Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Developmental delays or a different wiring!

I have had 3 children with developmental delays. I should be used to it by now and not worry but I still fall into the trap. When the kids were little, books like Raymond and Dorothy Moore's, "Better Late than Early" made such sense...you cannot force a child to develop at the pace you want, they can only go at their own inbuilt pace, just as speech and walking etc has it's won timing so does something like reading. And a late developer does not equate a dumb child. Bright children can read late!

One of my oldest children was not reading very well @ nine, nearly ten. I tested her with the New Zealand reading tests and she did not manage at a grade one level. Six months later I retested her and she was reading at the 16 to adult age level with the same tests. She loves reading now (theology, history, anything good and just for the fun of it!) I still sometimes have to hide books away from her in order to get her to help with chores:) I had not changed what I was doing with her in that time, in fact if anything I did less as I had had a baby and my life was very pressurised with 5 little ones as I was on my own most days with them. I can only say she was suddenly 'ready' to learn.

I had another child who had severe speech dispraxia whose reading pattern followed the same pattern as his speech problems. Do you get reading dispraxia? He too now reads beyond his age level in any good and interesting subject and has to have books taken away from him. His read aloud skills might be a little stilted due to his speech issues. Comprehension wise he does brilliantly!

So why have I been 'tizzing out' privately in my mind re my 7 year old? Peer pressure?Fear of failure as a home shooling teacher?

I don't know? But although this is the third year of doing grade one work, all of a sudden I see she is understanding! Has 2 years of messing around with this and that been of any worth, when quite plainly she was not ready until now? Apart from the fact that I made it a lot of fun for her, I doubt there was any value in what we were doing. If she was still at the concrete operation stage of development, then no amount of learning, playing with letters/number would have helped. If I was on a deserted island I would have left her to dictate her own pace and just run around catching her beloved lizards without all the letter practice etc. I don't think my rote work etc helped much for the last two years when quite plainly she was not ready. Now all of a sudden learning, real learning seems to be falling into place.

I am so grateful that I am able to home school this child in particular....if she was in school she would have long had the stigma of being dumb. Today she got grumpy as her younger brother did a reading exercise more easily than she did. I told her that she was better at science and drawing than he is...he has to practise these more and she the reading more. The penny dropped and she got on and did a bit extra. She knows every inch of our back yard...where each type of lizard/gecko lives, insects etc. She can sing whole songs. She can see patterns in three dimensional puzzles that even the teens can not see. Developmental delays?????or just wired differently?

If I can get it to work ( I am severely developmentally delayed in the computer area)....Take a look at what she did here a few months ago! She figured it out quicker than an adult mathematically minded engineer!


video

1 comment:

  1. I enjoyed your comments.

    I have home schooled eight children utilizing the Moore's book Better Late Than Early. Each of my children were different in their learning skills. If I had treated them all the same and forced learning upon them before they were ready I may have caused developmental issues.
    Waiting until they were ready to learn their academic basics really helped them to excel when they 'took off'.

    Why do we as parents always feel that 'peer pressure' when we know deep down inside that our children just develop at different time schedules and all will be well? I guess it's a normal way to feel.

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