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Tiamat Tiamat is offline
 
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A question from the mainstream
Old 08-09-2019, 04:44 PM
 
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I'm not a special ed teacher, but I have a kid who is giving me problems (educational, not behavioural) and I'm not sure what I'm dealing with.

Little boy in Year 1, will be 8 in December (so old for grade, I think Mum knew there were issues and held him back). He has been assessed as having "low IQ". He is a happy cheerful little dude. However:

1. He doesn't know his colours. He has been assessed for colour blindness and is apparently fine in that regard, and he can colour match - if I show him something red, and tell him to find me other red things, he does that easily. But he doesn't retain the word "red". or "green". Or "blue". Or any colour words, really. Except pink. He's got pink down. A lot of time through K and 1 has been spent on colours for him.

2. Similar with letters - he can match but doesn't retain the names or sounds. He is not reading even a Level 1 book independently as he can't retain the patterns of the sentences.

3. And numbers. He counts fluently to 20 (not great for his age and stage but better than nothing) but can't identify a written number. If I ask hi for three counters he can get them, but if I ask him to point to a card with "3" on it when the choices are "3" and "4" he can't do it.

So, what do you think? Retention problem? Processing? Visual? I just don't know where to go with him, because eighteen months (K and half of 1) of constant repetition haven't made a blind bit of difference. I need something different.

We are a very small school (100 children in 4 classes, K-6) in outback Australia, so very few outside resources are available to us. No special ed teacher for a start, I'm it.


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Old 08-10-2019, 12:19 PM
 
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Hmm. Are we sure his hearing is fine? Early history of severe/long-lasting ear infections at all? Has his clarity of vision been checked? I guess if he's matching letters, it can't be that bad (vision, I mean- letters are pretty intricate). Has he ever had a head injury or any type of trauma? What is his language like-- can he hold conversations, understand what's being asked of him, etc? It sounds like a pretty severe learning disability, all other things being normal. Even with a low IQ, he's had 18 months of repetition and some of these things would be expected to stick. Interested in what others think o for him.
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Tiamat Tiamat is offline
 
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Old 08-10-2019, 03:28 PM
 
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Quote:
Hmm. Are we sure his hearing is fine? Early history of severe/long-lasting ear infections at all?
Hearing was assessed as part of the original referral to the counsellor. It's good now, but I don't know about past history.

Quote:
Has his clarity of vision been checked? I guess if he's matching letters, it can't be that bad (vision, I mean- letters are pretty intricate).
He wears glasses, so I assume so.

Quote:
Has he ever had a head injury or any type of trauma?
Not that I've heard. Good idea - I'll ask his Mum when I see her this week.

Quote:
What is his language like-- can he hold conversations, understand what's being asked of him, etc?
In line with his assessed IQ.

Quote:
It sounds like a pretty severe learning disability, all other things being normal. Even with a low IQ, he's had 18 months of repetition and some of these things would be expected to stick. Interested in what others think o for him.
He's an interesting conundrum, for sure. Parents are very engaged and willing to do anything suggested - he is on the waiting list for a detailed complete assessment in Sydney, but that could be a while in coming.
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Old 08-11-2019, 07:49 AM
 
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I'm glad they're planning a more complete assessment.

In the mean time: "bigger, and more movement" - instead of asking him to look at a small 3 on a piece of paper, ask him to walk a large three on the ground. Trace letters really big in the air, have him write them large on the board.

Also, look up "Touchmath" - it uses the natural points in numbers to help kids' visualize them - like the three points on a 3
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Old 08-11-2019, 04:24 PM
 
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Touchmath and movement are great ideas. Could he trace numbers in shaving cream, beans, etc? He might need that kinesthetic piece. It's interesting that he can match them. Please post back when you learn more. I'm really curious.

My guesses would be a severe disconnect somewhere in the brain or really low processing memory. I had an older child who struggled in all areas and was found to have very little working memory.

That's great that you are doing what you can to help him.


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Tiamat Tiamat is offline
 
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Old 08-13-2019, 01:31 PM
 
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The Principal wants me to focus on colours first and, after attempting a series of colour flashcards with no success at all, decided to focus on one colour. So, while the rest were at Italian, he and I went for a walk around the playground and looked at "green" There is lots and lots of green of all different shades in our playground and the rooves of the buildings are green too. He easily found lots of green things, and we kept using the word green repetitively. As we walked back into the room to get his lunch, I asked "what colour is your jumper?" (our uniform is green) and he said "red!" very cheerfully.

On the plus side, he consistently identified 1, 2 and 5 two days running, but confused 3 and 4 (and not just with each other (6? 14?). I'm going to get some shaving cream and try that, and I'm working on a whole class number activity we can do outside at different levels.
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