In an never ending quest to find new ways to teach Tink things I have ran into this website; Grammar Zone. You see, it was all over grammar that she had her huge meltdown Friday. Anything that has to do with words is anathema to her. This site has pages on making words plural- the very thing she was screaming about. It also has pages on past tense verbs-another thing we have been working on lately. I'm excited because Tink loves using the computer. There are over 300 grammar pages on that site. So after this she will be doing her grammar online. Hopefully it will save us from another meltdown.
When kids have a sensory disorder, especially when accompanied by ODD, the written rule is to avoid confrontation whenever possible. To this end I had begun letting Tink listen to her reading stories on tape. I would read the story twice and then she would do the workbook. In this manner she never had to come in contact with a direct command from me. But I was also afraid that I would not be able to keep abreast of her reading as well. What if I no longer was able to accurately predict what words she needed to work on? Soooo..I came up with another idea. Now she listens to the taped story then reads it back to me on another tape. She loves recording her reading.
What I didnt expect was the added benefit of listening to her read without promptings from me. This method has given me a much clearer picture of how she reads and where the problem lies. I was amazed at all the power sounds she produces when she reads. Power sounds are a common occurrence in these kids. Before Tinks diagnosis and before being told what it was I truly was beginning to think Tink had Tourettes syndrome.
Here is an example. This is the paragraph Tink is trying to read in her reading book:
Help! Jan called. No one heard. Jan did not dare leave. The hole would grow. The seawater would flood all the land for miles. He could never run quickly enough to get help. He leaned against the dike and waited. The sun set. Above him the stars came out and the moon lit up the fields. Hours passed. But no one came near. Jan nibbbled on Omas bread. He remembered the stories she had told about strong men. They had carried huge rocks to make the dikes strong. They had built them to protect the land. They had battled with the sea. Now Jan would fight too. His finger felt as cold as ice, but he would not let the sea win the battle.
Now here is Tink reading this. I am transcribing from the tape exactly how she reads.
Help! Jan cried. whats he gonna do? I dont know. Actually I do. I do. (smacking noises are heard) hahahahaha (said with short vowel a)
No one heard Jan did not dare leave the hole. Would grow the seawater. Would flood all the land. For miles he could never run quickly through instead to get help, instead to get help, sorry, I need to repeat thaaaat sssssssssssss if your'e thinking I'm reading too slow I'm going to read fast. Five four three two one.
He lend against the dick. And water the sun, w w w watched the sun set. Below him the stars came out and the moon lit. The fields hours passed but no one came near. Jan nibbled on Opas. I'm just going to call it, bread. He remembered the stories she had told about. Strong man they had carried huge rocks to make the dick strong.
They had cuddles bottles they put they, they, took, took, too tootootoo I dont want [sic] read. It's so hard mommy. Page 64 the last line the one two three four five six, 6th word the land. I dont know it so I just skipped it. They had, oh yeah mama, and if um if i skip a word, I'm gonna be skipping, skipped actually I'm going to go like skipping and then keep on reading oKay? So yeah. They had bottled with.
The sea now Jan would fit too hu hu hu hu (these are breathing, grunting, sounds) His finger felt as cold as ice but he would not let the sea win the battle. There's a battle going on? I had nooooo idea. At last the long night..sniff sniff sniff(loud prolonged sniffing noises) the night ended.
So thats the way my daughter reads and that is how she tries to process information coming into her distorted senses. You have just had a peek inside the mind of a child with a sensory disorder. I didnt even pick out the worst parts of the tape. I just started from where I had left off listening to her. Some parts she makes chugging noises like a train. Other parts she adds turkey sounds. It goes beyond anything imaginable. Ive been listening to her read for years now but theres something about hearing it on tape that is so enlightning. I'm going to let the therapist hear this story.
And to think this was a child that the public school system was just going to push on into 4th grade. It makes me angry when I think about it. And imagine the poor kids who have this disorder and are still there.
Yes, the days are long and trying but I have to find the stregth to keep going. My daughter needs me so badly!