I am just wondering if someone can tell me where I go to get some advice for my son. We had him assessed 2yrs ago when he was 6. We were told he is highly gifted with learning difficulties. He struggles with processing and get things down on paper. We have never actually had this acknowledged by his teachers. They happily point out that he never finishes anything and on timed assessments he does badly. For example throughout the yr they do a speed maths teast where there is something like 100 maths questions and they have 8mins to answer as many as possible. We are lucky if he answers 10. The one this week he did 8. His teacher told me today that he had a talk to my son about concentrating on the task etc. My concern is that it's a case of he can't do it, not he wont do it. I have often mentioned what we were told and have given his teacher the report. I feel like I am making excuses for him but I would like someone to say yes this is a real issue and this is what we can do to assist him..Who do I talk to or where do I go to get some advice. I have thought of ringing the one day school and asking them but as we don't attend I'm not sure if that would be appropriate.
any advice would be great
The psychologist that assessed him would be a good start.
How does he go on un-timed assessments? That would be a good thing to know and for the teacher/s to acknowledge i.e. a speed thing -not an ability issue.
That is the problem his assessment was done in Akld and we don't live there anymore. We are now in Palmerston north and I have a feeling there probably isn't much around. We don't get a lot of finished work out of him ever. The Mathis he was doing was simple addition subtraction multiplication. He could probably get them all right if he did them but it would prob take someone to sit next to him and keep him on task. Just don't know what to do. He is barely making grade level in his classroom work. People keep telling me not to worry as he's very bright etc but for me I just worry that when it counts he's not going to succeed. Feel like I am failing him by not giving him what he needs. Just need to know what it is he needs... We maybe heading to the states or a couple of yrs due to hubby's work and I am quietly hopeful that we may get some opportunities for him that aren't readily available to him here..
Your email sounds like our situation. It took me ages to understand my son was unable to get started on projects at school let alone finish them because his brain processing speed was light years ahead of his ability to write things down and so he just didn't bother putting pen to paper. I do still think there's an element of choosing not to do some of the school work ... We had our son tested by an educational psychologist and the recommendations in the report empowered us to ask that the school adopted the recommendations. We thought we might have to have the psychologist meet with the school but our son's teacher was delighted to be given some recommendations to work with. I suggest you look outside Palmerston North - maybe Wellington - and see if there's an educational psychologist can act as an advocate for you in recommending changes that the school and teacher need to make.
I think I may have seen your posts before because you son sounds exactly like mine ( gifted with low processing can't and won't write). In fact, anything that he performs badly at he won't give it a go, because his brain expects more from him I think. My son is Dyspraxic. We had similar issues at school until they started doing the Year 3 National tests that are multi - choice - ie no writing involved, just shading of A/B/C/D. How son's results for these were all Stanine 9 - the school woke up then because all their assessments ( other than reading) had been average or below. If you don't have a special needs co-ordinator - maybe you could ask the school for an RTLB assessment - or a private Ed psychol that they reccomend. If you use the schools favoured experts they tend to read the reports more.
As you can see from other replies, non performance or "slowness" is not at all an uncommon situation. My son was/is exactly the same. Don't despair. He is at high school now and doing much better. Also there is more acknowledgement of learning issues at high school ironically, and he uses a laptop for writing to speed his work up, and has a scribe for tests and exams. it's important not to let the child give up hope of improving. Giving up happens easily and quickly. We found primary school to be a frustrating, sometimes boring, and largely unproductive place to be for a gifted kid (with or without a learning disability). We alleviated this as much as we could by providing other opportunities outside schooltime or, frequently, during school time. One Day School, daytime tutoring, educational trips, online courses that they can do at their own pace etc. We tend to expect and hope for too much of our schools (and doctors).
Hi Thank you all for you comments...
It seems I have been very unlucky as far as schooling. His first 2 yrs at school were a complete disaster as he was identified as a trouble maker and was often removed from the class. In yr2 he had a teacher that just didn't like him and things got really bad and this is when we had him assesed as we were getting no where with school. When we gave the school the report with recomendations they basically laughed in my face. I saw his teacher had a piece of paper that came from the DP/special needs co ordinator that was clearly not meant for my eyes as she had written "well they don't want much do they" written on it. The OT we saw even met with the school but there was no change what so ever. We fortunately moved away due to my husbands work..
The school we are at now have been fabulous and life has been much better but for me I have yet to have someone acknowledge that there may actually be an issue. I get the feeling that they still think that it is just a case of him choosing not to do it...I have filled out paper work for RTLB's but they have come to nothing. I think that due to the fact that his giftedness means he tracks along at roughly national standard level no one is worried about him as they are worried about those that aren't up to the standard.
I was hoping we weren't going to have to go down the ed psych again due to the cost. Also we would have to go out of town for it and at the moment my husband works in Wellington 5 days a week and I have no family here to help me out with my other 2 children. Looks like life is going to get a little bit more stressful in more ways than one...
Your child doesn't have to attend ODS for you to get advice and help from the Gifted Education Centre - that is what they are there for. When I was director there, I often spoke with parents whose children were not at ODS. The vision of the Centre's founder was that all gifted children and their parents would be met with understanding and provided with assistance. The day programme is just one part of GEC's activities - give them a call!