Does my daughter have a mental disability?
My daughter is in later elementary school. She can't color in the lines. Her words jumble together when she writes unless there are big spaces or she skips lines.
Depending on your daughter’s age, this could be a learning disability. I suggest contacting the school counselor and asking for an evaluation, once she is evaluated and depending on the diagnosis, she could be provided with treatment recommendations like occupational therapy, reading glasses, or assistance in class. These and more accommodations are enforced under the 504 act. Consider if the observations that you have done are affecting her performance in school only, or also in other settings. Observe her behavior and or her emotions and see if they change as well. Discuss these with your daughter’s counselor as well.
¿Tiene mi hija un desorden mental?
Mi hija está en la escuela elemental. Ella no puede colorear dentro de la línea. Mezcla las palabras cuando escribe, a menos que tenga grandes espacios, o brinca las líneas.
Dependiendo de la edad de tu hija esto puede ser un problema de aprendizaje. Te sugiero que contactes al consejero escolar y solicites una evaluación, dependiendo de la diagnosis, ellos pueden recomendar tratamientos como: terapia ocupacional, lentes para leer o asistencia en clase. Estos acomodos son provistos bajo la acta 504. Considera si las observaciones que has hecho afectan el desempeño de tu hija en la escuela, o en otras áreas, también observa su conducta y emociones y repórtaselo al consejero escolar.
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At times when a child is not displaying milestone behavior at the same rate that is average for their peers, this should raise concern, so you are correct in reaching out for advice. Speaking with your child's pediatrician, as well as school staff may be the first places to start. You can request that she receive an assessment and evaluation, with a subsequent treatment plan to meet any needs she may have.
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Kids develop in different ways and different speeds. It can sometimes feel like your kid has a delay because of these different ways of development. If you have concerns about your child’s development then addressing it with the school is the best solution. They will be able to provide a full assessment if needed with an academic diagnosis as well as academic support.
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Contact your daughter’s school and ask for an occupational therapy evaluation. An occupational therapist can determine if your daughter struggles with eye-hand coordination, visual processing or sensory motor difficulties. The therapist will develop a plan of care if your daughter demonstrates delays or difficulties in learning.
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Developmentally, there are ages where not coloring in the lines, writing words that are jumbled together, and leaving big spaces or skipping lines are completely normal. I have seen children in 3rd and in some cases, 4th grade who do not have learning disabilities write in the manner you have described.
There is, however, a type of learning disability called Dysgraphia which can present in the ways you have described. If you suspect that your daughter might have Dysgraphia, then the best thing to do is to have educational testing done. You can request testing by going through your school system and asking for an IEP (Individualized Educational Plan) meeting. Your school is required to honor your request for an IEP meeting.
At the meeting, you can ask the school to do educational testing that will be at no cost to you. I will say that depending on where you live and your school system, it can sometimes be difficult to get the school system to do testing. If that is the case, you can go to a psychologist or find an agency near you that can also perform this type of testing as well (some will accept insurance and others will not.) There are also educational advocates that you can hire to help you if you ever have difficulty getting your daughter properly assessed by the school system. I also highly recommend seeing a developmental ophthalmologist and/or a developmental pediatrician. They can be great resources in helping you to determine if your daughter does have a learning disability.
I always say that a parent should "trust their gut" and if you feel that your child is struggling and that there may be a learning disability then there is no harm in getting your child evaluated. The best case scenario is that your child is completely on track and what you are seeing is developmentally appropriate. On the other hand, if your child does have a learning disability, then you have caught it early enough where she can receive services that will help her in the long run. Either way, it is a win, win.
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If your daughter is the same age as most of the other students in her class, and the other students easily complete the tasks you list here, then there is a problem in the performance of these tasks for your daughter.
Without knowing more about the context of your daughter's life, for example, is she a new student to the school and class, are there major stressors in the home environment, does your daughter have friends, does your daughter have the same problems she has in school, when she is in other environments?
Also, who is telling you she has these problems?
Are you the one who notices what you describe here or is your daughter or is her teacher telling you these facts?
Depending on your answers to the questions, start to get clarity with the classroom teacher and the school guidance counselor as to the source of your daughter's problem.
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There could be a number of things going on here. For instance, have her eyes been checked by an optometrist? She might just not like writing or coloring. She could be rushing through assignments so that she can spend time with friends, play games, or do something else. She might need some extra help with fine motor skills. What are her grades like? Does she rush through other things like cleaning her room or getting ready for bed?
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It's hard to tell from the information that you were able to provide here, but talk with her elementary school a guidance counselor. Someone working with the school (usually a school psychologist) should be able to evaluate her to see if she needs extra help and to tell you more clearly what may be happening.
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