Son diagnosed with a VISUAL learning disability
I just noticed this board as I was going to another board and thought I'd post this in case it might be helpful to anyone. My son is almost 8 and going into second grade in the fall. We held him back in kindergarten. He's very athlectic and quick on the draw verbally, he can out think alot of people but he never got it when it came to letters and numbers. We had him tested for ADHD, the doctor said he was a little bit hyper but definately not inattentive. So we homeschooled two years of kindergarten then put him in a private school for first grade. At the time he went in he STILL did not know all of his letters and numbers. He struggled the first semester of first grade and had to have tutoring just to pass with D's. He worked SOOOOO hard and still couldn't get it. Second semester he got a new teacher. During a consultation with her she asked if he had been tested for a visual learning problem. I said he'd had his eyes checked and yes he wears glasses when reading. She said "no I don't mean visual as in how you see only, but visual processing." So I went home and looked this up and found an eye specialist to take him to. Sure enough, he had at least two visual learning problems. One caused him to see things as if looking through a binocular, so the words don't look as one for instance, the word "smiling" might look like this to him:
sm ili ng. Then he had another disorder similar to dyslexia but not quite the same. The shapes of letters and numbers didn't go into his brain the same way they looked on the paper. We noticed on his schoolwork that if he had 3 pages of work he would do real well on the first two and then start bombing out. We thought he was just getting tired of doing the work and would give up by the last page, when actually his eyes were so strained by then that he couldn't see right. Also he would do things like in math he'd skip an entire row or column of numbers, this too was due to the disorder.
The good news is that there is therapy for these conditions, and now that we know what we are dealing with we can help him and so can the teachers. He's allowed extra time on his work and gets more one on one to help him read the questions on a test. His spelling words were reduced because he couldn't memorize the same as everyone else, so we concentrated on making a good grade on a few instead of making poorly trying to learn the entire list and not getting any of them.
Anyway, just thought I would share this and perhaps save someone from years of frustration that we went through if experiencing similar problems.