Parenting a Child with LD or ADHD

dyslexia- visual processing

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Joined: May 26, 2009
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Posted May 26, 2009 at 4:28:20 PM
Subject: dyslexia- visual processing

My 7 year-old has severe visual processing problems; dyslexia. No other LD. She scores above 80% on verbal comprehension and below 10% on reading. She has had an IEP in first grade this year and gets 5 hours a week in a resource room in a small group, but is making VERY slow progress and hates the reading/language arts part of school. She gets lots of praise and candy for sitting still and listening well- but that is not any problem for her. No matter what I tell her she thinks she is in the class because she is "dumb" and people are nice to her at school because she won't ever get better. She believes she will never learn to read.
What would you do- have you done? Any experience with Lindamood Bell, specific private schools in NYC/New Jersey suburbs or Los Angeles- San Fernando Valley area? Great public OR private schools in those areas? I fear that because she is smart and a good kid, she will always do "just well enough" to not send out an alarm and slip through the cracks. I want to take the steps to really help her ASAP. ANY input would help!

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Joined May 05, 2008
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Posted:May 27, 2009 4:24:19 AM

Many people seem to like Lindamood Bell. I however have no experience with it. I do have a great deal of experience with the orton gullingham method. And i can say it is what saved me back in the day when i was a dyslexic little girl 9 years old and unabole to spell my own first name.

Now i want you to do something very important. I want you to forget everything that you know as an adult. Every judgement you have made. All the experiences you have had. For a couple of minutes while you read this..... Try to look from a much younger pair of eyes than your own. A very smart pair of eyes that face alot of challenges. Because sometimes what adults say to children and how they treat them, though they have the best of intentions, in the eyes of the child it doesn't add up.So bear with me for a moment please....

Most of her friends do not go out for resource. She is one of the only ones, and when she gets back they ask her about it and are curious.Some might even tease her for it. She gets to resource and i don't know if you have seen the way they treat her there or not. But i have seen children severely coddled and grossly talked down to and horrendously treated as under acheivers. I have seen highschool kids with great verbal skills frequently spoken to like they are toddlers. I am not saying that is happening here. I am asking if you have seen how it all works and watched the interactions they are having with her in that resource room. Because most dyslexic people are highly intelligent. Excruciatingly bright actually. As a result, they see when they are being treated differently than others and they wonder why. So if these people in resource for example are condescending then she is probably taking this and feeling like a lower life form than her peers. In which case.... Crappy resource not worth it to send her in my opinion but i am not an expert.

Next thing about resource. It is a small group. Schools have a bad habbit of not ummm.... taking the intelligent but challenged kids for 1 resource and the severely and tragically brain damaged kids to another. There is a massive difference. So when she goes is chosen from her class maybe the only one to get removed to go to resource, she gets there and she is confronted by alot of kids with potentially far more serious learning and even hardcore developmental issues than her own... She assumes fairly so in a sense that she is there because she is like them. She isn't blind deaf or mute she is dyslexic. And schools need to realize that and they need to find a way to shelter kids like yours from getting lumped in with the far more extreme cases to preserve the child's belief in themselves. Just imagine what it must feel like for a moment to get lumped in with people who are really developmentally still extremely young quite possibly at your daughter's age and to quite possibly have these drill seargents talking down to you while they force you to do stuff you have no interest in doing. Ofcourse you feel stupid afteral to a child someone who has such large issues would simply be viewed as stupid so what can it mean then to be lumped into a small group with large issues of such a sort?

As foor candy and treats and rewards for doing what isn't hard for her... Nix that. It is a waste of good treats. She has to work for those. We all gotta earn our bread. Take her to work with you one day show her you work every day you don't like it, but because you do it you get treats at the end of the week or the month. Then she may feel a bit less stupid.... Giving her treats she hasn't earned doesn't build up good self esteem. Praise should come when it is earned not for doing what isn't hard for her.

I used to think i would never learn to read also. It was auful. So hard. You can't imagine what it is to be your child right now. Be glad you can't.

Find some form of assistive tequnique like Orton gullingham or maybe Lindamood bell though i am unfamiliar with that one. But that is only *1* piece of the puzzle. You may be able to force her to learn to read. But you can't force her to practice reading the amount that it takes to get good at it. And you can't force her to love or enjoy reading.Therefore, even if she can ultimately read, she may refuse to on the grounds that she hates it. And wait till the teenage years come then because then you really can't force her. She is too big.... Can i suggest something better than resource? Something that will probably make alot more difference *if* you get her a tutor who can use such a tequnique as Lindamood Bell or Orton Guillingham? Show her how much fun reading can be. My mother used to write on my dinner plate foofy 2 short word messages when i was just learning to read and having trouble. It was funny to see it written in food. She also liked to take me to museums to look at things and to zoos... The small little bits of texts next to the exhibits were less threatening than the big books full of words and as the exhibits interested me i wanted to know more and so me and my mum would read them together. Because of those early museum trips i now read and write in 6 languages i am fluent in reading writing music and i am an archaeologist focused on presentlyy studying ancient egypt, which means i also read and can write in egyptian hieratic script and hieroglyphs. Remember, i couldn't spell my own first name till i was 10. I have come a long way. And it is not an easy road to walk. And feeling stupid on that road should NEVER be a step along it. And it really breaks my heart that far too frequently it is.

Best of luck to you and to your daughter.

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Joined Jul 11, 2005
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Posted:May 27, 2009 8:49:02 AM

Have you considered visual therapy for the vision issues? This can be really helpful for children with difficulty in that area.

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 Jul 04, 2009
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Posted:Jul 04, 2009 11:27:58 AM

Too bad you don't live in NorCal.

I advise you to go to Slingerland.org This website will give you info. on a time-tested method to help dyslexics cope with their learning difference. It will also give symptoms of those likely to have the SLD.

If she has an IEP, insist that you see her file. She will have an IQ score posted. If her IQ is above 130, and she is reading below grade level, than she likely has dyslexia. She needs to be tested, but the rub is that the public schools do not treat dyslexia. WHY? Special educators are not trained in the Orton-Gillingham
method. Slingerland utilizes this method to help students learn to read who have dyslexia.

First, they are tested to find out their specific area of processing weakness (auditory, visual, or kinesthetic) and also IQ is tested, but that part may already be done as she has an IEP. Next, she is drilled on phonetic-sound relationships and decoding skills (almost missing in severe dyslexics) and they are quickly reading at or above grade level within a year. They key is this: an integration of visual, auditory, and kinesthetic motor. Students draw letters in the air, a chart, a board or paper while simultaneously naming the letter and its sound. Somehow this helps their brain form pathways to enable them to learn to read.

Dyslexics are right brained, spacial thinkers. Language aquisition is primarily a left brained activity. The O-G/Slingerland Method forces them to uses parts of the brain that enable them to learn how to read.

Please go to Slingerland.org for more information. I have just completed a 4 week intensive training in the method as it is proven to work and my husband's family has dyslexia throughout.

Good luck!!

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