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Spelling/Speech

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    Spelling/Speech

    My youngest, the Sprout, is 9 1/2 now. He is doing SC3 with R&S Math 3.

    His diagnoses: Anxiety Disorder, NOS, Autism level I/II (would have been severe Asperger's under old DSM), Sensory Processing Disorder. He has a history of visual integration issues, which he's had vision therapy for. They have improved remarkably. He has fine motor delay, low strength, and poor range of motion in his legs (from constant toe walking), gross motor coordination issues (like catching a ball), but has great balance. He's a hopping on one foot wonder. His speech therapist has suggested that he might have auditory processing disorder, but the Children's Hospital hearing center refuses to see anyone on the autism spectrum for testing.

    We're still doing orchestra, though it's beginning level again this year. He's in musical theater again. He got a pretty big role this year in Treasure Island, and he is so proud of himself. He has all the songs memorized and has the tunes down so well that he has been re-writing them orally to be about his cat, Philo. He's listening to Greek Myths and doing Greek Myth flashcards. He likes the stories and memorizes the flashcards easily, but the work in the student book confused him, so we're not using it. I figure two or three years of Greek Myths won't hurt him. He memorizes Bible verses quickly and easily, too. He knows the Lord's Prayer and other prayers we say at church services. He's at about 90% full, instant recall memorization for multiplication up to the 4's, and a little less on division, but he can do all them all. I have had him holding until he's fully automatic on it.

    What he can't memorize are lists. He can finally say the alphabet and days of the week completely and in order. This is new since Christmas. The months of the year is less than 75%, our address and especially phone number are not even close.

    We are at week 8 of the SC Spelling book 1. He missed all but one word. Again. He does say-spell-say. Say-write-say. I print them off in cursive and he writes them that way for extra cursive practice. (Cursive is actually going great. He can read it well and his writing is really improving.) We do the questions/exercises in the book. He writes them on a vertical white board. I sound them out to him. We haven't been doing sidewalk chalk due to the weather, and the play dough/wiki sticks cause meltdowns-I think from the fine motor angle. Writing this I realize I've been leaving letter tiles off, so I can add that back in, but we're both getting so frustrated with it not sticking.

    He is working through Core Skills Phonics 2 again, and he has really improved his consonant sound recognition. We're doing FSR E and he got the basic long vowels no problem. I am going to have to add the different spellings of each to his daily flashcards, though, because he can't recall which ones go with which sounds after a couple of weeks. The R-controlled vowels are throwing him. He still cannot hear the difference between short e and short i at all. Strong short u's like umbrella are pretty consistent, but get very shaky in words with a more 'oo' as in boo sound. Short a is his strongest, but will still get it mixed up, especially with o.

    He can read. He reads the SC3 history books out loud to me, with only a little help with person and place proper nouns. I really don't know how, given his testing scores and inability to hear short vowels. Maybe he's just memorized that many words? I don't know. He does much worse with lists of random words as in the Classical Phonics book, but it can't just be pictures, those history books have a lot of words per picture.

    This was supposed to be another spelling post, but I got his latest speech testing back today. His Written Expression score (OWLS II test) was 6 yrs 11 months: moderate delay (an improvement over last year when he couldn't write basically anything by sound and scored a profound delay).

    The PAT-II for phonemic awareness. Some of these age equivalents don't make a lot of sense to me, as one will be younger and considered within normal limits, while another can be older and be profoundly delayed, but here they are.

    PHONOLOGICAL AWARENESS
    *Rhyming 33rd percentile AE: 6yrs, 3 mos WNL
    Segmentation 2nd per AE: 5yrs, 9 mos Moderate Delay
    Isolation <1st per AE: <5 yrs, 0 mos At least Severe Delay
    *Deletion 7th per AE: 6yrs, 8 mos Borderline mild/moderate delay
    *Substitution 34th per AE: 8 yrs, 0 mos WNL
    *Blending 12th per AE: 6yrs, 2 mos Mild delay

    Total Sub-test 1st percentile Age equivalent 5 yrs, 5 months Severe Delay (* indicate improvement over last year's test)

    PHONEMIC AWARENESS
    Graphemes <1st AE: 6yrs, 3 months Profound delay
    Decoding <1st AE: 6yrs, 4 months Profound delay

    Total Test <1st percentile Age equivalent 6 years, 3 months Profound delay

    Her treatment diagnosis is Mixed Receptive & Expressive Language Disorder.

    He's a smart kid. He's just so scattered in his abilities. He memorized the Robert Frost Stopping by Woods on Snowy Evening poem last year just because we read it every day for a week, but can't spell 'help' after 30+ practices. Lately it seems like he's telling people he's very smart dozens of times a day. I know he's feeling sensitive over this. He knows it is the spelling book from a lower level. It's hard to convince him to not be sensitive about it when something is this hard for him. I'm not sure where to go from here. He enjoys the older content. He likes the history books and breezes through SC Writing 2 (with spelling help). He enjoys hearing the Greek Myths and learning their flashcards. He will enjoy Mammals and everything else in SC4, but how can he keep moving up in those areas when his spelling is several levels behind? He cannot hear any difference in the vowels of egg and igloo, no matter the emphasis and care taken in separating them. I just don't know how to keep going over them when its like hitting a brick wall. Is it time to start thinking about longer term accommodations?
    Miah - married to Warcabbage, 3 boys, BS in social work, AS in Electrical Engineering Technology

    Evulcarrot - 18, freshman in college, Medical Technology , mild autism
    Battlebroccoli - 17, lives with grandma, attends a special high school program part time
    Doomsprout - 10, highly verbal moderate autism, anxiety, motor delays, sensory processing issues - SC 4 with R&S 4

    #2
    Re: Spelling/Speech

    Miah, this is so encouraging! He is READING (!!) the SC 3 American history books. This is just what I was hoping by placing those slightly higher, but more interesting, books in that level. Outstanding.

    And you are doing with D'Aulaires' Greek Myths exactly what we plan to do in SC 5 & 6: teach from the text, T Guide, and flash cards, but not the student text. And then spend more time with all of the stories and characters. Very good.

    His written expression has improved, his math facts are stronger, his phonics for reading is more solid, his cursive is strong, and he has good musical, creative, and even edifying ways to memorize. He is enjoying himself in musical theater! You are doing good work.

    A few suggestions:
    1. Act as if he has auditory processing difficulties, even though you never received a formal diagnosis. Read up on ways to both train and accommodate this.
    2. Related to #1, stop SC Spelling, unless a) you can increase the visual presentation, b) you are omitting the phonemic dictation at the back. If you feel you have neglected either the visual components or the sound dictations, back up and try those. But if you have been doing those, then just stop for now. Instead, switch to Core Skills: Spelling 1 and 2. He is doing well with the sequential, visual CS: Phonics, so he will probably appreciate the familiar format. (My two, both ASD, were like this too.)
    3. Introduce, if you are not already, good coordination practice based on whatever they suggested. Swimming is excellent, or gait training, light hiking, soccer or kickball (sometimes feet/ball sports work better than catching/ball sports), tennis, or whatever you like to do and wouldn't mind teaching him. He is entering that transition time from boy to teen. Regular physical elements will not only smooth that transition for you but will help carry him into adulthood.
    4. This leads to your question about long-term. Yes. It is time to be thinking, as you already guessed. Perhaps not "architect," but rather someone involved with service groups that build homes for others. Be looking for local mentors for the future, such as kind-hearted architects or carpenters, perhaps from your church. Keep options broad, because his interests are superbly broad right now. This is evidence of his liberal arts education. You are giving him much right now, even when it might not feel like much, by educating him so richly.
    5. Chunk his phone number into three sections (area code, first 3, last 4) and place them on flash cards. Teach each chunk to mastery in order, but only one at a time. He needs to know his phone number, and he can learn it. Approach it broken down, like you would a math fact. Do not move past the area code, until he knows the area code, even if this takes a week or more. Then teach the next 3, then pair the area code with the next 3. Only then teach the last 4. Then join them all together. Eventually do the same with the address. In the meantime, get a medical ID bracelet with "autism" written on it, your phone number, and anything else you want to put on it. My husband recently found inexpensive bold, non-metal medical ID bracelets for both of our children. This is a must-have for any child/adult who does not (or might not) know how to handle himself in an emergency.
    6. Congratulate yourself and him. Give thanks. Go celebrate a little. You have done remarkable work for your son in spite of how hard everything is and has been.
    7. Then put your head down, work on the above five things (#1-5), and keep going.

    Your little Sprout was one of our firsts, and you both have faced much; he is in my heart and prayers. Thank you for the update.

    Comment


      #3
      Re: Spelling/Speech

      To me, the phonological awareness/auditory phonemic issues might be helped with a program that teaches each individual sound in a kinesthetic way. You might talk to your speech therapist about the LiPS program, it made a huge difference for my oldest (not the entire program, just the beginning parts where they learn the individual sounds). There is also a new program out called Foundation in Sounds that teaches kids how to recognize each individual sound. I also really like Barton Reading and Spelling level 1 for hearing and manipulating sounds within words. These programs taught my son explicitly how to hear a word and break it down into its individual sounds, as teaching him how to manipulate sounds within words. I would think these could address Cheryl's number 1 above.
      Susan

      2021-2022
      A (13) - Simply Classical 7/8
      C (12) - Simply Classical 7/8
      G (8) - Simply Classical 1

      Comment


        #4
        Re: Spelling/Speech

        The testing center in my state also sees patients on an ongoing basis. The Sprout goes every other week to work on his phobias. (They had him /touching/ a baby doll two weeks ago!). I asked if they could get him on the list for educational assessment, thinking he might be seen before the next school year. They said, how about the same day as your next appointment? I jumped on that!

        So he had his testing this morning. I don't have the details on his IQ test, but all sub-tests scores were between 9 and 14, so no immediate smoking gun, but some scatter. The lowest score was in a memory/sequencing area which goes with what I have been seeing in his work. His overall score was 109. I'll have more details on that in a couple weeks.

        The educational testing gave grade equivalents.

        Letter-Word Identification: 3.4
        Spelling: K.8
        Passage Comprehension: 4.0
        Calculation: 4.3
        Word attack: 1.8
        Oral reading: 4.5
        Sentence Reading Fluency: 6.6
        Math Facts Fluency: 3.9
        Science: 9.1
        Social Studies: 3.0

        This does induce some level of despair at the science standards in this country, since he hasn't actually had any formal science.

        The tester thinks he has memorized a huge store of words by sight reading, to explain the difference in his higher reading skills and his phonics and word attack scores.

        He said in all areas other than spelling and phonics that his scores are at or above expected for his IQ score.

        He also said the spelling and phonics issue may just be a manifestation of his autism. I think suggestions may be included in the written report.
        Miah - married to Warcabbage, 3 boys, BS in social work, AS in Electrical Engineering Technology

        Evulcarrot - 18, freshman in college, Medical Technology , mild autism
        Battlebroccoli - 17, lives with grandma, attends a special high school program part time
        Doomsprout - 10, highly verbal moderate autism, anxiety, motor delays, sensory processing issues - SC 4 with R&S 4

        Comment


          #5
          Re: Spelling/Speech

          Before they finish the report, see what they think about auditory processing disorder. If I remember correctly, the Spelling & Word Attack subtests may have been nonsense words. Spelling might have been dictation (i.e., auditory).

          Ask, too, were his higher IQ subtests visual?

          In other words, see if you can squeeze a little more from this evaluation by pushing for a more thorough assessment -- or at least report -- of his auditory processing.

          I'm also curious to hear where he tested @ 14 in his subtest(s)! This is big! This will help you see glimpses of where he will be successful in work and in life.

          Good job, Miah!! You can be very pleased. To achieve such strong "at-or-above" scores despite ALL of the challenges you and he have faced is a testimony to the hard work both of you have invested so far.

          Comment


            #6
            Re: Spelling/Speech

            Btw, at the risk of stating the obvious, he WILL need to work on the phonemic awareness. Whether auditory processing is a culprit or not, his weaknesses in this area have been well-documented in his testings and in your daily experience.

            Do you have a plan for this?

            Options include the new Foundation in Sounds which, although I have never taught, seems sound in principle and effective in application.

            I wonder also about walking back through SC 1 orally or, preferably, with oral dictation and with the included gross-motor and fine-motor exercises. You mentioned that he still struggles with short vowel sounds, among other things. This is affordable, systematic, and could be effective at remediating those missing pieces.

            His intelligence and your hard work have carried him far, so he can continue with his education, but it will also be necessary to address those weak areas. Even if you need to trade an outside activity this summer or school year for Phonemic Awareness Tutoring (which you can do as effectively as anyone), I would bump this to the top of the list. You can teach from nonsense words, as we do in SC 1, to avoid his masking the difficulties.

            Comment


              #7
              Re: Spelling/Speech

              I think SC1 phonics is what I will have to do with him. It is good to have a plan and to know where his strengths are, so I have more confidence in moving forward.
              Miah - married to Warcabbage, 3 boys, BS in social work, AS in Electrical Engineering Technology

              Evulcarrot - 18, freshman in college, Medical Technology , mild autism
              Battlebroccoli - 17, lives with grandma, attends a special high school program part time
              Doomsprout - 10, highly verbal moderate autism, anxiety, motor delays, sensory processing issues - SC 4 with R&S 4

              Comment


                #8
                Re: Spelling/Speech

                Good. From there you can move to SC 2 Phonics/Reading, which will target blends, silent-e, and r-controlled vowels. All of this can be considered "tutoring," not his entire education. You can take his spelling directly from the (real) words in SC 1.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Re: Spelling/Speech

                  Hi, Miah. I had another thought:

                  Because his auditory processing and phonological awareness will require training, consider adding the Phonics A to Z book from SC 1. The book has great tips for helping students "see" the differences, e.g., in vowel sounds with pictures of lips and good strategies. You can use the suggestions for this year and beyond.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Re: Spelling/Speech

                    Originally posted by cherylswope View Post
                    Hi, Miah. I had another thought:

                    Because his auditory processing and phonological awareness will require training, consider adding the Phonics A to Z book from SC 1. The book has great tips for helping students "see" the differences, e.g., in vowel sounds with pictures of lips and good strategies. You can use the suggestions for this year and beyond.
                    When I was reading through Phonics A to Z, I was struck by how awesome that part was. You could make little copies of the mouth pictures and use it in a LiPS-like way. The descriptions seemed similar to that program. That program was foundational for my oldest who had major phonological awareness/auditory processing problems. He just could not distinguish the individual sounds in words. He still struggles, but not nearly as much.

                    So make little laminated pictures of the mouth pictures. Go through each sound getting him to say the sound and really feel what is happening in his mouth as he says it. Have him look in a mirror. I'm sure the book has lots of other great suggestions.

                    When my son has a hard time with phonetic spelling, I have him sound the word out and list the sounds in order. Then for the sound he is struggling with, I have him look carefully at my mouth when I make the sound, and if he is making the correct sound, I have him look at his own mouth and describe what's happening in his mouth.
                    Susan

                    2021-2022
                    A (13) - Simply Classical 7/8
                    C (12) - Simply Classical 7/8
                    G (8) - Simply Classical 1

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Re: Spelling/Speech

                      Originally posted by sfhargett View Post
                      When I was reading through Phonics A to Z, I was struck by how awesome that part was. You could make little copies of the mouth pictures and use it in a LiPS-like way. The descriptions seemed similar to that program. That program was foundational for my oldest who had major phonological awareness/auditory processing problems. He just could not distinguish the individual sounds in words. He still struggles, but not nearly as much.

                      So make little laminated pictures of the mouth pictures. Go through each sound getting him to say the sound and really feel what is happening in his mouth as he says it. Have him look in a mirror. I'm sure the book has lots of other great suggestions.

                      When my son has a hard time with phonetic spelling, I have him sound the word out and list the sounds in order. Then for the sound he is struggling with, I have him look carefully at my mouth when I make the sound, and if he is making the correct sound, I have him look at his own mouth and describe what's happening in his mouth.
                      That Phonics A to Z book is a great resource!
                      Christine

                      (2021/2022)
                      DD1 8/23/09 - Mix of MP5 and MP6 (SFL, Birds, R&S 6 Math, MPOA Narrative)
                      DS2 9/1/11 - MP4
                      DD3 2/9/13 -MP2 or SC4? (still debating!)

                      Previous Years
                      DD 1 (MPK, SC2 (with AAR), SC3, SC4, SC 5/6, MP4 + FFL and R&S Math 5, MPOA Fable
                      DS2 (SCB, SCC, MPK, SC2/AAR/Storytime Treasures), Traditional Spelling 1, SC5/6 Year 1
                      DD3 (SCA, SCB, Jr. K workbooks, soaking up from the others, MPK, AAR), MP1

                      Comment

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