Tips for low ave./borderline IQ?
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    reb621's Avatar
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    Question Tips for low ave./borderline IQ?

    This is the first year I've home schooled my 3 girls because the older two were way behind in public school (being socially-promoted). We started T4L last week at levels 5th, 4th, and 3rd. Due to mostly failing scores, I moved them down to 3rd and 2nd a few days ago.

    The results so far:
    13-yr-old (T4L 3rd) is earning 50%-60% in everything due to poor language/vocab, poor memory, "too many words" on the screen;
    11-yr-old (also T4L 3rd) is earning 90% in math, but 20%-50% in everything else due to poor language/vocab, poor memory;
    9-yr-old (T4L 2nd) is breezing through with 90-100% and will be at 3rd level soon!

    So they're still struggling, especially with the word-heavy (and visually-weak) 3rd grade level! I'm not saying they shouldn't have to learn from reading, but for highly visual kids with language problems who struggle to understand even simple vocabulary and phrases, how can I make this work?

    What would those of you with kids similar to mine recommend I do? Should I have the older two moved down to 2nd grade (except in math--I can supplement trouble spots with worksheets) so that they can breeze through and feel confident? I hesitate to do that, though, because I don't see how this will help them learn to break down the readings into comprehensible parts. Not to mention how embarrassed they'll be to be working at the same level as their little sister.

    Or should I just sit with both each day and read everything TO them and EXPLAIN it when their eyes begin to glaze over? If I have to do that, then T4L will be a total waste for both girls, as I was doing this before and was hoping to have them work more independently for the core subjects.

    If it helps, 13-yr-old's IQ is 73 (borderline, but fairly high functioning...meaning you wouldn't know unless you spoke with her (poor grammar/sentence structure) or asked her to add "4+3" in her head. (She say, "Uh...6? 10?..."). 11-yr-old's IQ is 81 (low average--she "seemed" to be doing ok in public school, but she's quiet and flies under the radar. I didn't know how far behind she was until we started homeschooling this year. 3rd grade seemed to fit, until I started her on T4L. Now I'm thinking her language/comprehension skills are even further behind!)

    P.S. I read one of the Sp Ed tips about sitting with child during test and reading it to them. Tried this (on quiz re-takes), but my older two still couldn't get the right answer without me leading them. Very concrete thinkers...can't think abstractly or make inferences. We suspect Fetal Alcohol Affects or ARND with the concrete thinking, impulsivity, and ADHD.

    Thanks for your guidance!

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    Mulberry_Academy is offline Junior Member Newbie
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    ohhhhhhh nice to meet you! I do NOT have any advice for you. I am just commenting to commiserate. One of my 7yr olds is borderline/low IQ and she has FAE,RAD,ODD,ADD, speech and lang delays, visual and auditory processing delays in addition to chromosomal abnormalities. She was in a public school SDC class for kinder and the first 2months of 1st grade before i pulled her out. We have been homeschooling since Nov 2009.
    I have JUST begun T4L with her. She would be in 2nd grade but I just started her here at 1st grade. Lets keep in touch. I dont have time to say anymore now but if youd ever like to email with me my address is [email protected]
    ~Renee

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    pamir is offline Junior Member
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    OK sooo been there done that!!! (see my post am I crazy under washington state forums) I have 10 kids 8 are adopted the other two are my step children all but one have learning issues. Ages range from 18-7. I dont think there is a dianosis that at least one of them does not have. What I did was (when it was still needed that is) teach at the "happy middle" I explained to the older ones that it is very difficult to teach so many (yes even three) at so many different levels so we were going to work on the lower level (happy medium since one was so advanced) and just add things that I felt appropriate for the older kids, for example if the 2nd grade is beginning to do multiplication than I might give the older ones more of those problems or if they could handle it double digit. Another great tip I got was have them be teacher for their strongest subject to the others and have them grade (give them the answer sheet) the younger ones papers, with out even knowing it they pick up on what the younger is learning. My best advice 3-4 day weeks and lots of out door activities.

    if you ever just need to yell I am here LOL

    Angela

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    pamir is offline Junior Member
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    oh one other thing. They told me my kids were low IQ also, I disagreed, I knew they had issues but they were not borderline retarded. I made the schools do a non writing non reading IQ test and they went from 72 to 114 and 68 to 110. Language disorders really really do affect those scores.

    Angela
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    mcmary is offline Member
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    Hi, If I were you I would look into a research-based literacy program such as Orton-Gillingham or Lindamood Bell. Verticy (they have a website) has an Orton Gillingham program to build reading, spelling and writing skills, plus a math program, designed for homeschool use. Most kids with the kind of difficulties you refer to benefit from a specialized intervention that includes phonological awarness strengthening as a basis. My thirteen year old daughter had four years of NILD educational therapy (which utilizes a modified Orton Gillingham approach) which made a world of difference. Math used to be her most difficult subject (she scored below the tenth percentile) but now she is doing well in grade level math, thanks to educational therapy and one-on-one individualized instruction. Her IQ level has increased dramatically over the past four years. The brain is "plastic" (meaning that cognition and perception can be greatly improved) and fortunately, thanks to all of the latest brain research, there are programs out there to help. I still sit down and do every T4L lesson with my daughter (she does T4L social studies and language arts) even though she is at "grade level." She still needs some accomodations. I ask her questions as we go through each lesson to make sure that she understands it and is "processing" the information (she processes slowly). It's very time consuming but worth it. Hang in there!
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    Thanks, all, for sharing your own experiences...

    Angela, I'm curious, what IQ test(s) did you request that didn't utilize reading and writing? Mine do have language "issues" (low vocab for age due to early deprivation), but have never been diagnosed with a language "disorder." I am considering asking the school district to retest (it's been 3 years for one, and too high of a score for the other who was tested 2 years ago), but I'd like to request a specific test if possible. (I have read that an "adaptive ability" test is preferred for cognitively delayed kids, anyway, rather than the standard WISC or whatever it's called.)

    And to Mary, what is "NILD"?

    Thanks!

    P.S. I ended up moving my older two down to 2nd grade in Science and Social Studies. The 3rd grade level is just too hard (too many words on the screen--they lose focus and it does seem a lot harder. I miss questions if I don't review the actual lessons with them!) I did keep them at 3rd grade for Lang Arts (doing fine) and LA Extensions (NOT doing well with these!).
    Last edited by reb621; 04-06-2011 at 09:27 PM.

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    mcmary is offline Member
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    NILD is the National Institute of Learning Development (an international organization based in Virginia). They have educational therapy availabe in schools and in private practice setting throughout the country (and world). You can find out more at www.discoveryprogram-inc.com/EDTHERAPY. It's a therapeutic intervention similar in theory/model to occupational, physical, and speech therapy that treats the underlying cognitive and perceptual weaknesses responsible for learning difficulties. As I mentioned, my daughter benefited tremendously from it. You may want to consider some remediated science and social studies curriculum with your girls to help them study closer to their grade level in terms of content. My daughter likes Wonders of Science. Next year I am planning on using Walch Power Basics for Social Studies (world history) and AGS for general science, since she's completed the Wonders of Science series. Remedia publications has some great products, and I really like Be a Better Reader books. Unfortunately T4L doesn't offer 8th grade science and social studies, so we need to find something new. As I think I mentioned to you, the only way we were able to do T4L at grade level was to do it together. The other very helpful recommendation that I can offer is complete neuropsychological evaluation to learn how your child's brain works. Once you understand this you can make more informed educational decisions. I good neuropsychologist will write up a thorough report including specific recommendations and suggestions. The assessment might be covered under you medical benefits. I hope this information is helpful!

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    Default Thanks!

    Great suggestions, Mary! We did have a neuropsych eval done when she was 8, but the report didn't offer specific suggestions other than those offered for her ADHD (quiet area to work, extra time or calculator as needed, and recommended we try Concerta) and the acknowledgment that she'll always struggle and will need repeated instruction over the same skills until they click. The psych said she was "a conundrum" because she tested higher for acheivement than for ability...that she had apparently been learning, but shouldn't have been able to given how low she tested on the ability parts. She was very low in some areas (20s), yet higher in others (high 80s), so he put her at about 73 overall IQ.

    Then the school psychologist redid the IQ tests when she turned 11 (WISC, I think--didn't do any auditory processing or ADHD things) and claimed she was at 86! (Granted, this was when she was on 54 mg of Concerta, and the psych did say it's typical for kids to increase IQ by up to 10 points after starting a stimulant. Oh, and we had been doing Lindamood Bell tutoring, so my kid knew the "Sets" game inside and out as well as all the other nonverbal "games" she tested her on, I'm sure. But to say she has the "ability" to figure those games out by herself with no prior knowledge would be wishful thinking. We told this to the school psych, but she didn't care. She wanted our daughter out of sp. ed. from the get-go! Grr.)

    Anyway, we knew this higher score couldn't be accurate and the teachers didn't buy it, either. So...she struggled through another year of bullying, anxiety-driven behaviors (stealing, habitual lying), minimal interventions/accommodations (based now on "other health impaired/ADHD" rather than cognitive delay as before), and so we pulled her to homeschool this year.

    So now here we are struggling to get through the 3rd grade T4L curriculum, and I hear what you're saying about needing to teach her 6th-grade content. I initially only planned to put them all back to master the basic math skills. But the more we did together, the more I saw how little they had learned due to poor reading comprehension, poor vocab, etc. (Ex: My older two could not pass the 2nd grade life cycle quiz questions, yet they both had their own catepillar in 2nd grade that they watched create a chrysalis and eventually become a butterfly! How could they not understand the steps that a frog goes through--egg, tadpole, frog?!) Anyway, I didn't think it would hurt to go back over these basic science lessons, but I am beginning to panic about all that they're missing that they would have been getting in public school--the grade-level stuff.

    Then again, it's clear they didn't absorb most of it over the past 5 and 6 years anyway, right?

    I think what we need is some very basic text books (written at 2nd or 3rd grade level) that teach more difficult concepts. Hopefully that is what the resources you recommended will do, and I'll be sure to check those out. We also just learned of a company called "Mathnasium" that supposedly works with kids with dyscalculia, but it's VERY expensive ($180/mo for one kid!) and they admitted they don't have specific training in working with learning disabled kids. Sounds like it would be more money wasted. (We loved our Lindamood Bell tutor, but when she retired, we stopped going. And our daughters weren't able to trasfer/carry over anything they learned there anyway. It didn't change their brains, nor did it help them to understand their academics. It just taught them how to get really good at the games they were teaching them! ALTHOUGH...my oldest did get better at finding the main idea in stories rather than picking out details as the main idea!

    Thanks again,
    Rebecca

    Sorry, forgot to mention that I already checked with insurance on re-testing privately, but they claim it's "academic" and won't cover it. The way we got it covered the first time with the neuropsych was because she had tentative Reactive Attachment Disorder and Anxiety Disorder diagnoses, so it fell under mental health. If you know of a way to get private testing done under insurance (they have United Healthcare as primary Medicaid as secondary under Title IV interstate adoption benefit), please let me know! Thanks so much!!!
    Last edited by reb621; 04-08-2011 at 03:10 PM.

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    Rebecca,

    It sounds as if you are completely on top of it in terms of seeking the best educational options for your girls. I've heard great things about Lindamood Bell. In fact, I was just reading about their reading comprehension tutoring (although the Lindamood Bell clinic in our area is super expensive so I probably wouldn't be able to afford it). It sounds as if retention is a real issue with your kids. Just out of curiosity was their working memory index on the WISC low? I know a kid who really struggles with learning to read, and her working memory is really low. She understands concepts when taught but they haven't "transferred" to develop automaticity or fluency. It sounds kind of like what you are talking about. The good news is that the working memory can be changed. My daughter's working memory portion of the IQ test went from the 18th to the 68th percentile after four years of intervention. Her main challenge now is processing speed, which is one of the reasons why homeschooling one-on-one is ideal. I hope that you find some good remediated material that they can feel successful at. Oh, and in terms of insurance, we haven't had trouble getting coverage for services due to my daughter's medical diagnosis. Good luck!

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    Yes, Mary, my older daughter tested quite low for working (short-term) memory, but better for long-term memory...she remembers verses from songs she heard and sang as a young child! (We've tried the math facts songs, but those aren't clicking. However, the state names did!) My middle one tested higher for short-term, but lower for long-term, and I'm thinking she has the same language issues, but "hides" it by not speaking up when she's confused.

    What we really need is to find an educational therapist who can explain all of their test scores to us and what it means for us as her educators! I checked out the NILD site and found a few certified folks, but they're 3 hours away. It would be worth an occasional trip, but too much of a drive for a weekly session. ?

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