Recently, we had parents evening at school and I was eager to see how my three girls were doing.
Tiny and Fluffy are now in year one of primary school and last year were put on a MyPlan. MyPlan is basically an action plan for children who are a little bit behind their peers academically. The twins were born premature and low birth weight, due to me having undiagnosed HELLP Syndrome. This was the reason that they’ve always had a developmental delay. They were a few months behind all their milestones as babies. Sitting, crawling, walking, talking, potty training. It didn’t help that when they finally learnt to talk, they created their own language, which only they could understand. Twin-speak is common amongst twins and in the case of my two, they were abbreviating all words and merging them together. It was almost impossible to work out, but they understood each other perfectly. It didn’t do much for their pronunciation of real words though.
Tiny was also diagnosed with Glue Ear a few months ago, which affects her hearing. We are awaiting a surgery date for her to have gromits fitted. Her hearing being poor, in turn affects her speech and reading too.
So it was no surprise in reception year, when the pair of them were put onto MyPlan for being behind on their reading, writing, speech and counting. As a mum, I’d seen noticeable improvements at home in their reading, speech and counting over the start of year one.
At parents evening, their teacher agreed that they’ve made a great deal of progress already, in the first half term of year one. Their pronunciation is improving and their counting is almost up to the level of their peers. They are still a long way off on their writing and whilst Fluffy is now starting to click with her reading, Tiny is still struggling with it. Behaviourally, I’ve been told they have pretty much caught up with their friends. Sometimes they are still defiant and not wanting to work when they are told to, but it’s not as often as it used to be. So all in all, they’ve made a great deal of progress considering they’ve only been in year one for a half a term. She said she thinks they’ve done really well, considering they weren’t really ready for school at age four. I’m pleased with that!
Bunny is now in year six; her final year of primary school. Last year she had some behavioural problems, some problems with listening and communication and some issues with friendships and bullies. It was suggested that she has Auditory Processing Disorder, which means she can hear instructions fine, but her brain doesn’t process things she hears correctly. So she may hear a sentence jumbled or only retain sections of the sentence. In order to not look silly, she often guesses the bits of missing information. Having APD can cause a lot of frustration, confusion and in turn cause anger and a bad attitude. This potential diagnosis made a lot of sense. It explained a LOT. I did a lot of research into APD and I think that actually this does explain most of her behaviour issues at home.
I’m having regular meetings now, with a lady at the school who is investigating APD and better ways to communicate with Bunny. In addition, she’s going to help me decide whether an official diagnosis is necessary or not.
So for year six parents evening… Her teacher told us that she is now getting on much better with her peers (half the class have moved up to secondary school so she has a different mix of friends now) and she is excelling in all subjects. She occasionally struggles with maths and either gets every question right, or every question wrong, which I still think is down to her listening, processing and understanding of calculation methods. When she reads or sees instructions, she has no issues – it’s only when the instructions are verbal, that she has issues. Apparently she still doesn’t settle into a lesson straight away, she chats and gets distracted. Her teacher doesn’t feel it’s a concern as, in his words, “she’s bright enough to miss fifteen minutes of a lesson and still catch up”. He also told us she is ahead of most of her class in some subjects and that he feels she would be perfect for Grammar school. So that throws my post about choosing a secondary school up in the air, as we were considering not taking the late grammar test. Maybe we will try afterall!
A pretty positive parents evening all in all – for all three of my girls. One proud mummy right here!