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.