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I have a child with learning difficulties

 
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leah feldman









  


Post  Tue, Nov 15 2011, 7:01 pm
I have a daughter with some major learning difficulties. Doing homework with her is a nightmare. she procrastinates, cries and throws a tantrum. she starts playing with everything and I get so frustrated. here I am trying to help her and all I can think about are the dishes piling up in the sink, the other kids and husband about to come home for dinner. when I can get her to sit I lose my patients as she is 9 years old and does not know how to read. I have specialists at school working with her and evaluations from here to tomorrow. what else can I do?
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faigyl









  


Post  Tue, Nov 15 2011, 7:33 pm
I would hire a high school girl or a girl out of seminary to come and do homework with her. I used to do it before I was married for a girl with a learning disability.
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marina









  


Post  Tue, Nov 15 2011, 8:17 pm
explain more what the evaluations say.

What is her disability?
What is her intelligence?
What level of reading is she at?
What are her cognitive strengths? Weaknesses?
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Kugglegirl









  


Post  Tue, Nov 15 2011, 8:32 pm
I sympathize. Having similar problems w. my 9 yo.

First thing is: what are they asking her to do for homework? Obviously, if she is not reading, she can not do the class work the same way as the other kids. If it is a writing assignment, like "Write a journal entry about being a friend." I would let her tell in her own words, while you write what she said.

Ask for a limit on spelling words, & vocabulary sentences. (5 words is probably enough)

Math is a big problem for kids who can't read, since most math curriculum now are big on solving word problems, reading charts, etc. Write out as much of the problem as possible & set a limit on how long she has to work on math problems.

Ivrit & Lemudi Kodesh are a big challenge around here. Personally, if the child is absorbing the content, I think that may be enough for now, until you get more from the evaluations & specific information on what she can do at this point. We are working on skill building this year. Last year, it was enough if she could just sit in the class, begin to read & get the content.


I've told the classroom teachers that my child can only make it through 1 subject of homework per night on most nights & that we will do what we can, but there is a limit. Especially when these kids are coming home at 4:30 & are already exhausted from struggling all day in school.

Mine really needs me to sit w. her to do her work, so obviously there is a limit on how much will get done. (Especially without me wringing her neck, which is why having a sem girl come over would be great. If you do have a sem girl come, make sure she understands what your child actually can or can not do. Even better if you can find someone who is taking sp.ed. classes, since they will bring some skills with them & can maybe show you some ideas to help her,)

Keep in close contact w. the teachers & let them know what she was or was not able to do.

Focus on giving her chances to do things she really enjoys & give her lots of love. Let her know when she does things well & give her lots of credit for what ever she is able to do. It is not easy for her.

Hope this helps.
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seeker









  


Post  Tue, Nov 15 2011, 8:38 pm
I agree with faigyl. OP says she already has a specialist and evaluations are in progress; the primary complaint here seems to be that homework is driving you insane. I strongly support giving this task over to a non-parent. It relieves the relationship component of the problem. Sometimes having a different person doing it makes it more motivating, too. It also limits the procrastination - The time for homework is when Rivky (or Shaindy or Mindy) comes. If you can't afford an extra tutor, call local schools and see if anyone will do it as a chessed. It will be good experience and look good on their resume if they hope to go into education or any related field in the future, so you won't be totally taking advantage.

In addition, I would talk to the teacher about reducing her workload since the work is extra difficult for her. Homework should not have to take all night, but a regular workload can take that much longer for a kid with difficulties. Specifically, I would ask to modify the assignments to minimize extra difficulty - you haven't mentioned many specifics, but one example that comes to mind is copying: Writing over spelling words five times, writing over the teitch of the chumash in three languages, copying examples out of the math book... this is extremely difficult and time-consuming for many kids, with minimal benefits. Ask the teacher to let her skip it. Instead of copying math problems, you can photocopy the page of the book and solve them right there; instead of writing over the chumash, have her read it and sign that you (or tutor) heard her.
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leah feldman









  


Post  Tue, Nov 15 2011, 8:44 pm
I need to sit with her and do homework, I just feel very guilty because after a full day at work, I am exhausted and have little or no patience or desire to do the homework with her...
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leah feldman









  


Post  Tue, Nov 15 2011, 8:47 pm
to marina: I do not know what her particular disabilities are. I will keep you posted as I have a meeting with the evaluators next week.
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Barbara









  


Post  Tue, Nov 15 2011, 9:05 pm
leah feldman wrote:
to marina: I do not know what her particular disabilities are. I will keep you posted as I have a meeting with the evaluators next week.


Good luck with the meeting, Leah. This is the first step in getting your daughter help.

It sounds to me like both you and your daughter are frustrated. I certainly don't mean to diminish your own frustration. But your DD also must feel scared and out of place at school, and frustrated by not being able to do the things that her friends are able to do.

Why not give her teachers a call, to see what they think, and to talk about modifying her homework at least for the next week.
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seeker









  


Post  Tue, Nov 15 2011, 10:10 pm
leah feldman wrote:
I need to sit with her and do homework, I just feel very guilty because after a full day at work, I am exhausted and have little or no patience or desire to do the homework with her...

That's why a high school girl could be helpful. They won't have the guilt and frustration like you do, and therefore their patience will hold out longer. They have more of the desire, too. And if they have to nudge the kid a little, at least it's not coming from you and putting a wedge in your relationship.
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imasinger









  


Post  Tue, Nov 15 2011, 10:41 pm
I sympathize. Sometimes, you just want to tear your hair out, and you know that you have to grit your teeth and be patient while she is not.

One strategy that we find helpful is to break things down into small pieces. A little reward after each piece that gets accomplished can really help -- 5 minutes to do what she wants, maybe, after each 10 minutes of homework. If that doesn't work, try 2 minutes of free time after each 2 minutes of homework, and then build it from there.

Make sure that she isn't hungry, that she has a good clear work space, that she knows exactly what she is supposed to do, and that she can see her progress. Praise her often for working hard and staying on task.

You can try having a race with her -- can you finish the dishes before she finishes her math page? But be sure to let her win!

Hope this helps...
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Squishy









  


Post  Tue, Nov 15 2011, 11:40 pm
I can really sympathize with you. It sounds very frustrating. Once you get a diagnosis, you can be very proactive and get state help for your child at least in NY. Your daughter can get tutors and special programs. I know where I live, they have supplemental programs for children who attend private schools for the secular subjects.
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