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DD6 has dyslexia and low working memory. We have had to explicitly teach a lot of language skills (like using proper pronouns, proper verb tenses, etc.) and it took her a full year of orton-gillingham work to get letter sounds down. 

 

We've progressed to cvc words, and her working memory is finally able to hold a word in her head long enough to be successful at both sounding out three letters and blend them together as well as break the sounds apart to write a cvc word down. She's more consistently able to write cvc words down than she is at sounding them out to read.

 

But she still has to sound out almost every cvc word even though we've been at this level for probably 6 months now. She's very frustrated with it and I am struggling to figure out my next approach. We have done a LOT of games, short sessions, allowing her to practice with g-ma (which backfires on me a lot because g-ma is VERY concerned that she can't read yet, regardless of what I tell her about the test results, but at least she hides that from DD!) We've done some progressive phonics (she liked the level 1 stories but level 2 is too difficult), and I've used bits of strategy from phonics pathways to teach blending.

 

For the record we are doing a very relaxed K year - some math mixed into these language bits, and some science, but mostly free play and language work.

 

My current approach is to have made flash cards with a bunch of basic cvc words, hoping that if I can get a group of basic words automatic, it will allow her to progress some. I'm noticing that in spite of her ability to write the words from dictation (she knows the sounds in isolation), when blending, she often "reads" the wrong sound. Half the time she gets the vowel wrong and the beginning and ending sound correct. the other half of the time she gets the initial letter and the vowel sound correct and the ending sound wrong. About half of the time that she sounds each letter out individually, she'll then blend it backwards: "p - o - t - top" 

 

Suggestions on next steps? 

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Are you using tiles? I think I would spend more time on words on tiles before adding flash cards possibly. Also possibly go back to fewer vowels if she is confusing two with each other.

 

I also really like the error correction guide and video from Abecedarian. They are both free I can find links.

 

I think maybe using the error correction guide plus tiles is good (or I like it).

 

Your daughter isn't accurate right now.

 

I get wanting fluency, but she doesn't have accuracy.

 

I think this means more time on accurate decoding.

 

I don't know what to tell you other than that, if you should stay the course or look for other things to do.

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https://static1.squarespace.com/static/57891644bebafbbe871a567f/t/57a50013b3db2b8908e9ba45/1470431254769/ABCD_ErrorCorrectionPractice.pdf

 

 

Okay, I don't recommend to use Abecedarian, when you are already using something that is Orton-Gillingham. 

 

But these error correction guides helped me a lot.

 

And, tiles (the AAS/AAR magnetic tiles) helped my older son so much with learning to blend. 

 

I did a lot of showing him his error, and then building the word he said, so he could compare.  That helped him, too.

 

I think also when you are pointing out an error and doing a re-do, for my older son it distracted/frustrated him if I was too wordy.  He could do better if I just pointed with a pencil or else just pointed and made the correct sound.  So you could point, and if she just can't think of the correct letter sound then give it ----- or go ahead and give it if you can tell she is going to get frustrated. 

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Are you using a certain program, like Barton or Logic of English? If you aren't using a program, I suggest you get one. For her age I would use one that has games and makes it fun. We really liked Logic of English Foundations. How do you know she is dyslexic? She is only 6.I wouldn't be too worried right now. I would stop and camp on where she is at (with or without a program), and slowly in short sessions (20 min. at the longest) once a day work on cvc words. Have her sound out the first two sounds together (p-o, po), then add the last sound (po-t, pot). I would drop the flash cards. I don't think they will do much good. They might get her to read a few more words than she currently is, but in the long run it won't help her in figuring out more difficult words.

Edited by coralloyd
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I agree with Lecka you might want to stick with tiles and work on accuracy for a bit longer.

 

With DD the way Barton spent an entire 1st level using tiles with no letters, just working on putting together and breaking apart sounds was what finally started to unlock reading accuracy and fluency for her and she was in 6 the grade. And it took time.

Edited by OneStepAtATime
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"hoping that if I can get a group of basic words automatic, it will allow her to progress some"

 

I think work on blending.  She is either weak on blending or on her letter sounds, or both. 

 

I don't think she is going to improve on accurate blending by doing this.  I mean -- maybe she will improve, kids have a way of improving!  But I don't think you are targeting her skill deficit this way.

 

I think if she were accurately blending some words and then you moved them to flashcards for fluency -- that would seem to make sense.

 

But the order to go in is usually going to be accuracy in decoding (and ability to blend, ability to accurately recall the correct letter sound) before fluency. 

 

Just because it is slow going and frustrating to blend accurately, doesn't mean it can really be skipped, for a lot of kids. 

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https://static1.squarespace.com/static/57891644bebafbbe871a567f/t/57aa43049f7456bea43bbba0/1470776073570/ABCD_WABS_03.pdf

 

Okay -- again, I am not suggesting to switch to Abecedarian or use Abecedarian.  There are other programs out there for sure and I think some are better.

 

But this is a free blending/segmenting guide, and I got some good ideas from it for working on blending and segmenting.  And it is free!

 

The All About Reading/All About Spelling "blending procedure" is good too, if you can see it in a book from them (if you have access).

 

http://www.readingrockets.org/strategies/blending_games  This is a link from Reading Rockets with blending and segmenting games ---- also free.  I did an "Elkonin boxes" game from here (I see they have a video) that really, really helped my son.  I would do it with the letter tiles, draw blanks (underlines) on the dry erase board, set out only the letters in the word, and then he would drag the letters down.  I adapted it from somewhere, but it was something he liked to do so that made it helpful, lol.  For this -- if it is hard, I started with my son having him just copy me, and then I could say "wow, great job."  It helped his confidence.  So if you want to start by doing all of it and she copies, or you start by doing the first two letters and she does the 3rd letter -- these are ways to make it start easier if that is needed. 

 

If you could get it free from the library -- Reading Reflex has blending games and ideas.  https://www.amazon.com/dp/0684853671/ref=rdr_ext_sb_ti_hist_1  It has more games you can do with letter tiles.  I wouldn't purchase this book, but if you can get it from the library why not. 

 

If you can get it free from the library -- Phonics from A to Z is a great book and has a lot of ideas and suggestions.  https://www.amazon.com/Phonics-Z-3rd-Practical-Guide/dp/1338113496#reader_1338113496  This book I do think is really good, but it is not like it is a curriculum.

 

If you might buy something -- maybe look more at Barton. 

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Have you ever given the Barton student screening? Not to jump into Barton but to make sure your child didn't need additional work with sound descrimination first before doing an OG based program?

 

Yes, I did the Barton screening but it's been a while and I can't remember what the results were, I'd have to pull it out again to see. I remember she needed some work on a couple things so I pieced together those in what I was doing with her.

 

I don't have letter tiles, that might be a good investment - I have a lot of magnet letters that we used while working on letter tiles. She's really good at individual letters, but once they are put together, she has trouble. It's like her brain scrambles things when she can't identify them individually. 

 

I haven't committed to a single program yet with her, only picking pieces out from my Orton-gillingham training as a teacher years ago, as well as bits from phonics pathways (blending initial sound with vowel then adding ending sound).

 I might need to save up and get Barton or a similar program for her to work on since it seems like my teaching resources are about tapped out.

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https://www.amazon.com/Teach-Your-Child-Read-Lessons/dp/0671631985/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1493214564&sr=8-1&keywords=100+easy+lessons  This "how to teach your child to read in 100 easy lessons."  I wouldn't get this book, but if you can see a copy you can see how it teaches blending.  It is really explicit.  It is something you might like to add in as a way to work on blending. 

 

I think there are two different things, though.

 

One thing is ---- the child isn't even blending at all.  There is no blending.  It is just ridiculous guessing, or guessing from first letter, or trying to guess from memory (from visual memory). 

 

The second thing is -- the child IS blending, at least some, at least sometimes... there are just mistakes and not getting the right letter sound. 

 

I would look more at this book if you think she isn't blending at all and is just guessing or trying to memorize.  But either way I don't think it is a full curriculum for dyslexia!  Or the only/best way to work on blending.

 

But I like it, too, and it is explicit. 

 

http://iseesamreaders.com/joomla_155_test/images/pdf_files/free_resources/3Notched_Card_Technique_000.pdf  This is the "notched card technique" from I See Sam.  I have only gotten limited help from this, but I know there are other kids it has helped more. 

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"hoping that if I can get a group of basic words automatic, it will allow her to progress some"

 

I think work on blending.  She is either weak on blending or on her letter sounds, or both. 

 

I don't think she is going to improve on accurate blending by doing this.  I mean -- maybe she will improve, kids have a way of improving!  But I don't think you are targeting her skill deficit this way.

 

I think if she were accurately blending some words and then you moved them to flashcards for fluency -- that would seem to make sense.

 

But the order to go in is usually going to be accuracy in decoding (and ability to blend, ability to accurately recall the correct letter sound) before fluency. 

 

Just because it is slow going and frustrating to blend accurately, doesn't mean it can really be skipped, for a lot of kids. 

 

 

https://static1.squarespace.com/static/57891644bebafbbe871a567f/t/57aa43049f7456bea43bbba0/1470776073570/ABCD_WABS_03.pdf

 

Okay -- again, I am not suggesting to switch to Abecedarian or use Abecedarian.  There are other programs out there for sure and I think some are better.

 

But this is a free blending/segmenting guide, and I got some good ideas from it for working on blending and segmenting.  And it is free!

 

The All About Reading/All About Spelling "blending procedure" is good too, if you can see it in a book from them (if you have access).

 

http://www.readingrockets.org/strategies/blending_games  This is a link from Reading Rockets with blending and segmenting games ---- also free.  I did an "Elkonin boxes" game from here (I see they have a video) that really, really helped my son.  I would do it with the letter tiles, draw blanks (underlines) on the dry erase board, set out only the letters in the word, and then he would drag the letters down.  I adapted it from somewhere, but it was something he liked to do so that made it helpful, lol.  For this -- if it is hard, I started with my son having him just copy me, and then I could say "wow, great job."  It helped his confidence.  So if you want to start by doing all of it and she copies, or you start by doing the first two letters and she does the 3rd letter -- these are ways to make it start easier if that is needed. 

 

If you could get it free from the library -- Reading Reflex has blending games and ideas.  https://www.amazon.com/dp/0684853671/ref=rdr_ext_sb_ti_hist_1  It has more games you can do with letter tiles.  I wouldn't purchase this book, but if you can get it from the library why not. 

 

If you can get it free from the library -- Phonics from A to Z is a great book and has a lot of ideas and suggestions.  https://www.amazon.com/Phonics-Z-3rd-Practical-Guide/dp/1338113496#reader_1338113496  This book I do think is really good, but it is not like it is a curriculum.

 

If you might buy something -- maybe look more at Barton. 

 

 

wow thanks for all the links! I'll spend some time today looking into all this information. The interesting thing about her blending is that some of the time she blends a word very very well. She sounds each sound, and says the word. She doesn't need to blend the first two together before adding the ending. Other times, the exact same word gives her trouble. Thus the flash-cards - I put a star on the back each time she blends it correctly. 

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I like the AAS magnetic tiles a lot.  They are a good size.  I haven't shopped around (lol) to compare, but I do like them. 

 

You could order them separately even if you don't use AAR/AAS (which I don't necessarily think is best). 

 

I know some people order nice tiles from educational supply companies, too. 

 

I think Barton also uses tiles and I don't know if you would want to wait and use them if you get Barton, because the color may matter if you are using tiles that go with a program. 

 

I think looking at Barton is a great idea. 

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One thing is ---- the child isn't even blending at all.  There is no blending.  It is just ridiculous guessing, or guessing from first letter, or trying to guess from memory (from visual memory). 

 

The second thing is -- the child IS blending, at least some, at least sometimes... there are just mistakes and not getting the right letter sound. 

 

 

 

If reading a progressive phonics book she does guess a lot - she's good at guessing with context. individually she blends words really well, just makes mistakes still.

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When you see her being inconsistent ---- my opinion is, give her the same prompt (or one of a few prompts) every time, be consistent, point at the beginning of the word or remind to "say the sounds" ---- whatever you want her to do to read through a word and blend ----- remind her to do that.

 

It is like -- sometimes they remember what they are supposed to do, and sometimes they forget, and sometimes they are flustered, and sometimes they don't think of the sounds......

 

But if you can be consistent and remind "hey, this is what you are supposed to do" or possibly go ahead and help or give the first sound (etc ----- these are things that help when it is that "I just can't remember" or "I am getting flustered" type of situation). 

 

Just some things that helped with my son! 

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When you see her being inconsistent ---- my opinion is, give her the same prompt (or one of a few prompts) every time, be consistent, point at the beginning of the word or remind to "say the sounds" ---- whatever you want her to do to read through a word and blend ----- remind her to do that.

 

It is like -- sometimes they remember what they are supposed to do, and sometimes they forget, and sometimes they are flustered, and sometimes they don't think of the sounds......

 

But if you can be consistent and remind "hey, this is what you are supposed to do" or possibly go ahead and help or give the first sound (etc ----- these are things that help when it is that "I just can't remember" or "I am getting flustered" type of situation). 

 

Just some things that helped with my son! 

 

my usual prompt it to give her the sound if it's the vowel she got wrong, and ask her, "what's that sound?" if she gets the ending sound wrong.

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Yes, I did the Barton screening but it's been a while and I can't remember what the results were, I'd have to pull it out again to see. I remember she needed some work on a couple things so I pieced together those in what I was doing with her.

 

I don't have letter tiles, that might be a good investment - I have a lot of magnet letters that we used while working on letter tiles. She's really good at individual letters, but once they are put together, she has trouble. It's like her brain scrambles things when she can't identify them individually. 

 

I haven't committed to a single program yet with her, only picking pieces out from my Orton-gillingham training as a teacher years ago, as well as bits from phonics pathways (blending initial sound with vowel then adding ending sound).

 I might need to save up and get Barton or a similar program for her to work on since it seems like my teaching resources are about tapped out.

You might be able to get Barton Level 1 used for really pretty cheap.  You might not even need another level of Barton since you have OG training to get her through the rest.  Why just level 1?  Here is the thing with Level 1, it took DD back to JUST sounds and breaking apart and reassembling sounds.  No letters on the tiles.  This seemed to be the critical missing component for her and it is often the critical missing component for a lot of kids.  They aren't taught explicitly with JUST the sounds, NOT the letters.  Most programs don't go back that far.  

 

DD had learned how to limp along in her reading but had never achieved fluency or mastery of decoding.  Stepping her all the way back to Level 1 of Barton, even as a 6th grader, was what finally starting making it all work.  There are no letters on the tiles in Barton Level 1, they are ONLY colored tiles.  It breaks it all down into sounds and just slowly builds up the ability to break apart and put together sounds.  CVC words aren't tackled until Level 2.  

 

Honestly, when I opened the Level 1 box and saw how basic and simple and small that thing was I was upset.  I thought I had made a huge mistake and wasted a lot of money.  It seemed ridiculous to step that far back with a 6th grader.  I almost sent it back. Turns out that is EXACTLY what she needed.  It was like her house had been built without the foundation.  She needed the foundation.

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I do like that Abecedarian error correction guide type of thing for errors. 

 

I did adapt to be more of a "pointing and saying the correct sound" to be less wordy, or just pointing, etc., but the same principle (and my son was prone to getting frustrated by too much talking, it would make him forget what he was doing) -- and I do think it helped! 

 

I think it is really true -- they don't know exactly what they are doing wrong if they are getting a wrong sound somewhere. 

 

Also ----- this is from AAR (that I am doing with my younger son right now).  She has advice of "have the child touch the vowel."  She says that helps a lot for vowel mistakes.  She says have them just touch the vowel, or touch the vowel and say the correct sound.  She says often this is enough to read the word correctly. 

 

That was new to me and I like that, too, it is helpful with my younger son :)

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Oh, just to add,  I think the way Barton does Level 1 is actually pretty brilliant.  It is so simple but so awesome.  An NT kid could breeze through the entire thing in an hour or two, more than likely.  For a dyslexic kid it really, really depends.  I think DD took a couple of months.  DS?  A week.  Every kid is different.

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If you can give one prompt like that and then she can read the word correctly ------ hey, I think that is pretty good. 

 

There are games or incentives you can do if you think she has the skill and is doing it good, and you want her to pay attention to accuracy. 

 

There are ones where you read and she has to correct your error (like -- you are reading words if that is her level).

 

There are ones where you have a certain number (5, 10 whatever) of words and you give her a piece of candy if she can read them all correctly.

 

Or play a game (whatever game) but to take her turn she has to draw a word card and read the word correctly the first time to take her turn. 

 

I haven't really done this but I have heard it is good.

 

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I think if you are looking at things ----- definitely look at Barton.  Or if you are thinking of spending money ---- definitely think about not spending here and there, but just Barton.  I think it is something to think about as a first choice for sure. 

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http://lindamoodbell.com/program/seeing-stars-program

 

I will say ---- this is a program from lindamood bell and it does (from my understanding) involve using flashcards and strategies with flashcards.  And it is for fluency when kids are decoding well but not making the leap to fluency.

 

But my opinion is ----- you are not really looking for this yet.  She is young.  She is still learning. 

 

But it is a thing!  It is supposed to be good, too. 

 

So I think the flashcards do make sense for what you are doing, I just think ----- I think it is too soon to go to it. 

 

I have seen video of a teacher doing Seeing Stars with a small group of students, somewhere (maybe on YouTube), so you could look at that, too.

 

I think I would go more for just remembering to do the accurate decoding every time, instead of randomly forgetting what is going on or what they are doing.  And do some things where you are definitely wanting her to be accurate first. 

 

With flashcards and going through flashcards, I think it can seem like going faster is more important.  Also if she would do better if she touched the word as she sounded it out, that is harder with someone holding up a flashcard (and I think a strength of tiles).  If she needs to touch the word to start reading at the left and do her blending procedure ----- I think let her do that or encourage her to do that while it is the step she is at, if she seems to be doing fairly well and making progress.

 

(But also ---- really look at Barton!  I would hate to distract from that just because I have opinions.) 

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http://lindamoodbell.com/program/seeing-stars-program

 

I will say ---- this is a program from lindamood bell and it does (from my understanding) involve using flashcards and strategies with flashcards. And it is for fluency when kids are decoding well but not making the leap to fluency.

 

But my opinion is ----- you are not really looking for this yet. She is young. She is still learning.

 

But it is a thing! It is supposed to be good, too.

 

So I think the flashcards do make sense for what you are doing, I just think ----- I think it is too soon to go to it.

 

I have seen video of a teacher doing Seeing Stars with a small group of students, somewhere (maybe on YouTube), so you could look at that, too.

 

I think I would go more for just remembering to do the accurate decoding every time, instead of randomly forgetting what is going on or what they are doing. And do some things where you are definitely wanting her to be accurate first.

 

With flashcards and going through flashcards, I think it can seem like going faster is more important. Also if she would do better if she touched the word as she sounded it out, that is harder with someone holding up a flashcard (and I think a strength of tiles). If she needs to touch the word to start reading at the left and do her blending procedure ----- I think let her do that or encourage her to do that while it is the step she is at, if she seems to be doing fairly well and making progress.

 

(But also ---- really look at Barton! I would hate to distract from that just because I have opinions.)

I've looked at that program before and decided against it at the time. I'll keep it in mind. Maybe a better foundation in sound manipulation is the way to go, so that she's not working as hard when she gets to the words. I'll look into barton.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Edited by mamashark
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You could also look at "Phonemic Awareness in Young Children." I think that is the name. It is supposed to cover all the phonemic awareness skills for pre-school/Kindergarten and be really good.

 

My experience is -- too hard and too little support.

 

I could do the stuff and my son not pick up on it.

 

He had a greater need then that.

 

There are also many phonemic awareness games on Reading Rockets.

 

I think if you try the games and phonemic awareness skills and she picks it up so easy, or can just do it -- that is great.

 

If it is hard I think that is really a reason to look at Barton when she is 6 and has spent a lot of time on letter sounds (reasons to think she is more likely to need Barton than to be fine without it, but still you have options).

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Oh, you might try to find out if anyone else in your area has Barton Level 1 that they might be able to lend you.  Not sure how to go about doing that but maybe you can find someone.  

 

Level 1 is the most likely to be resold, as well.  Unlike the other levels, really you don't usually need to use the material from this level again once you get past it.  With the other levels you need the tiles and sometimes it helps to have the TMs (although not strictly necessary so many people buy a level then sell it again for nearly the original price and use that to fund the next level).

 

You could even do that.  Save up to buy a used version of Level 1, use it then resell it to recoup at least most of the money invested.

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This is more on the personal side -- but whatever you could do or would like to do ----- you are probably going to have a lot of mental energy and research going towards your 4-year-old.

 

There is a lot that would be positive about being able to say -- see if grandma would do Barton with your daughter.

 

Even if you might be drawn elsewhere, or be able to piece things together, individualize more, etc, all those good things ------ if Barton seems like a reasonable choice, if grandma could do it ------ this would be a great thing to have checked off your list (on some level) as I have also researched sensory issues and it is a lot harder in its way than reading.

 

And my son was in OT, too -- it is just really a lot to take in and then figure out to apply (ime).

 

Maybe your OT situation will be much smoother and easier -- but just sharing one way to look at it.

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You could also look at "Phonemic Awareness in Young Children." I think that is the name. It is supposed to cover all the phonemic awareness skills for pre-school/Kindergarten and be really good.

 

My experience is -- too hard and too little support.

 

I could do the stuff and my son not pick up on it.

 

He had a greater need then that.

 

There are also many phonemic awareness games on Reading Rockets.

 

I think if you try the games and phonemic awareness skills and she picks it up so easy, or can just do it -- that is great.

 

If it is hard I think that is really a reason to look at Barton when she is 6 and has spent a lot of time on letter sounds (reasons to think she is more likely to need Barton than to be fine without it, but still you have options).

 

I redid the screening with her and she passed section b and c, but was segmenting words by syllable instead of word in part a. Looking at what is covered in barton level 1, it's exactly what I need to do with her. Whether I can piece it together or not might be irrelevant to the fact that it would just be easier to buy it!

 

This is more on the personal side -- but whatever you could do or would like to do ----- you are probably going to have a lot of mental energy and research going towards your 4-year-old.

 

There is a lot that would be positive about being able to say -- see if grandma would do Barton with your daughter.

 

Even if you might be drawn elsewhere, or be able to piece things together, individualize more, etc, all those good things ------ if Barton seems like a reasonable choice, if grandma could do it ------ this would be a great thing to have checked off your list (on some level) as I have also researched sensory issues and it is a lot harder in its way than reading.

 

And my son was in OT, too -- it is just really a lot to take in and then figure out to apply (ime).

 

Maybe your OT situation will be much smoother and easier -- but just sharing one way to look at it.

Thanks for this - I've been through OT with my 9 year old several years ago and it was intense - but it worked. And I do feel a bit overwhelmed by everything, obviously. I may ask grandma about doing barton, but at the same time, she tends to have no respect for difficulties of any type because she can't stand the idea of things not "appearing exactly right" and refuses to believe that it's not my fault that DD isn't reading yet. She also dislikes the fact that I'm homeschooling in general. But it might be something DH can do with DD as a special daddy daughter thing. 

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Don't try to piece together a program.  It will only frustrate both of you.  These kids need reading segmented down to a level that most of us can't comprehend, and if you skip a step (that you don't even recognize yourself skipping) it can be detrimental.

 

My DD took years (YEARS!) to learn her letter sounds correctly.  LiPS by Lindamood Bell was a lifesaver for us.  It is even more basic than Barton level 1, and it is the program Susan Barton recommends for kids who can't accurately recall vowel sounds like your DD.  It may seem like a step backwards, but honestly, until you get those skills solid, you will not be moving forward at all, regardless of how many closed syllable words you make flashcards for.  She needs intense remediation, not experimentation.

 

About grandma - if she can't be a source of consistent encouragement, you may want to hire a professional tutor.  Learning to read is stressful enough, but when you constantly hear or even just sense that you aren't trying hard enough, it can be emotionally destructive.

 

ETA - I just realized how negative the tone of this post sounds.  Sorry!  I'm not trying to bash you at all.  You are a caring momma.  I just want to save you from falling into a hole that I spent too long in myself.

Edited by Plink
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Just chiming in to say that I was in exactly your shoes a few years ago. My youngest son, we started with regular phonics with him just like his brothers (the pre-Explode the Code books). We spent *over a year* repeating the first book, trying to get him to retain letter sounds. He would know it, and then not know it. Or, he could tell me the sound if I pointed at a letter, but not if I named it. Or, if I said a sound, he could write the letter, but if I turned around 10 minutes later and asked him what sound that same exact letter made, he wouldn't know. Even though 10 minutes prior he knew it in reverse. 

 

We didn't have him tested until he was 7.5 yrs old, and he was dx'ed dyslexic (the dysphonaedactic type, meaning both visual and auditory aspects get messed up), very slow processing speed, very poor working memory, and a whole host of things. Most surprising, his phonemic awareness was at a 4 yr old level, even though I'd taken him through all the same things his older brothers had done. 

 

We spent a YEAR on just phonemic awareness, getting him to even be able to actually HEAR the difference in certain sounds, hear/recognize individual sounds in a word, etc. We used a software called Earobics, as well as All About Spelling for that, but it took a solid year (from age 8 to 9) to be able to progress back to matching those sounds with the letters that represent them. He needed that much work just on being able to break a word into different sounds. 

 

One thing to try, to see if this is the problem/part of the problem your dd is having, is if you orally give her a word and then ask her to repeat it, then ask "and what is that word without the last sound" (or say the sound), or if you swap the sounds. Not with any visual aspect, just orally. For example, maybe you say "cat" and have her repeat that, then ask, "but what if we change "/t/" to /p/" (saying the sound not the name) and see if she can then say "cap" or not. If ending sounds are too hard, try with beginning sounds (so replacing the /c/ with /h/). If she can't do these types of exercises even orally, she really probably does need to go back to phonemic awareness; the beginning levels of AAS are good for this, or Barton Level 1 as has been mentioned. If she can do it, then you just need to spend more time improving her accuracy before moving to fluency.

 

I made a relatively large mistake with my son, in that we did back up and do phonemic awareness, then I just kept plodding along with what I could put together. We used AAS, until it quit working/it wasn't the right level. We switched to include methods from Spalding Writing Road to Reading, with little success. I found IEW's PAL program, which combined sight words with phonics, multi-sensory, still O-G based, because his age was holding him back (he was bored. bored. bored. of trying to just learn letter sounds and build from there), and he was "reading"  -- blending, etc. but also..guessing. Getting things wrong. I was so excited by his progress, though, that I just figured, Hey, this is so much better than where we were! It's awesome! only, I was ignoring that he really wasn't progressing, he was just kind of shuffling or guessing. 

 

We stopped using the program and just worked our way through leveled readers; I thought "hey, he *can* sound out words, now, so what's left? just dive in to books!"  Oh my was I wrong. We worked through the entire Bob series, started on Level 1 readers, he could do it, but it was painful and slow and exhausting for him mentally. We finally had a reevaluation and of course he really wasn't doing as great as I thought, and I had NO CLUE where to go from there. We were in the exact position you are in right now with your dd, only he was 11 at the time, and I was overwhelmed and exhausted trying to piece together what to do next. 

 

Finally I turned to Barton, which seemed simplistic to me, but has the benefit of being a full program we can use all the way into/through highschool and he won't have any gaps like he did when I was trying to cobble things together on my own. 

 

All of that to say.....these ladies have good advice ,and really the Barton has been worth it's weight in gold and worth every single cent. No longer do I feel like I"m treading water, half drowning trying to figure out how to teach him.....and no longer is he guessing, getting it wrong, discouraged, tired, etc. He's writing sentences from dictation, whole sentences, and spelling them right, and we're only in level 3. He's reading whole little stories, with no guessing and no mistakes. He's confident again, and learning that there are rules to make sense of all the craziness of the English language. 

 

Anyway, just wanted to share. Your dd is still young, so don't fret too much, but also, don't waste too much time on piecing things together, making it up as you go, etc. That just makes it harder on you than it needs to be, and potentially leaves gaps in her learning that will handicap her more than just the dyslexia by itself; I had to learn that the hard way, and it cost my son a few years of illiteracy while I jumped around from one thing to the other. I wish we'd just started with Barton in the beginning. 

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I redid the screening with her and she passed section b and c, but was segmenting words by syllable instead of word in part a. Looking at what is covered in barton level 1, it's exactly what I need to do with her. Whether I can piece it together or not might be irrelevant to the fact that it would just be easier to buy it!

 

Thanks for this - I've been through OT with my 9 year old several years ago and it was intense - but it worked. And I do feel a bit overwhelmed by everything, obviously. I may ask grandma about doing barton, but at the same time, she tends to have no respect for difficulties of any type because she can't stand the idea of things not "appearing exactly right" and refuses to believe that it's not my fault that DD isn't reading yet. She also dislikes the fact that I'm homeschooling in general. But it might be something DH can do with DD as a special daddy daughter thing.

The system has a great TM that breaks it all down quite clearly.  Also, the DVD, while incredibly boring, also really really helps a person to wrap their brain around what they are doing.  He might be able to do well with being her tutor.  What I feel is absolutely critical, though, is that whoever is doing it is ...

 

1.  Patient, super, overwhelmingly patient.  I cannot emphasize this enough.  Don't let them sense your frustration or get the feeling that they should be doing it faster or more accurately or whatever.  That will undermine their ability to think and harm their self-esteem which also undermines their ability to think.  

 

This also means not jumping in the minute they start to struggle.  They need time to think.  If the instructor jumps as soon as they think the child is taking too long and might not be getting it the child may never get the chance to really process through, think it out and have a chance to respond.  Plus, they then feel pressured and like they are failing if they can't the answer quickly.  Give them time and don't seem impatient while the instructor waits.  Get them trusting that it is o.k. to take time to think it through.  

 

2.  Encouraging.  Smiles, not effusive verbal praise (at least not until the lesson is over...see below regarding verbal responses).  Lots of smiles and nods of encouragement.  Keep it positive.  They are working tremendously hard to do what may seem like simple tasks.

 

3.  Prepared.  The instructor needs to prepare ahead of time so they aren't constantly having to pause and reread the material or worse skip important parts right in the middle of the lesson because they forget or they don't get it and decide it must not be that important.  The TM is great but it really, really helps to read over the material ahead of time and often it helped in the early days, before my brain really got Barton, to watch those boring videos.  I found on the days I was not prepared DD and DS just did not absorb the information the same way and got very, very frustrated.  Sometimes they cried.  And it was primarily because I had not done my due diligence in making sure I really understood the lesson for that day and what was expected of me.

 

4.  Following the Program.  Level 1 incorporates a lot of hand gestures.  There is a very important reason for that and it is really, really, really important, IMHO, that the instructor commits to doing the hand gestures, learning them and implementing them and being patiently encouraging and consistent in having the child do the same.  They may seem odd and annoying and your child may resist them strongly (or may have no issues with them whatsoever, depending on the child).  They are important, though.  Why?  Because frequently instructors get too wordy.  All those wordy explanations can interfere with them processing the sounds.  I never realized how hard DD was having to work because I was talking too much.  The hand gestures help the child to understand what is expected next without getting inundated with too many words, too many sounds.

 

5.  Going at the pace of the child.  If the child is melting down after 20 minutes, then keep lessons to 20 minutes.  If the child is disengaging after 15 minutes, then keep it to 15 minutes.  Maybe do two sessions a day but shorter.  The goal is to keep the child moving positively through the material.  This is not a sprint it is a marathon.

 

6.  Keeping the area clear.  Pick one spot out of the way of distractions and lots of noises and clutter and keep it just for Barton.  Once I shifted us to a small Barton designated area things were much smoother.  It calmed their minds and got them in the groove, so to speak.  I keep it very organized so my mind gets calmer and more in the groove, too, instead of feeling overwhelmed and disorganized.  You don't need much space, really, just quiet and lack of distractions.

 

7.  Picking an effective time of day.  I found (and have seen it posted by others many times) that if we put off Barton until later in the day my brain and my kids' brains were already too tired to really get through the material.  It worked better for us if we did a few things that were more physical in the AM, including breakfast, then immediately got Barton out of the way.  Then we did something more fun right afterwards.  I tried to keep the routine basically the same for the thing before and after Barton.  It seemed to really help with a kind of "mental prep" dynamic.  We still usually do Barton as one of the early things in the morning.

 

If you DO decide to get Barton Level 1 I hope the above helps a bit.  You might not need any of that info but I thought I'd share just in case.  I was clueless and made a lot of mistakes at first but you have had training so hopefully even if it is your DH and not you doing the lessons this will be super smooth and fairly simple to implement.  :)

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I feel like I got a good result with piecemealing plus my son had some intense speech therapy that overlapped in a lot of ways (with letter sounds, confusing letter sounds kinds of things) that was paid for by insurance.

 

(Basically I think speech therapy covered a lot of LIPS stuff because of him qualifying for speech therapy overall, and then there was some tie-in past that, too. But I didn't do everything at home, or piecemeal, either, because speech therapy was huge.)

 

But I was down a path with piecemealing when I started to need to be looking into the OT stuff (plus other issues) and it would have been better for me to just be doing Barton at that point.

 

It would have been better for me and for my younger son, I think, and not had any negative effect on my older son.

 

There are so many hours in a day and only so much mental energy, and then when a younger child is having some behavior issues at an older age than expected ----- if a solid and appropriate program is available, it is not the best use of time to reinvent the wheel.

Edited by Lecka
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Oh, another thing that helped here was having a book holder with a drawer.  I actually just retasked a table top art easel.  I could prop up the TM for me to easily read without the kids trying to skim it and get distracted plus it also freed up my hands.  Tiles stayed in the drawer until needed so they didn't get lost.  Now in later levels we use the tile app and many use magnetic tiles stuck to cookie sheets or something along those lines but for Level 1 that isn't' really needed at all.  

 

This is similar to what I have...

 

https://www.amazon.com/Art-Alternatives-Marquis-Artists-Adjustable/dp/B002Y6CWCM/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1493222523&sr=8-3&keywords=art+easel

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The Barton app OSAAT mentioned is absolutely wonderful. It saves you from having to set up or clean tiles, has all of your words pre-programmed, and it positions letters consistently in exactly the same location. It is well worth the cost in time saved alone.

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Don't be discouraged about blending. There is no magic bullet for some kids. Just practice, practice practice. 

 

My 9yo is now blending fluently (when she doesn't get the letters/sounds mixed up) but it took about 2 years of practice. It was not linear progress. It was very up and down.

 

Keep practice sessions short, just a couple minutes, esp. if working memory is an issue. We do things such as tracking the time to read a certain number of words, and trying to beat the time. Or, read for 2 minutes and track the # of words read.

 

You can also look up "rapid naming" as a path to fluency. 

 

I'd also stop having g-ma help w/practice and instead let dd brag to her, or only read things that are very easy.

Edited by Jenn in CA
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My son was/is a lot like this.  He would sound out a CVC word, then reverse it when he "read" it.  Or latch on to the tallest looking letter in the word and say a word that started with that sound.  He is now (at 7 1/2) in AAR level 2 and slowly progressing.  These are the things I think helped get us out of the stage your daughter is in: time, maturity, very methodical practice, very patient reminders to say the sounds he saw in the correct order. 

 

I used both a notched card and a pencil to point to every letter, and after about a year it seemed to retrain his brain to think left to right.  I noticed also that the blending problems kicked in after a very short period of fairly good work--he would get fatigued THAT quickly.  So I would stop whatever activity we were doing and try a different one.  For example, switch from reading a sentence to using letter tiles or to a game (acting out words that he read correctly, feeding words to a toy shark, etc).  Like a previous poster mentioned, don't jump to "real" books too early.  So frustrating.  Do whatever you can to limit how much text she sees on a page at a time.

 

For me, I came to this point where I got real with myself and said, he's dyslexic.  Maybe he won't ever love to read.*  I am going to stop making learning to read the center of our lives.  I got him a bunch of audio books (thank God for How to Train your Dragon series), continued reading aloud a ton, and kept reading lessons short enough that neither of us got frustrated.  I got AAR and we methodically go through about half a lesson a day, every day.  He is doing so much better than he was at 6.

 

*I'm a huge book lover, have a MA in English Lit, etc.  Coming to grips with this was huge for me after years of reading all those blog posts about how if you'll just fill your house with books and read in front of your kids, they will love books!

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DD6 has dyslexia and low working memory. We have had to explicitly teach a lot of language skills (like using proper pronouns, proper verb tenses, etc.) and it took her a full year of orton-gillingham work to get letter sounds down.

 

We've progressed to cvc words, and her working memory is finally able to hold a word in her head long enough to be successful at both sounding out three letters and blend them together as well as break the sounds apart to write a cvc word down. She's more consistently able to write cvc words down than she is at sounding them out to read.

 

But she still has to sound out almost every cvc word even though we've been at this level for probably 6 months now. She's very frustrated with it and I am struggling to figure out my next approach. We have done a LOT of games, short sessions, allowing her to practice with g-ma (which backfires on me a lot because g-ma is VERY concerned that she can't read yet, regardless of what I tell her about the test results, but at least she hides that from DD!) We've done some progressive phonics (she liked the level 1 stories but level 2 is too difficult), and I've used bits of strategy from phonics pathways to teach blending.

 

For the record we are doing a very relaxed K year - some math mixed into these language bits, and some science, but mostly free play and language work.

 

My current approach is to have made flash cards with a bunch of basic cvc words, hoping that if I can get a group of basic words automatic, it will allow her to progress some. I'm noticing that in spite of her ability to write the words from dictation (she knows the sounds in isolation), when blending, she often "reads" the wrong sound. Half the time she gets the vowel wrong and the beginning and ending sound correct. the other half of the time she gets the initial letter and the vowel sound correct and the ending sound wrong. About half of the time that she sounds each letter out individually, she'll then blend it backwards: "p - o - t - top"

 

Suggestions on next steps?

Guessing is a super bad habit. To counter that, I taught and used simple diacritic marks. DD read marked words until they were fluent.

 

Maybe call Susan Barton directly and take her advice, or hire an O-G tutor to assess and advise. Six years old seems young for a formal reading program designed for dyslexics.

 

We followed the recs suggested in the book Overcoming Dyslexia by Dr. Shaywitz to the letter. (Be aware...that book is old and never mentions Barton, APD, VT, or homeschooling.) She advised systematic, direct, and explicit multi-sensory instruction. A program like Barton is nice because it doesn't leave gaps in instruction and you don't have to be O-G trained to teach it.

 

Tell G-ma that worse things can happen to you than dyslexia. My DS worked with a Wilson tutor for 5 years, 2-3 times per week. He just scored a 30 on the Reading portion of the ACT. He didn't master CVC words until Christmas of 2nd grade.

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