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Talk with me about learning disorders

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Is there something – some sort of learning disability that presents itself with piss poor organizational skills, atrocious spelling, and handwriting that belongs to a third grader and not a sixth grader? Otherwise the patient has an average to above average IQ. She’s good in math and science and social studies, but her reading and writing skills are low average. It’s like she knows what she wants to write, but getting it from her head to the page results in a lot of repetition (i.e. I sat on the cold ground where I was sitting. The cold ground I sat on and looked at the sky. The sky was blue and the clouds were flufy and I was sitting on the ground.) She can read, but I’m not convinced that she’s reading well. There’s always seemed like some sort of disconnect to me, but every teacher I’ve talked with with the exception of last year’s Title teacher, has told me that she’s fine. She’s normal. 

And about the Title program: so she was in it last year. She enjoyed it and it seemed to help increase her confidence and skills in reading. BUT for whatever reason, she did not qualify for the service this year even though her test scores were lower than the one that qualified her just the year prior. I just don’t understand. Even worse than that, I don’t know how to approach her school concerning this.

So, what would you suggest? Really, the spelling and the lack of organization and inability to express herself is becoming an issue.

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About Sassy

Absolutely average in every way.

4 responses »

  1. Rosie, have you looked into getting her evaluated by the speech therapist? I know our SLP at my school works with kids on how to get their ideas from their heads to their papers. Also, look into thinking maps, that may help her get her ideas organized. Love ya, hun.

    Reply
  2. The parent/legal guardian should first contact the child’s guidance counselor, school psychologist, or social worker and explain the concerns. A request should be verbalized to have a Student Assistan Program (or the equivalent) put in place. Once this has been completed, the child can be tested and evaluated for potential Exceptional Children’s services — perhaps dyslexia, dysgraphia, LD in reading comprehension, or LD in Integration, especially sequencing or and/or organization. If s/he is identified, an IEP will be developed and modifications and goals will be put into place. The child will most likely begin receiving support from an EC teacher. The child won’t be “singled out” though, especially because it sounds like s/he would qualify for inclusion classes. My EC teacher is with me 2 periods a day, and helps all the students equally, not just the EC kids. Even if you don’t believe the child is EC, you should remember that a child with dyslexia who struggles with reading, writing and spelling may be very capable in math and science, or other content areas. But, after testing, even if s/he doesn’t qualify for EC services, the SAP will provide interventions and strategies to help her maintain organization in general and fluency in handwriting. Hope this helps, feel free to e-mail me with more questions.

    ps. I am not an EC teacher. I am a 7th grade Language Arts teacher on and EC Inclusion team in North Carolina. Your state/county’s policies may be different, but the federal IDEA law governs EC services.

    Reply
  3. Rosie… I would ask for a meeting with last year’s teacher and show her examples of this year’s work. I would ask her what your next move should be and how to get more help this year…it sounds like she would have a path for you at least.

    Based on what you wrote, I agree that the writing is a tad below where it could be, but it isn’t bad. Have you had her read to you or read the same book with you? If you both could read “where the red fern grows” or the “outsiders” (both 5-6 grade levels) you could read a chapter a night and discuss so you could evaluate her yourself…maybe it is just a writing issue, but the more she reads the better her writing will get too.

    Re the writing, do they have to journal nightly? Instead of leaving her journals up to her (provided it is expected of her for school) give her a daily direction – sometimes that is MUCH easier. If she isn’t having to do that for school…make her anyway, lol. Some ideas would be just making a list of complete sentences…What I Did Today – with the expectation of something like this – 1 Today I had Cheerios for breakfast. 2 I rode to school in the minivan. 3 I had 3 subjects then ate lunch. ~ Keep it simple and look for order. The next day give her the topic of “Things I watch my cats do” and see what she comes up with…again, just a list of complete sentences…after a week or so of that, you could move into more of a 4 sentence paragraph without numbers…show her how you could link all those list thoughts into a paragraph.

    I hope that helps a bit…good luck!

    Reply
  4. Since other people gave you good, useful advice I can commence with being a smart ass: the lack of organization and inability to express herself, are you sure she’s not channeling someone’s husband?

    Reply

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