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Parenting a Child with LD or ADHD

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Anonymous
Joined Dec 18, 2014
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Posted:Mar 11, 2002 8:26:08 PM

My point is that our kids are not doing any better even with all the testing, labels and IEPS. I believe that if our society provided differently, there would be fewer kids labeled because they could learn . Note I said fewer kids, not that there wouldn't be any learning disabilities. My view is that there are many that if they got the right start may not have troubles later.

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Anonymous
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Posted:Mar 11, 2002 8:32:07 PM

I am afraid what is going to happen as more testing becomes mandated. There is a lot of pressure put on schools and teachers now to achieve. Let's spend all that money on teacher training and updating programs in the classrooms instead.

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Anonymous
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Posted:Mar 12, 2002 6:04:36 AM

agree, agree,agree!!!! What is the point of my 5th grader knowing what an expectorant is when he hasn't passed a required reading comprehension test yet? Reading, reading, reading, math,math,math. You hit it right on.

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Anonymous
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Posted:Mar 12, 2002 6:07:07 AM

My 5th grader learned expectorant and others like analgesic in health class. Won't do him much good for another 8 yrs, since I won't be letting him buy any of that stuff himself til he's an adult!

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Anonymous
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Posted:Mar 12, 2002 9:30:14 AM

After a long IEP meeting yesterday where LD was thoroughly explained to a mother, I have some thoughts that are tangentially related.

When I work with my students who have, often, rapid naming deficits (slow processing, word finding, results in very slow reading), sequential processing deficits (perhaps auditory and/or visual, results in struggle to read sequentially across a word and match output with input), working memory deficits (significant difficulty holding information in memory while working on next step, very obvious in decoding multisyllabic words, middle syllable(s) get dropped), and other phonological issues.............I marvel at the folks on the reading board who tout Phonographs as the cure-all. Just buy this easy to use program and in a matter of hours your child will read!!

That may be great if the child has relatively mimimal issues, perhaps a simple and not earthshattering phonological deficit. However, when several issues pop up, the child is LD and teaching the child to read WELL at grade level may be a daunting task, because there are so very many issues to be remediated. The child may very well decode pretty well, but will be very slow and may still suffer significantly with decoding multisyllabic words. This is the child who CAN, under your guidance, correctly chunk and sound a word, but who cannot arrive at the pronunciation due to one or more of the LDs.

Do I think the magic bullet is good early instruction? My school has been doing very strong early instruction for some years now, more than 5. We have an early intervention program through Title I and a capable reading specialist. We do phonological processing drills out the wazoo and provide extra tutoring to the lower functioning students. I do get fewer referrals, yes, however the ones I do get, when they qualify, have several issues, believe me. Believe me, they are LD. Good early intervention did help them, I know it, but the deficits in processing still impact the child.

And lastly, given the intensity of instruction that is needed to teach this child skills that other children learn with comparative ease, given the highly structured and sequenced direct instruction necessary to teach these skills and the daily review to keep them learned, plus the requirements that the child have PE, social studies and science.........even with great resource room instruction within the school day, there frequently is not enough time available to address all the issues and to the extent that both parents and we would like to. Therefore, even in good resource programs, we do not successfully catch up every child to competency at grade level in reading and written language. They make progress. When i read posts from parents who simply state that they expect that goals will be written to catch their child up in 1 year, 2 years or 3 years, this may or may not happen........it depends upon the severity of the processing deficits. Even in LiPs, some students require much more instruction than do others. There is NOT a rule of thumb that applies to all LD children.

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Anonymous
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Posted:Mar 12, 2002 10:10:00 AM

With or without a "label" per se, the early intervention requires differentiating between the students who teach themselves to read at age four and the students who don't "think in words." I agree -- the trend to just cramming the advanced stuff further down the developmental chain only serves to get the kids *failing* earlier if they're not ready for it. "New Math" did a good job of that -- only the kids who were already "thinking in math" caught on, went ahead, and the poor normal souls were left thinking they were mathematically incompetent. Trying to impose adult thinking on the kid's mind is a big mistake.

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Anonymous
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Posted:Mar 12, 2002 11:00:47 AM

You are absoultely right. I believe we are forcing the academic learning way too early. We should be concentrating on the perceptual developments. I think schools go with pushing the academics early so that students are prepared for their first round of standardized testing. It is a shame. The kids who aren't really ready suffer and begin showing signs of stress and anxiety towards school as early as Kindergarten (I know mine did). Maybe the schools should slow down and really take a look at where kids are lacking. Get back to the basics. In my son's 1st grade class there are 8 children who need "outside tutoring" to keep up. Something is wrong here.

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Anonymous
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Posted:Mar 12, 2002 11:20:30 AM

You have hit the nail on the head!

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Anonymous
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Posted:Mar 12, 2002 1:14:11 PM

I guess one of the things I think of to help is to make the extra classes (art, music, etc) a part of the reading and math lessons instead of 'now we must have an hour of art in a different room with a different teacher'. Why can't these other classes be made a part of the reading and math learning? Ya, know with the hands on, active, music learning(I think also known as multisensory) I understand that there are always going to be kids with multiple difficulties, I think most of us would like the teachers of kgarten and 1st to be the ones who can help identify them early if they aren't already identified, especially when we parents are asking questions that early. 4th grade is a terrible time to be playing catch up especially if the ld isn't so complicated. I don't poo poo the complicated ld kids, I think it would help them the most to be identified early. I know the teachers currently working are for the most part not trained regularly in college for this kind of evaluating, perhaps this is something that should be regularly done by the school personnel in conjunction with the teachers as a routine. I am not a teacher, I know there is a lot of stuff y'all do on top of teaching our little darlings. Maybe what I am suggesting isn't feasible, I just figured we were kind of brainstorming here.

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Anonymous
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Posted:Mar 12, 2002 2:36:15 PM

Early identification should be the goal as all studies show that students who are identified later have poorer outcomes in remediation. Better (and earlier) screening, more work on phonics, and a willingness by schools to give extra help as soon as kids appear to be struggling, will help kids with milder learning issues. My school system does most of the above.

But I agree that kids with more severe LD issues will always need special help and that's what special ed is supposed to provide. Often that help, as others have commented, is too little and not systematic enough to help these kids progress as they should.

I saw some horrible statistics recently that only 2% of LD kids go on to and successfully graduate from 4 year colleges. I hope my son will be in that 2% but right now, sadly, I wouldn't want to bet on it. And my son was identified early, has good classroom and resource room support, a high IQ and strong support from home. Think about the prognosis for kids who don't have all that.

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Anonymous
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Posted:Mar 12, 2002 3:09:13 PM

I would not mind learning what students would need from me as a teacher, but I do not think it should be at my expense. Most teachers have to pay for their own education, and as a regular ed. teacher I feel it should be the responsiblility of the school system to pay for extra education.

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Anonymous
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Posted:Mar 12, 2002 3:23:59 PM

Well, my thoughts are that your idea has merit, however in the day-to-day world of school there are many drawbacks. First of all, we don't have art and music here, they are long gone to budget cuts and PE is mandated by law. I don't teach PE, nor do I plan to. So, for my program, this won't happen at this time. I don't regret it and we have standards across subject areas we are responsible for. A private LD school can forego formal science and social studies class and they can make almost the whole day (with breaks) language arts and math. We really can't yet do that, so we cannot really compete with private LD schools.

When you are teaching a carefully controlled and sequenced program, it can be really hard to teach it in art or music. At best you can integrate print.

There may be greater possibilities for this degree of integration in a self-contained special ed. classroom, however.

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Anonymous
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Posted:Mar 12, 2002 3:43:01 PM

I certainly agree with that.

Even while I do, though, I recognize the family can't be mandated to provide differently for children. You can't legislate values and a commitment to education. You can legislate the existence of preschools. You can legislate them and pay for them with federal funds and offer them to families.

We might both agree that would be a good thing to do for the sake of the children and their families and our society.

I'd rather see money directed to that initiative than to 'save our schools' as they are now. More of the same is not going to work.

You started a great discussion. Thanks for taking the time and the risk to do so.

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Anonymous
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Posted:Mar 12, 2002 5:05:38 PM

I've enjoyed this discussion too. Sharing with each other is one of the best ways that I learn.

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Anonymous
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Posted:Mar 12, 2002 8:20:17 PM

First, I want to say what a relief it is to hear that our school system isn't the ONLY one represented on these board that is doing a half decent job of early intervention and special education.

Second, I agree with your comments that early intervention is key in remediating problems to the extent that this is possible, and that some kids will require special education anyway.

But I'd like to play devil's sdvocate on the LD-college issue. I think that LD kids should have the right to go to college and be prepared to go to college IF THEY CHOOSE. But I don't think that LD = "Life Disabled". I think there are lots of people for whom school is not the best learning environment. I think there are lots of small business owners (and some very large business owners... look at Bill Gates) who don't function at their best in an academic environment.

For some people, I think the old Simon and Garfunkle song is still apt... "My life of education never hurt me none."<g>

I'd be more interested to see statistics on whether former SPED kids are happy with their adult lives and gainfully employed than whether or not they have a degree from a 4 year college. I don't, and I had a successful career in the banking world, and now am a free lance writer and a full time mother. I feel that I've been successful in all three careers.

School isn't everything, even though it sometimes feels like it when our kids are going through it!<g>

Karen

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Anonymous
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Posted:Mar 13, 2002 7:25:36 AM

I am really confused!! I thought that children with LD's had LD's because their brains grew differently. That is how it was explained to my family.

I come from a family where my mom, two brothers and sister are learning disabled. My Mom always thought that the reason I have never shown any signs of disability is because I was in a private preschool and kindergarten. I learned how to read by 3 1/2 and I was always well above grade level. I remember having to go to special reading groups so that I could read older material. Until I started learning about disabilities did I realize that I probably do have disability. I guess I got the necessary tools to work with it and back then I don't remember LD's being diagnosed. They just told your parents you needed extra help.

I placed my son in private preschool and now he is in private kindergarten. We are very lucky that we can afford it. My husbands family told him that he was crazy for allowing me to place my son in such an expensive school BUT it has been the best thing in the world. The K teacher recognized early on that he was having trouble and requested an eval for him.

I understand public school is a totally different, beleive me I know. My brother has been in services with the school district since age 3. They misdiagnosed him until he was 12 and I took his test to someone to have them independently evaluated. The school refuses to follow his IEP. The teacher say they are too busy. Even the special ed aide in the room isn't helping. I understand that they have 30 students all with different degrees of learning. Unfortunately I think that most of the things we ask the teacher to do, extra spacing between tests, keeping his desk free of distractions, etc, are not things that all students couldn't benefit from. I am frustrated by teachers who seem to be annoyed when they have to teach out side of the box.

I guess I have begun to ramble. This whole group of posts has gotten me really confused. What was the original point, I forget!! I think that a preschool program would help. I think that maybe many years ago there was no name for why some children learned differently. I don't know I am confused. My own son is being eval. this morning at thelocal elem school so my brain is not focused!!

Thanks
Dawn

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Anonymous
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Posted:Mar 13, 2002 9:53:29 AM

I am not sure why you are confused, sorry. I read a suggestion by someone that we teach our academics in art and music. Well, for starters we don't even have those classes in our state, for the most part. For another, when there are art classes and music classes, those teachers have a curriculum and all children have a right to THAT curriculum, not things turned around so that it can become a medium for teaching reading and math. Also, while one can incorportate some aspects of art or music in a LD program, this is a limited amount. You could make 3D letters with young children who are learning letters. OK, so we cannot only make 3D letters and we cannot do that forever. We can possibly create and teach some singsong jingles to aide in the memory of math facts (there are tapes for sale with facts to music already) or language arts skills. Ok, but again this is not the range of experiences children should have in music and will only go so far. finally, most of our students are mainstreamed most of the day into regular ed. So, in places where they do go to art or music, it is reasonable for that teacher to teach her or his curriculum in that subject to the whole class. Meantime, the resource teacher is busy in her program teaching other students who are not in specials at that time period.

I can see that idea working better in a self-contained special ed. class where one person has control over the curriculum and day. In that case, I say, "Go for it!"

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Anonymous
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Posted:Mar 13, 2002 11:12:51 AM


In our state, WA, we are starting this high stakes testing.

On top of that we have these 'essential learning' goals.

The upshot of these 'els' are that they have plopped reading
and writing into EVERYTHING!.

Two examples - art, instead of just enjoying making art, the
kids have to keep an art journal and do written reports.

Math - constant writing explaining math facts.Doing a
huge math project using math vocab.

While these may all benefit what my good friend calls
'neuro-typical' children, it is very hard on LD kids.

My son is two or three grades ahead in math, something
he is very proud of, but now he is under the same old stress
that his reading & writing disability brings him. Math should
have been a 'safe' zone for him. That is gone now.

Same with art. My son, like many dyslexics, does really well
in art. But art class now brings the stress of reading and writing
again.

I really *hate* this. It is so wrong. But we are stuck with this
new high stakes testing and all the teaching for the test that
comes along with it. People are unhappy but I doubt it will
change until my son is through school.

Anne

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Anonymous
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Posted:Mar 13, 2002 12:46:35 PM

I agree. I too despair over everything becoming reading and writing. I was just going over some sample problems for Florida's version of high stakes testing with my son. He is supposed not only solve the problems (which require reading) but also explain his logic in writing. He had a fit and said he hates to write.

Beth

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Anonymous
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Posted:Mar 13, 2002 2:19:47 PM


>>He is supposed not only solve the problems (which require reading) but also explain his logic in writing. He had a fit and said he hates to write. <<

We have our IEP before the 7th grade test (given here 4th, 7th and 10th grade).

In our state your IEP has to state ALL the accommodations before hand.
So if you come up to the test and have not planned for it, you're toast.

The SE staff is supposed to make plans for accommodations for the test.

My son could have a reader and a scribe for everything except the reading
comprehension portion.

At least that is what they say ;-)
at this time....

We all know we need to be on top of things and make sure it actually
happens (as so many things in his IEP don't happen without firm and
cheerful nagging).

My son's class is the first group of kids that will be held to the high stakes
test in 10th grade. The whole thing is still fluid and I don't think they have
any firm plan for LD kids. They NEVER communicate anything about it
to you, you have to ask. I missed this year's meeting because my son needed
help with that night's homework. Always a Catch 22.
Personally I'm hoping for another delay, bar that I'm
hoping for lots and lots of lawsuits....

Anne

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