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Dyslexia help--where to start


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#1 Aura

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Posted 07 August 2017 - 07:24 PM

I'm pretty sure my youngest (boy, age 7) is dyslexic. I've been reading and studying and feel 95% sure that he is dyslexic...interestingly, as we've been studying, my dh has found a lot of indicators also apply to him. Anyway, he is 7 going in 2nd grade, and he can't read. I've put more effort into teaching him to read than anything else, but while he does great in every other subject, he just really struggles with reading. He also has speech issues--doesn't pronounce words very well, etc.

 

So...he has issues w/ reading, writing, sounding out words, as well as pronouncing words.

 

I'm still working through Overcoming Dyslexia by Sally Shawitz. I've looked at various websites. I've called several places in the area about evaluations...but they are so expensive (and I'm sure everyone on this board is aware of that problem). I'm sure we make too much money to qualify for any financial assistance but that doesn't mean we have the money to put into an evaluation, either.  

 

We're also trying to move! We'll still be in the same general area but in a different school system. (Basically, we're moving from one side of the city to the other.) So I'm not even sure if it's a good idea to contact the school system at this point because of that.

 

I'm sorry this is so rambling, but I'm not even sure what to do next! 

 

Do I have to do an evaluation first? If I don't, what should I do?

 

Any help is appreciated!



#2 Pen

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Posted 07 August 2017 - 08:28 PM

You don't have to do an evaluation first, but it could be helpful, or even helpful to have looking for one in progress since it can take awhile.  You could get some help (probably not full evaluation, but something) from public school possibly and could start that ball rolling with a letter to the place you will be moving to requesting an evaluation.  Some people live in places with Scottish Rite or universities that can provide some free or lower cost evaluation help.  I've also heard of things like Rotary Club or some such occasionally helping someone who needs help but cannot afford it.

 

We used High Noon Reading Intervention system successfully (my ds had already had an IEP for speech issues)--it is mentioned in the Shaywitz book at some point as I recall.  Your son is a bit young for it, but it tends to otherwise fit the sort of situation you are describing (sounds very similar to my ds for whom it worked well) where a bright kid has specific reading (writing etc.) trouble while doing well with other subjects.  And it starts from the very beginning with letter sounds practice.

 

In addition, I found www.talkingfingers.com read write type program helpful, after having started the High Noon program.

 

 


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#3 OhElizabeth

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Posted 07 August 2017 - 09:31 PM

Look up the IEP timeline. I think it's the same across the US. They have 30 days to reply to your request and deny or say they're moving forward with evals, 60 days to do the evals, and another 30 to write the IEP if warranted/required in your state. If your state does not require them to write an IEP (which many don't, they only spend the hours when offering services), then, you'd be done theoretically 90 days from when you make your request. I think if you move before that 90 days they'd just send your paperwork to the new district and finish it out.

 

Personally, I think having baseline scores is incredibly helpful. That paperwork and the diagnosis would give you access to the NLS (National Library Service), cover your butt if your state has regulations about homeschooling, etc. It would make you confident you're not missing something, like a vision problem or ADHD or... And also they would update your speech evals. A 7 yo should be 100% intelligible, even if some of the sounds are still iffy. So if in your state they give homeschoolers services, he would qualify for speech therapy. Even just having the updated evals could help you decide what to target.

 

My ds has an IEP through the ps. It's a huge pain in the butt and the only reason I do it is because we have a state scholarship that requires it. We had private evals, but I can tell you that the ps here can run a lot of the same tests our $$$ private psych ran. If you were to make the written request NOW, before school even starts (which you can, yes!!!), you would get the timeline running. It's their least busy time of year for running evals, because they probably just have a slight backlog from the previous school year. It's a really good time to be doing this, and they might literally get you done right away or much more quickly than you anticipate. Like maybe 60 days from the letter you'd have a report, kwim? It really could be that fast by doing it in the fall. 

 

Our ps wanted to see evidence of RTI (Response to Intervention). What products have you used with him? The ps does not *have* to eval as a first step. They could tell you they want to do RTI first and see how he responds to that. So you want to be able to demonstrate, going in, that you've already done increasing levels of intervention. They're going to want evidence that there has been adequate instruction, and they can deny you for evals if they suspect RTI should occur first.

 

As far as what to do? I would give him the Barton pre-test, get a fresh speech eval to figure out what is going on with the speech, and see if you need to do LIPS or FIS. My ds has verbal apraxia (motor planning of speech problem), and we ended up needing to blend LIPS and Barton for the first two levels. We also blended into that the speech therapy methodology. It was really powerful for him. You'd like to know if his continued speech problems are from the dyslexia, motor planning, some auditory processing issues, or a combination of things. When you contact the school, you want to say EVERYTHING you're seeing to get them to check AS MANY BOXES on the eval planning form as you can. 


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#4 ElizabethB

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Posted 07 August 2017 - 11:49 PM

I have a free phonemic awareness test linked from my dyslexia page, but it sounds like you already know this is a weakness, I second the recommendation for LiPS.  Also, you can buy the cheap manual "Recipe for Reading," it is under $20 and you can teach the basics of OG phonics with just that book and a white board.  There are more cheap and free ideas on my dyslexia page.

 

http://www.thephonic...g/dyslexia.html

 

Also, I would read and try all the things on my YouTube Pre-Reading playlist and try the syllables from Webster, they are the easiest things to learn to blend and read and later form the basis of larger words.  My blending page also has some phonemic awareness things and explains why learning to blend and read can be difficult.

 

https://www.youtube....wg2u8BdGYM64pTi

 

http://www.thephonic...ndingwords.html

 

You can work on oral blending and spelling while you are trying to figure things out.  I would also recommend reading some things about what is going on in the struggling reading brain, like Stanislas Dehaene's book "Reading in the Brain."  He also has some good YouTube presentations:

 

https://www.youtube....XD3CXgCBIGeSZpM


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#5 Aura

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Posted 08 August 2017 - 07:36 AM

Thank you all. My brain is still half asleep, so I'll re-read these and check out some of these resources and then get back to you. 



#6 Aura

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Posted 08 August 2017 - 04:08 PM

Still working through some of those resources, but new question: in filing the Declaration of Intent for this year, should I mark special ed for him? I live in Georgia if that makes a difference.



#7 Aura

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Posted 08 August 2017 - 04:55 PM

So it sounds like I need to get an evaluation of some type to make sure that I'm getting his specific needs addressed. I can do the Barton pre-screen (which I will try to do tomorrow) and in the process of getting an evaluation, I need to:

  1. make a list of every area that he's struggling with 
  2. list the programs, etc. that we've used to address his issues (RTI)
  3. contact the school system to set up an evaluation

Sound about right?


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#8 OhElizabeth

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Posted 08 August 2017 - 09:18 PM

The NOLO book might be at your library, and it tells how to make the request. Make it in writing (email or handwritten or typed or blood or...) and make sure it is signed and dated. It becomes a legal document for the start of your IEP timeline. 

 

Depending on your state laws and whether they require the ps to cover services for homeschoolers (services, not evals, evals are a FEDERAL right under FEDERAL law), your ps may have never eval'd a homeschooler. They may be flustered or think they don't have to or... So the key things in your request are to establish that paper trail (date delivered, keep a copy), to know your legal right to an eval, and to say upfront that you suspect a learning disability and are requesting evals. That initial request doesn't have to be wordy or anything. It all gets discussed at that meeting. 

 

Hopefully they'll be awesome to work with! The NOLO book is very good. Also, your state may have all the IEP process forms on their education dept website. That's handy, because then you can see what you're going to be asked ahead of time. :)


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#9 Aura

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Posted 09 August 2017 - 07:34 AM

Thank you!

 

Is this the book: https://www.amazon.c...y/dp/1413313213

 

The school system has been friendly toward homeschoolers, so I'm hoping that trend will continue with this.



#10 OhElizabeth

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Posted 09 August 2017 - 08:37 AM

Nolo's IEP Guide: Learning Disabilities  This is the one our library had as an ebook, so it's what I used. They have another one that seems broader on the IEP process as well. Complete IEP Guide, The: How to Advocate for Your Special Ed Child


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#11 Aura

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Posted 09 August 2017 - 11:15 AM

Nolo's IEP Guide: Learning Disabilities  This is the one our library had as an ebook, so it's what I used. They have another one that seems broader on the IEP process as well. Complete IEP Guide, The: How to Advocate for Your Special Ed Child

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