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Gessell??


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Joined: Nov 03, 2005
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Posted Feb 18, 2002 at 5:09:55 PM
Subject: Gessell??

Hello,
I have a son in Kindergarten who is having difficulty remembering letter symbols and sounds. He also had a hard time learning what rhyming was. His fine motor is poor as is his pencil grip. Although he met all developmental milestones well before he needed to with fine motor, gross motor, and even language. He is a child who always did things "early" and well so this is our first experience with gross failure with him. He is a very smart child, said a 5 word sentence at 18 months of age and understands very complex vocabulary, even speaks in complex terms if the conversation dictates it. Anyway his teacher wants to do Developmental 1st grade for him next year. Dyslexia runs in the family so I want to make sure that that is not the issue here. In other words I don't want to delay any services in lieu of a developmental program. When I requested formal testing they said they felt it was developmental but would give him the Gessell on his birthday(March2). They said that if the results were "scattered" that would indicate a need for further testing. Is this a run around by school officials or does it seem logical? Thanks for your help.

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Anonymous
Joined Dec 18, 2014
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Posted:Feb 18, 2002 6:08:30 PM

My son had the same problems in kindergarten, and I ask all year, how is he doing, they said fine, that I was just comparing him to
his older sister. But low and behold, nine weeks before the end fo the kindergarten, they decided he's not ready for 1st grade, and wanted to put him in what they called transitonal first grade. I refused and had him tutored over the summer, he was still behind and then I had him tested for LD, he quailified. In my opinion, if I would have agreeded to their request, I would have lost one more year. In my opinion another year of what they just had is not going to solve the problem.

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Anonymous
Joined Dec 18, 2014
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Posted:Feb 18, 2002 6:40:47 PM

What is the Gessell? I have been in the schools 3 years and that one is not familiar to me. Has he had any testing done at all, like by an occupational therapists or speech therapist? It appears he has difficulty with something called phonemic awareness, something some speech therapists work with and some reading teachers. Most students wth dyslexia have poor phonemic awareness. It includes rythminig ability, sound-symbol correspodance, isolation ability (telling what sound is first, middle and last in a three sound word), blending (putting together syllables said separately and sounds aid separately into a word) and other things similar to that. Poor phonemic awareness can be developmental, but not usually. If dyslexia runs in the family it is highly likely that is what your son has or some of its symptoms anyway. Developmental 1st grade would only be appropriate if it would address the issues the right way, by using a multi-sensory approach, by giving extra emphasis to phonemic awareness and to sequecing skills. I would talk to the first grade teacher and see what it is about. But I don't think you are just dealing with a delay here. You may however, no be dealing with a problem but rather a child with a different way of learning. Going slower won't help that. DOing things differently will.Kathytoo wrote:
>
> My son had the same problems in kindergarten, and I ask all
> year, how is he doing, they said fine, that I was just
> comparing him to
> his older sister. But low and behold, nine weeks before the
> end fo the kindergarten, they decided he's not ready for 1st
> grade, and wanted to put him in what they called transitonal
> first grade. I refused and had him tutored over the summer,
> he was still behind and then I had him tested for LD, he
> quailified. In my opinion, if I would have agreeded to their
> request, I would have lost one more year. In my opinion
> another year of what they just had is not going to solve the
> problem.

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Anonymous
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Posted:Feb 18, 2002 6:52:25 PM

The Gessell is a Developmental assessment basically. I think it's full name is the Gessell Developmental Assessment. I taught 1st grade for 8 years, so I have seen children who develop/mature later and those who have speech related issues (those kids really stand out, especially with processing problems, whew!). I can't seem to pinpoint what is going on with him, but the teacher in me sees "gaps" . He learns everything so quickly and extensively except for number symbols and letter symbols. It is kind of scary. He has no problem with sequencing or retelling stories. He has been read to extensively since he was a toddler. He seems very frustrated that he can't break the code. He really tries. My biggest fear is that I will pitch a fit to get him tested and he will be normal.

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Anonymous
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Posted:Feb 18, 2002 6:54:50 PM

Oh sorry,
He hasn't had any formal testing done at all. His teacher says that his fine motor is not poor enough to qualify for OT. (His Pediatrition said he would prescribe some privately.) Yet he can't keep up because his pencil grip is not there.

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Anonymous
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Posted:Feb 19, 2002 12:29:09 AM

... that would be great... unless the test misses his problem. I bet the Gesell test hzs been around for a while, since Gesell wrote the books my mom relied on for trying to figure us out.

How about a phonemic awareness test? DIBELS? Those are tests specifically designed to predict reading problems. SOme kids can comprehend language perfectly well -- but they hear whole words, not the parts, so they don't translate the letters into the "meaningless" sounds.

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Anonymous
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Posted:Feb 19, 2002 3:01:20 AM

Thanks Sue,
I found the website and downloaded the test etc. My son has great difficulty breaking words apart. He looks at me like I'm crazy. It's like he sees the whole puzzle, but not the individual pieces. When he tries to figure out the puzzle as a whole he gets frustrated because he doesn't get it. I can't wait to see where his strengths and weaknesses lie with the DIBELS test. Thanks for the info.

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Anonymous
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Posted:Feb 19, 2002 8:07:30 AM

I would agree that in addition to the developmental testing, you need to formally request a speech language evaluation to specifically assess phonemic awareness. If he qualifies for S/L services then you can request a school OT eval as well and maybe that service can be tacked on to the S/L. His teacher is not qualified to assess his OT deficits. Often children will not qualify for LD reading until much later when the gap is wider between ability and achievement. If you get scatter in the S/L testing, that's how you can get him into services now. Dyslexia is mainly a language based LD, so it will ususally show up in the language scores before the reading. One more thing, if there is scatter in the scores (some high subtests and some low subtests), be sure they do not used a composite (combined) score to tell you he does not qualify. It is inappropriate to use composite scores when there is a lot of scatter.

Janis

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Anonymous
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Posted:Feb 19, 2002 9:30:47 AM

The laws exist to protect children and parents. Do not allow your child to be retained without a full evaluation as outlined by law. To do so could cost your child a year of his life.

Your childs teacher, however well meaning, has no right to tell you wont qualify for occupational therapy, unless she is also an occupational therapist or hold the credentials to give him the test, has secured your permmision in writeing to give him the test and has given and scored a qualifying test.

Insist on a full evaluation, after you recieve the results, and determine if a disability exists, Then it will be the correct time to eighter write up an individual education plan and deside on placement ( placement is the very last desicion to be made) or to make the decision to fail him.

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Anonymous
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Posted:Feb 19, 2002 9:53:34 AM

I think the Speech Language Eval. to assess Phonemic Awareness is a great idea. Why didn't I think of that? His teacher is wonderful and has been very helpful. She has a lot of experience and I have full confidence in her. (It's the system that I know all too well as a former teacher that keeps me a little wary.) I know she is not qualified to eval. for OT but she did tell me she has another little guy in her class who is currently receiving speech has much, much worse fine motor than my son and the OT evaluated him and said he wasn't "bad enough" to receive services. So, I think she is really being very truthful with me so I don't waste my time. If his doc prescribes it, then he qualifies for speech, maybe I will have more of a case at that point in time because he will be receiving "doctor prescribed" OT. I'll have to check my insurance to see what the limit on visits is. But, at any rate I can try to have them include it if there are some ponemic awareness/speech issues.

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Anonymous
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Posted:Feb 19, 2002 10:15:29 AM

I just had to respond -- my son had all the same problems you listed and a Feb. birthday.

It is very possible that he is dyslexic. If you use appropriate methods now, you'll never see the dyslexia. He just needs to be taught in a different way.

You can request in writing to the principle, that your son be tested. Be careful though. I had my son tested in 1st grade and he qualified for LD. His school, like most public schools out there, did not have LIPs, or an Orton Gillingham program. They didn't even have a program. In fact, they wouldn't accept the term dyslexia. He did not learn anything for two years. We're now two years behind in reading and he was identified early. My son suffered terribly with anxiety because of his inability to read. We're now homeschooling.

I'd go and visit the developmental 1st grade. See if their teaching hands-on multisensory.

I'd look into a speech and language evaluation. (www.mn-mason.org/language.html) There are Scottish-Rite clinics around the country and I don't believe they are expensive.

Check and see if your speech teacher is trained in LIPs (Lindamood Bell program). This would be a great program for your son with his inability to rhyme. See if its in your district.

I would try and remediate on your own. If your insurance covers OT, I'd have it done privately. If not, just do everything in writing -- to the principal. Request an OT evaluation.

There is also a program "Handwriting without Tears." (hwtears.com) You could use this at home. I've heard parents have had great success with this and its inexpensive.

Best of luck to you.

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Anonymous
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Posted:Feb 19, 2002 10:36:22 AM

If your insurance will cover some OT then that may be better than having him pulled out of class anyway. And if the problems are mild, hopefully that will take care of it! In my state, I don't think a child can be picked up for OT as the primary service, it has to be tacked on as a related service anyway. I would think if he qualifies for S/L and your doctor prescribes OT, you might stand a better chance of getting it at school (if necessary), as you suggest. Good luck!

Janis

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Anonymous
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Posted:Feb 19, 2002 10:46:01 AM
Subject:Re: OT

My son qualifies for OT but that just means 30 minutes a week. It isn't enough to accomplish anything!!!! I would go ahead and request the evluation but realize that you will probably have to supplement either way.

My son qualified as a preschooler with a disability because of his speech and language scores. There is a strong correlation between language based problems and problems reading. I would def. get the speech and language evaluation.

Beth

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Anonymous
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Posted:Feb 19, 2002 12:15:48 PM
Subject:Re: OT

Debbie,

I agree with the other posters who suggest phonological testing. Since there is a background of dyslexia in the family and your son sounds very bright it is highly likely he has a problem in this area.

Since you have a background in teaching I say take the bull by the horn and support your son by teaching him in this area yourself. A book you should take a look at is "Road to the Code: A Phonological Awareness Program for Young Children" by Blachman, Ball, Black. It is geared to the K-1 child. It is lesson by lesson and if you go to amazon.com you can even view the first 12 pages. Another program is Reading Reflex which is cheaper and parents have reported success with it.

Helen

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Anonymous
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Posted:Feb 19, 2002 1:59:33 PM

Eeeewwww I mean Phonemic. I hate spelling things wrong.

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Anonymous
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Posted:Feb 20, 2002 8:24:13 PM

... play with the sounds of words. Start with whatever is *fun* -- like rhyming everything in the world, starting words with a different sound -- reading a poem with every word starting with "d" or "sh"...
If you do a search online for "phonemic awareness games" you'll probably come up with some winners. Get those ears tuning in...

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