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So my DS is 11 and a half.  We have been working on Barton's for 3 years.  We are about half-way through level 5.  In one way he is doing very well - he is understanding and retaining rules - sometimes better than I do.   :laugh:

 

But when it comes to actually reading he has a really hard time unless he pre-marks the passage.  He will go through and identify units, split words into syllables so he knows whether a vowel will be open or closed, etc.  Once he has done all that, then he has no problem reading the passage.  But the whole process is very laborious and he doesn't seem to be getting any more automatic.  I'm thinking there is no way this child will ever learn to enjoy reading if it's that much work.  

 

I am very loosely working with our school.  Basically all they want from me is a yearly evaluation to see if his words per minute are getting any better.  The special ed teacher is very sweet.  We had a long talk a month or so ago and although she was initially encouraging with Barton, she feels like at this point (age wise and time wise) if a child has not learned to read with a phonetic program (like Barton's), she would change methods and switch to a sight reading method.

 

She recommended a computer program called "Read Naturally" which has a passage at a certain grade level.  Child does a cold reading.  Then the program reads him the passage slowly 3X with the words being highlighted as he reads along.  After the 3 readings, he tests again to see how much he has improved.  She gave us a copy of the program.  I was intrigued enough (and maybe discouraged enough with Barton's) to try it.  Son tested at grade 2 level with a cold reading of 40 or 50 wpm which then jumped to 80 to 100 after the 3 readings.  DS really likes it.  He is actually reading for the first time in his life.  And interesting stories at that.  

 

I wonder though about the benefits of such an approach, though.   It seems contrary to everything I've learned with Barton's.  Any advice?

 

 

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I'm a big fan of Barton but it does not work for every child.  What evaluations has your child had?  It sounds like something more than dyslexia is causing issues.  If that is so, I would seek out the underlying issues before hopping around a lot trying out different programs.

 

From what I am getting of your post regarding Barton it sounds like fluency has never truly developed.  Have you been working through the fluency pages and the extra practice pages?  The goal is for these things to become automatic, to be internalized, before moving on to the next level.  By the end of each level those skills are supposed to be internalized to the point that reading assigned for that level is pretty fluent without having to go through and mark the reading passages.  If he is still, at halfway through Level 5, having to physically go through the passages breaking everything down into the tiny components before successfully reassembling the words for reading then he has not actually internalized the processes he is learning to the point those processes are automatic.  That is concerning and may indicate either he needed more time on each component before moving on or other co-morbid issues are making this approach highly problematic or something else is tripping him up.  You are right, if he is having to put in that much effort to fluently read then he probably WON'T end up liking reading on his own.  Poor kid.  That must be very frustrating (for both of you).   :grouphug:

 

Has he had an evaluation for possible developmental vision issues (which frequently won't show up during a standard visual acuity exam)?

Edited by OneStepAtATime
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Good morning OneStep,

 

Thanks for responding.  I guess I am really discouraged right now.  

 

Only testing he has has so far is with the school which doesn't necessarily test for dyslexia just a reading disability.  They did send us to an optometrist to check for developmental vision issues. That came back good.

 

Maybe we did go too fast although at the time it didn't seem like it.  I hate to think that we need to go back and do a ton of review.  Honestly, I have thought about it, but I don't know if that's the answer.

 

He struggles a lot with inserting letters that aren't there.  Like picking up letters from the next word and plopping them into the word he is trying to read.  Once it's in his head, it's impossible to get out unless we go back to tapping and saying each letter.  Marking up the passage seems to help some with this - maybe because of highlighting syllables in different colors?

 

I really don't know where to go from here.  Definitely open to testing, but what kind? 

 

 

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Good morning OneStep,

 

Thanks for responding.  I guess I am really discouraged right now.  

 

Only testing he has has so far is with the school which doesn't necessarily test for dyslexia just a reading disability.  They did send us to an optometrist to check for developmental vision issues. That came back good.

 

Maybe we did go too fast although at the time it didn't seem like it.  I hate to think that we need to go back and do a ton of review.  Honestly, I have thought about it, but I don't know if that's the answer.

 

He struggles a lot with inserting letters that aren't there.  Like picking up letters from the next word and plopping them into the word he is trying to read.  Once it's in his head, it's impossible to get out unless we go back to tapping and saying each letter.  Marking up the passage seems to help some with this - maybe because of highlighting syllables in different colors?

 

I really don't know where to go from here.  Definitely open to testing, but what kind? 

FWIW, once DD started with Barton she did not have those issues but DS does have certain similar issues.  He inserts sounds that aren't there, inserts letters that shouldn't be in the word or misses certain letters that he should be seeing, etc.  He absolutely nails the rules and seems to internalize them, though.  He can easily break up words, etc.  

 

Did your son pass the Barton screening, especially Part C?  Mine didn't.  He had to do LiPS first but my mom was doing it with him when she had time and it wasn't consistent enough or done to enough depth IMHO for it to help as much as he needed.  He did finally pass the Barton screening after working with her a bit and he flew through the first two and a half levels of Barton waaay faster and with much better fluency and decoding than DD.  However, by mid-Level 3 he was starting to struggle a bit with those extra sounds or with certain blends.  Level 4 was a nightmare.  I ended up taking him to a specialty tutoring center in another city for a month and it definitely helped.  They were able to asses where the sound glitches were tripping him up and to work on those specifically.  He still glitches but not nearly as often.  Fluency increased significantly.  

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My neuropsychologist recommended a fluency program like READ Naturally also  (we are were doing straight O-G). We had used the I SEE SAM books for fluency work  and  then moved to the SIX Minute Solution by Sopris West  (instead of READ Naturally). I did that with their REWARDS Program which also incorporates fluency work with multisyllabic word reading strategies. 

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You are in level 5. I'm curious, when you say he needs to mark up the sheet and then can read it are you talking only level 5 sheets? If you handed him a level 3 sheet could he just read it within a reasonable time frame? If not that would definitely make me think about changes.

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  • 2 months later...

Sorry for dropping out of the conversation.  No reason really, just lots of excuses.  The past 3 months have been very hard.

 

So if you all could forgive me and I could start over.   :sad:

 

Frogger asked about level 3.  He can read single syllable words fairly well, but even there he struggles with inserting letters that are not there or transposing letters.  For example, if he is trying to read the phrase "the cat sat", he might read it as "the cast sat".  And not just a word here or there, but often 3 or 4 words per sentence.  He doesn't realized he is doing it.  When he reads, I point to the word he is reading.  If he makes a mistake, I double tap the word.  He will still not get what he is doing wrong until I ask him to tap and say each letter.  It's very frustrating, not just to me, but especially to him.  

 

He has no problem with remembering rules, unit sounds, etc...  He knows his sounds and blends, in isolation.  But he really struggles with putting everything together.  The problem is made much worse if the text is not the perfect size or there is not enough white space on the page.

 

So is this a vision problem?  From what I have read online, dyslexia can cause letter additions and according to those sources, it is not a vision problem.  OneStep wondered if there might be something going on other than just dyslexia.  I have wondered the same thing.  But what?

 

We haven't done much testing.  Just with the school who said that he has a learning disability.  They suggested that he might be 2E.  He is very smart when it comes to numbers.  (Going into Algebra next fall at age 12)  But even with numbers he still does a lot of reversals.  Backwards 3's and 7's and 2's.  Confusing his 6's and 9's.  I scribe all of his work.

 

His handwriting is sad.  He can't write in a straight line and his letters are very irregularly shaped.  We have done extensive work with different handwriting programs.  This year we did "Handwriting without Tears."  His work is beautiful but it takes him forever.  I think he sees it more as art.  The letters are not automatic and he has to look at the example to make sure he forms the letters right.

 

We don't do spelling.  

 

We are both rather discouraged.  It seems like more practice, more review, more Barton's isn't going to fix anything.

 

 

 

 

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Have you talked with Barton? You can call her or write her. It sounds like you haven't been doing any fluency work, and you were supposed to. Some kids need more than others. She has a whole tutor section with extra materials and word lists. I loaded every word, every phrase, every sentence from the Barton levels we've done into QUIZLET, and I drill, drill, drill them.

 

In addition to fluency drills, you need to do RAN/RAS work. I've shared a link to my dropbox with pages. I'm just lazy, so board search to find it. 

 

I also agree with the others about getting his eyes checked by a developmental optometrist. You could have vision problems complicating things.

 

Did the school diagnose SLD writing? Definitely sounds like they should have. Is he using dictation software and learning to type? It's definitely time.

 

Talk with Barton. Like email her or give her a call. She's a lovely person and lovely to talk with on the phone. She'll actually talk with you. I think you're going to need to go all the way back and drill the words/phrases/sentences to fluency from the earlier levels. Also do the RAN/RAS work.

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See if this link works https://www.dropbox.com/sh/4rcl6f0uo70esmv/AAAaGAHw3_YTMEQZSw_WI-t_a?dl=0

 

It should be the RAN/RAS exercise files. I used dots and I think numbers. You can do them a variety of ways. RAN/RAS scores are *directly* correlated with strong readers. In other words, work on this could pay off HUGELY. Hugely. And it's easy and fun. I printed them, put them in page protectors, and would drill through three times, turning the paper different ways to keep it fresh. 

 

Later, you can add in metronome, clapping, cross body, anything you want. But just start with basic rapid naming, lol. Might make a big difference and costs almost nothing. RAN/RAS is tested on the CTOPP because it's an issue with dyslexia.

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I think Read Naturally is a good program for fluency. I haven't used it but I have looked at the website ;)

 

My son also needed a lot of extra work on fluency.

 

A lot.

 

I don't think it is counter to Barton, I think it is in addition to Barton.

 

If it is going well -- to me that is what counts. If it is going well that is the important thing!

 

You can balance things in a way that seems appropriate.

 

But adding more fluency to a strong base in decoding is a good thing. You can decide to pause in decoding, or spend time on both. Whatever seems best. Pausing for fluency can be a good choice without meaning that one thing is good and the other no longer has use. They can both still be good.

 

Fluency was a lot of work but easier than decoding, here, so I think that may be a bright side!

Edited by Lecka
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Thanks everyone for replying.  I have company for supper/the evening so I will have to wait until tomorrow before I can research some of the things you all talked about.  

 

 

Have you talked with Barton? You can call her or write her. It sounds like you haven't been doing any fluency work, and you were supposed to. Some kids need more than others. She has a whole tutor section with extra materials and word lists. I loaded every word, every phrase, every sentence from the Barton levels we've done into QUIZLET, and I drill, drill, drill them.

 

NO I haven't talked to Barton.  That sounds like a really good idea.  

 

In addition to fluency drills, you need to do RAN/RAS work. I've shared a link to my dropbox with pages. I'm just lazy, so board search to find it. 

 

I have never heard of RAN/RAS.  I will research it.  Thanks for the dropbox link.  I tried to open it, but only the last file worked.  (The one with 4 pages of random numbers)  Is that the only important one?

 

I also agree with the others about getting his eyes checked by a developmental optometrist. You could have vision problems complicating things.

 

The school did send me to an optometrist.  The optometrist said there was nothing wrong.  The school special ed teacher showed some surprise at the results. He was sure that was part of our problem. Maybe a second opinion?

 

Did the school diagnose SLD writing? Definitely sounds like they should have. Is he using dictation software and learning to type? It's definitely time.

 

Yes they did.  And yes on the dictation software and typing.  (Thanks to some of you ladies on here who hooked me up with TTRS)

 

Talk with Barton. Like email her or give her a call. She's a lovely person and lovely to talk with on the phone. She'll actually talk with you. I think you're going to need to go all the way back and drill the words/phrases/sentences to fluency from the earlier levels. Also do the RAN/RAS work.

 

 

 

Thank you again to everyone.  I am rather desperate at this point.  Trying to imagine how my DS will navigate the world without being able to read fluently.  It seems hopeless.  

Edited by AnthemLights
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Yes, definitely give Susan Barton a call (and please share with us how to help your son if you would)!  She will clearly explain to you what you could try, so be ready to take notes.  

Students with dyslexia that I have worked with often have trouble with words with l,n, or m in the final blend position (such as flint, felt...), or even words like split vs. spilt.  

 

It seems the ones that have trouble with that seem to have difficulty with level 3, lesson 3-4.  I am still fairly new to Barton, so I am always looking for ways to help them.  (thus the reason I asked you to share with us!)

 

My suggestion would include covering the rest of the page so your son's eyes are not moving forward and pulling letters from other words. I have found some of my students did that because their brains were working faster than their reading ability (my interpretation because they would jump ahead and insert letters from elsewhere).

 

You could use the Barton passages as you would Read Naturally, just do so at one of the previous levels, like one or 2.  You don't want your son to struggle with the words in decoding.  Usually fluency is built with stories used at their 'independent' rather than 'instructional' reading level. Read Naturally will not have the controlled vocabulary that Barton has and Susan does not endorse using anything that is not controlled until he has finished Level 4 I believe.   (However, I have seen some kids who are very strong at sight reading and when done at a low enough level, they enjoyed fluency practice with something other than Barton.)

 

To work on fluency I even choose Dr. Seuss easy reader books, Pigeon books by Mo Willems, books by Eastman...   Sentences are short, often rhyme and have good practice with voice inflection as there are often !  ? at the end of sentences. 

 

Like you, I didn't realize soon enough the importance of fluency work. But with extra reading, especially lower level books (that you provide the words if your son doesn't know them), hopefully this will get him on his way.

 

Could someone please explain what to do with the RAN/RAS?  I downloaded a file, but it was zipped and I don't know how to unzip it. I am not sure of the concept...what is the child supposed to do?

 

Please share with us any successes!   And it is true, Barton is not for everyone, so hopefully Susan can help you figure that out...

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Out of town and limited time but when you got the eye exam with the optometrist was it with a DEVELOPMENTAL Optometrist, preferably listed on the COVD website? There are many eye doctors who are not trained to genuinely suss out developmental vision issues. Much of what you describe could be stemming from there. Also, he may have a Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD) causing him to glitch on the sounds.

 

Did he pass Section C of the Barton prescreening? If you already mentioned this I apologize.

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was it with a DEVELOPMENTAL Optometrist,  

 

You know, I thought it was but I just looked him up online and it doesn't really say...Just his name, OD, optometrist.  I went to him because that's who the school special ed department recommended.  

 

Also, he may have a Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD) causing him to glitch on the sounds.

 

I am not terribly familiar with CAPD.  Of course, I have heard of it from hanging out here on this site, but something I need to check into.

Did he pass Section C of the Barton prescreening? If you already mentioned this I apologize.

 

 No worries.  He passed that section with fllying colors.  He is very auditory and can hear sounds very well.  He often corrects me on my pronunciation.   :lol:  I have an accent, or so I am told.  

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Okay, I just looked up CAPD and I am almost 100% sure nothing like that going on. 

 

I checked online for a FCOVD....the closest is 2 states over.  Not as bad as that sounds...only 170 miles away and we are used to driving a long way for anything.  I think I will call them on Monday.

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Yes, definitely give Susan Barton a call (and please share with us how to help your son if you would)!  She will clearly explain to you what you could try, so be ready to take notes.  

Students with dyslexia that I have worked with often have trouble with words with l,n, or m in the final blend position (such as flint, felt...), or even words like split vs. spilt.  

 

It seems the ones that have trouble with that seem to have difficulty with level 3, lesson 3-4.  I am still fairly new to Barton, so I am always looking for ways to help them.  (thus the reason I asked you to share with us!)

 

My suggestion would include covering the rest of the page so your son's eyes are not moving forward and pulling letters from other words. I have found some of my students did that because their brains were working faster than their reading ability (my interpretation because they would jump ahead and insert letters from elsewhere).

 

You could use the Barton passages as you would Read Naturally, just do so at one of the previous levels, like one or 2.  You don't want your son to struggle with the words in decoding.  Usually fluency is built with stories used at their 'independent' rather than 'instructional' reading level. Read Naturally will not have the controlled vocabulary that Barton has and Susan does not endorse using anything that is not controlled until he has finished Level 4 I believe.   (However, I have seen some kids who are very strong at sight reading and when done at a low enough level, they enjoyed fluency practice with something other than Barton.)

 

To work on fluency I even choose Dr. Seuss easy reader books, Pigeon books by Mo Willems, books by Eastman...   Sentences are short, often rhyme and have good practice with voice inflection as there are often !  ? at the end of sentences. 

 

Like you, I didn't realize soon enough the importance of fluency work. But with extra reading, especially lower level books (that you provide the words if your son doesn't know them), hopefully this will get him on his way.

 

Could someone please explain what to do with the RAN/RAS?  I downloaded a file, but it was zipped and I don't know how to unzip it. I am not sure of the concept...what is the child supposed to do?

 

Please share with us any successes!   And it is true, Barton is not for everyone, so hopefully Susan can help you figure that out...

 

Hey, I think I fixed what was wrong. Try it again and see. You should now have 5 pdf files. For the colored dots, obviously first check to make sure they can say the color words easily. My ds has apraxia, so it was an issue. Once they can say the color words, you just practice reading the dots across (blue, yellow, green, red, etc.). When I started with my ds, I gave a lot of support, like putting a finger at the beginning and end of the target line, pointing, allowing him to touch and point, etc. Go for just a slow, steady pace that they increase as they get more comfortable. I think you'll see where the task is difficult and see progress with practice as it gets easier. 

 

I think CTOPP has them do rapid naming with numbers and colors. I forget. If you bring in other things (say pictures of objects), then you're working something else like word retrieval. The idea is that it's a really limited field, where they're really focusing on how RAPIDLY they can name the things, not whether they know the names. So other types of naming are good, but here we're working on rapidity in the connections. I think you'll see the stumbling and it will be obvious.

 

Check again what Barton says, but I think it was no uncontrolled reading until through level 4. I forget. The *danger* and what she's trying to avoid with that recommendation, is guessing. Level 3 still hasn't gotten you into syllabication, and that's where guessing becomes a huge, huge issue. It's REALLY unwise to introduce anything that could lead to guessing before you get through syllabication and get over that hurdle. I *do* allow my ds to read uncontrolled things, but he's on the milder end of dyslexic and I'm WATCHING for that. I'm like super, super cognizant that it would take spit nothing to push him over to guessing. So it's just not worth it to read outside stuff when you're in level 3. Your time is better spent working on fluency with the Barton lists, using Barton's supplemental readers (which are adorable!) and pressing forward.

 

In the op's case, she didn't build fluency with the previous material. She's going to need to pause. I'm huge on fluency, but honestly I think it's because I'm lazy, lol. For me, to pick up a Quizlet app and drill words to fluency, do RAN/RAS exercises, these things are idiot-proof. I can have a headache, be having a bad day, be half on my back with a fever, and I can do Quizlet or RAN/RAS drills, lol. So me, I like 'em. And they pay off big time.

 

My ds is mild, so for him, about 5 times through a list seems to be golden. If he goes through it 5 times, by the 5th time I'm seeing the ZING that I'm looking for, where it goes from WOW THAT WAS AWFUL to smooth, beautiful, hello fluent. And I get to hello smooth beautiful fluent on a list before I go on to the next one. There's no rushing in it, just really patiently doing the practice till it gets there. And for my ds, that magic number has been 5. Maybe for somebody else's kid it's 15, kwim? There are a lot of things I've had to be really patient with on my ds, allowing for more practice. So I don't think it's about what can't come but how much it will take to get there.

 

I don't know if I said this, but I also FIRMLY believe in motivators for when things are hard. This is ROCKET SCIENCE for our kids. It's like if you decided to do calculus without your coffee. It's like going to the moon using only your cell phone. Technically you could, but it would be wicked HARD. And this stuff is HARD for these kids. It's why we have to be tougher than the disability, more willing to help them do what they can't make themselves do for themselves. It's why tutors, really good ones, get $60-80 an hour in our area, because they're going to give some serious tough love on yeah we're gonna drill this anyway.

 

So, for instance, say you decide you want to do fluency drills and you want him to go through the target lists 5 times a day for 10-12 minutes. Like it's probably going to take him 10-12 minutes to get through one 20-word list, and you want him to do that 5 times a day. That's an hour of Barton and that was really hard work! So to motivate that, maybe you say hey you're going to get $5 for every session you do, as long as you do at least 4 sessions that day. If you fail to hit 4, you lose the whole reward for the day. Boom, motivation. And then you tell him if he gets through all the lists for the level of Barton, building fluency on every single Quizlet list (all the words, all the phrases, all the sentences for every lesson), he gets a bonus $50. So then, by the end of level 2 maybe he has earned half an ipad. Maybe drop it to $2 a session, maybe not. 

 

I'm saying hit your teen where they're at. If you would have to pay $60+ an hour (meaning $60 a day) for a tutor to keep them motivated to do the work, then paying $20 a day in motivators is NOTHING. That's how I see it. Or hire the tutor. 

 

The RAN/RAS work is fun. I wouldn't pay for that. That's just compliance. 

 

Personally, I really like LIPS, and we carried LIPS methodology through all our Barton work. Any time Barton is not clicking, like he's not hearing sounds, I would be bringing out LIPS. To me, that foundation of really connecting what you hear, what you feel, how it looks, etc. is just so important. Slow it down and FEEL it in the mouth.

 

For the op, yeah, you need a developmental optometrist. Once you get into these things it's just so shocking that regular optometrists are not trained adequately to identify these common developmental vision problems that affect kids. Some will screen, but a lot gets missed.

 

We had someone on here (Timberly?) who did Barton 2 hours a day with her severely dyslexic ds. She was telling stores about that right as I was starting with ds, and it really raised the bar for me on how mentally tough I was going to be, how committed I was going to have to be to make progress. EVERYTHING my ds has needed has been like this. NOTHING with him has been like oh we just did it once and it all clicked and was gloriously easy! Nope, everything has taken much longer, required more practice, etc. He can get there, but it has taken 4 times as long.

Edited by OhElizabeth
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Okay, I just looked up CAPD and I am almost 100% sure nothing like that going on. 

 

I checked online for a FCOVD....the closest is 2 states over.  Not as bad as that sounds...only 170 miles away and we are used to driving a long way for anything.  I think I will call them on Monday.

 

Whew, that's a drive! Doesn't *have* to be a Fellow. In our area, the Fellow will head the practice and just regular level will do the rest. Regular could be fine. Before you drive that far, I'd ask to maybe talk with their lead therapist, see how they roll. Like say he needs therapy and you find out. Then what? I'd try to broaden your net, talk to several places, and just compare your options before you do the full eval. It will definitely be interesting though.

 

Another way to approach it would be to look for an OT or PT who specializes in retained reflexes. There are primitive/infant reflexes, vestibular reflexes, vision reflexes, etc. So OT issues like that can also cause vision problems. *Some* kids even find that OT will take care of the vision end. My ds has enough retained reflexes that you see it coming out in his vision. For me, I'm waiting on developmental vision work, because I want to deal with those reflexes first. THEN we'll see where his vision is. It would be another way to shake the vision stick, and you might be able to find somebody closer. It's also something you can ask the developmental optometrist about upfront, whether they check for retained reflexes. Some do, some don't. 

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Hi, thanks for taking the time to answer.  I didn't respond right away because we had company late last night and then church this morning.  So, here goes.....

 

Yes, definitely give Susan Barton a call (and please share with us how to help your son if you would)!  She will clearly explain to you what you could try, so be ready to take notes.  

Students with dyslexia that I have worked with often have trouble with words with l,n, or m in the final blend position (such as flint, felt...), or even words like split vs. spilt.  

 

I am planning on calling her tomorrow.  Or maybe emailing.  I tend to get lost in phone conversations, so maybe email would be the best way.  

 

It seems the ones that have trouble with that seem to have difficulty with level 3, lesson 3-4.  I am still fairly new to Barton, so I am always looking for ways to help them.  (thus the reason I asked you to share with us!)

 

If I learn anything, I will be sure to pass it on.  This forum is incredible...I have learned so much and it would be nice to be able to be a giver and not always just a taker.

 

My suggestion would include covering the rest of the page so your son's eyes are not moving forward and pulling letters from other words. I have found some of my students did that because their brains were working faster than their reading ability (my interpretation because they would jump ahead and insert letters from elsewhere).

 

It's funny that you describe it that way, because that's what I am always saying to my DS.  Slow down.  Don't let your mind jump ahead.  Covering words would be a good idea.  I have done it in the past. He hated it.  Not sure why?  Maybe he thought I was treating him like a baby?  But I think it would be good to go back to that.

 

You could use the Barton passages as you would Read Naturally, just do so at one of the previous levels, like one or 2.  You don't want your son to struggle with the words in decoding.  Usually fluency is built with stories used at their 'independent' rather than 'instructional' reading level. Read Naturally will not have the controlled vocabulary that Barton has and Susan does not endorse using anything that is not controlled until he has finished Level 4 I believe.   (However, I have seen some kids who are very strong at sight reading and when done at a low enough level, they enjoyed fluency practice with something other than Barton.)

 

Ok, this was my concern with Read Naturally - not having controlled vocabulary.  He had such a bad habit of guessing. Going through Barton's has helped with that, and I was afraid that Read Naturally would tempt him to go back to his old ways.  He hates Barton's stories...not the content, necessarily, but what he considers weird word choices.   I keep telling him the point is only to use/read words that he knows.  He gets that but still hates them ( I got him the level 3 and level 4 books that are available through independent writers).

 

To work on fluency I even choose Dr. Seuss easy reader books, Pigeon books by Mo Willems, books by Eastman...   Sentences are short, often rhyme and have good practice with voice inflection as there are often !  ? at the end of sentences. 

 

I'll check out the book suggestions.  The first book that he ever read independently with any amount of fluency is Dr.  Suess' Green Eggs and Ham.  But maybe because he had it memorized.  

 

Like you, I didn't realize soon enough the importance of fluency work. But with extra reading, especially lower level books (that you provide the words if your son doesn't know them), hopefully this will get him on his way.

 

Could someone please explain what to do with the RAN/RAS?  I downloaded a file, but it was zipped and I don't know how to unzip it. I am not sure of the concept...what is the child supposed to do?

 

Please share with us any successes!   And it is true, Barton is not for everyone, so hopefully Susan can help you figure that out...

 

Edited by AnthemLights
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Just as a total aside, has anyone screened your ds for APD? (auditory processing disorder) You mentioned having trouble on the phone. If he has any oddities like that, like issues understanding when there is background noise, etc., I'd be wanting that screening. It's just one of those things to eliminate. If there are no issues with background noise, I wouldn't bother. That's the most common, common symptom. My dd is borderline, and she actually says it, like it's a noticeable thing for her.

 

I wouldn't assume the speeding ahead thing is behavioral or being bad. ADHD is 60% comorbid with dyslexia. Just as probable/possible it's ADHD.

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You might want to do some reading on APD.

 

We have a state univ that will do the screening for $35. It's why I recommend it so much, because around here it's an easy recommend, a cheap thing to exclude. 

 

It's a pretty common thing to be co-morbid. The more extreme the symptoms, the more you really might want to consider getting at least a screening. An SLP, psych, audiologist, lots of people can do it. You're looking for the SCAN3.

Edited by OhElizabeth
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I've been reading up on vision therapy, retained primitive reflexes.  In one way it kinda makes sense.  DS was born 9 weeks early.  Non-functioning placenta.  Emergency C-section.  I always thought it was a great blessing and an answer to prayer that he didn't have any complications other than having to spend a ton of time in NICU.  Even his vision is perfect.  

 

A google search lead me to Minnesota Vision Therapy Center.  http://www.minnesotavisiontherapy.com/primitive-reflexes

 

I went down through the symptoms and the only ones that seem to apply are those that would directly relate to dyslexia or ADHD.

 

He has very good posture, he is athletic, great coordination.  He loves sports and is very good at them.  No problems tracking a ball.  He easily learned to ride a bike.  Basically just a normal energetic 11 year old boy in every way, except for the learning disability.  

 

To be honest the whole retained reflexes sounds a little "woo" to me.  Hopefully no one takes that wrong.  I'm not trying to knock science.  It just seems weird.  

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How are you addressing the ADHD?

 

 

Not doing much at this point.  He doesn't have an official diagnosis.  Just my observations, my own research.  

 

We give him a lot of grace.  Lots of breaks to wear off energy.  The headphones to help him concentrate.  Lists.  More lists.   :001_smile:

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Also for his handwriting -- maybe it would be worth consulting an OT.

 

If you aren't seeing signs for retainer reflexes then I would think that makes sense. Like for me if I don't see signs of allergies for one of my kids, I don't need to pursue allergy stuff just bc it helps kids who DO have allergies.

 

But an OT could be worth it to ask about his handwriting. You can see what the person recommends that might be more independent than scribing as he gets older.

 

Edit: but ADHD and dyslexia are what you know about and you think they fit -- so then I think, I don't know what you are doing wrt the ADHD. And then fluency his very mainstream for reading instruction -- just not at the expense of decoding or phonemic awareness. But you have that covered. And then fluency is good!

 

You are not in a situation of skipping over things just to do fluency.

 

So that, plus seeing gains, make it seem like a good thing to do.

Edited by Lecka
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The retained reflexes are NOT WOO. My lands. They're neurology, a totally normal thing. The primitive/infant reflexes are what help you be born, learn to crawl, etc. etc. Learn about them. Sorry, I'm just a little face palm on the boards lately. Like just because we don't know something doesn't mean it's not legit, kwim? There's all kinds of stuff in neurology that isn't common knowledge. I'm learning stuff right now in a related area where you're like WOW THAT'S WEIRD, but it's real. Our bodies are just very complex!

 

So the reflexes are real, legit, quantifiable. And for being athletic excluding having them retained, no such luck. That's where those idiotic symptom lists do such a disservice. Do the tests for the actual reflexes and be done with it. My ds just got medals of 1st, 2nd, 4th, 6th, etc. at a state level meet for boys. That was in a LARGE FIELD of 24+ boys. Do you comprehend how big a deal that is? My boy with autism and apraxia, who takes 4 times as long as everyone, just got FIRST on parallel bars in the state.

 

And yes, he has retained reflexes.

 

So do the tests, find out what's really going on. Maybe there are reflex issues, maybe there aren't. All we're saying is it'a s thing to check thoroughly, a thing to eliminate. And it's really hard to find someone who's really, really good at them. I got half crap treatment by 5 OTs. Now we're using a PT who trained with neurologists at the state university. And, you know, maybe it's not part of his gig. But it sure would be reasonable to want it eliminated as an issue, since your only option (if reflexes and developmental vision don't explain it) actually IS woo/voodoo stuff like Davis.

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And yes, since he was born that way and didn't use the reflexes for birthing, he could have retained reflexes. My ds had Babinsky retained. He was very, very large (11 pounds!) and we just had to get him through that canal, no slowing down, no twisting to use the reflex. So for him, Babinksy was retained.

 

Apparently it's a normal thing to test, because it turns up in discussions of ALS. Not woo, just new. :)

Edited by OhElizabeth
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Not doing much at this point.  He doesn't have an official diagnosis.  Just my observations, my own research.  

 

We give him a lot of grace.  Lots of breaks to wear off energy.  The headphones to help him concentrate.  Lists.  More lists.   :001_smile:

 

And he's how old? 11? My two cents, having btdt on the ADHD thing twice now. I would try to get him tested for retained reflexes, go gung-ho with exercises for any reflexes that are retained, have your ped run the Quotient or TOVA or whatever he's going to do after that 30-45 days of reflex work, and use that data to decide on meds. That's what I would do. That would be like end of the line to me. Your kid can't read, and he's having trouble pulling it together. If ADHD is part of the mix, then it's time to give him EVERY TOOL. This is the time to pull out all the stops, get over your inhibitions, and just do it.

 

Btw, if you want a taste of how far meds could get him, you could try really controlled dosing of caffeine. It's not as good, but that's what we did with my dd when we were trying to sort things out. I'm all for modifications, for working with them, for rolling with the ADHD. I LIKE unmedicated ADHD. Seriously. But there's a time when you go ok, let's try this, lets use the tools we have and see what good they could do us. And if going straight to meds isn't your comfort zone, try the caffeine. You can find articles on how to dose it. It's tiny amounts. You basically buy a bottle of NoDoze for like $3 and chop the tablets to fit his weight. Half life is 3-4 hours. It just gives you a taste for what it could do for him.

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Edited by OhElizabeth
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I did Barton for a while with my oldest.  I got through most of level 3 before we switched programs, but while we were doing it the charter school's special ed teacher wanted him to do Read Naturally program also.  I emailed Susan Barton and she said that it was a bad idea to add it to Barton.

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Gotta love differences in opinions among professionals sigh. Hate when that happens. But really, then it goes back to asking WHY Barton is saying what she's saying and WHY the school person is saying what they're saying. Frankly, from what I can tell from our people, the reading instruction the intervention specialists are given is (removing not nice words) just about worthless. I wouldn't be inclined to trust ANYTHING they say unless they're actually OG-certified.

Edited by OhElizabeth
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It would not have been good for my son to work on fluency before he had a really solid foundation with decoding.

 

It did confuse him too much and was not realistic.

 

Sight words were a nightmare. Trying to have him fake-read little books was a nightmare.

 

But then two years later when he did have the foundation, it turned out it was appropriate to work on sight words (not with just straight memorizing them, but still "drilling" them in some ways) and it became very appropriate to work on fluency.

 

Having the foundation made a big difference.

 

But it was strange to come to it, bc I had spent two years really avoiding those things because they were such a bad idea and so counterproductive when he was starting out.

 

It would just be confusing and arbitrary, and really frustrating.

 

But it wasn't that way when two years had passed and he had made some progress.

 

So I do make a distinction between someone who is early in remediation and someone who is later.

 

And then -- a distinction between kids who have a positive experience and who beat their heads against a wall.

Edited by Lecka
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But then two years later when he did have the foundation, it turned out it was appropriate to work on sight words (not with just straight memorizing them, but still "drilling" them in some ways) and it became very appropriate to work on fluency.

 

 

This makes sense to me.  Also by the time a child has a foundation in phonics, they are able to decode many "sight" words, right?

 

We are still very early in the reading process, even through we've been trudging for years, but one thing that really helped my son is tons of fluency practice with words he knew how to decode.  Words, phrases, and sentences.  And the sentences are written in phrases -- so like the who phrase, then the next line down and the who phrase repeats and adds the did what phrase, then the next line adds the where phrase.  Reading these words over and over again really helped him.  With him, it's hard for me to determine what is the apraxia and what is the dyslexia, but all this fluency practice is really helping him.  

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With a lot of sight words you can have an explanation for how they are sounded out, so it is not just random, but they are still hard words.

 

They are short but they are not as regularly-phonetic as other short words.

 

So it helps a lot, but sight words were still hard for my son, and it was not something where "it is not an issue at all if you learn the sight words as they are introduced in a phonics program." They were still hard.

 

But much, much better than trying to just memorize them without phonics.

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With a lot of sight words you can have an explanation for how they are sounded out, so it is not just random, but they are still hard words.

 

They are short but they are not as regularly-phonetic as other short words.

 

So it helps a lot, but sight words were still hard for my son, and it was not something where "it is not an issue at all if you learn the sight words as they are introduced in a phonics program." They were still hard.

 

But much, much better than trying to just memorize them without phonics.

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I am not sure what all to write.  I'm still confused about some stuff and because we talked on the phone (my mistake, I knew I should have emailed instead), I forgot to ask her about some of the stuff.

 

First she didn't at all think we were dealing with something that vision therapy would cure.  She thought that the reason he was skipping over letters and pulling in letters from the next word, was due to ADHD.  (He doesn't generally make those type of mistakes if he is reading through a word square.) She sent me a whole bunch of information about ADHD that I have been reading over.  It seems like there is so much disinformation out there and she wanted to make sure I was getting the right stuff.

 

So, basically, I need to slow his brain down.  I said something about not wanting to medicate to which she replied that there are other options.  I have been studying and in reality, there are no "other options" that we have not already tried.  At least, not that I have heard of.

 

Except for NoDoze.  I had my husband bring some home and we are going to see if that makes a difference.

 

The one thing that we did not talk about was his letter reversals.  Just today he wrote his own name with a possessive 's at the end.  His name also has an S in it.  He wrote the first s facing one way and the second the other.  

 

I wrote a string of 20 letters like this p b d d b p d p d b.......  Good size with plenty of white space.  He read them off.  Decent speed with just a few mistakes.  But then he asked why I was torturing him so and said that all that trying gave him a headache and made his chest hurt.  When reading or writing he is constantly getting these letters mixed up.  Along with w, m, u and n.  (Not when I ask him to write a certain letter....then he usually gets them right)

 

So I am wondering if he has something like a visual processing disorder.  If he did, this is the only area I have noticed it.

 

If I understood Ms. Barton correctly, dyslexia is purely a phonetic issue and if children struggle with reversals, etc.  it's because they have something else going on (like visual processing disorder).  Is that right?  OR did I misunderstand?

 

Anyhow I email her some followup questions.  She's out of the office for a couple weeks, though, so I might not hear back for awhile.  

 

We do have an appointment with a pediatric ophthalmologist. 

 

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I'm reading through what you wrote, but it sounds like you covered a lot of ground! Meds are a hard thing. Barton has no reason not to be straight with you, kwim? She's not making money giving her opinion, not selling you anything. She's just being straight. And that's great that you're considering a trial of the caffeine. PLEASE google for dosing. I used an article I found online that had very conservative amounts, so it was just enough to stimulate the brain without being stimulating or addictive overall. It actually gave amounts per kg of body weight. It was good for us. So you can do the trial, see where that gets you, and then make choices.

 

Why a pediatric opthamologist? They typically slam vision therapy. They're surgeons. There's this total turf war stupidity between them and developmental optometrists. If you want a developmental optometrist, get a developmental optometrist. Or is this optham one of the rare ones who is really into vision therapy??

 

And yes, psychs, DSM, for them dyslexia is phonological processing, not vision. So when you've got vision problems going on, then the question is what's causing it and who can help it. A developmental optometrist can help, and sometimes an OT/PT (one who works on retained reflexes) can help. Sure, the working memory deficits of ADHD would cause problems. 

 

Yes, by all means email her! She's a lovely person and writes nice emails. I'm sure she'll follow up when she can.

Edited by OhElizabeth
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I'm reading through what you wrote, but it sounds like you covered a lot of ground! Meds are a hard thing. Barton has no reason not to be straight with you, kwim? She's not making money giving her opinion, not selling you anything. She's just being straight. And that's great that you're considering a trial of the caffeine. PLEASE google for dosing. I used an article I found online that had very conservative amounts, so it was just enough to stimulate the brain without being stimulating or addictive overall. It actually gave amounts per kg of body weight. It was good for us. So you can do the trial, see where that gets you, and then make choices.

 

Why a pediatric opthamologist? They typically slam vision therapy. They're surgeons. There's this total turf war stupidity between them and developmental optometrists. If you want a developmental optometrist, get a developmental optometrist. Or is this optham one of the rare ones who is really into vision therapy??

 

And yes, psychs, DSM, for them dyslexia is phonological processing, not vision. So when you've got vision problems going on, then the question is what's causing it and who can help it. A developmental optometrist can help, and sometimes an OT/PT (one who works on retained reflexes) can help. Sure, the working memory deficits of ADHD would cause problems. 

 

Yes, by all means email her! She's a lovely person and writes nice emails. I'm sure she'll follow up when she can.

 

A ped opthamologist - I thought that was the best choice.  He's local. Because he is in-state our insurance would cover it.   Waiting time to get an appointment is not too long.  We talked about visual processing and he sounded knowledgeable about being able to diagnosis.

 

At this point, a diagnosis is all I want.  Then work from there.  Not a good idea?  I could cancel yet and look elsewhere.

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Ok, here's my problem. I've seen the term VPD used, and what I don't know (and what you could try to sort out) is how much of that is *fixed* and how much of that is changeable with therapy, kwim? Like if somebody diagnoses VPD, what is that based on? I don't know. Does that mean they have very poor visual processing? They have underlying reflex and convergence issues that whacked their visual processing? My dd was in that boat. Or does it mean they have an issue in their brain that causes poor visual processing IN SPITE of totally normal developmental vision skills (convergence, tracking, etc.) and totally normal reflexes for vision, vestibular, etc.? 

 

I don't know, never researched it. I'm just saying we don't say other things are fixed and unable to have intervention. We don't say that about dyslexia but instead actually do intervention for the phonological processing problems. So I'm just asking what he's going to diagnose and what you DO about it, because what you DO about it is the point. 

 

So does he DO vision therapy? There's an optham in our area who does, so some do. 

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What you're going to find is there are 20 practitioners, all willing to take your money. Slow down, ask questions, think it through. Golden rule of thumb: if you can get in quickly, it's probably a sign it's not the practitioner you're looking for. ;)  Now that's not always the case, but it can be a sign that it's not where the bulk of people with those problems are going or that the practitioner uses assistants to do things or...

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What you're going to find is there are 20 practitioners, all willing to take your money. Slow down, ask questions, think it through.   Yeah I know.  I just feel like I've wasted so much time.  I want answers yesterday.  I am slowing down, though. 

 

Golden rule of thumb: if you can get in quickly, it's probably a sign it's not the practitioner you're looking for. ;)   Totally get where you are coming from.  But it could also be that you live in a state where the moose outnumber the people and there is not much demand for those type of services.   :lol:

 

 Now that's not always the case, but it can be a sign that it's not where the bulk of people with those problems are going or that the practitioner uses assistants to do things or...

 

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Interesting questionnaire.

 

79% probability that the child has difficulty with directionality

65% probability that the child has difficulty with sequencing

97% probability that the child has poor ocular motor skills

76% chance that the child has poor visual motor skills

68% probability that the child has difficulty with simultaneous processing

 

So, I guess that's why I am thinking VPD.  

 

See I guess I knew he was having all these issues, but I thought they were all due to dyslexia.  I am learning.  

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