I think I might cry… or am I crazy??

February 16, 2005 at 9:00 pm (Uncategorized)

When I got home today Nate said he had a great day and had no homework…. YAY!! I told the babysitter after Nate went home (she lives next door) that I had spoken to the resource teacher today and she was a bit frosty. They want to start with a 504 Plan… all good, and he’s to be tested on March 17th. Then she looks at me (Jackie, my angel), and says, “I still think he’s dyslexic.”

I looked at her strangely, “but, he can read just fine and he understands what he reads.”

She said, “but that’s not all of what dyslexia is.”

Food for thought. Naturally, Nanner comes home and gets on the Internet. *sniff* Here’s what I found (those things pertaining to Nate are highlighted):

The word dyslexia comes from the Greek language and means poor language. Individuals with dyslexia have trouble with reading, writing, spelling and/or math although they have the ability and have had opportunities to learn. Individuals with dyslexia can learn; they just learn in a different way. Often these individuals, who have talented and productive minds, are said to have a language learning difference.

Does My Child Have Dyslexia?

Individuals with dyslexia usually have some of the following characteristics.

Difficulty with oral language
̈ Late in learning to talk
̈ Difficulty pronouncing words
̈ Difficulty acquiring vocabulary or using age appropriate grammar
̈ Difficulty following directions
̈ Confusion with before/after, right/left, and so on
̈ Difficulty learning the alphabet, nursery rhymes, or songs
̈ Difficulty understanding concepts and relationships
̈ Difficulty with word retrieval or naming problems

Difficulty with reading
̈ Difficulty learning to read
̈ Difficulty identifying or generating rhyming words, or counting syllables in words (Phonological Awareness)
̈ Difficulty with hearing and manipulating sounds in words (Phonemic Awareness)
̈ Difficulty distinguishing different sounds in words (Auditory Discrimination)
̈ Difficulty in learning the sounds of letters
̈ Difficulty remembering names and/or shapes of letters
̈ Reverses letters or the order of letters when reading
̈ Misreads or omits common small words
̈ “Stumbles” through longer words
̈ Poor reading comprehension during oral or silent reading
̈ Slow, laborious oral reading

Difficulty with written language
̈ Difficulty putting ideas on paper
̈ Many spelling mistakes
̈ May do well on weekly spelling tests, but there are many spelling mistakes in daily work
̈ Difficulty in proofreading

Does My Child Have Other Related Learning Disorders?

Difficulty with handwriting (Dysgraphia)
̈ Unsure of right or left handedness
̈ Poor or slow handwriting
̈ Messy and unorganized papers
̈ Difficulty copying
̈ Poor fine motor skills

Difficulty with math (Dyscalculia)
̈ Difficulty counting accurately
̈ May reverse numbers
̈ Difficulty memorizing math facts
̈ Difficulty copying math problems and organizing written work
̈ Many calculation errors
̈ Difficulty retaining math vocabulary and/or concepts

Difficulty with attention (ADD/ADHD – Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder)
̈ Inattention
̈ Variable attention
̈ Distractibility
̈ Impulsivity
̈ Hyperactivity

Difficulty with motor skills (Dyspraxia)
̈ Difficulty planning and coordinating body movements
̈ Difficulty coordinating facial muscles to produce sounds

Difficulty with organization
̈ Loses papers
̈ Poor sense of time
̈ Forgets homework
̈ Messy desk
̈ Overwhelmed by too much input
̈ Works slowly

̈ Difficulty naming colors, objects, and letters (Rapid Automatized Naming)
̈ Memory problems
̈ Needs to see or hear concepts many times in order to learn them
̈ Distracted by visual stimuli
̈ Downward trend in achievement test scores or school performance
̈ Work in school is inconsistent
̈ Teacher says, “If only she would try harder,” or “He’s lazy.”
Relatives may have similar problems

Everyone probably can check one or two of these characteristics. That does not mean that everyone has dyslexia. A person with dyslexia usually has several of these characteristics, which persist over time and interfere with his or her learning. If your child is having difficulties learning to read and you have noted several of these characteristics in your child, he or she may need to be evaluated for dyslexia and/or a related disorder.

The International Dyslexia Association thanks Suzanne Carreker for her assistance in the preparation of this fact sheet.

The International Dyslexia Association · 8600 LaSalle Road, Chester Bldg. #382 · Baltimore, MD 21286-2044 Tel: 410-296-0232 · Fax: 410-321-5069 · E-mail: info@interdys.org · Website: http://www.interdys.org

© Copyright 2003, The International Dyslexia Association (IDA). IDA encourages the reproduction and distribution of this fact sheet. If portions of the text are cited, appropriate reference must be made. Fact sheets may not be reprinted for the purpose of resale.
Fact Sheet #63 – 01/03

Additionally, there are the social implications. To save space I’m just going to cut and paste those passages which I see in Nate.

The frustration of children with dyslexia often centers on their inability to meet expectations. Their parents and teachers see a bright, enthusiastic child who is not learning to read and write. Time and again, dyslexics and their parents hear, “He’s such a bright child; if only he would try harder.” Ironically, no one knows exactly how hard the dyslexic is trying.

The pain of failing to meet other people’s expectations is surpassed only by dyslexics’ inability to achieve their goals. This is particularly true of those who develop perfectionistic expectations in order to deal with their anxiety. They grow up believing that it is “terrible” to make a mistake. However, their learning disability, almost by definition means that these children will make many “careless” or “stupid” mistakes. This is extremely frustrating to them, as it makes them feel chronically inadequate. The dyslexic frequently has problems with social relationships.

This next passage is absolutely one of the most frustrating things for a parent. Knowing you’ve taught your child right from wrong and yet they seem to “lie” even when confronted. If you can imagine a scenario involving Nate, this is what would happen:

My clinical observations lead me to believe that, just as dyslexics have difficulty remembering the sequence of letter or words, they may also have difficulty remembering the order of events. For example, let us look at a normal playground interaction between two children. A dyslexic child takes a toy that belongs to another child, who calls the dyslexic a name. The dyslexic then hits the other child. In relating the experience, the dyslexic child may reverse the sequence of events. He may remember that the other child called him a name, and he then took the toy and hit the other child.

This presents two major difficulties for the dyslexic child. First, it takes him longer to learn from his mistakes. Second, if an adult witnessed the events, and asks the dyslexic child what happened, the child seems to be lying.

Unfortunately, most interactions between children involve not three events, but 15 to 20. With his sequencing and memory problems, the dyslexic may relate a different sequence of events each time he tells the tale. Teachers, parents, and psychologists conclude that he is either psychotic or a pathological liar.

This explains why, why, why Nate can one day be golden boy in school and the next, just completely blow it.

The inconsistencies of dyslexia produce serious challenges in a child’s life. There is a tremendous variability in the student’s individual abilities. Although everyone has strengths and weaknesses, the dyslexic’s are greatly exaggerated. Furthermore, the dyslexic’s strengths and weaknesses may be closely related.

These great variations produce a “roller coaster”effect for dyslexics. At times, they can accomplish tasks far beyond the abilities of their peers. At the next moment, they can be confronted with a task that they cannot accomplish. Many dyslexics call this “walking into black holes.”

Finally, dyslexics’ performance varies from day to day. On some days, reading may come fairly easily. However, another day, they may be barely able to write their own name. This inconsistency is extremely confusing not only to the dyslexic, but also to others in his environment. Few other handicapping conditions are intermittent in nature.

A child in a wheelchair remains there; in fact, if on some days the child can walk, most professionals would consider it a hysterical condition. However, for the dyslexic, performance fluctuates. This makes it extremely difficult for the individual to learn to compensate, because he or she cannot predict the intensity of the symptoms on a given day.

There’s more, but… I’m overwhelmed. I thought dyslexia only had to do with reading and meant that kids always inverted letters and numbers but then I realized that Nate does do that but I thought it was because he wasn’t paying attention and yes, he does make a lot of spelling errors although he is a good speller on spelling tests. And the writing thing… he’s a poster child. And the inconsistencies… fantastic one day… shitty the next. No wonder the kid is fucking confused.

I also read where they believe the same type of “scrambling” which occurs with ADHD is also linked to forms of dsylexia.

I know, I know… he’s not been diagnosed. He’s been tested twice… but not for dyslexia, which is a different type of test from what I understand, especially the written expression part.
I didn’t want to believe that he might have dyslexia. I really thought it was just about reading, more so than writing. After reading this, and especially the social factors and how Nate acts and what happens, I’m just… overfuckingwhelmed!!! Furthermore, all of the accommodations I was going to ask for based on NATE’S WEAKNESSES are recommended for children suffering from… dyslexia and dysgraphia.

Guys, am I nuts??? If you think I’m nuts just say so. I’m printing this stuff out tomorrow, marking it and faxing it to the school. I want to know if I’m the only one who sees this. They have to see it, because they’re the ones who keep pointing it out. I know my neighbor sees it (and yes, she’s had all kinds of child care training and her husband is getting ready to graduate with a degree in secondary education.) Am I just seeing what I want to see??

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