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Thread: Where do I begin?

  1. #1
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    Default Where do I begin?

    For some time I've known Abby has some sort of math difficulty. I spent summer-before-last reading all about the brain and figured out she has some sort of memory problem, but it kept nagging at me that she mostly has memory problems as it relates to math. In earlier grades, it hasn't mattered much - we have a cheat sheet for multiplication facts and she counts on her fingers or scratch paper. When we had to do the division book three times, I started researching. But we finished the MUS fractions book and I knew (I knew all along, really) she doesn't understand fractions and the next book, percents and decimals is the hardest MUS book so I have been in a huge quandary of how to cope with those concepts. My husband did some research and she has almost every symptom for dyscalculia. I have one dd with mild dyslexia and dysgraphia, but I never knew dyscalculia existed. When I figured out Rachel had either dyslexia or a visual processing disorder, it was 1992 and there was no help available to me. I found a book of exercises and taught her coping skills and she's doing well now. (You know it really cannot be summed up in one sentence. )

    So where do I begin? Should I get her tested? Why is that important? Will insurance pay for it? Would it be helpful if I rejoined HSLDA and talked to their special needs mentors? Should I just forge ahead and use the resources I've found on dyscalculia.org? I've looked at a lot of websites, but that one seems to be the best and have the most resources. I have felt so dumb for not figuring this out sooner. I've chalked it up to being immature and thought it would eventually "click", and then thought she had some sort of memory problem but it's getting worse as we get into harder math.

    I have retyped this post 3 times because I keep losing it. You are luckily getting the short version because I'm tired of redoing it! Thanks for your help!
    Wife to David, mom to 9, homeschooling Thomas (18), Abby (14). Grammy to 6 granddaughters and 1 grandson! Homeschooling since 1986, Rowing since 2000.

  2. #2
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    I'd recommend getting her tested. In my opinion, having numbers down on paper and a psychologist's interpretation is very, very helpful. As a special ed teacher and now two times as a parent.

    My health insurance paid for both of my kids to be evaluated, and it was spread over 5 years and two different companies. You could go the route of getting her tested through the school system for free, but it would take forever and I never wanted to be on their radar.

    Don't feel dumb. You are a great mom! And the philosophy of better late than early is still a good one. Now you're beyond "late" and it's time to get some info, but not too far to still get help.
    Melissa, Five in a Row Staff - Community Manager
    Robert's my man. Jacob, 15, and Mattie, 11, entertain me and keep me on my knees!
    "Once your enemy, now seated at your table. Jesus, thank you!" ~ Sovereign Grace Music

  3. #3
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    So if we decide on testing, how do you do that? We do not have a pediatrician to refer us.
    Wife to David, mom to 9, homeschooling Thomas (18), Abby (14). Grammy to 6 granddaughters and 1 grandson! Homeschooling since 1986, Rowing since 2000.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Melissa Crabtree View Post
    You could go the route of getting her tested through the school system for free, but it would take forever and I never wanted to be on their radar.
    I had one of my boys tested through the schools for a language-based LD. (We were already on their radar b/c my son had speech therapy through the school.) I was glad to get the results of the IQ testing portion, but the LD testing was a waste of our time. The schools determine an LD based on the disparity between ability (IQ) and performance on the academic testing. They made no effort to figure out his particular issues, which had a direct correlation to his speech issues. The remediation they offered us was a canned program that in NO way addressed his issues. Their focus is purely on trying to increase performance with no attention to trying to fix underlying issues.
    Wendy, wife of Retired Air Force hubby Sid. Mom to school teacher Virginia, 28yo; Son-in-law Mark; Homeschool graduate and Graphic Artist John, 21 and remaining student Tim, 15.
    I can only do one thing well...You pick: Homeschool the kids, or Clean the house.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by WendyW View Post
    The schools determine an LD based on the disparity between ability (IQ) and performance on the academic testing. They made no effort to figure out his particular issues, which had a direct correlation to his speech issues. ... Their focus is purely on trying to increase performance with no attention to trying to fix underlying issues.
    That is the definition of a learning disability (simply summarized as a standard deviation between potential [IQ] and performance [actual skills] or two standard deviations between high and low scores in one area), so all psychologists will define it this way. And helpful or not, they will definitely try and fit a kid into their prescheduled system as opposed to designing something just for him. It's a huge fault of a government special ed program.

    Joy, a private practice psychologist is more prone to give you more individualized answer and suggestions for sure. They will likely not offer services or therapy for dysgraphia though. But I was offered philosophies, methods, curriculum suggestions and the like to point me in the right direction.

    I just called the psychologists in my area that I knew did psycho-educational evaluations. (That's what to ask for if you are calling around.) I didn't need a referral for my insurance, but it is considered a specialist like any other specialist would be.
    Melissa, Five in a Row Staff - Community Manager
    Robert's my man. Jacob, 15, and Mattie, 11, entertain me and keep me on my knees!
    "Once your enemy, now seated at your table. Jesus, thank you!" ~ Sovereign Grace Music

  6. #6
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    Joy, your school district is legally obligated to test your dd, but that may not be the easiest or best route. You need someone who does psychoeducational testing; this is usually a psychologist. You can ask your pediatrician (if you still use one) or others in your homeschooling circles for recommendations. Testing is important because you'll need a label if you want to get Abby help on standardized testing and/or college admission. Some insurance covers testing, but it depends if the testing falls under behavioral/mental health. Typically if you have to pay out of pocket, the expenses are reasonable. For example, 4 years ago we paid $400 for a full battery of testing for Grace. You'll need an IQ test and achievement test at a minimum.

    Here's a link to an excellent organization: National Institute for Learning Development. (My mom sits on their board, and it's how we arranged Grace's last round of testing.) You can explore it to see if there is anyone in your area who is NILD certified. At the minimum, you might find someone to test your girl.
    Mom to Grace (14), Sarah (12), and Hannah (10)
    Using my college degree in ways I never imagined....

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Laura F View Post
    Joy, your school district is legally obligated to test your dd, but that may not be the easiest or best route. You need someone who does psychoeducational testing; this is usually a psychologist. You can ask your pediatrician (if you still use one) or others in your homeschooling circles for recommendations. Testing is important because you'll need a label if you want to get Abby help on standardized testing and/or college admission. Some insurance covers testing, but it depends if the testing falls under behavioral/mental health. Typically if you have to pay out of pocket, the expenses are reasonable. For example, 4 years ago we paid $400 for a full battery of testing for Grace. You'll need an IQ test and achievement test at a minimum.

    Here's a link to an excellent organization: National Institute for Learning Development. (My mom sits on their board, and it's how we arranged Grace's last round of testing.) You can explore it to see if there is anyone in your area who is NILD certified. At the minimum, you might find someone to test your girl.
    Laura, I found that one of the Christian schools in Birmingham has *5* therapists on staff! I've emailed the program director, so maybe I'll hear back from her.
    Wife to David, mom to 9, homeschooling Thomas (18), Abby (14). Grammy to 6 granddaughters and 1 grandson! Homeschooling since 1986, Rowing since 2000.

  8. #8
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    Joy ~ Have you ever used any of the "Key to Math" books? I loved their books as they were so simple to understand, and so thorough in teaching the concepts. Just an idea, in case you want to try another curriculum.

    http://www.keycurriculum.com/products/key-to
    Alicia <>< Wife to Jeff; 3 great sons ~ Josh married to Jessica, dgds Madeline Spring and Caroline Bryant ~ Ethan married to Holly, dgds Annaleigh Grace and Addison Joy ~ and Micah.

  9. #9
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    Joy, this is a hard one.

    Long story short, my oldest struggled with math from the get-go. I tried everything, but nothing would stick. It was horrible and ruining our relationship and her perception of herself. Finally, when she was about 10, I stopped teaching her math. I told her when she was ready to tackle it again to come talk to me. She was about 13 when that happened. So I found a curriculum I thought would be amazing and had her start with grade 2 and work at her own pace. The curriculum ended after the elementary grades. She hated it. By that time she was 15. We tried another curriculum. Nothing. When she was almost 17, she could not understand any of the concepts, knew no facts, nothing. I was the worst homeschool mom ever.

    But I decided to take another path: We started in 4th grade of Teaching Textbooks and had her proceed at her own pace, but she had to do math daily except Sunday, even in the summer and on Christmas break. Now we are one year later. She has completed grades 4-7, pre-algebra, and expects to have completed algebra by June. She now "speaks math" and has understanding of what she is doing.

    I think for her we needed to wait until the spacial center of her brain physically matured, then find a curriculum that "spoke" to her and help her feel encouraged, that she *can* speak math, once we find the right path.
    Robin, wife for 20 years to a wonderful man, and mama to 18yo Belle; 16yo Kitty; 13yo Princess, and 11yo Boyo.
    Words for 2015 and 2016: Be her.

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