Wednesday, June 29, 2005

So on to the next step.

So, I finally got some results from the testing the school did on Lina. Believe it or not, I spent the last hour of school yesterday talking to the resource teacher. The last hour of the last day of school. hrrumph

Well I supposed better late than never. This last test was a language assessment. I was hoping it would go a little further, but alas it did not. I figured it out when I asked Lina if she had to do any writing and she said she hadn't. Anyway. The verbal results (I don't get to see a written report until September) indicate that:

1) receptive language (her comprehension): She scored 110 in the top 75 percentile. Apparently 90 - 100 points are considered average so she is a high average for her comprehension.
2) expressive language (ability to express herself verbally): she scored 122 in the top 93rd percentile, she is considered to have superior expressive abilities
3) phonological awareness (awareness of different sounds in words): I have no score for this but apparently, she has above average awareness of sounds within words.

The test also indicated that she has a strong memory but was very distracted during the testing.

OK. So tell me, why is it that she can't write, has difficulty reading and is performing below her grade level in all areas except anything having to do with Drama, art, gym and public speaking? This last test didn't tell me anything I hadn't figured out already. Having a talk with my 6 year old is like talking to someone 13 or 15. One of her first words was hippopotamus! The resource teacher at her school told me she is compensating for the areas where she is weak and is developing her strengths to a high level for her age. He also told me that as she continues to have difficulties she will continue to develop her expressive abilities. Oh yay, I will have to use a dictionary to keep up with her at that rate.

So now, the next step is to request a psychological assessment for her. Sounds scary but, apparently, those are the professionals who may be able to pinpoint why she is having so many problems. I wish I had my scanner at home, I could scan an image of some of her latest school work. It is almost unreadable, in fact when I was reviewing the folder she brought home with the schoolwork from her class (I guess they were cleaning out the classroom on the last day), I noticed time after time, the teacher writing a request for Lina to read her work to the teacher. I guess I am glad that the teacher was willing to hear her ideas and accept the verbal option rather than just marking her zeros for not being able to read her work. I can see that her ideas are there, but she cannot write.

Apparently, the testing could take place this summer, next fall or next winter. In any case, I am going to put together summer work for her, using strategies for teaching dyslexic children (at the start) to see if I can get her back on track again.

(sigh) I don't remember signing up for a parallel career when I got pregnant. I accepted the mother job as a given, but who would have thought, I'd also be a teacher, an advocate and a lobbiest as well.

6 Comments:

Anonymous kitty said...

hang in there!!! *rooting for you and your girl* (i have a 6-yr-old too ... a boy ... who keeps getting into trouble in school ... grrr)

9:07 PM  
Anonymous cindy said...

Its OK! really its OK! I was told by my parents that D was for Dynamite and F was for Fantastic when it came to my report card. Really it all balances out. I have one sister with a photographic memory. I have a sister who is dyslexic and so brillant and does extremely well and back in the day there was NO assistance or testing. She found out as an adult she was dyslexic but had compensated all these years. Me well totally ADD but back then it was naughty and overactive and I was given daily doses of aspirin and coffee imagine that? My mother had three daughters and well we were a bunch. I can start a whole other story with my two now teens I save that one. You are a awesome mom.

12:08 AM  
Anonymous cindy said...

Oops! failed to ask about your works of back tack art ar doing? I bet they are wunderbaa!!!

9:43 AM  
Anonymous Maureen said...

Don't get discouraged. I had one of mine go for psychological testing last year (when she was 9) to determine where her strengths and weaknesses were. It was a two day process - 3 hours each day. It turns out that all along I thought she was a visual learner and really she is completely the opposite. She learns by listening and when she has to combine listening and writing - her brain doesn't handle both tasks simultaineously and as a result, she doesn't retain info. After the assessment, there was a consultation with her teachers and a strategy was developed to help her in class. This process also helped my daughter to realize her strengths and her weaknesses and not to feel shy about asking for help. For instance, if the class has to work on something, and she finds it too noisy in the class, she knows to ask the teacher if she can go to a quieter location. Before, she would get frustrated and focus on that frustration and not get the work done. Your daughter sounds like a very intellegent girl, she just needs help in dealing with the things she finds challenging. Good Luck.
(ps-if you have extended health coverage, the fees might be covered)

10:31 AM  
Anonymous juju said...

Are we talking about a six year old? Cause if we are that is crazy early to worry. I have had more than my fair share of challanges with my children (7 and 10) severe dyslexia amongst them. But don't start to worry before it's time.
I didn't think six year olds were even in grade one in Canada. Are they?

2:07 PM  
Blogger ria said...

Lina is the youngest in her class being a December baby, but yes 6 year olds are in grade one, it's just that most of them turn seven while in grade one.

I am not so worried about Lina. It all may click for her some day. However, Lina's wonderful love of learning is starting to sour, her confidence is suffering and she experiences anxiety, stomach aches and has trouble relating to her peers. She does better with people much older than herself and it isn't odd to find her hanging out with grade sixes at recess. I feel that she might be gifted which comes with it's own challenges. Homeschooling was great for her, I had trouble keeping up with her, however, Lina is an only child and desparately wants to be with friends.

School grades aside - they are not the real issue here, if I can assist her to learn to read, then she will take care of learning on her own, I am confident of that. It's how to accomplish that that needs to be addressed.

For example - we can teach her the value of coins one night, play games with coins, pretend to buy things and shes got it. The next night, it's gone. I mean it's gone. I heard her talking with a friend of hers the other day, she went quiet when her friend asked her to count money they had earned. She just whispered "I don't know how".

It's the "I can't" that needs addressing.

2:27 PM  

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