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Thread: Should I test my son for a learning disability?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
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    2

    Question Should I test my son for a learning disability?

    Hello,
    This is my first time on here so forgive me if I do it wrong in some way. I have a nine year old son who is very intelligent but he sometimes struggles in ways that confuse me. I am wondering if he has a touch of dyslexia or something similar that makes certain things a tad harder it's possible he doesn't I simply don't know so I am asking if I should have him tested. The things he does that I notice: needs quiet to focus (needs this cannot focus with siblings around), holds pencil incorrectly has been taught since age 3 to hold it properly still tries to hold it with thumb on one side and all four fingers on the other, writes many letters wrong i.e. starting from the bottom instead of the top, consistently writes 3 backwards and has trouble with 5 and 6, b and d confusion, can sometimes read with perfect retention sometimes none, and his spelling is simply awful he only writes the consonants and if you do teach him to spell a word in spelling he tends to switch the consonant and vowels especially words that end in e. This is my first kid and still pretty new to homeschooling so it's possible that this is all perfectly normal and i am just spazzing about nothing but I don't know and I am hoping you will and I can figure out the best way to proceed if we just need to keep going and he'll get it, my spelling didn't click till around eighth grade, or if he might need to be taught differently to account for a learning disability. Thank you so very much.
    Natalie

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Durham, NC
    Posts
    289

    Default Re: Should I test my son for a learning disability?

    Quote Originally Posted by Riviliana View Post
    Hello,
    This is my first time on here so forgive me if I do it wrong in some way. I have a nine year old son who is very intelligent but he sometimes struggles in ways that confuse me. I am wondering if he has a touch of dyslexia or something similar that makes certain things a tad harder it's possible he doesn't I simply don't know so I am asking if I should have him tested. The things he does that I notice: needs quiet to focus (needs this cannot focus with siblings around), holds pencil incorrectly has been taught since age 3 to hold it properly still tries to hold it with thumb on one side and all four fingers on the other, writes many letters wrong i.e. starting from the bottom instead of the top, consistently writes 3 backwards and has trouble with 5 and 6, b and d confusion, can sometimes read with perfect retention sometimes none, and his spelling is simply awful he only writes the consonants and if you do teach him to spell a word in spelling he tends to switch the consonant and vowels especially words that end in e. This is my first kid and still pretty new to homeschooling so it's possible that this is all perfectly normal and i am just spazzing about nothing but I don't know and I am hoping you will and I can figure out the best way to proceed if we just need to keep going and he'll get it, my spelling didn't click till around eighth grade, or if he might need to be taught differently to account for a learning disability. Thank you so very much.
    Natalie
    The things you have mentioned are definitely red flags to me. A complete neuropsych evaluation would be the best to uncover learning difficulties. With some of the other things you mentioned, you might consider an occupational therapy evaluation as well. So neuropsych for reading and spelling, OT for all the handwriting issues. It sounds like to me you definitely have something going on.
    Susan

    2017-2018
    A (9) - mix of SC 2 and MP 1, R&S math 3
    C (8) - mix of SC 2 and MP 1, R&S math 2
    G (4) - Simply Classical A, hoping to start SC B in the spring

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    1,643

    Default Re: Should I test my son for a learning disability?

    Good morning, Natalie.

    Of course we cannot diagnose from here, but we can listen! This is what you are saying:

    -9 years old
    -male
    -very intelligent
    -poor pencil grip despite years of instruction
    -letter and number reversals in writing
    -very poor spelling
    -you had some difficulties spelling as a child
    -inconsistent academic performance depending on the day
    -you want to help him!


    You will only know his measurable, specific needs through a formal evaluation. As sfhargett mentioned, a full neuropsychological evaluation will uncover any significant difficulties that will then help you understand how to unlock all of the intelligence in his bright mind. A simple online search for "neuropsychological testing near me" can pull up some options for you. If you have any local friends or neighbors whose children have received evaluations, you can ask for good people near you. You may want to contact your son's insurance provider to see what, if anything, is covered. You can also call children's hospitals, university clinics, and private clinics to see if any financial assistance is available, if needed.

    If you have your Simply Classical copy, look under the chapters on Assessment for tips to get the most out of an evaluation. A good start is creating a bullet-point list of the good examples you gave us. Think all the way back to developmental milestones and any other indications that troubled you or extended family members. Think of any difficulties with the birth, any immediate or extended family members with learning disabilities or undiagnosed difficulties in school. All of this is important to bring with you, if you decide to pursue an evaluation.

    If a neuropsych evaluation is cost prohibitive. you can also seek a psychoeducational evaluation through your local school district. This will, at least, give you some information about his current standardized academic performance. The advantage to a full "neuropsych" eval is that you will obtain good information about not just what he has learned, but how he learns. Through sub-tests of an intelligence test and through other measures, they may explore aspects of his memory, his visual and auditory processing, and more. If finances are tight, you can ask the school to provide as much of this as possible.

    Nine is a good age to give him this needed attention, so you can approach both remediation (addressing weak areas) and accommodation (making needed changes such as audio books and typing) in a more informed way for his upper elementary years.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Should I test my son for a learning disability?

    Thank you for the responses. I think we will pursue an evaluation for him. Thank you so much.

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