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Is dyslexia really a memory problem?


Tabrett
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Just curious.

 

I feel like if my dd could remember the phonograms we have been over and over and could remember words she has sounded out and read several times, she would be reading fluently.

 

It seems like dc who learn to read early and easily, don't have a problem rememebering what they see. They need phonics to initially sound out a word then it is automatically memorized without effort.

 

Is dyslexia truly a memory problem? Or are memory problems a type of dyslexia or are memory problems caused by dyslexia?

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Just curious.

 

I feel like if my dd could remember the phonograms we have been over and over and could remember words she has sounded out and read several times, she would be reading fluently.

 

It seems like dc who learn to read early and easily, don't have a problem rememebering what they see. They need phonics to initially sound out a word then it is automatically memorized without effort.

 

Is dyslexia truly a memory problem? Or are memory problems a type of dyslexia or are memory problems caused by dyslexia?

I don't think so. True dyslexics have difficulty with directionality.

 

Some children are more visual and more easily remember what they see; that isn't a memory thing. It's just how they're wired.

 

Some children have to touch/feel/manipulate things; those children will have more difficulty learning with methods that depend on what they can see.

 

Some children remember what they hear and don't need to see or touch.

 

Those are some of the reasons that Spalding and its spin-offs work so well: they address all modalities.

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I personally believe that because these kids have difficulty processing language that the problem isn't memory, but the process of getting it into their long-term memory. So much energy is used just trying to comprehend language that not much is left over for retention. This is why multi-sensory instruction is essential for success for these kids.

 

With my own children I saw that memory was NOT a problem in many areas, while it was with language based lessons. My oldest could spout off facts about various wars that even I couldn't remember, but couldn't read a basic 1st grade book.

 

Interestingly enough, this same child is now 15 and taking Chinese in high school. He gets straight As and loves it! But if the teacher asks him to read aloud something written in English he struggles terribly. Even she sees how he struggles with English, but has easily embraced Chinese!

 

It's just so interesting trying to figure these kids out! Now if only I could find the magic math bullet for my youngest.

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Technically "dyslexia" just means problems with reading, so it could have different causes for different children.

 

My son is dyslexic and doesn't particularly have a problem with directionality. He's never done mirror-writing and his reversals have always been on the late side of age-appropriate.

 

He does have a TERRIBLE auditory memory. Speech took a long time to develop; articulation is STILL a big problem and he's nine! For over a year he asked me to sing the Scooby Doo theme song before bed (what a mother won't do LOL) and he still couldn't sing along with me. New sight words take a long time to learn. We're covering reference books in CLE LA, and he keeps calling them refreshment books. :)

 

Connecting the symbols he sees to their sounds is hard work! He has to pull up that sound out of his memory. We tried learning the phonograms through a mastery approach (not moving on until he could recall them cold) but it was much too frustrating for both of us. Now we use Sequential Spelling, where it's no big deal if he gets something wrong because we just correct it and move on, and he keeps practicing it in different forms.

 

He's pretty good with his math facts, but I don't time him. We just practice everyday. He can calculate quickly in his head but the instant recall relies on auditory memory and that just takes much longer for him to develop. At least now I can prompt him by saying something like "six times eight is ..." and he will finish it.

 

About two years ago I took him to a specialist to give him psychoeducational testing. At that time he couldn't repeat a string of more than two unrelated words back to me. I don't know how much better he'd score now - dictation is still far in the future. When we do spelling, I have to say the word slowly several times. I think the reason spelling is so hard is because he can't "hear" in his mind the sequence of letters. Each time he spells a word he has to spell it by sound.

 

So yes, I think you may be onto something, at least for some dyslexic kids.

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There can be many things going on for different kids, but I don't think dyslexia and memory problems are the same.

 

But a child CAN have both dyslexia and issues with working memory. A child can also have auditory and/or visual processing issues along with dyslexia. Or any of these things but not dyslexia.

 

A great book that can help you tease out some of the various issues is The Mislabeled Child by Brock and Fernette Eide. Your library might have it.

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Technically "dyslexia" just means problems with reading, so it could have different causes for different children.

 

 

I know I'm nitpicking, but dyslexia actually means problems with language. That can cover a wide spectrum of different skills, from reading to writing to speaking. And interestingly enough, it can also cross over into math skills as well. It's hard to put dyslexia into a tidy little box.

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I know I'm nitpicking, but dyslexia actually means problems with language. That can cover a wide spectrum of different skills, from reading to writing to speaking. And interestingly enough, it can also cross over into math skills as well. It's hard to put dyslexia into a tidy little box.

 

You're not nitpicking - I agree that it's hard to put in a box - I think it's important to recognize that there are varying definitions of dyslexia, so that we're not comparing apples to oranges. This is a much broader one than most therapists/professionals would use, but it is one used by others. (For example, under a broad definition of language problems, one or more of my kids would be considered dyslexic, but in fact they are not dyslexic according to our neuropsych).

 

FWIW, IMO, dyslexia involves processing issues, and it is not uncommon for memory problems to be present in the same person who also has other LDs. I don't know enough to answer this question. OP, you may want to pop over to the Special Needs board for plenty of fleshing out of dyslexia - it's probably there somewhere.

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I have dyslexia. I learned to read on the late side, but was not dignosised until College. I learned to read by memorizing words. I could not figure out the sounds. For me it took teaching my oldest phonics to actually be able to hear and understand different sounds in words. Until that point I either knew a word because I had memorized it or I didn't know the word - I had no ability to be able to sound out words. Spelling was an extremely frustrating experience for me because I didn't hear words correctly therefore was unable to spell them.

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Karen, did you have any speech issues?

 

My ds cannot always keep track of the sounds he hears in words, and I believe this may be the root to his articulation problems. He has a terrible time spelling "with" because he hears and says "wis" - and the word "this" he hears and says "dis". He is totally perplexed by ts (like in cats). He just can't hear the stop before the s so he always writes cas (although he pronounces it correctly).

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My ds cannot always keep track of the sounds he hears in words, and I believe this may be the root to his articulation problems. He has a terrible time spelling "with" because he hears and says "wis" - and the word "this" he hears and says "dis". He is totally perplexed by ts (like in cats). He just can't hear the stop before the s so he always writes cas (although he pronounces it correctly).

 

I don't know if this will shed any light or confuse things further. I have a ds who has trouble spelling words that he doesn't pronounce correctly due to his speech issues, and it does seem he has difficulty hearing certain sounds in certain words sometimes, though there's also an oral motor issue with his speech. (We know this because once he started reading well, and spelling, he's very particular about spelling - a little OCD-ish, kinda - we occasionally have had arguments about word spellings; he can get very upset.) His hearing, having been tested many times by school audiologists, is fine. It might be a sort of auditory processing issue. And while I believe auditory processing issues (of which there are more than one kind) do play a role in dyslexia, my ds isn't dyslexic. :confused: FWIW, I plan to re-start a listening therapy program he did a few years ago when he had OT.

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I did not have speech issues. I heard things differently I believe but the biggest issue for me is I never was able to hear the differences between the letters G and J, I had a had time hearing the difference between B, D, and P. I learned to say the right thing by mimicing but to me they were all the same.

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Just curious.

 

I feel like if my dd could remember the phonograms we have been over and over and could remember words she has sounded out and read several times, she would be reading fluently.

 

It seems like dc who learn to read early and easily, don't have a problem rememebering what they see. They need phonics to initially sound out a word then it is automatically memorized without effort.

 

Is dyslexia truly a memory problem? Or are memory problems a type of dyslexia or are memory problems caused by dyslexia?

No, I know several dyslexics (it runs in the family and I know another family that it runs in) that have a photographic memory. Dyslexics' brains are wired differently and cannot break up a word phonetically...no matter how hard they try.

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No, I know several dyslexics (it runs in the family and I know another family that it runs in) that have a photographic memory. Dyslexics' brains are wired differently and cannot break up a word phonetically...no matter how hard they try.

 

Dyslexics can break up words phonetically, but they usually need to be taught this in a systematic, incremental way. That is why programs such as Barton tend to be successful.

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No, I know several dyslexics (it runs in the family and I know another family that it runs in) that have a photographic memory. Dyslexics' brains are wired differently and cannot break up a word phonetically...no matter how hard they try.

 

:iagree: (mostly). :D

 

Dyslexia is not a single disease or experience, it is more like a symptom that something is "different" about how that person perceives or processes sounds and/or writing. Because of that, dyslexia encompasses a wide variety of situations and can have very different manifestations and causes in different people -- all within the umbrella diagnosis of "dyslexia". To further confuse things, there are lots of comorbid conditions that can occur with dyslexia (but are not dyslexia themselves).

 

There is no consensus on the cause of dyslexia. There is no cure, but since there are such different flavors of dyslexia, different programs and strategies will work for different folks.

 

Maybe flavors is a good word. If someone asked you what ice cream tasted like, one person might describe chocolate, another strawberry, another vanilla. They all have a lot in common, they are all ice cream, but they are also different.

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Okay, okay LOL! I'm just speaking from my experience with the dyslexics *I* know. And I was taught, by a dyslexic AND a mother of a dyslexic, that those that cannot break up phonetically...absolutely cannot. Whatever this "new method" is, it didn't exist while my stepdad, my dad, or my brothers were in school. The mother I refer to, her son went through an "audio rewiring program"...now he can break up words phonetically, but he's no longer considered dyslexic.

 

I will sit back and learn from ya'll ;) My main point was that dyslexia is not necessarily a memory problem as MANY rely on memory in order to learn.

 

And yes, flavours is a good word. Apparently, I've consistently run into the same flavour LOL!

Edited by mommaduck
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He is totally perplexed by ts (like in cats). He just can't hear the stop before the s so he always writes cas (although he pronounces it correctly).

 

It is pretty subtle. One thing that can help with this is for him to think of the root word first. If you are dictating a spelling word, have him say the root--cat, write that, and then add the ending. (you can do this with any suffix, it's very helpful).

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Karen, did you have any speech issues?

 

My ds cannot always keep track of the sounds he hears in words, and I believe this may be the root to his articulation problems. He has a terrible time spelling "with" because he hears and says "wis" - and the word "this" he hears and says "dis". He is totally perplexed by ts (like in cats). He just can't hear the stop before the s so he always writes cas (although he pronounces it correctly).

 

Ts and ds (suds) are actually articulated as one sound. Russian has a single letter for the ts sound. I did not realize this myself until my student with speech apraxia had trouble with it, then I did some research and found that out. Once he heard that explanation, it was helpful to him. He also wanted to see the Russian letter for ts and thought that was pretty cool.

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No, I know several dyslexics (it runs in the family and I know another family that it runs in) that have a photographic memory. Dyslexics' brains are wired differently and cannot break up a word phonetically...no matter how hard they try.

 

My son is definitely making incremental progress in his ability to break up words phonetically, but we do seem to be "rewiring" his brain. He certainly isn't naturally inclined to hear them.

 

You know how babies can learn any language fluently, but as they get older they stop being able to hear subtle differences in language? That's the reason many Japanese have difficulty with L & R, because they didn't grow up hearing the sounds and their brain can't distinguish the difference. My son did have frequent ear infections & I do wonder if he missed some critical window.

 

My dh would almost certainly be dx as dyslexic, but he has an incredible photographic memory. He reads completely by sight words, and is thankfully an extremely fast reader. He remembers everything he reads, and can tell you which paragraph on which page in which book by which author he learned something. His incredible visual memory has allowed him to compensate very well.

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I have dyslexia. I learned to read on the late side, but was not dignosised until College. I learned to read by memorizing words. I could not figure out the sounds. For me it took teaching my oldest phonics to actually be able to hear and understand different sounds in words. Until that point I either knew a word because I had memorized it or I didn't know the word - I had no ability to be able to sound out words. Spelling was an extremely frustrating experience for me because I didn't hear words correctly therefore was unable to spell them.

Me to

though I learned to read at age 4, I cannot spell to save myself, and the was I read a word ( the sound it has in my head) is nothing like what it sounds like in real life. I have great trouble connecting some words to their written form.

I find teaching phonics to my children very frustrating. I have to keep asking my husband things like what ar the sounds of "th" again. Silly I know.

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Ts and ds (suds) are actually articulated as one sound. Russian has a single letter for the ts sound. I did not realize this myself until my student with speech apraxia had trouble with it, then I did some research and found that out. Once he heard that explanation, it was helpful to him. He also wanted to see the Russian letter for ts and thought that was pretty cool.

 

I described it to him like this: his tongue is touching right behind his teeth when he finishes saying "t" which is also where it needs to be to start saying "s", so it comes out as one sound. Otherwise we would have to move our tongue away and move it back.

 

I understand the importance of spelling by sound, but man, it is HARD when you have a kid who struggles with phonological awareness! I do have to say though, that even though it is the hardest part of teaching him, it is also my favorite part. (Almost) every single day I can see his progress from the day before.

 

We do also incorporate rules into spelling but really he just doesn't refer to him. When he misses a word I explain the rule but really he learns from picturing the letter combinations.

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Okay, okay LOL! I'm just speaking from my experience with the dyslexics *I* know. And I was taught, by a dyslexic AND a mother of a dyslexic, that those that cannot break up phonetically...absolutely cannot. Whatever this "new method" is, it didn't exist while my stepdad, my dad, or my brothers were in school. The mother I refer to, her son went through an "audio rewiring program"...now he can break up words phonetically, but he's no longer considered dyslexic.

 

I will sit back and learn from ya'll ;) My main point was that dyslexia is not necessarily a memory problem as MANY rely on memory in order to learn.

 

And yes, flavours is a good word. Apparently, I've consistently run into the same flavour LOL!

 

My dd couldn't sound out words, despite years of SWR and my own paltry efforts. VT changed that in about 2 months. So while I totally agree curricula can't fix it for all people, that doesn't mean it can't be solved for anyone either.

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Just curious.

 

I feel like if my dd could remember the phonograms we have been over and over and could remember words she has sounded out and read several times, she would be reading fluently.

 

It seems like dc who learn to read early and easily, don't have a problem rememebering what they see. They need phonics to initially sound out a word then it is automatically memorized without effort.

 

Is dyslexia truly a memory problem? Or are memory problems a type of dyslexia or are memory problems caused by dyslexia?

 

What you are describing is visual dyslexia, or dyseidetic dyslexia. A processing problem in being able to see the whole word and recognize it.

 

I am going to quote what Angie put on the special needs board the other day:

Author Corinne Roth Smith lists the reading and spelling patterns of children with dyseidetic dyslexia (also called visual dyslexia):

 

* Confusion with letters that differ in orientation (b-d, p-q).

 

* Confusion with words that can be dynamically reversed (was-saw).

 

* Very limited sight vocabulary; few words are instantly recognized from their whole configuration — they need to be sounded out laboriously, as though being seen for the first time.

 

* Losing the place because one doesn’t instantly recognize what had already been read, as when switching one’s gaze from the right side of one line to the left side of the next line.

 

* Omitting letters and words because they weren’t visually noted.

 

* Masking the image of one letter, by moving the eye too rapidly to the subsequent letter, may result in omission of the first letter.

 

* Difficulty learning irregular words that can’t be sounded out (for example, sight).

 

* Difficulty with rapid retrieval of words due to visual retrieval weaknesses.

 

* Visual stimuli in reading prove so confusing that it is easier for the child to learn to read by first spelling the words orally and then putting them in print.

 

* Insertions, omissions, and substitutions, if the meaning of the passage is guiding reading.

 

* Strengths in left hemisphere language-processing, analytical and sequential abilities, and detail analysis; can laboriously sound out phonetically regular words even up to grade level.

 

* Difficulty recalling the shape of a letter when writing.

 

* Spells phonetically but not bizarrely (laf-laugh; bisnis-business).

 

* Can spell difficult phonetic words but not simple irregular words.

But dyslexia has many other sub-components depending: dyscalculia for math, dysgraphia for handwriting, dysphonetic for hearing, ect... Any child who is diagnosed as dyslexia can have problems with one or multiple of the above. Their problems in each area can also range from mild to severe. It just isn't easy to stereotype.

 

My first question in trying to help your dd, is does she see letters in her mind? I personally am primary a visual dyslexic with some hearing, writing and math issues. I don't naturally see letters in my mind. When I tried to visualize a word I would generally see some sort of field with the letters in the middle, and it took a lot of effort to get that much. Seeing Stars is a program designed to develop the ability to see letters for those who don't naturally see them. With it not only have I developed the ability, but my youngest two have as well. I now can see a chalk board, white board and typing. I still struggle to hold it in my mind for more than 5 seconds.

 

Here is the process I generally use when covering phonograms with my ds, and yes it is long:

 

1. say sounds, have child repeat them (this gives them the chance to recall the letter on their own)

2. show child the letter, again saying the sounds, and having the child repeat them (focus is on the visual-letter to sound)

3. put the card down and have the child write the letter while saying the sounds (focus is on sound to letter)

4. Look at written letter and say sounds again (focus on letter to sound recall).

5. have child air write letter above their head (only if they can't visualize easily) and then close their eyes and visualize the letter while saying the sounds (builds visual memory)

 

When he is spelling I use this process, but note he is dysgraphic, and both a visual and hearing dyslexic with hearing being his worst area:

 

Day 1: sound word out for him, he uses letter tiles to spell word (limits recall and writing issues, focus is on spelling the word correctly). Then air write word, close eyes and visualize word.

 

Day 2: dictate word normally, have him write it in sand with alphabet visable to help with recall as needed, again visualize word (air write as needed).

 

Day 3: dictate word normally, have him write it on white board with alphabet viable to help with recall and visualize it. This time have them spell it backwards from visual memory.

 

Day 4: dictate word normally, have him write it on paper with no viable alphabet and visualize the word.

 

Note I move from gross motor skills, to fine motors skills only as he masters the word. Writing takes a lot of focus for him, so he doesn't do it while he is learning the word, only after he has mastered it.

 

For reading I have him tap under each letter and say his sounds. He has a cheat sheet he can refer to if he can't recall a sound. It is not forgetting it, he knows them cold, and can do them when we do flashcards, but when reading he can't always call them to mind. It takes time for information that is memorized to transfer to being able to be used. The cheat sheet is a list of letters and a picture of something that starts with that letter to remind him what sound it is. After he taps the sounds he slowly blends using a U motion to keep him focused or he would start playing with something on his desk. Then he reads it at normal speed drawing his finger under the word. This is the basic outline of what Barton does, now they have additional helps to aid in recall and trouble shooting for problems, but that is the basic outline it uses. At this point I don't do visualization with reading, just as part of spelling. But I do have him cover all reading words as spelling before he reads them.

 

Back to the topic at hand. I wouldn't call it just a memory problem. There are recall problems but even they are different each time. Sometimes you can't remember at all (but know you should be able to), sometimes you get it backwards, sometimes you cross it with similar information and at times you are just flat wrong but are convinced you are correct. It is a processing problem. Think of a highway that is very old, cracked, with pot holes and breaks. A dyslexic's brain just isn't efficient in how it deals with information. With practice and over learning a driver can learn the highways so well it avoids the problem areas and a dyslexic can overcome a lot of their issues, but it takes a lot of time and repeat. For example my kids will cover the phonograms monthly till they graduate, so it is hardwired information, so to speak. I personally did learn via phonics, I can remember the teacher calling on me to stand up and say the sounds of letters (yep I froze and was held back in 1st grade), but by the time I graduated I couldn't sound out a word to save my life. Eight year of teaching phonics and spelling has cured that. :D

 

Heather

Edited by siloam
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I described it to him like this: his tongue is touching right behind his teeth when he finishes saying "t" which is also where it needs to be to start saying "s", so it comes out as one sound. Otherwise we would have to move our tongue away and move it back.

...

We do also incorporate rules into spelling but really he just doesn't refer to him. When he misses a word I explain the rule but really he learns from picturing the letter combinations.

 

My K'er isn't dyslexic (as far as I know :) ), but she still doesn't speak very clearly. Interestingly for her learning to read has been extremely helpful with her speech, to the point she sometimes asks me to write out a word she's struggling to say clearly (I write it in the 100EZ lessons phonotype). Then she can read it and correctly make the sounds. Sometimes I'll post it on the wall and she'll go several times a day for days and sound it out. But then, I am the same way when I study a foreign language -- I need to SEE the word to get the subtleties and cannot get it from listening a hundred times, even though I can hear the difference once I've seen it.

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It can be, but is not always. My son has auditory processing disorder and under that title, there are something like seven subskills. He is weak in three of those subskills. (One of which is short term memory...he has trouble holding onto information for any length of time.)

 

Dyslexia is the same. Reading is supported by many subskills and if any of those subskills are weak, problems ensue.

 

Memory is a big issue. Short term memory, specifically, can often the culprit. The child will often forget the first phonogram in a word by the time he/she reaches the last phonogram.

 

We have found a systematic and intensive phonics program to be the essential key to reading success.

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I noticed that my son could diagram a sentence perfectly, but he could not remember the words adjective, adverb, preposition, etc.

 

I always believed what was missing for my child were the pathways through the brain that allowed him to access memory. The more we practiced activities that required repetition (piano scales, for example) the easier it was for him to access memory for other things (like reading and vocabulary).The more pathways we established through physical, verbal, sight--as many ways as possible--the better he did. For example, he was able to access memory much better if he were moving (bouncing on the little trampoline, walking around the table, jumping up and down). I've always said we first had to build the pathways and then he was able to do the work.

 

So...a memory problem, perhaps, in regards to being able to find the location in which the memory was stored?

 

But I'm no specialist...

 

Jean

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Tabrett, I keep rereading this thread as it gets updated, and I think it's because, unlike most, it really provokes some strong emotions in me. You have so many assumptions going on here, and you're at a stage many of us were at years ago.

 

-You're assuming memory is the ONLY issue. If she's seeing things over and over and not remembering them (even in her LONG TERM memory), the issue might be her EYES. Many dyslexics benefit from vision therapy, from what I've been told. To my mind it's such a basic thing to check and eliminate. http://www.covd.org Find a fellow in COVD, get an evaluation, see what they say.

-You're not distinguishing short and long-term memory. ADD, working memory issues, etc. have causes and reasons (and ways to help), but that's different from long-term memory. If she can't sound out, that was working memory and visual issues in my dd. But if she doesn't remember the word, even after months of practice reading a flashcard of it, that's a bigger issue. At that point she should have been able to get it into her long-term memory, at least in some fashion, which to me means the visual isn't kicking in for her.

-You're assuming the only way to learn to read well as a dyslexic is to sound out words. My dd couldn't sound out words till VT, but thanks to the flashcard methodology of SWR she could read quite well. In fact, I'd go so far as to say that my dd, with the dysl. and working memory issues, has consistently read BETTER than kids taught via sounding out. Sounding out is NOT the only way to go. I'm all for understanding things. It just doesn't have to be in a traditional order.

-It's easy to begin to assume: if only she would... if only I could... Reality is she's probably not because she can't. I had such a hard time distinguishing whether my dd needed to TRY HARDER or whether there was actually an issue. I leaned toward the former too long. And it's easy to keep thinking if you, as the parent, just do this or that or find the perfect curriculum all will be well. Unfortunately, or fortunately, there are professionals who can help sort through these issues and multiply your efforts, trampolining you. There are lots of nuances I missed. I wished I had gotten help earlier. I wish someone evaluating her each year (a licensed teacher) had told me to get help earlier. Even SWB says this in her "Doing it the 2nd time" talk, that they realized they needed to be more open to professional help.

 

I don't know if you see yourself in any of that, but that's my hindsite. Getting some evaluations, starting down that path has made us feel like we're getting swept away by the Amazon River, but it has been good. We're finding out things we should have found long ago. It's way more than I could have accomplished by myself.

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I'm enjoying this thread, as I have a dyslexic 14 year old. Here's the run down:

 

Late speaker; speech issues until he was 9. Couldn't understand him until he turned 5 - almost to the day.

 

Couldn't recognize the letters of the alphabet until he was almost 7. We tried everything. Interestingly, he finally learned when a sound was attached to each.

 

Slow speaker; it's much better now, but for years it was almost painful. Word retrievel was poor.

 

Went to ps and learned only sight words. By the time he was in 4th-5th grade, he was really struggling. He was always reading 3-4 years behind grade level. School was doing nothing to help.

 

Reading was laborious and monotone. He left out word endings and words like a, and, the. Letters were sometimes reversed, but not often.

 

Math was/is difficult. He couldn't remember basic facts; used his fingers until recently.

 

Ds was tested twice - in the school system and outside the school system. IQ was on the higher end of normal. Working memory and processing speed was extremely slow.

 

I brought him home last year and worked daily on phonograms, Webster's Speller, REWARDS, Elizabeth B's materials, Reading Horizons and probably more things. We were systematic, consistent. Within three months, he learned to read on grade level. eta: I did do other things up until that point which helped every so slightly - Reading Reflex, an AbeCeDarian tutor, sessions with SLP for auditory processing. I was grasping for anyone to help me.

 

Math is still a struggle, but now that he can read, he says he doesn't feel like a failure. :001_smile: Just recently, I asked what time it was. It was 7:53. He insisted three times that is was 7:35. Things like that will always be a struggle for him.

 

But...ds is freakishly visual-spatial. And intuitive. He's a big picture person. They are his strengths and make him an amazing person.

 

Like many other dyslexics, he must (over) learn things systematically, with lots of repetition and within context. The big picture is always a necessity in his learning.

 

So, is this a typical case of dyslexia? I don't know. I think it comes in many forms. Working memory is a huge factor, though, for my kid. Maybe his issues are bigger or different. Any thoughts would be helpful.

 

The school, by the way, said it was inattentive ADD (there are no symptoms other than at school). They said to give him meds. They offered no reading intervention. :glare:

 

Elizabeth - I have always wondered about the visual thing. I haven't yet heard of anyone who went to a specialist and was told his eyes were perfectly fine. That fact always seemed a bit curious to me, so I have never taken ds. Thoughts?

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Lisa, I'm totally with you that the VT doc doesn't, um, have much motivation to tell you your eyes are passable. ;) On the other hand, you don't go to the doc without concerns that actually sound like they could be addressed by VT. Additionally, lots of people I think with these problems have unrecognized muscle tone issues. If you're low tone, that tone issue affects they eyes. There are studies showing that 80% of people with mitochondrial disorders (all of whom have low tone as a symptom) with have opthamalogically diagnosable problems by age 20. In other words, it's not unreasonable to say many, many people would benefit from VT.

 

But that was really a rabbit trail, eh? I was connecting a lot of things. I have no clue if dyslexia appears in "pure" form, without that alphabet soup of other problems.

 

Yes, it is a wonder to me that they are able to recommend meds so patly. I really don't know how much the things that DO affect at home can be improved by therapies and without meds. I really don't know. We're walking that path ourself. We want dd to be functional, clearly, but I don't mind distraction that is actually a reflection of being a poodle (smarter end of the dog brains). Not putting lids on would be a mild example, but to us that is in the need to improve to be livable category. We're just working through the process.

 

Oh, the very first thing I thought when I read your post was that he should have been seen by a SLP. Was he? He's probably apraxic. I would do some research into PROMPT, see what kind of therapist you can find for it, and just see what they might say. He is clearly still feeling the affects of his speech issue and could use some help. I know others who talked very late, and like you say are just very reticent to speak. It's one of the things I'm most concerned about with ds. When I did my early posting on the board about this a kind lady wrote me back talking about her twin who had received speech therapy when she herself didn't (too mild, you don't need it, blah blah). She said her twin was MUCH easier at speech than she, even though the twin had started off worse. So I don't know where they could get you or what exactly he needs, but it sounds like he has an issue there.

 

And yes, after re-reading your post, I would get his eyes checked. I don't get this whole cynicism thing on the boards. I'm not even saying you are, but there is this cynicism in general to try something, discounting things even before they've TRIED it. I'm NOT saying all VT docs are alike or equally good and helpful, any more than all regular docs are. But if you get a Fellow from COVD, you might find a really good one. Nothing says you have to do therapy just because you get an EVALUATION, kwim? And if he's worth his salt, you'll learn a lot in the evaluation that will leave you convinced one way or the other.

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Karen, did you have any speech issues?

 

My ds cannot always keep track of the sounds he hears in words, and I believe this may be the root to his articulation problems. He has a terrible time spelling "with" because he hears and says "wis" - and the word "this" he hears and says "dis". He is totally perplexed by ts (like in cats). He just can't hear the stop before the s so he always writes cas (although he pronounces it correctly).

That sounds like auditory dyslexia. My 3rd dd couldn't hear the difference between short i and short e, nor could she hear both sounds in blends, so a word like bent would end up spelled bit. She would read bit correctly then crumble into a pile of goo because she knew she didn't hear it right but hand no clue how to correct it.

 

LiPS is an excellent program, that solved her problems. It works on how the mouth moves and how it feels as well as how it sounds. You probably wouldn't need the whole kit just the manual and the deck of cards. Though those two are pretty expensive. I have a 1st edition manual and it came with a templet of the mouth pictures so I could make my own deck (the first edition didn't come with a deck). I just don't know if the current edition still has it.

 

Heather

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Dyslexia manifests itself differently in each child. Having processing issues may look like a memory problem. My daughter, 12 years old, still has trouble remembering her subtraction facts but knows her addition, multiplication and division facts. I know after she went to a school that uses the Orton-Gillingham method her spelling and reading improved immensely.

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I will disagree with many of the posters here --memory definitely factors into the equation of dyslexia. The very area you asked about is often where parents first begin to really take notice and suspect that something is amiss. . .and then start to ask questions.

 

So, you are wise to start asking, but oh my, I know I would be overwhelmed reading and sorting through all the opinions you've gotten if I were just stepping into the "asking questions" stage!

 

There are many myths and misconceptions about dyslexia -- some you will find in this thread as well ;) so be sure to give yourself time to absorb it all and follow-up with a little personal research on the research-based support behind the information shared.

 

Likewise, some of the definitions and divisions of dyslexia offered are not universally accepted or agreed upon by the experts in the field, so again, a little follow-up would be insightful.

 

Dyslexia is best defined as a language processing disorder - included in that is memory, processing, retrevial. . .as well as other components of the "language processing" areas (reading being the most obvious, but also writing, listening and speaking can be and are often impacted as well.)

 

For some kids the symptoms are less complicated, for some the symptoms are quite complicated. Not all dyslexic individuals possess the same strengths and weaknesses. (i.e. not all have a photographic memory, ability to see things in 3-D, or excel in math)

 

There is a great yahoo support network, where you can find countless files of information for your reading pleasure :)

 

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/HeartofReading/

 

And you may also want to visit this website for current and research supported information. (Of course, be sure to watch the free on-line presentations by Susan Barton there as well!)

 

http://www.dys-add.com/

 

Could it be dyslexia?

http://www.webcastgroup.com/client/start.asp?wid=0670111073056&auto=true

Dyslexia: Symptoms and Solutions (excellent 3-hour presentation)

http://www.webcastgroup.com/client/start.asp?wid=0680831062670&auto=true

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Just curious.

 

I feel like if my dd could remember the phonograms we have been over and over and could remember words she has sounded out and read several times, she would be reading fluently.

 

It seems like dc who learn to read early and easily, don't have a problem rememebering what they see. They need phonics to initially sound out a word then it is automatically memorized without effort.

 

Is dyslexia truly a memory problem? Or are memory problems a type of dyslexia or are memory problems caused by dyslexia?

 

My ds mostly likely has some form of dyslexia (never been tested). He has a stellar memory in many areas, long term memory, observation skills, high comprehension of materials read to him. However, he has had a booger (technical term, I know) of a time with phonics, multiplication tables (can do algebra in his head, but can't remember 7x9), reading an analog clock, and reading words in a timed setting.

 

We are in our third year of Latin and I believe that has helped him. He also can diagram a sentence easily. He has an easy time seeing patterns.

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Paula, that's interesting to me that you say he's doing well in latin. My dd did very well with memorizing the chants in latin, sucked at the vocab (even that doesn't describe how much a seive her brain was for the words), and couldn't pull the two parts together for anything. She could in theory, but when she tried to DO it, for an exercise, for whatever, it just required such blood and sweat. You could see the smoke coming from the cogs! Same deal with piano, where she could read the notes and tell you the names or play the keys when you told her. But to READ the notes and strike the keys, no dice. She essentially memorized everything, couldn't read the music.

 

It has irked me that I haven't found ways to help her over those humps. We haven't reapproached it since VT. I don't know if that was the issue or if it was a bilaterality thing or what. And we're not talking one-time tries on any of those things. So is there something special you did? Maybe we should revisit? I'd LOVE to be able to do an inflected language with her or help her play the piano, mercy.

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Tabrett, I keep rereading this thread as it gets updated, and I think it's because, unlike most, it really provokes some strong emotions in me. You have so many assumptions going on here, and you're at a stage many of us were at years ago.

 

-You're assuming memory is the ONLY issue. If she's seeing things over and over and not remembering them (even in her LONG TERM memory), the issue might be her EYES. Many dyslexics benefit from vision therapy, from what I've been told. To my mind it's such a basic thing to check and eliminate. http://www.covd.org Find a fellow in COVD, get an evaluation, see what they say.

-You're not distinguishing short and long-term memory. ADD, working memory issues, etc. have causes and reasons (and ways to help), but that's different from long-term memory. If she can't sound out, that was working memory and visual issues in my dd. But if she doesn't remember the word, even after months of practice reading a flashcard of it, that's a bigger issue. At that point she should have been able to get it into her long-term memory, at least in some fashion, which to me means the visual isn't kicking in for her.

-You're assuming the only way to learn to read well as a dyslexic is to sound out words. My dd couldn't sound out words till VT, but thanks to the flashcard methodology of SWR she could read quite well. In fact, I'd go so far as to say that my dd, with the dysl. and working memory issues, has consistently read BETTER than kids taught via sounding out. Sounding out is NOT the only way to go. I'm all for understanding things. It just doesn't have to be in a traditional order.

-It's easy to begin to assume: if only she would... if only I could... Reality is she's probably not because she can't. I had such a hard time distinguishing whether my dd needed to TRY HARDER or whether there was actually an issue. I leaned toward the former too long. And it's easy to keep thinking if you, as the parent, just do this or that or find the perfect curriculum all will be well. Unfortunately, or fortunately, there are professionals who can help sort through these issues and multiply your efforts, trampolining you. There are lots of nuances I missed. I wished I had gotten help earlier. I wish someone evaluating her each year (a licensed teacher) had told me to get help earlier. Even SWB says this in her "Doing it the 2nd time" talk, that they realized they needed to be more open to professional help.

 

I don't know if you see yourself in any of that, but that's my hindsite. Getting some evaluations, starting down that path has made us feel like we're getting swept away by the Amazon River, but it has been good. We're finding out things we should have found long ago. It's way more than I could have accomplished by myself.

 

Here are my biggest problems. I did VT with my oldest dd. It did nothing! At the time we had insurance that paid for the VT. The lady who did the VT is the only person within a 100 mile radius. I had to drive 45 mins to a different state for VT. My younger dd is doing the same thing as my oldest dd, but doesn't struggle quite as much as my oldest dd. My oldest dd started reading well around 6th grade. She avidly reads fiction, but still really, really struggles with non-fiction material such as text books. She is the student that makes all A's on her school work and fails every test.

 

The other problem is that where I live dyslexia is not recognized as a "real" problem. When my oldest dd entered public school in 2nd grade, she really confused the teacher. They sent her to have her hearing tested (which I thought was a joke sense she is a prodigy in music). They keep trying all the whole language techniques to help her with not avail. I think the reason she dumbfounded her teachers is because she had a strong background in phonics which allowed read at level but she still really struggled in the rest of her studies. If she had not had a good phonic foundation before entering public school, she would have probably not have been able to read at grade level and would have qualified for special programs.

 

I don't want this to happen to my younger dd. I want her to enjoy reading before 10/11 years old. I want her to read for pleasure. I feel like my older dd missed so many good books when at the elementary age. I know people say read to or get books on tape, but I want her and my other dc to READ for themselves.

 

I don't have money to buy expensive programs, but I can educate myself to teach her if I could find out what would work the best.

 

Her problem is visual with memory and some ADHD. Individually, each component is very mild, but the combo makes it hard. I'm sure that if I had her tested she actually reads on level, but I think that "level" is just a base line or a grade of C. A dc that doesn't have any organic problems would be reading fluently after the amount of intensive instruction that she has received. My 5yo ds is going to pass her very quickly with about 1/3 of the instruction she has had. I actually had to stop teaching him last year (when he was 4) because my dd was getting upset that he answered the questions before she did.

 

So I guess I am trying to find out the best way to make phonograms stick with a dc, without professional help (don't have the money for professional help), who has some visual issue, memory issues and is slightly ADHD. :D

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Paula, that's interesting to me that you say he's doing well in latin. My dd did very well with memorizing the chants in latin, sucked at the vocab (even that doesn't describe how much a seive her brain was for the words), and couldn't pull the two parts together for anything. She could in theory, but when she tried to DO it, for an exercise, for whatever, it just required such blood and sweat. You could see the smoke coming from the cogs! Same deal with piano, where she could read the notes and tell you the names or play the keys when you told her. But to READ the notes and strike the keys, no dice. She essentially memorized everything, couldn't read the music.

 

It has irked me that I haven't found ways to help her over those humps. We haven't reapproached it since VT. I don't know if that was the issue or if it was a bilaterality thing or what. And we're not talking one-time tries on any of those things. So is there something special you did? Maybe we should revisit? I'd LOVE to be able to do an inflected language with her or help her play the piano, mercy.

 

I don't know that I've done anything special. We've used LFC A & B and working through Latin Alive. We did most of Primer A orally, which we didn't start until 5th grade (age 11). We still do the Latin together. The other day it took us an hour to get through six sentences (it totally slips my brain what we were doing to them :001_huh:). He says Latin is easier than English. :D

 

Part of what might be helping is that he is forced to look at the end of the Latin work to conjugate/decline it. He can't simply guess based upon the beginning letters, like he has done in English.

 

We've also completed the Rewards program and are using Megawords, both of which I believe helped.

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Ah, so you're doing the latin orally. Then those little issues with spelling don't creep up. ;) I kept thinking I needed to have her write, that writing would solidify vocab. For her it didn't. And yeah, the one hour for 6 sentences, btdt, lol.

 

Tabrett, I've totally lost track of your initial symptoms, and I don't want to make it sound like I'm pushing VT. Some people don't need VT. Sometimes it's the therapist/doc who is too limited in their experience or approach to be helpful. Ours pulls in all kinds of stuff and is amazing. There are others around here who have found docs like that. I was told if you look for a Fellow with COVD, that would be a good indicator of possibly being a good one. I don't know if your dc would benefit from VT or not. It definitely sounds like your other experience wasn't good, meaning I wouldn't go back there. If you do want to pursue it, I would look in a larger radius, say within a 4 hour drive, but only plan on going say every other week. They could do double sessions with a break between on the days you're there and give you boatloads of homework in between. Sometimes they have computer software that can help fill in the gaps. Everybody's situation is so different , just keep researching and looking at your options. My dd was in 5th gr before I finally gave up on looking for curriculum options and want to therapy stuff.

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Elizabeth - I have always wondered about the visual thing. I haven't yet heard of anyone who went to a specialist and was told his eyes were perfectly fine. That fact always seemed a bit curious to me, so I have never taken ds. Thoughts?

 

Not Elizabeth, but I know what you mean. I was skeptical at first--more because there seems to be disagreement about it's efficacy/existence in the medical community (and honestly, since I already deal with my dh's Lyme disease which is also debated in the medical community, I wasn't excited about facing another debate!).

 

But if you get a Fellow from COVD, you might find a really good one. Nothing says you have to do therapy just because you get an EVALUATION, kwim? And if he's worth his salt, you'll learn a lot in the evaluation that will leave you convinced one way or the other.

 

I agree. In my son's case, they could show me and I actually SAW what his eyes were doing, for the first time, in their office. And suddenly his issues made perfect sense to me. That was the convincing issue for me, but the exam was also very thorough and they did a good job of explaining what was going on and how it affected him.

 

Also...in our case I went to an OT first because of some other issues that I thought they would work on. She happened to be very aware of vision processing issues (I guess that's not necessarily true of OT's) and she first saw the issue there. She had no motivation for referring us to other services--so that helped convince me too.

 

I hope you find out what's going on & what will help your son, but I tend to agree that at least an evaluation is in order.

 

Merry :-)

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I think he did this a couple of years ago at a Lindamood-Bell tutoring center. They worked on "tongue scraper" sounds and "popper" sounds (I think those are the terms they used). Are those in the LiPS program? I know they did Seeing Stars with him as well. This was the place that told us we should probably discontinue their therapy since he was not improving and getting more anxious.

 

I found the LiPS manual for about $70 which is still expensive! Can you tell me more about which components or activities you actually used? I wonder how much more it is than the work I already do with him. As we do our spelling, I have him break the word into its sounds, model (with exaggeration) the shape of my mouth as I say the sounds, and make sure he is making them correctly, and then prompting him ("ok so which letter say /ch/?")

 

He does frequently mix up short i and short e (although he is now self-correcting most of the time) and when he reads his misspelled word he can find the mistake most of the time when he's told it's wrong.

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No, I hadn't seen it, but now that I have I'm very glad I live in the NW where we pronounce pin and pen differently!

 

I have the Phonics G.A.M.E.S. for grades K-3 which was quite an investment between buying the books, laminating & cutting the pieces, but now I have dozens of games that reinforce phonics concepts. I know there are many that cover the short vowel sounds so this is a good reminder to pull them back out and keep practicing.

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