Dyslexia and a schools obligation...(sorry this got really long)

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Dyslexia and a schools obligation...(sorry this got really long)
19
Thu, 03-24-2011 - 12:21am

My son started in early intervention with a speech motor planning issue. He went into special ed. pre-school for his speech issue and entered kindergarten with the school telling me he no longer qualified. Which was ridiculous...I immediately asked for an evaluation which they kind of dragged there feet on and wanted to take a wait and see attitude. I wanted to believe that he was indeed improving and on grade level. First grade starts in September and it is clear he is lagging behind his peers. I demand they test my child for a learning disability. He is tested and found to have an average low score in working memory but Very Superior scores in spatial reasoning and visual/perceptual skills... all other area's fell in average or average high. Our school system qualifies him for an IEP based on the score difference between low average working memory and very superior score in the two other area's.

He is now in second grade and still can not read. He still has a speech motor planning issue but it has improved and is hard to detect unless you know him. He still qualifies and receives speech once a week, one on one and in a small group every other week. He continues to improve.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 05-02-2004
My now almost 9 year old was initially diagnosed with Apraxia at 3. Then we needed OT, but got that through the school, so there was no diagnosis (that was in CA at the time.) At 6 we did a private speech therapist who said no, not apraxia, it is muscle delays. At 4.5 we started doing some beginning reading. It went pretty well with short lessons and a really large font. Then the fonts got smaller and he couldn't do the reading. I looked on many, many web sites, and they said that he had ALL the signs of dyslexia (some included speech delays in the "your child may have dyslexia if..." lists.) The thing was, I just KNEW it was an issue with his eyes. I don't really think I can put a finger on it, but I just knew it was not some connection in his brain, it had more to do with muscle issues with speech and writing. Eye muscles are fine motor muscles. That is what he is having his other issues with. I am pretty darn certain that if I took him to a dyslexia diagnosis center, they would have diagnosed dyslexia. And what they do may indeed have helped him to some degree. I am just not certain it would help to the extent that he would now be seeing in 3D.

I think that all the diagnosi that he has had are correct for the age level and the appearance of what he had. Oh, and right before the vision therapy, he was diagnosed with ADHD. (Which portions were due to the vision issues.) I personally do think with my son it is all connected. And yes, my son does seem to have some auditory processing issues as well (Or maybe that is the ADHD?) Not sure how that relates to muscle issues (probably not), but when you tell him to "STOP!!!" and he keeps on going a few more steps (toward that board with nails sticking up) I do think that it is taking longer for his brain to process than other kids. Our speech therapist recently (finally) confirmed this for me.

I guess what I am saying is, go with your gut. Try getting the visual evaluation to see if there is a convergence issue. Then try and get a dyslexia evaluation if there is no visual issue. It may be that like us, you need to address one thing at a time. If treatment does not seem to be effective, keep looking for answers and don't settle for something that is not working.
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003

Interesting observation because both a diagnosis of apraxia in his early intervention and now dyslexia in his later years have come up. Nj public school system will not give ANY diagnosis at all. They will say things like

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-08-2004
Yes I am in Alabama :)

Our budget is very tight here too. Our school system is 20million in the hole. The superintendent is on her way out, she has been here for 10 years and dug us in this hole.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 09-23-2008
I am a bit confused by your child's dx. If he has apraxia (and it sounds like it) that should affect articulation, not word finding and order as you stated. Also, apraxia tends to impact reading ability in auditory processing, while dyslexia impacts visual processing. It is unlikely the reading issues are visual, if he is truly apraxic.
Orton-Gillingham is a very old and dated methodology. Many "pieces" of it are still used and incorporated into more up to date reading programs.
For apraxia, I would lean towards a Lindamood-Bell LiPS program or somethign along those lines, to be implemented by a SLP and a trained reading teacher/SPED teacher. Wilson is also a strong program for some students. If he is not making progress, I would likely consider a sight-word program like Edmark combined with Words Their Way, using familiar (learned) words to begin, then move forward with a Phonemic Awareness program. That will get him reading and build his confidence to move forward.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003

I am from New Jersey...in general we have excellent public schools. NJ teachers union is at war with governor Christie at the moment. Budgets are sooooo tight that they will do anything not to have to pay to send a child out of district...which is what I want. I want them to send my son to a school that deals specifically with dyslexia.

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-08-2004
I sent one to the member help4son b/c she was asking about my son's school. I asked her where she was in the state b/c I didn't feel comfortable sharing more information. She never messaged me back.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003

My little guy had and does have apraxia. That is what a speech motor planning is and sadly you are right I new early on that this was going to show up later on as a learning issue. They kept telling me "Not necessarily, why don't we wait and see?" I feel so stupid now. I am trusting my gut from now on and my gut is telling me his school is letting him down and I am too. Not because of lack of effort but because none of us have found the correct strategies or help for him and doing more of the same is going to get him NO WHERE!

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003

I suspect all of you that suggested having his eye tracking ability tested are right...I should do it. I have just never heard anyone say anything about that and I don't see it but after I thought about it, I am not actually sure what I am looking for. It is on the list.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
If you sent one I did not get it...please send again?
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-08-2004
I'm sending you a private message about this.

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