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PostPosted: Mon Feb 08, 2010 12:55 pm 
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Does anyone know if the following is early indication of possible learning difficulty of some sort, or just normal part of the learning process for young child:

A child I know (nearly 6 years old) can:

1. easily learn the spellings of new words and say them out loud e.g stair, chair, whirl, third, - can spell out loud phonically or using letter names and then apply knowledge to knew words "so how do you spell "bird" then?" or how do you spell "hair"?

2. has known "phonics" (jolly phonics) since early pre-school age, including most of the things like er, ea, or etc etc. Learned all of that jolly fast.

3. has generally never had much difficulty sounding out and blending either from a word written down or spoken to him /her

BUT, when writing does the following:

1. will miss out letters in school spelling tests for words that he/she clearly knows the spelling for, and also sometimes at home (but not keen on writing, so not much written stuff seen at the home)

2. frequently writes the mirror image of letters (and the same for numbers), even when he/she is copying (also when tired goes back to reversing the sequence of numbers e.g. 51 instead of 15)

ALSO, when reading

1. Says dislikes reading, but loves being read to, including stuff well above his/her age and without pictures. (Not keen on writing, but enjoys dictating stories. Spoken grammar good, naturally dictates in well -constructed sentences, but says not sure where to put full stops when writing). Currently reads ORT books at home to parents each day - reads level 8/9 at home to parents but says does not like reading

2. Sometimes mixes up similar looking words when reading out loud, guesses a lot rather than seeing what is actually there (but often to good effect so it makes sense even though it is not what is written down and has similar meaning to what is actually printed in the book)

3. Is in guided reading group at school with reading matter that does not match up to what he/she reads to parents at home (ORT stage 8/9 at home, ORT stage 6 in guided reading at school)

4. Relative to others has sunk down spelling groups at school

With numbers:

1. Was much slower to recognise numbers than letters. 2 and 5 looked too similar, 3 and 8 too similar, 9 and 6 too similar, 1 and 7 too similar. So did not accurately recognise numbers until part way through Year R

2. Great on number concepts, shape and space etc

3. In top group for numeracy at school (has risen up groups during Year 1)

Above average on both reading and numeracy (don't know about writing and spelling).

Pre-school thought he/she was strong on the literacy side and not the numeracy side, school obviously thinks the opposite!

No eyesight problems according to optician, no apparent hearing problems.


Is this all just normal for a near 6 year old? Or early possible sign of some kind of SLD?

Thanks


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 08, 2010 1:11 pm 
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Guessing at words can be a learnt behaviour from having been taught to read through a mix of methods. If he normally can blend and segment well, it sounds like he's not applying these skills in his general reading and spelling. Take a look at 'Reading Reflex The Foolproof Phono-Graphix way to teach your child to read' by McGuinness and McGuinness. Following the techniques in there should sort out any difficulties, and teach an automatic sound-to-symbol and symbol-to-sound approach to decoding and encoding (ie, reading and spelling). As a great side-benefit, the skills taught are very useful when applied to the word problems in VR papers.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 08, 2010 5:21 pm 
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mystery, I have pm'd you.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 08, 2010 10:12 pm 
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Mystery, I was very interested to read your post, but not sure I can really be of any help.

My 6.5 year old exhibits some of the things you list but not all. Certainly numbers were originally written the wrong way round, and letters never were.

Also spells aloud well, but doesn't now have a problem writing them down. However this time last year (beginning of year 1 ish) it was certainly more of a struggle - child didn't quite get the connection between being able to spell a word and writing it on the paper.

We have always battled to get an written work out of our DD - but I know this can be a problem with bright children as their minds work faster than their 5 or 6 year old hands so they can't get down on paper what they want to say fast enough and give up.

The comment about reading interested me - our DD is a fab reader - she has finished ORT because school only read up to stage 12 and now she is reading 'The Sheep Pig.' But...she hates reading. I have recently realised that this seems to be because the kind of books she wants to read are the ones she's not quite capable of. The Sheep Pig seems to be the first one she has actively enjoyed (it was her choice). There's not much plot or description in the ORT books!

Think the missing out words and guessing when reading is just a 6 year old laziness thing.

It is the spelling that seems odd. Most good readers that I know are also good spellers, but then again perhaps it is just immaturity. Like Y says, perhaps going back over the phonics would be a good idea.

Hope you get it sorted. :? :D

Actually I've just read the replies you've had on your other thread from people who clearly know what they are talking about so I should just ignore mine if I were you! :D :D


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 09, 2010 12:38 pm 
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Thank you Pixie Queen and to others who have replied. I am going to try everything suggested so far!

It was very good to hear of some similar traits which have been outgrown in other children, and others which have not. Am going to see how things progress and take stock again in 6 months time.


Anyone else with similar experiences?

It's the frequency of letters and numbers being formed back to front, and the being able to spell v. well out loud but not so well when written down that continues to puzzle me.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 09, 2010 1:02 pm 
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mystery wrote:
It's the frequency of letters and numbers being formed back to front, and the being able to spell v. well out loud but not so well when written down that continues to puzzle me.


Hello, don't know if this will be helpful or not.
I have a five year old (and two older) but summer born so year 1.She is an excellent reader.She has a reading age well in excess of her years and loves books.
However she has mild coordination issues so finds writing a real physical effort.She still reverses letters and numbers because, I believe, her "physical memory", ie the movement her body has to make to form letters and shapes is well behind her visual memory.
Her auditory memory is very good.She too can spell words gleefully out loud but would not recall them in full or write them correctly.
I believe it is a developmental issue.She was my latest to be nightime trained, took ages to hop and that kind of thing(not that it matters of course) and still uses a knife and fork in a very peculiar way. :roll:
If she is still this way coming out of KS1, then I will seek an assessment for dysphraxia but my gut instinct is that it won't be needed.This side of her development is just lagging behind the others.
Incidentally my middle child is not an outstanding speller.She's not dreadful but in this area, she lags behind her success in other areas.Nonetheless she is overall above average academically and at a very selective grammar.Lots of very bright people are not great spellers.
She cannot spell out loud words as successfully as she can write them and hates being tested verbally for spellings.
This is just an outworking of her strengths/learning style.
So...sorry if I went on.I think I am just saying, in my opinion, it is too early to worry seriously about this and children do not develop evenly in all areas.
Warm Regards :D


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 09, 2010 1:10 pm 
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I've replied on your other thread.

if you are concerned ask to speak to the school senco. When I was in schools I would rather that things were flagged up early rather than later.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 09, 2010 1:36 pm 
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Just had another thought...I know wow - two in a day :D

Go to the national strategies primary framework website.There they have examples of real children's writing.Type in , for example, Level 2 writing.This will give you a good indication of the range at this age and of how common letter reversal and "weaker" spelling is.
It may reassure you.If your child is year 2 , type in level 2 witing to see the range.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 09, 2010 2:21 pm 
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I don't think it is unusual for a child who is not yet six to have these difficulties. Mine turned six last month and until quite recently still reversed letters and numbers. Writing is often less developed than the reading and spelling skills. Until they are comfortable writing it takes a lot of concentration, at the expense of spelling. I think you are right to keep an eye on it but it should all fall into place quite soon.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 10, 2010 4:11 pm 
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Only just read this thread (!) and though I try to stay out of the SEN forum, I couldn't resist saying that I find it really sad that this question has appeared here - in Special Needs. Your little girl is only 6, and the fact that she can read anything at all, and spell anything at all, puts her ahead of most children in the world, who have yet to start school. Reversing of letters and numbers is almost universal in left-handers and very, very common in right handers too. Missing out letters in spellings - very common,particularly in blends like 'sp' 'tr' etc. To me it is so sad that these are being called 'difficulties' - they are immaturities which are only highlighted because of the excessive emphasis on formal learning for very young children in our schooling system.

In the unlikely event that your daughter is still displaying these issues when she gets well into the juniors, I am sure the school SENCO will have a look. To me, she sounds just fine, absolutely fine. Keep reading to her as that is what little people love the best...and the best way to make her enjoy stories and develop a love of literature. She will doubtless learn to read flawlessly, but whether she chooses ever to do so for the sheer love of it will depend a lot on what her experiences are now.

Btw, guessing at words is a jolly good strategy - using context and picture cues - it is what we all do, faced with an unfamiliar word. Think of yourself reading a complex technical text - how are you going to work out what a word says, or means, if you have not met it before? When you are only 6, there are an awful lot of words you haven't met before; or maybe you have, but you are tired and don't feel much like reading them just now. Someone much more learned than I will ever be said to me 'we aren't trying to catch children out or trick them into reading - it doesn't matter which cues they use as long as the ones they use make sense for them.' Guessing is sometimes a very good strategy, and your daughter will learn over time when another strategy would be better.

I really think you should relax and take joy in the immense achievements your little one has already made. The rest will come in time, I am almost 100% certain.


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