Visual Memory Processing - Ideas?

Discussion in 'Special Ed 101' started by Waldo431, Nov 18, 2012.

  1. Waldo431

    Waldo431 New Member

    Anyone familiar with visual memory processing issues? I have a 11 yr old son that is having difficulties writing / spelling / MEMORY. Reading UP OFF paper and remembering it is not the biggest problem. Putting it back DOWN on paper is the biggest problem. Recall for testing on paper.

    So, on a french test for vocabulary, he could get every answer perfect by studying, but spell every answer wrong on his paper (memory to pencil on paper) and then end up with 50% as spelling counts.

    Verbal is not a big problem other than normal 11 yr old distraction :). His spelling has always been suspect (letters written backwards J, S, 3, P, D, L, C, Z, N... suspected dyslexia in Grade 2). But, the LST and Grade 2 teacher said ... wait until Grade 3 it will work out. In Grade 4 I cornered them and ... Wait until Grade 5 ... it will fix itself. Grade 6 and his teacher is working with him and has a special needs background!!! YES! "there is something going on". Finally!

    So, the problem now is that our school does not give "away" testing. "Only so much money in the budget, you know". Ugh. I'm not sure what to push for as they aren't going to offer me anything. The teacher is trying to get him assessed through the psychiatric / speech area as they may have something to assess as it might be sometime this year but they aren't sure really what they can get either. (He was originally supposed to receive speech therapy (recommended by Thames Valley Children's Centre at Hospital) when he came to the school but was not deemed a high enough need). The school has recommended Kurzweil software which is about $1400. I'm a single mom on disability. Yikes.

    I am in Ontario Canada. I am not sure of the laws about getting tests done at school, nor tests for visual memory issues. Does anyone know what tests I should request and other avenues to proceed? Any great software to improve visual memory (less then Kurzweil??)?


    Mom - 41, stay at home mom, SM, mood disorder, thyrodism, adopted, making my kids scrapbooks
    D - 14 yrs, ODD, thyroidism, loves to be creative and small children
    S - 11 yrs old loves soccer, seikido and our puppy Coal.
    X - head in sand, convienient kids :(
  2. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Hi, Waldo,

    Us Canadians don't have the legal teeth to force schools to do anything. been there done that. And your story is classic... they will push you off until the child is "too old" for certain resources.

    You're in Ontario - I'm not, but others on this board are, so they may chime in later withspecifics that work for Ontario.

    We had to get our evaluations done through the medical system - and it was VERY difficult to get. Your son needs a comprehensive evaluation. You need to know what ALL of his issues and challenges are. The "neuropsychs" that are recommended by US board members, are generally not available in Canada in the same way that they are in the US. We got one evaluation done through a child behavioural/developmental clinic at a teaching hospital, another through mental health. But to get into mental health, we had to wait until the problems multiplied and compounded and there ended up BEING mental health issues on top of everything else. And that is NOT recommended. You need answers NOW.

    If school were to do the testing, it would be incomplete - we had one of those - but maybe a starting place. What you would want in that case is an Ed psychiatric evaluation. However... it is definitely limited in scope. It "might" pick up on the learning disabilities... possibly dysgraphia and/or dyslexia from what you describe (although if reading is not a problem, dysgraphia is more likely). OR, instead of/as well as dysgraphia, possibly Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD) (a motor skills disorder).

    Hmmm... can you tell I'm thinking while I'm writing? Why don't you pop over to the CanChild website ( Run by research OTs at McMasters Univ. Really good info on kids who "can't write". For motor skills issues in particular, you might want to look into an Occupational Therapist (OT) evaluation. It was the first evaluation we had done that actually pin-pointed specific problems needing specific interventions (in this case, technology). We paid for ours privately (ouch), not sure how to get it through the system other than through a comprehensive evaluation team.
  3. buddy

    buddy New Member

    So glad we have other Canadians here to help you....I'm in the USA but agree if you can attack this by fighting for medication testing, esp. Occupational Therapist (OT) that could give you a good starting place to dig in. IC, does medication. pay for Occupational Therapist (OT) therapy? (occupational therapy =fine motor, visual motor, motor planning, etc.)
  4. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    What gets paid for depends on several factors:
    1) If Occupational Therapist (OT) is part of a team providing services, and the team is funded, then the Occupational Therapist (OT) is funded too (for example, certain clinics that specialize in early intervention for Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) kids, or rehab centers)
    2) IF the child (and family) qualify for special-needs funding (in some provinces, not others), Occupational Therapist (OT) is one of the services for which an application for funding can be made.

    Schools don't generally provide Occupational Therapist (OT) services.
    And many employer extended health plans don't cover Occupational Therapist (OT) either.
    So most of us end up having to pay for Occupational Therapist (OT).
  5. cdngrl

    cdngrl New Member

    In Ontario, Occupational Therapy can be accessed through the Community Care Access Centre's School Health Services program. The school or parent can make a referral. Depending on where you are, the criteria for referral and the number of approved visits might be pretty strict. If you refer, make it clear that one of the areas you want assessed is visual perceptual skills (depending on the test that is used, this can include visual memory and visual sequential memory). Depending on the concerns expressed on referral, the Occupational Therapist (OT) assessment could also include other areas such as fine motor skills, visual motor skills, and compare written output with use of technology to produce written output to determine what needs to be in place for the child to be successful. Another software program to look into is WordQ. It is not really "to improve visual memory", but it is really helpful for some students who have difficulty with written output and spelling. It will predict what word is being typed, and will read the word prediction list, so sometimes that really helps kids who struggle with spelling (as long as they can get the word started). It will also read back what has been typed, which helps with editing and ensuring that what is written is what was actually intended. It is licensed by the Ministry of Education in Ontario to be on all school computers, and also for home use for all students. Your school (or school board) should be able to give you the information regarding how to get the software for home use for free. I think you can also get a free 30 day trial online to see what it is. Might be worth a try, since it is free. Good luck!
  6. isis

    isis New Member

    Lindamood Bell works great for visual memory issues. This is very common in children with 'language based learning disability' or what most of us call dyslexia. It is very expensive, but it works. I have no idea if exists in Canada. The technique is to actively build visual memory ability with one on one tutoring in which the kids have to hold the picture of words in their head. We all do this naturally when we read and write, unless we have this deficit. For those who have the deficit, they have to work way harder to read and write, its no fun. I know all of this because I have 3 kids with this to varying degrees - one very severe who still cannot spell (as he does not have an extensive word bank in his brain - that requires visual memory!) despite years of tutoring.
    Good luck.