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Processing Deficit and Dyslexia Dangerous Combination for a Pre-Teen

Processing Deficit and Dyslexia Dangerous combination for a pre-teen who will need a strong IEP. What he is currently getting from the school is totally inadequate.

Comments from the NEUROLOGIST, 

I saw a 10-year-old 4th grade boy and his parents in my office, already diagnosed with dyslexia and auditory processing deficit of greater than 50%. He had a series of severe ear infections as a baby and toddler, and learned to speak much later than the parents’ other two kids.  He was reading at a 2nd grade level and his grades were C-D, even with hours of help from his parents with his homework.

His parents had spent thousands of dollars paying for reading tutors out of school and during the summer break. The public school had already had him in Wilson Reading tutoring twice per week. He also had speech therapy once per week to tackle his auditory processing defect. The reading specialist had so many meetings in the school, that she had to cancel the intensive reading tutoring multiple times.  His teacher said he was not improving in his reading skills.

This happens quite often.

The public school reading specialist, often has multiple meetings, and with the budget cutback, often he or she is required to cover multiple schools. This ends up with the Wilson reading tutor actually spending less time than allotted with the child. This boy often comes home from school and when his parents ask him what they covered in history today, he has no idea of even what century or what country was being studied because he has a severe auditory processing deficit.

I explained to his parents that their son has a double barreled problem with both dyslexia and auditory processing deficit, and that these often come together in the same child.

The Wilson method of reading is fine, but this boy needs daily intensive help before he gets any older. This type of drip-drip method of helping him will not work. He will get frustrated with school, and will put less and less effort into it. He needs daily intensive schooling that is like basic training, where all efforts from adults are directed toward fixing his problems before they become worse.

His parents need to become assertive advocates of their boy, or they will find their boy becomes a very frustrated, angry teenager if he feels like a failure.

Comments from the ATTORNEY, 

The parents need a strong, comprehensive IEP (individualized education program) and I will walk them through each step.

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Nancy February 03, 2012 at 09:43 PM
There should also be an evaluation for the muscles of the eyes as well. There are times when each eye works fine by itself but together there is double vision and the mind works to remove the image and see a single image. If there are any learning issues spend the time and have someone like http://familyvisioncare.net Check the child. I went till 5th grade before it was found. The muscles then had issues again in my late 40s and again was correctible with exercises - THEY WORK But you need to see a specialist, normal eye doctors do not find it or rush to surgery.
Marcia Stone February 04, 2012 at 12:17 AM
I agree with Nancy. I had a child in my class who was headed on the same path, when I noticed that his eyes did not converge. He also always tilted one side of his head to favor one eye. He never mentioned that he was seeing double. He went to a vision therapist, who helped train his eyes to focus together. After that, his reading improved dramatically!
Mike February 04, 2012 at 02:51 PM
As school district budgets continue to be cut, these very services and needs for children in this group are becoming exacerbated. Adding to the problem is the fact that the NYSED continues to increase standards and demands without any funding. In our school district this has resulted in the greatest number of children in the so called resource room at anytime in the schools history. Resource quite frankly is a waste of time for most of these kids since they are in a room with 30 other kids. This article is spot on-parents need to advocate for their children and demand the services they need.
Michael Kaufman and Madeleine Kitaj February 04, 2012 at 08:29 PM
Nancy and Marcia - You are both absolutely correct. This should be checked out. In this case visual processing problems and other visual problems, such as diplopia, were carefully checked out earlier and eliminated.
Michael Kaufman and Madeleine Kitaj February 04, 2012 at 08:35 PM
Exactly. Between budget and monetary issues and the large sizes of the classes most kids, not only those in special ed, are not getting the time they need and deserve
Beach Girl February 05, 2012 at 01:35 AM
HI , I have a 7.5 yr old boy . Who still writes his letter and numbers backwards . Where do I bring him for help or testing ? ( He is in 2nd grade )
Susan Rose February 05, 2012 at 03:14 AM
You should speak to the school psychologist. The eval can be done in the school. Howevwe, the best evaluations are done privately. You could go to a psychologist for a psych educational evaluation. You should know that this can be quite costly.
Michael Kaufman and Madeleine Kitaj February 05, 2012 at 11:02 PM
There is cheap testing and there is expensive testing. Your school psychologist can do the entire battery of testing. Tests that are most commonly considered the best for students of different agees are Woodcock Reading Mastery Tests, Gray Oral Reading Test, Gates Silent Reading Test, for specific phonological testing, use Comprehensive Test of Phonological processing, and for testing memory, use Test of Memory and Learning, Wechsler Memory Scale, and Woodcock-Johnson Test of Cognitive Abilities, and if school has not tested IQ, then WISC has to be included. There are many psychologists and language specialists in Westchester who charge high fees for testing, if the school won't do it for free within a month or so. If the school won't do this testing quickly, there are legal steps that can be taken to protect your son, so that he won't start hating school.
Michael Kaufman and Madeleine Kitaj February 05, 2012 at 11:06 PM
I agree with Susan Rose that most testing services are expensive. The only less expensive way is to advocate strongly with your school district to get this comprehensive testing which parents are entitled to.The steps to be taken with the school system depend on if the parents want to modify the IEP to make it a much stronger one for their child, or if they don't have an IEP, to obtain one.

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