learning disorders

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by threebabygirls, Oct 2, 2008.

  1. threebabygirls

    threebabygirls New Member

    As I well know, ODD rarely stands alone. As this school year progresses, I'm more and more certain difficult child has a learning disability. I'd bet everything in my possession that she's dyslexic. Her teacher asked me to be on the lookout for some things, and I see what she's saying. difficult child is a memorizer. She's struggling to learn how to read (she was put into the remedial reading group last week) and I've noticed she's memorizing, and/or relying on the pictures in the story.
    I don't know why I'm writing all this other than because I have absolutely no experience with this. I know where she's coming from with a lot of her emotional issues, but learning has never been a problem for me and I can't relate. Nor do I know what to expect.
    Why is it some nights we breeze through her "sight words" (words that cannot be sounded out), and others it's like we've never read them?? Say it is dyslexia; how do people with dyslexia learn how to read? With each and every new obstacle we encounter with her, my heart breaks a little more for my sweet girl.
    Yes. I'm having a bit of a pity party for myself tonight.
  2. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    Hey! This could be stirring up a lot of the ODD issues. Does she have an IEP? If so, reopen it and have her tested. It might not be dyslexia, it could be a bunch of different things. There are read/write disorders, as well as nonverbal learning disorders.

    I'd get her tested, because the sooner they find the right way to train her, the more successful she'll be! It's not that they can't learn, it's just that it needs to be taught from a different angle.

  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I'd have her privately tested. Dyslexia is seeing the letters wrong. My son, who is on the autism spectrum, is not dyslexic at all, but he had to learn reading by sightreading because he has an excellent memory. And he can read, but he doesn't sound out words. A dyslexic may see a p as a b and the words may actually seem to move on the page.
    If you are worried about learning disabilities, I would seriously see a neuropsychologist. They really take apart learning problems and can set you straight. I wouldn't rely on the school nor your own diagnosis. I can not tell you how badly two school districts messed up figuring out why my child has trouble learning. My younger daughter is Learning Disability (LD) and she has a processing problem which kept her from learning how to read too. She is also not dyslexic and is doing really well now that she got serious help. It's take it elsewhere. Good luck!
  4. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Generally, a dyslexic person will not get all the words right one day, and not the next. If the words are complex and haven't been previously memorised, then she won't be able to get them all right, if she is dyslexic.

    There are different reasons for a child to have difficulty reading. If the child's brain is still trying to sort out which side is dominant, sometimes this can cause confusion with mirror imaging. Letters like "b" and "d" will be difficult to distinguish. Or letters will be out of order.
    Other problems can be due to the eye not tracking properly form left to right - again, this is something that has to be learned as we learn to read, but if for whatever reason the link between the brain and the eye movements is still immature, then the child's eyes will be flicking all over the page instead of in the left to right along the line sequence. This will mean the WORDS reaching the brain will be as if they have been randomly selected on the page, and of course won't make sense.

    There are things you can do. Testing should also be possible - the professor where I used to work would wire me up to an oscilloscope to demonstrate these eye movements to the medical students. There's no faster way to learn this stuff, than to be "exhibit A"! Wiring up is easy (if you have the equipment). A neuropsychologist could do it, should have all the equipment. It's something that could be done alongside a simple EEG. They just need to track the movement of the eye muscles (electrodes to pick up the signals). A good track looks like a staircase on the oscilloscope screen. To confirm this, filming where the eyes are looking would confirm if the child's eyes are correctly tracking.

    A simple exercise to train your child's eyes to track correctly - won't do any harm if things are already working well. You find a ball and get the child to roll the ball from left hand to right hand, while the child also stares at the ball. The child catches the ball in the right hand then passes it back to the left UNDER the table. Then he should roll it again. If you use a ball that is fun, brightly coloured or in some other way attention-getting, this is even more effective. The exercise should be repeated with about five to ten rolls then have another short session later in the day. The more sessions the better.

    This is cheap - the cost of the ball is all. I bought some balls that are tricky - they are double. There is a coloured ball that looks like an eyeball, floating on fluid inside an outer clear ball. The outer ball is the one that rolls; the inner ball is weighted so the "eye" is always staring up, as the whole complex rolls. It looks like it's sliding across the desk, kids love it which makes this a fun exercise.
    Remember - that exercise is to train the eye and the brain to get into the pattern of tracking left to right, which we need in order to read a line of print well. It can also help establish the brain dominance problems, but this IS just one thing to do - if you believe your child could be dyslexic, she does need to be professionally assessed. All I have suggested is the sort of exercise you can do for her at home, on top of professional help.

    With any learning problem or disability, the person learns to adapt. Sometimes there are limits to how well you adapt, but people each find their own way. Professional help can speed up this process. So can careful parental observation coupled with lateral thinking and support.

    A tip to help with the letter recognition and reversal problems - my dyslexic nephew was taught with a very visual system. I also remember when I was learning to read and felt I needed an assist to get it right more easily.
    Think of the word "bed" in lower case (as here). Look at it - the letters themselves make the picture of a bed, seen from the side. The two uprights are the bedposts. They are each on the outer end of the word. We remember how the word sounds, so we know that the first letter is a B (because of the sound it makes). Similarly, the last letter has to be a D. The round parts of each letter plus the E in the middle make up the mattress (or maybe a pillow at each end also?). That was mine, anyway. I was trying to think of other aides but by that time I was finding I didn't really need them.

    My nephew learned a range of these - he was taught that he had to begin writing the letter from the left and the top. A letter with a round bit, you tend to begin with where it attaches to a stalk. So writing the lower case "g" you begin with the edge of the round bit at the stalk, move the pen down and around clockwise then back to the top and down, for the stem. By always moving the hand in the same way, this is also helping to program the brain to always go in the same direction. And to help him remember to do all this and that this is "g" and the sound it makes, he was told to thing of it as a girl. The round bit is the girl (or her head) and then the long stem with the curl at the bottom is her hair that she is sitting on.

    For each letter there can be a story to help remember.

    I don't know all of them. My sister was taught about this in a clinic in Sydney, decades ago, so she could continue working with him after they went back home to their place in the country. She might remember the list if I asked her, but it should be widely available if there's any merit to it.

    There is always a way. Being inventive and imaginative can help a great deal.

  5. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Pity party it up! We all deserve one now and then.

    You are a :warrior:mom! You will figure out what the school recommends and then speak to her doctor about additional testing. This can be helped.

    Wouldn't it be wonderful if the ODD subsided with this improvement??!!
  6. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Testing sounds like a good idea.
    I found out a few yrs ago that I am slightly dyslexic ... I get 6's and 9's mixed up and have to really stare at them (now that I know). It tends to happen when I'm either rushed or very tired.
    I would recommend that she slooowwww down when she reads.
    My difficult child had problems a few yrs ago and would argue with-me (of course) about whether something was a b or d, and I drew a big picture of ea ltr and showed him how the "fat, round" part was facing in one direction or another.
    I like picture books with-very big ltrs for teaching kids. I could never figure out why so many kids' books had 12 pt type. They've gotten better over the yrs.
  7. threebabygirls

    threebabygirls New Member

    Thanks so much. Marguerite, I can always count on you to give me really great suggestions! I'll have to start thinking up some visual cues/reminders for her letter recognition.
    She has an appointment on Friday with her psychiatrist, and I'm going to inquire about the neuropsychologist evaluation. I've already decided if he doesn't agree, I'm going to take her elsewhere.
    I'm really hoping once we figure out the learning problems, her ODD will lessen.