Teaching Students with LD and ADHD

Reading - problem decoding - Weak symbol imagery /visual mem

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Joined: Nov 20, 2009
Posts: 1
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Posted Nov 20, 2009 at 10:05:04 AM
Subject: Reading - problem decoding - Weak symbol imagery /visual mem

Hi- I'm new to the group. I've a daughter who is 6yrs old and has a diagnosis of PDDNOS. She learned all the letters & numbers (1 thru 10) by herself before age 2. She knows the sounds of the letters, can auditorily blend the sounds to form a word when provided with an auditory input. For example, if I say the sounds c-a-t, she will blend and say the whole word 'cat'. She can also do complex blends with lk, st, ch and many more (with auditory support).

However, she can't seem to have the visual memory to read a word visually without any auditory cues. For example, if she is asked to read a word 'set', she will either label individual letters s-e-t or if I insist, she will sound out individual sounds and then blend it together to read the word 'set'. But she can't read directly by looking at the word without any phonic cues. When we went to a reading specialist, she told me that she has very weak symbol imagery and weak visual memory. The school tried to teach her 3 sight words for the whole of last year without any success.

What activities can be done to improve visual memory and symbol imagery? We tried Edmark for sight word recognition, which she failed miserably. I'm totally lost! I'm getting scared to the point as to whether she will read!

Please help! Your suggestions and advice are highly appreciated.

- A worried mom!

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Joined May 26, 2007
Posts: 28

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You might want to check out Cog Med. The web site is: www.cogmed.com
Unike the many, many software and other "fixes" for learning disabilies that you can find on the internet, there are several placebo controlled trials on this computer software program that is designed to increase working memory in children and adults. 80 % of children had improvement in working memory that persisted past 3 months after finishing the program. The most studied and evaluated program is for children. You should find out if they included children with PDD-NOS.
I went to the CHADD conference recently and spoke to a CogMed vendor. There is a staff person assigned to each child, who acts as a coach, with telephone contact.

I am a parent interested in helping my 19 yo dtr, newly dx with dyslexia and working memory problems, start and be successful in college.

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Joined Jun 12, 2009
Posts: 41

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Hi Tara,
I just wonder if she might have a very limited Peripheral Vision? So that she doesn't see the whole word as a single block? Though that would be extremely narrow, to not take in a 3 letter word like SET?
A simple test is to hold a finger in the air on both sides of her, and with her looking straight ahead, then slowly bring the fingers around in front of her. Asking her to tell you when she can first see them.

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