Teaching Students with LD and ADHD

When is too far behind??

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Joined: Apr 10, 2006
Posts: 6
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Posted Jun 24, 2007 at 9:29:50 AM
Subject: When is too far behind??

Are their kids who are 3-4 years behind in grade level?
I worry to death about my 11y--going into 6th grade next year. The middle school tested her to be in a special reading program that would take her elective away. She is already scheduled to be in all spec ed classes.
She scored lower on their testing then I thought. She scored 3.0--vocab and 3.5--comprehension on this test. That is nearly 3 years behind.

It really doesn't seem that she has improved since 3rd grade. Every summer---she will regress.

The test was only for reading. Math is alot worse. Will she ever catch up? We can't afford special schools or classes/tutoring. We already did what we could a couple of years ago. Our money is gone. She also has severe anxiety, OCD, bipolar, depression. I'm afraid her little brother who is 7y--and going into 2nd grade--will pass her in academics. He is high functioning autism and very smart.

What can I do to help her?

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Joined Jul 11, 2005
Posts: 550

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Posted:Jun 24, 2007 11:50:49 AM

My dd was 3 years behind in reading when she ended 6th grade. We caught her up two grade levels over the summer just by figuring out that she has Irlen Syndrome. (http://www.irlen.com) Then next step was getting a Text to Speech program to help her with visual tracking and auditory/visual input. This helped raise her reading another 2 levels by eighth grade. This year the school she is attending used Read180 by Scholastic. She is now reading at grade level!

There are many Text to Speech programs available. Some are free but the voices aren't very good. There are several that are low cost and for small additional fees you can get better voices. We use Talk Aloud by Nextup. http://www.nextup.com/TextAloud/ Just do a search for Text to Speech and you will come up with a number of different products.

DD was also behind in math all through elementary school. None of the interventions the school tried helped her make any progress. It wasn't until I introduced her to TouchMath (http://www.touchmath.com) that she really started even enjoying math. She is still in learning support for math but she's taking Algebra and really enjoying it.

Don't let her do nothing over the summer. Set aside time every day for working on "school" type work. Find things that she enjoys that can also be educational. If she likes to bake or cook have her double or half a recipe. (Working with fractions) Yard work can also be great for measurements.

scifinut mom to: ms 16, bp/adhd/anxiety/complex ld mr. 20, add/dyslexic I hear and I forget I see and I remember I do and I understand. -Anonymous

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Joined Oct 02, 2006
Posts: 172

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Posted:Jun 24, 2007 8:13:46 PM

Thank you for bringing this up. I keep wondering the same questions. I guess every child is different. I also keep hearing that being a year behind in reading is not that uncommon at all. And that's not just for kids with learning disabilities. I would venture to guess that kids who are not ld and are 3 years behind is not that uncommon either. And those kids don't get special ed services like our kids with lds.

I also heard from a retired high school teacher friend of mine that kids who initially don't pass the high school exit exam have to take a class to help them prepare to take it again. Most of the time kids with LDs go into that class along with others without LDs and the ones with LDs are usually the ones who do well and end up passing the test because they have been working so hard their whole life that they are used to it.

So, I'm not sure what to recommend, but is the bipolar and other issues being treated? Is she on an IEP? Again, not sure what to recommend except that what I have been doing is keeping an eye on what is standard for grade level and I keep going down the list checking things off as my dd masters them. Our district has their standards for each grade level on their website, so I can start with kindergarten standards and check those off and then 1st grade, check off the ones she knows and 2nd grade and check off what she knows from there. She just finished 2nd so I'm sure that's it for us right now, but the math standards are in sections, so she might be at grade level for something like numeration, but maybe not for geometry or algebra. Reading and writing have a list of standards for each as well. That's all we're focusing on. Science, social studies, etc.... will have to be done at school.

Also, if your daughter has an IEP I would ask if it's possible to set goals that are a little tighter to get her caught up some each year.

Good luck. I'll keep watching this post because I am wondering the same thing. I keep hearing from teachers that it's not uncommon to be behind, but the question I keep asking is "how far behind is BAD?" Unfortunately they're not going to tell me that we're in a BAD position because they want to stay focused on what she can do and on improving, which is probably good.


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Joined Jan 11, 2004
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Posted:Jun 26, 2007 8:14:21 AM

Being at third-grade level in reading when you're going to be in sixth grade for its a lot of stress and difficulties in education. In sixth grade students are expected to use their reading as their major form of learning information. When you are behind this is very difficult. I agree with the parent the recommended text-to-speech software. You might look into the following item.
I can also recommend that you might want to look at the software programs available from Premier Assistive, <http://www.readingmadeeasy.com> . Premier Assistive as an MP3 player/flash drive called "Key to Access" ($350). Key to access has about 10 different programs on the drive to assist students with reading and writing. Premier Assistive has excellent programs. Here are some programs on the Keys to Access which I really liked. Universal Reader can read everything on your computer to you. Talking Word Processor will read back to you what you write and also has built-in word prediction to help with spelling. Premier Predictor Pro gives word prediction in any Windows program. Text-to-Audio allows you to create MP3 files and things you've scanned onto your computer. You create MP3 files this create your own audio book.

Jim -- Michigan www.geocities.com/jnuttallphd

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Joined Oct 01, 2003
Posts: 74

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Posted:Jul 02, 2007 11:15:47 AM

Try teaching your students to "make sense" of the words by decoding to find the "sound spelling" of any word she/he needs to know in order to read any text he/she needs to read.

Read about what I am doing at www.learntoreadnow.blogspot.com

Anita learntoreadnow

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