Possible Dyslexic Student - what to do?

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by aek471, Feb 12, 2009.

  1. aek471

    aek471 Rookie

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    Feb 12, 2009

    A new student transferred into my classroom last month and I immediately figured out she is functioning WAY below grade level. I've been trying to work with her several days a week and I'm wondering if she's dyslexic. She writes several words backwards, including her name, and often tries to read text from right to left. I'm not sure if it's a developmental thing because she knows so little, or if it might be dyslexia.

    In my district, I must have a MINIMUM of six weeks' documented intervention before I can go to the counselor with my issue. Even then, it's not likely anything will happen by the end of this school year, or even next year. Anyone know of anything that indicates dyslexia? If so, what are some activities I can do with her! Thanks!
     
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  3. firstgradeteach

    firstgradeteach Comrade

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    Feb 12, 2009

    I've been doing a lot of research on orton gillingham programs. ALmost every academic journal says "dyslexia" in any journal that also mentions orton gillingham. That might be something that you want to look into.

    I say to just wait. Record observations. Some students after a move have a hard time adjusting.
     
  4. tracykaliski

    tracykaliski Connoisseur

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    Feb 12, 2009

    I am an Orton Gillingham tutor and work with dyslexic students. What you describe could be many things. How is her phonemic awareness?

    Look here for information:

    http://www.interdys.org/FAQ.htm

    They have tons of good information.

    If you're not able to get a referral, I'm wondering if you're in a public school or a private school. If it's a private school, I would recommend that the parents have a complete educational evaluation done on the child. Once that's done, and she's got a diagnosis of dyslexia, she can get FREE tutoring through an organization called the Masonic Children's Learning Centers provided you're in one of the states that has a learning center.

    http://www.childrenslearningcenters.org/home.html

    The masons raise money to provide 1:1 tutoring for children at no cost to the families. It's wonderful.

    If you're in a public school, I wonder why it would take so long to have her seen. Isn't there a 30 day mandatory screening at least from the date of referral? And I mean 30 calendar days, not 30 school days.

    It would be a lot easier to give you advice on how to help this child if I knew whether you were in a public school or private school.
     
  5. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    Feb 12, 2009

    Aek,
    While it may be true that your district will put you on hold, they cannot legally do that if the parent requests the meeting. Have the parent take the initiative and call the school directlly and make the request. Then the school has to hold a meeting with a certain number of calendar days.

    I often tell parents that I can refer their child, and it will take months, or they can do it, and we will meet in just a few short weeks.

    Have the parent demand the meeting. It is his/her legal right.
     
  6. aek471

    aek471 Rookie

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    Feb 13, 2009

    Rainstorm and Tracy, I am in a public school. In a very large urban district. Believe me, I know what the policies are, I've been round and round with the counselor for years. But Tracy you gave me some great ideas, thanks so much. I'll look into it and keep working with my student!
     
  7. tracykaliski

    tracykaliski Connoisseur

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    Feb 13, 2009

    Feel free to let me know if you have any questions too, ok?
     
  8. teacher143

    teacher143 Rookie

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    Feb 13, 2009

    Try putting a colored transparency over words when she is reading. That helps some kids in reading. I hope this helps.
     
  9. tracykaliski

    tracykaliski Connoisseur

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    Feb 14, 2009

    It helps some kids, teacher 143 but the best thing I've found when children are reading is to have them use their finger underneath the line of text that they're reading. It's much more efficient and they always have a finger with them when they're reading no matter where they are.
     
  10. NightSky

    NightSky Rookie

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    Mar 5, 2009

    Have you checked out Overcoming Dyslexia, by Sally Shaywitz, M.D.? It has a checklist of issues that might indicate dyslexia. It has lots of other important information about struggling readers and how to help them.
     
  11. shouldbeasleep

    shouldbeasleep Enthusiast

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    Mar 5, 2009

    It's not just that you have to have 6 weeks documented intervention...If the child shows any progress under your intervention, then you aren't going to get anywhere. Kind of a Catch 22. If you want them to get help in Special Ed. these days you have to show that what's being done in the classroom isn't working. And if you're good at your job, there's bound to be some progress. Just not what he/she could get with someone trained to teach the learning disabled.

    And if you do get them the services they need, (which isn't likely anymore), they won't be pulled for that extra help. It will most likely be inclusion, which means you'll be doing the same thing you were earlier...

    ...because the Special Ed teacher who is supposed to be helping out in the inclusion classroom has too much paperwork and can't come to class, or is incompetent and is following your lesson plans....

    Sorry....I've turned this into a vent. Am having a bit of a bad year with one of my fifth graders who I KNOW is dyslexic, but nothing is going to happen about it except me educating myself on how to teach him. Just one more little task.....
     

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