Need Help Understanding a Learning Disability (LD)

Discussion in 'Special Ed 101' started by nvts, Jul 7, 2008.

  1. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    Hi! difficult child 1 was diagnosed with a Non-specific Read/Write learning disability.

    To make a long story very short, I brought it to the attention of his school and was told "make him write his spelling words 10x more than he is now". And that was it. As many of you know, in the spring, I moved him into a new school and I asked for a meeting and they're bending over backwards to help.

    If you'll take a look and see what he's doing, would any of you who have kids with a Learning Disability diagnosis with the following let me know what they've been called and what steps have been taken to help? This is slamming the self-esteem of a kid with the confidence of a gnat, so I really want this done asap by the school and I.

    difficult child 1's name is Eddie. To date (he just finished up 4th grade), 5O% of the time he will write "Ebbie". Lower case d and b are always a 50/50 shot.

    He can memorize spelling words for a test, but the following period, if asked to write a paragraph, if he has to use the word (that he just spelled right on the test) he'll spell it phonetically. 85% of the time, all words are spelled phonetically.

    Up until a year ago, he wouldn't read out loud in class because it made him feel stupid.

    His handwriting is atrocious! Letters are misshaped, and all over the place.

    Sentence structure isn't an issue because all of them are short and disjointed. It's tough to mess up "he ran fast", but if it's possible, he will. But to hear him speak, you'd think that he'd be as gifted as Shakespeare.

    I just want to be able to research what this is so that when they make recommendations, I'll know if it makes sense or not!

    Thanks for any help you can provide!

  2. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    So.........who diagnosis him with this disability? And what were their recommendations? Personally I have not heard of this particular disability, but that does not mean much. However, I am pretty sure writing spelling words 10x is not going to make him "better".

    I know for my difficult child, who has a NonVerbal Learning Disorder (NVLD), the accomodations were comprehensive. For instance, instead of taking a written test, he could take the test orally. Etc.

    Just like your son - my difficult children verbal IQ is high - but it is his "performance", i.e. putting it on paper, that makes him struggle. Thus the Non Verbal Learning Disorder.

    It also sounds like your son has dyslexia and dysgraphia......has the doctor diagnosis him with that? If so, again, the accomodations are for these sorts of things are endless. However, the doctor that dxs should have the recommendations.
  3. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    You know - you might want to post this over in sped 101 as well.

    I know absolutely nothing about LDs but it sounds like he's having a hard time carrying things over into different areas - being able to spell a word on a test but not in a paragraph... that sounds pretty specific to me though I don't have a clue if there's a more specific "label" for it.

    Does he read for fun? How does he do with a keyboard? Has he ever had an Occupational Therapist (OT) evaluation for the handwriting?
  4. Sara PA

    Sara PA New Member

    I do all those things though perhaps not as much. I lump them altogether under my "dyslexia".

    I just posted "Congradulations!" to a friend on another board. Right there in the subject line. And I have a post graduate degree and I'm going to be 60.

    I have a lot trouble differentiating between certain sounds and I spell phoenitically. Consequently I end up spelling poorly. I could memorize spelling words just long enough to get 100 on the test then I lost it all. Hated reading outloud. I didn't embarrass myself but I stumbled a lot.

    How does he do with right and left? If you tell him to turn left does he turn right most of the time?
  5. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    What kind of professional diagnosed your difficult child with "non-specific read/write learning disability"? Has he undergone a full neuropsychological evaluation? Has he ever had a speech/language evaluation?

    By definition, children withASD have problems in the non-verbal/non-spoken areas of communication. What you are describing, however, falls under the category of typical language-based learning disorders (which include expressive, receptive, processing and articulation language disorders). Most routine speech and language evaluations examine these areas. If he hasn't had this type of evaluation, I'd recommend one, preferably private because the SD will only assess areas of educational impact and not look at the full picture. neuropsychologist testing examines areas of cognition (thinking) rather than language per se.

    I agree with posting your question on the Special Education 101 forum.
  6. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    Thank you all so much! I'll copy and paste it over in Special Education!

    Steeley! It was during the much touted "neuropsychologist" which I was less than impressed with. They didn't even go to test him on it until I brought a note that he'd written and showed them what I meant when I asked about it. The only recommendation that was written was that the school should come up with interventions for his difficulties. It seemed like they listened to what his diagnosis was on the Aspergers Syndrome, tested for that and agreed. It didn't seem like too much effort was done as far as further testing.

    slsh: He's been getting Occupational Therapist (OT), but in his prior school (the Nut Hatch" as I call it) the Occupational Therapist (OT) was very busy teaching him to meditate rather than work on handwriting, coordination, etc. Remember: their belief was that all behavior is intentional, nothing to do with autism, sensory stimulation, medications or anything else impacts these kids. They behave the way they do because they want to. That's why it's his "prior school". A real pack of winners, let me tell ya! He doesn't read for fun because "reading is stupid" but he's great with a keyboard (I recently found some great touch typing sites on the web and he's trying to learn it. The games on the one sight are awesome and it's proven to be entertaining. My goal for him is that if he ends up using assistive technology, he won't be "hunting and pecking" his way through life!).

    Sara: I hope you know you made me feel so much better! I've always hoped that higher education could be in difficult child 1's future, but started to feel that this might not happen due to his difficulties.

    Yes he confuses left from right, and his gramma (my bff) has some of the same issues!

    smallworld: thanks for the input about a neuro. I had it done, but as I mentioned before, I was less than impressed! I'll probably have to go off Island into Manhattan to do it, and right now, I'm so nauseaus and limited due to the high risk of things that I can't even look for somewhere to set it up!

    You're all so great, thank you so much for the information!

  7. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Beth, you may have confused my point. I believe your difficult child needs a speech/language evaluation. Neuropsychs don't do thorough language-based testing.
  8. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    Sorry smallworld! I spilled my coffee right in the middle of my response, cleaned it up and then came back to it! What a morning!

    I sent a pm to slsh to see if she could move the thread over to Special Education as everyone suggested.

    Who would I go to for an evaluation on the outside? Speech therapist? Are there types? (I know I've heard of therapist vs. pathologist) My mom is rolling in her grave right now, she was an English Teacher/Speech Teacher - you'd think SOME of this would have sunk in! lol).

    Thanks again!

  9. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    I moved it over to Special Education 101.

    I believe a speech and language pathologist would do a speech and language evaluation. I'm sure Sheila will know for sure.
  10. Sara PA

    Sara PA New Member

    That problem with right and left is another symptom of dyslexia. I still have to pretend to eat so I can figure out which is right and which is left. The hand I use to eat with is right. If you ever get directions from me, make sure I draw a map. If I give you direction in words, no telling where you'll end up.
  11. Sara PA

    Sara PA New Member

  12. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator

    A pet peeve of mine is non-specific information from professionals. If they don't know what the problem is or if it's outside their area of expertise, they need be up front with the parent and refer the parent to an appropriate specialist. If they do know, the need to give the parent written recommendations for remediation or therapy(ies). Parents nor the school district will know what to do without specific information -- case i point is having difficult child writing 10x each....

    Dyslexia is a "reading" disability -- much more entailed than just writing letters backwards. The link Sara gave you is helpful. There's more information on reading problems in the Sp Ed Archives.

    "Write" is also vague. Is it a written expression problem (expressive language), handwriting problem (fine motor skills), or both? To find out, a speech-language evaluation would be needed to identify receptive and expressive language needs; and occupational therapy evaluation would be needed to determine fine/gross motor skill problems.

    There's also information in the archives on fine/gross motor skill delays and expressive/receptive language delays.

    You're on the right tract -- keep on keeping on.