my daughter is now 15yo; sophomore in a college prep school and a strong "B" student. she had several learning differences and developmental delays that were recognized early on... 1]double check hearing - just because hearing doesn't seem to be impaired she could have auditory processing disorder... this is easily addressed with learning programs specifically designed for auditory processing. We noticed that our daughter had issues in kindergarten. One teacher commented that "if she can read it, she should be able to write it"...well that is your first clue to test for dyslexia [which you already have a diag.] our daughter had dysgraphia. we worked with a tutor through our local Scottish Rite organization. Scottish Rite also has a video program and supplies for helping with writing disorders that can be sent to you. It is a program that was filmed at the Dallas Scottish Rite Hospital. My daughter called them the "Miss Biddle" tapes [Mrs. Biddle is one of the dyslexia educators in the program]. It seemed trivial and trite at times but we just took time as a family and one other family member did the exercises along with our daughter [we all benefited and have neater writing]. dictation is great tool when the student is tired or needs a break from writing. also in addition to the DANA [we had an AlphaSmart] we used the WordQ program on our home computer. This word prediction program is available for a free trial download and has auditory components that let you "hear" what you are typing and thus make corrections. our daughter still uses books on tape/cd/itunes to assist her with reading lists. we ask that she have the paper copy of the book to "read" along or make notes. she will listen to a book at home before going to class the next day ...it's like reading ahead... then she is familiar with the material and has a heads up on vocab used in the book. last but not least addressing the medication profile. our daughter was not bipolar nor ADHD...she fell into the ADD category and uses Adderall XR 20mg daily with a supplement of Adderall 5mg tab for times that she may need to work longer on projects or study for exams. Children with learning differences have to use their brain more [energy for concentrating or completing a task] and will be more tired in the afternoons. The Adderall gave our daughter a chance to complete tasks and not be completely exhausted at the end of the day. this reply could go on forever... what I do want to share with you is: 1. there is help out there for you and your daughter 2. it may take a while for you to find what works best for her ...but it will happen 3. there will be wonderful days ahead when you marvel at your daughter's progress and realize that she will be just fine....at our house we remind ourselves daily that "learning differences are an explanation, never an excuse" have a great day!
My dd is also Bipolar, ADHD, and Disobedience Disorder. With the Bipolar it is typical for Medium to Moderate Visual-Spacial problems as well as neurocognitive disorder and sensorimotor skill problems.
For the hand writing problems, if you have insurance, have your pediatrician write an ored for Occupational Therapy. What they will do is a bunch of tests to test their depth perception, balancing, hand to eye coordination, etc. There is also an eye test they do by putting them into a "swing" and spinning them around fast and suddenly stopping them and watching their eye movements. By doing all of this believe it or not they can tell what they need to do for the child such as motor skills.
Are you sure it's Dyslexia? I have had 3 psychiatrists, 2 therapists, and 3 IEP teachers tell me they cannot test for dyslexia until around 16 years old. Especially with ADHD kids. Their minds go so fast that they sometimes just reverse letters or numbers and it's not actually dyslexia.
In my dd's case with reading, she was horrible at it, I would read to her then have her read a section to me. No matter how long it took and with some help I made her do it. That's the only way she is going to improve.
I took my daughter to a pediatric neurologist for testing. Some of the testing can be covered under some insurances and some of it can't, it depends on what you have. You may need to find an out of the district children's advocate to help you fight the district. You also may need to look up the criteria for a Federal 504 Plan. With the No Child Left Behind guidelines my daughter has a regular classroom teacher and a special ed teacher in the room all day too. Does your school? I email my daughter's special ed teacher all the time. We are always talking about how I can help her and what I am seeing at home verus what she is doing in school. Two different worlds. Be aware that each State is different too. When we lived in NY my son qualified for OT (occupational therapy) for his handwriting and he had an alpha smart (small hand held keyboard) but when we moved to GA, they told me that their classifications were different and they took the OT away from him. I tried to fight it for a while but I kept being told that GA doesn't have the same classifications as he had in NY. I hope some of this helps. Talk to anyone you can that may be able to give you a name and number referral to someone with knowledge about the services in your area.
Jerseygirl318 Always leave enough room in your LIFE to do something that makes you happy, satisfied or even joyous. Paul Hawken...
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The support you get from the schools differs greatly from state to state. In MA, I could get no help for my kids because, like yours, they were passing. Here in OH, they roll out the red carpet. They have more of an attitude that it will cost less to fix the problem early than to imagine it will go away.
A friend of mine in Canada has similar issues with her daughter. Her daughter is given a laptop at school and a USB drive to carry work back and forth from school with. She is also given Dragon Naturally Speaking to help her enter her written work and she has access to all her textbooks in electronic audio format.
Can you see if the school subscribes to something from their publisher to get text books in electronic audio?
I also really like the Dragon idea because I find that with kids with these issues, it's good to take as many of the difficulties out of the way to teach them how to write and then slowly work back up to writing essays by hand.
Both my kids had dysgraphia and handwriting issues. We caught my older early, but I could get no help from the school except informal support for him using the computer to enter his essays that way. He was reluctant thinking that it was more work than just handwriting. In the end, using the computer helped him so much that he went from being an average student to an exceptional student especially in writing. Now, because he knows he can do it on the computer, he has figured out how to follow steps that allow him to write pretty well on paper.
Talk with other parents in your community to find out just how far you can go with the school district and what the other parents have done to help their kids. Sometimes, you find that you go through all the fighting and yet the school system really doesn't know how to help your kids.
I had to make that decision in MA. In the end, putting my sons in the programs they had would have hurt my sons. Their self esteem would have fallen even farther, and they would not have remediated the problems they had.
It's worth every bit of fight if there is a program that can help your child though.
Ask your pediatrician to evaluate her for Dysgraphia. It's a visual-motor disconnect that makes it difficult for some children to write. They KNOW things in their head but because of the difficulty of being able to force the pencil to do what they want it to do, they can't transfer the information to paper. Basically the brain power required to make the pencil do what it's supposed to zaps the information in the head.
My son has this and he can do double digit multiplication splendedly IF he tells me what to do and I write it for him. However, if he has to write it, it might as well be advanced calculas. He takes forever to do 10 problems (sometimes literally all day) and his columns are all over the place, even if you use graph paper or draw lines for him. His handwriting is bad and for him to write sentences is an all day task. However, if I have him do them on the computer, he can write very long and intricate stories. He's also doing algebra in the 6th grade because Algebra problems work linearly, not vertically and that seems to work for him.
My pediatrician wrote a prescription of Occupational Therapy before we were involved with the school system and then we dealt with the special ed testing and all that crapola. He did go to public school for half of 5th grade and first semester of 6th. We all couldn't wait until last week when that stupid semester ended (made him go the semester since he begged to go) because school was a freakin' nightmare. Did I mention that I'm a fairly militant homeschooler? Probably should as it's relevant.
I've not had good experiences in any of my kids who went to school and certainly not with the special ed co-op although the "teacher of record" was awesome. He just didn't have her for anything because he was mainstreamed.
I can tell you that you will have to fight for what your daughter needs and that includes getting statements from your doctor, possibly outside evaluations, and maybe a lawyer. The other option, if it's possible is to explore the idea of teaching her yourself. It isn't difficult BUT, you don't get a daily break and with children with issues like ADHD, it's important to find that in other ways so take that into consideration.
First of all she should have an IEP. Talk with the teacher and counselors about this. If they are no help go to the school district. I would also speak to the Resource Center at the school. She is entitled to help for her reading issues not just the writing.
icesk8rsmom aka: Deb
Smile all of the time. It keeps people wondering what your up to !
My 12 year old daughter has bi-polar, ADHD and is dyslexic. Her hand writing can not be read at all and her reading level is that of a 2nd grader. The school district gave her a DANA (small computer) for her hand writing issue and does not do anything about her reading.... not true, they give her someone to read and write for her on tests. What can I do for her?????
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