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I need help with ds10 who is possibly dyslexic


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I need help deciding the next step for my (possibly) dyslexic son aged 10. This is my 5th child and I've always had very advanced readers up until now, so I want to make sure my expectations are not too high.

 

Here's the background:

When he was 7 I realized he was not making enough progress in reading. Because my husband's mother had a lazy eye, my first step was a visual evaluation. The pediatric optometrist found major tracking and eye teaming issues. We did therapy for 1.5 years and he was finally allowed to stop therapy. (BTW- I took him back this last June and the Dr. confirmed everything is still fine.)

 

After being cleared from visual therapy at 8.5, I took him for a reading evaluation. The evaluator said he was behind, but that was to be expected with his past visual problems. She told me I was doing too much phonics. She wanted me to take him out of graded readers and have him start reading easy chapter books. His reading did improve, but his spelling was horrible. I finally tried SWR and he did make some major strides in spelling. He went from a K to a 2nd grade level in one school year, but by the end of that school year he should have been finishing the 3rd grade.

 

The next fall(last year) he was 9.5. I took him back to reading evaluator. She said his progress was fine. She said to make him read for longer periods, but we were "on track". I told her we were doing SWR, and she said, "STOP", he doesn't need it. I told her I was concerned with his fluency and she said he was fine and just needed time. She was very encouraging and very positive, but I was still unsettled. That spring, right at his 10th birthday, his standardized test scores were 60%ile in the language areas and 80%ile in math, but I tested him a grade lower than he is supposed to be. My husband said, "Stop worrying. Just because he is not reading as well as our other children were at this age does not mean that he is behind."

 

Now he his 10.5, supposed to be 5th grade, and I don't know what to do. I tried ABeCeDarian this summer and we are just starting book C. He had to start with the fluency supplement to book A, and then went through B-1 and B-2. I really think SWR makes more sense, but I am trying to forge ahead. Ds is reading chapter books and can accurately narrate them back to me, but when he reads aloud he frequently stumbles. He still struggles to sound out long words. He also takes a long time to complete his school work. He is reading MUCH better than a year ago, but I'm just not sure his progress is fast enough.

 

Here are my questions:

Are my expectations too high? Am I comparing him too much to his older siblings? Since he has continued to progress, should I just keep doing what we are doing? Can I expect a major leap or is the progress usually slow and steady?

 

I have wanted to take him to another place to be evaluated, but I don't know where to look or what to look for. I have been around several children who have been to a very popular dyslexia expert in our city, and the lack of progress in these children scares me. I had a 13yo and 15yo in my co-op class last year that could not read as well as my ds. On this board, I get the impression that the Orton-Gillingham(sp?) programs are the most effective, but when I ask people in my area they all direct me to another specialist who does not use OG methods.

 

I have searched these boards and have considered all of the following based on what I have read:

Barton

Abecedarian - which we are trying

Blue Backed Speller

All About Spelling

 

I just don't know what to try next. I am willing to spend the $ to purchase Barton if that is what we need to do. Any thoughts?

Thanks,

Leanna

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My 10 yo is severely dyslexic. We've plugged along using OG materials (Wilson, LiPS) for 3+ years and at present, he's comfortably reading through Mosdos' 5th grade literature text. I suspect that at this point, Barton might be overkill for your son. The Spalding Method (SWR) isn't usually the best choice for dyslexics. I think All About Spelling might be a good choice for you, since it's multisensory. An OG approach to spelling combined with fluency practice might effectively serve your purposes.

 

Some other suggestions:

 

For reading fluency:

Rewards Intermediate

Reading Fluency and Comprehension Exercises from Linguisystems

 

For spelling: "How to Teach Spelling" ( we use it along with LiPS)

http://www.epsbooks.com/dynamic/catalog/series.asp?subject=71S&subjectdesc=Spelling+%26+Grammar&series=1847M

 

He also reads aloud to me each day and does extra reading on top of that (Seton reading comp. workbooks, Nonfiction Reading Comprehension books from Teacher Created Resources). In short, he has done a lot of extra reading practice to compensate for his difficulties, and it has gradually paid off. So "slow and steady" has been the norm.

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Sounds like our sons struggle with some of the same challenges. We also made progress with SWR initially (and it is still on my shelf...) but then switched to ABeCeDarian because I felt SWR was moving too slowly. Toward the end of level C I added Rewards Intermediate and fluency materials from Reading-tutors.com. You know, just this week as we were doing Rewards we have found ourselves reviewing some of the SWR "rules". We are about to start the ABeCeDarian Spelling program next Monday.

 

To be honest, while I feel the ABeCeDarian and Rewards are crucial for building his foundational skills, it is using techniques I learned from the Optometrist with the Reading-tutors materials that I really think is improving his fluency - I guess because that's were the real reading practice comes in. There are leveled readers, word games, and fluency readings. I pick and choose what we'll do, but am pretty inflexible about the timed readings. The DO emphasized that ds has to read accurately to improve his speed and for later comprehension, so reading aloud exactly what is on the page is imperative for us. We do both readers and timed readings aloud. For timed readings, my copy is in a sheet protector, and I mark with a dry erase pen any errors, a slash at one minute so we can count wpm. I do let him read the whole page (the instructions say to stop him at one minute, but that was not helpful). We graph his progress each day. I go over any errors, usually due to him guessing at words rather than really reading them...today he substituted "categories" when he should have read the word "groups" on a piece that was familiar. After the 2nd repition or so, I start interrupting his reading with immediate corrections - that's specific to his issue of guessing rather than reading what is on the page. It's the only way to effectively focus his attention on the words that I've found - we try to be light-hearted about it, and I never do it on a first read-through, at least yet! We read each piece 1-3 times each day until he "passes" it at 100wpm. Once he passes it, he enjoys tearing his copy up. I don't love that, but it's very important to him! I don't know if there are other programs like this out there, but it has been very gratifying to see slow but steady progress over the last month or so.

 

I'm sorry this got so long, and hope it helps at little!

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Have you looked at REWARDS by Sopris West? It explicitly teaches how to decode multisyllabic words. My dyslexic son's comprehension improved by five grade levels using this program. Another program by Sopris West that we used was the Six Minute Solution. It is a reading fluency program that was a good follow up to REWARDS.

 

Have you had him evaluated by anyone besides the reading evaluator? Perhaps an evaluation by a psychologist (who understands dyslexia) would be helpful. That way you could see how his IQ and achievement is lining up. If his IQ is much higher than his reading achievement, you will probably want to push the reading harder.

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I need help deciding the next step for my (possibly) dyslexic son aged 10.

 

Here's the background:

When he was 7 I realized he was not making enough progress in reading. Because my husband's mother had a lazy eye, my first step was a visual evaluation. The pediatric optometrist found major tracking and eye teaming issues. We did therapy for 1.5 years and he was finally allowed to stop therapy. (BTW- I took him back this last June and the Dr. confirmed everything is still fine.)

 

That was a great first step.

 

Now he his 10.5, supposed to be 5th grade, and I don't know what to do.... Ds is reading chapter books and can accurately narrate them back to me, but when he reads aloud he frequently stumbles. He still struggles to sound out long words.

 

... On this board, I get the impression that the Orton-Gillingham(sp?) programs are the most effective, but when I ask people in my area they all direct me to another specialist who does not use OG methods.

 

I just don't know what to try next... Any thoughts?

Thanks,

Leanna

The curriculum I use is a blend of Phono-Graphix (which ABeCeDarian is a take off of) and the Spalding Method. The multisyllable portion of it is my own design and is available on my website at no charge. Take a look at the description of it, Multisyllable Decoding-1, and see what you think. If you tried it for as little as two weeks, I think you'd have a good feel how well it's working. (The entire curriculum could be done over 8 to 10 weeks which would take him through 4-syllable words.)

 

It's a lot faster and easier to learn than OG and I think you'll be surprised how fast it builds his multisyllable decoding strategy. Also, I would be glad to answer any questions about using it until you either finish with it, or decide to quit using it.

 

I've used it successfully one-on-one with well over 100 students in a private reading instruction practice and it nearly always works to get them into a successful decoding mode. Take a look at the page I linked to on my site, read the next several pages once you get there and see what you think. My email is on the home page if you want to contact me with questions. And, as I said, it's free.

 

Rod Everson

OnTrack Reading

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I think that one thing might come into play here---------plain old practice time. If he started reading at 8.5 and he is now 10.5 he has been reading for 2 years. Most kids his age have been reading for 4-5 years. Therefore they have much more practice under their belts.

 

As long as he is making progress, I would continue with that you are doing. I would also look at adding in some more decodable books for extra reading practice. I just LOVE the books from http://www.3rsplus.com They are very systematic and work well. It can be used as a total learn to read program but if he is doing well with the program you are using, just check out these books for extra reading practice.

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Thank you to everyone for your replies.

 

Heidi- You confirmed my gut feeling that Barton may be overkill at this point. I'm definitely going to look into all of your suggestions.

 

Several of you have mentioned REWARDS, and I will be investigating that program.

 

Ottakee- I have read many of your posts on this subject and appreciate your encouragement. I hadn't thought about the fact that he just hasn't had as much practice! I probably need to schedule more reading sessions in his school day and try to get dh to read with him in the evenings as well. The challenge is finding books he WANTS to read that are at his level.

 

Thanks again, to everyone for your suggestions and encouragement. I really appreciate it.

 

Leanna

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My girls really like the I See Sam books from http://www.3rsplus.com but if those don't appeal to him, check at the library for some high interest/low level books. The librarian should be able to help you out. They are more pre-teen/teen/adult stories redone with a lower reading level.

 

You might also check reading lists from homeschool programs like Sonlight, Winter Promise, etc. for good books on their 1st-3rd grade reading lists (they tend to read harder books for the grade level).

 

 

The challenge is finding books he WANTS to read that are at his level.

 

 

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Leanna,

 

I think the advice you have gotten has been good. If you are still interested in an o/g based program there are many you can look into.

 

Seeing Starts stands out for your child because it works on teaching the child to also see the letters in their heads. Many dyslexics are bad spellers because they don't have this ability (I don't).

 

You listed Barton Reading, but the one downside to the program is that it has a set pace that is hard to adjust. You can slow it down easily, but not speed it up.

 

Wilson Reading is very similar to Barton, it does also have some videos just not to the detail that Barton's does. It also isn't known to have the greatest support, because it is primarily used by schools and the schools send the teachers to a seminar to learn how to use it. Now if you have an order question they have great customer service (I have e-mailed and gotten quick through responses). The biggest advantage to using Wilson over Barton is that it allows you to work at the child's pace, moving rather quickly when needed.

 

Preventing Academic Failure is used (and I believe created) by a dyslexic school in New York, which you can visit if you live in the area. It is very good about teaching every word introduced to the child, and uses the Explode the Code books as part of the program as well (if your child likes those). Again this program allows you to work at the child's pace, moving quickly when needed.

 

Other programs that I know very little detail about: Horizons Reading, SPIRE, Recipe for Reading, but I have seen people post that they work.

 

Like SWR o/g programs have a lot of multi-sensory work. I know Wanda really doesn't like the use of tiles, yet the programs I have seen so far include both tiles and writing. For instance in AAS you do the spelling work with the tiles then the next day you do the work in writing. The big difference is that o/g programs will cover one concept at a time, instead of having multiple rules/letter sounds covered in one lesson. When you review you mix it up so they don't always see the words in isolation according to sound or rules. The other big issues is o/g program teach syllable rules, and SWR doesn't. It does teach the child how to clap syllables, and does have the rules in the SWR manual, but it doesn't activity teach the child syllable rules and how to break down a word they don't know how to pronounce. The last area where they differ is units. SWR will not teach any group of letters that can be sounded out, where o/g program will teach units like -ont, -ild for a couple of reasons. Partly because they work well with syllable rules and secondly because then there is less for the child to sound out. They learn to automatically recognize word chunks, which can help them read more quickly, though it is more work up front to learn them all.

 

I can't remember all the ways that o/g programs differ from phono graphic programs like Abcdarian. I am pretty sure units was one of the areas, and I want to say that teaching spelling and syllable rules was another, but I could be wrong.

 

While I think o/g programs are the strongest because of the multi-sensory work. That said I have heard of LD children learning to read by all the methods mentioned here, so there isn't necessarily one right way. Also try to remember that the reading specialist you are having evaluate your ds probably has a specific philosophy and she is giving you advice based on that philosophy. I can tell you already I disagree with them. :D

 

And there really is a lot of long term work involved in teaching an LD student to read and there are some things they sill don't out grow. I still do the substituting of this for that, or his for him while reading. Also I will transpose words and skip words. Never outgrew that and I read a ton.

 

Heather

 

 

 

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You could try my phonics lessons with him.

 

Also, my lessons now teach my UPP, I've found that helpful with several of my struggling students. While I only have a few documents printed in the UPP so far, the markings can be added to any printed material once you learn the system.

 

I'm a big fan of Webster's Speller, and there are reading materials based on syllables once you've done the basics of the speller--they are written at a high vocabulary and interest level, but easy to sound out because they're broken up into syllables.

 

If you want to also try OG methods, the cheapest option is Recipe for Reading by Traub and Bloom, it also adapts itself to working through at your own pace, everything you need to make your own OG program for $25.

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Heather and Elizabeth,

 

Thank you for taking the time to help me. I will be looking into all of your suggestions and considering my options. I think I'm finally figuring out that there is not going to be a quick fix for ds's reading issues. That realization makes me more willing to explore some of these other options.

 

Heather,

I really appreciated your insight as someone who struggled with reading/spelling yourself. You said you disagree with our reading evaluator, and I think I'm finally gaining the confidence to say, "I do too!."

 

Thank you both for your thoughtful posts.

Blessings,

Leanna

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