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Thinking of pursuing VT--asking for help from experienced mommas!


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My eldest DD has been struggling with reading the past two years. For a long time, I've thought it was just a personality thing--she just didn't like to do hard things; she loves to be read to, but reading herself is not fun; she gives up if there is a lot of text on a page or if the word is too long.

 

But now that my middle DD is reading at the same level my eldest was just a year ago, I have started to notice some dramatic differences. Middle DD has reading stamina that Eldest DD does not. Middle DD will tackle new words without hesitation--she even knows to cover up part of the word and break it into "chunks" while Eldest "freaks out" anytime I cover up part of a word. Middle asks me where I am on a page when I am reading aloud, even long chapter books, and she likes to track with me. Eldest hates it when I put my finger under words when I am reading aloud.

 

I posted some of her issues on the K-8 board, and a few people recommended checking into VT and posting on the SN board. Yesterday, I also talked to a friend of mind who has taught elementary in public school. She said Eldest sounds a lot like a student of hers who had a vision test and had a severe astigmatism, along with other issues. So I went home and read a bunch of stuff on this board about VT and talked to my husband. He is willing to look into it, although he also thinks it is just a personality issue with her. But I"m getting to the point where I think I HAS to be something else. She is surrounded by print, loves being read to, loves listening to stories, says she loves books, but she won't pick up books on her own to read. Almost all her friends are reading chapter books, and we have tears and fights to get through a level reader. I know every kid develops differently and comparing is not good, but I can't help but compare Eldest to Middle, and it makes me realize something else is going on--I think.

 

Okay, if you have made it this far, thank you! There are two doctors in our area that are listed on the COVD website. The one who is closest graduated in 2011--is that an issue? The friend I talked to mentioned the name of a optometrist, who is supposed to be great--but his name is not on the COVD website. What should I do?

 

Also, should I contact our insurance before I make an appointment to see what they cover?

 

What do I need to know in order to go about this process intelligently? I'm feeling a little overwhelmed. I think I need a good cry, and that might help as well. Thanks for reading...

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My eldest DD has been struggling with reading the past two years. For a long time, I've thought it was just a personality thing--she just didn't like to do hard things; she loves to be read to, but reading herself is not fun; she gives up if there is a lot of text on a page or if the word is too long.

 

But now that my middle DD is reading at the same level my eldest was just a year ago, I have started to notice some dramatic differences. Middle DD has reading stamina that Eldest DD does not. Middle DD will tackle new words without hesitation--she even knows to cover up part of the word and break it into "chunks" while Eldest "freaks out" anytime I cover up part of a word. Middle asks me where I am on a page when I am reading aloud, even long chapter books, and she likes to track with me. Eldest hates it when I put my finger under words when I am reading aloud.

 

I posted some of her issues on the K-8 board, and a few people recommended checking into VT and posting on the SN board. Yesterday, I also talked to a friend of mind who has taught elementary in public school. She said Eldest sounds a lot like a student of hers who had a vision test and had a severe astigmatism, along with other issues. So I went home and read a bunch of stuff on this board about VT and talked to my husband. He is willing to look into it, although he also thinks it is just a personality issue with her. But I"m getting to the point where I think I HAS to be something else. She is surrounded by print, loves being read to, loves listening to stories, says she loves books, but she won't pick up books on her own to read. Almost all her friends are reading chapter books, and we have tears and fights to get through a level reader. I know every kid develops differently and comparing is not good, but I can't help but compare Eldest to Middle, and it makes me realize something else is going on--I think.

 

Okay, if you have made it this far, thank you! There are two doctors in our area that are listed on the COVD website. The one who is closest graduated in 2011--is that an issue? Our local COVD was most responsive and easier to work with when she first established office and was fresh from training. She was very passionate about her work. She was very hands on with my son. It was a fabulous experience. 4 years later she is not so great, not so passionate, only wants assistants to do the activities, and the experience with my second child is quite disappointing. I would love to have a second choice locally.

 

The friend I talked to mentioned the name of a optometrist, who is supposed to be great--but his name is not on the COVD website. What should I do? Call. Ask if he does vision therapy. Ask what specialized training he has, what experience he has, and so on. COVD is a fellowship they must pay membership to belong in. It may be that he has stopped paying membership fees. But it could also mean he has stopped stayiong current with techniques and such.

 

Also, should I contact our insurance before I make an appointment to see what they cover? Yes, you may need a referral as well. Not all require that. The initial evals and glasses (if needed) can be quite expensive out of pocket. The therapy sessions can be hundreds of dollars a month.

 

What do I need to know in order to go about this process intelligently? I'm feeling a little overwhelmed. I think I need a good cry, and that might help as well. Thanks for reading...

You just take the process one step at a time, one day at a time.

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I would call both practices. I would specifically ask what testing is done, and what a typical course of treatment is. I would ask specifically if they test for and treat visual processing issues, because some don't, and therefore only do half the job when visual processing is a major problem. I would also want to find out specifically which type of therapy they do:

 

1. In office once per week, working with a therapist 1:1, using few machines, and lots of homework between visits

 

or

 

2. In office two or more times per week, most therapy is with a machine of some kind, with little or no homework between sessions.

 

Any doctor who does number 2 type therapy or does not treat visual processing issues, I would avoid, even if it means driving much further to find a doctor who does number 1 type therapy and treats visual processing issues. Also any doctor who makes claims about general academic improvements from VT, I would be very skeptical of.

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My eldest DD has been struggling with reading the past two years. For a long time, I've thought it was just a personality thing--she just didn't like to do hard things; she loves to be read to, but reading herself is not fun; she gives up if there is a lot of text on a page or if the word is too long.

 

But now that my middle DD is reading at the same level my eldest was just a year ago, I have started to notice some dramatic differences. Middle DD has reading stamina that Eldest DD does not. Middle DD will tackle new words without hesitation--she even knows to cover up part of the word and break it into "chunks" while Eldest "freaks out" anytime I cover up part of a word. Middle asks me where I am on a page when I am reading aloud, even long chapter books, and she likes to track with me. Eldest hates it when I put my finger under words when I am reading aloud.

 

...

 

What you describe here is would be a typical reaction of a child with dyslexia. I would have her tested for this first, because if she is dyslexic, no amount of vision therapy is going to change that. (Although she could have two separate issues going on.)

 

Check out the videos/information on this link:

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

 

See if your daughter has the symptoms, and if she does, either start tutoring her with an orton-gillingham based program, like Barton Reading & Spelling (you can do it or you can hire someone), or have her tested (there are links to testers on the website) for dyslexia.

 

I would do this first, as opposed to doing VT first. Statistically, her chances of having dyslexia are higher (up to 20% of the pop. has it) than having a vision issue. And, some of the V/T exercises can further ingrain the bad habits of dyslexia, like reading/spelling based on the shape of the word. If she still isn't making progress, then get her vision checked.

 

Good luck!

Carolyn

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What you describe here is would be a typical reaction of a child with dyslexia. I would have her tested for this first, because if she is dyslexic, no amount of vision therapy is going to change that. (Although she could have two separate issues going on.)

 

Check out the videos/information on this link:

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

 

See if your daughter has the symptoms, and if she does, either start tutoring her with an orton-gillingham based program, like Barton Reading & Spelling (you can do it or you can hire someone), or have her tested (there are links to testers on the website) for dyslexia.

 

I would do this first, as opposed to doing VT first. Statistically, her chances of having dyslexia are higher (up to 20% of the pop. has it) than having a vision issue. And, some of the V/T exercises can further ingrain the bad habits of dyslexia, like reading/spelling based on the shape of the word. If she still isn't making progress, then get her vision checked.

 

Good luck!

Carolyn

 

We've been using Phonics Road, which is a spin-off of Spalding, which is a spin-off of O-G. I will pursue both possibilities and keep praying! Thanks for everyone's input so far!

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I would also be looking into reading programs like Barton or working with an Orton-Gillingham/ Wilson/ Slingerland tutor.
What you describe here is would be a typical reaction of a child with dyslexia. I would have her tested for this first, because if she is dyslexic, no amount of vision therapy is going to change that. (Although she could have two separate issues going on.)

...

:iagree:

 

It might be her vision but the fact that she "freaks out" when part of the word is covered up and can't break words apart indicates to me that something else is likely going on. Some experts estimate that dyslexia affects an estimated 15-20% of the population. It comes in various degrees and it can co-exist along with vision issues. VT won't cure dyslexia.

 

Whatever else you decide to do, also out seek information on reading remediation using Orton-Gillingham methods.

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We've been using Phonics Road, which is a spin-off of Spalding, which is a spin-off of O-G. I will pursue both possibilities and keep praying! Thanks for everyone's input so far!

I just saw this after I posted.

 

The spin off methods might not be strong enough for someone with more severe dyslexia--especially if there are underlying phonemic awareness issues that haven't yet been addressed. Check out the screen on Barton to see if she even has the ability to start with what Barton does for phonemic awareness on level one of their program. My son couldn't pass that screen which explained why one o-g spin off didn't work since he really didn't even recognize individual sounds in words. He "heard" words whole and confused some similar sounds and until we remediated that, he had a tremendously difficult time with reading.

http://bartonreading.com/students_long.html#screen

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What you describe here is would be a typical reaction of a child with dyslexia. I would have her tested for this first, because if she is dyslexic, no amount of vision therapy is going to change that. (Although she could have two separate issues going on.)

 

Check out the videos/information on this link:

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

 

See if your daughter has the symptoms, and if she does, either start tutoring her with an orton-gillingham based program, like Barton Reading & Spelling (you can do it or you can hire someone), or have her tested (there are links to testers on the website) for dyslexia.

 

I would do this first, as opposed to doing VT first. Statistically, her chances of having dyslexia are higher (up to 20% of the pop. has it) than having a vision issue. And, some of the V/T exercises can further ingrain the bad habits of dyslexia, like reading/spelling based on the shape of the word. If she still isn't making progress, then get her vision checked.

 

Good luck!

Carolyn

 

Can you explain what you're thinking of? See I can't think of anything we did in our 6 months of VT that would remotely connect to that. They do VT all the time with kids who can't read. They're working on eye function and developing proper eye function (tracking, focusing, depth perception, convergence, etc.). VT isn't for teaching reading and it won't mess up someone's reading.

 

If you do OG and the dc has a visual memory problem, all you're doing is building on a weak foundation. If you get the VT eval first and do therapy first, all you're doing is correcting the foundation so the tutoring can WORK. We did years and years of SWR before VT and had to go back and RE-DO it, because it had never really sunk in. It was like all that work BEFORE her VT wasn't processing correctly, because DUH it wasn't.

 

If it's dyslexia, it will still be there after VT. She doesn't need to be afraid to get the dc's eyes checked.

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:iagree:

 

It might be her vision but the fact that she "freaks out" when part of the word is covered up and can't break words apart indicates to me that something else is likely going on. Some experts estimate that dyslexia affects an estimated 15-20% of the population. It comes in various degrees and it can co-exist along with vision issues. VT won't cure dyslexia.

 

Whatever else you decide to do, also out seek information on reading remediation using Orton-Gillingham methods.

 

Bingo. :iagree: Sorry, but you've probably got more than one thing going on. I would get her eyes checked, simply because EVERYONE should have their eyes checked. I had my 3 yo checked. Absolutely she could have something going on. Could be astigmatism, could be an issue needing glasses or therapy. It's silly NOT to get her eyes checked.

 

It costs $60 for a regular exam with a developmental optometrist in our area. That's not the developmental exam, just a regular one. However if you do that regular exam with a developmental optometrist, they *screen* for the extra things. Then you can decide together if a longer developmental vision exam is warranted. That, in our area, runs $250. But don't freak out. Docs sometimes have sliding scales, payment plans, etc. Take things one step at a time. Start with just a plain old vision exam but do it with a GOOD developmental optometrist.

 

So NO I would not go to a doc who is not with COVD. I base that on what I've watched locally with subpar and screwy results from a doc who is not a dev. optometrist but an opthamologist who does VT. The feedback I hear is really screwy. People like her, but they say that while lamenting the continued problems. :( If you go to a developmental optometrist with COVD, they will sometimes also have a certified therapist. When you evaluate a potential doc, ask questions like that. I'm really mixed on what to say about the newbie doc. Get some feedback. Go see his place. See if he's actually doing a lot of VT. Find out who does the therapy there. Just ask a lot of questions. It's really a crap shoot in that case. You could turn out to just need glasses and/or have some convergence issues. In a case like that, any dev. optom. might be fine. If there's something more complicated or unusual, *I* would want a more experienced doc. That's why some of the docs on the COVD list are marked as Fellows.

 

Now I'll throw out one more thing. With what you're saying about the resistance, I'll just toss out that the person your dc interacts with will make a HUGE difference. The place we use (actually we're going back Saturday for another round, groan), has numerous therapists, but we stick with a particular one who is supreme at understanding more difficult kids. I think you know what I mean. She has the right way of talking with dd and can get out of her exactly what she needs. So you're looking for that click. A lot resides on that, because you need the engagement of the dc for VT to work.

 

I'm not saying of a certainty your dc needs VT. I would go into it and just get that regular exam, but get it with the developmental optometrist. It's what I do with my own kids and what I recommend as the most economical, sensible way to get some information. Not every kid needs that full eval or has those issues. With my ds, they checked him a year ago, found the astigmatism and found some slight issues where one parameter is weak and another is stronger and compensating it, making it a wash. They recommended no VT and waiting on glasses till he does more close-up work. So we'll go back this fall and get him his glasses as he is starting close-up work. So they're NOT going to recommend a further eval or VT if the dc doesn't need it. (hopefully, assuming you got a good, honest doctor!) They're human, but that's generally how it works.

 

Our VT doc has been doing this a lot of years. In general I would recommend finding the most experienced COVD doc you can. See what your options are and make your best decision. You coudl get the regular exam with the newbie COVD doc and see what you think of him. If he finds soemthing more complex that is out of his league, you're not locked in and can drive to a farther doc. The results of what he does will transfer just fine.

 

The 2nd thing you need to do though is start looking for a good neuropsych to get some evals. Some people use the schools, some people do private. You're definitely seeing enough indications to warrant some testing.

 

As far as interpreting parent response, well sometimes the problems are inherited from a parent and that parent's take is colored by his own experiences growing up. I'd take it all with a grain of salt and get the proper testing done.

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Can you explain what you're thinking of? See I can't think of anything we did in our 6 months of VT that would remotely connect to that. They do VT all the time with kids who can't read. They're working on eye function and developing proper eye function (tracking, focusing, depth perception, convergence, etc.). VT isn't for teaching reading and it won't mess up someone's reading.

 

If you do OG and the dc has a visual memory problem, all you're doing is building on a weak foundation. If you get the VT eval first and do therapy first, all you're doing is correcting the foundation so the tutoring can WORK. We did years and years of SWR before VT and had to go back and RE-DO it, because it had never really sunk in. It was like all that work BEFORE her VT wasn't processing correctly, because DUH it wasn't.

 

If it's dyslexia, it will still be there after VT. She doesn't need to be afraid to get the dc's eyes checked.

 

Clearly some kids can have both dyslexia and a vision issue. I would GUESS (and I don't know this for sure) that most kids will have only dyslexia, while a smaller percentage will have both dyslexia and the vision problem. Do you know what percentage of the population has vision issues that need V/T? I do know that up to 20 % of the pop has dyslexia.

 

Many, many children with dyslexia have a poor visual memory. They read a word on one page and can't recognize it on the next. O-G programs do address this. You are right that you need a good visual memory to be able to read -- because of sight words. Barton goes through a very long, incredibly multi-sensory procedure on how to visually memorize sight words, which account for 15% of our English language (if taught the O-G way -- some programs will teach more like 40% of words through memorization instead of decoding). So that issue is being addressed.

 

Can you work on it through v/t? Of course. But if it's visual memory that's the issue, it will be address in an O-G program. What if it's reversals? That's also addressed, very effectively. So that addresses two common problems that v/t addresses -- visual memory and reversals.

 

There are obviously other skills that v/t helps with, and individual children MAY benefit from doing v/t first, but looking at the population as a whole, my guess is more kids will get the help they need faster if they simply cut to the chase and do the O-G program first. But I admit that there will be some that need the v/t first.

 

I had to laugh to myself when I wrote my first post, OhElizabeth, because I know you are a staunch believer in v/t, and I knew you'd probably call me out on my recommendation. :001_smile: I really respect your opinion, and your kids are lucky to have you. I know v/t was extremely helpful in your family.

 

In my case, I've done v/t with two of my kiddos, and O-G. We worked hard for 45 min. a day for many months, and it didn't help their reading and spelling one bit. Our therapist actually had a very elaborate exercise where my son was supposed to use a ball hanging from the ceiling that he would swing follow with his eyes and say the letters of his spelling words while I would slowly erase one by one off a chalkboard. But we would outline the word first, so that the outline would help him remember how to spell the word. After I've learned and been trainined in O-G programs, I realized this is simply reinforcing the dyslexic's strategy of spelling/reading words based on shape. Additionally, one v/t had a computer program that was to improve tracking. My child was to read a story as fast as possible, one line at a time on it. Once I realized what it was, we stopped, as it was totally reinforcing the guessing strategies that I was so desperately trying to stop. These are just a couple of examples of exercises that are problematic for dyslexics. They were from two different docs, by the way.

 

By the way, is SWR a TRUE O-G program, or one of the spin-offs?

 

Hope this helps clarify my position. I do agree that in some cases v/t would be helpful first, but again, my educated guess (since I don't know the % of kiddos that truly need v/t) is that more kids just need O-G.

 

Carolyn

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I would also be looking into reading programs like Barton or working with an Orton-Gillingham/ Wilson/ Slingerland tutor.

 

You have already received a lot of good advice, but I just wanted to add my 2 cents.

 

We did VT, and it helped, a little.

We started Barton, and it helped, a lot.

 

I wish I would have put the money into a great phonics instruction program first, rather than waiting to see what the results of VT would be and working with an okay OG inspired program. There is nothing wrong with trying VT, but please don't allow it to be the only approach you take to addressing your child's reading issues. True Orton-Gillingham methods are DESIGNED for kids who struggle.

 

So, in a nutshell, if could go back in time and I had to pick between spending gobs of money on VT or gobs of money on an OG curriculum/tutor, I would choose OG.

 

ETA: Again, just my 2 cents, but FWIW our most comprehensive eye screening was done by a pediatric opthamologist, not the COVD developmental optometrist. Here is more info about the difference between the two - basically an opthamologist is an MD and works with more complex issues, whereas a optometrist does not. As a bonus, the opthamologist was covered by our insurance, but the complete VT screening was not.

 

Good luck as you navigate these tricky waters - you know what is best for your kiddo, so trust your instinct.

Edited by LibertyH
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Just wanted to also add that all kids should be regularly screened for hearing/vision. I'm singling out vision therapy as separate from a regular eye exam.

 

Also, if the child clearly has tracking problems (that presents differently than the OP description), than v/t may be the first-line approach...

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In my case, I've done v/t with two of my kiddos, and O-G. We worked hard for 45 min. a day for many months, and it didn't help their reading and spelling one bit. Our therapist actually had a very elaborate exercise where my son was supposed to use a ball hanging from the ceiling that he would swing follow with his eyes and say the letters of his spelling words while I would slowly erase one by one off a chalkboard. But we would outline the word first, so that the outline would help him remember how to spell the word. After I've learned and been trainined in O-G programs, I realized this is simply reinforcing the dyslexic's strategy of spelling/reading words based on shape. Additionally, one v/t had a computer program that was to improve tracking. My child was to read a story as fast as possible, one line at a time on it. Once I realized what it was, we stopped, as it was totally reinforcing the guessing strategies that I was so desperately trying to stop. These are just a couple of examples of exercises that are problematic for dyslexics. They were from two different docs, by the way.

 

Hi Carolyn, I'm going to break this into pieces. About your VT experience. That's NOTHING like what we did, and I absolutely concur that I would be HORRIFIED to have that happening. I don't expect my eye doctor to tutor my kid in reading, and I don't expect my reading specialist to correct vision problems (convergence, focusing, etc.). What you did is nothing like what we did. Our place stuck with actual vision and visual processing. It sounds like you got someone who decided they could merge techniques and create something. Our place has docs who write for textbooks and certified COVD therapists. It was nothing like that. They use objects and games and work through exercises. There is some computer use, but it never involves forced reading. It's more isolated skills like converging pictures of clowns over and over while wearing different types of lenses.

Edited by OhElizabeth
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Many, many children with dyslexia have a poor visual memory. They read a word on one page and can't recognize it on the next. O-G programs do address this. You are right that you need a good visual memory to be able to read -- because of sight words. Barton goes through a very long, incredibly multi-sensory procedure on how to visually memorize sight words, which account for 15% of our English language (if taught the O-G way -- some programs will teach more like 40% of words through memorization instead of decoding). So that issue is being addressed.

 

Can you work on it through v/t? Of course. But if it's visual memory that's the issue, it will be address in an O-G program. What if it's reversals? That's also addressed, very effectively. So that addresses two common problems that v/t addresses -- visual memory and reversals.

 

There are obviously other skills that v/t helps with, and individual children MAY benefit from doing v/t first, but looking at the population as a whole, my guess is more kids will get the help they need faster if they simply cut to the chase and do the O-G program first. But I admit that there will be some that need the v/t first.

 

 

You had a whole bunch of things here, hehe.

 

First, you have a big leap here, because you've already started talking about the op's dc as if she has dyslexia. Might be nice to back up on that. It's a possibility, but I could think of at least 3 more labels to get her to the same place. I'd just toss 'em all out and let a professional evaluate the dc and sort it out.

 

As far as visual memory, I think you have to back up and remember that you could have a lot of paths to get to a similar place. There are also degrees. If my dc had convergence problems and visual memory problems, does that mean ALL dc with visual memory problems have convergence problems? Of course not. But conversely, if vision development (convergence, focusing, depth perception, etc.) *is* behind the visual processing symptoms someone sees (visual memory, closure, etc. etc) then you can't POSSIBLY insist a dc can do Barton and have that come together. It totally depends on how they got there.

 

Also, you don't actually have to have a good visual memory to read, just in case we'd like to quibble, lol. My dd, when tested, had the visual memory of a 2 yo. That was at age 10-11. That same year she was testing 9th plus grade level in reading. She just happens to be incredibly smart, reason well from context, and have a memory of language locked in her head from years of audiobooks and read alouds. But that's just quibbling. :D

 

SWR gets the % of non-phonetic words down even lower and presents almost no words as sight words. (at least in the early years, as I remember) That's just for your trivia.

 

Oh, you mentioned reversals. Again, it would be really helpful to the parent to know whether the reversals reflect a larger developmental vision problem. My dd did sculpting when she was young (began at age 5, did it quite a bit), and I credit that with turning around her reversals. I'm all the way with you that there are multiple ways to work on that.

 

However you went on to say that those were the two common reasons (or not "the" two common reasons but just two common reasons) to seek out VT, and I would say this is incorrect. When a COVD doc is recommending VT, he's hopefully seeing actual physical justification for it, something he can quantify and say yes this is happening. The eyes are not converging to appropriate standards, they can't cycle adequately for focus, lack of true depth perception, etc. etc. I've noticed on the boards that the people come in unhappy about their experience are the ones who got treated for something non-specific or vague. Not saying that was you but just in general.

Edited by OhElizabeth
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Clearly some kids can have both dyslexia and a vision issue. I would GUESS (and I don't know this for sure) that most kids will have only dyslexia, while a smaller percentage will have both dyslexia and the vision problem. Do you know what percentage of the population has vision issues that need V/T? I do know that up to 20 % of the pop has dyslexia.

 

Considering dyslexia is no longer in the DSM and that there's discussion of it not even returning, and considering how much it overlaps with other diagnoses, I'm not sure how this could possibly be the case. Just because some website or organization puts it up doesn't mean it's true. The websites can list all the "dyslexia" symptoms they want, but the fact is the neuropsych doesn't give a FLYING FIG about what they think. The only thing he's looking at is the DSM and the criteria. It says reading disorder and mentions nothing about reversals or anything else.

 

We had all those symptoms, remediated a lot, and got others up just enough that she doesn't get a reading disorder label, despite a large gap in her CTOPP and comprehension scores.

 

That's nothing personal btw. It's just a curiousity I watch as people try to sort through this. I finally gave up on the labels, because they're so imperfect. All I want to know is exactly WHAT is happening and WHY. If you dig farther and find a why and find there's something to help it, then you've gotten somewhere. If you dig and find there isn't a treatable why or that the treatment is only going to take your what so far in your case, great. But people still have to dig for the why to see if there IS a treatable explanation.

 

See on the flip side there are some docs who think an astonishing percentage of people diagnosed dyslexia are actually suffering from developmental vision problems that could be treated and improved dramatically.

 

I'm not saying all about anything. I merely suggest people get their eyes checked. $60. Get the screening for the developmental stuff. They can check convergence, focusing, etc. on a non-compliant 2 yo and they can check it easily on an older dc. $60 and they know for themselves. Then they decide. But I TOTALLY think it depends on the practitioner. I don't know why anyone would think it wouldn't. I mean, mercy, we're all super-picky about our birth experiences and knew which doctors we did or didn't and why, but somehow we go to that COVD list and complain if there are bad apple on it. Of course there are. Buyer beware, just like birther beware or anything else. I called *10* other places before I decided on the one we used. Not everyone has so many options unfortunately. Be informed, get feedback from other people, interview them first, see their place. Mainly, get feedback from other people. And whatever you do, don't pay a lot upfront or get locked into anything. No results, don't continue. Yes results, yes continue. Simple as that.

 

But me, I'm b&w.

Edited by OhElizabeth
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I think the bottom line is it sounds like this girl is struggling and needs a change or intervention of some kind.

 

Now -- this will not help if she tests in general.

 

But if she is only this way when it comes to *reading * why is this seen as a personality issue with reading? There are no comments as to her being disagreeable about every single thing ever. Only reading is mentioned.

 

This was a huge a-ha moment for me in reading the book Reading Reflex (just happened to be where I said this). They have a mom who describes her daughter as an all-around great kid except when it comes to reading, and yet doesn't think it is something besides poor effort or motivation on her daughter's part. Put that way it doesn't make sense. But it had never occurred to me before, lol.

 

My husband is a kind-of poor reader himself and I didn't know until our son started not making progress. My husband was really weird about it before my son got on a good track and started making progress. So I think maybe you need to take the lead here and not listen to your husband too much. *He* may have been told he had a bad attitude as a kid and internalized that. Or maybe not -- but it's not impossible.

 

I don't mean ignore or go over your husband's head; just to listen to your own heart and not be swayed too much by his opinion, if you have an instinct it is something more than a behavior issue. It has been touchy in our home at times -- but not too bad. And by touchy -- just awkward as my husband has felt guilty that our son inherited some difficulty in learning to read. But I am definitely respectful of my husband!

 

Also -- maybe this was just behavior modeled at the school he attended as a child. I don't remember seeing this myself -- but have read many accounts by dyslexic children who were called lazy and stupid in school. So maybe that is how he thinks you deal with kids who are struggling with reading.

 

As far as Vision Therapy vs. a different reaidng program -- I think with the information given it is hard to tell what is the best first place to start. But if someone starts with one while being aware the other may be something to explore -- I don't have a really strong opinion. For my son speech therapy and phonemic awareness training, followed by a reading curriculum designed for struggling readers who need extra amounts of explicitness, direct teaching, and repetition, have helped.

 

Without the reading program being used being bad in any way, it may just not be designed for kids who need more repetition, fewer things introduced at the same time, or extra help with phonemic awareness. But it will not be successful with a kid needing those things, or who is having issues with her eyes. A lot of good reading programs won't work for my son but they are not bad and he is not bad either.

Edited by Lecka
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Wow. Okay. Thank you for all the responses. I am a little overwhelmed, but that doesn't mean I don't appreciate your sharing your experiences.

 

I don't really know what I am dealing with, I just feel that something is wrong. I guess I will give the eye exam a try, after calling the two COVD clinics in our area and asking lots of anxious and confused questions :)

 

I've looked at the information on the Barton website, and while some of it seems like it "could" fit, it is not all resonating with me. She doesn't have any of the early warning signs, and nothing really fits until you talk about the reading section. And since we have just completed first grade, and we have used the spelling list and techniques from Phonics Road (which is basically the Spalding method packaged for homeschoolers), it is hard for me to determine if she has spelling issues. Sometimes she has trouble with sounds, but it seems more like a memory issue--the phonemic awareness?

 

The thing that resonated the most was sequencing--she understand and follows through on before, after; first, last. She taught herself to tie her shoes :) But I read this random article at the library talking about phonics instruction, and how phonics is hard for some kids developmentally because they can't hold a string of numbers (or letters) in their heads. This probably isn't making any sense, but the article said to say three random numbers to your child and see if she can say them back. Pick four new random numbers and have them repeat them. The article said that a child can usually repeat the same number of numbers as her age (so a five-year-old should be able to repeat five random numbers), and that a child needs to be able to hold 5-6 numbers in their head (this is as a "test") in order for a child to be able to tackle new words using phonics. So I tried this with both of my girls. Both could easily repeat four numbers back to me. But when I asked Elder, who will be 7 next week, to repeat five numbers, she couldn't do it. Broke down into tears almost instantly because she couldn't remember the numbers. When I tried to repeat the same sequence, it didn't matter. She was already done. When I tried to, very gently, probe as to why she couldn't do this, she said, "I can remember the first numbers, but then when you keep saying the last one, I forget all of them."

 

So I don't know if that means anything, but I am just trying to read the signs, so to speak--trying to figure out which direction to go in. What is going to actually help? I have no idea. And I know I won't know until we get some evaluations, but I'm not even sure where to start. I'm not even sure how to describe what it going on. I just feel like we keep running into this huge brick wall related to reading, where if I push and encourage just a little bit, my bright and happy little girl falls to the ground in a mass of tears. I can't blame this on personality anymore. I really don't think she would "resist" reading this long if there weren't another issue complicating things. I sense that she does want to read more, but she is afraid to fail and it is too hard to try.

 

Thanks again for letting me vent. Sorry this is so rambly. :sad:

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There are two separate areas VT can address. 1. Eye teaming - this is "mechanical stuff" like tracking, convergence, accommodation (focus changing). The exercises improve muscle response and coordination. 2. Visual processing - this part does not address a physical difference, but how the brain processes visual information. This is the part that overlaps with "dyslexia". Here is a good link about visual processing:

 

http://www.childrensvision.com/reading.htm

 

Scroll down to the "vision perception" part.

 

There is IMO a serious issue in that some COVD optometrists do not even test for visual processing problems, and do not treat them. Parents think their child completed vision therapy, when visual processing was not even addressed.

 

Dyslexia can have components of visual processing, auditory processing, both including sequential memory problems of different types, and general language issues. Our son could easily have been labeled "dyslexic", and the subtype would have been "dyseidetic dyslexia" (see link: http://dyslexia.learninginfo.org/dyseidetic.htm )

 

His was for the most part a visual processing problem, which was successfully treated with VT. But if his course of VT had not addressed visual processing, but stopped with the eye teaming portion, I would have walked away from it saying "that didn't work". And if he had also had had a dysphonetic/auditory problem, which was not separately addressed by a different therapy (and vision therapy could not ever have addressed that), I could have concluded "vision therapy didn't work".

 

VT is not a cure all for dyslexia. A COVD doctor, who tests for and treats visual processing issues in addition to eye teaming issues (which unfortunately is not all of them) can treat a visual processing problem which may be a component of a person's "dyslexia". Stopping at eye teaming work is often not going to be enough, and vision therapy can never address auditory or general language issues. Separate therapies are needed for those pieces.

 

Programs specifically for dyslexics seem to be much more focused on the auditory/phonetic part than they are on the visual part. If I suspected my child might have a visual processing issue as part of the problem, I would rather have that addressed by a doctor who has experience treating visual processing problems, and go on with the rest of the dyslexia program after that is out of the way.

 

(BTW here is a wrap-up of my experience with our son: 1 yr with an OG tutor, 2 years of VT (at same time as OG tutor), and while he was excellent at phonics, never built any reading fluency until VT addressed visual processing. Now in OT for dysgraphia. Still has some visual sequential memory issues but they are much improved and still being worked on.)

Edited by laundrycrisis
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I think you are describing "working memory." If you search that term you might find more information.

 

I have seen it talked about a little bit when reading about dyslexia but I don't know about it beyond thinking it's called "working memory" and it is something some kids have who have dyslexia.

 

But I don't know about it from any other angles -- I just read about dyslexia, lol.

 

I have seen threads on this board with "working memory" in the title so I am optimistic you can find some info and support!

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I'm not saying all about anything. I merely suggest people get their eyes checked. $60. Get the screening for the developmental stuff. They can check convergence, focusing, etc. on a non-compliant 2 yo and they can check it easily on an older dc. $60 and they know for themselves. Then they decide. But I TOTALLY think it depends on the practitioner. I don't know why anyone would think it wouldn't. I mean, mercy, we're all super-picky about our birth experiences and knew which doctors we did or didn't and why, but somehow we go to that COVD list and complain if there are bad apple on it. Of course there are. Buyer beware, just like birther beware or anything else. I called *10* other places before I decided on the one we used. Not everyone has so many options unfortunately. Be informed, get feedback from other people, interview them first, see their place. Mainly, get feedback from other people. And whatever you do, don't pay a lot upfront or get locked into anything. No results, don't continue. Yes results, yes continue. Simple as that.

 

But me, I'm b&w.

 

It would be wonderful if people could pay $60 and get a qualified, honest opinion. Unfortunately, there are many other providers out there, and it's not always easy to find a good one who is both competent and is not looking to make a quick buck by passing off the patient to one of the techs. In our case, there was only one doc within 4 hours. Since we wanted the eval, I went with her. In our case, it was a waste of thousands of dollars and a year of time. So in a perfect world, I would agree with you. But in our flawed world, I don't think it's that easy.

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Wow. Okay. Thank you for all the responses. I am a little overwhelmed, but that doesn't mean I don't appreciate your sharing your experiences.

 

I don't really know what I am dealing with, I just feel that something is wrong. ....But I read this random article at the library talking about phonics instruction, and how phonics is hard for some kids developmentally because they can't hold a string of numbers (or letters) in their heads. This probably isn't making any sense, but the article said to say three random numbers to your child and see if she can say them back. Pick four new random numbers and have them repeat them. The article said that a child can usually repeat the same number of numbers as her age (so a five-year-old should be able to repeat five random numbers), and that a child needs to be able to hold 5-6 numbers in their head (this is as a "test") in order for a child to be able to tackle new words using phonics. So I tried this with both of my girls. Both could easily repeat four numbers back to me. But when I asked Elder, who will be 7 next week, to repeat five numbers, she couldn't do it. Broke down into tears almost instantly because she couldn't remember the numbers. When I tried to repeat the same sequence, it didn't matter. She was already done. When I tried to, very gently, probe as to why she couldn't do this, she said, "I can remember the first numbers, but then when you keep saying the last one, I forget all of them."

 

So I don't know if that means anything, but I am just trying to read the signs, so to speak--trying to figure out which direction to go in. What is going to actually help? I have no idea. And I know I won't know until we get some evaluations, but I'm not even sure where to start. I'm not even sure how to describe what it going on. I just feel like we keep running into this huge brick wall related to reading, where if I push and encourage just a little bit, my bright and happy little girl falls to the ground in a mass of tears. I can't blame this on personality anymore. I really don't think she would "resist" reading this long if there weren't another issue complicating things. I sense that she does want to read more, but she is afraid to fail and it is too hard to try.

 

Thanks again for letting me vent. Sorry this is so rambly. :sad:

 

Aw, :grouphug:, I know this can be overwhelming when you first start down this path. What you wrote makes perfect sense. Believe it or not, some of us here are quite familiar with asking our children to recite back random strings of numbers and various other things.

 

Based on what you wrote here, I suggest you pursue testing by a pediatric speech and language pathologist, (also known as a speech therapist or slp) They can test for working memory issues. It can be remediated too. Old posts from a poster named "yllek" on working memory and the stuff her ds' slp did are an absolute gold mine

 

I don't know what's normal for a string of random numbers, but I do know that my son's working memory wasn't normal. Vision problems, phonological awareness problems, poor sight memory for words, poor working memory---any one of those could cause reading problems and my ds had all of them! He reads above grade level now.:)

 

It'll be okay. Follow your mommy instincts and get things checked out. Then, take it one step at a time.

Edited by merry gardens
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Wow. Okay. Thank you for all the responses. I am a little overwhelmed, but that doesn't mean I don't appreciate your sharing your experiences.

 

I don't really know what I am dealing with, I just feel that something is wrong. I guess I will give the eye exam a try, after calling the two COVD clinics in our area and asking lots of anxious and confused questions :)

 

I've looked at the information on the Barton website, and while some of it seems like it "could" fit, it is not all resonating with me. She doesn't have any of the early warning signs, and nothing really fits until you talk about the reading section. And since we have just completed first grade, and we have used the spelling list and techniques from Phonics Road (which is basically the Spalding method packaged for homeschoolers), it is hard for me to determine if she has spelling issues. Sometimes she has trouble with sounds, but it seems more like a memory issue--the phonemic awareness?

 

The thing that resonated the most was sequencing--she understand and follows through on before, after; first, last. She taught herself to tie her shoes :) But I read this random article at the library talking about phonics instruction, and how phonics is hard for some kids developmentally because they can't hold a string of numbers (or letters) in their heads. This probably isn't making any sense, but the article said to say three random numbers to your child and see if she can say them back. Pick four new random numbers and have them repeat them. The article said that a child can usually repeat the same number of numbers as her age (so a five-year-old should be able to repeat five random numbers), and that a child needs to be able to hold 5-6 numbers in their head (this is as a "test") in order for a child to be able to tackle new words using phonics. So I tried this with both of my girls. Both could easily repeat four numbers back to me. But when I asked Elder, who will be 7 next week, to repeat five numbers, she couldn't do it. Broke down into tears almost instantly because she couldn't remember the numbers. When I tried to repeat the same sequence, it didn't matter. She was already done. When I tried to, very gently, probe as to why she couldn't do this, she said, "I can remember the first numbers, but then when you keep saying the last one, I forget all of them."

 

So I don't know if that means anything, but I am just trying to read the signs, so to speak--trying to figure out which direction to go in. What is going to actually help? I have no idea. And I know I won't know until we get some evaluations, but I'm not even sure where to start. I'm not even sure how to describe what it going on. I just feel like we keep running into this huge brick wall related to reading, where if I push and encourage just a little bit, my bright and happy little girl falls to the ground in a mass of tears. I can't blame this on personality anymore. I really don't think she would "resist" reading this long if there weren't another issue complicating things. I sense that she does want to read more, but she is afraid to fail and it is too hard to try.

 

Thanks again for letting me vent. Sorry this is so rambly. :sad:

 

Yup, what you're hitting on is working memory and they test it, like you're saying, with digit spans. If you get the neuropsych eval we suggested to you, then can test for all that. They don't test for vision (still need the optometrist), but they'll test the rest. And yes, the way my dd stumbled at working memory corresponded to the way she would stumble when trying to sound out words.

 

So anyways, in addition to the vision, please go ahead and decide how you want to get further evals. If there are working memory/attention problems, there's actually stuff you can DO about that. Don't do the remedies first. Well I mean you could, but it just muddles the issues by creating splinter skills. It's going to take you a while to find the psych (through the school system or privately) and get an appointment, so in the meantime you check into the eyes. Then the psych appointment comes and you get that side figured out. My *guess* is you're looking at adhd with anxiety, but that's just a stuff'o'nothing thing. If it's a new idea for you to research, then there you go. But like the others said, there could be a number of labels. That neuropsych can sort out between attention, reading disorders, anxiety, etc. etc. Sometimes the psych will spend time with you and give you feedback on what to DO with the information. Ours spent time with us going through each subject and discussing future issues and parenting, etc., just invaluable.

 

You're right that there are several options and you just have to trust your gut on where to start with first. That starting point really just depends on your mix of what you have available, what is most pressing, etc.

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I am going to share a technique I have read about, that said it could be helpful for children who had trouble remembering the first sound in a word by the time they got to the last sound.

 

It said -- blend as you go, and make the word sounds into a chunk as you go, so the child is faced with having a chunk of sound and blending another sound to it, instead of faced with blending 4 or 5 sounds all at once.

 

So you could use a notched card, and first uncover s in a word, then uncover st, and have her go "st", then uncover r and have her go "str" and so on.

 

Then as kids are exposed more this way many will start to chunk a lot of sounds automatically, and not have to work through "s st str" every time.

 

I think this might be called progressive blending?

 

Just to say -- there are people who are familiar with it and would ideas to try!

 

I have read, too, that many adults hold 6 things at a time ---- but a "chunk" counts as one thing. So in multisyllable words with more than 6 sounds, many or most people are going to use a strategy where they recognize chunks (chunks count as "1" even if they are 3 phonemes -- "dis" would count as 1 frex).

 

So there are things to help -- much more than this, this is just an example, lol, and tutors who have worked with kids and helped them! Even apart from directly addressing working memory.

 

My son seems to be all phonological processing problems, so that is just what I have read, not from personal experience. But I did progressive blending with him and it helped him, so I like it, lol.

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I think a lot of people here know how you feel!

 

She is not broken.

 

I don't see any reason to say ADD with anxiety, either, if there are not symptoms of these things outside of reading. You know?

 

I am literal enough to just think -- okay, she needs reading techniques for someone who can store 3 sounds in her head at a time. (For now -- until working memory is addressed directly in some way.)

 

They exist -- I think I saw them in Abecedarian? I will update if I find it in a manual.

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Thank you for sharing all of your experiences with me. I appreciate the time you have all spent to share your journeys with me. Trying not to hyper-ventilate with all of the information. Feels like my little girl is broken.

 

You're going to hit a few more emotional walls before this is over. It's ok to say that and talk about it. :grouphug:

 

The nice thing is, these practitioners don't view your dc as defective or broken. They really have a knack of seeing where the kid is GOING and where she will end up. Our neuropsych put my kid back together for me and helped me see strengths I hadn't realized. The VT doc recognized the gem under the problems and helped bring it out. Ditto for the OT. So they don't see your child as broken, because they know where it's going and how some of these things can improve.

 

There's also a really good book on the topic "Dyslexic Advantage." If that one doesn't click with you, find another book (Halloway's stuff on adhd, whatever). usually these kids have some astonishing or interesting patterns of ABILITIES in addition to the problems. It's not like EVERYTHING is a mess. Ok, sometimes it feels like it is. :lol: But it's not. You'll come to the other side. :)

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Are you asking about your 6 1/2 year old?

 

If so, I just want to assure you that picking up chapter books to read for fun is not the norm at that age. :001_smile:

 

I'm not saying that you don't need to have her evaluated, but I wouldn't be rushing her all over town to every kind of specialist at this point.

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I think a lot of people here know how you feel!

 

She is not broken.

 

I don't see any reason to say ADD with anxiety, either, if there are not symptoms of these things outside of reading. You know?

 

I am literal enough to just think -- okay, she needs reading techniques for someone who can store 3 sounds in her head at a time. (For now -- until working memory is addressed directly in some way.)

 

They exist -- I think I saw them in Abecedarian? I will update if I find it in a manual.

 

Thank you! I needed that reassurance.

 

You're going to hit a few more emotional walls before this is over. It's ok to say that and talk about it. :grouphug:

 

The nice thing is, these practitioners don't view your dc as defective or broken. They really have a knack of seeing where the kid is GOING and where she will end up. Our neuropsych put my kid back together for me and helped me see strengths I hadn't realized. The VT doc recognized the gem under the problems and helped bring it out. Ditto for the OT. So they don't see your child as broken, because they know where it's going and how some of these things can improve.

 

There's also a really good book on the topic "Dyslexic Advantage." If that one doesn't click with you, find another book (Halloway's stuff on adhd, whatever). usually these kids have some astonishing or interesting patterns of ABILITIES in addition to the problems. It's not like EVERYTHING is a mess. Ok, sometimes it feels like it is. :lol: But it's not. You'll come to the other side. :)

 

And thank you for that. Right now I feel like--why have we been fighting and struggling and crying over reading for almost two years now and I'm just starting to realize that MAYBE something else is going on? Maybe something is wrong.

 

Are you asking about your 6 1/2 year old?

 

If so, I just want to assure you that picking up chapter books to read for fun is not the norm at that age. :001_smile:

 

I'm not saying that you don't need to have her evaluated, but I wouldn't be rushing her all over town to every kind of specialist at this point.

 

I think I know that, but it seems as if everyone else she knows that is her age is doing that. And she does not want to read at all. If I have read a book to her, she can read it back. But give her a new book, and it is too hard. She has a very good memory (we are in Classical Conversations, and everyone comments on how well she remembers things), BUT she can forget a word she just saw on the previous page. I have to repeat myself multiple times to get her to go put her shoes on, get dressed, etc. (Are those related issues? Is it just a maturity thing? Is she just a little spacey? These are all of the things I question.) But when I ask her to repeat a string of five numbers and she broke down and cried because she COULDN'T do it--that's when the light bulb turned on for me. Aha--there has to be something going on here. She can do four with no problem, but five numbers causes tears? And is the missing piece for her reading struggles? Is this a reason why reading causes tears?

 

She is a classic, first-born perfectionist--I know that too. She would rather not do something than get the wrong answer or risk making a mistake. We've talked endlessly about how it's okay to make mistakes, here's the mistakes I've made today, we all make mistakes, mistakes are how we learn.........but we just go around and around.

 

I used to teach English in my former life, so reading is very important to me. And because it was high school, are my expectations too high? am I not giving her a chance to mature and develop in her own way? She'll be seven next week, but she's only lost one tooth. She doesn't ride a two wheeler yet without training wheels. In so many ways she seems on track, but there are funny little things that point to immaturity. (Does loosing a tooth have anything to do with maturity?)....now I know I'm just rambling :)

 

I just wanted to say thank you again for helping me begin to walk through this and encouraging me. I feel like I was just shoved into a maze with no flashlight and no way of knowing how to get out. Your words have kept me from going into complete and utter panic.

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Yes, do not panic! :D

 

I used to teach first grade and only one or two kids came in reading chapter books at the beginning of the year. The kids ranged from reading about a 4th grade level to not reading at all (and I mean AT ALL - not knowing their letter sounds or anything). That was the norm.

 

Learning to read takes time and it is hard. Again, I don't know much about your specific situation, but most kids take awhile to learn to read well (without effort).

 

This board is a treasure trove of information on a lot of things. Don't get too overwhelmed! I think people are sharing a lot of possibilities because they know a lot. It doesn't mean that all (or even most) of these apply to you, but they are all things everyone should be watching for in general.

 

Hang in there!

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I just wanted to add some ideas that might help your dd get in the habit of picking up books to read for fun:

 

- Have lots of fun, interesting books available with fronts facing out (such as in a bin or basket).

 

- Go to the library or bookstore and let her pick a few books.

 

- Have books available that are easy for her (keep in mind that a child's independent reading level is lower than their "instructional" level they may read with you during school time).

 

- Find books with interesting pictures. Even is she is just paging through and looking at pictures it starts the habit of picking up a book for fun.

 

- Don't pressure her too much / make reading a chore. Don't make it a huge deal if she reads on her own time or not. Even praise can sometimes scare kids off. When I first found ds reading a chapter book on his own time, I had to whisper to dh so we could secretly cheer. If I had said something to ds, it may have scared him off. :lol:

 

- Have lots of down time with no tv/computer/etc. available (basically make it kind of boring so looking at a book is more interesting than staring at the wall). ;)

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OP, our second son is 6.5 and still only in the short-vowel Bob books. However I am not panicked, and here is why - I see that when he decides to make progress in reading, he easily makes progress, and he is building fluency very well as we go along. I can tell he is not going to have a problem with reading when he gets going once he is ready. He is also trying to write words, spelling phonetically, and interested in how words are spelled. He's going to be fine. I can tell by contrasting him to our first son....

 

who at seven, struggled through the entire set of Bob books, becoming very good at decoding phonics, but never built any fluency (recognizing quickly without decoding) at all, not even for the same easy word on the same page - he would decode easy words like "it", "and", and "sat" over and over and over again. Who did not understand spelling and that once you knew how to spell "dog", that was how "dog" would always be spelled. Who given a blank sheet of paper and asked to write a letter from memory, could not recall the shape in his head, ever. Who could not fill in the missing letter from "ca_" with a picture clue of a cat, because "ca_" made no sense at all to him and seeing the picture didn't help him think of the written word. There were no voluntary attempts at reading and writing and spellling, ever. And the fluency problem was showing up in math too, and in being able to remember things like our address or even city and state. Like there was a hole in his memory and everything was brand new each time he learned it again.

 

I just wanted to give you an idea of what situation prompted me to get help. It wasn't where he was compared to other kids his age, but how he was progressing when he tried. Pay attention to your instincts and if you are concerned that there might be a problem, watch it carefully and get help if you feel it's needed. But I would not go with just simple age peer comparisons - look at how bumpy or smooth your child's road is.

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If it appears that your dd is having struggles with working memory (not holding digit spans), then frankly I would spend the money on evals by a neuropsych before I did vision therapy (and I have done both along with hiring a tutor for my dyslexic son). Ultimately, I think a neuropsych will give you the most answers, and, frankly, from what I see on this board, most folks eventually do end up there (after alternative therapies and evals from other professionals). Why not just start there?

 

As far as broken, I think we all feel some sense of grief in discovering that our child doesn't fit within the typical bell curve. However, after all the years of hard work with my own dyslexic son, I can tell you that I see some incredibly profound gifts that are a direct result of how his brain works.

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If it appears that your dd is having struggles with working memory (not holding digit spans), then frankly I would spend the money on evals by a neuropsych before I did vision therapy (and I have done both along with hiring a tutor for my dyslexic son). Ultimately, I think a neuropsych will give you the most answers, and, frankly, from what I see on this board, most folks eventually do end up there (after alternative therapies and evals from other professionals). Why not just start there?

 

 

Someone mentioned going through the school district or privately to see a neuropsych. What are the pros/cons of each? Is there any benefit of going through the school district if we are homeschooling and have always homeschooled and have planned to always homeschool? Where do I start to look for one? (And how do I know if they are "good"?) Is this something insurance covers? Do I need a doc referral?

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http://www.amazon.com/Parenting-Struggling-Reader-Susan-Hall/dp/0767907760/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1340374565&sr=8-1&keywords=parenting+a+struggling+reader#_

 

This book is available at our library and has a chapter about testing.

 

My son has had a mix of school services (speech and OT) and referrals from the pediatrician (speech) and optometrist (we got a referral to a developmental optometrist who was not COVD -- but I talked to the insurance lady ahead, and we could have had a visit to a COVD partly covered if we did it INSTEAD of a yearly visit to his assigned optometrist). My husband is in the Army though and our insurance is through them and I think not just like everyone else's.

Edited by Lecka
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Someone mentioned going through the school district or privately to see a neuropsych. What are the pros/cons of each? Is there any benefit of going through the school district if we are homeschooling and have always homeschooled and have planned to always homeschool? Where do I start to look for one? (And how do I know if they are "good"?) Is this something insurance covers? Do I need a doc referral?

 

I have always been told that for a SNs child, you need a paper trail for later, when they take college entrance exams. The testing from ps school is fine for IEPs and 504s and paper trail markers, but it is not diagnostic in nature or particularly thorough. The NP report is diagnostic, thorough, and required by a majority of universities for college classroom accommodations. If your DD is dyslexic, the NP report will allow her access to audio books. I'm not doing this topic justice, so check out the book The Dyslexic Advantage by the Eides.

 

My own child was diagnosed dyslexic first by a local Scottish Rite Learning Center and for free. In fact, their services are free to everyone. (Google Scottish Rite and see if one is in your area or nearby). Six months later, we hired a NP and received a report alongside a diagnosis of dysgraphia and dyscalculia. As the testing included an ADHD study, the mental health portion of insurance paid 60%.

 

Fast forward 4 years, and DS was assessed by a VT at a cost of around $100. VT referred us to an OT and now DS is working with an OT.

 

A couple of words about vision...Repeatedly I mentioned my son's LDs to the optometrist. I recently learned that DS has esophoria, a binocular vision problem, and I learned by asking directly. The eye guy FAILED TO MENTION IT, had tested his eyes yearly, and was over correcting my son's vision. It would have seriously helped if the Doc had mentioned the eye thing 4 years ago.

 

I'm convinced that these kiddos require all the testing. I recommend you start with Scottish Rite and see if they can test. Call a COVD fellow and get a thorough eye tracking test. Once these screenings are completed, punt from there. Ultimately, an NP report may be required. This is a busy time of year for NP testing, so acquiring an appointment may take some time.

 

In the mean time, consider audio books and upping the read alouds. Also, consider hiring an O-G tutor to get the reading remediation started. Good luck...

Edited by Heathermomster
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Someone mentioned going through the school district or privately to see a neuropsych. What are the pros/cons of each? Is there any benefit of going through the school district if we are homeschooling and have always homeschooled and have planned to always homeschool? Where do I start to look for one? (And how do I know if they are "good"?) Is this something insurance covers? Do I need a doc referral?

 

I may say something controversial but I would start with the school district because they can administer the tests that you would need to see to determine what is going on. If after the tests are administered you could always schedule an appoint with a neuropsych to discuss, and discuss diagnosis. Here are the reasons I suggest this:

1) Going through the school is free

2) You can ask for a WISC-IV, a CTOPP, WIAT-III (a Woodcock-Johnson or another type of achievement test) and a CEF ( I think that is the name...it is one done by an SLP to look at expressive/ receptive language). These are the exact same tests that would be done by a np.

3) With results of those tests in hand you should be able to sort out which professionals to bring into the picture (if there are indeed expressive/ receptive language issues, you would look for an SLP; if you see low scores on CTOPP you begin to remediate for dyslexia)

4) The school can not diagnose. Usually when they administer those tests it is for services....if you want services through the school district that is another thread to ask for opinions from others

5) You can always take the battery of tests results and have a neuropsych review them with you (at a reduced cost or perhaps the neuropsych would suggest testing, etc....but at least you would have some sort of starting point)

 

I know that others may disagree with me on this strategy-- those have had aberrant testing results through the school, or who have been misled by the school district-- so I would listen for those experiences and decide relative to them. Furthermore, I have not gone this route, but in retrospect I wish we would have (and at the age you are at now....not as an 10 yo).

 

Likewise, you may wish to just start off with a neuropsych since you will likely get the best and most directed information. However, that can be a very expensive route (we were billed close to 3K, with insurance covering 1/2).

 

OK-got to run.

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You know I don't think there's a perfect answer on the neuropsych or eye doc thing first. I think several of us on the boards are convinced our dc would have gotten a different neuropsych label *before* VT than after. It would be interesting to have that trail. On the other hand, we paid for the neuropsych eval ourselves and it's not something you repeat frequently (more like every 4 years). There's also a huge gap in how long it takes to get into these people. You can get vision checked in 2 weeks, but it can take 1-6 months to get into a neuropsych and another month after that to get all the testing completed and the results back.

 

You really just have to use your sense of what is most pressing to you and what trade-offs you're willing to make. The np eval isn't more complete in the sense that he's not checking vision. He might notice things about vision or make a comment on it, but that's not something he's testing. So it's two parallel tracks and chosing what seems most pressing and what to pursue first. In our case dd was, by the time we pursued testing, having severe headaches. Obviously we had to do vision first, irrespective of whether it might have been more interesting to get the np eval done first as a baseline to gauge effectiveness of therapies from.

 

As far as the ps, it just depends on your area. The people I've talked with in our state seemed to have mixed experiences. One got full evals but they wouldn't tell her a single jolly thing to DO with the numbers. So then you're left taking the results to another psych or posting on boards asking what the numbers mean. Another school system was uncooperative and ran the least number of tests possible and gave the least amount of information they could. Oh so helpful, eh? So your ps system could be very helpful or uncooperative or somewhere in-between.

 

Just gives you a lot of choices. Whatever the case, it all pans out in the end. In the end you're going to check as many things as you can and pursue all leads till you think you've gotten answers that really explain what you're seeing. You'll get there. :)

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I am on my phone so I'll keep this brief. In my dd's case, the first private psych was the one who pointed us towards vision, after the IQ testing, based on her performance during the testing (though not all psychs would be as observant). So, where there are symptoms or reading difficulties, it seems cost effective to get the vision eval while waiting for the NP appointment. If there are vision issues, they may affect the test scores. Im contrast, it doesnt seem to work the other way - the dyslexia or whatever diagnosis is not likely to interfere with accurate results from the vision eval, just by the nature of the testing.

 

I greatly prefer private psych testing, though if the PS is willing to do a WISC, that could save a few hundred dollars, if you then take those results to a private one.

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