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Sheryl in NH
12-21-2011, 05:27 PM
DD had a reading evaluation today. Her Dibels score was a 6 on the 2nd grade test, and a 5 on the 1st grade test, both of which would place her at extreme risk in comparison to other kids in that grade . . . She should be a 3rd grader. To say that she is behind is not even close to describing her situation. She loves learning and does great in many subjects (thanks in large part to her experiences with FIAR) but it is Just So Hard for her.

She has been through vision therapy, we use specialized phonics materials, and she honestly is showing regular progress, but it is extremely slow. I have her scheduled with a special Developmental Pediatric Opthomologist, and several other specialists, but we aren't yet any closer to understanding what the problem is or how to help her. I am hoping that this new team will be able to get to the root of things but, well, it just stinks to hear in quantifiable terms how grim the situation is.

I wish life was easier for her. It breaks my heart that I can't find a solution.

Cori
12-21-2011, 05:47 PM
It sounds like we are in the same situation? We haven't arranged testing yet. We've had an eye exam that showed nothing (glasses eye doc), and yet he is really slow at reading and gets confused and frustrated easily. He is 8 and in 2nd grade but his birthday is in September.

He doesn't even remember his birthday! Or phone numbers, etc. unless he uses them often. He is extremely smart and can build anything. Common sense smart. He remembers so much of what I read aloud or he sees on TV.

Not sure what is going on, except some form of dyslexia maybe. I will have him tested if things don't improve this school year. Right now he is using Explode the Code on-line. He just finished book one and is working in book two, but still struggles. He finished Headsprout in September but doesn't seem to be retaining much of what he learned in that. Except we did sight word flash cards and those he remembers. Plus the most repetitive words in Headsprout.

He still gets b and d mixed up and forgets the short E. He also just skips/guesses at words and will say "a" instead of "the" or "at" instead "in." It's so frustrating for both of us. I wish I knew what is going on.

Oh and it does matter how tired/rested he is on how well he does... I've talked with a Mom of 4 dyslexic children and she thinks he is based on what I said about his reading, etc.

To top it off his 5 year old brother is passing him...

:group:

Hollie in SC
12-21-2011, 05:52 PM
:group: Yes, you can come here to cry and to be loved. :group: Praying for you both as you search for the exact help your children need.:group:

Lindsey Carter
12-21-2011, 08:37 PM
:group: I know how hard it is to have a child that is struggling to read. My ds9 wants to read so bad but half the time can't read words like hen, net, bed, at, etc. We've been working on reading now for over 4 years and the progress is so slow. This is not how I dreamed homeschooling would be. These are not issues I thought I would have to face. I sometimes feel like I've failed as a teacher, but I know that no public school teacher would have given more thought, time, research and prayer into how to help my ds. I've cried and I've prayed and I'm working on finding a new approach to teaching reading.
I'm praying that you find the best way to teach your dc.

Leslie Nelsen
12-21-2011, 11:02 PM
Sending hugs to all of you who are struggling. :group: It is so hard to see our children struggle!

Praying for answers and help for you.

CINDY LB OH
12-22-2011, 08:07 AM
:group: to you Sheryl. My ds13 is also a struggling reader, as well as other language processing issues.

You're right... progress is there, but it is very slow. We still work on reading lessons every single day. Some days will be really good, and other days will be really bad. He wants to read and write so bad, and thankfully is still motivated to learn.

You are doing a great job!

Sheryl in NH
12-22-2011, 08:43 AM
Thanks for all the hugs ladies. It is nice to hear that we aren't the only ones in this position. You have made me feel much better.

DD really is improving and I need to focus on that. Usually I do well at being upbeat, but hearing her scores yesterday and seeing the look on the evaluator's face really got to me. If only she had tested DD last year and could compare the results. :lol: Instead of doom and gloom, I bet she would have been all smiles and roses.

It is okay to go at our own pace.
It is okay to go at our own pace.
It is okay to go at our own pace.

Sheryl in NH
12-22-2011, 08:45 AM
Cori,
Our kiddos sound very similar. DD has amazing retention for anything verbal.

Seeing the little ones surpass her ... That is hard.

TonyaP
12-22-2011, 02:06 PM
Keep in mind that standard academic success is not the only measure of life. It's important to help the child reach their best level with reading, writing, etc. but it's not the only thing they can learn. KWIM? My son doesn't excel in some areas- but let him watch a movie about science and he can tell you anything that was in it. My DD struggles with basic math facts, but she draws like an old school Disney animator.

Make sure while you plug away at the hard stuff you give your child plenty of ways to succeed as well. ;)

Amy Joy
12-23-2011, 01:04 AM
Have any of you tried having your child try reading with a colored sheet of cellophane over the page? It is a condition not caught very often, I can't even remember it's name off hand. But if the letters are jumping around or off the page the colored background holds them still for the person trying to read. We have a friend who has 20/20 vision, but wears yellow tinted glasses when reading to hold the letters in place. It's a cheap and simple test, so I would give it a go. most eye doctor don't test for it and neither do educational specialists. Obviously it won't teach them to read but if the letters stop moving, if that's the problem, I bet they'd catch up soon enough.
Here's a article I quickly found that talks a little about this condition http://www.blacktownsun.com.au/news/local/news/general/words-jump-off-the-page/451817.aspx

Jo in PRC
12-24-2011, 09:41 PM
It IS okay to go at her own pace. But it is so hard to be the parent when the evaluator is laying out all the grim findings! Our daughter is behind in math and writing, but you know what? She loves to learn and works hard. I think that's the most important part (thanks, FIAR)...our children have their whole lives in front of them and will continue to learn and grow. But every now and then I think it's okay for us to stop and grieve and feel sad that it's so hard for our precious kids.

Chris-AL
12-24-2011, 10:10 PM
Have you ruled out dyslexia?

Alice R
12-25-2011, 05:36 PM
Oh, big hugs from over here! :group:

It's very hard to hear those things.

As it turned out, Alise did not have any major reading issues and was apparently and late learner, but she did not begin (yes, begin) to read until 9. Three letter words were too hard.

I have no idea if this is helpful to anyone but I did something I think I learned from Dianne Craft. I made the words color coded.

sing
ring
king
ding

I made all the "ings" red and first letters black. That helped her see patterns a bit.

Sheryl in NH
12-26-2011, 10:39 PM
Have you ruled out dyslexia?

Our first reading specialist ruled it out, but the new one is having DD re-tested. We seem to just spin in circles with each person admitting that there is a problem, but not coming to a clear understanding of the root of the problem.

Alice, I have looked into Dianne Craft before, but will take another peek at it tonight. Thanks for the reminder.

Amy, our COVD tested her with lots of colored lenses and decided that she didn't need any. She has convergence issues and I'm looking forward to meeting with the new eye doctor in a few weeks to see if maybe they will have any answers for us.

Tonya, you are right, and I can always use a reminder to intentionally find ways to allow her to succeed.

In happy news, DD gave me a story for my Christmas gift this year. An adorable little paragraph about a mis (mouse), a hors (horse) and a hastk (haystack). I cried:hcry: She wrote without being asked! She used phonics! She held her thoughts long enough to put them on paper. And most importantly, she still loves words even though she struggles so mightily with them! :clap:Go DD!:clap:

Jo in PRC
12-27-2011, 10:18 PM
Sheryl, when I read that she had convergence issues, I immediately thought of our behavorial optometrist. She was amazing and tested Anna for hours...then gave us an entire vision therapy program that has made a huge difference in Anna's vision. The original "experts" who saw Anna were stumped and yet her behavioral optometrist was very familiar with all her signs/symptoms. Anna's doctor has written a book about "games" to help with many eye problems. Here is a link that will explain what behavioral optometry is all about:
http://www.niwotvision.com/therapy.html

Alice R
12-28-2011, 01:51 PM
Don't forget Sheryl, (I know this as a speech evalautor) that sometimes there is more than one issue going on, making it so hard to get an actual diagnosis.

Sometimes I see a child with a few things going on and it's so hard to really pull it apart. It's tough to diagnosis and get a good therapy program going.

Maybe your little one has a few things affecting her and depending who you see, you get all different answers and perspectives. They all might be right.

Pieces of a puzzle.

Jane Claire
01-24-2012, 04:32 AM
I love this board...I love your hearts, and your children, and the sweet spirit of the kind, helpful ideas that you share with each other.

I'm currently working with an almost seven year old that is needing more help with reading. She has a younger sibling about to over take her and it is most threatening when she can't "just work harder and get it done."

Regarding children with various reading problems, I'm just popping in to add that if we could see down the road, so much of our anxiety would fall away. Echoing the reply about "they have their whole lives ahead of them," I love to remember that Patricia Polacco, and Bodie Thoene (dozens of Christian novels including the Zion Chronicles) along with so many prolific authors have seriously struggled with reading as a child. Whether they write or do other "works the Lord has prepared for them" they will learn to read.

Thankful for all of you who love and pour out for your children.

Sheryl in NH
01-24-2012, 05:45 AM
Jane, thank you for the reminder to look down the road. DD is progressing and that means that we are getting closer to our goal, regardless of our pace.

Update time:
DD had an appointment with a developmental optometrist who said that her eyesight is "perfect" and she doesn't need glasses. In addition, she no longer needs vision therapy. Her issues with convergence are now "perfect." The hard work we have done over the past year has paid off, so much so that the doctor couldn't even tell that there had been a problem.

Did you see that? Two uses of the word perfect. I asked God for clarity and he answered. I adore how much he wants to take care of us!

So, no vision therapy for DD.

We started working with a reading tutor and she commented on DD's "wonderful" handwriting. I almost fell on the floor. Handwriting has been one of our biggest struggles. At 5 she couldn't trace a circle, and at 6 the letter x was a very intentional project. We switched to cursive this past September and have worked diligently, but I somehow stopped noticing her progress. It really has come a long way. The tutor seems like a great fit for our family.

In addition, we have started using the LiPS program to break down phonics in a completely new way. It is very hands on with lots of mirrors and magnets, so DD is having a blast with it. I have learned a lot about how our bodies make each sound, and so has she.

Hearing my DD described as "perfect" and "wonderful" and seeing her progress was just what my heart needed.

We still have a lot of work to do. There are several more layers of official testing, and many more days/weeks/months/years of diligent step-by-step lessons, but we are making progress.

As Jane said, she will learn to read.

Rachel Jane
01-24-2012, 07:59 AM
Jane, thank you for the reminder to look down the road. DD is progressing and that means that we are getting closer to our goal, regardless of our pace.

Update time:
DD had an appointment with a developmental optometrist who said that her eyesight is "perfect" and she doesn't need glasses. In addition, she no longer needs vision therapy. Her issues with convergence are now "perfect." The hard work we have done over the past year has paid off, so much so that the doctor couldn't even tell that there had been a problem.

Did you see that? Two uses of the word perfect. I asked God for clarity and he answered. I adore how much he wants to take care of us!

So, no vision therapy for DD.

We started working with a reading tutor and she commented on DD's "wonderful" handwriting. I almost fell on the floor. Handwriting has been one of our biggest struggles. At 5 she couldn't trace a circle, and at 6 the letter x was a very intentional project. We switched to cursive this past September and have worked diligently, but I somehow stopped noticing her progress. It really has come a long way. The tutor seems like a great fit for our family.

In addition, we have started using the LiPS program to break down phonics in a completely new way. It is very hands on with lots of mirrors and magnets, so DD is having a blast with it. I have learned a lot about how our bodies make each sound, and so has she.

Hearing my DD described as "perfect" and "wonderful" and seeing her progress was just what my heart needed.

We still have a lot of work to do. There are several more layers of official testing, and many more days/weeks/months/years of diligent step-by-step lessons, but we are making progress.

As Jane said, she will learn to read.

:hcry::clap:

Esther-Alabama
01-24-2012, 08:52 AM
I am so happy for you and your dd, Sheryl. Loving that update!!

Jane Claire
01-24-2012, 05:18 PM
Thinking of the beginning of this thread...which we all need from time to time --it's good to have a cry together...it reminds me of the verses about our sorrow being turned to joy. With your update, Sheryl it's fun now to also celebrate with you! :clap:

mariah m
01-25-2012, 08:19 AM
What an encouraging thread :) Thank you. I liked Jo's advice that they have their whole lives ahead of them, but I can understand the tears all too well. I feel like I've never been able to do for my younger three what they really needed therapeutically, the finances just weren't there. My 15 year old is able to read around 8th grade level, I think. Writing is still a chore. My 12 year old is horribly behind :cry: but she is a great kid and is progressing. I will probably look into that vision exercise book for her. She finally started riding her bicycle this year. And Nicolas, well, we're lucky he is progressing in school. It was all too much for me.

Alice R
01-25-2012, 10:08 AM
Sheryl! WOW! :eek: :eek: (those are happy shocked icons)

That is "perfect" and "wonderful" news. :clap: :clap: :clap:

Sheryl in NH
01-25-2012, 10:32 AM
Ladies, I'm not sure if I was clear in my posts. Nothing has changed with my DD between my first cry of despair and my last post. There has been no miracle cure or dramatic shift. What changed was my perception of the entire situation.

DD works hard to do what is easy for many other kids. I simply became hyper-focused on her struggles when the reading test results were handed to me. I could only see the problem, and had a hard time believing that we could ever come out the other end of the tunnel.

BUT, what I can see now (thanks to your encouragement and a few God-hugs) is that we are moving forward through that tunnel. She really did make strong progress in her tracking skills and writing, and I needed that reminder. She will eventually make progress with the basic decoding too. In time.

We will need to continue to work hard, and I'm now okay with that. ... I have a feeling we may ride up and down on this rollercoaster a few times.

MamaLeia
01-31-2012, 03:52 PM
What a great thread! My sons struggles with speech issues, which affect our reading instruction. I can sometimes become bogged down in his "deficiencies" that I forget what a crazy awesome kid he is and how much time we have to get it together. What a great reminder to change that stinkin' thinkin' that can creep in when I'm not being a careful guardian of my mind. Thanks for the reminder, mamas!