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!