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Visual Discrimination


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Hi everyone

I ought to have more ideas on this one but have found my mind has gone blank.

My nephew aged 5 & 9 months and therefore in year 1 is beginning to struggle in school. Many of the homework activities he is given are very formal and were in Reception and he is not interested(surprise!!!).

His mother is not unduely worried as he is a bright boy but I am surprised from my own experiences that he has not taken off more although I know for many and especially boys it is still early days.

It may be relevant that this child had quite severe hearing problems at 2 but these were corrected with grommits and he came on in leaps and bounds once these were inserted. He was in a preschool that used Jolly Phonics and responding well to that. I do not know the approach that school has taken but he is not using any phonice skills when he is reading and from the comments in his reading diary is expected to have a sight vocab. He brings home at least 10 spellings every week and struggles to learn and these. In tests (why use that word?) he is scoring very few and moving down the class in the groups.

 

So when I was out with him yesterday, I noticed that he read the number 26 as 29. Not unusal you might say but this number was upside down for him (etched into a restaurant table) and his little friend who was with him & sitting next to him, read it correctly!

It has occurred to me that he could be having problems with visual discrimination?

What do you think? What else could I do to check this and what could we do to help?

 

Bear in mind that this child is extremely stubborn if he wishes to be and does not need to feel that he is back at school!!!

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Hi Susan - I would say that all children of this age could benifit from some additional practice to develop their visual discrimination and their visual memory. In the days before TV took over our lives children played games which took care of these skills but these are not played very often these days.

Pelmenism or pairs can be played with playing cards - helping with numbers as well, dominoes and find the difference in pictures are favourites with children, but my favourite is sorting through Grandma's button box.

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Susan, exactly the same thing happened to one of my grandchildren. She just switched off at school. She just longed for weekends when she didn't have to go to school. She went to school knowing quite a lot but a year later she hadn,t made much improvement. The school she attends is very formal and she did not feel comfortable. It didn't help her because the class she was in had quite a few challenging children who had a succession of teachers.

Her parents had her ears and eyes checked. She needs to wear glasses and was temporarily unable to pick out certain sounds because of re-occuring colds but now 3 years later everything has all come together.

Is your nephew emotionally happy at school and has he had all the usual checks recently .The Health visitor and school were very helpful. I know how worrying it is for all the family when they are falling further behind. It is an emotional roller coaster because the child just gives up.

.

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I teacher Nursery and Reception and sounds to me that he just needs more practice and will benefit from holistic teaching approach at least at first to find out which style he prefers. Reading 6 instead of 9 and b instead of d is, as I'm sure you know very common in young children. Most children with experience will come to correct this. It's a shame that the school has taken a formal approach to teacher youngest children. Although this is alot to do with external pressures on school. The numeracy and lit strategy says num and lit hours should be in place by Year 1. This in practice is usually not appropriate.

Why does the teacher suggest he is struggling? If he got on well with Jolly phonics then he obviously prefers or gets on well with kinesthetic teaching style(movement). You need to find out if the teacher is using kinestetic teaching to meet his needs. Don't worry I'm sure there is a simple solution. :)

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my son used to get the 6 and 9 mixed up when he was young and his b and d till yr 2. But he is fine now (i say that in the broadest sense of the word!!!) well it di sort itself out but we found it really hard bec his older sister was the ideal student and we constantly compared the 2. We recognise now that our son has different strengths- he's the Del boy of our family. :o and always has a scam going xD

Perhaps the chidl needs time to adjust to a very formal teaching style or just needs time to learn things at his own pace.

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  • 1 month later...

hi susan,

my son is having the same problems at school at the moment. although he is making progress ,very slowly ,he has what i can only describe as a fear of print. he is very aware of what the other children are achieving and is desperate to be able to do the same. when we look at his word cards he just switches off and says he can`t do it. he says he doesn`t like school but i `m there so i know he`s o.k and generally happy.

i am working with a small group, which includes my son and i want them to try making the letters themselves with their bodies ,has anybody tried this? any tips ,dos&don`ts please. i`m a bit worried about them getting silly .

maddy.

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There's been quite a bit of talk in the forum about Write Dance - is that what you're looking for? (I'm sure someone can put in a link for you)

 

I always tell my parents not to worry about competing with everyone else about how their child is doing with reading - there's definitely a developmental "switch" and when it kicks in the child is up and running. You can't un-learn how to read but you can instil a fear of learning!

 

Last year in Y1 I had a child who joined my class at Easter having not been in a Reception class and not able to read. By July he had caught up with everyone else in reading, purely because he was "ready". :)

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