider an Occupational Therapist consult.

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