School Question

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Wonderful Family, Feb 9, 2009.

  1. I have a question; it relates to easy child, but I thought with everyone's experience it might be a good place.

    easy child is struggling with reading in school; they had him in a reading recovery program, he caught up to very low average and they took him out of the program. It's "somewhat" clear that he is still having problems. It's just not gelling like it should - I think. I'm not convinced there is not an underlying Learning Disability (LD); but he doesn't qualify for testing yet.

    school district wants us to continue to work with him at home; we do. However, I limit homework to a max of 40 minutes; typically we do about 30 minutes. He will practice over and over; but never gets a whole lot faster. school district says he is just lacking confidence; which is true to some degree. Any tears, we cut for the night. He does well in every other subject if it doesn't involve reading and writing (e.g., math, recalling history, etc.); he can certainly read and write - just very slow and laborious.

    Given the experiences we had with difficult child, I don't want to take on the responsibility of teaching easy child. We did this we difficult child and could never get services until 5th grade besides basic ADHD stuff (e.g., sitting close to the teacher) in the classroom.

    Our school district is much more proactive than where we lived at this age with difficult child at the elementary school age; but they are insisting that we need to be doing even more with him as we come up to testing next month. I'm of a mind that they should be responsible for teaching him at this age, with minimal homework.

    Any suggestions or thoughts on the best way to work with the school district?
  2. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Have you ever taken easy child to be tested privately -- say with a speech/language pathologist -- to know specifically what is going on with his reading and writing? Without knowing specifically where the problem lies, it is just about impossible to put into place interventions that will remediate and "stick."

    If you don't want to take him for private testing, then the school district should be testing him. What do you mean he doesn't qualify for testing yet? If you put into writing your request for an school district evaluation, the school district must evaluate or provide in writing its reasoning behind not testing.

    And FWIW, I agree that the school district should not be pushing you to continue to work with him, especially because testing is coming up next month. That's the school district's responsibility (state testing ascertains whether they're doing their job or not). If he truly has an Learning Disability (LD) -- which testing should pick up -- it is up to the school district to provide him with an education that meets his needs.
  3. Ropefree

    Ropefree Banned

    WF: It sounds to me that you have a thoughtful approach considerate of your child. When an Learning Disability (LD) and focus is the issue the best approach is to be consistant and support the achievements so that the success is what motivates your learner (child) and meanwhile the habits of regular effort and study are your gift for his continued developement.
    My adhd boy benifited mightly from books on tape and being read to hours per day. His grasp of language and an enormous amount of learning retention as well as the capacity to listen. And he could do other things while listening to a book on tape which as a busy bee was engaging for him and also a joy to watch.
    Also other activities that have at their core the learnning involved. If it is speach formation then be creative: maybe singing.
    If you have the means to pay out of pocket for a speach therapist or whatever you discover is going to make the differance for him by all means do not let the school district waste his valuable years of education waiting for his turn to have his
    education prioritised. If you are able and willing to go that route, having the testing conducted by the school district to get the baseline in place so that they are providing whatever they offer for services for him at the school is helpful. Meanwhile explore what and who you feel is worth the money and see what they offer and what they do. Remember those folks do know what the school your child does...they handle the run off. They probably also do things that are paid for by the school district/doe by parents who have already gone through the long tedious rigamaroll to get services and then the delay and the nocando's that lead to the outside adgency.
  4. aeroeng

    aeroeng Mom of Three

    As a dyslexic mom of dyslexic kids I know about reading issues and how to manage them. (and they are a lot easier to manage then a difficult child). The best resource for information is the international dyslexic association (IDA) their website is:

    My son had experience with the reading recovery program. It is a good program for kids that are close to "normal" and only have slight problems, but it does not go into detail enough for us with a serious struggles. Dyslexia simply means someone of normal or higher then normal IQ that has a significantly difficult time learning to read in a typical environment. There are as many different reasons to struggle with reading as there are dyslexic kids. Some school systems don't recognize the term dyslexia.

    The most effective training techniques are based on a program called Orton Gillingham. Dr. Samuel Orton developed a theory of teaching reading by breaking down reading elements into very small skills. example: look at an A and identify that it is an A. Ect. There are literally hundreds of small skills we must learn to be able to read. Ann Gillingham worked with Dr. Orton to develop his theory to a practical application. (one that is very multi sensory). Since then dozens of others have made their own improvements or modifications. The IDA is a good resource for a list of effective programs. The good news is that the programs work. The bad news is they are difficult time consuming and expensive. Good luck.
  5. Thanks everyone. The definition from aeroeng was just what I needed; I always pictured dyslexia much different.

    I've emailed difficult child's school to get a recommendation for private testing. It's a private school that was started because the owner's daughter has dyslexia. They use the Wilson program - but that's all I know about it. Unfortunately, I can't afford the $ to put both kids in private school. (difficult child doesn't have dyslexia - but the school ended up with kids with all kinds of LDs).

    easy child's school district will likely say that we can put him in risk intervention next year - they'll resist this; but something they are doing isn't catching-on/he's missing something. He can read and write - but he struggles just as much with what he was already supposed to have learned 6 months ago as with the new stuff. I'll be working with easy child's tutor; she is a Special Education teacher for the district on that front too and get a request for testing put in.

    I appreciate the confirmation that we are handling this the right way; I learned a lot from difficult child.
  6. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator

    Identifying the source of the reading problem can be tricky -- very tricky. A "one size fits all" approach may not be appropriate for your child.

    Why doesn't he qualify for an evaluation?

    I wouldn't wait to request the evaluation from the school district. You can parent refer. If you need help getting the process started, please go to the Sp Ed 101 forum on this site.
  7. aeroeng

    aeroeng Mom of Three

    Wilson is an Orton Gillingham (OG) based program, and I have heard good things about it. Although I never worked with it. It was originaly designed for older students through adults, but has been modified for younger kids as well.