lianin

Right-brained children

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lianin

My daughter is 7 years old, and we have been struggling so much with her and language arts and math. She is at a public school kindergarten reading level and just doesn't retain things. Someone recently pointed me to this site, saying that the cards really helped her non-reading daughter a lot: https://child1st.com

I found this on the site, and it fits my daughter like a glove: "She has trouble sounding out words, or if she does laboriously sound them out, she cannot remember having seen the word 10 minutes later. Say we conclude the bright, witty, creative child is actually right-brain dominant because she comes up with the most off the wall ideas, can draw amazing pictures, loves to make things with her hands, or is talented with anything that involves movement."

We've gone through so many curriculums and LA programs so far it's not funny, and we actually have an appointment to start tutoring at the end of the month. But I'm wondering if this would be helpful. The site says most right-brained kids don't learn to read until they're 8-10 years old. I can really see how having the pictures to describe the words could help her.

My daughter is an auditory learner (which I am NOT), and that website suggested using a device to help them hear themselves as they read. It was like a light bulb moment for me - I never considered that. I might order one and see how she likes it.

Anyone else have experience with this? Did it help your child?

If it matters... we did get a psychoeducational evaluation last spring, which ruled out obvious things like dyslexia, ADHD, and autism. They labeled it as "general learning disability" and very low working memory.

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Moxie1

Kids learn at their own pace.

Ds was reading and doing math at age 2 - 3. Youngest dd did not even have the alphabet down in kindergarten. However she took off in first grade. By mid year she was reading at 7th grade level.

My mom kept reminding me that each child is different.

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Hunny

My friend made one of those devices out of PVC pipe for her son and it helped him a lot.

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lianin

Kids learn at their own pace.

Ds was reading and doing math at age 2 - 3. Youngest dd did not even have the alphabet down in kindergarten. However she took off in first grade. By mid year she was reading at 7th grade level.

My mom kept reminding me that each child is different.

Yes, but sometimes kids need some help. Not everyone is going to pick it up with time. Meanwhile the child is struggling greatly, thinking they are stupid, and it's getting harder to progress in school. I have heard this a million times and I find it really unhelpful, to be honest. It probably applies better if your kid is neuro-typical and doesn't have any learning disabilities, and you'll know they'll eventually get it.

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lianin

My friend made one of those devices out of PVC pipe for her son and it helped him a lot.

Good to know! It's really not expensive so I think it's worth the try, at the very least.

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poodlemom

When you had the neuro-pysch eval done (which we've been through) they should have at the end of the report, list ways and go over them with you, how to best help this child learn.  Do you remember if they did that?  With low working memory, did they also address Executive Function ability?  Both those things kind of go hand-in-hand.  She can actually have a high IQ but the working memory part brings it way down.

 

So the difficulty here is having a bright child that does eventually believe they are stupid because at some point, they become aware of the larger world of children (their peers) and sees them doing things they find incredibly difficult.  BTDT.

 

What really helped us was finding a home school evaluator that specialized in special education.  In NH an evaluator is allowed for educational progress because I realized no timed test was ever going to work for us.

 

If it is possible where you are located, if you are near any universities with good teaching schools that specialize in special ed, I would see if they offer help as part of their teacher training internships.  Some have awesome on campus "schools" if you like for helping children.

 

If you aren't near anything like that, then I would see if your state has a central home education group somewhere or mailing list and ask for help there - specifically for a the disability your child has with low working memory - that's critical that they know that.

 

Repetition, for its own sake, isn't going to be of any use here.  To a point, yes, but after that, the child is unable to absorb it.  If you can make the right connections with the right special education groups, you can learn to implement strategies with the right tools that *help* your child remember.

 

As I'm typing this, I'm thinking one of your best strategies at the moment would be to find a very good occupational therapist who *specifically* knows how to work with this type of disability.  Interview several, find the right fit, and get on their waiting list.  They will want to see the neuro-pysch eval and they will want to do their unique eval.  I rented out a room in our house for a year and we had great insurance, to pay for the exactly the right OT and while it isn't remotely instant results, all her work and suggestions paid off big time down the road.  A good OT will see things you don't see - the child might also have very low muscle tone that makes it hard to write - I could write and essay on that - or how to use scissors correctly.  Believe me, my child fooled me.  But the OT put her through her paces and I didn't realize how much was holding my child back from lack of good neural connection in the brain and my child has a high IQ too but low processing speed.  A good OT will give you exercises at home and can gear it towards the right learning style and also tell you where to ease off.  My child did HWT for a year and can write cursive - poorly still at 20 but she can do it.  But she prints.  Typing is not easy - it is a fine motor skill.  So if a child has trouble writing, they are going to have trouble typing.  Maybe not as much but it isn't as simple a transition as people make it out to be if they haven't seen how hard it can be.

 

Got to run to appointment.

 

Poodlemom

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Moxie1

Thank you all for opening my eyes.

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lianin

Oh that is interesting Poodlemom, a lot to think about in your post.

 

They did have a summary at the end of the psych eval. It said executive function was good, it's mostly the working memory. They recommended repetition, but like you mentioned I think it helps some but not enough.

 

In the past few months, my daughter has reached the point where she feels she's stupid. :( And she's incredibly frustrated and starting to resist even wanting to learn. It's scaring me that we're undoing 2+ years of trying to create a love of learning. I feel so bad for her.

 

I've not heard of homeschool evaluators - I'm in Georgia which is a low regulation state; all we have to do is declare our intent to homeschool and keep stuff for our records. I can ask around my homeschooling group.

 

My DD actually has had low muscle tone issues. She never crawled and didn't walk until 19 months. We were in physical therapy for that, and she has exceeded physically now - very active and the opposite of clumsy. We did OT for 9 months while she was in kindergarten, and graduated from that. She needs speech therapy too, but my insurance doesn't cover that at all. It's interesting that you suggested getting an OT who specializes in her issues specifically... I'll have to think about that. I have an appointment to start private tutoring in a few weeks. This woman comes highly recommended and her training is extensive, and she said after reading my daughter's psych eval that this is exactly something she has experience with. But, she's not an OT, so not sure if that is enough...?

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poodlemom

It sounds like a good start with the tutor.  It may not be enough but you won't know until you see where dd is in a few weeks/months.

 

How is her coordination with fine motor skills like holding a pencil - does she use an odd way of holding it or a glass of water?  My dd *appeared* to cut with scissors - as long as it was a straight line.  The OT had her try to cut in circles drawn out on paper.  Then it became VERY apparent she couldn't coordinate turning the scissors and/or the paper to do that.  That's a fine motor skill problem.

 

Does your dd often put her head down in frustration on the table/desk when the going gets hard?  That's frustration but also actual tiredness from trying to think through something she can't.

 

Often these kids need a cue for remembering - singing the alphabet for example while using a drum or bong stick to beat out rhythms.  And this can be used for other things too.

 

I don't know if it is still out there on Youtube, but Sesame Street had The Count (cartoon Count Dracula) singing and using graphics for numbers.  I think that type of thing may help her a great deal.  She probably needs visual, auditory and her own movement and song incorporated.

 

As our OT said, she can't fix that part of the brain not working well, BUT she can help the other parts of her brain pick up the ability to start taking over what isn't working well.  She used to say, it isn't a stroke but like rehab with a stroke patient, you start making the other parts work to get speech issues, motor skills, etc, going.  It may never be completely perfect, but it can be improved enormously.  AND the younger they are, the more plastic their brain is for developing these coping skills.  It will be delayed but with work and support, she can get there.

 

Now for you - this is a marathon, not a sprint!  You need to take care of yourself, even if it is literally shutting yourself in the bathroom for 30 minutes to close your eyes, read, pray, whatever you need to do to relax.

 

Poodlemom

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mindyloo1814

I recommend Dianne Craft's Brain Integration Therapy manual. Diannecraft.org My dd8 has very similar problems and this has helped a lot...alongside a fantastic speech therapist. We just recently added in an OT for help with visual processing. The progress is subtle, but also huge, if that makes sense. It takes a lot of repetition and I think she's never going to get something...and then all of a sudden she does!!

She is also currently doing the 8-week working memory program at junglememory.com. She's about 4 weeks in and I am noticing some progress with math which has been an area of great struggle for her.

Hang in there. Her challenges may seem significant, but she has a great asset that so many children lack--you! You are her best advocate and you will figure it out. Homeschool really is the best place for these kids, imo. They can work at their own pace and are not limited by all the red tape of the school system.

PS- I have homeschool friends who receive speech therapy through the school system. I don't know if you've looked into that or not.

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lianin

I'll check out Dianne Craft! :tu

That Jungle Memory program looks really cool! I am going to look into that further.

I went back and forth with our local school quite a bit last year, before I gave up and paid OOP for the psych eval. Our school system is pretty terrible... I need to try again, now that the school year has gotten started.

And thank you! :)

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mindyloo1814

The creators of jungle memory wrote a book called The Working Memory Advantage. It's mostly geared at adults who want to increase their working memory, but it talks about the science and there is a chapter or two about education. My husband read it.

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