Tips for a poor memory??

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by MidwestMom, Apr 21, 2008.

  1. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Well, my daughter has documented Learning Disability (LD)'s (processing problems) that are bad enough that she needed Learning Disability (LD) help for five years of school. Sometimes, for a bright girl, she just can't seem to catch on to things until they are presented in special ways and her memory is horrible. She has so far managed to get B's and C's this year with mainstreaming and extra help.
    N. has a teacher who loves to assign meaningless work, which is no big deal to your regular student, but is a big problem for N. She has to memorize something like one hundred symbols, at ten a week. She failed the last two week's tests so we are working very hard with her at home. She gets honestly confused and forgets, especially since the words she needs to remember the symbols for are words of chemicals, things she never even heard of.
    She has been neuropsychologist-ed twice and she has an average IQ with processing, reading and spelling LDs. Nobody thinks she has ADHD, although her birth brother was on Ritalin in kindergarten. What do you do when your child has trouble remembering things she has to know for a test? She can usually do tests, but THIS kind of test is horrible for her because it's strictly memorizing symbols that make no sense to her (or to me). Anyone have a child with these sort of learning issues? On top of all this, she is very athletic and has track five days a week after school, softball practice and soccer practice. I was ready to make her drop out of track until I worked with her, and I don't think taking away the things that make her feel good about herself will help her grades. She truly DOES forget. It's frustrating to work with her. She said to me yesterday, "I can't remember because I'm retarded." When I told her she just had Learning Disability (LD) problems she said, "Nope, I'm retarded." Grrrrrrrrrrrr. She already has an IEP, but she says her Spec. Ed. teacher is rarely around to help her. She's allowed to go for help if she needs it, but what good is it if the teacher isn't there? Her study hall teacher, who is supposed to help her too, never does. I've talked to the school ad nausum about this study hall teacher NOT helping (although she has all the Learning Disability (LD) kids), but I haven't gotten anywhere. I'm getting mad. I'm NOT a good teacher. I don't know how to help her.
    As a slight background, N's birthmother did not do drugs or drink while pregnant (we knew her), but she smoked.
  2. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    Flash cards. Our daughter did very well using flash cards. We used them repeatedly prior to tests and she often received A's.
    I think vitamin therapy, in conjunction with ADD medication can be helpful. In addition to getting a good night's rest. Also, having a good attitude and being in a positive frame of mind. Some of these things are really "minor," but a person has to take whatever they can get sometimes.

    Anything you can do to help your child avoid saying things like "I'm retarded," would be a step in the right direction. Do whatever you can to convince the study hall teacher to help. Ask for even 20 minutes of specialized instruction each period and that would go a long way. Perhaps meet with her every other week and call her on the other weeks. Set yourself up a schedule to remind this teacher so that she will remember to help your daughter. Give her at least an idea of what she should be doing. Example: "Can you help my daughter on Mon through Wed. on Math and then at the end of the week in English." Each time you see her or speak with her, give her a little direction. Be sure to send her cards and or little gifts. Don't go overboard, but acknowledge her efforts. Being a teacher can be a difficult job and they appreciate the kindness.

    I got a chuckle out of your post, 'cause it reminded me that I read in Prevention Mag. not too long ago about one of the Herbs that is suppose to help a person remember simply by sniffing it. Guess what? I forgot what herb it is! I think it is Rosemary! If I remember, I will post. I'm going back to school and was thinking of keeping some in my briefcase.
  3. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    MWM, it sounds as if your daughter has short-term memory issues. Does her IEP provide for ways to test her knowledge other than through tests that require intensive memorization? That may be something to bring up with the sped folks at her school.
  4. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    I second the flash cards. Also, encourage any use of mnemonics.
  5. Midwest Mom,

    We are very familiar with this problem and it has been more than a bit of a struggle with our school system. My first question would be can the teacher modify her requirements for your daughter? I think it may be time to revisit the IEP.

    Our difficult child has well documented short term memory problems. He has encountered a couple of teachers (only a couple, thank goodness) who just didn't understand exactly what that means and weren't willing to modify their lesson plans at all. The last experience involved a World History teacher who would give her class a paper of terms, dates, etc. to memorize every week. This paper was filled, front and back with her hand written notes that were so small they would be around a 4pt font. I simply gave up trying to count the items. (There is no way, by the way that I could now or could ever have memorized all of that information.) The students were tested on these every week. difficult child just gave up, folded up his tent and mentally left the area when presented with this overwhelming task!

    We tried to work on this problem for weeks by meeting with the teacher to ask for some accomodation on this excessive memorization. She was unyielding and unconcerned about difficult child's documented difficulties. Finally, we had to request difficult child be moved from her class, where he had a "F" average to another class. The administration at his school was very willing to do this, and I found myself wishing that I had asked earlier! by the way, difficult child made an "A" in the new class, and the teacher raved about his ability to think critically.This new teacher was not interested in rote memorization in the study of history.

    I have always been concerned when we have encountered teachers - both with easy child and difficult child- who relied heavily upon memorization in their lesson plans. It is much more important to me that our children are taught how to think critically and to understand the principles behind their subject matter. Our world of technology really negates the need for memorization in my humble opinion. This is especially true for our difficult child's who may need some assistance in this area.

    I would see if the IEP team can meet to brainstorm on accomodations for your daughter in this area. I would guess that she can master her material, please her teacher, meet her requirements and still feel good about herself if this team does their job well! Hang tough and remind them of their responsibility to meet your daughter's needs.....
  6. ML

    ML Guest

    We have to make lists for difficult child to remember the daily stuff: coats, homework, brush teeth. Some days he remembers stuff on tests, some days not. I'm not sure what we will do when he gets to stage your easy child is at. I like the idea of flash cards. I wish I had more advice but wanted to jump in and give my support and understanding xo ML