Special Needs

Not sure what to do. Possible learning disability?

I originally wrote this in parenting but they suggested coming over here. If you have any advice for me I would greatly appreciate it.

I am so sad for my 2nd grader. We work so hard at his reading and writing/spelling but he still has so much trouble. I just don't know what to do anymore to help him. He will read a sentence and replace words he doesn't immediately recognize for other more common words. Then if you ask him if the sentence made sense he thinks it does for example

Five little puppies dug a hole under the fence and went into the wide wide world. He would read Five little puppy dogs a hole under the face and went into the wild, wild world.

I have to ask question after question for him to realize that what he just read didn't make sense. Then if he has a word that isn't easy to sound out like "dug" He starts adding letters to the word that make no sense at all. And don't even get me started on his writing. Letter reversals, strange letter combinations.....I don't know if anyone else uses the MAP testing but I guess in second grade they have to read the reading part on their own and his scores have dropped so drastically it is schocking! In the past two years he wouldn't score as high as those in his school but still higher than national average, not this fall. Ugh, they want me to have his eyes checked again which we will do asap but I truly don't think he has a vision problem. I can't figure out what IS going on though. Is anyone else dealing with these kind of problems? His math is good and we don't see problems anywhere

Updated info: So I talked with his teacher some more and got additional info. He does not currently qualify for ERI because he is above the lower 25%. I guess I should be happy about that but i would rather he get the extra help. We are going to start working with something she calls an easy reader It is a book mark shaped piece of yellow plastic you can see through and use to cover the line he is trying to read. She ask him today about what he sees when reading and he brought up that the letters move on him. An example he have was in the word who the w goes to the end and it becomes how and in rabbit it becomes bbitar or bittra. I asked about having him tested for a learning disability but never really got a straight answer. I am guessing because he isn't low enough? She suggested we talk with his pediatrician. Ugh I don't know could he just be being lazy? If it really was dyslexia would he be doing a lot worse ? I just don't know what I should do?

Re: Not sure what to do. Possible learning disability?

  • I'm sure there are moms on here with more experience with this than me, but I would want him tested for dyslexia and other LDs. Our developmental pedi and a special education teacher that we met with both said that letter reversals are common for younger kids, but if they persist up to second grade that can indicate an underlying learning disability. My older DD used to reverse all of her letters, but she is now starting to write them correctly. We have a family history of dyslexia on my side, so our docs are keeping an eye out for it.

    If you've been working with him and he's still really struggling, I think it makes sense to have him tested.  You should talk to your pedi.  In my experience kids that age still really want to do well and please their teachers and parents, so I doubt laziness is a factor. 

    I know it's hard when your LO is struggling, but this board is a great resource.  Figuring out what's going on and getting him help will make school a much more positive experience for him and you.
  • Thank you both for your feed back.  Auntie I think this board should incorporate a weekly "Dear Auntie" post just to get your advice :)  This is the card they sent home with him that he will start using while reading. 


    I am going to cover all my bases right now and get his eyes checked again and if there aren't any problems there I will insist we test him just to make sure.  DH is also wondering if we should look into something like Kumon or Sylvan.  One just to give us a break and also to see if the techniques they use might help at all.  Have you heard anything about those places?

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  • I worked at a place that was very similar to Sylvan for a few years when I was in grad school. I don't have a degree in teaching or early childhood education. At the place I worked instructors had to have a bachelor's degree and most of us were working on master's degrees in a variety of fields. The role we had as teachers there was more of a tutor/mentor. I worked with kids with a wide range of issues, and we were very good at providing educational support, but in no way were we substitutes for professionals who were trained to work with kids with learning disabilities. If you know someone who goes to one of those places and can recommend an instructor to you, it might help in that it would give your DS more individualized attention in a positive environment. At the place I worked some of the instructors were really amazing and some of them were just so-so. I think the most important thing is for you to get to the bottom of what's going on with your DS and then figure out what will help him the most.
  • I will see what else I can find out about the lindamood bell. It is a state away but really only an hr drive I think so maybe we could work something out.
  • Tigger & pooh, I can't speak from a parents point of view. But, I wanted to offer up that both my husband and I have language based learning disabilities (he has dyslexia, and mine is unspecified). I just want to say, with the correct supports in place, there should be no reason your child can't excell.

    I started a reading intervention program in 2nd grade, finally got an IEP in 5th grade, and now I have a degree in Math and Language arts education (graduated Magnum Cum Laude). I still have some deficits - I capitolize randomly, I tend to overpunctuate, non-fiction texts are laborious for me, and spelling isn't one of my strong suits - but, what I've come to realize is that I simply learn differently than most people. And, once I learned how to make learning accessible to me, I was okay.

    As for my husband. He's a very smart man - a wiz with electronics and computers. He won't read fiction, but dives into non-fiction when he wants to learn "How do I do that?" (this type of disparity between boys and girls seems to be true across the board... Though, there are always exceptions). He never went to ccollege. Attended the local career center instead of High School. And, has taught himself most of what he knows. He now works for a local cable provider and earns more than I do.

    Anyway, it sounds like you're on the right track - taking Aunties advice. Let me know if you have any questions about what it was like growing up with a LD and an IEP.
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  • My 2nd grader struggles with reading. I think it could be issues with his eyes, he has Duane syndrome in his left eye so it may interfere or he was also born with a cleft, but he may have difficulty hearing due to fluid in his left ear.. Which can impact his sounds. Thankfully we have an ent appt this week.

    He had reading support in 1st grade, and would have that support this year if that was not cut from the budget. His reading specialist last year has a daughter with a similar eye disorder and was able to provide a great deal of guidance.

    His teacher has suggested he start with extra phonics at home. Basically any interactive phonics computer game. If things don't improve we have talked about a whisper phone, so he can read words to himself and hear them back through a headset to his ears... She did mention that another student uses this and it is not a big deal. Basically hopefully he should then recognize it does not sound right.

    He reads books to his brothers everyday and does an excellent job with reading to them.. I personally think he guesses what the word should be and does not try hard enough.

    I am thankful his teacher is noticing and is sharing her concerns... He is quiet in class but a very social kid on the playground... So I worry about him falling through the cracks.
    Boy 1 2/06 - Boy 2 12/07 - Boy 3 9/09
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