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Fluctuating ability

Discussion in 'Special educational needs' started by grasshopper2000, Aug 17, 2015.

  1. grasshopper2000

    grasshopper2000 Occasional commenter

    I am on these forums as I am a TA, however, at the moment I am asking for help with my own daughter.

    She will going into year 4 in September and her ability fluctuates a lot each day. For example, one day she will be able to instantly add and subtract in her head numbers with three decimal places and read paper backs with fluency and expression. The next day she will quite literally struggle to add one to a number and struggle to read even CVC words.

    She really suffers with fatigue due to a medical condition and I'm guessing this is the cause, but I'm going round in circles as no one can help me.

    Can anyone tell me, are there any other causes for children to suffer with this extreme fluctuation in ability? Also, can anyone think of anything to help? Her teacher has no ideas at all, but keeps her at the lower level in the class as half the time she can't achieve it, but I don't feel like she is making any progress.
  2. languageisheartosay

    languageisheartosay Occasional commenter

    If you know of a medical condition, presumably you have checked out with your doctor if anything can be done re this fluctuation. From my own experience with kids, if you notice a sudden losing the thread mid-task fairly frequently, there are avenues to explore. Or it can be distraction resulting e.g. from bullying (which can be very covert and hard to spot, or seem like nothing much to staff but excruciating to the child).
  3. grasshopper2000

    grasshopper2000 Occasional commenter

    Thank you for your reply. I have checked with the consultant and he can't offer any advice and says it is most likely due to the medical condition but can't be sure! This is why I want to check that there is nothing else I need to rule out first.

    It seems she is not losing interest mid task and does not appear distrated, but almost like a different child different days. Some days she can achieve more than she should be able to then another day however hard she tries she can't even do the basic stuff and then gets upset as she can't do it.

    She is not being bullied and there is nothing socisl or emotional affecting her. I was just wondering if it sounds like signs of any SEN problem that I should rule out before saying it is definitely the medical condition.
  4. jumpingstar

    jumpingstar New commenter

    This sounds JUST like a boy in my previous school. He was exactly the same. A bright boy one day and then just forgot everything the next. (but could then pick it up again later on)

    We have explored many avenues with him and are drawing blanks which is just as frustrating for his parents. We have tried dyslexia (which he isn't) and feel it is due to a short term memory difficulty. It would be worth talking to dyslexia professionals and Speech and Language professionals as although your child may not have a problem in either of those area's a lot of the activities which are done with children with such difficulties relate to memory difficulties.

    Have you sought out support from the Educational Psychologist? They may be able to help further.

    I realise your location and the access to professionals within that location will determine how easy this all is for you.

    Hope those ideas help a little.

    We have good access to all of the above and haven't got very far with an actual reason or solution to the problem but it has at least given us some back up and strategies to use to try and support the child. That may be good news to you or bad depending on which way you look at it!
  5. dzil

    dzil Occasional commenter

    Some great advice from Jess there.

    Short or medium term memory difficulties, or processing difficulties could be a major factor. Being able to do something really well but not retaining the information in a way that it can be used and built on the next day then maybe a few days later being able to do the activity again and build on it. I have taught a few students like this. I found advice from an OT (occupational therapist) invaluable.

    It all depends on who you have available in you area though.
  6. grasshopper2000

    grasshopper2000 Occasional commenter

    Thank you for your replies. That has been really helpful. I think it could be difficult to speak to an outside person though school as the teacher seems to be denying there is a problem, but the TA that works with my daughter's table said there is defintely a problem and looked shocked that the teacher said otherwise.

    If it is a problem with memory could it be possible for such a change in a ability from day to day with things as simple as adding one which she learnt before even starting school.

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