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Parenting a Child with LD or ADHD

Copying from the board


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Joined: Sep 25, 2003
Posts: 5
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Posted Sep 25, 2003 at 12:01:42 PM
Subject: Copying from the board

My son is now in 6th grade. His main LD is in writing/spelling. Currently, he cannot legibly copy his homework assignments from the board to his assignment book. Each night when I look at it, I have no idea what it says. Sometimes he remembers the assignment, and other times he doesn't. His classes haven't really gotton into note taking from the board, but I know in the fuuture this will be a big problem. Does anybody have ideas why this is happening now, what it means and how to correct it? I would welcome any and all help. Thanks

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Anonymous
Joined Sep 22, 2014
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Posted:Sep 25, 2003 12:40:25 PM

My 4th grade son had this problem. It is most likely related to a problem that is called accomodation. He couldn't shift his focus from near to far easily.
We did exercises through vision therapy that have helped. He can now copy his homework without a problem but longer passages remain somewhat difficult. It helps to have him in the front of the room where the distance from near to far is not as great.


We continue to work on this. The exercises that require he look near far quickly made him weak in the knees and nauseous. He can do them now but they are still not easy. Those exercises helped me understand the problems he was having. The poor kid was really struggling with something most find easy.

I am sure that many will just tell you to have the teacher give him copies of the notes which is always an option for a child on an IEP. My son isn't on an IEP thanks in part to vision therapy. He would rather not be singled out as receiving any special help so he is willing to work to overcome his deficits.

Hope all is well with everyone.

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Anonymous
Joined Sep 22, 2014
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Posted:Sep 25, 2003 12:48:16 PM

Is this a new problem? Has he been able to copy from the board in the past? Does he have problems with handwriting? Lots of dysgraphic children have trouble copying from the board because they are so focused on remembering how to form letters that they can't remember what they are copying. You could try a simple PDA with an attached keyboard so that he could type the assignments. This works for taking notes too and the scheduling software that comes with PDAs is good for helping with organization.

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bamamom
Joined Sep 25, 2003
Posts: 22

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Posted:Sep 25, 2003 11:31:48 PM

Hi All,
My son is Adhd. he was recently diagnosed with a visual motor dysfunction. It is a learning disability. He has been tested twice. The most recent test was the WISC III. He scored very low in coding. This means that he has a hard time processing information from pencil to paper. His worst subjects are Languge/Spelling and Reading. He does fine in everything else. His spelling and handwriting were, and still can be at times, pitiful. :? His therapy seems to be helping so much. He used to have no self confidence in school. We have come a long way, but we also have a long road ahead. Life feels so much easier when there is hope. My advice is to have him tested if you havent already. Best of luck to you and your son.

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Andy
Joined Jun 15, 2003
Posts: 30

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Posted:Sep 26, 2003 9:17:36 AM

Our son had very similar problems, still does. Eventually what happens is one's memory improves to the point where they can read, retain the information and then write what they remember. Early on, it seems that there is too much going on, and after looking at the board, then looking away and focusing on writing, they tend to forget what they read. He certainly is not alone with this dilema.

Does yours have an IEP? If so, request a meeting and have a modification written in that has him take what he has written to the teacher to be initialed off as correct; and if it is illegible or incorrect, maybe the teacher can write a quick note confirming what the assignment is. If the teacher is too busy to handle this there are other options.

Other possible modifications are to have a tape recorder that he speaks into after reading it off the board, and then play the tape back when he gets home to retrieve the assignment.

Explore as many optioins as you need to to help him get past this hurdle.

Good luck.

Andy

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llp479
Joined Sep 17, 2003
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Posted:Sep 26, 2003 10:08:17 AM

My daughter is in 4th grade and has dysgraphia. We too had the same problem with the assignment notebook. I contacted her teacher the first week of school. She came up with the idea of e-mailing me the homework at the end of each school day. It's "our little secret." That way my dd still has the responsibility of writing down the work, but if I can't read it and she doesn't remember, I can refer to the e-mail to make sure we don't miss something.

As for taking notes in class, I would ask your son's "team" what their plans are to accomodate this. We've already begun talking about possible solutions. In one respect we're lucky, because our dd is a twin, and one solution may be for them to be in class together so she can get notes from her sister.

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Shel
Joined Jun 13, 2003
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Posted:Sep 26, 2003 11:48:01 AM

My son is in seventh grade and has the same trouble with coping from the board. Previously he was just given overheads to copy from. Especially when they are covering the material for the first time. So, he can just listen and copy the notes later. It will get better with time. We all do with practice. Be patient.

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Anonymous
Joined Sep 22, 2014
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Posted:Sep 26, 2003 2:14:45 PM

Quote "Linda F.":


I am sure that many will just tell you to have the teacher give him copies of the notes which is always an option for a child on an IEP. My son isn't on an IEP thanks in part to vision therapy. He would rather not be singled out as receiving any special help so he is willing to work to overcome his deficits.

Quote "Linda F.":

Hope all is well with everyone.

Maybe I'm reading this the wrong way, but are you saying that children on IEPs aren't willing to work to overcome their deficits? You know, no matter how hard some children work they still have deficits that interfere with doing schoolwork. This happens even where remediation has been done the right way. Most LD doesn't get cured or go away no matter what you do. For sure it can get better or get worked around but a child might still need support in school from an IEP.

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Anonymous
Joined Sep 22, 2014
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Posted:Sep 26, 2003 4:20:39 PM

If you have read Linda F.'s posts, you would know that she most certainly would not post a generalized put-down -- though I hesitate to speak for her, I would say 'YES, you are reading her wrong!'

In some systems, (LIKE MINE!) an IEP for SOME children can be nothing but a ticket to the land of further and further behind...then, like my LD cousin, you hit HS and your scores are so bad (nope, he's not GIFTED LD, he's just NORMAL LD!) they tell your parents that you are just not very bright and they need to realign their expectations...and you graduate with a 'SPED" diploma, but with no options cuz you are not gifted enough to travel the world of work without literacy skills, but not LD enough to get sheltered employment...so you end up in a menial low paid job far below your NORMAL capabilities.

And no, that is not the END of the story...but if your child were risking this, would you take a chance?

Linda made a decision for her child, based on the available options. It happens that I had to make the same one -- NO IEP -- because I felt it best for my child. He has several buddies who are doing FINE on an IEP -- but in a different school, and with far different profiles.

Linda then posted what you quoted in order to HELP another child who might be similar to hers, as mine is, in a system that might be similar to hers, as mine is...she was in NO WAY trying to put down other LD children!

Linda F., forgive me for speaking for you -- but you have helped me so much with your posts, I could not keep quiet...!

Please, Guest -- don't try to read antagonism into helpful posts that give viewpoints different than yours. That will KILL this forum -- and I still have 7 years of school to navigate with my NON-IEP'D dyslexic/dysgraphic son!

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Anonymous
Joined Sep 22, 2014
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Posted:Sep 26, 2003 4:56:56 PM

Quote "Elizabeth TO":

Quote "Elizabeth TO":

Please, Guest -- don't try to read antagonism into helpful posts that give viewpoints different than yours. That will KILL this forum -- and I still have 7 years of school to navigate with my NON-IEP'D dyslexic/dysgraphic son!

Not really a question about different viewpoints. It was asking whether LindaF was saying that kids have IEPs because they arent willing to work to fix their LD. I know in some places special ed is like the scarlet letter and means the child is viewed as lesser. Nothing wrong with keeping your child out of that kind of system and getting help on yr own, but it doesn't mean the ones with IEPS could get rid of them if they worked harder.

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Anonymous
Joined Sep 22, 2014
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Posted:Sep 27, 2003 6:30:43 AM

Quote:

I still have 7 years of school to navigate with my NON-IEP'D dyslexic/dysgraphic son!

Elizabeth, why do you choose not to have an IEP? What is the advantage?

Guest, why do you say SPED is a "scarlet letter"? I too do not like the classification, but is it better for your kid to fail?

I'm very confused. The public school wants my son on an IEP (He qualified under speech & Language), but what is the point? I do want to get speech & Language services by an SLP and it seems the only way...

Almost nobody seems satisifed with the special education in public schools.

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Anonymous
Joined Sep 22, 2014
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Posted:Sep 27, 2003 8:37:16 AM

There are several reasons why a child has trouble copying notes from the board. If he has trouble with spelling, he'd have to copy those notes letter by letter to get them straight. If he has any dysgraphia, he'd write those notes very slowly. For some children looking up at the board and then down at their paper on which they're writing is a confusing visual task they can't quite do. In any case, for any of the above problems, copying notes from the board - even just homework- requires LOTS of time, focus and patience. Not every child by any means has that kind of focus and not every teacher gives their class LOTS of time to copy the homework. Some teachers in my school wait until the bell rings and then quick say, "Before you leave for your next class, copy down the homework".

My school now has a website where homework is supposed to be posted every day by every teacher and parents and students can log on to that website at night to see their homework. some teachers in my school will e-mail parents what their child's nightly work is. sometimes we establish 'homework buddies' - i.e. another student that may be called at night to ask about homework.

I'd brainstorm with his teacher as to what's done in a case like your son's. If he were in my class, I'd have a daily sheet with him homework on it than I could fax home to you but not every school is doing that yet.

Good luck.

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Anonymous
Joined Sep 22, 2014
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Posted:Sep 27, 2003 11:48:25 AM

Elizabeth,
I love you and I don't even know you! Strange world we live in on the net.

I didn't mean it as a put down, of course. I am not saying that you should or shouldn't put your child on an IEP. My son was on an IEP and it just didn't work for him.

I do think that IEP or not you should work to try to go through rather than around the deficits as much as possible. My experience with the school was that they were more interested in going around. I did feel like they kind of wrote him off as a child who couldn't do certain things and that perhaps I was in denial about that.

My son would absolutely not have it. He is still a little dysgraphic despite a lot of therapy. He won't even let me ask the teacher to allow him to use mechanical pencils. He wants nothing different.

He really isn't struggling and is quite happy in class. His writing is pretty good but just better with the mech pencils.

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Anonymous
Joined Sep 22, 2014
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Posted:Sep 27, 2003 9:20:14 PM
Subject:pencils

Linda F

Why not do what I did -- absolutely refuse to buy yellow pencils and put several mechanical pencils and lots of lead replacements, and also lots of rolling writer pens, in the schoolbag. The child gets the writing implement out and starts working. Unless the teacher is one of the ultimate compulsives of the world (and yes alas a fair number do gravitate to schools) she will be happy enough to see the work getting done that she won't throw a fit about what tool is in the hand. Especially if you just keep it up quietly and it is too much trouble for her to keep fighting such a silly battle. And you can hold her up to it at a meeting and ask *why* the particular style of writing tool is such a big deal to her, if the writing itself is well enough done.
There are mechanical pencils that look exactly like the yellow pencils (I think they're one-use non-refillable, but who cares, just buy several packs) readily available in places like drugstores -- I bought a few of these for my daughter at times. Your son could use these to ease into the new style non-visibly.

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Anonymous
Joined Sep 22, 2014
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Posted:Sep 28, 2003 9:58:38 AM
Subject:Hi victoria

I do plan to ask the teacher about this silly rule. Thing is, my son knows about the silly rule and he absolutely will not break it. The rule about mech pencils came home the first day.

If I gave him mech pencils he wouldn't use them.

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Anonymous
Joined Sep 22, 2014
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Posted:Sep 28, 2003 10:09:38 AM

Last yr in 6th my son also had trouble, but with time he mastered his own system of writing all HW in his agenda book; all 6th graders got the phone number of a study buddy they could call to get the assignments if they couldn't write it themselves. Yes, some teachers have web pages with all asignments, but calling the study buddy works best. Have your child ask someone in class to be his study buddy and get the phone number.

My 5th grade son has had to copy assingnments into his agenda for 2yrs now and it's a skill they are teaching...the teacher walks around and checks the agendas before the kids go home.

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Beth from FL
Joined Jun 15, 2003
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Posted:Sep 29, 2003 8:57:18 AM

My 10 year old son has difficulties with copying too. Work is werek! I think, for him, it is complex. The motor part is more difficult than average and he has trouble with retaining sequences of letters.

I'd find a well organized child as a back up and then work on trying to improve his skills. I found Interactive Metronome helped a lot with the motor issues--he is now low average while before he was totally disfunctional--couldn't write a paragraph to save his life.

On the IEP issue--my son was on an IEP until this year (preK-fourth grade). I found it useful to get the accomodations he needed. I also found the small group reading to be helpful--once we got a teacher that knew something. I also found his IEP status to be a useful tool to get the best teachers--which was probably the most important thing. An IEP did not remediate him and at least in Florida, never could. There is not sufficient staff. I have worked with him for years and he has had much private therapy.

The only reason he isn't on an IEP now is that he is in a parochial school. But even there, the fact that he was on an IEP last year has made a difference. For example, he gets 15 spelling words instead of 20. He needs to have fewer words--he works twice as hard with 15 as most kids do with 20.

I know some people have an IEP but decline services. This works if you need to have the legal power of an IEP to get accomodations and modifications but do not wish to have the school try to remediate your child.

Beth

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Anonymous
Joined Sep 22, 2014
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Posted:Sep 29, 2003 1:09:53 PM

LInda F: It's totally mutual! I think we regard the issue of 'accomodations/modifications vs remediations' in essentially the same way. This is NOT to say that accomodations/modifications are not good for SOME children, in some cases.

Sara H: there was no clear advantage -- I chose, after many sleepless nights and much research and reading, what seemed the lesser of two unappealing choices. Among my issues were that, by the time we got to this stage, I had little trust for anyone at the school. The principal was pushing a different school for my shy, slow to warm up child when we had been building social relationships since age 4, and my sister was available to do before and after care -- bussing and babysitter fees were not an option.

The 'IEP' program did not seem 'Individual' -- it was just 'alternate'. They had decided my child was ADD inatttentive -- he is NOT. They believed 'some children just can't learn to read/spell'. The principal was horrified -- why was I worried about the Grade 10 literacy test -- my child would be exempted from this test if only I would designate him (required in our system if IEP is to be used.) When I said that I felt literacy was a right, not a privilige, and that the Gr. 10 literacy test was in place to ensure nobody graduates without literacy skills, they told me I was not accepting my child's disability. (He reads well and is now devouring the Animorphs series -- spelling is still a problem, but reading is NOT.)

They had NEVER given him any instruction in handwriting -- and they were ready to give up on my then just turned 7 YO, and allow him to type everything. After 9 mos of total reading failure -- could not read one dolch word -- I sent him to a local private school which used Spalding. He was reading Easy REaders in 4 weeks. The teachers there advised me against designation, IEP and 'SPED track' in our system. Since I had watched this be a very bad thing for a cousin of mine (12 years younger), and I had SUCH respect for these ladies since they seemed to have my kid pegged, I put great weight on their opinions.

In this system , they would have a big fight to fail him without my signature...so the accomodations are not needed as a protection. I had already seen that IEP provisions are as good as the willingness of the classroom teacher --you can fight all year to get them followed, but there are no sanctions for a teacher who agrees while in the principal's office that this will be done, but then goes back to the classroom and does things exactly as she/he always does. IEP didn't seem to be worth the danger of a 'dumbed down' curriculum, 'A' for effort, and my signature on a piece of paper that says they can ignore provincial standards and mark him any way they please based on their assessment of his 'abilities'.

He does not have any behavioural issues -- ditto, no designation needed as a protection. (and, as my close friend with a severe ADHD/tourettes child will tell you, a designation will NOT protect you from zero tolerance of bad language or hitting people, even in the 4rth grade! especially if your verbal outbursts are not politically correct!)

So, since the IEP didn't seeem to have much value, in our case, I chose struggle, hard work, and the chance to overcome adversity. Nope, it hasn't been easy, whereas an IEP probably would have been -- but would my kid be devouring Animorphs in his spare time, had I taken the advice of the public school? NO.

And NO, I am NOT SAYING THAT CHILDREN ON AN IEP DON'T FACE STRUGGLE AND HARD WORK!!! In case anyone thinks I am!

AH, sorry to be so long-winded and perhaps snarky -- reliving Grade 2 has a way of making me less than fun to be around...

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Anonymous
Joined Sep 22, 2014
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Posted:Sep 30, 2003 11:53:52 AM
Subject:Oh yes,

Elizabeth,

That post is all to familiar. I got the old school psych trying to set up meetings with me to make sure everything is all right. I keep giving her the sunny, "Everthing is just fine we are working on remaining deficits response." In other words, "Beat it lady because when it comes to visual motor deficits you don't know your a** from your elbow."

I have always had a low tolerance for incompetance. Incompetance and my child, well that just brings it to a whole new level.

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Anonymous
Joined Sep 22, 2014
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Posted:Sep 30, 2003 12:59:44 PM

Yup, I am getting good at speaking to the Principal too -- without grinding my teeth and feeling nauseous, that is! Just turned down pullout to 'correct' his letter formation while printing...said services are exactly wrong for my son, and the effectiveness of 10 minute pullout to review and assign extra homework (FOR ME TO SUPERVISE!) is less than nil. But I have learned that the individuals I deal with are reps of a huge bureaucracy that traps children and teachers alike, so I no longer get frustrated and try to shoot the messenger...BIG improvement!

And we have a GREAT classroom teacher this year!!! YAY!

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Beth from FL
Joined Jun 15, 2003
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Posted:Sep 30, 2003 1:15:23 PM

Elizabeth,

Seems to me that an IEP in your school system is used to shield the school from the responsibility of teaching children who are harder to teach than other kids. They put them in a box, and are glad that they don't mess up their test scores. I too have had that experience--after my son didn't learn to read in first grade and I asked about alternative programs, the school psychologist told me the problem was that we had not accepted that we had a child with a disability. In other words, it wasn't that they couldn't teach, it was that he couldn't learn.

Still, I will tell, although it is probably irrelevant for you now, that with a different teacher and administration an IEP did help him. (I pulled him out in second grade and taught him myself before things changed.) He got instruction he otherwise would not have had and accomodations he needed. I really think it depends on how the teachers and administrators think.

I'd would have loved for my son to be on an IEP at a number of the teachers who posts here schools, for example. Kids need remediation and the question is how they can best get it. Some of his difficulties (motor based) would have never been adequately addressed in a resource classroom so I always consider it a blessing that the school was so incompetent initially that I took his remediation into my own hands.

Beth

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