Learning Delays?

Tracey - posted on 01/26/2009 ( 8 moms have responded )

28

41

4

Hi, I just joined this community today and am so glad that I found it. My son is turning 5 next month and was diagnosed with a seizure disorder of the right temporal lobe (with some activity on the left) when he was 18 months old. We noticed a problem when he completely stopped talking and was "zoning out". We live in Los Angeles and have an incredible pediatric neurologist that switched him to Keppra last year and has pretty much stopped the seizures, improved his gross motor skills and he can hold full conversations now (however, his pronunciation still needs a lot of work). He also receives about 4 hours of therapy a week (speech, OT, adaptive PE, etc).

He's entering kindergarten in September and I'm concerned that he still can't recognize or recall any of his letters or numbers (except for two of the letters in his name and the numbers 1 and 4). The school district which pays for his therapies won't test him for learning disabilities for another year which I think is way too far away. Has anyone else experienced learning delays associated with seizures or medications? If so, any guidance or suggested books, resources, etc.? Thanks!

If you see this, leave this form field blank.
Powered by RESPECT not THUMPS

8 Comments

View replies by

Brittanie - posted on 11/16/2010

5

12

0

my daughter is 19 months old and has suffred with sez. since she was about 8 months old we had her on keppra along with some other med. Her doc told us that keppra is a sedative drug. I cant say about the devoplemental delay bc my daughter is delayed due to the type of seziures she was having and how often she had them. But they started to try to wein her off of med and that one was the first to go ((bc of the sadativness) sorry i couldnt help more

Tracey - posted on 11/15/2010

28

41

4

Hi Jeana,

Believe it or not but I first posted this almost two years ago. Since then, our neurologist made me aware of a study that was completed in the past two years that showed that more than 30% of kids with the type of seizures that my son has also have ADD. We started him on Concerta last year (with a Ritalin boost in the afternoon for homework) and what a difference. He immediately started retaining the information he was exposed to, was getting less stressed (which also resulted in less seizures), and he went from the nightmare child at school to the model student. The school is even talking about pulling some of his support services at the end of the year (obviously this is good and bad). He is pretty much on par with the rest of the class now. Thanks for your post!

Patty - posted on 11/15/2010

42

1

4

My son who is 5 and just started kindergarten has a seizure disorder and is having problems in school as well. I can fully relate to what you are going through. I too, am looking for help for my son. His neurologist put us to see a neuropsychologist who is going to be helping us figure out how to help him learn better. He is having problems with his writing his letters and learming the sounds. He plays a lot of games on the computer. The pbs kids island is a great place for him to learn. It has helped my son a lot. Also, I get ideas off the internet to help him. I just look up ideas to help kindergarteners read and write. All kinds of info comes up. I pick and choose. It takes a lot of patience and it is difficult on the whole family. I know I haven't said much on how to help you but I just wanted to let you know we are getting our son tested for learning delays so he can get the help he needs. I also just wnated to let you know that you are not alone. I am going through the same thing and it is agonizing. I often think to myself what have i done wrong but quickly realize it is nothing I have done...we just have to keep working with him. My son's school is also testing him for learning delays because they feel he should already be reading even though it is only the second quarter of kindergarten. It is a rough road to travel but we are all here for you. I am thankful for this site where we can help lift each other up and support each other when needed...even if it is just to say that you aren't alone!

Kelly - posted on 01/31/2009

14

7

4

My son is 2 1/2 years old and has had seizures since day 1. He was on Phenobarbital for a year which along with the seizures, put him to sleep 24/7. I know that at these young ages, the kids have certain developmental drives that help them to learn how to start rolling and crawling and using their limbs, etc. Because he was asleep all the time, he skipped right over these "drives". Now that we had him changed to keppra, and hes not asleep all the time, he has to try to learn all of these developmental things on his own. Which is why he is so slow. So, he is in an early education program for MRDD kids 3 times a week and gets speech, PT and OT through that. He also gets PT and OT seperately. He still has not said his first word and has only just begun to pull himself up on furniture. At the end of this year the school therapists will evaluate him and see if he is ready to go to a "normal" preschool or if he needs to stay at the MRDD school until hes 5 and then be re-evaluated again. My suggestion to you would be to find an MRDD program and have him evaluated, just because they have more experience with children who are delayed for any reason and are very good at helping them to get caught up with individual attention. It also takes a lot of patience and family work at home. Good Luck!

Tracey - posted on 01/31/2009

28

41

4

Thanks Kelly!
My son has been receiving early intervention (speech, OT, adaptive PE, etc.) sine he was two which is probably why I've been so concerned. My daughter (8 yrs old) is gifted and was able to read a full book before starting kindergarten. So it's hard to see them at complete opposite ends of the spectrum.

We've actually been trying to find some of those Leapfrog toys but they're hard to get this year since they changed their direction to the TAG and Didj (the TAG is pretty cool but my daughter already threw the Didj aside).

I am so appreciative of this group because I can finally vent and ask questions of others that are in similar situations.

Kelly - posted on 01/30/2009

6

0

0

Hi Tracey,



I can only say this because I've been there, not because I am expert. My son was diagnosed with childhood epilepsy last May. Just a little history: seizures were present at day 2 of life. 500 tests later showed nothing. We were told 'it can happen' and not to worry about it. They 'disappeared' that we knew of (if they were happening we probably had no clue). They seemed to resurface more frequently at the age of 5. Again, they are only in his sleep and thankfully not very bad. He started Keppra in May 2008 and we noticed an immediate improvement in everything. It could just have been because he was finally getting a restful nights sleep! 



He turned 5 in May 2007 and started kindergarten that August. I too had my concerns about his language, his recall, how many letters/numbers he knew, etc. I debated holding him back in pre-k but went ahead with kindergarten. He was much further behind than the other kids and much more immature. They start phonics in K and expect them to be reading by the time the year is over, in addition to all kinds of math, patterns, writing. A lot, I think for a 5 yr. old!



He really tried hard and learned as much as he could and I was impressed with what he was able to learn. We worked on a lot of stuff at home and I could see his frustration especially with reading. I think sometimes I may have pushed him too hard as well which added to frustration for both of us. It was a tough year for the poor little guy. He tried SOOOO hard but I could tell it was hard on him which of course as a mother breaks your heart! So, after having a conference with the teacher every month and both of us staying in a lot of contact and my son being in EIP (Early Intervention Program), we decided it was in his best interest to hold him back again in kindergarten.



It was the BEST decision we ever made! He was reading like a champ almost immediately, he knew all the phonics, patterns, everything, It was like a lightbulb came on!  I can just see how much happier he is this year compared to last year. And who knows what kind of effect the seizures had on it, he had been on the Keppra for 3 months at this point. But I think he just wasn't ready for kindergarten. All kids develop at a different pace. I even read something just recently that a lot of boys are not ready to read yet at that age.



During his struggles last year, we used a lot of the leap frog products...they are awesome! My little girl who was just 4 at the time even picked up on everything as she was around it all the time with us doing it. Also, read, read, read, read.....as much as you can to him and get the 'reader' books at the library. The words are bigger and easier for the little ones to follow. Search the internet for educational worksheets and you can start exposing him to a lot of that stuff too. There are very basic ones out there that help with learning the letters and numbers. "Mommy boot camp" as one of my neighbors called it for her son! :-)



Sorry I have written a novel here, just tell me to shut up (haha), I tend to ramble a lot. I just don't have a chance to talk to a lot of my friends about his as they don't know what its like. I wish you luck and just practice patience. Some boys are just not ready! I would think all schools offer some kind of EIP program so if he is falling behind that is always an option as well at school. I would research it before you even start school. And when you do, talk to the teacher, let her know what to expect, let her know you want to work together to make sure he is as successful as he can be. A lot of teachers are very open to that and stay in touch through the school year. Like I said, I had a conference with her every month and even do this year as well. 



Oh yeah, a good book I read, "The Minds of Boys" by Michael Gurian. It was very insightful as my little boy is a typical little boy! 



Again, good luck and sorry I have rambled forever!

Tracey - posted on 01/27/2009

28

41

4

Thanks Jeana! What was the fab fives? We had a neuro appointment yesterday and his doctor pretty much said that there might be a completely different underlying problem to explain his learning delays and we might never know what it is. He's supposed to start kindergarten in the Fall and I'm looking for any resources or tips (beyond the traditional ways) to help him learn his basics so that he doesn't get frustrated and start hating school or so he doesn't have to go to a special needs school (which I have been told is an option for us but besides the seizures and the learning delays - he's now a pretty normal kid).

Jeana - posted on 01/27/2009

29

27

3

My daughter who also has a seizure disorder has learning problems. She was in fab fives at five yrs old and finally learned the abc's where she could do them good. She had alot of problems with speech too. At that time she didn't have the seizures it was later she was diagnosed with that along with a chari malformation. Not sure if the seizures was part of the learning problems but the chari is. Unless a doctor is looking in the right area they might not know that is the problem. The two together was not fun she had mood swings bad not sure if that is something everyone has but my daughter did. It has taken alot of work but she is doing better in school just needs some extra help with her classes. Just something to check into.

If you see this, leave this form field blank.
Powered by RESPECT not THUMPS

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms