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Hi Everyone - My dd (now 12) has never enjoyed reading. Teaching her to read was like pulling teeth. After using every reading curriculum on the planet (only a slight exaggeration), I had her vision tested. It turns out, long story short, that she needed vision therapy to correct some problems with her eyes and the way her eyes relay information to her brain. Long story short, we are almost done with vision therapy and the amazing transformation from non-reader to reader has not materialized. Her vision therapist theorized that when she was learning to read, her brain didn't get good, clear information. In short, she needs a reading program. Does anyone have experience teaching a middle school student to read? It seems like all the curriculum I have looked at is geared for younger students. All advice is welcome, Judy
I have a 7 yr old son in second grade. He started preschool when he was 3 due to weaknesses in Adaptive Skills and Communication, Expressive Language. He received speech therapy. When he turned 4, they said he showed such great improvement that he was released from special education and was a typical peer in the same preschool class. Now, in 2nd grade, he is struggling. His main problem is his reading. He is very slow and often forgets words, even if he read the same thing 15 seconds ago. He has trouble deciphering words and sounding out what he sees. He knows what sounds a letter makes, but when it comes to reading, it comes out wrong. At lot of times, he'll be reading and a completely different word comes out of his mouth. He reads the word voyage and says enjoy. He has some trouble with his spelling as well. He forgets what word he's trying to spell and also spells as he hears words. Missed comes out misst. I have to annunciate everything when we go over his homework. My son is a bit of an odd bird, in addition to the problems at school. He has several phobias, the worst being his potty habits. He's scared to wipe himself because he doesn't want to get anything on him. He will wait as long as possible to go to the bathroom just so he won't have to wipe. Then, he sometimes has accidents because he waits so long. In that case, he never says anything and I end up figuring out when the smell hits me. He's afraid of a lot of animals, even the teacup Yorkie next door. He screams like he's being beaten when the dog comes outside. He hates changing things. I have a hrd time changing shoes when he outgrows them or even something like buying a different type of sock. He has trouble with eating. He likes chicken nuggets/tenders. If I give him a piece of chicken breast, not breaded, he won't eat because it's different. He doesn't care that it's the same as a nugget, without breading. He his highly imaginative and creative. He can build anything out of a pile of nothing. His drawing is wonderful, bright and colorful. He's is constantly drawing pictures and making cards and letters for me. They had a Christmas program at school the other day. He was right up front, doing ALL the hand signals and dance steps just perfectly and actually, gracefully. All that said, he barely sang any of the songs. When helping with homework, I have to write spelling words on index cards. to do ABC order, he takes the cards and puts them in order, on the floor. He does it just fine, but can't do it if it's a list on paper. He has to use touch points on his math to help with adding/subtraction. He uses a lot of maniuplatives for his work. His writing is pretty bad. If he does a very neat homework paper, it takes a lot of time and effort. I have started using the lined paper that the school uses in first grade and K. It helps, but his letters are still odd shaped, too close, too far, very large, very small.....always just a mess with lower and capital letters mixed in. Again, he's a strange child. He's just so different and sees the world in a different way. Even friends and family say things to me like you know your kid's weird or you have an odd kid. It's always said with love as he's a super sweet child, but sometimes, we just have to cock our head and look at him and think what in the world? The school just keeps telling me that he's immature and needs to be held back. I think there is a learning disability of some type. At birth, he suffered "terminal meconium" aspiration and wasn't breathing. It was quite a while before I even got to see him while a respiratory team worked on him. His birthday is June 16, so he turned 5 two months before he started K. He doesn't get into trouble and has had almost no discipline problems this year. I'm so tired of hearing he's immature. I finally made the school test him. They said he needs to be held back a year and that will fix the delay in his learning. I need to understand the results better to make a decision. WISC-IV Verbal Comprehension 93 Similarities 8 Vocabulary 9 Comprehension 9 Perceptual Reasoning Index 90 Block Design 9 Pictures Concepts 8 Matrix Reasoning 8 Working Memory Index 83 Digit Span 7 Letter-Number Sequencing 7 Processing Speed Index 109 Coding 11 Symbol Search 12 FULL SCALE IQ 90 They say he's average and that he just needs better reading fluency and holding him back will fix it. Woodcock-Johnson Tests of Achievement-3rd Edition Listening Comprehension 112 Basic Reading Skills 97 Reading Comprehension 89 Reading Fluency 72 Math Calculation Skills 94 Math Reasoning 95 Written Expression 84 Broad Reading 90 Broad Math 90 Broad Written Language 86 Letter-Word Identification 97 Reading Fluency 72 Calculation 97 Math Fluency 85 Spelling 96 Writing Fluency 85 Passage Comprehension 93 Applied Problems 89 Writing Samples 86 Word Attack 97 Reading Vocabulary 87 Quantitative Concepts 104 Wechsler Individual Achievement Test-3rd Edition (WIAT-III) Reading Comprehension 80 Oral Reading Fluency 77 If you can help me understand all this, I can make a better decision as to how to progress with his schooling. Thanks
I apologize that this is going to be long. My son will be turning 15 next month. He has always struggled with reading; which affects every single subject. We have tried countless reading and spelling programs over the years, which probably didn't help the situation (all the jumping from one to another). But, I was desperately trying to find the thing that would click with him. I never had, and don't have, this problem at all with my girls. I'm quite certain my 6 year old will quickly pass him by in reading and spelling. He can read, although he isn't the most fluent reader. He often reads words incorrectly. He only writes in neat print, never cursive. His spelling is the most horrendous spelling you'd ever see. He spells things phonetically, but often gets that wrong too (so he's constantly asking, "how do you spell ___?"). His reading struggles have always been a concern to me. But, his spelling is really causing me anxiety (how will he ever fill out a job application.......read/write his drivers exam.....etc????) Last week we were visiting friends and they suggested playing the game Balderdash. I immediately had concern over how my son would be able to join in and play the game. You need to write a fake definition of a word and these are all collected by one of the players who reads all the definitions. My son moved over to sit by me on the couch. Of course, you aren't supposed to look at the other players definitions, but I had to discreetly look at his to see if he needed any help (after all, a person was going to be reading his definition). So, for the first definition, my son wanted to write "a window cleaner". But he wrote, "A wibo clenr". I tried to quietly tell him how to rewrite his words.....finally I had to write it on the back of my paper for him to copy. The very next word, he wanted to write the definition, "a pipe cleaner". He spelled cleaner wrong again! I looked at him and he was looking at his paper & getting a little upset that he couldn't remember how to spell it. He was whispering to himself (not to me....he really didn't want my help) that he 'just spelled it.....how was that again??' I found the website Reading From Scratch about dyslexia (I really found it by googling "spelling rules"). They have several tests, which I haven't gotten to do them all yet. I did dictate the 5 sentences (these are really for writing samples but it shows his spelling). Here's what he wrote: The clam sate on the Botum of the oshen thay rusht in too the cotigin the nike of time wii gotherd in a carkl a rown the camp fire and tolld gost store's (I wonder if "wii" was his idea of being funny??) Pitsfelld has a populashing of abewt fifte thawsing a cofrins was helld too dey the futhr cores of acshin Oh my Lord!!! Ok.....so he tells me later that it was getting boring and near the end he just didn't really care if he was spelling correctly or not. Writing those sentences took him quite awhile. I read the entire sentence and then had to repeat it word for word. If I read two words together he'd say...."what? Say it again." If I said certain words like "around", "campfire", "sat on" he would ask if it was one word or two. What's hard, too, is that ironically he thinks he doesn't have a problem. He gets insulted if we even insinuate that he is a struggling reader and poor speller. I noticed that sometimes he will mix up his b's and d's. I have often wondered if he has dyslexia. I never knew where to test for that.....we can't afford it anyway.....I don't know how important it is to really have an official diagnosis. Right now he's using SpellWell and that isn't going that great. Sequential Spelling was a total bomb with him. We tried All About Spelling and didn't get very far because we'd still be working on the cards and practicing the sounds (it was taking forever to advance). My husband thinks all he needs to do is read, read, read...and read things that interest him. I think a little more is needed than that....he obviously has a lot of gaps in his phonics. I don't know if he really needs to start another reading program, at least not a program that's for little children or looks babyish. I'm looking for something that can fill in the missing gaps but won't take a huge amount of time (something remedial....for an older struggling student). I think he mostly needs to work on fluency and spelling. I have done a lot of searching here and found several programs I am considering. My researching all of these programs is beginning to take a lot of my time and I'm just wanting to make a decision soon. If you have used any of these programs, please tell me if you liked them or not. If you have any other suggestions, please feel free to offer that. Back on the Right Track Reading Lessons (This is the one I am strongly leaning towards. The samples look like what he needs) Abecedarian (I'm quite undecided on this one. I don't really care for the samples & I don't really know why. I like the Right Track samples much better) Fast Track (Again...I think I'm liking Right Track better) Saxon Phonics Intervention (I'm not too sure about this, it seems a bit overwhelming/time consuming but reviews say it isn't) Phonics For Reading The Spell of Words (I liked the samples of how she explains spelling rules) Apples & Pears I even looked at the Rewards program.....but the words really look hard! Well, thank you if you made it to the end of this long post. I am not very open to tell people about this problem. It makes me feel like I've been such a failure with him. But, I know in reality that can't be true because my girls are doing very well.