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Dyslexia - Can we talk reading longevity?


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After all this working, reading and thinking about learning to read with dyslexic 10yo ds, I had it mentally broken down into decoding and fluency.

 

With a combination of kitchen table vision therapy from a local retired teacher and the phonics instruction program by special ed veteran Joyce Herzog, DS *finally* 'got' silent-e and other vowel teams this year and his ability to decode improved significantly.

 

After reading many helpful posts, particularly by AngieW in Texas, we've also been doing some homemade repeated reading for fluency, building smoothness and speed, at his comfort level with Pathways grade 2 readers. (He just finished grade 4.)

 

But what about working on longevity? He gets quite tired after reading about 3 pages. Is this a case where more vision therapy work is required? Or will the repeated reading required for fluency build his endurance?

 

I'd love to hear your thoughts, maybe hear what volume of reading older kids can now handle or any other BTDT stories.

 

Thanks,

Kathy

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For a long while we did out loud reading where my dd and I read alternating pages for 15-20 minutes (altogether). Then I got to where she had to read two pages and I read the next one and then she read another two. We built up this way by adding one more page that she had to read for every one that I read until she was able to read for a full 15 minutes out loud. Then we had to gradually increase that time to 20 minutes. We never went farther than 20 minutes of out loud reading for her. Once she did her 20 minutes, I read out loud until I got to a good stopping point.

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My 14yo son is dyslexic and this is what I did with him that seemed to help. If your son has been deemed visually "fit" by his developmental optometrist, then what you're looking at is likely a fluency issue, meaning that he can't read *easily*. If he can only read three pages, it's still too hard for some reason. I would do repeated readings at his instructional level and also add (if you're not already) a solid 20 minutes of him reading aloud in books that are significantly below his reading level. Gradually work up in terms of level and text density over the course of a year or more. For example, when I did this with my son, we started with Magic Tree House type books and he progressed over the course of the year to Childhood of Famous Americans and Encyclopedia Brown. Choose a starting level where he is absolutely fluent and go from there.

Edited by EKS
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Agree with EKS. Absolutely.

 

Over here we started with *interesting* books that are easy for the child. The progress was tiny at first: hardly noticeable. In the moment it seemed like nothing was happening. It was like watching a plant grow. Now, though, I can look back and see that it was huge. Huge.

 

:001_smile:

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I would do repeated readings at his instructional level and also add (if you're not already) a solid 20 minutes of him reading aloud in books that are significantly below his reading level. Gradually work up in terms of level and text density over the course of a year or more. For example, when I did this with my son, we started with Magic Tree House type books and he progressed over the course of the year to Childhood of Famous Americans and Encyclopedia Brown. Choose a starting level where he is absolutely fluent and go from there.

 

Okay. So I could swap some things around. We're currently using a Magic School Bus chapter book as his instructional level reading. (About a grade 3 level?) Initially I did have him doing his repeated reading with that, but changed to below-level for speed.

 

So I would go back to having him use that for repeated reading and then have him use the grade 2 book and read aloud for 20 minutes? Hmm, can't say that'll be popular. :tongue_smilie: But he is super-motivated to improve his reading so I'm sure he would do it.

 

Okay, thanks very much for that!

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Agree with EKS. Absolutely.

 

Over here we started with *interesting* books that are easy for the child. The progress was tiny at first: hardly noticeable. In the moment it seemed like nothing was happening. It was like watching a plant grow. Now, though, I can look back and see that it was huge. Huge.

 

:001_smile:

 

I can't tell you how encouraging this is. Thank you. :grouphug:

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How about syllable divided books? Written at a high grade level but broken up into easily decodable syllables once you learn the basic syllabary.

 

http://www.thephonicspage.org/On%20Reading/syllabledividedb.html

 

Ooo, those look neat. Thanks.

 

Hey, I'm in the process of much cutting and gluing to make the Phonics Concentration Game cards. The game should make a fun summer review. Thank you!

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Hi KathyBC, I know what you are talking about. I noticed this in my son at age 5, he had a short span of what he could focus on for reading. He had no ADD symptoms so this was not an ADD focus type of issue.

 

This continued in elem grades so I focused on Charlotte Mason methods of short lessons. I didn't know or think it was a problem as in some circles they say this is normal for that young age of child. With a good match of HS method to the child his LD didn't look like an LD. (I didn't know he had an LD at that point.)

 

However by grade 5 this persisted and to make a long story short I realized he could not sustain working on learning topics (any topic) and I felt developmentally he should have been ready to kick the learning up a notch by then. He seemed to "tap out of energy" or "brain power". When he seemed maxxed out he often was maxxed out for the day. This included getting maxxed out on math he was shot for other subjects. Literally anything he did or was exposed to or taught would go in one ear and out the other. Also includes if went out in morning for some appointment or playdate he was maxxed out for the day and could not do studies in afternoon or evening. Yet same lesson or watching a documentary or whatever the next morning would yield retention and understanding (so weird to see in action and proving the teacher or materials was not the issue).

 

Later he was diagnosed with a visual processing disorder (eye tracking problem). After 24 months of treatment he tested at grade level and was "cured" of it. In reading about LDs though I came across this issue of "tapping out of energy". I have heard it spoken of by Dianne Craft at a HS conference. I later read about it in a book by Richard LaVoie, near the beginning of The Motivation Breakthrough book.

 

 

(At the start of the eye tracking therapy he maxxed out on reading a book at 45 minutes a day at the end he is reading 3-4 hours a day under his own direction with pleasure and no struggle. This is because the therapies helped his brain work with reading text more efficiently. It's amazing to see the transformation. I don't know that all LDs can be fixed like this but even if they can't there can be changes made in the way you HS to maximize learning.)

 

It is a neurological thing. Kids with an LD (any LD or multiple) kind of start off with a lower reserve in their brains for learning. They also go through this faster than a non=LD kid. When they bottom out they are "done" and "maxxed out" for the day. This is really common in LD kids. Do to the same task or school work their brain uses more energy. Sometimes you will hear this referred to as kids with an LD have to use "inefficient" brain processes that take up more energy.

 

Another way this can exhibit is if an LD kids studies and knows something. The next day they are to have a test on it. But that day they "max out" on other learning then go to take the text and swear they forgot it all. Then the next day all the info is back and they "know it all".

 

This also accounts for how LD kids can "know it one day then forget it the next" or struggle to learn a math concept one day then the next when they go to do it they instantly know it and it's a 'non-issue'.

 

I just wanted to make you aware of this general issue. Whether it's dyslexia or any other LD, this is a challenge.

 

The only thing I have figured to do so far is:

 

pick teaching methods that make learning easiest and fastest

 

do school work that really means something and is not a waste of time or stupid work

 

do the bare minimum of work that is effective to learn and master a concept, leaving more energy to learn other topics that same day

 

carefully set priorities as to what will be done for HS lessons that day

 

let the child recharge in whatever way is right for them (quiet time playing, outside active play, listening to music, art making, lots of social play with others, whatever it is for them)

 

spread out studies in non-traditional arrangements. This could mean not doing math for 3 months but using that time to hyper-focus on other topics, or making reading instruction a top priority and doing that first in the day and carefully choosing the day so the least important thing is last or doing HS year round to spread out the work so the school year is not a big stress fest

 

when focusing on bringing a child up from where they are "behind" make that a priority and don't be so intense about the less important school lessons (choose your priorities)

 

Homeschooling allows many accommodations so when reading about tips to teach an LD child, I have seen so much of a focus on how to help the kid survive the school environment. With homeschooling when those are not an issue so much of the challenge for LD kids is erased. For example

 

let them sleep until they are well rested

 

eat nutritious meals, avoid foods that seem to give them brain fog

 

testing the school way can be reduced

 

peer pressure from schoolmates is gone with homeschooling

 

the day can be scheduled differently ( is the child a night owl, do they thrive with multiple outside recess breaks with lots of motion in between sit down lessons)

 

carefully choosing curriculums to match their learning style and other preferences

 

the pace and schedule of learning can be different (do an intense study of math then relax back on it while focusing on reading etc.)

 

I advise to check out the lectures of Dianne Craft, Lynda Kane (Hope and a Future) and also books by Richard LaVoie for some general info on LDs and the first 2 for HSing.

 

Hope something here helps.

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In my online scourings I came across an article/website that showed the brain activity of a dyslexic child (while reading?) in contrast to a neurotypical child (while reading?). The dyslexic brain was ablaze with activity all over, meaning both hemispheres, while the neurotypical brain activity was very localized. The point being....these kid's brains are working sooo much harder and are less efficient. It's like the signals are "scrambling" to find a receptor/file for the information. That's why they get so tired. Until the brain finds an efficient pathway they probably will tire more easily.

 

Just sayin'

Geo

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In my online scourings I came across an article/website that showed the brain activity of a dyslexic child (while reading?) in contrast to a neurotypical child (while reading?). The dyslexic brain was ablaze with activity all over, meaning both hemispheres, while the neurotypical brain activity was very localized. The point being....these kid's brains are working sooo much harder and are less efficient. It's like the signals are "scrambling" to find a receptor/file for the information. That's why they get so tired. Until the brain finds an efficient pathway they probably will tire more easily.

 

Just sayin'

Geo

 

Geo, that's interesting stuff. Well, hopefully the short, consistent sessions that get incrementally longer will improve the efficiency of both my ds' vision and his neuro pathways. Right? Right? Of course they will. :001_unsure:

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  • 3 weeks later...

Another way this can exhibit is if an LD kids studies and knows something. The next day they are to have a test on it. But that day they "max out" on other learning then go to take the text and swear they forgot it all. Then the next day all the info is back and they "know it all".

 

This also accounts for how LD kids can "know it one day then forget it the next" or struggle to learn a math concept one day then the next when they go to do it they instantly know it and it's a 'non-issue'.

 

 

 

Thank you for the post. I totally see this in my daughter (going into 5th grade). The most I can get her to read in one sitting is 4 pages at a time and then she fatigues. I've had her evaluated in the public school system and told the evaluator this, but they refused to acknowledge that there was anything wrong.

Also, on tests she will do very well one day and the next day will fail one. It had always confused me that she could have good memory recall one day and bad recall the next. This helped clarify that!

I am using the Barton system for her reading, which is helping greatly with her reading accuracy, but I am still trying to figure out how to help her with the fatigue.

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  • 2 months later...

*Apologies for reviving my old thread*

 

Over here we started with *interesting* books that are easy for the child. The progress was tiny at first: hardly noticeable. In the moment it seemed like nothing was happening. It was like watching a plant grow. Now, though, I can look back and see that it was huge. Huge.

 

:001_smile:

 

We just did this: I had ds read a chapter each day from an interesting, easy book - The Bears on Hemlock Mountain - and it was a success! It was a perfect fit for content and format; but now I'm wondering what titles would make a good follow-up.

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