Thursday, April 1, 2010

A step in the right direction

I just wanted to check in with you all as to where we are with Samantha and her *issues*. We spent 4+ hours at Dennis Developmental Center, which is a branch of Arkansas Children's Hospital, with a *TEAM* for her. There was a Learning Disiabilities Doc, a Speech Threrapist, a Physc Examiner and one other guy (not sure what his role/title was -but he never spoke ust observed).

The TEAM has diagniosed her with a Learning Difference. They think that we are dealing with Written Expressions Disorder. Which, from all of her testing over the past 6-8 months, along with her tests from today, basically means she gets it, she know it, she just has a bit of problem in commmunicating it back. Both verbally AND especially in written form. She has trouble structuring a sentence- from beginning it with a captial letter, transposing words/letters, misusing capitals, misspelling words, down to unsure of how to use correct punctuation. They said she had a bit of problem verbally, but not enough to 'label' that part of it, and being in speech should help with that as well. But the written part was pretty low, causing her overall IQ score to be below average.

The phsyc examiner said that he would recommend expanding her IEP and getting more services from the school district - is recommending at least OT and maybe a reading resource if available. He also said as far as general learning, keeping her home will be her best bet. She has issues spelling, writing (both penmanship as well as skills and formation of sentences/paragraphs). If she goes to school now, then it could lead to her getting *failing* grades, which causes a list of things- depression- drop-puts - low self esteem - but her testing scores shows she KNOWS things. Keeping her home where I can accomadate her learning and testing enviornemnt would be the best thing for her. He also suggested that I get accomadations made for testing next year (I think we are too late this year, since she tests next Wednesday).

Her visual/spacial scores were high and they said that any kind of chart/map/graph style learning would be best for her. Anything she can do on the computer, let her. Use things like dry-erase, magnetic letters, mainly visual learning skills, to help her with learning. And to lower my expectiations when it comes to anything that has to be handwritten - if I can't change it completely.

Which leads me to ... Is this God giving me permission, or even a push if you will, to let go and relax our learning enviornment? I so want to, I would love to do more hands on things, but I have always felt like if I step back from the *bookwork* then we won't know where we are, or if they are learning, or if we are doing what we need to be doing...

Please keep us in your prayers as we make the next step down this journey with her. That if God wants our lerning to be more relaxed and natural, that ways for me to do this will show, that I will learn to let go and that others will as well (parents- extended family) and see that they can learn if they are not sitting at a table doing bookwork for 6 hours a day (Not that we are - but you get my point with that).

We did lapbooks and stuff when they were younger, but felt like we needed more as they have gotten older... maybe not...

I am going to try to relax, more games and what I call fun stuff - that can be counted as learning (cooking comes to mind) and more computer type things. They gave mean Inspiration C D that has a 30 day free trial that is something to try with her - going to go check out the website and such before I put it on either computer.

So, we shall see how it goes from here.


  1. One of Em's friends has dysgraphia, which sounds like this. She goes to a specialist for it somewhere here in town. She gets frustrated with the standardized tests. My Em has trouble when she writes too, but can type it out on the computer fine. She knows all the rules (capitalization etc.) but doesn't use them if she writes. I sometimes wonder if I shouldn't have her tested, but Dennis is so expensive!

  2. The team at Dennis said they didn't think dysgraphia, but I don't know. I heard about it for the first time on the Tuesday before we went on I still need to do some research. What little bit I did read described her. We are slowly learning the computer, so will see how she does with typing things out. Dennis is expensive, I am hoping that our insurance will cover the most of it!!


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