Friday, June 10, 2005

Dyslexia

A while back I posted a comment about my frustrations with Lina and school. I am sure I must have mentioned that we home schooled her first year (Junior Kindergarten). For a few reasons, but mostly her real wish to make some true friends (she is and will always be an only child) we decided that we would try her in the public school system - oh yay (sarcasm) it's been so wonderful! I may have mentioned some of the difficulties we experienced last year and more importantly, this year.

Being the concerned mom and the obsessive sleuth I am, I have been researching teaching methods, home schooling methods and different educational theories since I first considered home schooling her 3 years ago. There is a wonderful Yahoo group I belong to "Work and Homeschool". Although my participation and interest in this group waxes and wanes according to my needs at any one time, it has been a source of support for me, since my husband and I choose to both work outside the home.

Last year, to solve problems Lina was having at school, I began to home school her at night (after school). I was getting NO satisfaction from the school or her teachers as to why she wasn't learning and was in fact losing a lot of what she had learned. I made darn sure her teacher was well aware of the work we were doing at home. It was a good short term fix, as it turns out.

This year, at the same time of year, we started noticing that she was falling behind once again. I like this teacher's attitude better and she really has strived to maintain contact with me. However, back in January I started to think there was something a little more to these problems she was having. I won't go into to much detail (because I could fill volumes) but part of the problem is that she is quite gifted. She excels in creative pursuits and has now started to compose her own music on the piano. No Mozart here, but a quiet need to sit and play her own thing rather than what is put in front of her (I play in a similar manner so recognize what is going on) and her pieces are making musical sense. Lina is 6. She is also quite talented physically and last year enjoyed dance lessons and was able to keep up and enjoy 3 classes, Ballet, Jazz and Tap. She is also artistic; you see where I am going here. Her curiosity is voracious and she can tell you about cumulous, stratus, cirrus clouds and her vocabulary is very advanced and always has been. All of this makes it quite difficult to discuss possible problems with her teachers and our extended family. They just can't see her struggles. Hubby and I can. Her teacher chalks it up to her not paying attention. I know it is more than that. Thing is I teach her too and I see the way she functions.

Anyway.... I began to investigate learning differences (gotta love political correctness) last January and found a few LDs that seemed to fit. Enough so that I knew I might be barking up the right tree in figuring out that there may be an underlying impediment. I followed up with her teacher who at first was not receptive, however, insistence and good observation skills (I pointed out many things that she had to concede were true) have somewhat been productive. Enough so that Lina is next in line for a thorough assessment. The Work and Homeschool yahoo group pointed out that I may not what an assessment of this type if it goes on her permanent record. I beg to differ. I want a tool I can use to ensure she is getting what she needs to excel. She's too bright. I don't want her to get into the mindset that she is incapable of something. We have already gone through periods where she is convinced she can't read - she was reading at 3-4 years old. And we have gone through the stomach aches and doctor's visits because she didn't want to go to school.

So the other day, I was investigating another possibility - dyslexia. This possibility is too accurate to ignore. I think this may be it. Funny thing, when I was home schooling her, when she was 4, I had called a specialist regarding dyslexia because I had some suspicions then. Funny it has come around to this again. Lesson learned trust your mother's intuition!

I phoned Lina's teacher at school once again yesterday to ask when this assessment is going to take place. There are only 2 weeks left in the school year and I want some result of this investigation! I need to know the way she learns best so that my hubby and I can work together to get her caught up and confident once again!

For the time being, I am going to change my focus with our work with her at night and use methods associated with teaching a dyslexic child and see if anything clicks for her.

2 Comments:

Anonymous cindy said...

Boy I can relate in a big way!

11:02 a.m.  
Blogger ria said...

Really? Have you gone through this too? What is your experience?

11:06 a.m.  

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