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Parenting a Child with LD or ADHD

writing spelling connection??


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Joined: Oct 14, 2008
Posts: 20
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Posted Apr 26, 2009 at 9:49:21 PM
Subject: writing spelling connection??

Has any one noticed a connection between handwriting, spelling and reading?

My son has bad handwriting (Asperger and ADHD). At 2nd grade, it was decided to just hand him pre-typed notes and let him dictate.

He's in 6th grade and his spelling is still at 2nd grade level. We had to put him in Sylvan to get his reading level to increase. I we hadn't, it would probably be at the same level as his reading.

After 4 years of fighting, the school is now teaching him cursive. He actually finds it easier and is more willing to do it.

Does anyone know of any papers or research into this topic connecting handwriting and spelling????

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geodob
Joined Feb 06, 2005
Posts: 265

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Posted:Apr 27, 2009 6:44:42 AM

Hi Bast,
If you ask him to tell you how words are spelled, and then ask him write them down.
Does he make more mistakes when writing them?
As an example of the connection between handwriting difficulties and spelling?
Simply try writing any word yourself?
But when you write it, print each letter backwards.

Where you would have noticed how you had to give all of your attention to how to form each letter as you printed it? Where you have to stop and think about each letter, and how to form it.
But then, if you want to try something more difficult?
Try writing a short sentence with all letters printed backwards?
Then have a look at how many spelling errors you made?
My point is that with handwriting difficulties, so much attention goes on the writing, that it easy to make mistakes.
Though I imagine that his spelling is better with cursive than printing, as it is more fluid rather than stop, start.

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Bast
Joined Oct 14, 2008
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Posted:Apr 27, 2009 9:37:01 AM

I'm familiar with the concept you are talking about. That is why I want him taught cursive. I've read some papers on the concept and one mentioned that cursive should be taught to children with this problem. Instead of the word being many shapes, it becomes one flowing shape.

His spelling, however, is just as bad if he tries to do it out loud. We tried a word processor, but he types slower than he writes and his spelling is so bad that the program has no idea what he is trying to spell.

A paper I read theorized that by not having writing LD children continue to write, it actually is affecting their spelling and reading. For many writing LDs, a word processor is suggested. Typing does not help in learning to spell. There are many words that my own fingers can type, but I can't spell on paper or out loud, such as 'aluminum'. I can type a document that I'm looking at, while having a conversation with someone. The vision goes straight from my eye to my hands. During the conversation, I have no idea what I've typed, but I type it correctly. Perhaps this also goes along with the theory that you can't learn spelling by typing.

A professor at my local university is intrigued by what I've found, and if I can get her enough papers, then she will see about having a grad student do a study and paper on it.

This is why I'm wondering if there are other parents out there that have noticed the same thing with their kids.

It's also why I'd like to know if anyone knows of a paper on it.

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geodob
Joined Feb 06, 2005
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Posted:Apr 28, 2009 8:32:11 AM

When you see a word that is spelled wrong, what is it that tells you that it is wrong?
Firstly it could be that when sounded out, it doesn't fit?
The other process involves visual matching, where you compare the word that you are looking at, with a visual image of the word, from your memory.
Where it can 'look wrong'.
Which you can then recall how it should look.

But consider the situation if you couldn't recall how it should look, from your memory?
You would have nothing to compare it against?

Aspergers is typically associated with visual-spatial difficulties. Where he may have a difficulty with visual recall?

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Bast
Joined Oct 14, 2008
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Posted:Apr 28, 2009 9:56:09 AM

If he closes his eyes, and you ask him to draw a letter or shape, he can do it.

But what I am looking for is a pattern in order to get a University study going. If I can show her a pattern and some research, then she'll do the study.

Among the 2 Asperger kids I know: Both have poor handwriting and were given notes and allowed dictation until they could type. One is a high level reader and spells very well. The others spelling and reading is stuck at the age where they stopped having him write.

A theory I saw in a paper was that these children need to be able to continually write the words in order to remember them when seeing them in books and in order to spell them.

I is only one paper and was mentioned in passing. I need more. Any research papers you know of. Instances of what that match the two example kids I know.

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annette10dance
Joined May 13, 2008
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Posted:May 04, 2009 1:42:46 PM

Are you sure about the diagnosis? Usually kids with Aspergers are above average in reading, writing and math. This is because of the obsessiveness with numbers, letters and lines. A child with Aspergers would read and write letters and words all day long.

It is also possible to have the autism/ADD connection. This would just affect his attention span and/or any impulsive behaviors.

Writing is a fine motor skill. Both of my kids had occupational therapies in school to help with fine motor coordination. I also had them in vision therapy which also helps visual-motor skills.

Reading and writing is part of the language area in the brain. So, kids with language disorders or delays, have difficulty with reading and writing. My son has low language scores and low memory scores. He is in 3rd grade reading at a first grade level. He has learned to write his name in cursive writing and will be discharged from OT. He will continue speech therapy in school for the language deficiency which causes the reading deficiency.

Do you see a neurologist or neurodevelopmental pediatrician? Who gave you the Asperger diagnosis? Is he getting the right services in school? Have you looked into Dyspraxia or apraxia as a possible cause for his problem with writing? Let us know what you think.
[Modified by: annette10dance on May 04, 2009 01:44 PM]

Annette

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Bast
Joined Oct 14, 2008
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Posted:May 04, 2009 2:22:15 PM

From day 1 in preschool, he had frequent meltdowns and never stopped moving. He was disruptive in class, would run out of class, or sneak out. He had so many fits, it was hard to keep him in the classroom period.

Kindergarten, the school Spec Ed gave him the usual test and he barely touch on each diagnosis. They couldn't classify him. I very much regret the resource teacher smile and 'we may have our first Asperger child' - he regretted it also later. My son was a hand full. But that one phrase from him set everyone's mind on one thing.

My family doctor said ADHD and gave him Strattera. My son couldn't swallow, so we took it out of the capsule and put it in applesauce. It wasn't know at the time that saliva deactivates it. Naturally, it didn't work.

Still having their mind set that it was Aspergers, the school paid to have his sent to 2 specialist. 1st a neurologist. He saw an active child who 'might' be under the autism spectrum. 2nd was a Child Development Doctor. She sat there in the office with us, her hands full of the Developmental Disorder cards in her hand, stumped. She couldn't place him anywhere.

We went to a local councilor who at first agreed that it was Asperger and sent us to a Big university Child Development Center that is a 4hrs drive from our home. They read everything that the school sent. The dianosed him Aspergers and said that he had only a 'few' of the symptoms and that was why it was so hard to diagnose him.

Ok, it got him an IEP and an Aide at last, but other than that, nothing worked. They kept charting his melt downs and nothing matched as a cause. In my mind, I went back to what our family phacician thought. I video taped him for an our and took that to the Bid child deveopmental place (note this is 3rd grade by now). They added ADHD to his diagnosis and put him on medication. He stated calming down quite a bit. Unfornuatlely, is 3rd grade teacher was fresh out of school with book knowledge and no experience. His grades where not so good. 4th grade, the teacher had an ADHD son and husband. She treated him as if he had ADHD instead of Asperger. He had A's and B's. 5th grade was the same as 3rd.

We could not get the school to help with his ready. Their 'test' said that he was academically fine. Ah, he wrote, spelled and read at a 2nd/3rd grader. We spent all our savings putting into Sylvan. I kept requesting OT. They kept refusing.

Now he is in Middle School and it's hell on him. Worse, I'm getting even less help from the school. They view him as a disruptive, disobedient brat. and get this, I told them to treat him like they would someone with ADHD. They said - oh, ADHD and Aspergers is the same thing, so we treat them the same.

Yes, I've hear of Dysgraphia. My nephew has it. His older brother has Aspergers and can spell and read advanced. I can not, literally, get them to test him for Dysgraphia. I am extremely pissed.

I'm beginning to drought that he has Aspergers. The 'few' Asperger traits he has happen to over lap with ADHD. Even our current councilor is saying the he is advancing socially in a way that Asperger children don't.

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annette10dance
Joined May 13, 2008
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Posted:May 05, 2009 1:27:13 PM

Okay. The school diagnosed him and you have him on ADHD medication. He has an aide in class who is not able to help him? What does the aide do to help him?

A child with autism is disciplined differently and has different motivators than a child without autism. Positive motivators would be extra time on the computer for neat handwriting. Answering questions in class would be discussed with another child first, and then provide the answer to the teacher.

I know our school has an IEP plan just for ADHD kids.

Your school district refuses to test your child for Dysgraphia because they already made the diagnosis.

I think you should go privately, to a Neurologist, to confirm his diagnoses and review his IEP plan and his services. The neurologist can recommend changes and most likely, the school will implement a recommendation written by a Neurologist.

Middle school and high school work gets really hard. Make sure he is getting what he needs to do okay in school. Let us know how things go.

Annette

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Bast
Joined Oct 14, 2008
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Posted:May 07, 2009 5:39:35 PM

The school wasn't able - with their assessment test - to diagnose him. We went to a Child Development Center. They gave him a Diagnosis of Aspergers at 2nd grade and then added ADHD in 3rd.

What does the aide do for him? I'd like to know. My husband is going to go to the school and observe through the classroom window.

Since the County School Special Education Department does not list ADHD as a Special Ed need, they are treating him like an Asperger child. Only problem is that he responds better when treated as an ADHD child. His 4th grade teacher had an ADHD son, so she treated him (and had the aid too.) as if he was ADHD. It was the best year for him.

It get's worse. We have an IEP meeting comming up and they sent me the draft IEP with their suggested changes based on an Aspergers observation form.

I asked, "What about the ADHD?" This is what I got back.

Quote:

Mrs. *****,

Quote:

ADHD is a medical diagnosis and is so closely related to Autism that he does not carry a secondary disability label for that. Attention concerns are able to be addressed in his IEP because of the close relation. You will note that a number of the Underlying Characteristics on the UCC-HF are related to attention because of this correlation. I think you will find that Kluge finds the information in the UCC-HF helpful.

Say what???????

I asked the school to test him for Dysgraphia and they said, "We don't want to add another label to him." So, I guess they plan to leave him at a 2/3rd grade spelling level and not help him advance in reading. What good is a word processor, when he's not idea how to begin to spell the words, and his guesses are not recognized by the spell checker???

Finally, the school just started teaching him cursive once a week and likes it better. Each time he has to take the pencil of the paper, he gets 'lost'. With cursive, the words are one flow.

We have an appointment at the Child Development Center next week to 1) discuss his continued impulsive actions and focusing problems, and 2) we'll be meeting with their OT department to discuss his poor handwriting and typing and see is there is a correlation between it and his poor spelling and reading.

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Mandi
Joined May 05, 2008
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Posted:May 07, 2009 8:34:01 PM

Not to butt in, but uhhh.... Autism and ADHD are quite different things, even if related (That is if you believe in ADHD as it is commonly viewed.) Truly they are. I wanna know what school district this is. Because i plan to have kids one of these days, and if i move back to the USA, your school district, no offense, is going to be added to my list of "school districts to be avoided."

On ADHD

November 10, 2008 read:

“For mental/psychiatric disorders in general, including depression, anxiety, schizophrenia and ADHD, there are no confirmatory gross, microscopic or chemical abnormalities that have been validated for objective physical diagnosis. Rather, diagnoses of possible mental conditions are described strictly in terms of patterns of symptoms that tend to cluster together.”
- Health Canada

The FDA concurred. Not only that they had nothing to add.

http://dictionary.cambridge.org/define.asp?key=49627&dict=CALD

Please inform your school that there is nothing medical about ADHD or it's diagnosis as it is not a measurment of anything actually physical as no physical evidence of an organic nature has yet been presented for it's existence and the definition of the word medical implies that something pertains to the *physical* needs or body. Or that it is an examination of the body. Where as in the case of an ADHD evaluation and diagnosis there is nothing medically relevant being measured or examined as there is nothing of a physical nature to measure and as it is solely a subjective diagnosis based on observed behaviors, subjective interpretations of said behaviors and the same variety of spectral evidence used during the Salem Witch Trials. Hardly medical according to the cambridge dictionary.

Ask them why you should continue sending your kid to a school that doesn't even know the definitions of the words it chooses to use when it is trying to give a parent and child the shaft. Tell them there are schools that specialize in your child's problems and if they are unable to meet the demands of giving your child a real education, that you will be forced to send him to such a private school where he can get what he needs and that the school district will ultimately be forced to pay for it. So they can either get on board with what you think is best, and they can actually educate themselves, and learn what the helvete they are doing and also get a grip on the differences between the various forms of psych and learning disorders, or you will be forced to pull your kid out for that private school.

Next order of business. I was a CIT at a couple summer camps as a teenager. Some of the the work stuff we had to do for that job was to get some very very very minor understanding of child development. At 4, a kid is supposed to be having excessively frequent melt downs. I am sure it was difficult for everyone involved and no one enjoys such things. And it really no fun for anyone. But, ummm Yeh the wiggly always moving bit too was in line with what the books i read on child development said to expect from someone at around that age. Next, Early middle school. Your child is going through this interesting thing called puberty. It sux for everyone, royally. Everyone gets weird at that time. Also, the way the brain develops again (from my reading on child development) impulsivity is common and to be expected. But, male children are beginning to develop their super male hormones (as i call them for simplicity) You might wanna have hormone levels checked because how those can react within a brain that is still developing can be rather extreme...

As for the meeting with the OT department, and looking into the correlation, not that i am any sort of an expert but uhhhm, i don't think you are wrong to be worried about that. That is worrisome. And if i were a parent i would be worried about it too if my child had such an issue.

Good luck and best wishes to your son. Cuz he needs them. It is rough being the parent of an LD child. It is even rougher being an LD child.

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annette10dance
Joined May 13, 2008
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Posted:May 08, 2009 9:44:50 AM

Our school gives each parent a copy of the "Parental Rights in Special Education" from the NJ Department of Education. Check your state website to obtain a copy of your rights. I will state what is listed in my copy.

What happens if I do not give consent for the proposed activity?
If you disagree with the proposed initial evaluation, re-evaluation or release of records and will NOT give consent, the school district cannot proceed. If the school district wants to proceed with any of these proposed activities, the school district must ask for a due process hearing to obtain consent from an administrative law judge. At the due process hearing, the AlJ will decide if your child can be evaluated, re-evaluated or if your childs records can be released without your consent.


Who is attending your IEP meeting? There should be a regular education teacher, special education teacher, child study team, case manager and counselor and/or speech, behavioral or occupational therapists.

Annette

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Bast
Joined Oct 14, 2008
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Posted:May 08, 2009 12:01:40 PM

Mandi, Annette,

Since the problem is at the County Level - it will have to be a County Battle. Currently, I'm in no physical or mental shape to do that. However, I plan to pass this information on to several doctors and counseling centers and see if, as a group, they can petition the County to make a change.

I do get the copy of my rights. I do make edits to the IEP before signing it. Only now, we need to go from "work on this" to "work on this in this specific way". I also have the problem of getting them to follow the IEP.

Mandi, I don't want to put my County on the web. Can I email you personally?

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Mandi
Joined May 05, 2008
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Posted:May 08, 2009 12:21:54 PM

Well good luck then. I will hope it all works out for the best.

Yes you can always email me. But you don't need to as the more i think about the american school system the more certain i am that if i am in the USA anyway, i will be homeschooling. I have a moral and ethical issue with the way schools "educate." And i don't want my kid growing up to tbe the best mediocre regurgitator of somewhat falty propagandist, information. I would rather have a kid that knows how to think and is able to do so for himself. American schools do not teach this. And there is just so much cruelty that is innately ingrained in the system... I wouldn't feel like a fit parent if i let such a system "educate" my child. But, to each their own.... We all know what is best for our own children or in this case hypothetical children.

But yes if there is any way i can help you, feel free to email any time.

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dhfl143
Joined Jan 25, 2008
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Posted:May 11, 2009 4:50:14 PM

Bast -

This article may be of interest to you:

http://uk.reuters.com/article/healthNewsMolt/idUKTRE53T61020090430

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Bast
Joined Oct 14, 2008
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Posted:May 12, 2009 8:48:36 AM

Yes - very helpful.

Please, anyone, send me articles.

I'm still searching for a few articles I had read, but forgot to bookmark.

You've no idea how long I've been looking for someone to discuss research and/or share research with.

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