Go to navigation
It is currently Wed Dec 07, 2016 4:27 pm

All times are UTC




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 14 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next
Author Message
PostPosted: Mon Nov 10, 2014 12:38 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue May 05, 2009 9:26 pm
Posts: 443
DS is a confident , enthusiastic, personable, bright sporty boy in Y7 of a super selective Grammar school. Level 6 for maths and Level 5s for reading and writing at the end of Year 6. However he has always found literacy hard and luckily for him the 11+ in our area was only Maths, VR and NVR.

Over recent years we have been concerned about his ability to communicate what he wants to say. There is nothing wrong with his speech as such but rather he will often start talking about a subject in the middle of his thought process, making assumptions that we know what he is talking about, without clearly communicating what he is talking about, with lots of references to " thingy" , "it", "he" etc. We try to stop him and ask him what on earth he is talking about and try to encourage him to start at the beginning. Sometimes we can work what he is trying to communicate, sometimes he starts again and on other occasions he gets angry and brushes us off with " it doesn't matter" and then we have no idea what he actually wanted to say at all. We spoke to his primary school about whether they had concerns and they didn't which we found surprising. They had not noticed any problems.

Now DS is at secondary school I am seeing how difficult he finds it to put his thoughts down on paper in a logical coherent fashion - he is currently doing a history assessment and I can see lots of ideas, but lack of logical order of sentences, repetition of ideas, lots of references to " It" , "they" etc and not to the subject. I really worry about how he is going to cope in exams which require lots of writing - English, History, RS etc. He gets quite stressed by and really tries to avoid any homework which requires extended writing until the last minute which doesn't help.

His siblings have never struggled like this and I am finding it very difficult to know what to do.

Has anyone got any ideas about how we can tackle this? I think that encouraging DS to read more might be a start ( although it will be an uphill struggle to get him to do this on a regular basis). Any other ideas?

Twinkle


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Nov 10, 2014 1:33 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Jul 21, 2009 9:56 pm
Posts: 8228
It doesn't sound like he will take any tips from family but it sounds as though, for the he, she, thingy it issue, he needs to go through a first draft with a highlighter and highlight all the pronouns and then decide whether he really needed to put the noun / proper noun in there instead.

If he does this repeatedly he may eventually get the hang of doing it first time round - and in speech too. My DH is like this when he is talking. It's terrible as I keep on interrupting him to ask who he is talking about. It's then not helped by the fact that the majority of the people he knows seem to have the same Christian name. So my next question is to ask which one. He doesn't like being asked either.

Does anyone at the school mark in detail? Do you get access to his schoolbooks? When he writes something that is incoherent what kind of grade is it given? Perhaps you will be able to tell from the schoolbooks which teacher might be the best one to point this issue out to and they might get going on it on your behalf.

As for starting in the middle of stuff .... yes, yes, yes whole family does it apart from me! I am just rubbing my halo. It's inherited on the DH's side. Most definitely. I would like to think that after many years of politely (and not so politely) asking them to start from the beginning so that I have a small chance of understanding what they are talking about that this might become automatic. I'd like to say it's because they think in pictures .... but there's no reason why they shouldn't start from the first picture is there? Gene therapy needed?

Sorry I haven't been more help. But interesting to meet a fellow sufferer (us not them - don't think they care in the least really).


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Nov 10, 2014 1:41 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Mar 08, 2010 1:03 pm
Posts: 1413
I wonder about this too. Does not your school show how to structure essays in the various subjects? I've no idea if the school we hope DS will go to does this; but I would hope so. They are very different, and necessary, skills from those taught in primary.

_________________
Seize the day ... before it seizes you.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Nov 10, 2014 2:19 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sun Jul 27, 2008 3:02 pm
Posts: 297
Location: S E London
You could be describing my daughter! Same KS2 levels, same language issues, same problems with structuring writing. The first primary school she was at couldn't see that she had a problem at all (thankfully the second one was more on the ball) Schools don't always notice these things because teachers don't have the same wide reaching and rambling conversations that families do. DD is dyslexic and as part of this has a word storing and finding problem. The difficulty with bright kids with problems like this is that they are not bad enough to attract much time or funding at school - but if your son is at a super selective you may have more luck than we had at a comp, as there will be less kids with differing and greater needs for them to deal with.

I'm trying different approaches, which seem to be helping.

- mindmaps - this visual way of planning or making notes is helping, because as the random ideas come up they can be added to the appropriate branch of the map. Planning in lists doesn't give the same facility to add ideas later

- practising writing paragraphs following the PEE structure - main point, example, explanation (or extension). Maybe just one paragraph about one thing at a time

- to write an essay, write one idea on a post-it note, then arrange them into a coherent order. Expand each idea into a paragraph and write each paragraph on a separate sheet of paper, so they can be re-organised again to make the most sense, then stick them down. Or word-process and reorganise. Starting off with a mind map is also useful, because you can write about each branch, but it doesn't always help with organising each idea into a useful order.

I home-educate DD so we have more time to work on this; I appreciate it may be more difficult if your son is at school all day and doesn't have the time or energy to do all this at home - I know they just need to get homework done.

I do think schools should spend longer teaching essay writing skills to everyone - my son, now 16, and without the issues my daughter has, needed help to learn how to structure essays and it wasn't taught at his school either, and friends with children at a range of types of schools all say the same thing.

I do think it is worth speaking to a special needs person at school - they may have some suggestions too.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Nov 10, 2014 2:48 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Dec 18, 2012 10:59 am
Posts: 3579
Another one here, eldest son. Starts in the middle and worse, fades off before the end, often finishing on, "so um yeah." This drives me potty, but worse encourages me to simply ignore him, which I know is lousy parenting.

Mind maps have helped hugely with structure in essays, he has a mind map app on his iPad, that produces the boxes for him to link and fill...woe betide he use a pencil and paper. :roll:


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Nov 10, 2014 3:03 pm 
Offline

Joined: Thu Mar 04, 2010 10:41 pm
Posts: 1008
DD1 was (an still is a bit) like your son. She was really behind in English from Y2 (due to a particularly nasty girl mocking her writing even though it was fine at the time) and we had to struggle in Y5 to prepare her for 11+. She didn't properly understand what was going on (the girl tried to take away her friends with threats and bribes) and communicate it to us, so for several years suffered :evil: :evil: . In Y 6 we tested her IQ after her 11+ performance and checked her for autism etc, and it turned out that she has mild high functioning autism/aspergers and a high IQ. Knowing that has really helped, and we now have turned it into a positive thing:) We watch out for any signs of problems with relating to friends, but at her current school there are lots of girls who are a bit different so she's made lovely friends. Her English improved a lot over the last few years too, and that was helped by her suddenly becoming a prolific reader around the age of 12. She started to write 'fan fiction' linked to her interest in anime, and loves it. Is there anything that you could engage your son in reading/writing that doesn't seem like work?


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Nov 10, 2014 4:27 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Mar 04, 2008 2:28 pm
Posts: 2359
It certainly is a feature of some dyslexia spectrum specific learning difficulties.
Do get DS assessed by an Educational Psychologist if you possibly can as knowing what you are dealing with will help and the school will probably help more.

If the school dont offer support then a few sessions with a specialist tutor could help - its about working out coping strategies.

If the school can't provide an assessment in a timely fashion and also for specialist tutors I would start with Dyslexia Action.

I would check any assessment offered by specialist teachers as if he has a high IQ this can result in non standard assessment data which can be incorrectly interpreted by less qualified or experienced professionals.

Also, it is possible for DS to be awarded extra time in exams where processing of information is an issue. There are very strict rules on this now but it is still possible.

Mind maps are usually a great help. There is a basic computer programme called 'inspiration' which is great for projects/ essay writing etc.

It is really frustrating to live with people who have these difficulties but it is also exhausting for the 'sufferers'. My personal advice is to agree some strategies and get cooperation from DS for certain things but try to cope with the 'hard to follow' conversations some of the time. With great application of patience! they do usually make sense eventually :)

I'm no better than anyone else in getting irritated and impatuent but then they loose confidence and it gets worse.

Final! thought. Try audio books. They cut out the reading aspect but reinforce effective communication skills.

Oops! Another thought.. Get him tested by an optometrist to see if tinted lenses will help with the reading. It can make a huge difference.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Nov 10, 2014 5:11 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon May 16, 2011 1:05 pm
Posts: 4024
Location: Reading
Sounds like dyslexic traits to me as well.
From my own experience dyslexia is frustrating and exhausting.
In addition it is Important to get the right sort of help and sooner rather than later. You may find that once he and you knows there's a reason behind it, you both find some middle ground. You accept he has a problem, he accepts why you keep asking.
Dyslexia and similar issues can manifest themselves in all sorts of ways, and reading and writing are only part of the problem.

As an aside, I had my annual performance review last week, and one of my reviewers said that I could benefit from an advanced report writing course. I don't agree tbh. I know have have writing issues, but I've often been praised for my technical writing (once someone else has proofread it :lol: ) as they are succinct and concise. I don't waffle. It's seems I don't write enough in this persons opinion. The person knows I'm dyslexic, but seems to think that a report writing course is the solution. I think it's like sending me for dance lessons to improve my tennis. Fortunately I think my boss agrees. Anyone who thinks that dyslexia is going to be 'cured' by a report writing course obviously doesn't really know what it is. Sorry for the rant. :evil:


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Nov 10, 2014 5:51 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sun Jul 27, 2008 3:02 pm
Posts: 297
Location: S E London
Just to echo the comment about how exhausting dyslexia is, especially in situations where it is not recognised. Unfortunately there is still a belief that being dyslexic is only about reading and writing, and even schools are not so aware of all the other issues dyslexic kids have. Bright children can sometimes overcome these issues, but it is totally exhausting for them, especially, as in my daughter's case, they are expected to produce work at a very high level and in a short space of time. In the end it became impossible for my daughter to function at school, where the response I got was 'but her levels are very good' - without any reference to what it was taking for her to achieve them. Hence the home education!


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Nov 11, 2014 3:07 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue May 05, 2009 9:26 pm
Posts: 443
Thank you so much for such thoughtful and helpful responses. It is good to know that I am not the only parent dealing with this - it is really exhausting and my patience does wear thin particularly when I am trying to juggle everything else and the time available to get homework done is limited . You have given me some very useful tips to work with and I'm going to explore the possibility of dyslexia - I hadn't realised that it could extend to the type of traits I've described. It has never been suggested to me at primary school but that was probably because DS was " coping" . I fear he may not continue to cope at secondary. He asked me to read something that he had written a few nights ago because he said" my brain doesn't work like everyone else's in this family".....


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 14 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next

All times are UTC


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
CALL 020 8204 5060
   
Privacy Policy | Refund Policy | Disclaimer | Copyright © 2004 – 2016