Need Opinions On Soemthing - husband Says I'm Looking For Things That Aren't There

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Bunny, Oct 5, 2012.

  1. Bunny

    Bunny Guest

    I posted the other day that easy child has received a diagnosis of learning disabled, cognitive disorder, not otherwise specified. In the meeting with the psychiatrist he was telling me that alot of kids with this problem have terrible handwriting, are very poor spellers because they are trying to spell phonetically, and have great difficulty getting their thoughts down onto paper.

    This decribes difficult child perfectly.

    Is it possble that difficult child could have an undiagnosed learning disability? He's always been a very good student, but last year, when he had honors English, he seems to really struggle for the first time, mostly because they were expected to do alot of writing. I suggested this to husband, whose head is perpetually buried in the sand about both of the kids, and he response was that I was looking for things that aren't there. Maybe I am, but I just find is a funny coincidence. He's always been a good student, but maybe he was always able to compensate before because he found the work easy, and last year there was more expected of them and he wasn't able to compensate anymore.

    Towards the end of the school year last year he came to me and we had a long talk about him dropping down from an honors English class to a regular class. husband and I both thought that this was probably a good idea for him and I spoke to his teacher about it and he agreed that this might be better for him. Then over the summer I got a call from difficult child's GC telling me that they could not make difficult child's schedule work. Because of the school's block scheduling either he had to take honors English and honors Social Studies, or he would have to step down a regular English and Social Studies class. difficult child was adament that he was not going to step down in Social Studies. He said that he worked really hard in that class and he was not going to lose that honors class, so he agreed to move back into the honors English class.

    I'm not sure what to think about it. Even if it was found that difficult child had the same problem that easy child has, would the school really do anything for him? He's an honors student! What could they possibly do?
  2. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    My memory is slow and I don't have time to go check threads... if I remember right, your difficult child has problems getting stuff down on paper?

    Dysgraphia... IS a learning disability.
    Just like dyslexia, dyscalcula, etc.
  3. whatamess

    whatamess New Member

    If he has gotten this far and taking honors classes to boot, I would say while it is possible that he might have some learning processing weaknesses but when speaking about diagnoses and IEP's, you would probably be hard pressed to get anyone to acknowledge that it is truly impacting his schooling. At this age and stage I think it would probably be helpful to determine the specific areas of struggle and look up what accomodations are helpful in the regard and have your child implement the accomodations himself.
  4. Bunny

    Bunny Guest

    Tell that to the school psycologist at easy child's school! Apparently a being diagnosed with a disability does not mean that he actually has a disability. It's going to be a fun process trying to get services for easy child (NOT!!)

    Yes, difficult child does have trouble getting his thoughts down on paper, but like I said it wasn't something that I really noticed until last year when the work got hard for the first time. Maybe "hard" isn't the right word, but there was definately alot more expected of him. I was stunned when they put him in honors English to begin with because he's such a bad writer.
  5. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Get an advocate. Obviously, your SD has an attitude and needs bigger "guns" than just parents at the table.
  6. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Bunny, IC is right, look for a parent advocate. But even if you can't find one, strike up a relationship with your state school board. You can call them and ask if the school can state/treat a student as if they do not have a diagnosed disability...........and the state school board will quote you the law word for word, will send you a copy of said law........and I've always had them to please tell them if the school doesn't adjust their attitude, and then the state school board comes down hard on them. This is the ONLY thing that worked for me with Travis. Our SD hated me for it, well.....they still do as I pulled the same thing when they were writing out the IEP for my grandson.......but I get no back talk that way.

    If difficult child has made it to honor's english by learning to compensate, he most likely does not require intervention. I don't say that to be mean. (trust me) I'm saying it because at this stage......someone trying to teach him new ways just might make it much worse, rather than better. And suddenly struggling in honor's english for a good student isn't that uncommon, disability or not.

    Nichole has dyslexia. We opted OUT of an IEP for her because by the time of diagnosis she was 14-15 yrs old. She'd already developed her own ways to cope and while not an honor student, was a good student when she applied herself. As Nichole put it, she didn't want anyone "messing her up" at that point. Not to mention she'd witnessed enough of the IEP wars over her brother to not want to go through it herself.

    **added note** Teachers once they learned of her diagnosis found ways to help her when they'd spot her struggling.....whether to give her just a bit more time or whatever. I found it nice, but a bit surprising.
  7. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    It is entirely possible to have dysgraphia and be in honors english. I did it as did Wiz. I would suggest reading about dysgraphia and looking for ways to help that can be done fairly easily at first. Your son may have MUCH better luck getting his ideas out if he uses the computer to write rather than pen and paper. If this is the case, then ALL his assignments can be finished on the computer.

    I don't fully agree that he may not need interventions. Just because he has coping methods doesn't mean that they are functional coping methods. Clearly there is SOME problem. It may be that Honors English is the first time the class has been challenging enough for him to start to struggle, or it is the first time that his coping methods are unable to handle the problems. Fnding better coping methods is what is needed, and that will require some work on everyone's part.

    I would send a letter to the school asking them to test him for all learning disabilities. The drop in his grade in English should be enough to justify it, and if they say no then I would either fight it or I would get private testing done. I would also do some research into learnng disabilities especially dysgraphia (a problem with writing - it is a problem in the brain AND in the hands). Look for things that will help and if you can provide them for him. Sometimes finding the right pencil grip can make a difference, esp if his hand hurts when he writes. Getting the school to either let him use the classroom computer or provide a laptop that he can use or let him type the assignments and turn them in the next day will likely be super helpful. Classes or computer games that teach him keyboarding will also help if he isn't able t type yet. Occupational Therapist (OT) exercises to stretch and strengthen his writing hand are also helpful. Getting a diagnosis will help, but more important are the ways you find to address the problems.

    If some of the problem is in structuring essays or papers, find out what method worked in previous grades. Using index cards, or outlines or storyboards, or whatever he used successfully in the past but has not been using can also be a big help. An editing checklist and having you or husband read his assignments and look for errors before he turns it in might also help. I can help you find various editing checklists, etc... if you want. Just be sure that you only identify the mistake and he corrects it.
  8. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    If he can work well with the computer - typing etc. - then OneNote is also a big help in organizing info.

    If there is a significant discrepancy between comprehension and written results, he needs accommodations. And it doesn't matter what "level" the class is. Honors English is because that is where his mental ability is... but he has a disability that needs to be accommodated on the writing side... then he needs the accommodations. The spread varies - but here, a diff of two grade levels (e.g. A to C or B to D) between a written exam and an oral re-take means automatic referal to figure out what accommodations are needed. (and we don't get much "automatically" around here)
  9. Bunny

    Bunny Guest

    Apparently, neither do we!

    difficult child's grades went from a high/mid B in 6th grade to a high C/low B each quarter and he managed a mid B on the final. I'm going to have to call the teacher and see if she sees anything and talk to her about this. His guidance counselor is really good, so I might bring this to his attention.

    Thanks for the input!