Friday, July 27, 2007

Frustrated. Or, an update on learning.

Yesterday I had a bit of a meltdown. I'd say it was about an 8 or 9 on the scale.

As you know, we have decided this year to focus on Oliver's communication needs with both RDI and the Association Method. The beginning level of the Association Method focuses on the child's ability to recognize a phoneme and reproduce its sound. To start, I chose the letters M, T and P. But this soon proved to be a mistake. Oliver learned the three sounds easy enough but was not associating them with the actual letter. He would just run through the three sounds until he got it right no matter what letter I was pointing to. So I scaled back to just one letter: M. It didn't take long until he produced the M sound every time he saw the letter. Then I introduced the T again. But he just doesn't get it. He knows both letters and both sounds discretely but when I try to do them consecutively he gets all mixed up. How can this be so hard? Does he know what I want from him?

I am trying not to put so much pressure on him. And on me. I know that is counter-productive. But it is hard when I so badly want him to be able to communicate.

Thankfully, a friend called at just the right moment and was able to help me see a few positive things. Why is that so difficult at times like this?

Last night I built a powerpoint presentation for him with the letter M and a multitude of slide transitions (which he loves). It is a little variation from the Association Method teaching strategy but I'm hoping it will make learning a bit more fun for him. Hopefully it will help.


  1. You are such a creative mom! I am looking forward to hearing how he likes the power point presentation.

  2. Oh, I soo hear you on this one! It can be so frustrating. The PP presentation sounds like a good idea. I think the association method is a good guide, and you can tailor it to how Oliver learns best. I am anxious to hear how this all works out.

  3. Very creative; I don't think I would have come up with a PP presentation. (Of course, Nik is not at the stage yet where he's into the computer, either...)

  4. Charlie started to learn phonemes a year and a half ago --- he has been learning those sounds in isolation, separate from connecting them to the letters. I think it's confusing for him because he's learning that there are 2 sounds for the same visual sign----slow but surely, he's moving through.

    Moms are always allowed meltdowns!