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Teaching a Student w/Short Term Memory Loss

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    Teaching a Student w/Short Term Memory Loss

    We are 2 weeks into SC L1 with our 5 yr old daughter (6 in Nov.). We love all things SC! We are struggling with memory work and copywork. She has significant executive brain dysfunction. My daughter forgets what letter she is writing and what the name of the letter is no matter how many times or ways I teach it to her. She is great with numbers though-- I believe because they are more concrete to grasp. She will forget names, and even where she is and will wander off. We believe she is having absent seizures, which are affecting her memory. She just underwent a 120 hr EEG last week. We know there was major substance abuse in utero (adoption). Phew, that's her background! She is Genesis 50:20 in the flesh, glory be to God! I wish I was as patient as Dory's parents in Finding Dory. I feel very ill-equipped and do not know how to scale this for her to be successful. Any tips from veterans out there that have dealt with short term/working memory loss in a child? Thank you so much in advance!

    #2
    Welcome to the forum! When will you receive the results of his extensive EEG? It might be helpful to know what, if any ictal factors are contributing.

    In the meantime feel free to modify the memory work and copywork OR consider setting aside SC 1 to teach SC C for now (except in math). SC C will teach, overteach, reteach, and practice those sounds/letters in a way that she might need.

    Others may have general tips, but you might wait on creating a fully specified plan until you have the EEG results.

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      #3
      I would just say...persistence. Keep plugging away. One foot in front of the other.

      My son is now 11 and I remember the days you're describing. Simply Classical wasn't out back then, but here is what I did. I would hand him the alphabet card for the letter we were working on. He would carry it as we walked around the house. Each room we would stop. I would prompt, "Which letter do you have?" We would look at his card and say the letter name and the sound. Then we would look around the room to find things that started with that letter sound. Just one letter a day. Maybe a few times a day, if we remembered. It made the letter more physical, you know? Connecting the random letter symbol with something very concrete in the house. I wouldn't get terribly picky with tricky letter sounds like c. If she points out any hard c ("ck") things I would just go with it at this point.

      If that is tricky I would still walk room to room with that visual reminder and I would tell her which three things to collect that start with your target letter.

      By the end of the year, I could sit on the porch and show him a letter and he would race off around the house to collect three things.

      Teaching your child to carry a reminder of what she is working on is really a great life-long skill for our kids with memory issues. My son will now make notes, not that the rest of us understand them, but they act as a reminder for him. He's also meticulous about keeping a calendar so that he knows any planned activities.

      As far as writing...do you have WikkiStix? Those things are amazing. She can use them to form letters over the top of a flashcard, kind of the junior version of tracing the letter. She can then trace the wikkistix with her finger after she has formed the letter. You can involve her in making her own playdough. I believe there's a recipe in the curriculum guide. We would put scented oils or food extracts (peppermint, vanilla, etc) into it and my kids all loved it. It was a regular Monday activity for us.

      Cheryl posted as I was writing. I agree...Simply Classical C might be a better spot for her to start. It really works those letter names and connections. Level 1 will move quickly into stringing letter sounds together into simple words. If she's still struggling with letter identification and sound recall, Level C would be a better starting point.
      Last edited by Colomama; 08-19-2019, 03:27 PM.
      Married to DH for 14 years. Living the rural life in the Colorado mountains

      DS11- Simply Classical 5/6
      DD9- Simply Classical 5/6 (neurotypical, but schooling with big brother to save mom's sanity)
      DD 6- Classic Core First Grade

      We've completed:
      Classic Core Jr. kindergarten, kindergarten, first grade, and second grade.
      Simply Classical levels B, C, 1, 2, 3, and 4.

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        #4
        I don't have much time to type, my kids will be waking up soon, but I just wanted to throw out there that I have seven children that are adopted/in the process of adopting from foster care, all with prenatal substance abuse, and one thing we've noticed is they're generally 1-2 years behind academically but they seem to keep pace at the 1-2 years behind amount, if that makes sense. One in particular is six now, and just recently started to "wake up" to the world. 1.5-2 years ago I was trying desperately to teach him his letters .... just ABCDE ... and he literally *could not* grasp it. Couldn't even get those figured out. Now he's (slowly but surely) learning to read. It just took him extra time. All seven of the kids, if you picture them being 1-2 years younger than they are, make a lot more "sense."

        None of mine have the seizure thing you're talking about, though, so obviously you have different things going on than mine do, but there's a *huge* difference between my biological, neurologically-healthy/normal kids and my adopted ones with regards to learning new things. My bio kids soak it up and memorize like it's the easiest thing in the world; the adopted ones simply can't. But waiting a year and then trying again has made a big difference for us; they grow into it a little bit on their own, and then things seem to go much smoother.

        Kids are waking up, gotta go now. :-)
        Mom to 12:
        Biological - ages 8, 7, 4, 2, newborn
        Two adopted sibling groups - ages 9, 8, 7 and 7, 6, 4 and 4

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