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Barton screening fail/LIPS


mmasc
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I posted several weeks ago on the other board about my DS's reading.  After receiving some advice, I decided to administer the Barton Screening.  We are already doing Dancing Bears A and we're on about page 45.  Well, DS did not pass the screening. :(  He did not do pass Part 3.  I'm hoping you all can shed light on the specific issue that was hard for him.  On most of them, he could repeat the sounds back to me. But then he would mess up with the colored paper.  So, I might say /s/ /m/ /s/  He'd repeat it back correctly, then pull down 3 different colors.  I'd guess maybe 2-3 didn't get repeated back correctly.  I e-mailed Barton for information on deciphering this, and they recommended LiPS, but stated there were no providers of that in my area.  No surprise there.  :/  I really couldn't make anything out from the LiPS website.   :confused1:   So, now what?  Have any of you had good results with Dancing Bears?  My DS just turned 7, so I don't want to jump into Barton if he's not ready, plus it's expensive.  Can I continue on with Dancing Bears to see how it goes?  If so, what do I need to do to help him with the issue I discovered on the Barton screening?

 

FYI, we've had no formal testing done.  No vision screening, auditory test, neuro, etc.  Help here is *very* limited, or not available at all.  So far, my only insight has come from the Barton website.  They emailed me a name of someone who was labeled as a "Dyslexia Specialist" in my area.  I spoke over the phone with her for about an hour.  She asked a lot of questions and told me to do a couple of 'tests' for more information.  I did those things, but have not heard back from her yet to report my findings.  Her initial assessment led her to think he was probably dyslexic, but of course hasn't met him or tested him. In case it helps to know, she asked me to have him tell me the sounds in 'sam' and 'rock'.  He did it perfectly.  She also wanted him to write the alphabet in lowercase letters.  He did not get very far before becoming extremely frustrated and could not even come close to finishing.   :crying:  This surprised me.

 

I'm not sure where to turn.  When I spoke with his pediatrician about my suspicion of dyslexia at his well visit last month, she said to let her know if I found out any good place to go. :huh:  No help, at all.  The closest COVD is an hour away, not covered by insurance.  There is no pediatric audiologist near me (maybe one about 1 1/2 hours away).  I feel like the Barton lady is just going to tell me to get Barton.  

 

I'll take your experiences and advice if you have some to share.  Thank you! 

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First, Susan Barton won't recommend Barton if a child can't pass the 3rd part of the screening (unless there are extenuating circumstances, as some here have run into).  If they recommend LiPS that is because the child is not ready for Barton.  LiPS steps things back even further than Barton because certain key elements are missing that need to be addressed first.  Barton can be a bear to implement if the child is not ready and needs LiPS or something like LiPS first but doesn't get it or only gets limited exposure.

 

If you do not have access to LiPS, I recommend trying to buy a used version somewhere.  

 

I don't know much about Dancing Bears, but I see it recommended here quite a bit.  I just don't know if it would address the issues that came up with the screening.

 

Hopefully, someone with more knowledge can help.

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Looking at the Barton screening test, there are three parts to the part C: A) repeat the sounds, B) pull down the correct tiles, and C) correctly touch the tiles and say the correct sounds.  From what you said, he could mostly do A) and could not do B) - could he do C) correctly, in that he correctly repeated back the sounds again in the right order? 

 

Also, looking at the scoring, even if his problems with the tiles were due to not understanding what he was supposed to do and not because he couldn't do it, you can only miss two to pass.  You said he was unable to repeat back 2-3 - he may have failed it regardless :grouphug:.

 

 

I'm no expert, not at all, so take my experience with a big grain of salt ;), but my oldest two both failed Part C of the Barton screening (oldest was already reading well, but her spelling was atrocious).  I got LiPS used and made my own manipulatives from the blackline masters in the manual.  It's pretty straightforward, but isn't open-and-go - you have to study the lessons fairly well before doing them.  This proved to be my downfall when I did it last year, and we only got through learning the consonant sounds (it wasn't LiPS' fault - the manual is *very* clear and straightforward - it was me and my inability to block out time outside of the school day to learn the material before teaching it).  But just learning the consonants was extremely helpful, there were several consonant sounds my girls couldn't distinguish between, and a few that they were unable to even say (heck, there were a couple sounds that *I* couldn't say before doing LiPS) - I'm glad we did what we did (wish I could figure out how to do more) and I still use what we learned to help them distinguish sounds in words.

 

Ever since then I've been using the Dekodiphukan sound pictures (giving them a visual representation of all the different sounds, since they can't reliably hear them all) to try to work around their deficits, along with doing REWARDS Reading with dd9 to help her learn to break down words (which she can't do, not auditorially or visually - it's what makes her spelling and pronunciation of unknown words so very horrible).  It's been a mixed bag, because at least with dd9, pretty much all her spelling problems stem from being unable break a word into syllables or phonemes unless she's worked through that particular word before - which skill is exactly what LiPS builds. 

 

But her memory is good enough (she only has to work through a word once or twice to have it down, plus, at least with reading, once she worked through a large enough selection of words, something clicked and she could generalize her phonics knowledge despite her deficits), and REWARDS is going well enough, that I think (hope) that working through a good selection of one-syllable words and word parts with the sound pictures (I'm working on whittling down a giant mostly-complete list of 15,000+ English syllables, cutting out all the syllables that include a prefix/suffix), along with a morphemic approach to breaking down and building multi-syllable words (Spelling Through Morphographs is up after we are done with REWARDS) will do the trick. 

 

But all that is just trying to work around the problem instead of fix it, and honestly I still want to do LiPS, because otherwise foreign languages will be a trick and a half - we'd have to break down and build each and every vocab word just like we're doing in English.  For us, LiPS is the clear right answer - I'm going to a lot more work to try to avoid doing LiPS - but it's work that is easier for me to do than to do LiPS, so idk (it's mostly a lot of tedious working through word lists and collating phonic info and coding the words in the sound pictures - stuff that I can do while being periodically interrupted by the kids - at the table while supervising the girls' independent work, or in the evening while they play).  It's not the best answer, but I'm hoping it's good enough, kwim?  The girls *are* making steady progress, so as long as that continues....crossing fingers, I guess.

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Years ago, my son failed that section of the Barton screen too. The LiPS program was originally developed by Phyllis Lindamood (of Lindamood-Bell) and she was a speech therapist. Some speech therapists are trained in it and most should have some training in the type of things earlier sections of LiPS teaches, (although speech therapists get very specialized and many might not know how to teach those things to children.) The principle behind LiPS is to teach a child how to detect the differences in sounds based on the position and movement of the lips, mouth, tongue, vocal cords. But it's not just lip reading--it helps them learn to hear the differences between the sounds--and then it moves onto teaching reading. It's quite unique, and clinical studies have shown it actually changes the way the brain is wired. Fascinating stuff!

 

Anyway, I had already bought Barton before administering the screen. Susan Barton recommended finding someone else who was trained in it to teach the program, but that didn't work for me. (I was very pregnant and the daily drive would have been too far.) Instead, I found an old used LiPS manual on Ebay, then I read and studied it. I bought a few items directly from Gander Publishing, (the company that publishes and sells LiPS and other Lindamood-Bells materials). Since that time, the program has been revised and I haven't seen a more recent manual, but the old manual I used had very little scripting. I certainly understand why Susan Barton recommended a professional or speech therapist instead of just lil' ol' me, but I was able to get the job done. Learning LiPS was rather fascinating to me, but teaching it at home isn't for the average homeschool mom. If you have any speech issues or foreign accent or other stuff going on, it's probably best to get outside help. But outside help can be very expensive, (as can be all of this special needs stuff!)

 

Barton's program covers later materials found in LiPS, but Barton is more scripted and comes with training DVD's. The LiPS manual I used had very little scripting, and while Lindamood-Bell does offer training sessions they take days, are geared towards professional educators and are expensive.  I was very, very relieved when we'd covered far enough in LiPS to start Barton. Since then, I've used portions of LiPS with my pre-schoolers, so the time I invested in learning it for my dyslexic son paid off well.

 

Anyway, I see your son is 7. No need to panic but time to address these issues. Talk to your doctor and see if he knows any speech therapists who can teach this stuff to your child. See if it's covered by your insurance. Maybe get an audiology exam too. If none of that works out, see if you can find an old LiPS manual somewhere. (The full program from the program is expensive new. It's sometimes sold on places like ebay for less.) Look through the manual. Study it. Look over old threads because a couple of us have done something similar to what I described. If you can't do it, maybe you have a family member or friend who might be able to do it. Teaching a child to read phonetically is going to be very hard if the child can't detect the sounds within words that make up words. 

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I found an old used LiPS manual on Ebay, then I read and studied it. I bought a few items directly from Gander Publishing, (the company that publishes and sells LiPS and other Lindamood-Bells materials). Since that time, the program has been revised and I haven't seen a more recent manual, but the old manual I used had very little scripting. I certainly understand why Susan Barton recommended a professional or speech therapist instead of just lil' ol' me, but I was able to get the job done. Learning LiPS was rather fascinating to me, but teaching it at home isn't for the average homeschool mom.

 

I have the 3rd edition (published in the 1998), and it actually has fairly extensive scripting.  It's just that the person teaching it needs to know the material themselves before trying to teach it - it's scripted in the sense of "how to present the material to the student" but you can't learn the material alongside your student - the teacher needs to have learned it themselves beforehand.  It was *very* fascinating - so many lightbulbs (I have the same problem distinguishing sounds and manipulating phonemes and syllables that my kids do - if I hadn't had several years of learning to teach phonics under my belt, *I'd* have failed the Barton screening) - but it was all so *new* to me - I didn't have any background info to give me pegs to hand this new info on - that it took serious, like-I'm-taking-a-college-class study to learn it.  (And in terms of initial prep, it took me two skim-throughs of the whole manual before I wrapped my brain around the big picture enough to know where the whole thing was going.  It's really elegant in its simiplicity, but it took a decent bit of study before I *grasped* the core ideas.)  At least for me, even with the scripting, I still had to be conversant enough in the material and the lesson to be able to go off-book to have the necessary facility to teach it properly. And I just didn't have the will or wherewithal or whatever to keep up with that sort of prep. 

 

Really, what I should have done was to use my dh as my guinea pig and taught it all to him first (I taught the kids separately, and the second go-through always went smoother).  But, again, not enough of *something* to make the necessary commitment.  I still hold out hope that I'll get there someday, though.

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In case it might be helpful, here's a big picture summary I wrote up from my notes on LiPS.  It was very helpful for *me* in terms of organizing my knowledge, so I'm throwing it out there.  Also, I'm including a list of all the manipulatives I needed to make.

 

~*~

Part 1: Setting the Climate for Learning:  This is a short step, but important - is basically explaining the point of the program to the student.  Focus is on teaching the students to be able to distinguish sounds for themselves, instead of having to rely on the teacher to tell them if they are right or wrong.


Part 2: Identifying and Classifying Speech Sounds:  This is one of the unique foundations for LiPS.  Instead of sounds being taught as a series of unrelated units, the LiPS program makes the underlying structure of the English sound system apparent as the students categorize the sounds on the basis of similarities and differences in the place and manner in which they are produced.  This provides a tool students can use later in identifying and tracking speech sounds in syllables.  

Each sound has distinct characteristics that differentiate it from other speech sounds, and these characteristics can be heard, seen, and felt as the sound is produced, for a multi sensory experience with the sounds.  In this level of the program, students learn to use information from the eye, ear, and mouth to identify, classify, and label individual consonant vowel sounds, and to associate the sound they hear themselves say, the appearance of the mouth action when the sound is made, and the physical sensation of making the sound.

There's a big emphasis on distinguishing via comparison - first you start with the sounds that are the most different from each other, and learn to feel the differences, and then you learn to make smaller and smaller distinctions.  The mouth pictures are used extensively here.


Part 3: Tracking Speech Sounds:  The ability to track sounds in sequences and conceptualize them visually is a critical factor in reading and spelling.  In spelling (encoding), sequences of sounds are translated into sequences of letters; in reading (decoding), sequences of letters are translated into sequences of sounds.  Either task involves two important skills: tracking sounds in sequences, and associating sounds and symbols with those sequences.  The LiPS program develops these two skills separately before asking the student to combine them in spelling and reading tasks.

The LiPS program offers two unique and important features here:
1) A progression of smaller steps than is ordinarily given in beginning reading programs, and
2) experiences with tracking and representing sequences of sounds with *concrete objects* (mouth pictures and colored tiles) *before* the student is asked to associate and represent with sequences of letters symbols in spelling and reading.

The tracking sequences starts with tracking sounds in single, simple syllables (VC, CV, CVC) and then moves to tracking sounds in single complex syllables (CCV, VCC, CCVC, CVCC, CCVCC) and simple multisyllables.  From there it moves to tracking sounds in complex multisyllables.

Here's how it works:
You start by saying a syllable - /at/, for example - and the student models it with mouth pictures or colored tiles (same color for same sounds, different colors for different sounds). 

Then you change just *one* sound and the student changes the tiles to match what they heard.  There are five types of changes:
*adding a sound
*omitting a sound
*substituting one sound for a new one
*shifting a sound to a new place
*repeating a sound
And with each change, the student shows the change they heard with the tiles.

The manual has lots of these sequences already done - you just move through them one by one - and it has lots of teaching suggestions and sample scripts.


Part 4: Associating Sounds and Symbols:  the other half of the reading/spelling task.   You can teach them in part 2 or wait and teach them here, just before moving to spelling activities.  Spelling and reading overlap with tracking - as soon as you've mastered tracking single simple syllables, you add in spelling single simple syllables as you also move on to tracking simple multisyllables and complex single syllables.


Part 5: Spelling (encoding) and Reading (decoding):  Spelling and Reading follow the same progression as Tracking: start with simple one syllable words (pseudo and real) and then move to complex one syllable words and simple multisyllable words, and then move to complex multisyllable words.

Spelling starts with using letter tiles to build words, and later moves to writing the words; Reading likewise starts with the teacher building words (real and pseudo) from letter tiles before moving to reading print.  Both use the same sort of "change one sound" sequences as tracking does.  And you overlap spelling and reading in the same way you overlap tracking and spelling - as you master spelling simple one syllable words, you move to reading simple one syllable words as you also move on to spelling complex one syllable words and simple multisyllable words.

Spelling emphasizes consciously integrating the sound-symbol cues previously established.  For example, consciously considering whether you can spell the Lip Popper /p/ using 't' - does that match?  The focus is on consciously using sensory feedback to check whether what they *see*  matches what they *hear* and *feel*.

When reading for meaning, if a word doesn't make sense in context, it's a sign to go back and check your decoding.

Error handling focuses on asking questions that help the student *discover* their error, instead of the teacher just telling the student the right answer.

 

~*~

 

Here's my list of things to be copied and laminated and have magnets added to:

Things to copy out of the LiPS manual (I actually scanned them and cropped the edges and then printed all of them on white cardstock and then laminated them):

*Mouth pictures (1 page) (I never could get my scans/copies to come out right, so I ended up buying a set of those from the publisher.)
*consonant symbols and vowel symbols (1 page each)
*bingo cards (optional-ish, 3 pages)
*vowel mat (1 page)
*tracking mat (1 page)
*sets of simple syllables and words for reading (6 pages)
*sets of complex syllables and words for reading (3 pages)
*syllable cards (3 pages, and it's possible/probable that making more cards with other syllables you come up with would be good/necessary - I haven't read that chapter closely yet)
*grid endings (2 pages)

Additional things to make:
*colored tiles: 24, in four groups of six colors, and an additional nine more, each in a different color (and different from the six colors in the first set).  I made squares and colored them in with sharpies on the edges of the other pages (the ones where stuff was getting cut out)
*little line drawings of an ear and a nose (or pictures), on small squares (maybe 2 or 3 each?)

Things to be cut out:
Basically everything *but* the vowel mat and the tracking mat

Things to have magnets added:
*consonant and vowel symbols
*colored tiles
*ear/nose pictures

Other thing to have - magnetic whiteboard.  It actually calls for a custom magnetic trifold whiteboard (which can only be bought from them, as far as I can tell), but I'm making a go with 15"x15" square boards (with a 2'x3' board in reserve).  ETA:  In practice, those boards worked fine, plus using a cookie sheet also worked well.

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Thanks for that summary, forty-two. :D

 

I'll just add that Barton's first level begins a little way into part 3 of what 42 outlined above. Then, the first few levels of Barton cover much what those later portions of LiPS covers further in 3, 4 and 5. The LiPS manual I used did have some scripting, but Barton offers extensive scripting, plus tutor training and phone support. I love both Barton and LiPS. Susan Barton referred my son to LiPS. I've very grateful to her. Just based off his results from her program's student screen, she knew more about what my son needed than the two speech therapists who had previously evaluated him.

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If 42's approach is sounding a little complicated, know that you can just buy the mouth pictures ($25), buy the manual, pick it up, read, use it, and it will work fine.  I did LIPS with my ds using just the mouth pictures, a magnetic whiteboard, and the manual.  LIPS is AWESOME, and you'll get why you need it once you get it. 

 

If you have the option to hire a tutor, that's fine.  Whatever works for you.  You were cringing at the cost of Barton, but you're going to pay WAY more than that to hire this done, mercy.  If money is your issue, buying LIPS and then Barton is the way to go.  

 

What's more expensive is trying stuff that doesn't work, or worse yet doing things that are ineffective and then a few years from now being REALLY frustrated and desperate.  I don't think it's a problem to get aggressive with a newly 7 yo.  Our diagnosing psych was very adamant about the importance of intervention, and ds was newly 6.  There's no reason to delay or think it's going to go away.

 

The reason LIPS is unique is because it merges the working memory issues *and* the phonemic awareness into one program, giving the kinesthetic, visual inputs as well .  So you're going to see it, hear it, feel it, say it, and you're going to do all that WHILE you not only build his phonological processing but also his *working memory* enough to be functional.  With ANY of that missing, the task falls apart.  If you can hear sounds but your working memory is too small, you're still not going to be able to blend.  It really is rocket science for these kids.  The LIPS stage was harder for my ds than Barton.  Seriously.  And LIPS is that good and that worth your money.  In fact, I would say get LIPS, go through it, and then skimp out with the following programs (Barton, whatever you were intending) if you must.  

 

But remember, it may not come to that.  Your materials will have good resale value, so you'll buy, use, then sell off, reinvesting that money to buy the next thing.  It makes your functional cost on the Barton levels about $60 after your initial investment.  Way cheaper than a tutor.

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Wow...thank you so much for the detailed and helpful info 42 and merry gardens. It has really helped me understand what LiPS is for, although I'll admit that is sounds extremely overwhelming. I know there's *one* speech therapy place in town. I might call them and see if they even know what I'm talking about when I ask...I won't be surprised if they don't. :/ I asked the Barton 'Dyslexia Specialist' what I would do if DS didn't pass the screening and she said there was something we could do, but we'd wait until then to see. I can't get a call back, but hopefully she can tell me her recommendation. Surely she knows, if she works all day helping dyslexia students. *fingers crossed*

Thanks again to the helpful replies from everyone so far!

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Agree with OhE, if you have to hire a specialist, it may end up costing literally thousands over the course of remediation.  If you have a great specialist and you have the money, it may very well be worth it to go that way, though, since they can bring so much more to the table than a layman using just one program can.  A really good specialist will be able to incorporate many different methods on the fly, depending on your individual child's needs.

 

However, if money is an issue, or finding a really good specialist is an issue, or the ability to get your child to the specialist is an issue, or you really want more control over how to help your child, LiPS and Barton can be lifesavers.  And both Barton and LiPS used at home are usually waaaaaay cheaper than hiring a specialist.  I spent over $800 in just one month for "specialized tutoring" for my two kids and not only was it very expensive, it didn't help at all (in fact was actually the opposite of what they needed) and it demoralized them.  I could have gotten Barton Level 1, 2, and 3 for close to that.  

 

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I don't know how to multi quote on my phone so..

OhE...thanks for giving me hope that LiPS is *that* good AND doable. I've only looked at the site once, and that giant LiPS kit almost gave me a panic attack! I already use AAS and that's even more than I like to fiddle with. :) I could probably handle mouth pictures and a manual. Can I buy just that from their website? Or do I need to look on eBay? Even their website seemed not user-friendly to me. And yes, I'm very afraid to buy stuff and waste money, whether it be LiPS, Barton, or whatever. Is it possible for this to be a waste though? I mean, he didn't pass Part 3, this was recommended, so it's the way to go, right?

OneStep...thanks for the information. Regarding hiring the specialist...it doesn't seem likely. There's only two in my whole state, and this one (the closest) is an hour away and apparently stays busy working in the PS all day. So I have no idea if she's good, expensive, etc but she's probably too far away anyway. Do you mind telling me how you knew your specialist was not good? As I said, I'm not planning to pay this lady (not even sure if that's an option), but how do I know if she's trustworthy or whackadoo? ;) Are there any red flags you noticed with yours?

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http://ganderpublishing.com/product/lips-mouth-picture-magnets-15.asp

 

http://ganderpublishing.com/product/lips-manual.asp

 

That's all you need.  It will set you back $156 plus shipping.  Around here, I would pay $65 an hour for a qualified tutor.  I've heard in some other cities you can get them for $35 an hour, but not where I live.  I can buy a LOT of materials for what a "professional" would cost me, whew.  And, like OneStep, I'm not convinced they're always better.  If it's what you need or prefer, go for it.  No, you don't need to photocopy, build, or assemble anything to do LIPS.  I certainly didn't.  Granted I'm pretty hack, but you pick up the manual, read it, do it.  It is scripted and has tracks.  You'll get into a flow.  

 

It's actually really important, as a homeschooler, that you go through this process, because it keeps you connected to what he's learning.  You're going to find you're able to carry this over to other things, and you might start to click on *why* things are hard for him and realize there are other, supporting things you want to do.  For instance one of the things LIPS is doing is building working memory.  Well maybe you'd decide to throw in some more fun things into your day to work on working memory, just to get that up a bit.  You don't need to pay a therapist to do that, because you're plenty smart enough to see that and go oh we should do some digit spans or play some games where we repeat sequences of things or do a little bit of cognitive therapy software or play some games like A Fist Full of Coins.  Actually, right now I've got my ds playing Go Nuts.  It's a super simple, adorable little game, but I'm *specifically* doing it with him in ways that stretch his working memory.

 

This stuff is NOT hard to do and you'll grow right into it as you see it happen.  There are lots of good reasons to go through this together.  You might find it fills some holes for you too, if you happen to be the one the genes came from.   :)  Did you take the tutor test on Barton to see if you have any issues holding you back?   :)

 

Don't be afraid.  Worst that happens is you take the plunge, you realize you HATE doing it with him or can't for some reason, and you hire a tutor and sell the stuff.  But odds are you'll be fine.  Seriously.  I gripe more than the average bear, and I got it to work.  You will too.   :)

 

Note: Ds is now in Barton 4.  I can be pretty nostalgic.  While we were doing LIPS, I wasn't feeling so pretty about it.   :lol: 

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Thank you OhE. Really, thank you. I'm needing advice and encouragement and you've given me both. :) I'm going to look into this and see if I can do it. Teaching him to read is so hard for us both right now, that I really can't imagine something being harder. I'd love some insight on how he's thinking, and especially how I can help him. It sounds like LiPS might help.

I did take the Barton screener test, and passed fortunately. :)

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Honestly, I think it's hard because you don't have the right materials yet.  There is nothing in Barton that you haven't seen before, but when you get something that's really MEANT for the level of disability you're dealing with, the brain thought process you're dealing with, you're going to have this CLICK that will be like wow, the heavens opened up, things finally work, this could actually work, we could make some headway!  It will happen.  So struggling in spite of AAS or whatever is not an indication that he *can't* succeed, just that he can't succeed with that program.  

 

Hmm, insight on how he's thinking?  Have you scheduled a neuropsych eval yet?  It's time.  The other thing you could do is read Dyslexic Advantage by the Eides.  Might reframe your world.   :)

 

As far as how his brain is thinking in the actual reading stuff, I think you just aren't multisensory enough yet and you don't have materials that break it down enough yet.  You're going to get that in LIPS and Barton.  Seriously.  I LOVE Barton.  Like **super smoochie hug** love Barton.  I taught my dd (no SLD reading) just fine with SWR and took her through 1-6 of AAS after her VT.  If there was no difference, I wouldn't be paying for Barton, kwim?  I've got all my SWR and AAS stuff and could find other ways to spend that money.   :D  You don't yet get how your dc thinks, but BARTON does.  And when you buy Barton, you get her videos, all her detailed instructions, everything right there, and when it clicks you go OH now I get it...  And when you have problems you write her.  No more tragedies.  You're basically paying for her wisdom, as the master teacher, to come in there and give it to you. Some people find Barton's videos boring.  I love them because they're so CALM.  It's like ok, we can ratchet this down, calm down, it's going to be ok.  Scream privately in the shower that night, but it's going to be ok during our sessions.   :)

 

Disclaimers.  I blended Barton 1 and LIPS.  I'm not saying you should, but it *is* fun to go ahead and get Barton 1, once you're a bit into LIPS, so you can see where this is going.  Also, my ds has unusual speech issues, so I was integrating his very hands-on speech therapy methodology into the LIPS stuff.  It was insanely cool, this whole feel it, see it, touch it, move it way of exploring sounds and words.  I'm telling you my ds had more reasons why it shouldn't work, and we still got it to work.  You can too.   :)

 

Btw, Barton has you jump out of LIPS a bit early.  You won't actually go through the LIPS lessons for syllables, etc. if you're jumping over to Barton.  I found they blended really well.  Anyways, that's why you get away with needing less things (no syllable mats, etc.), because you're not doing the entirety of LIPS.  And it's fine to jump.  Barton is more specifically for dyslexia, where LIPS has a variety of audiences.  You want to get that foundation and move over to the program that is dyslexia-specific.  

 

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I don't know how to multi quote on my phone so..

OhE...thanks for giving me hope that LiPS is *that* good AND doable. I've only looked at the site once, and that giant LiPS kit almost gave me a panic attack! I already use AAS and that's even more than I like to fiddle with. :) I could probably handle mouth pictures and a manual. Can I buy just that from their website? Or do I need to look on eBay? Even their website seemed not user-friendly to me. And yes, I'm very afraid to buy stuff and waste money, whether it be LiPS, Barton, or whatever. Is it possible for this to be a waste though? I mean, he didn't pass Part 3, this was recommended, so it's the way to go, right?

OneStep...thanks for the information. Regarding hiring the specialist...it doesn't seem likely. There's only two in my whole state, and this one (the closest) is an hour away and apparently stays busy working in the PS all day. So I have no idea if she's good, expensive, etc but she's probably too far away anyway. Do you mind telling me how you knew your specialist was not good? As I said, I'm not planning to pay this lady (not even sure if that's an option), but how do I know if she's trustworthy or whackadoo? ;) Are there any red flags you noticed with yours?

Having now used a good specialist (had to relocate for the summer because there are NONE where I live), a really, really pathetic specialist (local), a soso specialist ("local" but an hour away) and having tutored my own kids with Barton, I can tell you something now that I didn't know then. Get someone that has been thoroughly trained in multiple methods. Absolutely this is critical. Otherwise you are just as good as a "specialist". If they are really well trained in multiple ways of approaching issues, then they may have invaluable skills and knowledge they can bring to the table. They can flex and adapt and create a program that specifically addresses your child's strengths as well as weaknesses. If all they know is one method, and cannot adapt, they may be no better than (and may be far worse than) a loving parent with a very clearly laid out program like Barton or even a sort of laid out program like LiPS.

 

Other things I think are important: Get someone that is friendly and willing to answer lots of questions in an informative way. Get someone that interacts well with your child from day one. Do research on reading struggles and dyslexia, etc. and ask them questions based on current scientific research. Make sure their responses seem knowledgeable. Talk to other people that have used them and ask very direct questions regarding their experience.

 

As for our own personal experience, the really pathetic specialist we hired seemed pretty good. She came recommended by several people, she was pleasant, she worked with a group that were supposed to be dyslexia specialists, etc. We had just pulled DS out of 2nd grade so I was homeschooling him. DD was still attending school. They were using the same lady. She went to the school for DD and came to my house for DS. It seemed like a great arrangement, especially since she wasn't charging extra for driving around. I couldn't be in the sessions with DD. They did their sessions in a pull out arrangement during school hours. With DS, since it was in my own home, after I started having concerns I started peeking in on them (even though she had asked me to step out of the room so as not to be a distraction) so I was able to overhear what was happening.

 

Red flags that started cropping up: 1. DD would come home from school on days where she had to be with the specialist feeling really down and withdrawn. 2. DD after a couple of weeks came home to say something like "Mom, she says I should already know this stuff and I need to try harder to remember. I AM trying harder to remember. She makes me feel bad." 3. The woman would show up at my home seeming disorganized. 4. She handed me a sheet of paper with 5 columns of "site words" in very small print that I was supposed to make DS read to me every day until he "had them down". 5. Her "manipulatives" were very thin pieces of hand cut out paper that DS had a hard time moving around. 6. She had little patience so when DS got confused over her multi-sequence instructions she treated him like he had a bad attitude and must not be listening. 7. When I showed her the research I had read on Dyslexia and questioned her methods, her response was that this was the system she had been trained in and she didn't know of another way to teach. 8. DS, my people pleaser, started crying when he knew she was coming. We quit.

 

On the flip side of that coin, this summer we relocated several hours from here (thankfully my brother lent us his home) and spent over a month with a dyslexia center that actually knew what they were doing. I started contacting them last summer because we thought we were moving there or at least temporarily relocating. Even though we didn't end up going last summer, they stayed in contact with me, making helpful suggestions even though I hadn't paid them a dime. When we started there this summer, they didn't make me pay anything up front. They wanted to try out different programs and different lengths of remediation to see what would work best with each child before I shelled out any money (who does that?). They cut DD's hours from two hours a day to one hour a day after one week saying it was just too intense for her and she was burning out by the second hour. Both DD and DS had tutors that were trained in multiple systems, including LiPS, Barton, PACE, etc. The kids were attending daily but we didn't pay anything until the last day we were there.

 

The Directors assessed both kids and determined what was causing our snags in Barton (I LOVE Barton but both kids hit snags in Level 4) and created a customized program for both kids. Since the Directors of the program knew that we would only be there for a few weeks, and when we returned home we would be using Barton again, they geared what they were doing to target the weak areas while still also prepping them for a return to Barton once they returned home. For each child they created a customized program and were able to adapt to their individual needs. The tutors that were actually implementing the program would meet with the Directors at the end of each day to discuss progress/snags/concerns/successes and modify their program as needed. They would also discuss things with me at the beginning of the next day. Every time I expressed a concern, they would have a meeting with at least one of the Directors, the tutor and me. Awesome, awesome group. And again, they were able to adapt on the fly.

 

DS, for instance, has a strong connection to history. His tutor realized that he did better with sounds and reading if she could tie it to history. They spent an entire tutoring session working on sounds while doing research on certain people and events from history that held his interest. At the end of our time there, the tutor spent the last two days reviewing the Barton levels we had already completed at home to make sure that the remediation he had done had gotten him over the humps and snags that had really tripped him up, then she showed me some techniques I could use at home to help if he ran into additional issues. DS's tutor also recommended that I keep Barton sessions to no more than 30 minutes a day and spend the rest of my day engaging him intellectually. She warned me that his is very, very bright and his intellectual needs were not being met effectively. She made several really useful recommendations and had me start him with the Critical Thinking Company Reading Detective program to pair with Barton and our other school work. He loves it. And since his time with the tutor and revamping our approach at home based on her recommendations his reading has improved dramatically.

 

DD did not have quite as phenomenal a tutor as DS, IMHO, but she was good and she did adapt pretty well to DD's needs. DD did struggle with one of the programs they were trying to implement but they adjusted and changed her over to something that addressed her immediate needs more effectively. At the end they also recommended several things to help out at home and encouraged me to incorporate Mind Benders by the Critical Thinking Company for her deductive reasoning skills. She loves these and does them first thing in the morning.

 

Bottom line, the people that actually made a difference were the people who were trained in multiple systems, were adaptable, and worked hard to tailor their program to fit the needs of my kids. They weren't trying to force my kids to fit their program.

 

HTH :)

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Thank you OhE. Really, thank you. I'm needing advice and encouragement and you've given me both. :) I'm going to look into this and see if I can do it. Teaching him to read is so hard for us both right now, that I really can't imagine something being harder. I'd love some insight on how he's thinking, and especially how I can help him. It sounds like LiPS might help.

I did take the Barton screener test, and passed fortunately. :)

 

:thumbup1:  I'm glad you passed the tutor screening test. In our little internet world of communication on this forum, it's hard to assess another mom's ability to teach this stuff. Things like that tutor screen help. I was corresponding with another mom about LiPS several years back and a few posts into the discussion, the tutor screen came up then mom admitted to having a strong accent because wasn't a native speaker of English. Another time in a discussion about this kind of thing the mom reported that she personally had some other issues that sounded like auditory processing problems. So... now I'm a bit hesitant to always assure strangers on the internet that they can do this stuff. Some can do it, and some can't.

 

It's not rocket science, but it's intimidating. It's very different than how most of us learned to read.  I mean really, no one every showed me how the jaw and tongue moves in order to produce vowel sounds--at least not until I bought some LiPS training dvd on vowels. My son really, really struggled with vowels, so after looking over the LiPS manual, I opted to buy an extra training dvd along with some other supplies. It wasn't cheap, but it was still far less than paying for a private tutor or speech therapist.  As long as what I try didn't mess my child up so badly that it costs extra to un-do the damage, I figured it was worth trying. There's no harm in getting the manual, reading through it, then honestly assessing your ability. 

 

Be honest with yourself, but keep in mind As OneStep wrote above that hiring someone else to do teach the material doesn't assure that you're going to find an expert either. Other people may know more about dyslexia or phonics than you do, but you know your child better. You are an expert on your child. And just as with other aspects of parenting, sometimes we just have to figure things out as we go along.

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You guys are awesome! I've gotten more helpful information from this thread than *anywhere* else on helping my little guy. So thank you, thank you! I know it takes time to type this stuff while also managing a household. :)

OneStep, thank you for sharing your story. It really helped me to see what to look for in a possible tutor. There is only one here, but at least I know what to look for if we move to a new location (which is likely) I'm so glad you were able to get that awesome help for your DC. That place sounds amazing!

MerryG...I'm definitely glad I didn't have any issues passing the screening, but it still seems a bit overwhelming. I was ready to go for it with Barton, but LiPS has me a bit scared.

OhE...I think my DS definitely needs manipulatives and multi-sensory. But here's the rub...He hated the paper squares during the screening and he hates the AAS tiles. ?? He's my one child who I'd think loves this stuff! He loves to build stuff, tinker in the garage, etc so it blew my mind! He has always kept me on my toes. ;) He's very imaginative and mostly doesn't want to be shown what to do, so I think it's just the fact that he has to do exactly as I say, repeat after me kind of stuff. Any thoughts on this?

Thanks again ladies!

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You guys are awesome! I've gotten more helpful information from this thread than *anywhere* else on helping my little guy. So thank you, thank you! I know it takes time to type this stuff while also managing a household. :)

OneStep, thank you for sharing your story. It really helped me to see what to look for in a possible tutor. There is only one here, but at least I know what to look for if we move to a new location (which is likely) I'm so glad you were able to get that awesome help for your DC. That place sounds amazing!

MerryG...I'm definitely glad I didn't have any issues passing the screening, but it still seems a bit overwhelming. I was ready to go for it with Barton, but LiPS has me a bit scared.

OhE...I think my DS definitely needs manipulatives and multi-sensory. But here's the rub...He hated the paper squares during the screening and he hates the AAS tiles. ?? He's my one child who I'd think loves this stuff! He loves to build stuff, tinker in the garage, etc so it blew my mind! He has always kept me on my toes. ;) He's very imaginative and mostly doesn't want to be shown what to do, so I think it's just the fact that he has to do exactly as I say, repeat after me kind of stuff. Any thoughts on this?

Thanks again ladies!

DD hated the tiles, too, and she is my very tactile learner and my outside the box thinker and my kiddo that has always been resistant to authority dictating specifics of how she does things (toilet training was very interesting with this one :laugh: ).  I was surprised as well that she hated those tiles.  However, I cut her a deal.  We started with just 20 minutes a session for Level 1.  She knew at the end of the 20 minutes we would stop.  She HAD to do hand gestures, tiles, whatever the program called for, the way I was instructing her, or we extended the time.  Eventually she realized it was actually helpful and she stopped resisting.  Her stamina increased and her attitude improved.  We were also able to adapt each lesson so that some days we could go for much longer, other days it needed to be just that 20 minutes.  It helped her to know ahead of time what our goal for the day was, but it also helped that I could stop the lesson and just come back to it later if she was really shutting down (but the 20 minutes at a time was not negotiable).  

 

One of the things that was helpful with Barton are the suggestions in the back of the TM and on the website regarding resistant kids.  Some of the techniques seemed silly to me but when I tried implementing them, many worked really well.  Once DD got used to the system, and we had moved past Level 1, she actually sometimes asked for a Barton lesson.  She doesn't enjoy the lessons but she recognized that it was genuinely helping her to read and spell and also the sooner we started the sooner it was over.  :)

 

I will say that maybe mid-way through Level 3 we switched to the tile app on the I-Pad.  Set up was seconds, clean up was turning off the I-Pad, and it just made things sooooo much easier.  I though the kids would love it.  They didn't.  After a few lessons of the app, they both asked to go back to the tiles, even though they had not liked the tiles.  Go figure.  We still sometimes use the app instead of the tiles.  It is really helpful to be portable like that or to be able to do a lesson even if we are pressed for time and pulling the tiles out just doesn't make sense.

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I just wanted to follow up on something Merry said.  It's true, I had a number of classes on linguistics, etc. in college *and* sat in on all ds' speech therapy sessions, so speech production, where the tongue is, etc. is no big deal to me.  I think that's *fabulous* advice to fill in that hole with the video if you get the manual and are muffled.  However new systems are always new and muffling.  If you were starting with SWR from scratch with no AAS background, you'd be saying the same thing.  You know how many posts like that we see.  It's just new, not insurmountable, kwim?  

 

Ok, on the manips, OneStep pointed out to you that Barton, when you watch her videos, is going to tell you that stuff is non-negotiable.  I think you need to understand *why* each thing is important, and I think you need to understand *why* your dc is having trouble slowing down and complying.  This goes back to the eval thing.  I forget, but you're working on that?  You have an IQ score?  You know whether there's ADHD or impulsivity going on?  

 

My ds is HIGHLY impulsive, and he has an IQ.  It makes him really squirrelly crazy to teach, because his body is impulsively going "Oh, let's try this!" and his brain can think up really worthwhile ideas TO try.  I've thought about switching to the app.  It would be tidier, but he likes having the ability ask questions and rabbit trail and try things while we're talking, and I like that we can do that.  I lose that (I think?) if we go to the app.  I appreciate his questions and don't want to squash them.  He has them because he's super bright, but sure it's a challenge.  Right now I finally have my best structure.  I use ASD techniques of environmental control and physically pin him in on all sides, so he can't bolt.  I choose things that don't hurt when thrown.  I used magnet letters for quite a while.  I think you're going to find a 7 yo is not going to want them.  See, but that's what I'm thinking.  You know, I'll just say I'm breaking my own rule and used ceramic tiles (literally, like 1 1/2" square ceramic tiles) with number stickers on them yesterday for math.  They're scratchy on the bottom and would be awful if thrown.  (You're seeing my life, lol.)  

 

The reason I liked the letter magnets was because I could dump them out and he could physically manipulate them, righting them, flipping them.  It was a way for me to work on his visual perception, that the letters could be mirrored and he could see that, feel that, right that.  You can't do that with the scrabble-style tiles.  I like Barton's tiles, but I like using lots of things.  ANYTHING you have, bring in.  I use playmobil people in our lessons.  I use a 16X20 whiteboard and organize the letters by the LIPS faces.  My letters came from LakeShore Learning.  They have vowels one color, consonants the other, not some kind of rainbow crazy thing.  I used sandpaper letters.  I used colored math tiles.  Shake it up and find what works for his level of motor control, kwim?  I have jumbo bananagrams.  Shake it up.  

 

We use the Quizlet app on our kindle a LOT.  

 

We used a sand tray, then got to where we needed a bigger one.  I got a bigger one, but then summer came and my FIL died.  Now we're writing words on paper, which is really sorta rocket science for him, wow.  Even though Barton *wants* you to get all the way through all the skills, I've found for ds (and this is just him) that I needed to flex that a bit.  So he's behind on the writing, good on the decoding, and struggling with comprehension.  So we're in a place in Barton, but I flex the components.  That's ok and you'll just look at your kid and see how it's going and use your head.  You'll be fine.  You won't know what he's like till he gets in there.  He's probably going to have some decompressing to do (I would think) after a negative experience.  Like you might spend a lot of time just rebuilding his confidence, building positive, can-do, successful attitudes, kwim?  You'll figure it out.  The main thing is getting in your hand these tools so you can do that.  

 

On the manips, I think that when an manip is intriguing, when it's scratching an itch, when they *need* it (even if it seems young), they'll use it.  Might be a stage that passes quickly, but it's REALLY nice to have those good tools for the time you need them, even if it's just a few weeks, kwim?  Here's that letter set  Classroom Magnetic Letters Kit  I'm not saying you should buy it, but if something calls to you as wow that would be perfect for him, that would feel good to him, that would be something he'd enjoy using, then get it, kwim?  You can do the early levels of Barton with letter magnets instead of the tiles if you want.  I was concerned my ds wouldn't learn the actual components of multi-letter phonograms, so that's why I wanted him building them.  It worked for us.  So just go with your gut.  And get evals to sort through ADHD, impulsivity, IQ that might be making him more complex, etc.  :)

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Well, it's reassuring to know that my DS won't be the only child to have a hatred for the manips, and still survive. :)

We are not working on the eval yet. I'm sure the closest will be at least 1 1/2 hours away. I'll need to do some research and asking around for possible recommendations if we decide to go that route. Then, of course, I'll have to work on the ped giving a prior authorization/insurance thing. :/

I'm going to check out Quizlet. I've never seen it. Also, I just ordered the book you recommended OhE. Thanks!

OneStep, your first few sentences made me nod my head and laugh in agreement. My DS is just like you describe, even down to the potty

training. :)

He is definitely creative and smart, and hands-on. He came in from the garage the other day dressed as a robot. He had found a few large, thin aluminum cooking trays, cut out a panel for his chest, 2 for his legs. He wired them onto his clothes, and spray painted (with DH's supervision) an Iron Man mask silver. He looked awesome! Never in a million years would my mind think of that. He really thinks outside the box. His older brother (and me!) are so very black-and-white, analytical types. :)

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Well, it's reassuring to know that my DS won't be the only child to have a hatred for the manips, and still survive. :)

We are not working on the eval yet. I'm sure the closest will be at least 1 1/2 hours away. I'll need to do some research and asking around for possible recommendations if we decide to go that route. Then, of course, I'll have to work on the ped giving a prior authorization/insurance thing. :/

I'm going to check out Quizlet. I've never seen it. Also, I just ordered the book you recommended OhE. Thanks!

OneStep, your first few sentences made me nod my head and laugh in agreement. My DS is just like you describe, even down to the potty

training. :)

He is definitely creative and smart, and hands-on. He came in from the garage the other day dressed as a robot. He had found a few large, thin aluminum cooking trays, cut out a panel for his chest, 2 for his legs. He wired them onto his clothes, and spray painted (with DH's supervision) an Iron Man mask silver. He looked awesome! Never in a million years would my mind think of that. He really thinks outside the box. His older brother (and me!) are so very black-and-white, analytical types. :)

:lol:  :lol:  :lol:   Yes!  I so can picture that.

 

And yep, I'm a pretty step one, step two, step three kind of thinker.  Makes it hard on DD and I sometimes since we think so differently.  At the same time, we are closer now than we ever have been.  Once I embraced her differences and gave her a chance to pursue her interests and who she is inside, she blossomed so much.  :)

 

And I totally relate to the outfit made of aluminum.  Goodness, your son sounds so similar to DD.  DD created an entire outfit out of various plant parts using plants from our backyard, including clasps to fasten them on with and shoes to match the outfit.  Wore the thing the rest of the day.  It held up amazingly well.  :laugh:

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:lol: :lol: :lol: Yes! I so can picture that.

 

And yep, I'm a pretty step one, step two, step three kind of thinker. Makes it hard on DD and I sometimes since we think so differently. At the same time, we are closer now than we ever have been. Once I embraced her differences and gave her a chance to pursue her interests and who she is inside, she blossomed so much. :)

 

And I totally relate to the outfit made of aluminum. Goodness, your son sounds so similar to DD. DD created an entire outfit out of various plant parts using plants from our backyard, including clasps to fasten them on with and shoes to match the outfit. Wore the thing the rest of the day. It held up amazingly well. :laugh:

:lol: :lol:

I love it! Boy, your DD and my DS would make quite the pair. Plus, they'd look really good at Halloween. :lol:

Your description of your relationship with your DD is quite lovely. :) I'm looking forward to getting my hands on that book OhE suggested, as well as some better learning tools. I think understanding my DS a bit more will give me the patience and outlook I need.

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Oh mercy, patience, that's harder.  Our OT keeps reminding us that 15-20 minutes of mindfulness improves your EF (executive function, your togetherness) by like 30%.  So read your Bible, meditate, chill, do whatever it is you do...  MANDATORY QUIET TIME while you scarf the chocolate...

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Oh mercy, patience, that's harder.  Our OT keeps reminding us that 15-20 minutes of mindfulness improves your EF (executive function, your togetherness) by like 30%.  So read your Bible, meditate, chill, do whatever it is you do...  MANDATORY QUIET TIME while you scarf the chocolate...

 

That reminds me...

My children never had any objection to working with manipulatives when we did Barton or LiPS--and that might be because we frequently worked with chocolate m&m's and other colored candies instead of the blank tiles. When they needed to pull down something to represent different sounds, we used colored candies. When we were done with the lesson (or after about half-hour), if they'd co-operated, they got to eat the manipulatives. If they didn't, I got the candy. If I have to put up with an uncooperative child, at least I get chocolate for my efforts. Win/win. :D  Usually a warning that he was at risk for not getting the candy was enough for my son to co-operate.

 

If we weren't working with chocolates or candy that day, I offered some other sort of "prize" for co-operating. My son liked collecting quarters with the states on them, so for 25 cents I could buy his co-operation.  I bribe myself with chocolate too. Chocolate was frequently the reward that I "paid" myself after we did LiPS or Barton. When I got out of that habit of rewarding my son and myself, we both found it harder to remain inspired and focused. 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Well, I have some updates since starting this thread.  I thought I'd post them and see what you helpful ladies think.  :)  I took DS to an eye exam with a COVD.  The dr said he had a slight tracking issue, but it was with things far away, not close.  He said this would affect things like sports, but not reading or close-up academic work.  Basically, he didn't see anything that would jump out at him as wrong.  He said I could get him glasses for reading and schoolwork to help avoid eye fatigue, but they were optional.  (I chose not to get them.)  

 

Next, I called an SLP and spoke with them.  She said coming in for an evaluation would be a good start.  I (finally) got the pre-auth and I'm now waiting for an appointment.  She said they would screen for APD, but made sure I understood that if something was found that I should go to an audiologist.  I asked about LiPS and she knew what I was talking about, but said they don't use it there.  However, she said their initial assessment could be set up with someone who is now an SLP, but was previously a reading specialist.  She sounded pretty knowledgeable, but I'm still unsure where this might get us.  Is doing this a good idea?  DS has NO speech problems at all, but the SLP claimed that children can have language processing issues, and not speech issues. I'm still looking into getting to a neuropsych eval.  Is the SLP a good start, or waste of time?

 

Barton update:

I administered the third part of the screening (the part he previously failed) again.  This time I did it in chunks spread out over a few days.  He passed this time, but just barely.  He got 2 wrong this time.  3 were right on the second try.  Does this mean we can proceed with Barton? 

 

We are still plugging away with Dancing Bears A, doing ten minutes a day.  On page 50, he missed one of the timed readings which means he has to go back and redo 10 pages.  He was so discouraged.   :crying:  So was I.  I don't want to hop around on reading methods, but I don't know what to do!  Keep going with DB until I get definitive results on tests?  Try Barton?  I'm so stressed and just want my sweet DS to read.  

 

Thanks to all of you for your encouragement and help.

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O.k. having now done Barton with a child that passed the screening with flying colors and a child that failed the first time and barely passed the second time after doing a tiny bit of LiPS, I personally would recommend running him through something like LiPS first.  If you had experience with a program like LiPS you might be able to start him on Barton and just weave some extra things in when he snags but since I don't believe that you do, I really encourage you to start with LiPS or have someone else work with him on a program like that first.  You really don't want to start Barton, find out your child is really struggling by Level 3 or 4, have to stop down to do LiPS then try and go back to Barton.  It is what we had to do and a lot of time was lost.  It also demoralized my child and I both and caused him to be a lot more resistant to the program the second time around.

 

Honestly, if Dancing Bears is working o.k. except for the timed readings I would cut out any timed readings for the moment as well.  Demoralizing him will just cause more barriers to go up.  If you get the eval through the SLP or even just start LiPS or have someone else do a similar program with him, you might not need Barton.  You might be able to stick with Dancing Bears. I haven't used it, so I can't say for certain.  I just know a lot of people love that program.

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I think you should e-mail Susan Barton and ask if this is good enough to continue with the program.  

 

Honestly -- I think that is the way to go.

 

It has been a couple of years ago, but I have e-mailed her, and it was helpful.

 

I think the speech therapist who used to be a reading specialist sounds great.  That sounds great to me.  At least -- to go one time and see how it goes, it sounds like something worth trying out.  I mean, you have to do the eval to see what the eval says.  If the eval uncovers something -- it is worthwhile.  If it doesn't, maybe it is a dead end.  But that is life sometimes.  Imo it is something I would go ahead and try.  Your son is either failing, or else only BARELY passing the Level C screening -- so I think, that is a fair reason to do the speech thing, and not think it would be a waste of time.  Speech therapists do not only do speech, they can (or may) be people who can work on those things.  Plus -- they sound like they are familiar with APD and can screen for it.  That seems like it would be worthwhile, too.  

 

Honestly I am not such a fan of Dancing Bears.  I have looked at the samples, and it would not have been enough for my son to read.  If it is working good ---- then that is great.  If you are going through it, but maybe there is not so much progress, then it is fine to say "maybe this is really great for other kids, but maybe it is not working for my kid."  Maybe you need something with more review built in.  Maybe you need something where he does more practice at each little part, so he doesn't go through and then get to a post-test and find he has to go back.  I agree with OneStep, too, if it was very close and you think he really is solid, I think going ahead could be okay, too.  

 

Are you only doing 10 minutes a day?  I wonder if you could build in any more time per day for him.  Even if you reviewed for 3 minutes here and there, it could help.  If his work style is one where you can't randomly do 3 minutes while you fix his snack or something, ignore that, but that kind of thing helped my son a lot.  He did not do well with long sessions.  

 

 

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Adding here: I'm being a bit blunt.  My dad has been here for a few days and I'm edgy.  Have a coke or something while you read it.  :)

 

Ok, it won't help to skirt things, so I'll just be honest.  Yes, an SLP can run 2-6 hours of testing and tell you all kinds of stuff.  Some of it is testing a neuropsych will also do.  The SLPs around here are $110 an hour and the neuropsychs are $250 an hour (private).  So on paper it makes sense.  Thing is, the neuropsych is going to have a flat fee anyway, or at least they do around here.  So I would ask the SLP flat up what tests she's going to run, then find your neuropsych and compare that to his list.  For some of them, the neuropsych will just choose the other test, meaning you're paying for stuff twice.  You'll learn a ton, but you're going to pay through the nose.

 

So if your insurance will pay for both a complete SLP eval and a complete neuropsych eval, have fun, learn a ton, party on.  If YOU are paying for this and your budget doesn't extend to what it will cost for however many hours the SLP will bill you for AND the neuropsych eval bill, then you want to slow down.

 

The SLP is correct that you can have language processing issues.  Yes, the SLP has an APD screening tool.  She gets paid $110 an hour around here to administer it.  I paid $35 at the local uni and got my kids a full audiology exam AND the screening.  So again, I'm back to dollars.  She's offering to do it, but you don't want to blow your wad and have nothing left for the neuropsych eval.

 

What were you looking for when you called the SLP?  Not *what did they offer you* but rather *what were you asking for?*  See the difference?  I swear SLPs have this overlasting treasure box of ooo, one more test!  And we're paying for it at 4X what our dh's make, kwim?  And we want to do them because we want to do right by our kids and help our kids, kwim?  But if you blow $800-$1000 on an SLP eval and the things that turn up are not things that are treated by them, is that the best use of your funds?  You already have a test showing you he has poor working memory and phonological processing.  That's what the Barton pretest is showing you.  If you have to break the test into short 10 minute sessions just for him to do it, then he has ADHD.  Let's be honest, kwim?  And if he has ADHD and dyslexia (just saying, given what you're saying), then do you want to do the reading remediation with this SLP with the reading intervention background, or do you want to do it yourself?

 

If you want to do the reading tutoring yourself, get the neuropsych eval, get LIPS, skip the SLP.  The psych can also run that APD screening, no problem, or maybe your univ can do it on the cheap.  

 

If you want to use a tutor for the reading, then call around and pick your tutor.  Around here, I can get a crazy experienced reading tutor who is OG certified, ASD (autism) certified, and an SLP for $65 an hour.  That's a lot of money, but it's almost *half* the cost of an SLP, remember.  So if you do the testing with that SLP/reading lady and like her, is her price per hour for tutoring going to be competitive and affordable compared to other, equally qualified tutors?

 

They are CORRECT that he can have language processing problems.  I don't think there's really a wrong answer here in that sense.  My ds has had tons of testing with the SLP and tons of testing with the neuropsych.  Sometimes the SLP testing is more about *excluding* problems, making sure we haven't missed things.  I don't know if that makes sense to you, but there's always this danger of the things you didn't realize were happening.  So it's good, it's fine.  But it's bad if it uses up all your funds that are going to make happen the things you MUST have.  If you've got dyslexia and ADHD going on, you really MUST have the psych eval, some kind of psych eval.  PS, private, neuropsych, ed psych, whatever you want, but you really really want to make that happen.  And if you're going to go to a neuropsych, they'll do a lot of similar testing as the SLP.  They could then refer you back to the SLP and say your vocab is low, go to SLP, your such and such is low, go to SLP.  A neuropsych will definitely refer you like that.  Or do the SLP, but whatever you do, *don't jeopardize the psych eval*.  

 

That's my two cents.

 

Adding: Guess I skirted your LIPS question.  He failed it.  That test is so simple, a 5 yo with no disability can sit down, do it, and pass it.  He failed it.  The only question is who is doing your evals and who is doing the intervention.  It doesn't help to say but, but, but, kwim?  What helps is saying yes it's happening and getting the help.  I didn't get evals for my dd till she was 12.  I spent years in the but, but, but land.  It doesn't help.  What helps is getting honest, getting the evals, getting the right interventions.  He'll make better progress, be more confident, and you'll both be happier.

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Thanks for all of the replies. It looks like for now, we should wait on Barton until getting some evals and possibly intervention (LiPS or similar). OhE, I appreciate your frankness. Honestly, it is somewhat money related with my course of action. For whatever reason, our insurance will pay for an SLP eval (and probably treatment) with a referral (which I got from primary). However, the insurance specifically states that neuro psych evals are covered under certain circumstances. They are NOT covered for 'educational purposes'. ??? I do not understand that AT.ALL. Really, at all. So maybe I should start saving for a private pay eval, but I guess I thought a free SLP might be ok as a start. We'll see I guess.

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So they cover the psych eval if they find ADHD, but not if they find only SLDs?  You could clarify that with your insurance company.  Yeah, if the insurance will pay the for the SLP eval, start there, mercy.  Sometimes the SLP will do a CTOPP.  You're definitely going to get some info.  If that's your path forward with insurance coverage, sounds like it's the way to go.  

 

You're asking the right questions.  I guess keep sorting it out!  The SLP may have an EF (executive function) survey they'll run.  That will give you a pretty good sense of where you'll fall with an ADHD diagnosis.  Then if you have some scenario where the insurance pays for ADHD but not dyslexia showing up in the psych eval, you'd know whether that was likely or not...

 

Yes, you want to wait until you get LIPS done before you go into Barton.  The *reason* is because you need both the working memory and the phonological processing.  One or both is really crunchy right now. You sound (to me) like you have some pretty serious attention issues going on, if you're having to break that pretest up into short sessions.  Am I misunderstanding?  That's going to make it challenging to do Barton.  He might need an OT eval to see if there's something they can do there to get his body calmed down and more focused.  Have you talked with your ped about an OT eval?

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My son learned the same skills from LIPS in speech therapy, even though the speech therapy did not use LIPS.  They did the same kind of thing.  When I looked into LIPS, I saw they were already incorporating similar things for him.

 

Our insurance paid for speech therapy.

 

I would want to make sure the speech therapists were targeting stuff that would help him with the Barton screening, whatever exactly those weak skills are.  I would hope and expect, that you would get a better idea of that from the speech eval.  A speech eval *seems like* it is going to be better than giving the Barton screening.  

 

I think a free SLP eval sounds great!  

 

Have you read enough about dyslexia to know, a lot of kids have weaknesses with phonemic awareness (breaking words apart into individual sounds).  Then some kids have weaknesses before that, in phonological awareness (or phonological plus any word).  That is having trouble with telling apart similar-sounding letters when they hear those letters.  

 

https://bartonreading.com/student-result/#sf

 

If you read this, my son had problems with Auditory Discrimination.  As far as I know -- his Auditory Memory was okay.  I don't really know what that is.  But he did have problems with Auditory Discrimination.

 

For him, in speech therapy, they did not use the term "Auditory Discrimination."  They use terms like "speech sounds" and "telling apart speech sounds."  They use terms like "phonological processes" and "phonological processing" and "phonological awareness."  

 

When my son was in the more specialized speech therapy, they were able to work with him on Auditory Discrimination.  

 

It is hard when they use different terms, but these are things to ask about after the speech eval.  You might ask them if they think he has trouble with Auditory Discrimination or Auditory Memory.  You might give them an example of the Barton screening where he failed, and ask them how they explain that with his eval results.  You don't have to -- but it is something where they might be able to tell you when they go over the eval results with you.  

 

My son (this is my older son) got neuropsych testing last year when he was 10.  I had already gone through reading remediation with him over several years and he was also in OT and he was in speech therapy.  

 

When he had testing last year, all his working memory stuff was average.  He does not have ADHD.  He does have dysgraphia (poor handwriting).

 

We did short and very short sessions for reading, too, but it was because of the sheer mental difficulty of it.  He could only do a tiny bit at a time.  He also needed to not be worked to the point of exhaustion so that he could maintain a positive attitude (or as positive as possible sometimes).  

 

B/c my son did have a good experience in speech therapy, I don't think Lips is a must.  But the reason that Susan Barton mentions Lips is b/c it is a standardized treatment, and maybe some speech therapists can do an individualized program and it has great results, and maybe some cannot get great results.  Ours did get great results.  But it was after he was in other speech therapy for two years with no progress, so I can really understand the idea that "you can't just send a kid to speech therapy and count on it to help."  But if a speech therapist can get the result, then I think it is great.  If they sound knowledgeable, and insurance pays, I would go for it!  You can ask what kind of progress they hope to see and how they will measure progress, too.  

 

My son was estimated to need 6 week to 3 months, and then it took him much longer than that, more like 10 months.  But he was working hard and they were doing good with him, he just had a harder time than some kids have.  But he had an articulation delay, too, that was on the severe side.  

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I did DB and it helped DD a great deal - but I still ended up needing to do LIPS -which also helped a great deal ( did on my own version ) I would continue DB for now and go ahead and buy LIPS too

 

Note: I did LIPS on my own AFTER speech therapy - st did nothing AND was OOP too - so ymmv (Wish I had Lecka's SLP!)

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Ha, you don't wish you had the first two.  The second of the first two he still had in school.  She was at least nice enough to take me aside after my son spent a year with her and made no progress.  I got a paper when he started pre-school speech therapy, saying his age-equivalent was 3 years 1 month.  Then two years later, his age-equivalent was 2 years 11 months.  I asked how it could have gone down, and I was told this was just a slight difference in the test, he didn't actually decrease.  He just made no progress in 2 years in his articulation level.   

 

The university speech clinic was great, though!

 

Part of me thinks he would never have gotten the help he needed for reading, if his speech had not been so poor, though.  But it was not really pleasant.  He hated going to speech therapy, too.  I got him fast food and he got a snack there.  He was great for them, always, only he was not great with me on the way there, and used to refuse to get out of the mini-van so I had to carry him out, and then he might try to run away before going in the door.  But he always did well once he got in the door. 

 

But with this, I have always been glad I wasn't working with him myself. 

 

I have worked with him myself a lot, but this was just something he really did not like at various times.  But they had a lot of toys, they did craft projects, etc.  At the end, they were kind-of just hanging out doing fun stuff, and having him practice his self-monitoring strategies. 

 

The woman there very kindly told me one time that he was one of their least-difficult kids.  I did not know then what I know now.... my younger son is more difficult in his way.  But he is a lot easier in his way, too. 

 

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These are all excellent tips. Thank you so much for taking the time to respond.

 

Lecka, I think the advice you've given me is great regarding what to ask/tell the SLP. I have a really good grasp on *what* he struggles with and feel like I can explain it fairly well. Now if I can just get someone to help with the specifics! If they don't seem helpful, then I'm thinking my game plan will be to buy LiPS and do it at home.

 

The mental exhaustion/difficulty is why I had to break the screening into chunks. He can focus for much longer than 10 minutes on all other school work, but not reading. Honestly, I shouldn't have administered it again because I could see when I brought it out that it caused apprehension with him. I won't do that again until we've had plenty of LiPS-type work.

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You definitely want to get a psych eval and get that figured out.  It might not even be what you're expecting.  My ds failed the test miserably at age 5, has dyslexia, ADHD, anxiety, all sorts of things, and he didn't have "mental exhaustion" and need it broken into sessions.  I'm just saying that to me is concerning and you want to prioritize some evals to get that figured out.  That's the psych.  Did we already talk audiologist?  The SLP said they'd run an APD screening, but our univ can run the SCAN3 screening and do a full eval for $35.  And they can get you in in about 2 weeks.  You might see what you can make happen there.  That's just some pretty extreme something he's struggling with.

 

I'm not trying to embarrass you, btw.  I'm just trying to give you something to compare it with so your eyebrows can raise so you can so wow, that's really not within the realm of normal...  kwim?

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You definitely want to get a psych eval and get that figured out. It might not even be what you're expecting. My ds failed the test miserably at age 5, has dyslexia, ADHD, anxiety, all sorts of things, and he didn't have "mental exhaustion" and need it broken into sessions. I'm just saying that to me is concerning and you want to prioritize some evals to get that figured out. That's the psych. Did we already talk audiologist? The SLP said they'd run an APD screening, but our univ can run the SCAN3 screening and do a full eval for $35. And they can get you in in about 2 weeks. You might see what you can make happen there. That's just some pretty extreme something he's struggling with.

 

I'm not trying to embarrass you, btw. I'm just trying to give you something to compare it with so your eyebrows can raise so you can so wow, that's really not within the realm of normal... kwim?

If I understood the phone conversation correctly, the SLP will run an APD screening. Based on those results, they may send you to an audiologist (for more thorough testing I'm assuming?). Once I get the appointment though, I feel like I can go in better equipped with what to ask for/about now. I can definitely check with our university. Ours is really small though, and not a big state university. Thanks for the suggestion. :)

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Now that I have one with autism and then one with dysgraphia (but this is my son I have been talking about here).....  it is so interesting, b/c even though my younger son has a much more severe diagnosis in every way, compared to my older son, who did not get diagnosed with dyslexia, and who does talk fine now, and reads well, etc.....

 

Well, there are things that are just not a struggle for my younger son.  He picks them up as easily as he picks up anything.

 

Some of these things are things that were massively difficult for my older son.  

 

I used to think he would have every problem my older son had, plus autism, but it has not turned out that way.  

 

So I don't think it has to be a crazy thing that a child who doesn't have autism, ADHD, anxiety, etc. can have a huge amount of difficulty with auditory discrimination.  

 

It is just one of those things!  

 

I agree it is a concern, but you are going for it!  

 

If you have a really good impression of the speech therapists, and end up doing therapy through them, they may be a good resource for looking into other options, too.  

 

Separately, if you are curious about LIPS, there is a book at our library called Phonics A to Z by Wiley Blevins.  It has a one-page simple description of LIPS.  He uses the old name for it, ADD, Auditory Discrimination in Depth.  He talks about when he, as a reading specialist, might want to call in a speech therapist to work with a child.  It is just something you could probably find in the index if they happen to have this book in the library.

 

I will post another link, too, that I have always liked.  

 

http://www.readingrockets.org/shows/launching/brain If you mouse over the video, you can go down to section 3 "Bio-mapping the brain." 

 

 

 

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Now that I have one with autism and then one with dysgraphia (but this is my son I have been talking about here)..... it is so interesting, b/c even though my younger son has a much more severe diagnosis in every way, compared to my older son, who did not get diagnosed with dyslexia, and who does talk fine now, and reads well, etc.....

 

Well, there are things that are just not a struggle for my younger son. He picks them up as easily as he picks up anything.

 

Some of these things are things that were massively difficult for my older son.

 

I used to think he would have every problem my older son had, plus autism, but it has not turned out that way.

 

So I don't think it has to be a crazy thing that a child who doesn't have autism, ADHD, anxiety, etc. can have a huge amount of difficulty with auditory discrimination.

 

It is just one of those things!

 

I agree it is a concern, but you are going for it!

 

If you have a really good impression of the speech therapists, and end up doing therapy through them, they may be a good resource for looking into other options, too.

 

Separately, if you are curious about LIPS, there is a book at our library called Phonics A to Z by Wiley Blevins. It has a one-page simple description of LIPS. He uses the old name for it, ADD, Auditory Discrimination in Depth. He talks about when he, as a reading specialist, might want to call in a speech therapist to work with a child. It is just something you could probably find in the index if they happen to have this book in the library.

 

I will post another link, too, that I have always liked.

 

http://www.readingrockets.org/shows/launching/brain If you mouse over the video, you can go down to section 3 "Bio-mapping the brain."

Thanks! I'll be looking for this at our two libraries this week!

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