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Wednesday, December 12, 2012

DYSGRAPHIA: Farmer, Jr's Journey

I know it has been awhile since my last REAL post that wasn't a book review or a blip from You Tube.

Life has been busy this year as usual but scholastically it is going much smoother for Farmer, Jr. We have both experienced lowering in stress levels. This is because we have been on a journey since the end of last year working toward discovering the reasons for some of his struggles.

This is due largely in part, as I have so graciously mentioned before, to his dedicated ELA teacher from last year who paid enough attention to her intuition that while FJ is extremely bright, it just didn't make sense in the area/s was struggling in.

Seeing as we are currently at the Scottish Rites Hospital in Dallas, Texas and I have a four hour wait for him while they administer various testing the entire journey of how we got here over several months is obviously running through my head. With a little bit of anxiousness as to how the results turn out. I mean I KNOW his issues and some of his teachers RECOGNIZE his issues and these people are experts... So I have to concentrate and trust that they won't overlook anything.

Those of you who also follow me on FB are aware of the issues he's had over the years. In respect to the written word. While his reading and AR testing and attention to story details are outstanding his spelling has been lacking and at 4th grade he still couldn't correctly spell common words he'd been reading and comprehending for years.

We would study for a spelling test all week. Upon a review quiz he might do fairly well right after practicing, but quiz him 20 minutes later and POOF! The words had escaped his head. We both worried with the anxiety every Friday. Would he make an 80 or would he make a 45.

His second issue is with writing in general. His words run together as letters across the line of the paper,often with little, incorrect, or no punctuation at all. Revising and editing truly stresses him out because he doesn't get it. He says that commas, 'and those air commas' and the double ones (quotation marks) just don't make any sense to him. They are all the same in his mind. And it isn't for a lack of trying but after awhile he just felt so beat down for trying and failing that he would shut down when it came to these assignments. Sometimes, well often, he'll downright lose it and go as far to hitting himself in the head and calling himself stupid.

Mind you, this year has been better as we started the journey at his 4th grade teacher's recommendation and constant support. We took the steps to get the psych referral, who then met with him and tested him and in addition to the issues and frustration with writing and fear of failing in school, he is also ADD. Which as she explained that he's even more screwed because as he is easily distracted he misses part of the lesson. Often teachers take this as a discipline problem and the child is further penalized. She also found that he has great anxiety and some depression because he has felt for so long like he couldn't perform even he though always giving it his best.

What a way to shut a kid down, right? So we have been on this journey. And we ourselves have implemented changes in how we do homework, I have a close relationship with is teachers and they are willing to work with us. In no way to hold FJ less accountable in any way, rather to find ways to help him learn in other ways. We have also implemented outside tutoring to help catch him up in his core areas that somehow got left behind along the way.

And finally, that all brings us to the here and now.

I'd like to end with saying as parents, and as mothers often more commonly than fathers, if you just have this gut feeling that there is something else going on - follow through and look into it. Meet with the teachers, meet with the school counselor, visit with your pediatrician, compare your child's school work to a friend with similar skill levels. One way or the other, you will be glad you did and so will your child.

Happy Tuesday! Farmer's Wife



Michèle Hastings said...

Your post is very timely for me! I am currently reading "Driven to Distraction: Coping with Attention Deficit Disorder from Childhood through Adulthood", by Edward M. Hallowell, M.D. Jeff has ADD and reading this has helped me better understand how he travels through this world.
Glad to hear that things are going better for Farmer Jr. So many kids fall too far behind before getting the help they need.

Judy Susan said...

It will be he is dyslexic. Don't worry.. once you get that, he will learn. They have made great strides with this.

I just went to a workshop this spring where the woman was, had no idea her son was. Her story, and the program she designed so her son could get it, just touched me.

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