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Life is not about getting to the destination, life is what happens to you on the way there. 

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

More conferences

Youngest's conference was this morning. I was greeted with what felt like a horde of people - the teacher, the speech therapist, and the special reading improvement person that I don't know her title. It seems that youngest's adorable speech patterns arent adorable to the teacher and she is having trouble reading out loud because of this. She knows all ehr letters or nearly so and they told me that unless she can name all 26 letters in less than a minute she will not be promoted to first grade. I guess it is state law.

Deep down I know the reason for this but inside I'm cringing because they can't hold her back a year - she is already the oldest in her class and if they hold her back a year she will be the giant in a sea of youngsters. I don't want that for my baby.

I may have to find a tutor for her during the summer to get her caught up - they said that there was a possibility of her passing to first grade if she knew most of the letters on sight in less than a minute (she knows them all but some it takes longer than others)

DH has trouble with his speech and thinks that is the main reason why youngest is having trouble talking and E-nun-ci-ating properly. He says that because he has trouble with some sounds that she never heard them correctly and that is why she is having such a hard time. I don't think it is as bad as all that really, but I might have her hearing tested to be sure all is well in that regard because I know that what she hears herself say and what she says are sometimes two ddifferent things.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is a good possibility that she has some hearing problem. By all means have it checked out.

Next, don't guess if it's state law or not. Make them show it to you in writing. Don't let them paraphrase it. If it is a state law, it would be one of the stupidest ones I've ever heard of.

If she is already the oldest in her class, DO NOT let them hold her back. Hire a tutor, whatever it takes to help her, but holding her back should be YOUR choice, not theirs.

Not only will she need to know letter names to succeed at reading, she will need to know the sounds the letters make. Don't let anyone tell you phonics isn't important. After having her hearing checked, IF there is nothing wrong with it you can start her on letter names and sounds yourself. There are games, etc. all over the internet for teaching names and sounds.

Karry, This will all be so important to her later on. She should be receiving help from the school. They should have already given her a hearing test. If they haven't, why not? She may have trouble reading aloud because she is embarassed about her speech problem. This doesn't mean she should be held back.

By all means get her intervention now. She CAN catch up, but don't let her feel your anxiety. She is special and unique and the teacher may be unable to give her the time and attention she needs. Not the teacher's fault, but definitely the school's. Let us know how it goes. Cate

2/23/2005 07:41:00 PM  
Blogger Karry said...

I am pretty sure they already tested her hearing because when I asked the speech therapist about it she said that unless I recieved a note indicating she failed, then she passed it. I don't doubt that she can hear, ,I jsut don't think her brain processes sound quite the same way most people do - like dyslexia for ears if there is such a thing. LOL

regarding state law - it has something to do with the no child left behind act. There is a TON of side-effects of that act that noone thought of and are now being reaped.

My son was held back last year because he did not pass his FCAT test. Because passing to the next grade is dependent on this test, it's a HUGE pressure on the teachers and the kids to prepare for the test. So much so that I am starting to think that there is less emphasis on retention than there is on short term memory for the test.

the speech therapist and the special reading intervention person are providing help through the school - she gets to go with these ladies during class recess or free time or whatever (they assure me she is not missing important instructional class time) and she works on reading and sounds and letter recognition.

I don't think it is letter recognition that is her problem, she knows the alphabet - I think it's the timed dibels test that they have to give ehr that is the problem. they want her to identify all the letters on sight in under 1 minute. She can do it but it takes her longer than one minute. She also knows the majority of sounds that the letters make - not all but most. She ahs trouble with her d's and R's and v's and th's among others which I understand a lot of that is just her developmental age group.

She also LOVES to read, she just has a hard time with some words. She sounds them out but her brain can't seem to connect all the sounds into a word yet. I think that that too will come with time.

My son had a similar difficulty at this age but I don't recall ever being put into such a situation where I felt so gosh darned pressured to "meet the standard". Of course, when he was this age, we lived in another state with different laws and rules.

{sigh} I'll probably just flash card her to death. LOL

2/23/2005 09:07:00 PM  

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