So here goes with some trepidation, because I know their therapist has this sight--guess she can correct me this way.
We have known basically since Hannah came home (at 3 years old) that she had speech issues. She was unable to make many sounds, she stuttered, limited vocabulary and understanding, and limited ability to recall words, nor could she listen and repeat what she heard, such as a story.
When she was about 5 we started with our present therapist and the OPD was high on our list of culprits for the speech issues, but due to her age and lack of vocabulary we choose to wait on testing to get a more accurate picture.
This is what we have been working on this summer.
As we began her testing and I was answering a long questionnaire, I started questioning whether this might also be an issue for Caleb. His schooling his becoming more of a battle, listening has always been an issue, his spelling and reading were falling farther and farther behind. We were starting to see more language, vocabulary, and retention issues also as school became more and more difficult for him.
What we found is very interesting.
Hannah has trouble storing her words correctly, therefore has trouble recalling and using those words. She also needed help on fluency and pacing of her words. And the basics of how to form sounds.
Caleb will also be working on basics of how to form sounds, so he can learn to hear and discern them from one another. We also found he can not filter out background noise! Nor does he hear the ends of words or the ends of sentences---makes it kinda hard to follow any directions or listen to coaches or teachers or anyone.
Remember, Liberia is "English speaking". But not really like American English.
Also remember, you have most of your language acquisition in the first 3 years of your life. So basically, both kids are English As A Second Language (ESL), though I am really just learning to what extent this has been a challenge for them.
Liberia has very few consonant blends, so neither of the kids could really make blends like these above. So I taught these (and many more) to Caleb and help him learn how to put the sounds together (really he could not do it without work).
Abeka teaches them basically as one sound, so that is how I taught them.
So moving to present. Caleb can not discern the two sounds d-r. Therefore he can not write them and if he tries to sound out the word 'drum' you might get 'jum' 'dum' 'jrum' or 'drun'.
Then he just gets frustrated and starts just guessing some of the oddest things.So where we are is using these disks to help him visually separate the sounds out. He does not have the card sitting there to help!
You know using all your senses together.
Yellow is always a vowel. and each color stand for a different consonant.Then he says each sound while touching the disk and then puts it together.
Then he writes it down.
These cards have been an amazing help for both the kids to see how to form sounds and to discriminate what sound there mouth is making, by what it is doing. These are for making most of the consonant sounds. We are just starting to work on the vowels, which are an extra challenge for both kids. Caleb to discriminate what vowel is being used, or that he is hearing and for Hannah that and also just saying some of the vowels-some vowels just don't come out right for her no matter how hard she tries :)
She struggles with all prepositional type (front, back) of words and ordinal numbers (1st, 2nd). The concepts have been very difficult for her to grasp.
So Mr. Gray Horse (she is very literal when naming things:)) sits on our table and she places a disk in front of his head-front, his tummy-middle, and back-tail. This helps her to keep her sounds in order.
Otherwise the word 'pin' can become 'inp' or 'nip'.
You see she gets the right letters, but can not retrieve them in the right order to make sense of the word. Nor can she then read the word and tell you what is wrong.
This simple tool helps to keep her processing in order.
She will actually run her finger along his back and say 'map' then she can tell you that the word starts with 'm'. Without this aid, many time she will just pick one of the letters.
To make this all the more confusing, sometimes she will need no aids at all and get it all 100% correct and sometimes even with all the aids I can think of she will not be able to process at all--those are the days we have short school days. If I try to push she will just get frustrated and actually go farther backwards.
Finally to end this long post, at least for now, here are our new sight words cards.
Caleb and Hannah will be working on memorizing these and continually using them for review. I never found this a necessity for the older kids, but the retention is not the same for these two and hopefully these will help with all those words that don't 'play fair' and words we just use all the time.