Monday, 27 October 2008

Secondary School Choice

The time has arrived when we have to make our 1st and 2nd choice of Secondary school.
We have chosen to remove Matthew from the bilingual Welsh school environment, for several reasons.

The first one being with his Speech and language problems we have decided that one language is quite enough to cope with, for him and for me. Although his Dad speaks Welsh he simply hasn't the time in the evening to help with the welsh reading/spelling and I have become increasing frustrated at reaching for the dictionary constantly. The welsh resources for reading schemes are non exsistent and Matthew is continualy bringing home books too hard for him (and me, although I have taken several welsh courses and do have a good understanding of grammar and vocabulary) even although I have asked the teachers to monitor the books.

The second reason is thet the secondary school we feed is a poor secondary school on the discipline front, we have alraady moved our older son from there to another welsh nedium school and we were hoping it had improved, apparently not. I also cannot find this years results printed anywhere (no surprise there). At the recent year 7 taster visit, 2 boys in the class were bullied at dinner time with not a teacher or 6th former in sight and the swearing on the yard was appauling.

The 3rd reason is that we have am English medium school which has for 4 years running been in the top 250 schools in the UK, their Estyn school report was all 1s and 2s. It always has open days for the parents to look around (none at the welsh comp.), we went along and it was clear to us that they were extremley proud of their record and were actively promoting and selling their school to us parents. The children calmly moved lessons around us. They admit they have their problems as do all secondary schools but are extremley strong on discipline and communicating with the parents. So hopefully we have made the best choice. The school is 10 mins walk away and Matthew's best and second best friends are also going there for the 2nd and 3rd reasons above, Matthew is extremely pleased about that. They went for the taster day last Friday and had a great day, even although they actually had 4 lessons on that day.

Thursday, 11 September 2008

Support Disappeared

Matthew has been back in school for 2 weeks now. His 1:1 support for 5hrs a day seems to have disappeared.
True to form, I had to contact school about it. Spoke to the SENCo who tells me the support is still being funded by LEA (great), BUT the TA who supported Matthew for most of last year has been seconded to the Foundation Phase (this is the new way of teaching for nursery classes which requires larger number of staff to children ratio to supervise, which in theory I fully support). The new trainee LSA has also been seconded to the Foundation phase. The Headteacher is trying to employ a LSA, but she told me this over a year ago and we haven't seen one.
I contacted the LEA to try and understand how this can happen and it was them who told me they are funding his help and that the Headteacher should contact the Head of Learning Support for help and advice.
My husbands take on it is "they have removed much needed support so that the nursery children can play outside"

Wednesday, 16 July 2008

Reading gains

I was interested to have a look at what sort of gains were expected by Dyslexic children normally with just Language/phonological Support. I had another look at the Spellit Summary Report (not peer-reviewed) a research programme carried out by the Dyslexia Action Group. Taking another look at it, this is what I can glean from their report:-
Research design looks very similar to that of the Balsall Common Study i.e. not only Dyslexic children were chosen, they chose the lowest 10% in literacy, there was a cross over control group.


Home reading, age increased 9 months in 9 months - made no actual gains, remained as far behind as they were at the start.
Dyslexia Action, teaching made 11 months in 9 months - Caught up 2 months.
Combined, (Dyslexia action and Home reading) -not reported -disappointing results?
Waiting group, 6 months in 9 months- fell further behind their peers.

Now compare this to the gains Matthew has made,

Dore plus Home reading (+1 hr a week group support):-
29 months in 12 months.

I realise we are only 1 here, but know we are 1 amongst many who are seeing these gains. Another interesting factor was that children with specific verbal memory weaknesses and slow processing skils made less progress, and from what you can see from this blog (check previous Ed Psych reports) Matthew was in this catagory (OMG was he ever!).

Come on people there has to be something extra going on here. Why can't we have Dore plus phonological lessons for all Learning difficulties children? I admit it may not work for 100% of cases, but I think there would be absolutely no harm in trying it out for those who want to give it a chance. We need it in our education system ASAP.

Dore is currently being restructed, hopefully to make it substantially cheaper to run,allowing it to be available to a larger market and hopefully easier for our Government to embrace.

Tuesday, 15 July 2008

Concert today

We had a great concert this year, the 2 top classes together. All the children had a speaking part and Matthew got all his lines correct. Even better he was bright and alert, singing all the songs and getting the words correct, he was for the first time singing his heart out with a big smile on his face. HUGE difference.


For the past few weeks Matthew has had a new and trianed LSA teaching him for his 1:1 within the class, I haven't met her and true to form the school hasn't let us know what's happening. Matthew informed me and at the school fayre I chatted to the TA who used to help him. She was sad to leave him, but says the new LSA is on her third module of specialist support, so good news. Matthew says all he sems to be doing at the momwnt is reading, but she has been removing him from concert practice to give him his required 5 hrs throughout the week, I'm sure when they get back in September she will be helping him within the class.

SEN Review- Neales Analysis of reading Ability

Here's Matthew review from the Language support teacher (weekly 1 hr group class) who does a reading test once a year, this test encompasses accuracy, fluency and comprehension. Here's the report
Click on pic for bigger image.
His reading score has improved by 2.5 yrs since July 2007. THe only problem is they haven't given us the actual age equivalent to the score, I saw the class teacher and she has promised to ask the LSA to phone me tomorrow.

PS found this write up on Primary Movement and Dyslexia while searching for informattion on the Neales test. There's a reasearch paper mentioned from the Lancet which I will have a look at when I have more time.

Swimming Success

Matthew tried for a distance badge last Sunday, the last one he swam was 400m.
He decided he would go for the 1 mile badge (1600m) as the week before he heard anohter boy talking about it. I'm pleased to say that he had no trouble at all, and was infact the first one to finish. He happily went around putting his thumb up every time he passed me and declaring that "he wasn't even out of breath yet" at 1000m mark. I can remember things when anything was too much of an effort.

Wednesday, 2 July 2008

More good news

Our new private tutor has been sorted out. A semi retired Dyslexia/Special Needs teacher living on our estate, so Matthew can walk around to her house. Amazingly her grandson has done the Dore programme, she is very pleased with his progress, also teaches 2 other boys who are doing the program and she can also see the progress they have made. She says undoubtedly the program is beneficial to these children
She tested out a good few things with Matthew such as Alphabet tested him on a few unusual spelling patterns and agree with me that the on the whole he is doing really well, she tried asking him the months of the year and could pick up on the slight hestitiation when asked what is the month 2 months before, although only a slight processing pause. She is going to work on the writing side of things, getting things ordered in his head and try some Mind Mapping. She can also work on the handwriting if we want (yes please) but says he is not as bad as she thought.

News about the Dore programme. Assessments have restarted at Kenilworth (Dore HQ) with more in local patrtnerships (don't really know what that means) to follow. Assessments are going to be shorter and less frequent, but with the help of MyDore hopefully this will make the programme more affordable. I'm very hopeful at this point that Dore will available to those who most require it.

Wednesday, 25 June 2008

Good News

Spoke to Matthew's teacher this afternoon, to discuss the fact he is sitting next to a boy who is being "mean" to him, he has ADHD and his mum's the TA helping Matthew. Understandably he is feeling some jealousy towards Matthew. However should a child who is extremly hyper be sat next to one who has extreme problems with attention himself? The teacher says she is going to move Matthew, but also said normally when children get above 90 on their end of year tests, they are released from SEN. She has decided as she is the Senco that his support will however remain and I think this is right.
My only concern about this is that there should be more than hitting a number in a test to determine whether a child needs extra support (an obviously in our school they are using they experience of this).
Matthew did extremley well on his English and Welsh classwork today as he was excited to tell me and so was his teacher. Strangely enough the distracting influence (the boy)was absence today!

Private Tutor Problems

We had to stop Matthew's private tutoring last night. The lady who had been teaching him had been absent for a few weeks and I thought she just had a break, but we found out yesterday that she had left abruptly. She was a SENCo and knew exactly how to procede with Matthew and we could see a structured programe was being used with him. However the lady who took over- the person who is running the Kip McGrath franchise, had no idea Matthew even had SEN problems.
My husband dropped him off and went in to let them her know that he hadn't completed the homework because it was too much to ask of him (write a fictional story about anything!), I spent 3 X 20 mins trying to help him, but he just didn't know where to start, and wrote a few unorganized sentences. She said "No! Matthew that should have taken you 10 mins.", my husband went on to explain that this is the very thing he needs help with and he just doesn't get it, with his SEN problems. She replied that he didn't have SEN problems, he is bright and articulate he just couldn't be bothered!! (AKA lazy) .
Needless to say I went to pick him up, put her straight and cancelled his lessons, she had changed her tune after I told her all the support he gets at school and that is why he is there. Her resposne was he will not always get 1:1 and Kip McGrath is a happy medium with 1:5 teaching, my respnose is if he is never taught how to do things he is never going to do it by himself??!!
I know a lady on our estate who is a Dyslexia teacher, so I'm going to try her.

I didn't know whether to laugh or cry. He has obviuosly picked up so much that he appears to have the ability and this is fooling the teachers into thinking that he can but won't. This is the very problem that worries me the most, future teachers in comprehensive schools thinking him able and lazy. WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!!

Monday, 16 June 2008

Independent Reading

Matthew has moved on to his next book, another Michael Morpurgo- Waiting for Anya, harder than the last book as it has slightly smaller print and NO pictures (gulp), We chose it as it is about the 2nd World War and that's what they have covered this term in school.
We had a hesitant start, where I had to go back and hear him read as he was resistant (?confidence issue) and needed to get "into" the characters, but once he got into it he is again reading 4 pages a night.
Dad went to tuck him in last night and he retold what he had read (as I ask him to do this to check comprehension). Dad asked if it was a good story and he says he's enjoying it!!

Tuesday, 27 May 2008

Reading Progress

Ironically, Matthew's reading is getting better all the time, he now goes to bed on his own and reads a chapter independently from myself. When he's finished he shouts downstairs for me to go up and chat and tuck him in, last night he commented as he put his book proudly on the bedside table that he understood it all. He also commented how he must work on his welsh reading now to get it as good.
The reading was at the start the 1 benchmark that would prove to me that we had success, but all his other improvements are really reamarkable as well.

Sunday, 25 May 2008

Wii and Cricket

Following another Dore mum's experiences with the Wii/ Wii fit balance board we got one for Matthew for his birthday, I was thinking that post Dore he could use that just to keep him "tuned", via the balance /yoga games. In the body test (you do at the start-up) are -standing still eyes open, and also standing still eyes closed, it then measures your COG and how balanced you remain for somehting like 20s - really useful. Not quite Dore posteography but not bad. Also the Wii sport games are great too, we have discovered that Matthew's batting skills are fantastic in the baseball game and his timeing is great in the tennis, consequently I spotted a rounders game (rather like baseball) at Tesco's, he has been over on our "green" opposite our house, batting away with Dad/ friends/anyone and is brilliant, consequently he started cricket practice last week and loves it.

Friday, 23 May 2008

Dore Collapse

Following the Dore collapse in Australia, Dore UK have announced that Dore UK are also in adminsatration. These are truly sad events in the world of SEN, now once again motion based therapy is to be put on the back burner, hopefully not for another 30yrs . It was 30yrs ago that the initial pioneer Jean Ayres came out with these sort of exercises and Dore made these quantifiable and user friendly.
Luckily for us Matthew has possibly progressed as much as he is likely to, although I would have like to have seen him signed off properly, but it makes me extremely sad that all our Dore friends at different stages of the programme are left hanging. The future of our special children are once again left in the hands of the educationalist, pushing them to do things that they are not yet capable of doing, seeing them as naughty, lazy or stupid when in fact all they need is a few simple exercises twice a day that can bring them on.

Tuesday, 20 May 2008

Test score 2008

Our new SENCo freely offered us Matthew's end of year test scores this year, prevously I have had to ask for them and have been begridgingly given them.

English.........................Maths......................... Welsh Reading Test
(Average 88-111) ...............(Avg 88-111) ...........................No Avg given
(Class Range 82-127)........ (class Range 74-137) ...............(Range 72-130)

2008...... 97............................. 103......................... 89(8yrs 2months) 2007 .......91............................. 104........................................... 80
2006....... 95.............................. 88........................................... 91

The SENCo showed us an example of the welsh reading test it was filling the gaps in a reading passage, so more a test of vocabulary gained by the amount of reading experience. The 1st language children are inevitably going to outscore the 2nd language pupils, which is probaly why there is no average given. She also told us that most children do get considerably lower scores in this, she showed the test to my husband to illustrate the difficulty of the test.
I am in fact pleased that the score has increased since last time, and he has not declined any further.
The English test was a booklet where spelling, listening and comprehension was tested, so unless she went really slowly through the tests to allow for Matthew's (and the other SEN children's)difficulties, they are going to appear to perform at a lower level. She said that Matthew was given extra time at the end of the tests but only needed 5 mins., he needed the thinking time more withn the test than at the end! Much of the English test was read out by the teacher, so the pace she went at would be a limiting factor for children with processing deficeits. Good result I think.
But I'm pleased on the whole, things are moving in the right direction.
The only thing that is really concerning is welsh spelling, which is 7 yrs and 6months. I have read on several sites that the welsh reading and spelling should be easier as it's phonetic, we are not seeing this. Spelling tests have been stopped in school as some "expert advisor" came in and said that they were old fashioned and out dated. This is the 1 and only way that Matthew learns to spell, he learns words quiclky that way but must make a mental note of them. We will be asking his tutor to look into a spelling list to learn.

Wednesday, 30 April 2008


All seems going along OK at the moment, asked him to relay a story he is reading currently while doing his exercises this morning. The was much resistence as he just prefers to do something easy, but I insisted. After throwing himself around, he started and did a very good job of retelling it in an ordered manner. the book was a about a white lion, and he even digressed at one point to tell me that the lion was white because he had a special gene similar to white Bengal Tigers (thank you Animal Park). They had a test last week in English (sounded like comprehension work), he told me he was disappointed as he nearly finished but left 2 questions out, after investigating further I found out there where 26 questions in all. I told him I thought that was fantastic- only left 2 out, sounds brilliant to me.
During a maths lesson told the class taecher he knew all his times tables, so she tested him and he had them all right.

Friday, 25 April 2008

Cub Scout Silver Award

Matthew recieved his cub scout silver award on Wednesday night and we all went to a presentation evening to see him receive his certificate. The cubs have been absolutely brilliant with Matthew, no feeling of exclusion from them. He was so over the moon he specifically asked me to put his picture on the blog. He has taken his certificate to school today, to show in assembly.

Wednesday, 23 April 2008

S&L Special Support Teacher

The S&L SSA had her open afternoon yesterday she teaches Matthew for 2 X 30 mins a week, but only in Welsh. She said Matthew has made very good progress., he scored last June as being average in English and just below in Welsh on their S&L assessment, she will retest this year to compare things.
She was VERY interested in hearing about Dore, and said the only problem she had with them was the cost. I did point out that it would have cost us a comparable sum for private OT, but Dore is so much more organised,rigurous and targeted than OT. We had to wait 12 months for NHS OT, yes they understood and have more standing with the school than Dore, but we couldn't wait 12 months in limbo.
She also related how he answered a question in English 1 lesson and was astonished at how "articulate" he was, she wanted to go on with the conversation but of course she had to go back to Welsh. I never thought the word "articulate" would be used to describe my son!!
His Welsh is obviously behind as we had to concentrate on his English due to the fact that he had serious deficits pre Dore with English, having a word recall age of 4.5 yrs 1 month before Dore he was 8.6yrs at the time. So we have now got to blast him with the Welsh. My husband will have to be roped in for this as my Welsh is slow, although I can converse with him he knows I do not have the vocabularly- maybe we can improve together! Although he seems to convers really well in Welsh the confidence and some grammar is slow.

Friday, 18 April 2008

12 Asesssment -11th follow up

here are our latest assessment and the results are getting consistenly green, for the first time ever we had all greens, Test 1 +2 were only checked once as they were green they were not repeated. Test 4+5 were tested 3 times and the bar shows the range, which I think is really good but they want to see those tighter still!!

Wednesday, 9 April 2008

Slight regression

Matthew seems to be going through a slight regression in that he hasn't been hearing things correctly again, it fills me with fear when I am repeating words to him, his Dad has noticed too, but I know it will get better. Conversley he went back to school and told me that he had had a brilliant day with his work and his reading was more fluent last night. So perhaps we are moving forward again- I'll keep you informed :)
His tutor has decided to concentrate more on his written work, although he doing maths and Welsh alternative weeks(more to give him an extra feel good/confidence factor in his maths) on his maths week she is slipping in 20 mins of written and all the homework is going to be written.
Gawd he needs it, it is coming across as lazy e.g. she asks him to write about his day and he doesn't use full sentences, more of a list e'g. I got up, got dressed, ate breakfast, made bed etc. I know it's just him getting around the fact that he hates writing, avoidance tactics basically.

Paediatrician Follow-up

We revisited the Paediatrician last week, had a little chat about Matthew's progress and the outcome was "Keep on doing what your doing and things will continue to improve". We agreed that it was all the interventions together that were making the impact. Although if I wasn't subsidising the school with all the extra help, I'm sure he wouldn't be making the progress that he is, but he is able to learn now so must be happy with that.

Monday, 7 April 2008

Stairway to Spelling finished

Well we have finished Stairway to spelling, we didn't even use the technique on the last fifty words. I just quizzed him while doing his exercises, and went over the ones he had wrong about twice and he got them. We have been learning lists from the Education City site we signed up to last year- we have 3 months left of our subcription. He whizzed through English Yr 4 over Easter break and has moved on to Yr 5 English and is now learning Yr 5 spelling words. The first list was learnt in a day i.e. i before e except after c words e.g receipt, conceit, field, brief. He did them on the site as a game and I am retesteing them while he does his exercises.

Friday, 28 March 2008


Here's an update on Mathew's reading. Still fluency problems (when reading out loud anyway), but the books are age appropriate, he isn't a fast reader and it'll never be his favourite passtime.

Tuesday, 18 March 2008

Parents Evening

Had Parents evening last nught, all seems to be progressing well. Matthew is learning things on par with his peers! The only poblem is output- back to that writing again! There was lots more in his exercise books this year, including the ones where he has no help. A grades in his Maths and Science books.(in the end of subject tests). We discussed more times in test (as per EPsych first report way back form 2006) as I don't think he had extra time in last May tests, she said she fine with that. Also the laptop that was spoken about in last Ed Psych meeting, apparently, a speed of 30 Words/min is required before they are allowed to use these, we told her Matthew is working on it, but if he can type faster than write that really shoud be the criteria. She is going to test his writing speed. Also we asked for a contact book where we can write in any worries and she can let us know if things need to be worked on.
Oh yes and discovered that since Sept 2007 the head is no longer the SENCO, but Matthew current class teacher is. Nice of them to let us know. We only found this out from the LSA at the end of the evening. During the discussion with the class teacher we complained that we haven't had Feb's IEP, we hadn't been invited to discuss it and we had never once had a IEP review, although she said we should have had a review, not once did she say "well I'm the Senco now". She said was we should have had the IEP reviewed and it will be this year and they are due out this week.Also the regulatons are changing and the child will be consulted on the IEP from Sept.
We felt it quite productive, but hoping they are not just paying us lip service.

Monday, 17 March 2008

OT Technician visits us at Home

The OT Technician, popped a few things into us last Thursday, a nonslip sheet to under paper, and to try him on the caring cutlery (she lives in our village). She had a look at him with knife and fork and says he has no problem just needs to practice.
We chatted about motion based therapy and she says just keep plugging away and things will improve. She has a dyslexic daughter who is currently at university, took a different route to get there but has got there all the same, and is doing well although needs the support that is offered.
She was excited about the new foundation phase that is to be brought in here in Wales, following along the lines of Scandanavian countries, there will be no formal teaching of reading/writing /spelling until junior classes (age 7), but emphasis of learning through play. I think this is very enlightened and a definite way forward, get the basic needs of the children up to scratch first i.e. lots of play, getting the gross motor skills and then fine motor skills tuned up before bringing in the academics. IMO this is brilliant as even my older son has troubles with writing neatly and quickly, and could have done with those years of concentrating on development of these unpining skils.

Tuesday, 4 March 2008

Dore Assessment 11 -Follow up 10.

Good results again moving in the right direction, the specialist is encouraging us to keep at it, she believes that the balance scores are tightening up now and we may push them up even more.

The Occular motor tests are coming along, smooth persuit are as good as they'll get, and the Saccades just need a little more tightening up, 3 overshoots needing a correction and a few guesses. Matthew's reading does seem more fluent lately so if we can just sort this out- who knows!!

Tuesday, 26 February 2008

OT Technician

The OT Technician is coming to the school to give Matthew his short block of OT therapy for 6 sessions. I had to phone her to rearrange one, for him to attend his Dore Assess. next week. She tells me Matthew is a very enthusiastic learner, and I said well they all love 1:1 help, but she assures me that they are not all that enthusiastic. He has mastered tying shoe laces, but I have taught him this before (I did post it here) so it really is just a recap.
They are doing handwriting on an upright black board at 90 degrees, so he uses both hands, however 6 days of doing this isn't going to cut any ice I'm afraid, she said herself he has to keep practising it. She also mentioned that he has progressed in some things that she expected him to have trouble with, so then stated that we were doing well with our exercises--YES but which ones!!!!!!!!!! Haven't done any of the OT ones yet, although several are similar to Dore ones so that's probably where the improvements came from. She also mentioned his excessive pressure with a pen and his low muscle tone.

Sunday, 17 February 2008

Half Term Week

Not much to report really, a marked improvement in performance of exercises. Also it seems we have a corresponding jump in awareness, watching the news relating it back, asking questions, memory problems sinking away to the dark distance past.
My husband came home again after rugby practice with a smile on his face, relating that Matthew has great awareness of the game, sizes up the field of play before hand, no tunnel vision. It is suprising how many other children just charge and don't pass the ball as they don't have the spacial awareness (Gosh sounds very smug saying that!!) He is very happy, very chatty.

Saturday, 26 January 2008

A very good week

We have had a great week, started off with his first tutor session, where the tutor gave me a small amount of homework saiid that Matthew was having problems with worded problems, and not to push him if he couldn't do them (don't spend too long on 1 if he can't do it). He did the page in 2 mins flat, and said it was easy!?
Tues he came home to tell me that he had finished 2 pieces of work, one of these was independent work, he certainly gets a buzz out of his own efforts. Wednesday the SENCO tells us he is confidently answering a lot of questions in class and the 1:1 help is showing beneifits :). Friday was St Dwyren's Day (Welsh St valentine) the teacher has little chocolate hearts to give to all the children, but larger chocolate hearts to those who answered certain questions correctly. Matthew's question was how many months in 2/3 of a year and yes he got it correct (who said he can't do fractions?) and he had the larger chocolate (enough of an incentive).
Now we come to the major breakthrough, at rugby training they finished up with an obstacle course, stepping through hoops at speed, crawling under a net, darting between vertical posts. There were 2 teams Matthew was last to run, his team was well behind, his coordination and balance were brilliant not to mention his speed. He caught up and just pipped his rival at the post. All his team jumped on him, he had a real buzz, oh and he also scored 2 tries the same night.
Nearly forgot 10/10 on spelling test!

Wednesday, 23 January 2008

Quick chat to SENCO

When I picked up Matthew for his assess. I saw the SENCO, she says Matthew is responding well to the 1:1 help, and is confidently answering questions within the class. She also said he was sooooooooo sweet in both talk and actions.

Assessment 10 -Follow up 9

Specialist happy with the results, she said when we get the eye test next time they will look at overall progress. Test 3 has been consistent and looks like it won't increase much more. Test 5 is still improving (with mental distraction 63, 63 and this time 76)so they hope to continue trying to push this until the value is as high as they can get it and the variance is small. She said not to worry about the 1st two tests as it is normal for younger children to fidget these into the red as they as so boring to do! Test 5 he had 2 consistent high scores and 1 lower although all were in the green.

Sunday, 20 January 2008

More Spelling Success

Matthew brought his spelling home Monday night, I went over 5 words on Tues evening and then forgot the other 5 until Fri morning- day of test-oops!! We went over them, then did them as mental tasks and he again had 10/10. We really only need to fill in the gaps these days, if only there was more time in the day!!

Friday, 18 January 2008

An A in Science.

Matthew tells me he had an A for his last Science classwork, and he tells me he sometimes asks the teacher if he can stay in play times to finish his work.

Yesterday he told me that his TA that helps him for 1hr, took him out of the class to do his work, as the the noise was too distracting. Don't know if this is going to be a regular thing - the OT suggested that he was being distracted by noise and visual distractions.

Wednesday, 16 January 2008

Tutor Assessment

Finally bit the bullet and decided to get Matthew tested for a tutoring at a local centre.

Results were he is 18months to 2 years behind in Maths!! He seems to have completeley missed the point of fractions. I am shocked at this as the school report states he is very good at Maths. The tutor says that a lot of children miss the basics of fractions and the lessons move on to another subject. The school teacher did say in her write-up that we should practice fractions and decimals over the summer, but did not explain that there was such a huge problem.

Just found his end of year School tests (which I had to request as they are not given willingly)

May 2007 NFER in Maths 104 - average is 100. He also had a Level 4- , on a maths test on percentages recently. (2006 NFER score was 80)

Again I am confused with our Education system.

I also asked them to look at his welsh. It was very poor, when asked to write about what he had for Xmas he wrote a list, mostly illegible. He was then asked to write about what he did in school, when asked vebally all was fine. When putting it down on paper he wrote a few illegible sentences. They asked about his reading as they didn't have time to assess it and I told them that his Welsh reading was poorer than his English, they were suprised at this as it is usually the other way around. They are going to carry on assessing in his first lesson

On a more positive note after we explained about the "fog" he was in over a year ago, she told us about a similar pupil who was removed form school for a year at age 6 (then returned in a lower year) as he was in a fog who is now attaining A*'s at GCSEs at the moment. She says Matthew is a bright boy, has a great enthusiasm for learning, and he is a lovely child. All is not lost so we plod on.

Phonecall to OT

I spoke to the OT yesterday to inquire about age equivalents for the percentiles quoted on the report for the Beery test of Visual Motor Intergration. The Overall test score put him at 7.6 yrs (2 years behind) and the subcomponents Visual Perceptual - 7.6yrs and the Motor Component 6.6yrs (3 years behind).
She said the wedge should help him alot, and the OT assisstant will be working on his shoulder strength.

Thursday, 10 January 2008

Presentation Homework

Matthew had a presentation to do for homework, he had to find information on his favourite author, learn it and present it to the class with only the help notes. I did help him write it, getting the information from the book leaf, but so do did many of the other mums.
He choose Holly Black who wrote the Spiderwick Chronicles.
He came home Tuesday telling me he had the loudest applause (ok not subjective there!) and his presentation was the 2nd longest! He had learnt it well managing to keep his eyes off the prompt cards mostly and using them as they should be used. He didn't take to long to learn then either. He had a great confidence boost and a big hug off me.

Friday, 4 January 2008

Sensory Processing/Integration Disorder

After having mild Sensory Processing Disorder diagnosed by the OT I had a quick "Google" on the subject and found this OT site which is rather good. I especially recommend the Newsletter Page and you can see how it all links to what Dore is doing . Covers S&L problems also.

Here's the newsletter link as their link goes to the wrong page

Wednesday, 2 January 2008

"Children's Occupational Therapist" Report

As promised here's the Occupational Therapist report. Lots of work to do, and we have a brochure of exercises to do at home- 20mins a night. I can see why lots of people fail at doing these as they are not structured enough, just sort of choose what you want for loads of suggestions, very intimidating, where to start. Dore is more of do this for this many nights then move on, not so mind boggling! I going to wait for Dore to end and just try a few of the games.