Subject: Help! I dont know what to do:( for my 5 year old son
My son is five years old, he has developed at a "normal" pace up til now (what ever normal supposedly is), no unusual issues with behavior, speech, etc., in fact he is an extremely well mannered child who generally is very social and gets along with everyone children and adults alike. I have had no reason to believe that he would experience any challenges in Kindergarten. In fact, because he is an only child and around adults most of the time, his vocabulary tends to be more "adult" like, he says things like "I think not" or "I would prefer", he often uses words that are above his years and people often have commented on it. He seems to have a comprehension of his conversations, it doesnt appear to be just mimmicking, he uses the correct words or phrases during the correct instances. The first time I resited the alphabet to him, I did so twice and to my surprise he remembered all of it. He is extremely talented with clay and building and loves to sculpt very identifiable creatures such as lizards, frogs, etc. He was late to the concept of drawing and therefore didnt really enjoy practicing writing and practing his letters but we tried with him anyway, however I did not want to push him to a state of discontent. When Kindergarten came, he knew all of his colors, alphabet, and could count to about 15, but couldnt really write his name very well...however I was told by the schools not to push him because he would learn in school anyway. To my surprise, they tested him the first week and said he had a score of zero for letter recognition visually or otherwise??? Now, he is in a "special" class for 1/2 of his 2 1/2 hour day and after 2 months time, I am shocked to find that the reports I receive is that he is making absolutely no progress what soever and they are concerned. I work with him for about an hour and a 1/2 a day in addition to his homework, he doesnt get frustrated and although he must know he isnt getting it, he doesnt appear to be upset...our learning sessions never end in tears, he is never reluctant. However, at the same time, we can work on the letter "P" and the sound it makes for 20 minutes and 2 minutes later he cannot tell me anything about it. I NEVER show my frustrations to him, I always give him positive reinforsement but at the same time show him the correct way as well. I have read countless articles on learning disabilites and conditions and he does not fit anything I have read thus far. I am fearful that I will not be able to help him and I am not confident that the school will appropriately address his needs. We just dont know what to do. How can my articulate, quick witted child be struggling so dramatically with letter recognition and pronunciation?
Have you looked into dyslexia? Your description of your son's abilities remind me of one of my students who has a diagnosis of dyslexia. Your son sounds as if he picks things up that are presented auditorily, not visually. Perhaps you've already looked into it, but it might be a start.