Originally Posted by Nickarolaberry
Oy, Geo an Jo. Hugs. As an educator I am so completely baffled and infuriated by stories like both of yours'. Not that my kids haven't suffered in situations, but thankfully I have been able (thus far) to deal with the issues by making some kind of change (one of which was quite drastic, pulling my dd1 out of a school where bullying was happening and no one was doing anything about it).
Geo, here's what I think: I don't think it's unreasonable in 3rd grade (is that your dd's grade?) not to always remember to capitalize the first letter of a sentence. My dd2 still makes that error. Why is she being penalized for this? They should be doing rough drafts anyway, and then being assisted in making corrections.
As far as sloppy handwriting, spelling errors, etc...I am thinking dysgraphia or some variation on that theme. She is not processing between her brain and her hands. It does not affect her literacy. But it gets scrambled somewhere on the way out. This is an identifiable LD for which she should be getting accommodations/identified. She may need some OT. It also does not preclude her giftedness; it is very, very common for kids with these issues to be extremely bright and gifted.
She is suffering in the classroom not only from the actual punitive/critical corrections, but from the culture her teacher is creating in that environment that has a ripple effect on her relationships with her peers. The kids will notice their negative interactions and will respond to it in ways that won't be good for your dd. The teacher is stuck in her own mental rut, frustrated with what she sees as deficiencies and clearly unable to reframe your dd's needs in a way that can be met by an alternative educating approach. That is the teacher's failure, not your dd. I don't really know quite how you should handle it, but it should be made clear in a meeting with the teacher, the gifted teacher, the principal, and any ESE staff all together so that everyone can see the big picture. Why should her ld issues preclude her from admission to any kind of private school? Perhaps an alternative educational approach might serve her better (Montessori or similar?)? I don't know, just throwing out ideas. A culture of criticism and punitive teacher behavior will really impact her negatively in the short and long run with her educators and her peers.
Lots to chew on. Thanks. :love:
DD is in 4th, young for grade but in the right grade (<3 months younger than the next youngest in her class, though she is not grade skipped.) She fails to capitalize >90% of sentences, and punctuates at about the same rate. She appears unable to copy a word sitting right in front of her. When she's assisted to edit, the final version gets about 80% of the errors fixed, but the result is still something that looks pretty sloppy.
Handwriting I think is mostly a result of poor 1st and 2nd grade instruction. She forms the letters wrong, and when we tackle one at a time, it looks so much better. It takes about 6 weeks of daily work for it to become automatic. We've gotten 'f' and 'p' enough fixed that they are much, much better, suddenly improving the readability of her work. She still turns her 'o' going the wrong direction, so that most of the remaining problems with 'b' and 'd' are things that come right on a day her 'o' goes in the right direction. I do honestly think if we could retrain that, we'll be at an acceptable handwriting.
Montessori was the style instruction she had for 1st and 2nd. We're not going back, public or private. I toured the private, and they informed me that kids with complaints like DD's (at the time it was activity level in the room) were all ADHD kids. It's a great fit for so many kids, but my kid, and the flavors of Montessori we have available here are not for my kid.
Private schools that can teach DD at her level in reading, science, and math will not take a LD kid. I'm honestly not convinced she has a LD at the moment (admittedly based just on the fact that she doesn't really fit the descriptions of dysgraphia I find online) and I'd like to have her educated at her level and educated addressing her specific educational and emotional needs before I'll be sure that's it. Ya know, response to intervention and all that.
The testing she'll take next week will kick yet another "all hands" meeting, so we'll be talking about it there. I'm still processing anger at the teacher (she also complained that DD picks books to read that are too easy, but her sign on the wall for "just right" books defines a ceiling -- not too hard -- and not a floor. DD was following the rules).
I actually think that DS will be a bit easier. He's so far from grade level, he will continually be getting a close look and close monitoring. I also know 10000 more now than I did when DD was in kindergarten. They've got the district 4-12 math specialist looking at him now, who is clearly puzzled. I will give then through December to find a plan that is mutually agreeable. He's still content at school, which is big for me. The decline in reading decoding is troubling, though, as I see it as a piece of his speech and language oddities.