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Am I being proactive or over reacting? - Page 3

post #41 of 58

Jen, for a lot of kids that are deep thinkers, school is difficult.  School can be a lot about output, and just cranking out the work at a high capacity, which isn't the learning style of my daughter, and perhaps yours.  A child who really likes to examine things is interested in looking at something 360 degrees, not just cranking out more pages of homework.  This only gets worse as the child progresses through the years.  I don't know if you feel like this applies to your daughter or not.

 

Also, your daughter's reaction to going to another school is so positive.  My daughter was the same way.  When she visited the private school in which we subsequently enrolled her, she jumped into the car and said, "I want to go to school here."   I think you are making the right decision, and you will not regret it at all.  I would rather have a more well adjusted daughter than more money any day, and I know all of us on this site agree!

 

Beanma, sorry to disagree with you, but I wouldn't recommend leaving the ld school midyear.  

 

And for everyone, I wanted to mention something about public schools these days. (I am a teacher.) Unless you live in a state that has opted out of the No Child Left Behind laws, i.e., your school system says "no thanks" and gives up the funding from the government, your school system is RULED by this legislation.  Every school in the U.S. is supposed to be "proficient" by 2014.  And many schools in fine districts are not making AYP (Annual Yearly Progress) because of a small subset of students, whether they be new to the English language, Special Ed, or whatever.  In my school, our very fine principal has been told she will be reassigned if our school doesn't make AYP this year.  IT IS ALL ABOUT THESE TESTS.  

 

Also, please consider this.  Schools are in a time of high need, and reduced resources, because of the economy.  Class sizes are usually larger than they should be.  If your child isn't going along with the flow, the teacher most often has the very best of intentions, but there are so many students with a variety of "issues," it can be hard to give everyone the attention they need, and to call the parents to boot.  I called 2 parents yesterday, and 1 of them tried to make his child's problems my fault, and was very unpleasant, when I was going out of my way to reach out to him about something that was really pretty minor (his child is always sleepy in my class, and cannot focus).  So teachers can be wary too.  We go into teaching because we love it, but if you want an easy job, please look elsewhere!

 

I think there is a parallel in the medical system these days.  You really have to advocate for what you need.  

 

 

 

post #42 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jen Muise View Post
The things that are holding me back from going with the LD school are that I'm concerned that she'll have a label or a stigma attached to her; I'm concerned that I'm trying to fix an anxiety + mediocre teacher problem with going to LD school;   I'm concerned that I haven't done enough to make it work at public school.  Private school is prohibitively expensive for us, and the only way we can do it is to let my mom and dad cover it.  I don't want to cost them that much if I can help it.  I think it's the middle one that's bugging me the most, I can't tell if her anxiety & poor fit with her teacher is making her dig in her heels and look less competent than she is, or if the anxiety is caused by not being able to find her way.  Probably some combination of the 2.  Good question! 


She sounds very much like my ds in many ways.  As a parent and also as a teacher, when I see my kid or another "hit the wall" when it comes to learning it is very hard to overcome that without a major change.  That change needs teachers being on board and acknowledging what is working and working to fix what isn't.  Giving a child an excuse gives permission for a child not to try their best imo.  That is something that would be more labeling or stigma attaching then dealing with the situation. Regardless of how and why she has gotten to this point, it sounds like she is frustrated and in need of a change.  Having an LD school in proximity that might work better for her is something I would definitely investigate further.  I would tour, look into funding options, and (if it were me) probably take the leap.  I always think that helping now, may help us avoid bigger challenges later.

post #43 of 58
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by malock610 View Post

Jen, for a lot of kids that are deep thinkers, school is difficult.  School can be a lot about output, and just cranking out the work at a high capacity, which isn't the learning style of my daughter, and perhaps yours.  A child who really likes to examine things is interested in looking at something 360 degrees, not just cranking out more pages of homework.  This only gets worse as the child progresses through the years.  I don't know if you feel like this applies to your daughter or not.


I'd say this totally applies to my daughter.  She is reflective, thoughtful, and a perfectionist.  She wants to sit with an idea for sometimes weeks, contemplating and observing.  She likes watching others try and make mistakes, and will come up with a method that will allow her to avoid pitfalls.  No one would ever describe her as jumping feet first into anything lol.  I think the thing that I am most dismayed about is that some of her strengths are actually what are causing problems.  Being meticulous, planning ahead, being patient and spending time learning things in depth are all good traits IMHO but they are working against her because she can't seem to turn them off when the situation doesn't require them.  She really literally can't rush through things - not even stuff like getting ready to go outside or something.  I can tell her to get ready, and if she's fast she'll get a treat or if she's not fast she won't be able to do something and she will go through all the same steps at the same speed as she would had I said nothing.  I strongly suspect that most kids would not be able to change their more typical 'jump in and try' method of learning; they are just never asked to so it's a non issue.  Throw in her dyslexia/LD, noise sensitivity and anxiety, and its a wonder she's managing as well as she is really. 

 

One thing I've heard again and again from teachers that I've talked to in the private system is that they love the empowerment they have in the class room.  Smaller classes mean they can really teach each child if they have to, and aren't overwhelmed by just managing behavior.  They love the support they are given from the other staff as well.  I wish it were like that for all teachers, that they felt like they had the time to teach the way they'd love to!  It's so sad that the system seems to take the life right out of people some days.  Hopefully, I'm never the parent that contributes to people not liking their job!

post #44 of 58

Jen, that sounds so much like my dd1. It's like she can't speed up sometimes. I do think it's possible she could have some ADHD-inattentive behaviors going on (definitely not the H), but she listens so well even when you don't think she is. She takes in everything.

 

She is not particularly meticulous, though, and really is very disorganized and messy. Her artwork is very good, though, and she pays attention to the details she's interested in there.

 

My dd1 is always the last in line and her first answer is usually NO. But, as she gets older it's YES more often and she is converging with the norms more. 

 

She's really adjusting pretty well to 5th grade public school, but I don't think she would have done well before this year.

post #45 of 58
Thread Starter 

beanma - from your other descriptions of your dd, she sounds like a visual thinker as well.  My dd is the same, very visual, strong in art, great at logic, sorting design and crafts etc.  It really seems that the current trends in schooling just aren't very good for the way a whole bunch of kids think, I'm hearing lots of people echoing my description of dd. 

post #46 of 58

Well, mine is very visual, but also very auditory, but not particularly logical. She can absorb stuff like a trivia magnet and will tell you factoids you never knew, either just from reading or from hearing it discussed. Art is probably her number one love with dance a close second. She's not very interested in music, except she's learned the German lyrics to Ode to Joy in school and now won't stop singing that around the house -- flugel weilt!

 

She is super intuitive, though, and not very logical at all. I think that's why math is tricky for her at times. If she can stay calm enough and slow down and think it thru she does fine, but so often she wants to jump ahead or takes one look at it and is completely overwhelmed and doesn't want attempt it, certain that she can't do it when she hasn't even tried. Nah, she's all airy-fairy, and not much logic in her. She just goes with her feelings when she should stop and think about things logically.She's not a big puzzle person, either.

 

If I take a Myers-Brigg for her she's very FP instead of TJ. The I/E fluctuates and the S/I isn't quite as clear as the FP either. On one test I got ISFP and another I got EIFP. Definitely Feeling/Perceptive over Thinking/Judging, though.


Edited by beanma - 3/18/12 at 8:24am
post #47 of 58

Actually, in response to this thread, which really got me thinking, I am going to request formally that my daughter be evaluated by special ed. She's in second grade, and has (my guess) a high IQ (I'm guessing 140 plus based on my experience testing adults -- so a very ballpark number, perhaps incorrect).  She reads on grade level but is showing so many disturbing symptoms around reading -- refusal to read, terrible spelling, inability to track in a sentence or a paragraph, unable to use phonics after 3 years of exposure, rubbing eyes, complaining her eyes are blurry ...  

 

What sealed it for me is that she had an extensive vision test yesterday and I had assumed that her complaints about intermittent blurriness of the board and the page were vision issues.  The dr said her eyes are perfect and he can't give her glasses -- for reading or for distance.  He said he noticed a tracking issue doing a simple screening.  


I read up a little online and wrote a letter last night explaining what I observed, and will submit it after a meeting w/the homeroom and reading teachers.  I have to kick this up a notch.  


The school has sixty days to respond, and 90 days to test if they are going to do that.  


Do I need to write down here that I am also formally signing my consent to testing?  I hesitate to do that prior to seeing the tests they are going to do.  I actually want to see a list of what they are testing for.  I guess they would also have me sign that ... so at that point I could have some input. 

 

If they do not think she is worth testing, I would go private. It's costly, insurance won't cover it ... but I really need to know what kind of processing issues we're dealing with.


My sense with her is that it is a mild form of reading/writing problems that will benefit with a year or two of individualized reading instruction and access to whatever district reading computer programs they have.

 

Any thoughts?


Thanks everyone.

post #48 of 58
Thread Starter 

UPDATE : We just got her psych-ed report back today, and she's showing a pretty severe reading disorder (auditory dyslexia) but is covering well as some of her other scores (especially visual and problem solving) are very high.  She literally has scores at the 2%mark and others at the 99th% over the WISC test; even within the same subset of testsshe has scores ranging from 2% to 75%.  It's no wonder that she's freaking out, it's actually pretty amazing that she's motivated to read and work at all. 

 

I'm pretty angry that the school hasn't been helpful at all with all this; I've been saying things like she's a year or more behind on reading and they've been arguing with me about it, tested her at near to grade level, have been giving her mostly B's etc.  The achievement test tho, says she's reading about 2 years behind where she should be.  I don't know if she's just so good at covering that she's fooled them (but shouldn't they know to look for that?) or if they've gotten slack enough with their standards that kids can really suck and still get good marks, or if the teacher just doesn't have time to care.  I've been about as proactive as I can without getting ridiculous about it, talking to the teacher at least a couple times a month, scheduling regular get togethers, paying for private assessments etc; still the school has done little but pay lip service, tell us we need to work with her more (?! like if they can't get stuff into her head after 6 hrs of teaching we'll be able to!) and play along.  Soooo aggravating! 

 

At any rate, we had pretty much made up our mind to switch schools anyways; this just gives us the confidence to know that there isn't much choice.  The psychologist said that there is pretty much no way that the public system will be able to address her needs altho of course they will never admit to that.  She also said it was great that we are being very proactive and getting on this rather than letting thing go from bad to worse, so I guess that answers that question!

post #49 of 58
Thread Starter 

Knowing the small sounds within a word is not entirely helpful to my dd.  She can sound out the individual pheonems but not the entire word.  She can find the little words she recognises, she knows word endings like -ain or -ap  but she often can't blend them together to make a word.  Simplistic teaching solutions aren't going to help her. 

post #50 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jen Muise View Post

Simplistic teaching solutions aren't going to help her. 


Exactly. And the approach TAKLinda suggested was certainly not "the best" for my kids, all of whom learned differently, early, self-directedly, and without any direct instruction. I am always suspicious when someone tries to distill the wonderful world of complex tasks and complex learners down to a single solution. Usually they're selling something.

 

Miranda

 

post #51 of 58

If you google "word decoding lists" you'll come up with Teaching All Kids or the TAK part of TAKLinda. And yes, there is a fee for some materials.

 

I'm a skeptic and an empiricist. Show me the data that your approach is better than others and I'll believe you. Otherwise I'll assume that you're selling something and can't back up your claim.

post #52 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jen Muise View Post

 

 

I'm pretty angry that the school hasn't been helpful at all with all this; I've been saying things like she's a year or more behind on reading and they've been arguing with me about it, tested her at near to grade level, have been giving her mostly B's etc.  The achievement test tho, says she's reading about 2 years behind where she should be.  I don't know if she's just so good at covering that she's fooled them (but shouldn't they know to look for that?) or if they've gotten slack enough with their standards that kids can really suck and still get good marks, or if the teacher just doesn't have time to care.  I've been about as proactive as I can without getting ridiculous about it, talking to the teacher at least a couple times a month, scheduling regular get togethers, paying for private assessments etc; still the school has done little but pay lip service, tell us we need to work with her more (?! like if they can't get stuff into her head after 6 hrs of teaching we'll be able to!) and play along.  Soooo aggravating! 


 

 

So glad the testing showed so clearly what is happening with your DD.

 

In regards to the above quote, we found the exact same thing.  Our daughter, we are told, is grade level.  But when I asked to hear more about how they judge this -- it is a five minute test (my daughter's problems get worse over the course of 20 minutes -- first five minutes are relatively better) AND the reading teacher told me the problems I was seeing (missing endings, skipping small words) are still counted as "correct" at this age level.  What???

 

We too, at a meeting last week, got the message that we need to do more reading at home.   But like you said, if she hasn't picked it up in 2/5 years through trained teachers, what are we going to be able to do to address the issue?  

 

I decided on holding off on asking for a special ed eval for my daughter.  Instead, I went in to meet with the teacher and the reading teacher to ferret around a bit about their views and system.  It became clear that the instruction (all silent, independant reading) is not meeting my daughter's needs, and the testing mode is glossing over her problems.  I asked about what they offer to students, and it seems as if basically it is small group instruction.

 

SO what we are going to do is ask for this instruction, ask for ORAL reading in a small group, for the last three months (because that would be the intervention anyway based on whatever the testing is -- they have no specialized computer programs, etc.).  If they refuse or don't have room, then we would go for a special ed. eval.  And probably, at the end of school, I would ask for a special ed evaluation at the beginning of the summer.  

If I ask for a special ed eval now, it may delay the intervention, which would be the same anyway.

 

I am so glad you have this data, and the disparity is so drastic.  It must be so hard to see your daughter have such difficulty in reading BUT it is so fantastic that she is so bright.  But ... as has been said before ... it is those kids that really suffer at school and get overlooked.  Yeah for you for being proactive.


When I met w/the teachers, they were very nice and said they wished they had more parents like me that were involved.  They said they understood my concern -- just they don't see it every night nor do they see that my daughter is several grades ahead in everything else that doesn't involve reading.  

 

Please keep us posted -- can you switch her mid-year? Wasn't that your plan to move her in April?

 

I am so glad you have the resources to do so .... 

 

post #53 of 58

 

My son sounds very similar to your daughter.  He just turned seven and is in the first grade.  Although my son is smart, he was struggling in school and the school didn't seem to realize 1) just how smart he is and 2) how much he was struggling.

 

So, we had him tested.  His verbal IQ put him about the 99th percentile, but his processing speed was at the 9th percentile.  He also struggles with fine, gross motor and coordination. 

 

We found that we were reteaching him everything at home trying to keep him at grade level in school, but that left him little time for his actual interests, which are far above grade level.  So, we pulled him from school two weeks ago and are homeschooling until the end of the year.  Thus far, he really likes hsing better and has stopped complaining of "tummy aches" and the like and even seems more willing to try new physical skills that he wouldn't even attempt before saying they were "too hard".  Overall, he just seems less anxious.  I keep having to explain to him that he doesn't have to already know the stuff we are doing in hsing, that school is about learning, not testing.  Perhaps some stuff comes to easily to them that it freaks them out when they struggle with other things?  Not sure.  But, I think we are on a better path.

post #54 of 58
Thread Starter 

It's good to hear other people's experiences!  We had a meeting with the school today, and I had to explain auditory dyslexia to them. *sigh*  The level of disconnect between what the teacher sees and what dd sees is ridiculous.  Teacher says scribing is offered and refused; dd says scribing is not offered enough and when she says yes she doesn't get the help anyways.  I suspect that she is talking too quietly to be heard or understood, or taking too long to answer.  Her teacher says she can use her computer whenever she wants; dd says she isn't allowed too.  But, we got some good ideas about stuff to put on her IEP for when she comes back to the public system (which she will have to do in gr 7 probably, due to a lack of funding and private options).  Hopefully the audiologist is able to shed some extra light on all this, and hopefully the ld school is able to connect with her.  For now, shes home 'sick' again, worried about a test shes well prepared for and doesn't have until tomorrow. 

post #55 of 58

oh mama ... hope she feels 'better' .... that is so sad.  it'll be great when she's in a place that slows down enough to really give her what she needs and hear her ...

post #56 of 58
Thread Starter 

Update again:  DD has been in her new school for about 2 weeks now, and the difference in her is remarkable.  Her anxiety is down about 5 notches, and she doesn't complain or seem worried about going to school, except for some mild worry over  tests.  She did a presentation in front of the class, even tho speaking in front of everyone was a major concern a few weeks ago.  She seems to be organizing herself fairly well, doesn't forget texts and knows what she's supposed to do for homework.  She does her homework with few complaints, if any.  We don't get any fall out at home from stress at all, and she is even showing some of the good natured maturity that is usually reserved for summers.  It really feels like she's in a head space to get back to learning stuff!  Thanks for all your thoughts, it's been tough to get my head around all this and great to have a place to sound it all out to :)

post #57 of 58

Yay! So glad to hear a good report.

post #58 of 58

Jen--

That is fantastic.  I wondered how you all were doing.

My daughter is in the extra reading class.  At first, the only problem was she felt very anxious about it ... it was the FIRST time she's confronted a major weakness.  She's so skilled in everything else -- or she avoids it.  She was crying and complaining the first couple of weeks, but my husband and I basically told her at this point, it is necessary and the school won't let you leave the reading class anyway.

Now she doesn't even mention the class so I assume she's adjusted and trusts the teacher.

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