Monday, 17 December 2007

Mince Pies

We went to see the class teacher tonight, she is very pleased with his work,
in his maths book was a test on percentages and he had a Level 4- , which is great as this moment in time, average is Level 4 by end of primary.
The teacher is very pleased with his handwriting it seems average in form but still a little slow. We have the 1:1 help at least to the end of the school year (July 2008), the SENCO hasn't bothered to inform us so we are pleased about the fact that she at least remembered to apply for it! He is going to get both sets of spelling words for the spelling tests next year (easy and harder) as he is doing so well with them, he has some catching up to do.
The biggest problem is getting his thoughts down on paper before he gets them jumbled, and keeping on task, the helper is still egging him on, on occasions. He has lots of good things to write, still it's processing speed letting him down. Science is good.
So very pleased altogether.

Tuesday, 11 December 2007

Assessment with mental distractions Follow up 8

I am pleased again with these results. Matthew was turning again to look at his score on the screen just as he was finishing each session. Grrrrrrrrrrr. I also noticed he was twitching his hands quite a bit as he listed things, on the floor moving trials this however didn't seem to alter his balance he seemed well in control. He needs to tighten up those scores (the bar indicating range of 3 tries). Matthew always has trouble with test 2, don't know why! but I have been told that 4 + 5 are the most important. We also did the eye tracking. Smooth persuit was excellent and saccades had three red bars(a bar chart was shown to me on the computer comparing this time to last time) compared to 7 reds last time (they indicate speed of movements, slow movements = red bar).

Monday, 10 December 2007

Voting on X-factor

Absolutely no worries about Matthew's working memory anymore. It's better than mine. Matthew loves "Same Difference" and asked me if we could vote for them. We waited for the number to flash up and I quickly punched in the wrong number. As I grasped for the number, he just shouted across to me 09016161104. Makes me smile as he is so much quicker than I am these days, always correcting my awful memory.

Sunday, 9 December 2007

Occupational Therapist at school

As promised the OT came out to the school, (delayed 2 weeks because she was sick). She assessed Matthew with a handwriting assessment, talked to the class teacher, observed him playing football. She chatted to Matthew to discover what he would like improved. Waiting for the report now.
She has 5 strategies to help him
1) Tying laces, which he knows how to do just doesn't get practice in this age of velcro.
2) Strengthening shoulders
3) A wedge for him to sit on
4) Strategies for organising his work (not himself)
5) A special knife and fork to make eating easier, although he is ok he just prefers not use them.

She is going to give him a handwritng program called ?Meska to help with fluency. She discovered his class teacher went on a course a few weeks ago called "Write Dance" which the teacher is going to implement with the whole class as well as with those that need more help.
Finally an OT assistant is going to come out and give him a short 4-6 week course doing some of the above with him probably in Feb.
She stated that much that she would have done with him had been done already through Dore so her job was much easier. As she was trying him on some exercise matthew kept saying "I know that one".
Waiting for the report.
If only we had had this a year ago we would never have needed Dore?- Joke as good as the OT dept is I don't beleive their programs to be long enough or relentless enough. Unless somebody knows different.

Friday, 7 December 2007

Cubs Astronomers Badge

Last night Matthew came home proudly with his Astronomer's badge. The Cubs have been absolutely fantastic with Matthew. The Leader of our Scout pack has a Dyslexic son only diagnosed at 14 due to the schools labeling him thick and lazy. (Another horror story). This unfortunately had to be filled in quickly, and he had trouble getting it down at speed, but it's all his own work, and he was very proud.

Monday, 26 November 2007

Handwriting Dec 2006 and Nov 2007

Click on the picture for bigger image.
An example of Matthew's writing Dec 2006, note that fis= this and fers = there's, he couldn't discriminate the "th" sound.
Much better, this is a dictation test I did with him after learning 50 spelling words ("Stairway to Spelling").

Saturday, 24 November 2007

Great Day on Friday

Matthew came home and tells us he has had a fabulous day in school. I must congratulate the school as due to the accomodations and help he gets he is currently very happy. He was becoming despondent during early Spring term last year he just hated not finishing his work and feeling stupid, his 1:1 teaching assistant started May 2006 , and although she is not the LSA promised, she has successfully boosted Matthew's confidence. He is enjoying learning the songs for the Xmas concert for the first time. Of course he is now able to process the information better and is in tune with what's going on. He was laughing that he has to remind his best friend not to forget things, as "he forgets everything and loses things and I find them!".

Tuesday, 20 November 2007

Reading Support Teacher

Just been to see our Reading support teacher, and she reports that Matthews reading age is 9.6 for English and 8.10 for Welsh. Spelling about 8.6 but coming along. She's new and when we were telling her how he was last year she said "oh he sounds Dyslexic!!" and was surprised to be informed by us that he has a diagnosis of Specific Learning Difficulties (dyslexia but could also be dyspraxic in nature). So he must be doing well (you'd think they'd know if a child has a diagnosis though, wouldn't you?). He is still slow at getting his thoughts down on paper, but he can do the work.
When explaining to her just how bad he was last year (as we thought we ought to put her in the picture), it really made us realise how far he has come in just 1 year.

A little recap for any new comers:
Oct 2006 Matthew didn't know what day of the week it was, didn't know months of the year, couldn't tell the time, had no concept of time, was confused as to what was happening in class, his work had platauxed again etc etc!
Oct 2006 Previous Reading Suppport Teacher tests Matthew when she starts, she goes straight to the class teacher and asks "How are you coping with Matthew he is severley Dyspraxic". The class teacher reports that she "isn't coping" and wants help.
We meet with the same lady and she tells us Matthew in her opinion is like a Venn diagram with Dyslexia/Dyspraxia/ADD in the 3 circles Matthew being in the intersection of the 3. She tells us to try to get 1:1 Dyslexia LSA support within the school as "there are children not nearly as bad as Matthew being given support, although due to the fact that he is already receiving 1:1 for S&L he probably won't get it".
Nov 2006 Ed Psych called out urgently to reassess situation. At this point he was thinking ASD (we weren't I must add) and Dyspraxia, so refered to the Paediatrician. He also diagnosed Sp LD and had worries about ADD.
Dec 2006 Dore (thank God).

Wednesday, 14 November 2007


Just thought I'd add this. Matthew was caught reading tonight!!

Occupational Therapist

We had a very good meeting with the OT on Monday, she chatted with us about Matthew and what we had put on the questionaire. Very interested at the fact he hadn't crawled and thoroughly tested his Primitive reflexes (just like Dore only 12 months too late). He still has a slight retention of the ATNR reflex. She was very supportive of our decision to go to Dore, I explained that some of their work had been based on Jean Ayres work (American OT who used motion based therapy 30 years ago- yes 30 yrs ago and there's still people out there saying it doesn't work e.g. Dyslexia Action, BDA), she quite agreed that waiting for OT support for 12 months is not an option if at all possible. Of course some people haven't the option and have to wait. Shame on our government I say. She also checked out his muscle tone and handwriting skills.
She wants to assess him at the school, so is going to arrange that before November is out. She recommends trying a wobble cushion to try and encourage him from putting his head on the desk to write. The Ed Psych in his observations reported that the teacher was asking him to sit up each time he slumped down (yes these educational professionals don't have the knowledge of how uncomfortable these children get trying to get on with their work). They are getting him a sloped board to write on, something else to try. These will be on loan for a term to see if they help, if they do and IF the school will fund then he will have them full time, but she told us it depends on the school budget (yes I know shocking that the could turn round and refuse!) I am hopeful our school would find the money as they have been v. good with funds.

Monday, 12 November 2007


I discovered about a week ago that Matthew did not know how to do multiplication properly e.g

he was working it out in his head the logical way as 100x5 + 30x5 + 5x5 and it was taking him ages.

Ok he was doing it, but no wonder he is so slow, I had to show him and he quickly got it when I explained clearly and it was practised. I have being giving him 6 problems every night for a week. He now does them easily in 5 minutes.

They were shown the logical way first but he has just stuck to it (he totally understands the logical way). Last year June time, he came home with a sheet of 20 written out multiplications, to do the long written out way and went off to do them and did them in his head very quicky (they were 1 to 5 tables) and just wrote a list of answers down (all correct) I felt he had not done it correctly although there was no written explanation as to how they were to be done, so I asked the teacher, she confirmed that she wanted them copied out and done the long way. She marked them all correct but there was no "well done" Matthew as he had not done it the way she had told him to. This is how I know the class has moved on where he had not, I nor the class teacher realised that he had done them that way because he had not understood. I do feel it should have rung alarm bells for her as she must see this sort of things from time to time. His new teacher says he is slow to do his maths and I can see why if he tries to do 20 harder multipicatons in this fashion.
Good news he did 6 sums in 5 mins last night 6/6 and tonight 6/6 in 3mins 30s, so he has it sorted now. I just wish if they see him struggle they could send a little note home and then I can sort it, but this has never happened, is it really too much to ask? My biggest bug bear is the lack of communication, it is not both ways.

But where are the teachers that this was not discovered last school year? When moving on to long multiplication he would be totally lost! Must investigate divisions next (sigh).

Bad Weekend

Well Matthew seemed to have a very foggy day on Sunday. In his rugby match someone passed the ball to him after a penalty and he appeared frozen to the spot, unable to think quickly what to do. Then homework in the afternoon he couldn't think what to write, how to phrase things and the result was a mass of scribbles, I had to jump in and help him out.
2 onths into Mentals are we seeing some sort of restructuring? We plough on.

Tuesday, 30 October 2007

Dore Assessment with Mental Distractions

Our 7th follow up Assessment, once more we are very pleased with Matthew's progress, they were his first set with mental distractions and I was expecting his results to go way back in the red. We had a lovely new lady who was very good at explaining how to relax and focus, we also had what seemed like a jutterly old machine, but it was actually a new one which creaked like mad! With balance well in hand, they want to focus on the eyes more, and the lady wrote on the book what order she wanted them done in and also made sure he was doing his eye exercises properly, she gave him some tips.
Scott Quinell and family were there at the same time (lovely man!), for all who have followed the BBC programme I'm sure Scott won't mind me telling you his daughter has finished (19 months) and son was hoping to finish today (21 months).
At our visit today a trainee Programme Specialist was sitting in, who tells me they are opening a Dore centre in Carmarthen West Wales, in January to take follow ups firstly. Great news that Dore is expanding.

Sunday, 28 October 2007

Parent's Evening

We had a quick 5 minutes with the teacher Wednesday evening to discuss how Matthew has settled into Yr 5. He is always very happy (tell me something new), and has settled well. We had to ask to see his literacy book (she was not supposed to be showing books this time) as that was what we came for. Matthew for the first time in his life was anxious for us to see his work and well it was a WOW time. The writing is truly amazing, I'm going to ask for a photocopy for the OT and will post it here after half term.
The teacher commented that this was done when he has his 1:1 helper so there was more of it than when he works independently. However I feel that if he can get his writing automatic, it will allow his brain to spend more time thinking about his work. I feel this is a big jump forward. She says he still works slowly, a reflection of his slow processing speed. We are only 6 weeks into him starting mental tasks and things have certainly improving quickly.

We are having an open morning with the Learning support Assistant who takes him 1hr 1 morning for a group session.

Occupational Therapist Appointment

Yay, we have an occupational therapist appointment at last- Monday 12th November. Seems the Ed Psych certainly knew what he was talking about, going through the Paediatrician was possibly quicker than going straight on the OT waiting list, still took us a full 12 months though.
We have also been given a parents questionaire and "sensory history"form to fill in and send off before going, the sort I would have expected to fill in before the Paediatrician's appointment, seems the OT's are more organised!

I'm feeling that Matthew has no where near as many problems all round this year, they really should have seen him last year pre-Dore, so it will be interesting to see what they say. I see Dore as Occupational Therapy only specialised for the Learning Difficulties community with the added bonus of Ocular Motor therapy which I'm not sure that OT's cover. Of course Dore have the monitoring systems in place also and that structured aproach that gives you a feeling that they are totally on top of things and know their stuff.

We really need the Dore approach to LD within the Education system, as you get the feeling that they really aren't on top of the LD field. They are grasping about trying to get a diagnosis for these children, sending them from pillar to post. It does not inspire confidence in the parents. We luckily have alot of help put in place, pushed for by myself and the class teacher, both of us not really knowing what the best help would be.

We really need a 1 stop centre where a quick diagnosis can be be made and the most relevant intervention can be supplied within say 3 months. Of course I'd want a Dore centre placesd in these centre :) !!

Tuesday, 23 October 2007

Mental Tasks Update

Matthew is coping well with his exercises plus mental tasks, the exercises are harder than he has had before so he has that to contend with as well. His Dad is doing with him in Welsh and he that doesn't bother him any more. It did at first but he has stopped moaning now.
We're back next Tuesday to Dore for the verdict, most people see a drop in scores when they first do them on the machine with mental focus added in.

Treasure Hunt

We went on the annual school treasure hunt on Sunday, had a great time. This year we had an extra person on our team- yes you've guessed it- Matthew. He took a full part in proceedings this year and thoroughly enjoyed it, and he found lots of the answers to the clues.

Rugby Improvements

Matthew is at least having some comments on how is rugby is improving, the coaches are giving him recognition for his good game play. The other boys have even started throwing the ball to him at last.

Tuesday, 16 October 2007

Came home from school instead of going to Rugby AGAIN

Matthew arrived home at 3.40pm the bus lady walked him to the door as she could see my car on the drive. I immediately bundled him in the car and took him back. On getting there the Head-teacher comes to gate to unlock and let him in. She asks "did you send in the letter" [setting out what he's doing every night] I reply "yes" (thank God) she then turns to Matthew and asks if he handed it in, he says Yes. She shrugs and smiles no comment or apology.
Matthew says the teacher doesn't shout out names this year, then why am I bothering with filling in the sheet every week? Doh!

Tuesday, 9 October 2007

Bilingual Schooling Rant

I do question whether Bilingual Schools are coping well enough with SEN children. As I have mentioned before his last class teacher recommended we transfered Matthew to an English school. Why? Well for a start where his English reading and spelling has improved greatly, it is myself who has been working with him relentlessly for short bursts most nights in ENGLISH, his welsh reading is slipping back all the time which just proves to me that the teaching methods within the school are not appropriate interventions. It is the extra at home help that is the thing that is moving him on, otherwise we would see his Welsh reading and writing advance at the same rate.
He has a lot of help at the moment which we could not transfer to another school as he has not got a statement. With all the help he has surely we will should see advancements here.

The SENCO also being the headmistress really suprises and dismays me, but as she is the key to his support I cannot come out and express my disenchantment with this arrangement. I'm sure she does what she considers is enough but it is a specialist role and she simply hasn't the time to give it her full attention. Matthew's SEN file is very poorly kept, photocopies stuffed into a paper file, I have viewed it and there are no write up as to what she feels about him or any observations on a regular basis it is just a side role she is managing. She even told us that dyslexia was not a disability! this just shows how much she knows about SEN, we had to agree to disagree on that point.

Spelling test seem too Easy

More spellings came home tonight, look, took moon book , etc. Went through them once with Matthew they are words learnt before with Reading/Learning Support teacher and he knows them.
There are several spelling groups in the class, and these words are just not helping any advancement. I wonder whether they can see what I see. I just feel he is in the bottom set and there he will remain.
He still gets the Speech and Language LSA for 2 x30mins a week although he was discharged from the S&L therapist as not requiring any more help with word finding. When he returned from his last lesson he was told to play on the computer as the class teacher had already explained the Maths lesson to the other children. When I asked what the teacher was doing for the rest of the lesson Matthew told me she was marking books ??!!! Maths is his strongest subject yet if this continues he will be falling behind here.

Saturday, 6 October 2007


Matthew forgot to bring home his spelling words on Monday, so on Tuesday I called his friend's mother and got the list, which we started to learn that night. Matthew however said that it was the wrong list and he had easier words on his list. I didn't know anyone who had the other list so Wednesday we learnt the list we had. Thurs Matthew came home with the correct list, he had asked his teacher for a copy (that's a triumph in itself!). So Thurs night we learnt the easier list.
Friday Matthew came home after taking the 2 spelling tests, 10/10 for his easy list he spent 1 night learning and 8/10 for the harder list he spent 2 previous nights learning.
I'm very happy with his ability, he certainly capable of learning his spellings now.

Still waiting for the fluency in reading to arrive!

Tuesday, 25 September 2007

Saw his new teacher

I saw Matthew's new class teacher last night, she showed me his books so far. She commemted that she really hadn't got to know the children fully as yet. She was pleased and supportive of him. With his 1:1 help he is producing a lot more work, finishing his work, but without her he is still not finshing things. His writing is looking a lot neater and there was far more of it, there was also a sketch of a shoe which I was surprised that Matthew had drawn it was so good.
Matthew came home last night saying that he had finished his work again and had not required much help from his helper, so I am encouraging him to try to write more when she is not around as this would really impress his teacher.
She should have more to tell us at parents evening on 24th Oct (another month). I'm planning on seeing her once a month throughout the year.

Monday, 24 September 2007

Llangrannog Activity Centre

Matthew went on his activity weekend this weekend, the one that the Head threatend to exclude him from. He had a lovely time, wore the same socks, pants, trainers and trousers all weekend!! The Head reported that all the school staff and centre staff adored him as he is so sweet and helpful with everything and everyone. Seems I was caused all the stress and anxiety for no reason.

Tuesday, 18 September 2007

Mental Tasks Update

We started off with 2 exercises from hell, to introduce us to the mental tasks. One was driving the car,while Matthew was focusing on things out the window, in the back of the car of course (children are not allowed in the front with the air bags these days). Try driving, instructing, and shouting out questions to a 9 yr old, trying to look in the mirror and keep the car on the road at the same time. Dad had to come along in the evening sessons, we struggled through.
Then there was the vertical and horizontal circles II while on the ball. I'm saying keep circling, then shout out a questions, -list are better for this we have found, but every time I shout "keep circling" I get "I'm doing it, I'm doing it" and he instantly forgets what his list was. We have some somwhat easier ones next (thank goodness) -bring back standing on 1 leg and the wobble board pleeeeeeeeeeez.

Saturday, 15 September 2007

Paedatrician's Appointment

Well we waited 10 months for this appointment and what a waste of time that was. We were told by the Ed Psych that we could discuss Dyspraxia and ADD with the Doctor. But as Matthew was refered for Autistic Spectrum Disorder!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! that's all he wanted to look at.
Asperger's was mentioned. In the past I have thought Matthew has some strange traits that were typical of ASD, but that's all there is. No compulsive behaviours, no problems coming out of routines, gives plenty of eye contact, hugs & kisses. He just occasionally missed a vital piece of imformation and got confused, is a little immature for his age, but nothing terrible.

I must also comment on how poorly the consultaton was organised. I was asked questions which I could have answered in a questionaire, which could have been filled in before hand. I could not remember dates off the top of my head under pressure e.g "Ma'am when did you child walk? 12 14, 16 months etc. He was very pushy and rude kept looking at his watch, his mobile phone went off several times. I suggest a descrete clock behind the patient so he could simply glance up without causing pressure. He had very few of Matthew's notes, the 2nd Ed Psych assess was missing, the observation notes were missing, the S&L reports were not there.

The only good thing was we have been referred on to an Occupational Therapist who can diagnose Dyspraxia, and as he has been re-refered the waiting list (in theory) should be short.

Tuesday, 11 September 2007

On to Mental Tasks

Yippee we've moved onto mentals tasks today. All back in the green, it was decided the red we had last time was a hiccup, as he was turning before the test finished.

Wednesday, 5 September 2007

Back to school

Matthew had a lovely 1st day back, he is sitting next to his teacher with nobody in the next seat (to stop distractions?). He had his 1:1 (1hr)help straight away (still a teacher's assistant, but better than nothing) and wrote 3/4 of a page about himself. I received home a letter which should have been posted out to me before the holidays, containing the Maths problems he had wrong in his SATS test, for me to work through with him and a recommendation of a workbook to buy (typical). I went through the Maths problems and when they are read to him he has no problems understanding what is required. He is supposed to have extra time in school tests and I strongly suspect it is not given. They don't even explain about the yearly tests to us parents or tell us when they are taking place- what's going on at that school is anybodies guess.
Looking forward to next week we have his Dore assessment Tues and 1st appointment with Paediatrician Thurs pm. We are hoping he will confirm the ADHD inattentive, (with a touch of hyperactivity.

Wednesday, 29 August 2007

Tying a Bow

Matthew can now tie bows, after only 20 mins of practice, much coaxing, lots of shouting, he got it. I think he could have done it earlier but we just haven't bothered to revisit the lesson since the last try.

Friday, 24 August 2007


Well we managed to keep the exercises going through holidays, even with distractions he did them. They are alot better now we're home.

Tuesday, 14 August 2007

Paediatrician appointment

At last, after a 10 month wait we have a Paediatrician Appointment on the 13th Sept. Not sure what he'll see now, he should have seen Matthew pre Dore for a true diagnosis, as he is soooooooo much more in our world this year. Oh well we'll just have to wait and see.

Monday, 23 July 2007

Results 23rd July

Here's today results. His first test 2 slipped back well into the red, but his second was green, but this put his somatisensory Sensory Analysis score into the red :( , also his test 5 had a wide scatter. I had to take his older brother along and I this this put him off, he kept looking around thinking the time was up (actually he was counting the secs down) and it wasn't!

Tuesday, 17 July 2007

No assessment scores, unreliable-nothing new there, hopefully tonight.

She did also say they are advertising for a proper Learning Support Teacher to teach those children who require 1:1 within the class. The current lady is a Teaching Assistant with no training in Learning support. She told me last November they were advertising for one then, so I won't hold my breath.

Monday, 16 July 2007

Spoke to Head Mistress

I spoke to the headmistress on Friday, she is pleased with Matthew's progress. She is going to send me his assessment scores tonight (fingers crossed), but apparently there are no levels, not really sure what I'm going to get. She has received the new Ed Psych report and he has made several recomendations for Matthew, they are to buy in some aids to help with his writing, AND look into borrowing a Laptop for Matthew to use at school. I have mixed feelings about this, yes if it's necessary lets start using a laptop, but I would prefer him to learn to write with ease. Also I'm the one who will have to help him develop keyboard skills- groan :(.
W e also talked about his activity weekend, and she talked through what they could do to help him, she was sort of convincing herself that it was ok for him to go as I just let her talk, laying a few words in here and there e.g buddy system? Both the Ed Psych and Speech Thereapist have stated that he has mature in the last 6 months, so we will have another 3 months before end of Sept., I know he will be fine.

Thursday, 12 July 2007

Speech and Language Review

Matthew had a speech and languge review this pm. His Dad took him as I couldn't get time off.
Matthew went in, she asked what he had been doing, he chatted for a while about Dore- the exercises that help your brain, and get you to read faster. Then talked about his trip to Dan yr Ogaf caves and school.
He did the test a repeat of the inital test he did back last Nov. Then he had 26/50 indicating word finding problems, together with the talks she had with him back then (all ums and oohs and you knows). This time he had 46/50!!!
Matthew has been discharged from Speech and Language therapy. The therapist was so amazed by Matthew's new found ability and concentration that she said "he's on Ritalin, right?"
She was amazed.
She commented she didn't need to see him again and you would never know he had had a problem!
She could see no obvious explanation for the increased ability at such an accelerated rate, she was really puzzled. She had only ever seen a difference that marked after a child had been on meds. She had never heard of exercise based programmes. She knows now!!
This confirms the leap on Verbal IQ from 83 to 98 seen on the Wisc IV.
I'll post her write up when she sends it.

S&L Summary of progress report

Tuesday, 10 July 2007


The Ed PSych decided we needed the more up to date Assessment to replace the old WISC III, so he retested Matthew last Thursday. He says he will retest again before Secondary School with this newer version and will need this one to compare. It appears a better test than the older 1 as it highlights Working Memory, and Processing speed.

Matthew was marked down in the Coding score (6)and Information (4) in March 2006, they did not do a Digit test last time, Arithmatic was average 9. Some experts like to consider the ACID scores when considering Dyslexia, A-Arithmetic, C-Coding, I-Information, D-Digit, I summise that the Digit score would have been low as it is this time.

As to there being no evidence of weakness in verbal skills, this time the Ed Psych put it down to the Language support lessons but these S&L lessons 2 x 30mins per week are given in Welsh!!
IMO the improvements are due to his Auditory and Verbal processing improvements as promised by Dore would happen first.

Sunday, 8 July 2007

End of Year Report

Here's the report through the major subjects (Click in and you'll have it enlarged).
The teacher keeps saying she doesn't think Matthew is Dyslexic as she has other dyslexics in her class and they manage to get more work down even if it is illegible!!
Perhaps she hasn't had a seveley Dyslexic child to cope with before?
If this isn't dyslexia I'll eat my hat!!

Here is Matthew's report conclusion, he has made progress we were however given no levels, so it is impossible to compare progress, I will have to go and see the teacher and ask her for the end of year asessment scores (big sigh), don't know why the school doesn't give us these scores straight up. I'm sure it's just to deter parents from all rushing up the school to discuss their child's progress.

Sunday, 1 July 2007

Dinner for 2

I was working last night and when I got up at 1pm today my husband and older son where on their way out. Matthew took charge "Would you like some beans on toast for dinner, I'll make it?" I was a bit nervous of him opening a tin (pull ring type), but I have shown him several times and he has had a go, so I said yes that would be lovely. We had a very nice dinner. Last night he made me a cup of tea (to my horror), as I was rushing to get my things together for work I was shouting "Can someone please make me a cuppa?" meaning the 2 others in the house. Next minute Matthew shouted "I've done you one", -including putting the hot water on. I have explained that I don't want him to make it again until he's a bit taller just in case of accidents, which he agreed on.

Wednesday, 27 June 2007

Organisation Skills

Matthew's organisation skills are improving in every day life. We had a family meeting on the weekend where we laid out a few more things that are expected of him. He is now expected to make his own bed and tidy his room before he dresses to come down from breakfast. When he comes home he has to change out of his uniform (he was supposed to do this, but this wasn't happening) before playing started. We have had good successes so far, he iseven deciding to his Dore exercises as soon as he comes home before playing "to get them out of the way", -after school tiredness subsided a few months back.
Last night he even helped with making food(he likes to help htese days). Laying the table, carrying the food over, tidying up behind me, frying-pan in the dishwasher, excess food back in the fridge, he wasn't told what to do once, I felt very organised.

Thursday, 21 June 2007

What the Cubs Leader said...

I needed to confirm with Matthew's Cubs Leader whether she thought that Matthew was a liability to take on camping / education trips (as the school are suggesting - see post below). The leader pointed out that during the past 4 weeks, Matthew has been on a 4 day Cub camp weekend, and also a full day Cubs trip to London last Saturday. The leader said that Matthew is the best behaved child in the pack. During the London trip, and following instructions on where to go and what time to return, he behaved no differently to any of the other nine year old's on the day, and the constant company of 2 other buddies kept everyone safe. "He was at the right places at the right times". She also voluntarily offered to go to the school and speak to the head teacher to confirm this.
I think that the school may not appreciate that occasionally, nine year olds may be forgetful (and leave the school on the bus), especially when they are in a stressed situation (unable to find their bag due to someone covering it with a jersey). Six months ago, Matthew wouldn't have even remembered he had a bag to bring home from school, not to mention being interested in playing cricket!

Tuesday, 19 June 2007

Today's events

We had a very happy day today, Matthew came home having really enjoyed his day. Maths went well this morning, he put his hand up for every question, those he answered were all right. In the afternoon there was a sponsored penalty shoot out, Matthew scored 1 goal and saved a ball kicked by Owain the "cleverest boy in the class", Matthew thought that was great! We had lots of action replays of the save and lots of whooping.
Tonight we read our story Valley of Adventure and for the first time EVER he said "Can you read me another chapter?" I have to tell you that, as it is something special to me.

Months of the Year

Matthew now knows his months, we went over them on the way to swimming last week and I tested them this week, he knows them backwards as well!!

Monday, 18 June 2007

Charity Sponsored event.

Matthew had to name 26 flags in a sponsored event and got 26/26, brilliant.
The class teacher had to add 2 others to check who would know them, why oh why is there always a need to make some children stand above the others?

Another Worrying Occurence

Today Matthew forgot to attend after school cricket, he had lost his bag and was searching for it, somebody had put a jumper on it, in the panic Matthew became confused and ran off for the bus. I was not home, mobile was flat, my friend at the bus stop took him home, as she sometimes looks after him just in case my husband's train is late. The school was in a panic, but the head only found out because my friend had my mobile number wrong and phoned them to get the correct one. I went to pick him up, he wasn't there.
The upshot of this is that they are now considering not taking him on a weekend activity course in September as they believe he is unreliable and forgetful. The class teacher suggested I gave Matthew a row as he needs to start to be responsible (these educational professionals? know so very little about learning disabilties- it's scary). The class teacher went on that he has 2 years and he'll be in Secondary school and how they won't look after him there, -really useful information as if I don't already know this! Matthew had realised he should be at cricket and was very concerned, and more so when he heard that the Head was thinking of stopping him attending a trip. He really wants to go, and was mad at himself for forgeting saying "why am I so forgetful". I had to remind him how much better he'd been lately.

Friday, 15 June 2007

Bean Bag Tossing

OK, not perfect, but great fun!

Thursday, 14 June 2007

School Disco Night

I have just picked Matthew up from a school disco and took the opportunity to speak to his class teacher about his progress. She said that Matt is making great progress now since he has been receiving one to one support(just 3 weeks of 1:1 support for 1 hr a day). His confidence has picked up, and his work is a lot neater. She said to me though, when I asked further about his progress that the support teacher said that all the work is coming from Matthew, and she isn't actually prompting him that much! She also said that "we knew it was in there, we just couldn't get it out." She said that it(the correct in-school support) was a long time (2 years) coming! Result!!

Wednesday, 13 June 2007

Reading to Matthew/Increased Attention

Matthew has always hated me reading to him unless there was lots of pictures for him to follow the story with. I had to read Action Man comics to him (ughh) when he was 5 and 6 because he would just get restless and lose the thread with normal books. I read and read with my older son, and loved doing it. Even Noddy was a no go book (we have at least 6 Noddy books that belonged to my elder son) but we never got very far, there was no "lets read more of the story tonight, don't forget". I insisted on reading "The Lion, the witch and the wardrobe" to him last year before the film came out, one quarter the way through the unabridged version, I had to search out our abridged picture book of the story so he could look at it as I read, torture.
Happy to report that I am now reading "The Valley of Adventure-Enid Blyton" (a childhood favourite of mine) to him and he is listening and enjoying, can remember the characters names and looks forward to a chapter every night, as do I. There are hardly any pictures in the book, but he answers all the questions I ask at the end. I love it.

Monday, 11 June 2007

Evaluation progress -4th Follow up

Click on the picture for a closer view.
Here are our results for today. Very pleased, normally 2 sets of results like these would trigger the move onto mental task exercises, but as Matthew had a big jump in scores between the 2nd and 3rd follow-up evaluations, they decided to stay with this easier level for another 6 weeks. We were told not to worry about the 2 reds as younger children often are slow to get these into the green but hopefully they will rise slowly. He has however 3 lightbulb exercises which are hard enough on their own without reciting things mentally e.g. alphabet or times tables. Probably want to see how he gets on with them.
Note the improvements in the COG! Eyes are also improving nicely.

Thursday, 7 June 2007

Spelling Bee

Here we go some spelling as promised.

Literacy Support

Matthew reports that he is writing loads more with his 1:1 help, yesterday 3/4 of a page, today he finished his all his literacy work for the day. He is complaining about his hand hurting, but I just tell him to be sure to shake out his hand every so often (and the Ed Psych reported that he saw no distress when he was writing, -well writing only the title and 6 words isn't going to be that painful!?). He seems very pleased with himself and assures me that the LSA is only helping him with the physical act of writing and keeping his attention on his work.

Last night while reading we had words which he decided he was going to learn to spell there and then e.g countryside, he took a long look at them and got them. Seems to be taking loads more interest in words.

Phrases of the week " that was very civilised, wasn't it", "that's sarcasm Mam". He also asked me what "kinky" meant, - I told him curly ;).

Monday, 4 June 2007


I spoke to the school LSA today as I was picking up Matthew from after school cricket. Matthew had been telling me he has been having her every day, I thought great they're fitting some extra work in while the other children are practising for the concert.
Found out that he had actually been accepted for 1:1 support for 5 x 1hrs session per week. Fanatastic this should really bring him on.
We can now fill our plugged bucket with taps full on.

Just to reiterate, we were awarded this at second attempt, and at the same time we wrote a letter which went into his LEA file, I think it was sent with the letter to the Ed Psych requesting him to come out and observe. Here it is:-

Description of Concern

Our greatest concern is the amount and quality of writing that Matthew produces in a language lesson. Matthew’s class teacher has tried different strategies over the past 18 months, but still spends a large amount of her time assisting Matthew in class, as even though his test results are favourable, he is unable to write more than a few sentences independently. His needs in literacy are not being met.

The class teacher and SENCO have observed and assessed his progress over the last 18 months and are in agreement that although he is provided with 2 x 30mins of Speech and Language tuition per week and a 1hr group Reading Support session, this is not progressing Matthew at the required rate. The Educational Psychologist has referred Matthew to the Child Development Centre for investigation of possible dyspraxia (fine-motor and organisational problems) and due to the fact that the waiting list is unacceptably long, he has also referred him to the Child and Family Centre at Brynffynon, Tonteg Hospital, for investigation of attention difficulties, hoping this list will be shorter.

Through the school system for carefully observing and assessing Matthew’s progress, they have provided information to you about the areas that Matthew has made little progress in since Sept. 2006. This area is clearly literacy, where Matthew is not able to organise his thoughts and produce consistent coherent work. Strategies have been reviewed over an 18-month period, but progress is extremely slow. His class teacher has clearly stated to us that on several occasions that she has observed that Matthew is not reaching his potential. She feels that 1:1 support in language lessons within the class environment would be the most beneficial help for his particular needs. We as parents agree that his class teacher is the foremost person to determine his present needs and the SENCO has assured us that this is the way forward.

Also included is his Speech and Language Therapy Report following a short 6-week course for word recall. This clearly indicates that they believe that his Language problems are not severe and are not the overriding problem. The class teacher and SENCO believe that his needs are more complex, in that he can’t organize and write his thoughts independently, but when helped on a 1:1 basis has the potential to produce work which is commensurate with his obvious abilities.

In summary, Matthew is unable to process what he has just been taught and cannot produce reasonable written output. This seems to be locked inside and can only be released by the teacher sitting with him and initiating the process. He is then able to produce some work. The class teacher has observed that Matthew is compliant, is keen to do work, and is eager to impress, but unfortunately has some sort of barrier which prevents him performing to his obvious abilities. This frustrates Matthew, the class teacher and us as parents. No one seems to have the specialisation or the time and resources to be able to deal with the complex nature of his needs.

We hope that after revisiting his case once again, you will be able to offer him the support that he so obviously needs in order for him to gain full access to the curriculum, meet his full potential, and achieve the targets set for him.

Friday, 25 May 2007

Naming Letters of the Alphabet

Matthew's spelling is coming along brilliantly, he now spells word by giving me the letter names, no longer does he give me the letter sounds. U(you) and Y(why) were a nightmare he just couldn't remember their names, he would draw them in the air and give me the sound they make.
Now he is confidently spelling those words that he has learnt, I find that as long as he has practised them he knows them, he also identifies the ones he hasn't learnt and quickly tells me i haven't got that one stored!
He did his own spelling test last night, he did lots of words he knows he has had trouble with.

what, who, how, where, who, why, also, any, follow I could go on -all confidently learnt.

I will video him having a spelling test when I have time!!

Also he now has his Welsh and English compartmentalized in separate places. S&L picked up on the fact that he will mix the 2 languages if he can't find the words in a particular language, they told me this is a common symptom of these kids. I asked him what class he was in this morning as I was writing a note to school (I can never remember, they jump about year to year), he shouted back Class 7, I took a minute before I realised he had for the first time not answered "Dosbarth Saith". I will monitor to this to see if it continues.

I can't tell you how much his confidence as grown, he is loving his new found capabilies.

Monday, 21 May 2007

Learning new Songs

I now have great hope that Matthew will learn his songs for the concert in July.
We went to our Scout AGM last Thurs. and towards the end the children went outside to play. While outside Glenn started to play a new song from his mobile phone to Matthew, over and over. Sticking it to his ear and saying listen to this, (actually Glenn was trying to annoy as usual).
On the way home Matthew sat up and started singing it -6 lines all in TUNE and rhythym! Beautiful.
OK choice of song was a bit ify- Black Parade by My Chemical Romance!!

Wednesday, 16 May 2007

Tongue Twister

About 6 months ago (probably more) we were trying to get Matthew to say tongue twisters, making a game of it. He was not amused, finding it impossible. One of the things we were trying to get him to say was Super-Cala-Fraja-Listic-Expi -Ala-Docious. He just walked off in his usual frustrated way, could not get his mind around the words. Was it the only the fact that his verbal processing was poor that stopped him that time?
Last night out of the blue, nobody had mentioned it, it popped back into his mind. Slightly wrong- Super-caja-flaja-listic-expi-ala-docious, -so he had remembered it, only his auditory processing/memory got it mixed up at the time. I corrected him, which he didn't like one bit, but he kept saying it over and over (telling me not to interupt, as I kept correcting). He got his mouth around it in the end, stating well I've learnt that now.

Incidentally his school have sent 3 song sheets home for him to learn (out of 6-gulp). Schools these days are so exclusionary, and they think by giving him the sheets they are including him the class activity. (That is not my definition of an inclusive school.) These children cannot be included in such activities that they simply cannot learn the words and they know it. We'll probably have another school concert of watching Matthew yawn his way through it. He might surprise us, we live in anticipation these days.

Monday, 14 May 2007


Matthew's spelling seems to be getting lots better, I thought it was one of the last things to improve. He is actually saying the letter names now instead of their sounds as he spells. He is particulary interested in synonyms e.g. bye by buy which fascinate him, and words that are similar e.g know, now. He has always looked for patterns in things and is now enjoying finding patterns in words. He wants to return to his Stairway to Spelling book and learn some more words. Can't ask more than that!

Thursday, 10 May 2007

My Views On the Ed. Psych's report.

Firstly I would like to say that I feel these observations should have been taken over a year ago, with the initial IQ and Reading/Spelling assessments. They are not a baseline account as we have been doing our Dore exercises for 4 months when the observations were taken.

I am unhappy with the way the Ed Psych has described the distraction of playing with his hair as something he is "motivated" into doing. It appears to me as a fidget. I do not see this as him being motivated. I remember when he had a loose tooth he played continually with it until it was out. We will be cutting his hair and await to hear what he is next "motivated" to play with, as I believe that he will simply be distracted with something else.

I am also disturbed to hear that the Ed Psych believes that there is an element of personal choice in Matthew's poor work out put. If this is the case we have come to the point where is has become disillusioned with his literacy school work, the very thing his class teacher did not want to happen. She told us last year that he really wanted to do his work but was finding it hard. He must now see things differently. "I can't produce work to a standard the same as my friends, they don't expect it, so why bother working 10 times as hard for little feedback." I'm also concerned that the Ed Psych says he sees no discomfort with writing when his language support teacher explains about his "death grip" of the pen and how she gets him to shake out his hands at regular intervals.

On the plus side we can now see that Matthew is taking in some (if not all-we cannot tell at this stage) of what is being taught, and can verbally respond. He is also retaining things as he comes home regularly and relates what his lessons where about, this was not happening last year at all, he simply couldn't remember even when pressed and would get annoyed saying "stop asking me".

I feel the Ed Psych cannot/will not do any more until the medical team determine what his other problems are.
I was told by the Language Support Teacher (a very experienced and dedicated lady on the verge of retirment who we are begging not to leave) he might get a very nice report with no extra support forthcoming at school.

Reading Blip Over

Matthew's reading has come back to the previous level, happily. He has had a bad cold which has come out over the last week which couldn't have helped.

Wednesday, 9 May 2007

Dore Line on Primitve reflexes

Dore USA have kindly allowed me to reproduce this information as some of us on the forums were wondering about retained primitive hthanks to Amy for posing the question in the first place.

"Your question about primitive reflexes is an interesting one.
These reflexes are elicited from the spinal cord, brain stem and midbrain levels. As you know they tend to go away very early in infant life. Some people with damage to higher level brain systems (e.g. Cerebral Palsy) can demonstrate such reflexes much later in life.
However a most important note is that you cannot get rid of these reflexes. They are always present. However they are suppressed by the increasing integrity of the function of the higher brain systems (including the cerebellum). If these systems are not fully developed then there may be varying degrees of manifestation of such reflexes.
If any normally developed person received substantial brain damage such reflexes will no longer be fully inhibited and will manifest themselves once again at any time in life.
Thus focusing on exercises which merely counteract and oppose such reflexes is not the most appropriate way of suppressing them. Dore believes that the development of higher functional integrity of cerebellar-cerebral loop systems is the only real way to develop better higher learning systems and at the same time suppress these lower level reflexes not so much by using direct opposing movements but more naturally by developing higher systems more naturally and allowing this to suppress such reflexes indirectly.
We do measure two reflexes linked to the vestibular cerebellar systems (the Moro and ATNR).
We find that in almost every child and adult who show such reflexes that they have gone by the end of the programme.
Thus I do not see any advantage in trying to identify and suppress individual reflex actions prior to using Dore and would suggest (from our research) that Dore would be just as effective whether or not such reflexes were present at the start of Dore."

Tuesday, 8 May 2007


As we were coming home from swimming lessons tonight, Matthew was telling me about school, and that his memory is better these days things are sticking, he tells me that he will pay me back (the money). He will pay us back, just not with money. He says he is a Maths genius (I wouldn't go that far!) and he is going to be a Maths teacher or Scientist when he grows up. It's great that he's even thinking of what he wants to do, shows he has aspirations. His confidence in other things, hasn't been dented the slightest bit.

Educational Psycholgist comes out to Observe 2

Here is the thoughts of the Ed. Psychologist:-

  • Matthew was off task for the majority of the writing time. At almost all times when he was off task, he was playing with his hair. His gaze was fixed either on strands of hair pulled out or on a forelock.
  • Matthew barely moved during the lesson. He did not fidget, hardly looked around and tended to adopt a slumped position. He disturbed no-one else and spoke only once or twice to table mates. Matthew did not seem at all unhappy during the lesson.
  • Matthew did not show distraction at the odd times when people entered or when there was a mild "kerfuffle" as when books where handed out.
  • Matthew presented as if he was not listening for most of the introduction but was able to answer questions when asked. He was able to tune into the discussion when it interested him.
  • Matthew, when not writing but poised, did not seem distressed. Matthew was not "doing nothing" he was playing with his hair (I'd say 95% of the off-task time)
  • Matthew was on task when the class teacher spoke to him. He had one moment of spontaneous writing- I could not see anything obvious which sparked this off.

This observation suggests to me that Matthew takes in more of the lesson than supposed. He produced very little in this lesson but he also seemed to understand the lesson aim and task when asked. This could suggest that introductions "going over his head" might not be the reason for poor work production. Matthew was able to tell the class teacher things she had said when his name had not been "tagged".

Therefore Matthew may not need a name tag in order to key him in. His ability to tune back in from apparently far away also evidences this.

Matthew has rather poor handwriting but he wrote words quickly and seemed not to display any signs or discomfort when writing.

I discussed my initial thoughts with the class teacher. She confirmed that this lesson was quite typical for Matthew. She also says that she must regularly ask him to sit up straight and leave his hair alone.

Notwithstanding the outcome of investigations into Matthew's co-ordination, socialisation, and attention skills; I believe this observation suggests that there may be an element of personal choice in Matthew's poor work output. In this lesson he certainly displayed motivation to play with his hair (distrating him from his work hugely). However this is positive as it suggests an ability for Matthew to motivate himself personally.

Matthew also seemed to follow the lesson introduction which is positive.

It remains true that Matthew wrote only when the class teacher prompted him (with one exception). This situation is worrying of course but I think there is scope for dependence on a teacher to be reduced by work on motivation- especially intrinsic (self ) motivation.

This is a single observation. No final conclusion can ever be made from on event. I hope that the material here will enhance discussion about Matthew's behaviour and needs.

Any comments would be gratefully received I will post my thoughts on this shortly.

Sunday, 6 May 2007

Worded Maths Problems

I thought I'd try Matthew on some worded maths problems last night. These have given us great troouble. His teacher says he's good at maths but worded problems were giving difficulties, he just didn't understand what was being asked. I also saw this when I tried him on them at home with a IT course I have subscribed to for him. (It's called Education City and there is a Maths, Science and English course with it, SATS targeted, also available in the USA.) I could see that these problems had to explained clearly as he just couldn't make any sense of them, then he could do them.

Last night I thought I'd try him on Worded time problems (a double problem with time, as he hasn't understood that either).
Well I was amazed he had 9/10 with no trouble at all. I am really excited about this, and I'm going to try him some different word problems tonight.

An example of a question is: it's 5.05 and Stig starts to make food he takes 30 mins to make it and 15 mins to eat it what time does he finish his food? Also some problems were going backwards in time.

Friday, 4 May 2007

Educational Psycholgist comes out to Observe

The Ed Psych was asked by myself and the school to come out and observe Matthew in his learning environment. The class teacher and myself believe that a lot more can be learnt about his learning behaviour from observing him than can be gleaned from IQ tests and 1 word reading and spelling tests (although they help).
I have had the report, it was a blow by blow account of the lesson, a high literacy lesson concluding with some writing work.
This from the write up:-
"Matthew had written the date, lesson aim, title and one 6-word sentence (Mae Nelly Telly yn criw teledu). The average amount of work during this lesson seemed to me to be about a paragraph (which the teacher wanted)- probably 3 times the amount of Matthew's output."

I will add the commentary when I have time.

Wednesday, 2 May 2007

Reading Blip

Over the last couple of nights Matthew's reading seems to be a lot worse than normal. Interestingly this seems to be coinciding with the new intermediate exercises he has received, following his excellent assessment results. They appear to have an added element of concentration which are making them more difficult to do correctly. We have had words omitted, added and started with a letter that's not there. It's as if his senses are confused once again, which I can only put down to the new neural pathways being formed and old ones being neglected. I will of course keep a close eye on this and report back.

Sunday, 29 April 2007

Primitive Reflexes

A lady I have been corresponding with, very kindly sent me a Brochure on the Primitive reflexes, how to test for 4 of them and some remedial exercises. Only one of these was tested by Dore -the ATNR together with other primitive reflexes not included in the brochure. Matthew tested postive for the ATNR reflex at that time. I tested him last night the ATNR reflex is no longer present, and thankfully the other 3 were also negative. Unfortunately my older son was postive for the ATNR and 1 other!

Time Perception

We seem to have cracked the barrier of Matthew's difficulties in perceiving time. He now understands that 5/10mins is not really a very long time. He can look at the clock now and say I have to hurry as we're leaving soon. He is even dragging his Dad out shouting "We're going to be late!"

Tuesday, 24 April 2007

3rd Follow-Up Assessment

Click on the assessment for a closer look.
(for those of you that have come in late see Dec 17 2006 blog entry for explanations)

We are all delighted with these scores, we have no repeats of any exercises. We seem to be moving on to the next phase- getting into the green for a few visits. These results seem to back up the progression we are seeing.

Monday, 23 April 2007

Left and Right

It suddenly dawned on me tonight that Matthew now knows left from right automatically.We were swopping hands during a bean bag exercise tonight and as I was facing him I kept getting my left and right confused (I think I need a stint at Dore). He corrected me on about 5 or 6 occasions, laughing at me getting it wrong.

Thursday, 19 April 2007

Listening Skills, Memory Improvements

Matthew came home tonight telling his Dad that next week he will going up to the next classroom and meeting his next teacher for a day, and he didn't want to leave his current teacher. He also told him that there would be a weekend field trip to Llangrannog Activity centre in September that he wanted to go to, when we were doing his exercises he said that the trip cost would be £75.
He is also retelling us his lessons and events from the day, unfortunately 1 boy has been picking on him, but he as told us that he can put a note in the bullying box or we can phone the school, so he's not too upset as he knows we will sort it out. (The boy put his arm around Matthew telling him he was his best friend and then put a stick in his mouth, he has also stamped on his side and jumped on his back knocking him to the floor). At least he has told us about it so that we can help.

Wednesday, 18 April 2007

Letter from School

School resumed yesterday after Easter break. We had a letter from the SENCO, explaining that the Ed Psych would be out to observe Matthew in various situations at the school next week, and is also refering Matthew for observation by the "Behaviour Support Teacher". Do not know who this is or why they wish to observe him, the only thing I can think of is that Matthew is seen by his peers as below them and they want to see how he interacts with them. There is 1 boy who appears to be picking on Matthew, we are keeping a close watch on him.

Tuesday, 17 April 2007

Comments made by Matthew this Morning

Started back to school this morning following the Easter Break. We put his clothes out last night and again he followed his schedule (the 1 in his head). Everything went well, really easy morning again. Exercises were good, as we went to eat breakfast, he announced "those exercises are really helping!" I thought I'd ask more and he said "well my running is better, and dodging (in rugby)", I asked cautiously, well what about listening? The reply was "Oh that's waaay better" (as if to say -that goes without saying). He also says his writing is better- yet to see that myself but I'm sure it's coming. He said he'll let me know tonight although Tues is mostly Maths and PE.
He is singing alot lately with his own lyrics, says he will have to clone himself because there are so many things he wants to do when he grows up e.g. artist, chef, astronomer, songwriter, and maths teacher (that was the last thing- gulp). His confidence is soaring, he's always been a happy soul, hopefully he won't be too tired when he gets home and will have a good day and tell me all about it.

Wednesday, 11 April 2007

Matthew and the Bean Bag.

A short extract from one of his exercises.

Matthew's Reading, Age approx. 9

I thought it would be a good idea if I gave you an example of Matthew's reading abilities at the moment. So here is an example.

Good Grammer on Holiday

The first night we stayed out in out caravan we all usually find it hard to settle, it was 11.30pm and we were all still awake. The camp site has an all quiet rule for campers from 11pm. Unfortunately across from us we had a group of pensioners who stayed in their awning chatting way pass 11pm.
I was moaning that I would have to get up and ask them to go inside their caravan, so that we could not hear the constant chatting.

Matthew jumped up and said "I'm going to tell them that My family and I are trying to get to sleep, can you please be quiet." Off he went with Glenn shouting "stop him he's so embarassing". I had explained to him about the grammer he used weeks ago, and had corrected him and explained it only once after he had said "me and my friend", not expectig it to stick as it never normally does.

He didn't actually get to say that, as they spotted him coming and got up to leave, so Matthew just said "Oh are you going now?" (we were willing him to say "and about time too"). We had our noses pressed against the window amazed, he never has had any inhibitions when talking to older people, although always respectful he is very truthful in what he says. (We have had impulsive outbursts but with no real ill intent, like the time he asked the Dore therapist if he knew his tooth stuck out- Ouch.)

Sunday, 8 April 2007

Swing ball Master Class!

Here we have a very happy Matthew enjoying the game of Swingball, which has frustrated him over previous summers.

Sunday, 1 April 2007

Letter form Ed Psych

We received an update from the Ed Psych. He has recieved a letter from the Child and Family Clinic stating that they would prefer that we wait to see the paedeatrician at the Child Assessment Centre in 8 months time (Great!) The Ed Psych has written back to ask them to re-consider and that we would take any cancellation.

Our SENCO has contacted him following the discussion at parents evening, and he has agreed to observe Matthew in class and on the yard. He is going to ask the class teacher if she can conduct a language and literacy heavy lesson at this time, so that he can observe Matthew under normal learning conditions.


I was promised breakfast in bed this morning and it arrived, I was wondering if he would remember, (I think he has generally had a good memory with promises), but I still want to mention this.

Speech Improvements 2

His speech his improving he is taking notice of the tenses now and correcting himself, I feel this is starting to become automatic. Example I comed over was changed to came over, he is realising his mistakes. He is talking non stop, not always clearly but vocabulary is good, his brain just runs away with him sometines.

Swimming Success

At the end of every term Matthew does a swimming badge. He has been stuck on 100m since July last year. The teacher gave him a proficiency badge last time although he had actually been doing lengths (just to keep him happy).
Yesterday was badge day. Matthew did 20 lengths or 400m, his stamina has incresed greatly this year (since he went back to lessons in Jan), we are all delighted for him. I watched from the bench at the end of the pool, he said after "he caught sight of me and it gave him the extra energy to do it!".
Well Done Matthew, you have such determination! Dal ati! (Keep at it!)

Friday, 30 March 2007

Bike Riding

My son was riding his bike before he started, but hated it and avoids riding it. He wobbles alot and if his concentration is taken away he falls. Last summer he came back with a gash- head,body and legs and didn't get it out on it for the rest of the summer. In the initail assess. he did not register on the vestibular scale at all, not a blip!! So we have an explanation for the wobbles and screeches. I see bike riding as mostly vestibular and visual balance, as the feet are pedalling the somatosensory cannot be relied on fully(this was Matthew's strongest balance sense). At his 2nd assess, he had a reading for vestibular but his somatosensory reading has lowered slightly (as the other sense take more control) we were told this was normal, and it makes sense to me.Do people with stronger vestibular readings find their bike riding wobbly? You probably need all 3 senses to be spot on to ride normaly.

He now rides with confidence, off the kerb- plop and round and around!

Thursday, 29 March 2007

Another good day

Good this morning again, he got up before me, dressed and had his breakfast, and I only woke when I heard the cupbords opening when he was collecting his lunch box ingredients!!
I had a chat with the lady who encouraged us to do the Dore program (a work colleague), she was a lot more forthcoming about it all, and was telling me how her daughter has nice writing now and enjoys her schoolwork. I think she didn't want to say too much at the start, not to influence what I was seeing. Today I was telling about the tie and the good morning we had yesterday she asked "Do you think it's Dore?" I said "yes I did" and she chatted about her daughter (13 now), she only wished she found it earlier as she had already been put in the bottom streams and the schools don't seem to care much about these children. She also commented that she wanted to see Dore treatment in every school.
Matthew seems to be reminicing a lot, and saying "remember that or that" (I don't normally).

Wednesday, 28 March 2007

S&L therapist Letter of Support sent to School in support of 1:1

Our brilliant S&L therapist sent this letter to support our request for 1:1 support for Matthew for literacy lessons. She belived alot of his problems were down to attention difficulties. She even asked if he had a diagnosis of ADHD.


We had a brilliant morning, Matthew decided last night he was going to get up early, dress, get his own breakfast, clean his teeth, exercise then relax for 30mins before school.
Well he did it (nearly forgot the teeth!), BUT he came down with his tie knotted!That's huge, he was so pleased. (The thin bit was a bit long!!) I was delighted, after weeks of "go round up through, round again up through and through the gap, he's got it. Shoe laces here we come!!He even helped with his lunch pack.

Tuesday, 27 March 2007

Parents Evening

Firstly we visited the Language Support Teacher, who was very pleased with matthew's progress. She commented that when she first had him in Oct 2006 she had to sit next to him to egg him on, now she has given him work and wandered off, rushing back to find him keeping up and studiously doing it. She does dictation with the group, and sometimes he can't get it all down due to Dysgraphia and poor short term memory, but he is not doing to badly and getting the hang of it. He is getting all his spelling correct within the lesson.

The class teacher however knows there more than is coming out on paper. She is going to concentrate on him within a group of children she is going to target for the next term. Her best pupils cannot improve much more, so the others are to be pushed for their best. I am happy with this arrangement, she still wants us to try for 1:1 again.

Lastly we saw the SENCO. We gave her our concerns she has asked for 1:1 again, and is going to phone the Ed Psych for a within class/playground assessment to detail how Matthew learns within the class environment and how he interacts with the other children on the yard. She said if this fails we will have to apply for a statutory assessment which could lead to a Statement of Special Needs.

Sunday, 25 March 2007

Improvements 3

More new words coming out, we call them the word of the day. I was asked if I was making "adjustments" this morning when clearing files on the computer. Stuart commented that his memory is improving e.g he reminissed about holidays, and said I didn't like the food when we where there etc.
Exercises easy today and fun, bouncing on the ball and tossing a bean bag (I think he has that one sussed).
I am also finding he is asking "What does that word mean" not just ignoring the fact that things are not making sense.

Thursday, 22 March 2007

Improvements 2

We are seeing "changes" just over 3 months in. Matthew sang the 2 songs he knows last night word perfect for the first time, he hasn't sung them for a while, but always put in his own words in the past because his memory was so poor. More vocabulary that's in "there"seems to come out every day! He has had 14/14 in his spelling test 2 weeks in a row (unheard of) and seems happier in his school work. Longway still to go with organisation of thoughts on paper, but I can see it is starting to come.

Friday, 16 March 2007

Phone Call to Ed. Psych

Following the refusals of the applications for relevant help I have contacted the ED Psych again for advice. He has decided to ask that Matthew to be assesseed for attention dificulties at a Child and Family clinic in a hope that he may be seen there more quickly. We have a least another 8 months to wait for an appointment at the Child Assessment Clinic at the hospital.

Wednesday, 14 March 2007

Trying for extra Support

Found out the request for 1:1within class had been turned down, the reason is that he has 2x 30mins session with a Special Support Assistant for Speech and Language already.
Turned down for Dyslexia Support as he reads too well, spelling is area of concern (but apparently not for them).

Phoned to School spoke to Senco/Headmistress. She says she will reapply for 1:1 support. I'm going to put a letter in with it this time and so is his class teacher. This time I'm going to include the key phrases given to me by the Ed Psych:-
Not reaching his full potential,
the school is not meeting his needs,
he needs greater support than simply language,
he is being investigated for attention difficulties.
Has complex needs.

Keep at it.

Teacher's verdict so far.

Saw matthew's teacher this p.m.
Good news she says "he's gained confidence and is interacting more with the other children in the class (boys) and is listening more. His reading is above age. No worries with his maths at all". He has to be told off for talking now, but she said this was a good thing as he is mixing better. I see this as a good sign that he's coming into "our world" so to speak. She said he used to just sit there quietly looking lost.

Bad News However he can't organise his thoughts into a piece of writing he has to have sheets with the sentence started, he is not taking things in when she starts the lesson introduction and she still wants 1:1 for literacy lessons. He is not reaching his potential.

Monday, 12 March 2007

OMT 12/3/07

Had to post these seperately as you can't enlarge more than picture/date by clicking them.

2nd Follow-up Assessment

Went to Dore for an assessment today

OMT tests

Smooth Persuit
Very good tons better, stayed on track mostly all the way through.I can tell his eye tracking is much better from the amount he is reading these days, this happened within a month.

Better but could be tighter to the lines.

Sunday, 11 March 2007

Primitive Reflexes

Matthew never crawled, he commando crawled, we thought it oh so cute at the time. We wish someone at told us how important all these different developmental stages were, we were more concerned with getting him walking. He has retained primitive reflexes. I did lots of reading about the INPP centre in Chester, whose exercises are meant to deal with this. Dore I believe have encorporated them into their routines.

Tuesday, 6 March 2007

Improvements 1

We have seen
word processing improvements.
Vocabulary improvements.
Reading is more fluent definitley and willingness to read that "extra chapter".
Eye tracking is better, I now don't have to run my finger under each word as it's read.
His spelling has taken off, he knows most of the 100 most used words, which have been on his IEP for 2 years.Remember in Nov 06 we were told that his work had platauxed and we need the Ed Psych out urgently.I'm waiting to see Matthew's teacher, as his reading support teacher told us that his class teacher was amazed with his work (they discussed him at an IEP meeting). I don't know whether this amazement was with the work in the reading support class or in class work generally. Meeting next Monday.He was not eligible for Dyslexia support as his reading age is not poor enough, but they said spelling was a concern. The ED Psych said 1 hr a week help is not going to make that much difference anyway! I'm not upset as I feel we have his reading and spelling are in hand anyway. It's all the other symptoms broadly termed "the fog" , that I want help with.

Saturday, 3 March 2007

Speech Improvements

He no longer says lickle instead of little and bockle instead of bottle (struggled with this), his vocabulary has taken off. He sat down in the week and told us all about the Eisteddfod (a Competition day, written and performing, the same children seem to win everything). Matthew had no expectations as he's used to failing so that went over his head, but he told us how a few of his friends were crying when the same old children (you know the ones that get all the parts in the plays) got all the prizes). He related it all clearly- a non foggy day. Teachers seem to think the "best" children excelling is an indication of how good the school is, I however see the yard stick of good teaching as how well you teach the more difficult children. The non learning disabled ones will always progress happily.

Tuesday, 27 February 2007

Scott Quinnwll's Presentation

We're off to see Scott tonight in Cardiff. We didn't sample any sales hype before we signed up as I felt I understood most of the science theory behind it, so we're off to see if it's as pushy as people say. My husband was keen to go as he is a sporting hero here in Wales! The programme was good Matt enjoyed seeing the people from the Cardiff centre on it, and they showed some of the exercises that he and his children were doing, Matt was pleased to see they were similar. Scott did however finish sooner than his children, which goes to show adults are more understanding of the importance of doing them correctly (as opposed to an 8 yr old who wants to have as much fun as possible in the shortest time!!)

Monday, 12 February 2007


Just finished repeating the exercises Math found hard last time, and seem to find them all really easy 2nd time. We've moving on to new ones this week.He reported last night that he thinks there's more space in his brain to do his Maths, not quite sure if I like the sound of his brain being full of air !!

Monday, 29 January 2007

First Check Up

Check up report-First check up. It all went very well, apart from an accident on the motorway (an hour earlier) on the way there, which made us 20 mins late!! Stressful or what.The posturography test only was repeated, and Matthews balance on the eyes closed, moving plates (vestibular/inner ear balance) was actually on the graph this time it was missing last time as he had 3 fails. The therapist was pleased as he said that he had reviewed his results before we came and was not expecting it to have improved enough to get a reading this time either. The eyes open and plates stable (1.somatosensory and visual) was a little lower but with less spread of results, and also the eyes closed, plates stable (2.somatosensory) was a lower than before with less spread. The eyes open/moving plates (vestibular and visual) was much the same.

From this is seems to be showing that as the inner ear balance (which is linked to the cerebellum) starts to increase it starts to take on more of the balance and the somatosensory is being adjusted. Any way that's what i understood. He said this was not unusual. We have had to repeat some of the tests Matthew found hard, but not too many and the therapist tested him on several of the tests to ensure he was in fact doing them correctly. He also commented on how well we had done not missing a session. It had not crossed my mind to miss one, I even went up his friends house to do them with him when he went for a sleep over!! Poor lamb thought I'd come to collect him at 8 in the morning. Very pleased with the results. I did ask about the Dore International forum but the therapist didn't know and the manager was tied up when we came out.
I must add from last week his reading has just taken off and he now reading on his own. 20 pages read in literacy hour last thursday. 10 pages read most nights. He will have finished his book in 1 week, normally takes 4. I think some of the strain in reading has disappeared. He is feeling good about that.