# Help With Dyslexic's 5 Year Old Number Recognition

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I have been working very hard with my son on his alphabet and he can pretty consistently recognize all the letters and their sounds now. He is still way behind on his numbers though. He still cannot get 1-10 down and his school is working on 1-100 for year end. (I seriously doubt he'll get there but I am hoping to at least get him to 30.)

He understands the concept of addition and can count out loud to 50-60 - sometimes even to 100 with a little prompting. It's just looking at the numbers (or number words) and recognizing them that is the problem. (He is supposed to know number words 1-12 and be able to recognize numbers 1-100 by year end)

I am very new to all this and would appreciate any games, ideas, workbooks, etc you could recommend to help us. We are doing flash cards but he gets so bored with those. I am also going to have him make the numbers in play doh and in sand but any other suggestions would be greatly appreciated! He is a very kinesthetic and active learner - the more movement the better! THANK YOU!! :001_smile:

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I can give a couple of suggestions.

Try having him clap out or do jumping jacks for numbers. Ex. Show him 3, have him do 3 claps.

Have him put out of order flash card numbers in order 1-20.

Take a step for each number, walking a line with each number.

Have him draw out numbers on the counter or table using his finger.

Counting to 100, each day, have him count fun items that he places in a bowl/bucket as they are counted.

Make up a number (later number words) bingo game using MMs as markers, eat at the end of the game.

Sandpaper numbers.

Use blocks, crayons, popcorn, anything as counters.

I wouldn't worry so much about him being able to read number words at this point. Just keep working with him. Hope this helps and best wishes!

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THANK YOU so much! This is perfect! Just printed out your response! :001_smile:

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If your child is also having trouble with letter recognition, use dot patterns for letter and number reversals. I am surprised that your son can count to 60 but can't recognize numbers. My son couldn't count nor recognize the numbers but when he did manage to count to 30, he reached 100 the next day as he finally understood the system of numbers.

Linda.

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Vision therapy has helped us a LOT this year with number and letter reversals. One thing we do with letter my work with numbers. We have printed pages in page protectors and have nonsense words. My daughter has to find and circle the lower case letters in alphabetical order among the words. We time it.

You may try mixing numbers among groups and let him find them in order. We also did a lot of jumping on letters and numbers, used post-it notes around the house for letter and number hunts, writing on a baking sheet with a finger in sugar, and some of the other things mentioned by the PP.

She also had consistent confusion with 6 and 9 so I made up a song. We would sing "6 has a circle on the bottom, 9 has a notch at the top." I still see her pause and softly sing it every onc=e in a while to remember the difference.

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Make absolutely sure that he is not simply recognizing numbers above 10, but that he thoroughly *understands* the concept of place value. The place value cards from Singapore Math helped a lot with this. RightStart math is wonderful for kids who like hands on work and games.

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Have him make the letters, numbers, words, etc out of play doh. You would roll it into a nice snake for him, and he uses a large, printed letter (off the computer) to make the snake into the number on top of the print out. Works great.:D

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I second the recommendation to get a vision evaluation. You want a developmental optometrist from http://www.covd.org If there's nothing there, then there's nothing there. If there is, then you've found it. He could have focusing, convergence, or other problems to such an extent that he can't even see the numbers correctly, hence not learning them. I remember a particular student in the K5 and 1st gr classes where I was a teacher's aide. He struggled all through K5, and finally in 1st they took him to the eye doc. Turned out the blessed child was seeing UPSIDE DOWN! So you just don't know what's going on till you get it checked, and it's a reasonable thing to eliminate.

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I can't thank you guys enough for the suggestions! These are wonderful!

TAKlinda: My son can count the numbers to 100 but he has trouble remembering which order they go in - for instance, if I give him a prompt at the beginning of each ten row, he can name that whole row (31..32...33) but when he gets to 39 then he'll often forget which number goes next. And the funny thing is he can count to 100 by 10's! I guess that just shows that he's not getting the relationship b/w the numbers.

So much to learn! Thank you again for your help with this!!! :001_smile:

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I have been working very hard with my son on his alphabet and he can pretty consistently recognize all the letters and their sounds now. He is still way behind on his numbers though. He still cannot get 1-10 down and his school is working on 1-100 for year end. (I seriously doubt he'll get there but I am hoping to at least get him to 30.)

I'd go more for understanding than being able to recognize them. I would only work on 1-10 until both number recognition and concept is down *pat*. I'm a fan of Singapore EarlyBird for kdg. (however, I think I've read they changed that up a bit). When my son was that age we would just camp out on a page until it was firm.

He understands the concept of addition and can count out loud to 50-60 - sometimes even to 100 with a little prompting. It's just looking at the numbers (or number words) and recognizing them that is the problem. (He is supposed to know number words 1-12 and be able to recognize numbers 1-100 by year end)

Counting to 100 is an auditory exercise and does not prove that they understand at all what they are doing, IMHO. I've tutored a girl since kindy and she could do all the stuff auditorally (skip count, count to 100) but had no clue what in the world any of it meant. She also had trouble with number recognition. I really dislike the ps turning math into a language/reading activity (recognize number words). Some other kids can recognize the numbers up to 100, but they have no idea what 56 really (for example).

I am very new to all this and would appreciate any games, ideas, workbooks, etc you could recommend to help us. We are doing flash cards but he gets so bored with those. I am also going to have him make the numbers in play doh and in sand but any other suggestions would be greatly appreciated! He is a very kinesthetic and active learner - the more movement the better! THANK YOU!! :001_smile:

And good for you for getting involved early to help your child. I very much agree with EKS recommendation of the Singapore place value cards, as these are so very helpful. You can make them on your computer if you don't want to buy. Also, consider some sort of memory aid for each number up to ten (someone already mentioned) as this will be your ds's strategy to pull it from memory. Mnemonics are great.

My best advice is to master each thing before moving on. The school won't be able to ensure that, but mom at home can.

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Just to clarify...he's FIVE?

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Yes, he's almost 6 - his birthday is in April. Shay (and everyone) thank you for the suggestions! I've found the Singapore Math place card holders and will be ordering those. I'm also looking at RS as a possible curriculum - for the summer and possibly next year when I may be home schooling him. You guys have helped me see that he doesn't just have trouble recognizing some of the numbers visually but that he doesn't get some of the concepts either. For example, he can count to 1-10 but if you ask him what comes before 6 or after 8 he doesn't know. So, I will definitely be working with him on the concepts!

I have hesitated on the Vision testing because he has such good eye sight - he excels at any sport, can spot things a mile away and has no trouble playing video games where there are things coming at him from every direction and he sees them all - but it sounds like I might still need to get him tested. I'm also a little nervous about some of the bad experiences people have had but I've read some of the back threads and they gave lots of info about what kind of equipment the optometrist needs to have and what to do to ensure a proper diagnosis - so thanks for that too! :001_smile:

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Why has he been diagnosed at 5 as dyslexic?

I agree with previous posters that you should have a developmental optometrist evaluate him and that you should look for one at www.covd.org.

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My ds does not have an official designation but he was tested as to the likelihood of him having it (after his teacher expressed concern that, although very bright and trying very hard, he just wasn't getting many things in school).

The test showed that he has an extremely high likelihood of having dyslexia. (And with the abysmal score he got, they said it is likely very severe.) Dyslexia runs very strong in my ex-husband's family so I knew some of the signs and saw a lot of them in my son.

I could have him officially tested and diagnosed this summer since he'll have had a full year of school under his belt but it's obvious with the things he struggles with that it's present. The reason I went ahead with the test, even though it wasn't an official diagnosis, was that I needed something to give to the school so I could request that he get tutoring now, rather than waiting.

I have not told my ds that he has dyslexia (since I don't have a definite diagnosis) but I working under the assumption that he does. I have started him working with a tutor and have begun working with him with OG methods and have seen a lot of improvement.

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My ds 6 is similar. He to excels at sports. He will be 7 in April. He was in the same place as your son last year. His gross motor is way ahead of his fine motor. It's taken a bit of time to catch up, but he is really progressing well. Play Uno, War, Fish, etc. should help a lot! Sounds like your child just needs a good extra year or more till I would even worry.

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Carolina,

Do you by chance live in a state that has a "dyslexia law?" I'm assuming from the early warning you got from the teacher that they've done some broad screening with all children and then some additional testing for those who didn't pass the screening.

When reading problems are present in the family, you just can't ignore that red flag. So, again, good for you. You sound like you have a great handle on it and will proceed. Just a bit of a warning...you may want to be skeptical of "Reading Specialists" in public schools, as many of them have been taught to teach reading via whole language/balanced literacy. So, if he is getting intervention at school ask lots of questions and hopefully it is an OG program (if you live in a state w/dyslexia law, I believe it has to be??).

Shay

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Lauren and Shay,

Thank you for the advice! I am just now getting into finding out the laws in our state. Actually my son is in a private school (in NC) and just has a wonderful and observant teacher who felt there was more going on with him than just being a slow learner.

I had him privately tested and was very blessed to find a lady in our area who has a phd in early intervention and ld's. She has been a wealth of information and recommended a tutor I should use. I asked the school to let me take him out twice a week to go to the tutor and they agreed. The other days they allow me to go to the school and pull him out during phonics and reading time so he can be taught through OG methods. This way he doesn't waste time with ineffective methods and he doesn't miss his play time after school.

It's worked amazingly well and I'm so happy with the progress he has already made. Now I'm just trying to keep the progress going with his reading and start working on his math skills. I have to go to the public school soon to see about what would happen if I enroll him next year. I will be sure to ask lots of questions about how they teach reading to the kids. I would prefer to homeschool him at least for his first grade year because I really don't feel the ps can give him the 1-1 time I can or the expertise that an experienced tutor can but my ex husband is insisting that I put him in public school. Sigh...another battle for another day! Thanks again for the info!!

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Sounds like your child just needs a good extra year or more till I would even worry.

This is why I asked about the diagnosis. There are so many things that a child might struggle with up to age 7, i.e. reversals of b/d, etc. that to just label him at age 5 seemed kind of young to me.

Yes, you absolutely are doing the right thing to take action early. I don't know what the specifics issues are but so often they are related to a need for vision therapy.

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I am replying as an early childhood specialist, and as a parent. Some of the things you are wanting him to do would/could be difficult for a child of 6 that doesn't have any learning difficulties. It may be less dyslexia and more his brain just isn't there yet - especially with the reading of words and such. I might back off some and make smaller goals and work with smaller sets of words - say 2 different words at a time then add a third until it is mastered, and so on. Just know that sometimes when new information is added, the old 'disappears' temporarily sometimes as the brain works to make new connections.

For learning numbers and predicting numbers, using a calendar and doing calendar activities like preschool or a kindergarten does would use is excellent for that. Naturally it only goes to 31 but it can help teach that pattern and help with recognition beyond 10 in a way that makes sense to kids and is part of the real world environment. You have to do it daily though. Calendar activities are also great for teaching other things like days of the week, patterns, place value, months, simple addition and subtraction, sequencing...

As a parent, I can't recommend vision therapy enough. My son showed similar signs of dyslexia at the age of your son. He qualified for OT because of handwriting issues. I had his vision checked by an optometrist and an opthamologist who told me that he had 20/20 vision. Finally, when he was 8 and was able to decribe what he was actually seeing, folks at this board pointed me to www.covd.org . After reading the signs and symptoms page I realized my son met almost every one. I found a vision therapy specialist thru that website and it absolutely changed our lives. Yes, my son had 20/20 vision. But what we also discovered was that his eyes didn't track together, his depth percetion varied according to stimulus, he had convergence issues, and more. These are so very important yet the other vision specialists had completely missed this and wrote off his descriptions as 'poor behavior'. Without addressing those other issues my son was destined to never make progress. Now that we have, he still struggles and he is still behind same age peers academically, but he is progressig like I never imagined. It took lots of work on our part, and my biggest regret is that I didn't pursue his vision sooner when I suspected that the experts were missing something.

If you visit NAEYC they will have many ideas for teaching math and numbers as well.

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Thank you so much for the input! I will definitely do the calendar thing and will schedule an appointment with a vision specialist.

I know he is kind of young to be labeling him (which is why I donâ€™t use the term dyslexia) but the signs go way beyond b/d reversals.

Until about a month ago, he could not:

rhyme at all (he still struggles with simple rhymes sometimes).

could not separate word sounds (ex: If I told him the word bathtub, then said if I take bath away what is left of the word, he could not tell me)

Did not know all the letters of the alphabet â€“ despite preschool and a half year in kindergarten (and being exposed to them at home)

If you sounded out c-a-t he couldnâ€™t tell you what the word was

Though he finally memorized his letter sounds, if I asked him what â€˜momâ€™ started with or â€˜sitâ€™, he would just as likely say â€˜kâ€™ or â€˜pâ€™ than use the right letter (and his name starts with an M)

He still has no concept of left or right â€“ nearly every morning he reaches the wrong way to grab his seatbelt.

Simple before and after problems still give him tremendous trouble and patterns are a nightmare for him.

He has trouble pronouncing certain letters (and is getting LIPS for that now)

Sight words are a real problem â€“ I have been working with him on just one for 4 months (the) and it still hasnâ€™t clicked

These are just a few of the things I noticed. I try not to stress over the diagnosis and Iâ€™m fine if he is just one who takes a little longer to grasp concepts, I just want to make sure Iâ€™m doing everything I can so that IF there is a problem, heâ€™s getting the help he needs. I guess Iâ€™m trying to take the proactive approach J

THANK YOU again for all the wonderful suggestions!

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Sight words are a real problem â€“ I have been working with him on just one for 4 months (the) and it still hasnâ€™t clicked

These are just a few of the things I noticed. I try not to stress over the diagnosis and Iâ€™m fine if he is just one who takes a little longer to grasp concepts, I just want to make sure Iâ€™m doing everything I can so that IF there is a problem, heâ€™s getting the help he needs. I guess Iâ€™m trying to take the proactive approach J

THANK YOU again for all the wonderful suggestions!

Especially for someone with dyslexic tendencies, you do not want to teach sight words. It slows down the phonics and exacerbates existing tendencies to guessing.

Here is how and why to teach all but 5 of the 220 Dolch sight words phonetically:

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Oh Elizabeth,

THANK YOU so much!! I had not run across this resource before and have been so frustrated trying to figure out how to get him to learn sight words without resorting to guessing, which is what he does now. When I tell him not to sound out the word, he'll literally just start blurting out words!

His school is big on sight words -they have a whole list of words (about 50!) they're supposed to know by the end of the year. I'm going to talk to his principal tomorrow and see if these can be relaxed somewhat and have him just learn the essentials (They want him knowing number words and color words - things that to me, could come later than kindergarten.)

Thank you again for such a great resource!

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Last year my ds also could not rhyme, break up letters to a short word, or tell me the first letter in a word! I was convinced he was dyslexic! He also has had speech issues. He has had trouble with th, s, sh, l, r, and z. He has been seeing a speech therapist for several months and improving. He also had trouble with writing. I took him to a Developmental Ped. and she noticed his hand muscles were weak. She suggested OT. We went to OT. They suggested a developmental vision specialist - found he had a slight convergence issue, but that was all. OT helped a bit, but his gross motor skills are so good he really just had fun.

I have done a ton of hand strengthening activities for awhile now. With all of it, he is truly improving! He is just on the lower end of the spectrum for catching up. He can rhyme now and break apart a short word. I have also started using exercises from a book titled Dyslexia and Dysgraphia I found at the library! His reading is slow, but steady! He needs to work harder at school work and have high repetition, whereas karate, gymnastics, and other gross motor come easy to him. My older son is the total opposite!

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THANK YOU so much!! I had not run across this resource before and have been so frustrated trying to figure out how to get him to learn sight words without resorting to guessing, which is what he does now. When I tell him not to sound out the word, he'll literally just start blurting out words!

His school is big on sight words -they have a whole list of words (about 50!) they're supposed to know by the end of the year. I'm going to talk to his principal tomorrow and see if these can be relaxed somewhat and have him just learn the essentials (They want him knowing number words and color words - things that to me, could come later than kindergarten.)

Thank you again for such a great resource!

You're welcome!

Unfortunately, almost every school is big on the sight words. And, I haven't been able to talk a single teacher out of them. I did convince a Kindergarten aide and a bunch of parents! (And this is 17 years worth of trying, BTW.)

It is really crazy. The research evidence is against it, common sense is against it, but they get it ingrained in their teacher training that they must teach the Dolch words by sight.

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Lauren, Wow your son sounds so much like mine! You guys have thoroughly convinced me - I am definitely getting his vision tested!

Elizabeth, I havent' had a talk with the principal but his teacher basically said what you did. I think I am instead going to talk to the tutor first abut how we teach him these words and see if we can change the method.

THANK YOU to everyone who posted! I know you ladies have very busy lives and I can't thank you enough for taking time to post such valuable info and helping us newbies out! I hope one day I can do the same :-)

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