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Parenting a Child with LD or ADHD

i'm concerned(ie WORRIED), but don't know where to start...


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Joined: Nov 03, 2005
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Posted Mar 06, 2002 at 10:52:15 AM
Subject: i'm concerned(ie WORRIED), but don't know where to start...

I am a single mother of a very bright and expressive 5 year old , but you wouldn't be able to tell it by her report card. I have been wondering if she might have a learning disability but no one in the school system shares this concern. I don't know where to start but i do know that I cannot take another day of seeing her struggle and cry through attempting to finish her reading homework. She tries sooooo hard that it hurts to see it, and oftentimes she'll end up in bed with a headache.
I've had her eyes tested, but the doctor says her vision is 20/20 and there is no 'physical' impairment in her vision. But it isn't normal for a child to get a headache from looking at letters.
I'm so worried for her education, but I don't know where to start. We live in a small country community and I don't want her labelled , but I need help.
I don't want her to start 'hating' school. But I do want her to be able to learn.

Does anyone have ANY suggestions of what I should do or where I can look for help?

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Anonymous
Joined Aug 21, 2014
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Posted:Mar 06, 2002 11:45:15 AM

When your daughter reads outloud to you, what do you hear? How does she read?

If you want to do some informal observation of your daughter's reading, give her a very easy book. As easy as you can find. Ask her to read a page or two, silently or outloud. Ask her some questions about what she's read. Does she grasp what she's reading?

Point to some words as you go through a day. What kind of words is she able to recognize?

It may be that her reading homework is too hard for her. Does her class have reading groups? Some children are in the wrong reading group and the group is moving too fast.

It may also be that she needs a different kind of reading instruction or some one on one work to improve her reading skills. In the meantime, don't feel guilty if you want to read her reading homework outloud to her. I agree with you. The most important thing is that she not start hating school and reading outloud to her for a while may give her a break from her tears and headaches.

Good luck.

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Anonymous
Joined Aug 21, 2014
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Posted:Mar 06, 2002 12:36:50 PM

I would suggest that you get her an appt. with a developmental optometrist. They're not the same as regular eye doctors. A typical eye doctor won't check for the same sorts of problems as a developmental optometrist. She might have tracking problems or tunnel vision, etc. that a standard eye exam won't discover. These sorts of problems are rectified by special glasses and vision therapy. It's really worth it.

If I had it to do all over again, I'd have taken my son to a developmental optometrist when he was your daughter's age. He went through many years of school before anyone figured out what his problem was. We just didn't know about it back then.

I think nobody will say anything to you about learning disabilities because your daughter is just 5. They figure there's a wide range of normal at that age. To a certain degree that's true. But it's also true that the sooner a child with a problem gets help, the easier it is to for the child to improve. So it's really good that you're on top of this.

Another consideration might be from the sensory integration point of view. Maybe it's tiring for her body to have to sit and do this work. I remember my son crying at 5 about how his head and neck hurt when he had to write anything. At the time I just couldn't understand it. I now know he probably had SI issues.

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Anonymous
Joined Aug 21, 2014
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Is your daughter in kgarten? Does she know the sound/symbols for reading? I ask because my own son at 5 did not know all these sounds until partway through 1st grade. He would cry, resist, fall out of the chair, anything to get out of even looking at words. I didn't understand for the longest time because he was so bright. He was never dxed with an ld although I asked about it plenty, they wouldn't test him at school until the 2nd grade(he was in his 3rd school by 2nd gr.) he was dxed add/inattentive in 1st grade and put on ritalin which made an immediate difference in his schoolwork and his ability to sit and work with me during homework time. At the time I also only thought add was for hyper kids, my son was always a quiet,calm,shy kid, so I was a bit skeptical at first about the medicine until I saw his grades jump up in just 2 days.

He was tested in 2nd and 4th grades and although no ld was ever found, his add was a definite factor in his school problems.

Definitely rule out any vision, hearing problems first, perhaps see a developmental pediatrican if you can. Also trust your gut instincts, mom really does know best. I am pretty sure others will chime in with some more specifics.

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Anonymous
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Posted:Mar 06, 2002 1:33:28 PM

I knew my son was dyslexic, but a developmental pediatrician tested him at age 4 and age 5 and said there was nothing to be concerned about.

Turns out she was an incompetent. My son (now 15) is severely dyslexic with serious auditory processing issues.

I got a late start on phonemic remediation..."Reading Reflex" by McGuiness is a good resource book in addition to Lindamood Bell thereapies and many others ...my younger dyslexic son liked "Letterland" phonemic learning materials.

For my older son, I wsh I had known he was dyslexic, what it meant and how to help him before he suffered as much as he did. Now, he has esteem issues arising from his learning issues that were not treated early enough.

Request testing in the areas of suspected disability would be my first suggestion. Best regards.

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Anonymous
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Posted:Mar 06, 2002 2:39:16 PM

My older daughter fit this profile exactly. We tested her privately, and nothing turned up except a blanket ADD dx which was bogus. If it had not been for the optometrist our family has used to buy glasses from for years, we would not have solved her puzzle. It turns out my daughter had convergence insufficiency and tracking problems...problems which are not checked at nearpoint during a traditional eyesight test at an opthalmologist's office. My daughter could not sustain focus for extended periods of time, which resulted in her avoidance of all tasks involving reading, writing, and drawing. She complained of headaches, tired eyes, would look away from the page, couldn't even read through simple books like Berenstain Bears or Cat in the Hat. Our optometrist, who turned out to be a developmental optometrist by a wild stroke of luck, was able to address her issues through a course of vision therapy....exercises that supported and developed her tracking, convergence, and hand/eye coordination.

5 years ago I compiled a long list of links that educate about vision therapy and learning. Sue Jones obligingly added them to her wonderful website. I no longer have this list since we replaced the computer, but I wonder if anyone here remembers or still has that list?

Do as full a set of evals as you possibly can, but also get a learning-related vision exam in addition to an OT eval. They are two sides of the same coin. What with the headaches, you might also want to rule out any scary neurological issues....request a neuropsych eval from your district.

Jenny

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Anonymous
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Posted:Mar 06, 2002 7:00:01 PM
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Anonymous
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Posted:Mar 06, 2002 10:12:32 PM

Someone may have already asked this, but has she learned all the letter sounds well? My child gets tired and frustrated with reading but it is the auditory problem that keeps her from learning the sounds well (partly because her curriculum goes too fast). Stress can cause headaches. It does not have to be visual.

This is a general statement and not directed to anyone in particular, but I sometimes wonder why we rush children so much today. We did not even have kindergarten in public school when I was a child, and we began learning to read in first grade. I just think that half the time, we are just pushing kids to read before they are developmentally ready. I just don't think all five year olds are ready.

Janis

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Anonymous
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Posted:Mar 06, 2002 10:45:23 PM

I strongly believe in a mother's intuition and wished I had trusted my own. If Christa is concerned, she should follow her gut feelings. The earlier a child is diagnosed, the faster she can get back on track. We now know from research on the brain that we can make substantial progress if we remediate early. This could save her from the feelings of failure and lack of confidence that many of our children suffer from. I still feel the guilt of dragging my child to school kicking and screaming, not knowing it was the constant failure that was causing this reaction.

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Anonymous
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Posted:Mar 06, 2002 11:15:24 PM

Gee, I didn't say not to have her tested. I just asked if she had learned the phonics well yet. It may be something besides a visual problem was my point, but rarely will a school identify a kindergartener with LD. So her best bet would be to go to a private clinic for dyslexia (like a Scottish Rite Clinic or university reading clinic) and have the child evaluated there. They could sort out if it is an auditory, visual, or other disorder, or just developmental. They could then refer her to the proper specialist if needed.

I had my own child's language tested at 3 and auditory processing the month she turned 6 (they don't like to do it much earlier than that). I'm all for early identification...but I strongly prefer outside testing as the school testing is pretty superficial.

Janis

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Posted:Mar 07, 2002 12:14:53 AM

I strongly agree with you, Janis, both on the fact that some kids without any learning issues just aren't ready for the reading work at five and also about getting testing done privately. It's not contradictory to believe both.

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Anonymous
Joined Aug 21, 2014
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I understand how you feel. Maybe you should have her eyes checked to see if there are any visual problems. Also, try to select topics that are of special interest to her.\


Linda

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Anonymous
Joined Aug 21, 2014
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Your daughter may need to do some work with her phonetic skills to build her ability to sound out words. Phonetic skills are a primary building block for reading which extends into all areas of academics. Putting your daughter through a full battery of testing is an option. The results will give you a cognitive or IQ score which will tell you where she falls onto the bell curve in relation to other children her age. The IQ score also indicates her potential or capability. You will also get achievement scores in age appropriate areas. The comparison of the IQ score to each achievement score is where you get the discrepancy score. Federal guidelines for my school district require a discrepancy of -22 or greater to qualify for special education or as having a learning disability in that area. A learning disability is not a bad thing. It just means her mind works differently from most kids. For example, if reading is a difficult task for her special education may offer her another way or teach her another way to learn to read. It basically teaches compensation skills.

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