Searching for Roads

November 5, 2016

I am still looking for a way to help Robert to independently  solve the same kind of problems that he is capable of solving when I am sitting next to him.  I am baffled by the whole process.  First, I don’t grasp the reasons behind those different outcomes.

  1. Does the way I am emphasizing some words when I read the question give him some cues?
  2. Does he simply pay more attention when I am present?
  3. Does he stop believing in himself when I move away from the table?
  4. Do I somehow, without knowing it, direct him toward proper answer?

Sadly, I think that all of the above contribute to the fact that Robert answers questions properly when I am next to him and seems reluctant or unable to provide correct answers when he is alone.

As I spend more time working with Robert on the same pages three days in a row, I notice that his understanding of some of the words is very weak.  For instance,in the presence of the world map, Robert, when ask to do so, provides all the correct names of continents.  But he didn’t provide a name for the one and only continent presented on the map (North America) and wrote down names of the countries instead.  He had to be directed to the inset map of the world to come with the name of the continent.

When Robert reads the question on his own he doesn’t seem to grasp meaning of all important words.  He slides through the letters without understanding the question.  And thus when asked, “On which U.S. highway you can find Aberdeen?”  he is confused.  he looks at the map, finds Aberdeen and writes…… “Aberdeen” .  But when shown once that the proper answer is the name of the road, he doesn’t repeat the same mistake with other towns and correctly names roads that pass through them.  Helas, the following day, the same pattern of errors and correct answers repeats itself.

So, I do try different things to remedy that.

  1. We practice underlying (emphasizing) two or three important words in the question.
  2. We practice with two or three boxes of specific words to choose from (for instance, one lists continents, another  oceans and yet another countries).  When the question ask for a continent, Robert can choose one from the box which names them all.
  3. We answer together orally two to six questions and then I ask him to write down the answers  while I retreat to the kitchen.

It is still work in progress.  I don’t see much improvement, but then my observations might be tainted by my emotional investment in the process.  As for Robert, he reaches for math worksheets and solves the problems which do not involve words.


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