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  • Sher_OD
    started a topic Need Advice

    Need Advice

    Hello! I am newer to this forum but I am hopeful that someone here can send me in the right direction. I got a little overwhelmed trying to find the answer in another thread, so if someone just has a link to a post that addresses some of these issues generally that would be great!

    I need some general advice on how to proceed with two of my boys who seem to have some special needs/learning challenges.
    My almost 10 year old is doing the regular Memoria press track (a mix of 3rd and 4th) but we have shortened or omitted things when necessary. He was a late bloomer with reading and we did get a brief developmental vision screening when he was about 7 years old that diagnosed him with convergence insufficiency. They recommended vision therapy but it was very costly and time consuming and I had a newborn at the time and just couldn’t see us affording it or finding the time. He started playing soccer on a team and something finally clicked and he started reading with much more fluency. However he continues to be very resistant to writing anything, though he does well learning auditorily. He also can be very emotional and has some sensory processing symptoms. He has trouble copying anything and is still not a very fast reader and does not choose to read for pleasure without a lot of cheerleading. For him, I am wondering if I just bite the bullet and do the vision therapy will this also help with his sensory issues and bouts of anxiety (he is very fearful of water, heights, new things etc). I have read that the vision issues can contribute to anxiety. Or should I get some other assessment and look into occupational therapy? I don’t know even the first way to begin with looking into his anxiety and sensory issues. Talk to my regular pediatrician and then get a referral to . . . what kind of specialist?

    My 8 year old is doing SC 3 and it has been very beneficial as prior to starting it we were just struggling to do the regular Memoria 1st grade materials. He is starting to read a little better using SC Writing, Spelling and Phonics. We also worked a little with a Reading Specialist this summer who was a public school special ed teacher and she did private tutoring. She has mentioned terms like Visual Processing or Dyslexia with him, but I also suspect Auditory processing issues. He couldn’t do the Recitation or memorize much from the list of the regular Memoria 1st grade recitation and it took him a couple of years to just learn his letters. He just stares blankly and can’t repeat it until it is has been said many many times and broken down into a word or two at a time. He also has difficulty following instructions to do a chore, play a game etc. He looks confused when you try to explain a more advanced concept or is very easily distracted, especially with any outside noise (with 4 other children-3 of them boys!-in the house it is almost impossible to have a quiet, distraction free environment!). I know it would be helpful to get an official assessment/diagnosis for the possible disorders above but what kind of doctor/specialist would I need to see? Our trusted pediatrician retired a year ago and so I would be starting from scratch with a regular pediatrician. We live in a rural area and there are only a couple of pediatricians locally and I have yet to find one that I feel comfortable with.
    Sorry to sound so ignorant about all of this and for the long-winded question. It is difficult when there are two children with very different learning issues and it can be very time-consuming to figure out how to help them or get to the bottom of what the exact problem is.

  • Sher_OD
    replied
    Re: Need Advice

    Thank you so much for this information Cheryl and Dianna! Yes I do have your book Cheryl, but I've been so preoccupied with starting our school year that I haven't gotten very far in it. I am realizing that it is important for me to gather as much information as I can so I can come up with a plan to help my sons. So I will make it a priority to finish it asap! The Simply Classical curriculum has been a blessing this year, I am so thankful that Memoria Press provides this so that my children can still benefit from the excellence of Memoria Press despite their challenges! I am hopeful that we will get to the bottom of these issues one step at a time! Once we are in the process of getting these diagnoses I may have further questions but for now I feel like I have a place to start. Thank you again and God bless you!

    Leave a comment:


  • cherylswope
    replied
    Re: Need Advice

    No apologies needed! It is confusing, to be sure, especially when you are trying to figure out what is going on.

    Your older boy might benefit from a full neuropsychological assessment. You mentioned all of these:
    - emotional difficulties
    - reluctance with written work
    - sensory issues
    - anxiety, fears
    - diagnosis of (but untreated) vision issues
    - "late bloomer" in learning

    If you have Simply Classical, the book, see the assessment chapter on how to prepare for a full assessment. Note with bullet points the behaviors you see. Include any family history on both sides of any similar issues -- sensory, learning, anxiety, or otherwise. Include his younger brother in this collection of family history.

    Your younger boy might benefit from a full neuropsychological assessment as well. You mentioned all of these:
    - difficulties concentrating
    - difficulties with memory
    - possible processing difficulties or disabilities
    - difficulties learning (e.g., years to learn letters)


    You will need to go to a larger city, but check with your insurance to see what might be covered. University clinics conduct neuropsych testing, sometimes at no cost. Children's hospitals or pediatric psychiatrists might offer (or know of) neuropsychological assessment through a psychologist or neuropsychologist. Tell them you want a full battery of testing to include I.Q. testing, academic assessment, and measures to assess fine-motor, sensory, emotional/social, memory, and processing.

    In the meantime, proceed as if your suspicions are true. If you can obtain private therapies, such as OT or vision, do this with the diagnoses you have, if your insurance permits this. Look up your suspected diagnoses for teaching and parenting tips. (I like Understood.org. Just search by specific behavior or "sensory" or "attention.") Implement whatever seems to help, even before you have a diagnosis.

    Clearly both boys need help, and you are uniquely qualified to act on their needs right away. First steps:
    1. Inquire through insurance and reasonably close (within 1-2 hours driving distance) facilities if you want to pursue in-depth testing.
    2. Search for effective ways to continue helping them locally, such as private therapies, good tutoring, or access to services from the school.
    3. Implement strategies in your own home school that will make learning & behavior easier for them. Acknowledging that they are truly struggling is the first step, especially if others in the extended family think this is all you, not the boys! Your boys are struggling, so you can act based on that reality alone.


    Let us know if we can help further.

    Leave a comment:


  • DiannaKennedy
    replied
    Re: Need Advice

    Originally posted by Sher_OD View Post
    Hello! I am newer to this forum but I am hopeful that someone here can send me in the right direction. I got a little overwhelmed trying to find the answer in another thread, so if someone just has a link to a post that addresses some of these issues generally that would be great!

    I need some general advice on how to proceed with two of my boys who seem to have some special needs/learning challenges.
    My almost 10 year old is doing the regular Memoria press track (a mix of 3rd and 4th) but we have shortened or omitted things when necessary. He was a late bloomer with reading and we did get a brief developmental vision screening when he was about 7 years old that diagnosed him with convergence insufficiency. They recommended vision therapy but it was very costly and time consuming and I had a newborn at the time and just couldn’t see us affording it or finding the time. He started playing soccer on a team and something finally clicked and he started reading with much more fluency. However he continues to be very resistant to writing anything, though he does well learning auditorily. He also can be very emotional and has some sensory processing symptoms. He has trouble copying anything and is still not a very fast reader and does not choose to read for pleasure without a lot of cheerleading. For him, I am wondering if I just bite the bullet and do the vision therapy will this also help with his sensory issues and bouts of anxiety (he is very fearful of water, heights, new things etc). I have read that the vision issues can contribute to anxiety. Or should I get some other assessment and look into occupational therapy? I don’t know even the first way to begin with looking into his anxiety and sensory issues. Talk to my regular pediatrician and then get a referral to . . . what kind of specialist?

    My 8 year old is doing SC 3 and it has been very beneficial as prior to starting it we were just struggling to do the regular Memoria 1st grade materials. He is starting to read a little better using SC Writing, Spelling and Phonics. We also worked a little with a Reading Specialist this summer who was a public school special ed teacher and she did private tutoring. She has mentioned terms like Visual Processing or Dyslexia with him, but I also suspect Auditory processing issues. He couldn’t do the Recitation or memorize much from the list of the regular Memoria 1st grade recitation and it took him a couple of years to just learn his letters. He just stares blankly and can’t repeat it until it is has been said many many times and broken down into a word or two at a time. He also has difficulty following instructions to do a chore, play a game etc. He looks confused when you try to explain a more advanced concept or is very easily distracted, especially with any outside noise (with 4 other children-3 of them boys!-in the house it is almost impossible to have a quiet, distraction free environment!). I know it would be helpful to get an official assessment/diagnosis for the possible disorders above but what kind of doctor/specialist would I need to see? Our trusted pediatrician retired a year ago and so I would be starting from scratch with a regular pediatrician. We live in a rural area and there are only a couple of pediatricians locally and I have yet to find one that I feel comfortable with.
    Sorry to sound so ignorant about all of this and for the long-winded question. It is difficult when there are two children with very different learning issues and it can be very time-consuming to figure out how to help them or get to the bottom of what the exact problem is.

    No expert here, but I have sons with some of the same issues. My twin boys were diagnosed with convergence insufficiency, and had vision therapy a few years ago. You'll need to find a developmental optometrist in your area. (you can search here) Therapy is fairly expensive, but SOMETIMES covered at least partially with insurance, depending on your coverage, how it's coded, etc. I was lucky that ours was covered, except for copays/insurance.

    For auditory processing disorder, you'll need an audiologist who specializes in APD. However ---- I think I'd probably consider a psych-educational exam to rule out issues like dyslexia, ADD/ADHD, etc. He may have issues with working memory, etc, and not necessarily have APD. My son has APD, but was seen first by our psychologist, who tested him, ruled out ADD/ADHD and dyslexia, but suspected APD.

    Leave a comment:

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