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Here's my situation: My homeschooled son is 11 and in 6th grade. The only subject he's behind in is Spelling and he's VERY behind. I determined that he is spelling on a beginning of 2nd grade level (4 grade levels behind). I've tried AAS, Spelling Workout, Sequential Spelling, and a couple other programs. He is trying but has made very little progress in spelling and makes classic dyslexic mistakes like leaving out vowels and whole syllables, and spelling super phonetically, but not correctly. Dysgraphia is also a big issue. He does have reading issues (mainly new words, names, pronunciations, and skipping small words/inaccurate reading), but these pale in comparison to his abysmal spelling that never improves.

 

I'm at the point where I NEED to do something drastic to help his spelling... something VERY different than anything we've ever done. I had my heart set on Barton (I love Susan Barton and her website as it really helped me identify what was going on and learn more about dyslexia). But I was sad to realize that I cannot afford it. I looked for it used and still couldn't find it. 

 

So now I'm considering whether I should seek services from the public school. I have no experience with dealing with schools other than sending in my homeschool paperwork. Now what??

 

My questions are:

 

1) Are there any other highly recommended OG methods like Barton that ARE affordable? Do tell!!

 

2) What about the more "alternative" methods like rainbow writing, sculpting words with play-dough, or associating words with pictures? I'll try anything! lol  Are these worth a try for a kid who struggles a LOT in spelling (not mildly dyslexic)? 

 

3) Should I tell the school district about my son's dyslexia? If so, how?

 

4) Am I *legally required* to inform the district about a diagnosed or suspected learning disability?

 

5) If I do tell them, what are the possible repercussions for my homeschool, or for my son's "record"?

 

6) I know that public schools are legally required to provide services to those who request it, but are they generally even equipped to provide remediation for dyslexic kids? (One of my fears is making it "public", it going on his record, getting involved with the school, getting an IEP, and THEN finding out that all they do is work with him on spelling once a week or so and aren't even trained in dyslexia remediation or use an appropriate method... since that's the whole point.

 

7) If I did get him an IEP would he then have an IEP for the rest of his school career?

 

8) It's very obvious that he is dyslexic as he has MANY classic signs, but is a diagnosis required in order to get an IEP? I think I read that diagnosis isn't required, but a "need" is required. Is that right? For example, my understanding is that the school does not diagnose, but the school is required to assess whether a child is *eligible* for services. So doesn't that mean that I don't need to go through the whole diagnosis process prior to getting an IEP if we went that route?

 

9) If I didn't get an IEP but instead got private tutoring or tutored him myself, am I still legally required to tell the school district about his learning disability??

 

Anything else I should know?

 

Any other options I'm not thinking of?

 

I really need to get on a "road" and I'm so confused about which one to take at this point!!  I'm reading books about dyslexia and how to deal with schools, but they never talk about how it relates to homeschooling so I feel like there's a big gap in my understanding about where to go from here. Even HSLDA doesn't seem to provide much info.

 

Thanks in advance!!

 

Tara

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Well I would think it would be most useful to you to go through the IEP process with the school for the sake of the evals.  

 

I'm hoping to finish Barton 1 with my ds in the next 3 weeks.  That's the track I project us on.  If you would like to see if you could save up for a used copy, you'd be welcome to mine.  I'm getting ready to order Barton 2, and I was thinking I would order *2* extra sets of tiles instead of 1.  That way when I resell, that person would be able to keep a set and resell again. 

 

That offer is open to anyone, btw.  If you're looking for B1 and can wait 3 weeks plus shipping, pm me.  

 

Did you give him the Barton screening test yet?  http://www.bartonreading.com/students_long.html#screen  That will let you know if you need to do LIPS or something else first before you're even ready for Barton.  Did he have speech problems as a child?

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I can answer you a little bit about an IEP in NY , but not about the dyslexia.  My son has had an IEP and we have had therapy through the school district. He doesn't have an IEP for the rest of his school career. In fact, right now he no longer does. He has a 504? As of now it is just for OT. We are hoping by January he won't even have that.

 

You are under zero obligation to tell the school anything if they are not providing the therapy. But if your son were to attend school then the school would have to make accommodations based on his IEP. and IEP is a legal document and the school has to follow it. My school district has been excellent and the liason always puts lots of thing in my sons paperwork on the off chance that he might have to attend school. She doesn't expect he will, but she wants to make sure that if circumstances were to change my son would get what he needs. So, for example, she has 'allowed to keyboard instead of write when possible' and 'uses a 3" slant board' and untimed exams etc. The school isn't checking at my house to see what i am doing, lol. It is just in case he is in the school. But, I do all of that anyway because that is what he needs.

 

And FYI, tons and tons of kids have IEPs. It is not a big deal. And the IEP is about the school's duty to help the student. If you get private therapy and deal with it at home etc then the school doesn't need to know. I guess if they gave you a difficult time about his level of work (I have never heard of such a thing) then I guess you can tell them about the diagnosis.

 

Talk to your pediatrician about getting an evaluation for the dyslexia. At least, that is the first place I would start.

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Does he type? Some of the biggest improvements in ds' spelling have come from consistent dictation, typed on the computer, with a spelling corrector (Ginger) providing live-time visual feedback. I would probably try getting How to Teach Spelling the TM and work through the word lists with dictation every day with a corrector.

 

What are you using for writing composition? Is he on the computer to see spelling corrected in compositions? That has helped ds improve too.

 

 

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Does he type? Some of the biggest improvements in ds' spelling have come from consistent dictation, typed on the computer, with a spelling corrector (Ginger) providing live-time visual feedback. I would probably try getting How to Teach Spelling the TM and work through the word lists with dictation every day with a corrector.

 

What are you using for writing composition? Is he on the computer to see spelling corrected in compositions? That has helped ds improve too.

At what age did you start doing typed dictation?

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Well I would think it would be most useful to you to go through the IEP process with the school for the sake of the evals.  

 

 

See, I don't even totally understand what you're saying. Would you mind explaining? 

 

 

 

 

If you would like to see if you could save up for a used copy, you'd be welcome to mine. 

 

Did you give him the Barton screening test yet?  http://www.bartonreading.com/students_long.html#screen  That will let you know if you need to do LIPS or something else first before you're even ready for Barton.  Did he have speech problems as a child?

 

:svengo: Yes, I am definitely interested!! I'll pm you. There's still a chance someone will recommend something else in this thread and I'll go with that, but so far the only real evidence-based, reliable, highly recommended program I know of is Barton.

 

I did already give him the screening, and I took the tutor screening as well. We are good to go with that, I just couldn't find it used.

 

What do you think of it so far? How long have you been using it? 

 

I can answer you a little bit about an IEP in NY , but not about the dyslexia.  My son has had an IEP and we have had therapy through the school district. He doesn't have an IEP for the rest of his school career. In fact, right now he no longer does. He has a 504? As of now it is just for OT. We are hoping by January he won't even have that.

 

You are under zero obligation to tell the school anything if they are not providing the therapy. But if your son were to attend school then the school would have to make accommodations based on his IEP. and IEP is a legal document and the school has to follow it. My school district has been excellent and the liason always puts lots of thing in my sons paperwork on the off chance that he might have to attend school. She doesn't expect he will, but she wants to make sure that if circumstances were to change my son would get what he needs. So, for example, she has 'allowed to keyboard instead of write when possible' and 'uses a 3" slant board' and untimed exams etc. The school isn't checking at my house to see what i am doing, lol. It is just in case he is in the school. But, I do all of that anyway because that is what he needs.

 

And FYI, tons and tons of kids have IEPs. It is not a big deal. And the IEP is about the school's duty to help the student. If you get private therapy and deal with it at home etc then the school doesn't need to know. I guess if they gave you a difficult time about his level of work (I have never heard of such a thing) then I guess you can tell them about the diagnosis.

 

Talk to your pediatrician about getting an evaluation for the dyslexia. At least, that is the first place I would start.

 

OK!! Glad to know that an IEP isn't necessarily forever (I thought it was), and that I don't have to tell the district. 

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At what age did you start doing typed dictation?

 

7.5? 8? My older ds is so spatial I think he just memorized the keyboard, but he has typed fluently since about age 7. My younger ds is almost 8 and I don't think he could handle typed dictation yet, but probably by the summer he could be successful.

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Does he type? Some of the biggest improvements in ds' spelling have come from consistent dictation, typed on the computer, with a spelling corrector (Ginger) providing live-time visual feedback. I would probably try getting How to Teach Spelling the TM and work through the word lists with dictation every day with a corrector.

 

What are you using for writing composition? Is he on the computer to see spelling corrected in compositions? That has helped ds improve too.

 

Interesting! I have never heard of that method. No, he doesn't really do any typing on the computer right now. I haven't taught him typing yet so it would take him forever to type anything. I also would rather him not develop a bad habit of pecking at the keyboard before he learns how to type. What did you use for teaching typing? Maybe I should get on that. 

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I can't help you with NY laws but I personally would always prefer to, if at all possible, go privately for assessment. If you can afford it, do it on your own. Then you control the reports & what happens to it & who you choose to share it with.

Apples & Pears spelling is what I'd recommend for spelling.
 

Also at least one & probably two run-through's of Elizabeth's phonics lessons. http://www.thephonicspage.org/Phonics%20Lsns/phonicslsnslinks.html

Spelling in dyslexics can improve but at some point, the simplest thing is to get these kids using dictionaries & more importantly keyboarding & using a spellchecker.  It's ok to just reach a certain point & let this go. Adapt & let them flourish in their own unique ways.

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Interesting! I have never heard of that method. No, he doesn't really do any typing on the computer right now. I haven't taught him typing yet so it would take him forever to type anything. I also would rather him not develop a bad habit of pecking at the keyboard before he learns how to type. What did you use for teaching typing? Maybe I should get on that. 

 

I've used programs for younger kids because my boys were 6-7 when learning to type so I don't know how helpful my suggestions will be. We liked Read, Write, Type and Keyboarding without Tears. The boys also liked BBC Dancemat Typing but haven't used it consistently or anything.

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See, I don't even totally understand what you're saying. Would you mind explaining? 

 

 

 

:svengo: Yes, I am definitely interested!! I'll pm you. There's still a chance someone will recommend something else in this thread and I'll go with that, but so far the only real evidence-based, reliable, highly recommended program I know of is Barton.

 

I did already give him the screening, and I took the tutor screening as well. We are good to go with that, I just couldn't find it used.

 

What do you think of it so far? How long have you been using it? 

 

 

OK!! Glad to know that an IEP isn't necessarily forever (I thought it was), and that I don't have to tell the district. 

In our state you make a written request for the MFE (multi-factored eval), and that results in a meeting at which everybody (you, principal, psych, therapists, etc.) sit down and decide what evals to do.  There are federal laws governing how long they can take to have that meeting, how long they can take to get the evals done, and how long they can take to then write a 504 or IEP (the action plan for what you DO with the results).  

 

The book by Nolo explains the whole process and may be available through your library.

 

Yes, the ps will comply with the law and provide evals.  Amount of testing, thoroughness, etc. will vary.  You may turn out to have an extremely helpful school district!  It happens, and the opposite happens.  It's generally going to be a school psychologist, which isn't the same as a neuropsych.  They each have their niche.  The neuropsych will typically run at least 6 hours of testing, dig farther, tell you affected parts of the brain, and just generally try not to miss things.  Clinical or school psych could do as little as 1 hour of testing.  But you know, the pricepoint is right and sometimes it's sufficient.  If you can afford private evals, yes you'll get more helpful info.  I'd rather have school evals than NO evals and maybe your school district would turn out to be helpful.  Some really are.

 

We had started LIPS earlier, stopped when it was messing up his speech, and then resumed after our evals.  I've got Barton 1 as well and am weaving the two together for a custom mix.  With his apraxia, it works out well to mix them.  I've looked ahead and we seem on track to finish in 3 weeks.  That puts us right at Thanksgiving.  When you get your plans sorted out, buzz me a pm and we can talk turkey.  :)

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OP, absolutely make typing a priority.  I taught my DS to type when he was in the 5th grade.  When we started homeschooling permanently in 7th grade, I met three other mothers of dyslexics from an IEW writing class, and their boys REFUSED.TO.LEARN.  The boys dug their heels in.  Maybe it was peer pressure thing.  Whatever the case, DS was completing his own assignments while the other boys languished because they could not keep up.  

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OP, absolutely make typing a priority.  I taught my DS to type when he was in the 5th grade.  When we started homeschooling permanently in 7th grade, I met three other mothers of dyslexics from an IEW writing class, and their boys REFUSED.TO.LEARN.  The boys dug their heels in.  Maybe it was peer pressure thing.  Whatever the case, DS was completing his own assignments while the other boys languished because they could not keep up.  

 

 

Yes. Ds' writing is taking off because he can type, has a spell checker, mind mapper, and can basically work through the assignments himself. It still is not easy for him, but these tools remove the barriers so he can actually focus his brainpower on composition and word choice instead of typing, organization, handwriting/stroke formation, spelling, etc.

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OK, I'm picking up on a vague theme that makes me think typing may benefit dyslexic kids.  :P j/k

 

BUT for these kids who learn to type to compensate for terrible spelling due to dyslexia, when they write on paper, do they still spell TERRIBLY? I mean, really, really bad? And are you OK with that??  I hear some say that typing can help spelling skills in general, but if you just use it as an accommodation so they can write assignments without worrying about spelling so much (which I get), do you just resign to the fact that whenever your child writes something (even as an adult?) they are going to spell so terribly that people may laugh at them and they will be embarrassed? Just curious...  

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OK, I'm picking up on a vague theme that makes me think typing may benefit dyslexic kids.  :p j/k

 

BUT for these kids who learn to type to compensate for terrible spelling due to dyslexia, when they write on paper, do they still spell TERRIBLY? I mean, really, really bad? And are you OK with that??  I hear some say that typing can help spelling skills in general, but if you just use it as an accommodation so they can write assignments without worrying about spelling so much (which I get), do you just resign to the fact that whenever your child writes something (even as an adult?) they are going to spell so terribly that people may laugh at them and they will be embarrassed? Just curious...  

 

Why would they need to write something by hand? Other than my signature on a check I can't remember the last time I wrote anything by hand. I type all my lesson plans, emails, notes to myself, and text most messages. Even dh types all notes and reports at his medical office. I guess I'm just not that worried about it.

 

Plus, with evals a dyslexic should have accommodations in place so that they never have to essay test even in college without a computer. We do still practice handwriting daily and the kids do write notes for fun, make up board games, etc. Their spelling is sometimes great and sometimes not, but I can't see how they would be in a situation to be ridiculed for it. Anything important will be typed, spell checked, printed, and more than likely uploaded or emailed as it is.

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OK, I'm picking up on a vague theme that makes me think typing may benefit dyslexic kids.  :p j/k

 

BUT for these kids who learn to type to compensate for terrible spelling due to dyslexia, when they write on paper, do they still spell TERRIBLY? I mean, really, really bad? And are you OK with that??  I hear some say that typing can help spelling skills in general, but if you just use it as an accommodation so they can write assignments without worrying about spelling so much (which I get), do you just resign to the fact that whenever your child writes something (even as an adult?) they are going to spell so terribly that people may laugh at them and they will be embarrassed? Just curious...  

 

well, I think dyslexia is becoming more well known & more people are understanding that  being a bad speller is not a sign of low intelligence or poor education.

 

My dh & both my kids are dyslexic. They're all dealing with it differently, & sure embarrassment is part of it for one of them, to an extent. The other two are more "hey, it is what it is" & cope by just telling people about it "sorry, I have dyslexia. Can't spell." & just laughing it off.  They also have cheat sheets, carry notebooks, phones with dictionaries etc. My dd has to chart lots of medical stuff at work & she just has piles of cheat sheets in all her scrub pockets.

 

You may want to look at some books about dyslexia (for ex The Dyslexic Advantage)  & learn about famous dyslexics - including authors. Stephen J Cannell - tv producer & writer was dyslexic.  I'm not sure if it was him or another author that said it was such a relief to get into a unviersity writing program & have a prof say - I don't care if you can spell. I care if you can write.

 

There's a documentary you might want to look at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dislecksia:_The_Movie

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Does he type? Some of the biggest improvements in ds' spelling have come from consistent dictation, typed on the computer, with a spelling corrector (Ginger) providing live-time visual feedback.

This is what my adult son with dyslexia says helped him most with spelling.

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No one suggested you quit handwriting.  Your child needs a legal, cursive signature.  Typing helps with the dysgraphia by removing the major obstacle of written output.  If typing is too much, you will need to explore speech to text software and adapted keyboarding.

 

DS spells about 7th grade level and has a vocab of a 12+ grader.  He uses big words in his writing and understands what they mean (yes, there is a difference) but requires a spellchecker.   As I understand it, your child has never used an O-G phonics program like Barton.  Barton alone should increase your son's spelling.  Your child should also study morphology and vocabulary.  

 

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OK, I'm picking up on a vague theme that makes me think typing may benefit dyslexic kids.  :p j/k

 

BUT for these kids who learn to type to compensate for terrible spelling due to dyslexia, when they write on paper, do they still spell TERRIBLY? I mean, really, really bad? And are you OK with that??  I hear some say that typing can help spelling skills in general, but if you just use it as an accommodation so they can write assignments without worrying about spelling so much (which I get), do you just resign to the fact that whenever your child writes something (even as an adult?) they are going to spell so terribly that people may laugh at them and they will be embarrassed? Just curious...  

The kids usually also have working memory limitations, so to motor plan the writing AND remember what they're saying AND organize their thoughts AND focus on being neat AND remember how to spell the words, all at once, is too much.  They may also have low processing speeds, and that low processing speed will make it hard for their hands to keep up with their brains.

 

It's really not about the spelling but about giving them a way that gets OVER this hurdle of their physical limitations and lets them GET OUT all they are inside.

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If he seems to do okay with understanding phonics, and he doesn't have a problem actually recognizing the visual forms of letters, he may specifically have a visual sequential memory issue.  This can have a huge effect on spelling.  It is something that can be treated with vision therapy.  Honestly though the exercises for this particular issue were the simplest ones we did.  I wrote common words in alternating colors of marker - ie one letter blue, next red, next blue, next red, etc.  Had him stare at the word, say the letters forwards, then backwards.  Then close eyes, try to remember the image and say letters forwards, then backwards.  We started with three letter words.  

 

Typing can absolutely help, if he learns to type by touch.  Why ?  You learn to spell kinesthetically with touch typing.  Your fingers "memorize" the spelling.  The muscle memory gets hooked to remembering the letter.  I still do this - when I can't remember how to spell something, I air type it, and then I remember how to spell it.  Cool, huh ?   The super nice thing in this day and age is that so many word processors will help by telling you if you typed a word incorrectly by marking it for you, so you are less likely to reinforce incorrect spellings and not know about the mistake. 

 

 

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Your child needs a legal, cursive signature.

 

Tangent, but that's not actually true. There is no law, in any state, that says you have to sign your name in cursive. It is perfectly legal to sign your name in print. You don't even need to "sign your name" using words. Even illiterates are allowed to "sign" by simply making an x.

 

I suspect this story got started by third grade teachers, in an attempt to convince their kids to stop whining and practice their penmanship, and then it took on a life of its own. After all, Ms. Schwartz would never *lie* to me, would she? (Yes, she would - unless she also was told that by *her* third grade teacher and never checked!) Like the story about chemicals in the pool that turn colors if you pee in it. You can write to your DMV, or your state board of elections, or the social security office, or whoever you like to ask if they require signatures in script and see what they say.

 

 

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Tangent, but that's not actually true. There is no law, in any state, that says you have to sign your name in cursive. It is perfectly legal to sign your name in print. You don't even need to "sign your name" using words. Even illiterates are allowed to "sign" by simply making an x.

 

I suspect this story got started by third grade teachers, in an attempt to convince their kids to stop whining and practice their penmanship, and then it took on a life of its own. After all, Ms. Schwartz would never *lie* to me, would she? (Yes, she would - unless she also was told that by *her* third grade teacher and never checked!) Like the story about chemicals in the pool that turn colors if you pee in it. You can write to your DMV, or your state board of elections, or the social security office, or whoever you like to ask if they require signatures in script and see what they say.

Maybe call the College Board.  I was told students were required to sign their names during the SAT.  But what do I know?

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Maybe call the College Board.  I was told students were required to sign their names during the SAT.  But what do I know?

 

Yes, and they're also supposed to write this whole long paragraph in script to "prove" they're not cheating. How that works is beyond me. Given the complaints they've had lately, I doubt that requirement will stay much longer. Regardless, the College Board is a private organization. They can set their own rules.

 

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Here's my situation: My homeschooled son is 11 and in 6th grade. The only subject he's behind in is Spelling and he's VERY behind. I determined that he is spelling on a beginning of 2nd grade level (4 grade levels behind). I've tried AAS, Spelling Workout, Sequential Spelling, and a couple other programs. He is trying but has made very little progress in spelling and makes classic dyslexic mistakes like leaving out vowels and whole syllables, and spelling super phonetically, but not correctly. Dysgraphia is also a big issue. He does have reading issues (mainly new words, names, pronunciations, and skipping small words/inaccurate reading), but these pale in comparison to his abysmal spelling that never improves.

 

I'm at the point where I NEED to do something drastic to help his spelling... something VERY different than anything we've ever done. I had my heart set on Barton (I love Susan Barton and her website as it really helped me identify what was going on and learn more about dyslexia). But I was sad to realize that I cannot afford it. I looked for it used and still couldn't find it. 

 

So now I'm considering whether I should seek services from the public school. I have no experience with dealing with schools other than sending in my homeschool paperwork. Now what??

 

My questions are:

 

1) Are there any other highly recommended OG methods like Barton that ARE affordable? Do tell!!  Recipe for Reading Manual $25 is O-G  DIY , then Sopris West REWARDS for multisyllabic reading strategies @$200,  Six minute Solution  ( for fluency) free here: 

 

http://haslett.k12.mi.us/education/dept/dept.php?sectionid=745

 

Typing: free Dance Mat

 

2) What about the more "alternative" methods like rainbow writing, sculpting words with play-dough, or associating words with pictures? I'll try anything! lol  Are these worth a try for a kid who struggles a LOT in spelling (not mildly dyslexic)?  Apples and Pears Spelling

 

3) Should I tell the school district about my son's dyslexia? If so, how? If you are looking for evaluations, you can write a letter to the Director of Special Ed saying your son has learning issues in reading fluency and spelling and you would like him to be evaluated.

 

4) Am I *legally required* to inform the district about a diagnosed or suspected learning disability? No

 

5) If I do tell them, what are the possible repercussions for my homeschool, or for my son's "record"? In order to receive an evaluation he will have to be registered in order to get a CSE#. Not a repercussion per se but with the increase in data points being collected in NY I don't know where that information will end up. My dtr is enrolled at the PS now (not dyslexic but language impaired) and we have no idea who will be privy to her info in the future. 

 

6) I know that public schools are legally required to provide services to those who request it, but are they generally even equipped to provide remediation for dyslexic kids? (One of my fears is making it "public", it going on his record, getting involved with the school, getting an IEP, and THEN finding out that all they do is work with him on spelling once a week or so and aren't even trained in dyslexia remediation or use an appropriate method... since that's the whole point. Generally, most of your PS are not equipped to remediate dyslexic and language impaired kids especially older ones.  Some have had exposure to O-G but can not give the intense instruction needed. That is why many families use tutoring services or hire a lawyer who gets the school district to pay for the instruction. The schools by me are good with helping with comprehension and some fluency and providing accommodations and modifications. Forget spelling help. My dtr has been in PS for over three years and still is spelling way below grade level. Any gains she made was from me starting Apples and Pears last year. 

 

7) If I did get him an IEP would he then have an IEP for the rest of his school career? No

 

8) It's very obvious that he is dyslexic as he has MANY classic signs, but is a diagnosis required in order to get an IEP? I think I read that diagnosis isn't required, but a "need" is required. Is that right? Technically yes, but dx goes a long way for help in school or future testing accommodations etc For example, my understanding is that the school does not diagnose, but the school is required to assess whether a child is *eligible* for services. So doesn't that mean that I don't need to go through the whole diagnosis process prior to getting an IEP if we went that route?

 

9) If I didn't get an IEP but instead got private tutoring or tutored him myself, am I still legally required to tell the school district about his learning disability?? No

 

Anything else I should know? Did you ever have him evaluated? Does he have language issues? Are you sure it is dyslexia? Some kids have Auditory Processing Disorders for example. The school can do a psychological. They will do a reading assessment and   ask for a TOWL (written language assessment that will show spelling and written expression issues).  Speech and language testing can be done by an SLP.

 

Any other options I'm not thinking of? Are you looking for accommodations down the road for College testing?

 

I really need to get on a "road" and I'm so confused about which one to take at this point!!  I'm reading books about dyslexia and how to deal with schools, but they never talk about how it relates to homeschooling so I feel like there's a big gap in my understanding about where to go from here. Even HSLDA doesn't seem to provide much info.   Does you son write well (forget spelling)? Meaning can he express his thoughts coherently and sequentially? Does you son follow the general rules of grammar, capitalization and punctuation? Are you doing  lessons orally? You say he is doing well in all his subjects but spelling. Does that mean he isn't having issues with word problems in math? Can he tell time and work with money? Is he on grade level with SS and Science?  If so,

I would work on his reading fluency (there is reading naturally.com also or see above) and spelling with A&P carving out a 45 minute "tutoring time. Otherwise work on typing and also look into speech to text programs out there.   

 

 

Thanks in advance!!

 

Tara

 

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Why would they need to write something by hand? Other than my signature on a check I can't remember the last time I wrote anything by hand. I type all my lesson plans, emails, notes to myself, and text most messages. Even dh types all notes and reports at his medical office. I guess I'm just not that worried about it.

 

Sounds like your dh's job happens to not require much writing by hand, but many do. My dh fills out all kinds of paperwork all day. He has to write on a whiteboard daily, as well, which is displayed on the wall to communicate info to each other. But long before issues of writing on the job, there are many activities that kids do where they would naturally find themselves in a situation of "having" to write by hand... Sunday school ("lets all write something we are thankful for"), faith formation classes at church, homeschool co-op classes, boy scout projects... heck, even playing a board game. I was just at a halloween party where we all played a game where we wrote down phrases. Baby shower games. All kinds of social situations, nevermind job applications, doctor office patient forms, etc. Those of us who have no difficulty don't think about it much. And I suppose a lot of these activities could just be avoided for fear of being humiliated, but obviously I don't want to keep him from all of these things. 

 

That's a bit of a tangent, but my point is I think it's a valid concern. I'm really hoping to get my son past the point of humiliatingly awful spelling but right now, so hopefully he won't be a young man in this situation (he's 11.5 right now), but it worries me because I have seen little to no improvement in his spelling skills no matter what I've tried so far. 

 

Also, it's possible that you don't understand how terrible of spelling I'm referring to.  :unsure: We went to pick up daddy from work today and I told him he could text daddy and tell him "we are here." He asked me how to spell "are" and how to spell "here". 

 

And I just downloaded Ginger (which seems awesome) and I typed in something that my son actually wrote and it wasn't able to fix the spelling because, I'm guessing it wasn't close enough to even tell what word he was going for. Ouch.

 

Oh, Barton, don't fail us now.  :bored:

 

The kids usually also have working memory limitations, so to motor plan the writing AND remember what they're saying AND organize their thoughts AND focus on being neat AND remember how to spell the words, all at once, is too much.  They may also have low processing speeds, and that low processing speed will make it hard for their hands to keep up with their brains.

 

It's really not about the spelling but about giving them a way that gets OVER this hurdle of their physical limitations and lets them GET OUT all they are inside.

 

Yes, I definitely hear that. I think he could be a creative writer and actually LOVES literature. He listens to the Chronicles of Narnia every single night before he goes to bed for about a year straight. He also reads novels over and over. So I think with his love of stories, he would enjoy writing if the process wasn't so difficult for him. Right now, when he writes by hand, not only is it super slow and laborious, but I'm sure that he doesn't write things he otherwise would, or avoids writing certain words because he just wants to be done, or because he knows he can't spell it and doesn't feel like asking about every single word.  -_-

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I agree with the others, btw, that you would be really wise to get evals to make sure you're solving the right problem.  Dyslexia is exclusively a phonological problem with the DSM, *not* actually a spelling problem.  If there's just spelling and no phonological issue, you'll get an ADHD label.  You can get an ADHD label on top of the dyslexia label; 60% of kids do.  I also very much agree that a vision problem *can cause* the symptoms you're seeing.  If you pair developmental vision problems and ADHD, it would most certainly be able to cause the symptoms you're seeing.

 

Obviously I'm happy to sell you my Barton and I'm not saying you don't need it.  I'm just agreeing that you're going to be happier in the long-run if you make sure you're diagnosing this correctly.  Also, if he's dyslexic, baseline testing *before* Barton would give you guidance on how to handle high school.  You're going to be facing that in 2 years and having to make decisions about foreign language, etc.  

 

The ps will do evals for free and it's WORTH THE EFFORT.  If your budget extends to private, you'll usually get a better eval.  Either way, I'd strongly, strongly encourage you to get them done.  If he hasn't had his vision checked, I'd get just that $60 annual exam, but get it done with a developmental optometrist.  Ask them to *screen* him for the developmental vision stuff.  My dd, at the same age your ds is, had the visual memory of a *2* year old.  That's why she struggled with spelling so much.  I thought she was dyslexic, looked at Barton, tried everything I could try, spent almost an hour a day doing dictation with her (a luxury you don't have!), etc. and we were able to keep it, with all that effort, with three programs at a time, with horrendous amounts of dictation, at passable.  And her issue was she had the visual memory of a 2 yo.  She had developmental vision problems with convergence, tracking, etc. that had glitched the physical part of vision up, making it such that the visual perception part (depth, memory, etc.) didn't develop properly.

 

I don't know what's going on with your ds.  I'm just telling you I've had kids fall both ways now.  Kids can also have both.  You find a developmental optometrist through COVD.org.  Make sure you've got a good one (someone of good reputation, generally a Fellow).  Get that annual visit, which in our area is $60, and ask them to screen him.  They have a longer eval, but it's a place to start.  My ds has NO developmental vision problems, so far as we can tell.  He jumps a little crossing the midline, but that's an OT thing.  For the dev. optometrist's perspective, he's clear.  What he DOES have is dyslexia and weak visual processing.  But convergence, focusing, all that is fine.  

 

It's not like Barton is going to harm him, and frankly Barton is probably the right answer for some kids even when the issue isn't dyslexia.  ADHD and dyslexia used to be lumped together diagnostically as minimal brain dysfunction.  But IF his problem is actually developmental vision problems and you buy Barton, you're STILL going to have developmental vision problems, kwim?  And if it turns out to be vision and you work on the vision (VT), then maybe you wouldn't NEED Barton.  So it's a hugely important, $$$ thing to figure out, kwim?  We aren't trying to send you on a wild goose chase.  We're just saying once you start talking very $$$ solutions, it's time to do evals and make sure you have the right problem.

 

My dd got her vision eval at 11, psych eval at 12.  We waited WAY too long.  I can promise you, whatever the label is, you're going to kick yourself and say you should have gotten the evals sooner.  High school is coming and your stress is going to increase exponentially.  You really, really want that info from the evals.  Sometimes the ps actually does a really good job.  You just never know.  I've gotten feedback from a variety of people around our state, and it just really varies with the school district.  

 

 

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I agree with the others, btw, that you would be really wise to get evals to make sure you're solving the right problem.  Dyslexia is exclusively a phonological problem with the DSM, *not* actually a spelling problem.  If there's just spelling and no phonological issue, you'll get an ADHD label.  You can get an ADHD label on top of the dyslexia label; 60% of kids do.  I also very much agree that a vision problem *can cause* the symptoms you're seeing.  If you pair developmental vision problems and ADHD, it would most certainly be able to cause the symptoms you're seeing.

 

Obviously I'm happy to sell you my Barton and I'm not saying you don't need it.  I'm just agreeing that you're going to be happier in the long-run if you make sure you're diagnosing this correctly.  Also, if he's dyslexic, baseline testing *before* Barton would give you guidance on how to handle high school.  You're going to be facing that in 2 years and having to make decisions about foreign language, etc.  

 

The ps will do evals for free and it's WORTH THE EFFORT.  If your budget extends to private, you'll usually get a better eval.  Either way, I'd strongly, strongly encourage you to get them done.  If he hasn't had his vision checked, I'd get just that $60 annual exam, but get it done with a developmental optometrist.  Ask them to *screen* him for the developmental vision stuff.  My dd, at the same age your ds is, had the visual memory of a *2* year old.  That's why she struggled with spelling so much.  I thought she was dyslexic, looked at Barton, tried everything I could try, spent almost an hour a day doing dictation with her (a luxury you don't have!), etc. and we were able to keep it, with all that effort, with three programs at a time, with horrendous amounts of dictation, at passable.  And her issue was she had the visual memory of a 2 yo.  She had developmental vision problems with convergence, tracking, etc. that had glitched the physical part of vision up, making it such that the visual perception part (depth, memory, etc.) didn't develop properly.

 

I don't know what's going on with your ds.  I'm just telling you I've had kids fall both ways now.  Kids can also have both.  You find a developmental optometrist through COVD.org.  Make sure you've got a good one (someone of good reputation, generally a Fellow).  Get that annual visit, which in our area is $60, and ask them to screen him.  They have a longer eval, but it's a place to start.  My ds has NO developmental vision problems, so far as we can tell.  He jumps a little crossing the midline, but that's an OT thing.  For the dev. optometrist's perspective, he's clear.  What he DOES have is dyslexia and weak visual processing.  But convergence, focusing, all that is fine.  

 

It's not like Barton is going to harm him, and frankly Barton is probably the right answer for some kids even when the issue isn't dyslexia.  ADHD and dyslexia used to be lumped together diagnostically as minimal brain dysfunction.  But IF his problem is actually developmental vision problems and you buy Barton, you're STILL going to have developmental vision problems, kwim?  And if it turns out to be vision and you work on the vision (VT), then maybe you wouldn't NEED Barton.  So it's a hugely important, $$$ thing to figure out, kwim?  We aren't trying to send you on a wild goose chase.  We're just saying once you start talking very $$$ solutions, it's time to do evals and make sure you have the right problem.

 

My dd got her vision eval at 11, psych eval at 12.  We waited WAY too long.  I can promise you, whatever the label is, you're going to kick yourself and say you should have gotten the evals sooner.  High school is coming and your stress is going to increase exponentially.  You really, really want that info from the evals.  Sometimes the ps actually does a really good job.  You just never know.  I've gotten feedback from a variety of people around our state, and it just really varies with the school district.  

 

Sigh. I'm so overwhelmed lately. I've been reading books about dyslexia, watching videos, reading websites, and learning about laws. It's so much. Yeah, of course I would get screening if I had 1) any money, and 2) any idea where to go, 3) any confidence that the person actually could diagnose dyslexia.

 

The reason I stopped worrying about getting a diagnosis was because I read Susan Barton's website and watched her videos and she says to not wait for a diagnosis if your child has a lot of the symptoms on the checklist, which my son does. She said a lot of professionals who may screen for dyslexia aren't actually qualified or trained to do it, don't understand what it is, and sometimes don't even believe it exists. I asked her for a list of qualified dyslexia screeners and there are NONE anywhere close to me. They are hours away. So I have no idea where to go to get him screened. On top of that, Susan Barton says that "nothing mimics dyslexia except dyslexia". So Susan says, since there is a major lack of qualified screeners, don't wait for a screening if your child has a lot of red flags... just start the Barton Reading & Spelling System. (Of course, she would, right? hehe But I trust her...)

 

I don't know anything about the vision issues you're describing, but it seems unlikely to me that my son could have all the symptoms he does from a visual problem instead of dyslexia. It's not just spelling, by far, but spelling is the area that I foresee impacting his education, life, and career the most, and the thing that scares me the most. 

 

Not to "prove it to you" but just FYI, if you're curious, these are things that describe my son that are all on Susan Barton's dyslexia checklist:

 

had a problem with stuttering when he was younger

late establishing a dominant hand

trouble learning to tie shoes

trouble memorizing address & phone number

dysgraphia (spacing issues, used to put "tails" above the line repeatedly, mixed up capitals and lower-case in writing. Now he sometimes starts writing halfway across the page, doesn't have automatic handwriting, makes a's as ball and stick sometimes, sometimes not, r's are two strokes where he lifts his pencil up, etc)

letter or number reversals past first grade. (He's in 6th and reverses ALLLL the time.)

slow, choppy inaccurate reading

skips prepositions when reading

can't sound out unknown words

guesses based on shape or context (he makes up nonsense words with similar consonants when he can't sound it out)

terrible spelling

can't remember homonyms (bahahahahaha  Silly Susan, he spells them all "thar")

trouble memorizing multiplication facts

large discrepancy between verbal skills and written skills

 

Also:

 

he reverses letter pairs in writing (rian instead of rain)

he mixes up numbers (writes 04 instead of 40, or 61 instead of 16)

for the longest time he literally could not tell the difference between 20, 12, and 21

leaves out vowels in spelling

has trouble copying sentences from the board (slow, inaccurate copying, has to look up repeatedly)

 

He also has trouble pronouncing words sometimes. When I told him I was quite sure he had dyslexia when he was 9 he told dh, "Mom says I have dicks-loosia and that's why I have trouble with school!" lol

 

YET, he clearly is of at least average intelligence. There's a huge discrepancy between what he knows and can tell you and what his written work, which is an obvious marker of dyslexia.

 

I totally hear what you're saying about getting a diagnosis if I'm going to be spending a lot of money on Barton, just in case. What's the point of not getting a diagnosis because it's hard to afford if I'm then going to spend hundreds of dollars on Barton? Gah. But, like I said, the other issues is I just don't know where to go. To start with, I get differing advice on who to even LOOK for! 

 

I've heard: 

 

a psychologist

a neuropsychologist

a developmental optometrist

an opthamologist

a certified dyslexia screener

a reading specialist

the public school (who won't diagnose anyway, right? So I don't understand why I would want an eval unless I want an IEP?)

 

I'm so confused.  :banghead:   :confused1:

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There are several reasons to purse a dx.

In the US, it seems to matter a lot more how long you have a documented disability for accommodations on college entrance exams & in college itself. The longer it's there, the easier apparently it is to get accommodations such as extra time or a dictionary or whatever it is you need to arrange.

Secondly, a dx will not only give you any learning disability, it will also highlight any areas of particular strength. My child is 'twice exceptional' (2e) : gifted *and* has a learning difficulty.  

Also, there may be issues with executive function or working memory for instance which you would work on separately from focusing on spelling.

In Canada, as far as I can tell you need a registered psychologist or a neuropsychologist to certify ld's.   I'd look at the website of the registered psychologists in your state & find the ones that specialize in learning difficulties. Also try posting on your local homeschool boards.  As I understand it, schools don't do the testing - they just refer (& depending on circumstance, pay). So you can find out who they refer to just by calling around.

Do you know how the basic testing works? In essence, they give a battery of iq tests (WISC seems to be the most popular) & then give a battery of age/grade levelled skill tests.  When there's a large spread between IQ & skill, that's where you probably have an LD because the output is not matching the capability.

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I don't know your particular ps system, but around here they are surprisingly helpful.  I think you'd learn more through the evals, even if they're not well-done, than you expect.  There are some more things going on in that symptom list and the evals would give you numbers for them.  If they even just run an IQ test with subsections, you're going to know more than you do now, and odds are they'll do more than that.  They could also run speech and OT evals as part of their MFE (multi-factored eval).  Again, you're assuming only dyslexia, and there could be more going on. That list you gave is NOT what's going to get him a dyslexia label.  They're things that often go along with dyslexia, yes, but they're NOT what a psych looks at for a dyslexia label.  Getting the OT and SLP evals could turn up more.  

 

I'm trying to speak peace to you.  I'm saying ps evals are better than no evals, probably going to be informative and turn up things you aren't expecting, and that the only thing keep you away is fear.  If they call it reading disorder and don't say dyslexia, you still got your label.  If they catch adhd, working memory issues, or some OT issues, you still got help.  They might be MUCH more helpful to you than you realize.

 

Did he also have an articulation delay?  Did he receive therapy for his stuttering?  Articulation and decoding and the language of math (words for numbers) are all in the same portion of the brain, the Broca's area.  It's why my ds has apraxia (motor planning of speech problems) AND dyslexia AND was so odd with his math, needing Ronit Bird for numbers to have meaning.  

 

Again, I'm trying to suggest things you can afford.  At this point the ps eval would give you more info than what you have.  They'd probably go ahead and run the OT and SLP evals, given what you're saying.  When it's time for his next vision exam, yes it should be with a developmental optometrist.  I would do that after you get the ps evals going.  That punts on that expense a bit and will only be $60 when that time comes.  And yes, if you think Barton is the right next step, do Barton.  You don't even have to wait for evals, mercy.  But it might work out that by the time you save for Barton, get it shipped to you, watch the videos and learn how to implement it, he could have his ps eval done by then.  That would give you a baseline.  

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Actually the law is a little more nuanced than you expect.  The way the law is written, the ps does their eval (typically with the school psychologist), and if the parent disputes it for whatever reason, they can formally request an independent eval ON THE SCHOOL'S DIME.  So that's ANOTHER good reason to go through the eval process and why it's worth your time, because if they do a crap job of it you *can* fight to get that independent eval with a person you get to pick.  

 

The laws are there to protect you and frankly they're there for this very situation.  Society has a vested interest in making sure children receive a proper diagnosis and adequate care.  You probably pay taxes and are paying into the system.  That's what it's THERE for, to make sure you have access to this.  I'm fiscally conservative, but I think this is important.  That's what it's THERE for, so you can have some baseline access.  Sure it might not be as whangdoodle as the 6 hour evals we got, but it would be an eval.  And if they also run the OT and SLP, that would be awesome for you.

 

Sometimes the schools are really nice to work with, consider, respectful.  It varies, but some of them are.  At least try, that's my advice.

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If you are seeking the dyslexia diagnosis, you could perform a search for a Scottish Rite Learning Center.  Call them and discover whether they will test for free or at a reduced cost.  Some Scottish Rite Learning Centers loan out O-G videos to parents for remediation at home. A friend of mine used their tapes to remediate both of her DDs.  Some centers also provide tutoring services. You just need to contact one and ask.  

 

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VinNY,

 

Thank you so much for answering all my questions! :)  It won't let me quote you for some reason, but I responded in blue. 

 

Here's my situation: My homeschooled son is 11 and in 6th grade. The only subject he's behind in is Spelling and he's VERY behind. I determined that he is spelling on a beginning of 2nd grade level (4 grade levels behind). I've tried AAS, Spelling Workout, Sequential Spelling, and a couple other programs. He is trying but has made very little progress in spelling and makes classic dyslexic mistakes like leaving out vowels and whole syllables, and spelling super phonetically, but not correctly. Dysgraphia is also a big issue. He does have reading issues (mainly new words, names, pronunciations, and skipping small words/inaccurate reading), but these pale in comparison to his abysmal spelling that never improves.

 

I'm at the point where I NEED to do something drastic to help his spelling... something VERY different than anything we've ever done. I had my heart set on Barton (I love Susan Barton and her website as it really helped me identify what was going on and learn more about dyslexia). But I was sad to realize that I cannot afford it. I looked for it used and still couldn't find it. 

 

So now I'm considering whether I should seek services from the public school. I have no experience with dealing with schools other than sending in my homeschool paperwork. Now what??

 

My questions are:

 

1) Are there any other highly recommended OG methods like Barton that ARE affordable? Do tell!!  Recipe for Reading Manual $25 is O-G  DIY , then Sopris West REWARDS for multisyllabic reading strategies @$200,  Six minute Solution  ( for fluency) free here: 

 

http://haslett.k12.m...p?sectionid=745

 

Typing: free Dance Mat

Thanks! I will have to look all these suggestions up!

 

2) What about the more "alternative" methods like rainbow writing, sculpting words with play-dough, or associating words with pictures? I'll try anything! lol  Are these worth a try for a kid who struggles a LOT in spelling (not mildly dyslexic)?  Apples and Pears Spelling I actually can't find this. Do you mean "Apples" spelling?

 

3) Should I tell the school district about my son's dyslexia? If so, how? If you are looking for evaluations, you can write a letter to the Director of Special Ed saying your son has learning issues in reading fluency and spelling and you would like him to be evaluated. OK, thanks! I will think about my options.

 

4) Am I *legally required* to inform the district about a diagnosed or suspected learning disability? No  Oh good!  :hurray: Considering I've been aware of an issue on some level for years.

 

5) If I do tell them, what are the possible repercussions for my homeschool, or for my son's "record"? In order to receive an evaluation he will have to be registered in order to get a CSE#. Not a repercussion per se but with the increase in data points being collected in NY I don't know where that information will end up. My dtr is enrolled at the PS now (not dyslexic but language impaired) and we have no idea who will be privy to her info in the future. Very good point. This is the kind of thing I'd like to avoid.

 

6) I know that public schools are legally required to provide services to those who request it, but are they generally even equipped to provide remediation for dyslexic kids? (One of my fears is making it "public", it going on his record, getting involved with the school, getting an IEP, and THEN finding out that all they do is work with him on spelling once a week or so and aren't even trained in dyslexia remediation or use an appropriate method... since that's the whole point. Generally, most of your PS are not equipped to remediate dyslexic and language impaired kids especially older ones.  Some have had exposure to O-G but can not give the intense instruction needed. That is why many families use tutoring services or hire a lawyer who gets the school district to pay for the instruction. The schools by me are good with helping with comprehension and some fluency and providing accommodations and modifications. Forget spelling help. My dtr has been in PS for over three years and still is spelling way below grade level. Any gains she made was from me starting Apples and Pears last year.  So can I get evals from the school (which is synonymous with testing/screening?) and then take those results and do my own thing such as Barton or private tutoring if I want to WITHOUT reporting back to them?? Can I just use them for the testing part?? But with the above comment about having to be registered to get the evals from the school makes me want to avoid that if possible. 

 

7) If I did get him an IEP would he then have an IEP for the rest of his school career? No

 

8) It's very obvious that he is dyslexic as he has MANY classic signs, but is a diagnosis required in order to get an IEP? I think I read that diagnosis isn't required, but a "need" is required. Is that right? Technically yes, but dx goes a long way for help in school or future testing accommodations etc For example, my understanding is that the school does not diagnose, but the school is required to assess whether a child is *eligible* for services. So doesn't that mean that I don't need to go through the whole diagnosis process prior to getting an IEP if we went that route? ok.

 

9) If I didn't get an IEP but instead got private tutoring or tutored him myself, am I still legally required to tell the school district about his learning disability?? No

 

Anything else I should know? Did you ever have him evaluated? Does he have language issues? Are you sure it is dyslexia? Some kids have Auditory Processing Disorders for example. The school can do a psychological. They will do a reading assessment and   ask for a TOWL (written language assessment that will show spelling and written expression issues).  Speech and language testing can be done by an SLP.

 

As a homeschooler (especially of a child who is struggling academically) I worry about getting involved with the schools if I don't have to. What is a psychological? What does it entail? Who does it? Would I be committing to anything like *their* remediation or following up with them after the psychological and/or reading assessment?? What's an SLP? 

 

Any other options I'm not thinking of? Are you looking for accommodations down the road for College testing? That is definitely on my mind. Also, being in NYS, I have to give him a standardized test every other year (THIS year is one of those years). I worry that he will get a lower score than he should because of reversals (esp. math) or mis-reading the question (or answers). What are the requirements for getting accommodations for testing? Diagnosis? Or just eligibility for special services from the school? Or both? Another point of confusion for me. Oy.

 

I really need to get on a "road" and I'm so confused about which one to take at this point!!  I'm reading books about dyslexia and how to deal with schools, but they never talk about how it relates to homeschooling so I feel like there's a big gap in my understanding about where to go from here. Even HSLDA doesn't seem to provide much info.   Does you son write well (forget spelling)? Meaning can he express his thoughts coherently and sequentially? Does you son follow the general rules of grammar, capitalization and punctuation? Are you doing  lessons orally? You say he is doing well in all his subjects but spelling. Does that mean he isn't having issues with word problems in math? Can he tell time and work with money? Is he on grade level with SS and Science?  If so,

I would work on his reading fluency (there is reading naturally.com also or see above) and spelling with A&P carving out a 45 minute "tutoring time. Otherwise work on typing and also look into speech to text programs out there.   

 

I think he can write well, but the spelling overwhelms his writing and he doesn't use the computer much (except for math) so it's super work-intensive and he hates it.  Sometimes I will have him write a "rough draft" in which he doesn't worry about anything but putting his thoughts down and then he reads it to me while I type it up. When we do this, he's pretty good at writing. But even that rough draft is hard for him to get through so I make his assignments shorter so it's no so overwhelming for him (if the lesson plans say fill 2 pages, I will assign him 1 page).

 

He can tell time on a regular clock, but may have trouble if it's not close to the hour or half hour. I'm not totally sure as I haven't quizzed him on that in a while. 

  

He knows the puntuation rules, but often forgets to use capitals at the beginning of a sentence, etc. He *knows* it though, so I don't know if his brain just can't remember that in addition to getting the words down, etc. 

 

Some assignments we may do orally. Like "chapter checkpoints" at the end of the chapter. If he didn't have issues I may have him write complete sentences to answer the questions, but with my son I just ask him the questions orally. He is completely fine with comprehending his history and science information, especially if it's read to him. He does read a lot of his assignments but I just have to make sure that he becomes familiar with any big, new words because he can't sound them out and will start a habit of saying some nonsense word and just basically skipping that word while he reads the rest. But he's great at understanding *concepts*. Even with math, he doesn't struggle with concepts at all. Teaching Textbooks minimizes reading a word problem wrong (it is read to him), and also catches his number reversals mistakes. He does get problems wrong sometimes when he carries a double-digit number in the wrong order (carried the 1 in 41 instead of the 4). He loves to learn about science and nature.

 

Thanks in advance!!

 

Tara

 

So I'm leaning toward getting him privately evaluated to avoid registering him with the school or putting a "red flag" on our homeschool. Now if I only knew who to call!   Is insurance more likely to cover one professional over the others?? WHO is the most appropriate person to seek out? And WHY?? The differing opinions are really frustrating to me just because I want to be confident that I'm going to the right place and am going to getting him tested with someone who is QUALIFIED to diagnose dyslexia since that is what I highly suspect.

 

Thank you all so much!! Your suggestions and advice are really helping me to think things through!

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By the way, I just saw the previous 3 posts and don't have time to read them thoroughly yet. Thanks so much for putting up with my madness with this and helping me out. I have been doing a lot of reading and crying and reading and praying, trying to figure out what the heck to do. It's really overwhelming to me. 

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I doubt this is available because it is so old, but I learn to touch type with a program aimed at kids with a Lion King theme.  I was old enough that I didn't NEED a kid's theme, but it definitely motivated me.  I have distinct memories of letters coming from the sky and if they hit the bottom of the screen they would be a little bomb.  Like that ancient video game.  If you hunt and peck you can't get very far.  My guess would be the other kid's typing programs have games like that too.  I also tried that famous software line with a picture of a stern black lady on the front.  Too dry.  I wanted to learn to type, but I not enough to slog through that.  

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Sounds like your dh's job happens to not require much writing by hand, but many do. My dh fills out all kinds of paperwork all day. He has to write on a whiteboard daily, as well, which is displayed on the wall to communicate info to each other. But long before issues of writing on the job, there are many activities that kids do where they would naturally find themselves in a situation of "having" to write by hand... Sunday school ("lets all write something we are thankful for"), faith formation classes at church, homeschool co-op classes, boy scout projects... heck, even playing a board game. I was just at a halloween party where we all played a game where we wrote down phrases. Baby shower games. All kinds of social situations, nevermind job applications, doctor office patient forms, etc. Those of us who have no difficulty don't think about it much. And I suppose a lot of these activities could just be avoided for fear of being humiliated, but obviously I don't want to keep him from all of these things. 

 

That's a bit of a tangent, but my point is I think it's a valid concern. I'm really hoping to get my son past the point of humiliatingly awful spelling but right now, so hopefully he won't be a young man in this situation (he's 11.5 right now), but it worries me because I have seen little to no improvement in his spelling skills no matter what I've tried so far. 

 

Also, it's possible that you don't understand how terrible of spelling I'm referring to.  :unsure: We went to pick up daddy from work today and I told him he could text daddy and tell him "we are here." He asked me how to spell "are" and how to spell "here". 

 

And I just downloaded Ginger (which seems awesome) and I typed in something that my son actually wrote and it wasn't able to fix the spelling because, I'm guessing it wasn't close enough to even tell what word he was going for. Ouch.

 

Oh, Barton, don't fail us now.  :bored:

 

Hm ok, well dysgraphia is always a tricky balance of remediating vs. accommodating. I guess after evals and years of OT I have just accepted that both boys will likely not ever be able to write much by hand. They just can't no matter what we do. They do still have to practice handwriting everyday, but I inform all their teachers (Sunday School & co-ops) that there is a documented writing disability and while I will be happy to work with them on accommodations, they in no way should be expected to write much by hand. If the teachers are not willing to work with me, I just don't put them in the class. I want the kids to be successful and they are doing the best they can with their abilities and issues.

 

That said, my kids can write some and my oldest is spelling pretty well these days, mostly due to the tons of remediation & typing/spelling work we've done, so I'm not that stressed about social situations. Other than academic settings where lots of writing is expected they can pretty much keep up. So, maybe some remediation is the answer? It may never look normal or neurotypical for my kids, but I don't think it has to be humiliating either. There might be a third way that is "good enough" and typing for longer passages.

 

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You asked what/who you're looking for in order to get private evals.  A psychologist or neuropsychologist.  They usually bill per hour and have a flat rate, so when you hear differences in price ($250, $1000, $2000), what you're actually hearing is a difference in how many hours they're planning to spend with you.  I know someone in NY who had insurance with excellent coverage who got her testing done VERY affordably.  There can, however be a wait.  You may need your ped to do a referral for insurance purposes.  (We have a high deductible and HSA, so we just basically call up and pay from the account.)  

 

I know it feels overwhelming, but honestly you're going to be really glad you got the evals.  Even if it takes you 3-4 months to get in, which sometimes it can, it will be WORTH it.  You will be very glad you got the evals, because you're going to learn a lot more and have more actionable information.  Getting on that waiting list for evals does not preclude you from beginning Barton or whatever you decide to do.

 

Deciding to get evals was a hard step for me both times.  Finding the psych is a challenge too, because you're trying to find who is respected.  Try searching with dyslexia, ny, neuropsychologist and see who shows up.  Learning Ally also has referral lists that will include psychs.  When you start seeing a name multiple places, that can be a good sign.  Try looking for people on your state dyslexia board list or see if your state dyslexia support org has a referral list.  

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That said, my kids can write some and my oldest is spelling pretty well these days, mostly due to the tons of remediation & typing/spelling work we've done, so I'm not that stressed about social situations. Other than academic settings where lots of writing is expected they can pretty much keep up. So, maybe some remediation is the answer? It may never look normal or neurotypical for my kids, but I don't think it has to be humiliating either. There might be a third way that is "good enough" and typing for longer passages.

 

 

Yes, this is what I'm aiming for. Just workable. Doable. Non-humiliating spelling will do!!! Trust me, I would be THRILLED. Right now it barely looks like English.

 

 

You asked what/who you're looking for in order to get private evals.  A psychologist or neuropsychologist.  They usually bill per hour and have a flat rate, so when you hear differences in price ($250, $1000, $2000), what you're actually hearing is a difference in how many hours they're planning to spend with you.  I know someone in NY who had insurance with excellent coverage who got her testing done VERY affordably.  There can, however be a wait.  You may need your ped to do a referral for insurance purposes.  (We have a high deductible and HSA, so we just basically call up and pay from the account.)  

 

I know it feels overwhelming, but honestly you're going to be really glad you got the evals.  Even if it takes you 3-4 months to get in, which sometimes it can, it will be WORTH it.  You will be very glad you got the evals, because you're going to learn a lot more and have more actionable information.  Getting on that waiting list for evals does not preclude you from beginning Barton or whatever you decide to do.

 

Deciding to get evals was a hard step for me both times.  Finding the psych is a challenge too, because you're trying to find who is respected.  Try searching with dyslexia, ny, neuropsychologist and see who shows up.  Learning Ally also has referral lists that will include psychs.  When you start seeing a name multiple places, that can be a good sign.  Try looking for people on your state dyslexia board list or see if your state dyslexia support org has a referral list.  

 

 

So helpful!!!!! Thank you! I just really need the steps spelled out for me sometimes. (No pun intended!  :laugh: )

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So here is my plan. 

 

1) Google neuropsychs and psychologists in my area to see if I can find the big names / who is respected.

2) Call my insurance to see if they cover learning disability screening

3) ask for a list of psychologists and neuropsychologists in my area that are in network.

4) see if any of them are recognizable from my google findings

5) Call and ask them a bunch of questions to get a feel for how qualified they are, what they plan to do, prices, etc.

6) Make an appointment with one

7) In the meantime, decide what program to start for the time being, so that I'm not just sitting on my hands.

8) IF my insurance doesn't cover the private screening and I find that it's so expensive we will have to put it off, THEN I will discuss calling the school district and asking about free evals.

 

Hopefully this plan makes sense.

 

PHEW!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Sounds like a plan!  Now I don't know but you might see if your insurance distinguishes psych evals for LD vs. ADHD.  If he were to end up with an ADHD label as part of the mix, would that move them to cover even if they wouldn't cover for LD?  Just something to ask.  (I don't know.)  

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Recipe for Reading is a good start, you just need the manual if you are willing to write out your own words, which I think is better than a workbook anyway. It used to be $25, I think it is now $27 or $28.

 

Many of those symptoms could be vision, I would get a screening from a FCOVD doctor, they are consistent with many of my remedial students who had underlying visual problems, it can cause difficulty with math as well because you can't line up things well and process the numbers visually well. This makes you likely to reverse numbers and can cause other math problems. A COVD screening is much less than a full evaluation so is a good place to start. Of course, there can be both vision and other problems coexisting, but I would rule out the vision piece first because it is cheaper to test and you will have little to no progress with any method until the vision is remediated.

 

Read, Write, Type for typing, it will reinforce phonics as you learn typing. I would also watch through my lessons and try Webster's Speller, the syllables are helpful for all my students. Do a quick run through the spelling lessons first and then the phonics lessons.

 

My students with underlying visual problems do better with the words written in all uppercase, large, on a whiteboard, most respond best to green marker. My students with underlying speech/language processing problems do best with the 1908 marked print Webster.

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I would also get Spelling Plus and Spelling Dictation and learn the words with Lori's over teaching spelling method. It teaches the most frequent 1,000 words. It is made for a non dyslexic student, so you will have to use ideas from programs like Apples and Pears and the overteaching method and different color letters, spelling the word backward, etc. But, the most frequent 1,000 words account for 90% of any running text, so if you master those, you will have a really good start.

 

http://www.susancanthony.com/bk/sp.html

 

Overteaching Spelling method:

 

http://forums.welltrainedmind.com/topic/23896-overteaching-spelling-method/

 

My sight word page has the 220 Dolch words, which are the most frequent 220 words. They would be a good start. Try my UPP and see if it helps or hurts. If he finds them harder to read in the UPP than a normal font the same size, there is likely a visual problem. If he finds them easier, there is likely a speech/language processing problem.

 

http://www.thephonicspage.org/On%20Reading/Resources/sightwordsinUPP1.pdf

 

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

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OH, another question: 

 

What is required in order to legally allow my son accommodations on tests?

 

Obviously as his homeschool teacher, I can let him do some exercises orally instead of written, and things like that, at my discretion. But I am worried about the fact that he is due for a standardized test this year (we live in NY state and it's mandatory). I worry that he will get a low score from getting questions wrong that he KNOWS in science, or history, etc, just because of inaccurate reading of the question. 

 

Would we need an IEP just for me to legally give him testing accommodations?

 

The irony is that nobody would even know if I read him the questions, LOL, since I give him the test at home and that is completely fine and legal. But in the instructions of the test they are pretty strict in that you read a set of instructions and then the child reads and answers the questions (like the SAT). I would be "breaking the rules" of the test if I read him the questions.

 

The kinds of accommodations I think he needs:

 

Use of a multiplication table to do the math questions (he has trouble remembering math facts)

Someone to read the questions and answers to him

Possibly someone to be his scribe if there is a written portion (I can't remember if there has been in the past or not)

 

What's the procedure here??

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