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kneyda

Writing Curriculum secular dyslexic

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My 3rd grade homeschooled daughter has finished her learning disabilities testing by the state. She is gifted with dyslexia and dyscalculia. We are using All About Reading and All About Spelling which is working great and have now added Exploring with Dots to our Singapore math curriculum but I still need to come up with a writing/grammar curriculum that she can do. She is an abstract thinker as well. 

 

Does anyone have any ideas of a secular program designed for dyslexia? I have looked through the boards but most suggested programs are Christian based. Thank you in advance. 

 

PS I recommend that if you think your child has a learning disability that you have your local school dept test them for free. I am so glad I did because now I know what I am working with and can take advantage of their free help and tailor my curriculum to my daughter's needs. 

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IEW (Institute for Excellence in Writing) level A for writing and Fix-it grammar for grammar. 100% money back guarantee if it isn't a good fit. Gentle introduction with the systematic building of skills that many dyslexics respond well to. I have two dyslexic children and they have done well with both.

Edited by OneStepAtATime

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IEW (Institute for Excellence in Writing) level A for writing and Fix-it grammar for grammar. 100% money back guarantee if it isn't a good fit. Gentle introduction with the systematic building of skills that many dyslexics respond well to. I have two dyslexic children and they have done well with both.

IEW has so many products. Do you have a recommendation of what to choose?

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IEW has so many products. Do you have a recommendation of what to choose?

I realize their website is not all that clear at first glance and I was not as explicit as I should have been.   I apologize.  The main program, the one that starts the basic writing instruction, is Teaching Writing: Structure and Style which teaches the parent how to teach the student or Student Writing Intensive which is the slightly paired down version of TWSS that teaches directly to the student through DVDs with the parent as facilitator but not the instructor.  Some use one, some use the other and some pair TWSS with SWI.  It covers basically the same material and is essentially the same thing.  TWSS is just geared to teaching the instructor how to teach writing and SWI is geared to teaching the student directly.

 

The levels, A, B, and C are based on maturity/age so a child in roughly 3-5th grade would use level A, middle schoolish ages would usually use Level B and High Schoolers would usually use Level C but each of those levels of the primary writing program are essentially the same.  The content is just geared for certain age ranges.  Once a student finished with TWSS or SWI, regardless of if they completed A, B, or C, they would move on to the continuation program if the parent wanted them to stay with the IEW system but some simply finish the primary program and move on to other writing instruction.  There are also theme books that can be used with TWSS but the theme books are not the complete writing program.  They work better if paired with the TWSS instruction so the teacher has the training/scaffolding to work effectively through the system.

 

Link below:

http://iew.com/taxonomy/term/7/?f%5B0%5D=im_field_grade_level%3A7

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Is there any other that isn't so expensive or intense? 

There are several systems out there for writing.  The trick is to find something that works well for a dyslexic.  Hopefully others will weigh in with something that might be a cheaper option.  I will be honest, though, I was unable to find anything that worked as well for my dyslexic kiddos.  They needed the detail and review and scaffolding.  It may be intense in some ways but it is easy to adapt to the individual needs of the student.  Having TWSS gave me a lot of support and I do love having that but honestly I could have survived with just SWI.  Having someone else as instructor but with me as facilitator worked very well.  What I have really loved about IEW's main program is that they build the skills in layers and SWI provides a lot of extra material for review when needed but when we don't need it we can skip it.  The system is easy to speed up or slow down.

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I think I might get Michael Clay Thompson's Grammar Island and start from there. She gets super bored with worksheets. I can afford under $50 but not over $100.

 

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FWIW, IEW is not a bunch of worksheets if that was what you were referring to but I do understand the cost issue.  I know there are a lot of people who love MCT Grammar Island.

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I appreciate you taking the time to explain so much about FWIW and IEW. I know it isn't about worksheets but I have used a curriculum before that was worksheet based and that didn't stick. The cost of IEW is too great for our budget so that is out of the running. 

 

I didn't know if I should try out MCT Grammar Island because it is for gifted children but my daughter did test as gifted as well with one of the gifted areas being reading comprehension so maybe it would be ok? All About Spelling/reading suggested to wait until she is done with Lv 3 of All About Spelling to begin a writing program. I am now thinking of trying Grammar Island while finishing lv 3 AAS and then moving on with the MCT program lv 1.

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I have a gifted kid with autism (no dyslexia) and we loved MCT's Island level. :)

 

Once you start Practice Island, you can reuse the sentences you analyse and turn them into copywork. That, along with the dictation you'd be doing with AAS, is a pretty good start. Just add some narration tasks from content subjects (science, history), and you've got all three of narration, copywork, dictation.

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I appreciate you taking the time to explain so much about FWIW and IEW. I know it isn't about worksheets but I have used a curriculum before that was worksheet based and that didn't stick. The cost of IEW is too great for our budget so that is out of the running. 

 

I didn't know if I should try out MCT Grammar Island because it is for gifted children but my daughter did test as gifted as well with one of the gifted areas being reading comprehension so maybe it would be ok? All About Spelling/reading suggested to wait until she is done with Lv 3 of All About Spelling to begin a writing program. I am now thinking of trying Grammar Island while finishing lv 3 AAS and then moving on with the MCT program lv 1.

Honestly Grammar Island may be a great fit. 

 

Oh and FWIW means For What It's Worth.  Just a kind of shorthand used a lot here.  

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I have a gifted kid with autism (no dyslexia) and we loved MCT's Island level. :)

 

Once you start Practice Island, you can reuse the sentences you analyse and turn them into copywork. That, along with the dictation you'd be doing with AAS, is a pretty good start. Just add some narration tasks from content subjects (science, history), and you've got all three of narration, copywork, dictation.

 

Thanks. I will give it a go then. I value all the help you all have given.

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I have seen WriteShop come up as a recommendation. I was tossing up trying it with my ds14 but decided to go with IEW. WriteShop apparently has a lot of scaffolding etc. there are samples on their website. it is not that expensive for the younger grades, and they have  a sale on this month.

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Language for a 3rd grader? I would make copywork sheets using her literature books, assuming that you are reading to her daily. I would also read aloud a page or two of story, and then have her provide an oral narration. Afterwards, help her derive 3 sentences to cover beginning, middle, and end of what she heard. Be certain to scribe the BMEs, or you could scribe assignments for her from Writing With Ease 2.

 

I really like Well-Ordered Language 1 by Classical Academic Press. The publisher is distinctly Christian, but the materials make no mention of anything religious.

Edited by Heathermomster

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There are a couple books the OG tutoring place in town uses. I was trying to pull the titles for you. I got them but my ds, because his issues are compounded by the ASD, wasn't quite ready.

 

Just Write Book 1: Creativity and Craft in Writing: Elsie S. Wilmerding, Alexandra S. Bidelow: 9780838826256: Amazon.com: Books This book is part of a series.

 

They also use the Writing Skills series from Diana Hanbury King. If you want the guru, the let's dig in, the this is it, the DHK Writing Skills series is what you're looking for. I didn't say it was joyful, fun, etc. Notice they're using other stuff for that. WS is trying to get right to the EF issues, the structural issues, the organization issues.

 

So, in a sense, you're saying you want writing for dyslexics but you're not specifying what you need. Some dyslexics have low vocabulary and benefit from overall language enrichment. Some of significant EF issues but respond well to something like IEW. IEW is not really an intervention level product. It's more detailed and has more steps than just some random program or writing from a prompt, but it's not going to be intervention material. 

 

Then you've got kids who are diagnosed with SLD writing or have severe issues with organization, structure, sequencing, expressive language, whatever. Some are going to have a huge gap between what they get out when they write vs. type vs. use dictation. 

 

So definitely think through what it is you're trying to solve and see if the materials are even meant for that. Personally, I would buy NOTHING and just write with her a while. If You're Trying to Teach Kids How to Write . . . Revised Edition: You've Gotta Have This Book! (Kids' Stuff)  Your library may have this. Listography: The Game: May the Best List Win!  She's 9, so she might like something like this. You can also get book versions for various themes of Listography or just do it yourself every day with her as a morning exercise. 

 

Also consider going back to something really simple like Aesop's Fables retellings. The Arnold Lobel collection would be inexpensive and you might be able to find it or something similar at the library. See if she even comprehends it when you read it together. Does she understand what the moral was? Could she give it a new interesting title? Who were the characters? What are 3 things that happened? When she can give 3, give 4. Slowly build up narrations. Narrations are the foundation of EVERYTHING. 

 

It's nice to say do structured writing, but it still always goes back to expressive language. You wanted a lower pricepoint, and expressive language (narration, being able to get something out) is something you can do for FREE. 

 

So I'm suggesting you do a variety of these free things every day, throughout the week with her, and just see what happens, see where she is. The ps writing progression is total bunk. See where she really is with real writing (the ability to get her thoughts out about something she gives a rip about) and move forward from there. Structured writing is for later. If you want to bang your head a lot, go work on structured writing before you build a narrative language foundation. 

 

Does she have any writing SHE likes to do? When my dd hated her school writing, she was, at the same time, writing out scads of recipe cards. It was writing SHE cared about and wanted to do. Can she type? What does she like to talk about? If you read a book together, can she discuss it? Your library may have this series How to Report on Books, Grades 3-4  You could jump in wherever it seems to fit her best. With my ds, I keep it on the young end, but just roll with what fits her. It's delightful because it gives you suggested books to use and gives you want to discuss the books as it builds concepts (themes, what they learn, character development, description, etc.). 

 

Oral composition is the foundation of EVERYTHING you're going to be doing with her. Sure you're probably going to want some help with structure at some point. You might like to begin looking into Kidspiration software. But for right now, you might be able to milk the library with these resources, see where she's actually, do brief, oral compositions, scribing, popcorn writing, parallel writing, etc. Like with my ds, when we do lists, we BOTH do them! Have fun with it. Actually write with her and have fun. Teach her to type or use dictation software so she can get her thoughts out. If she has something she's really into or engages with (like writing letters to pop stars or texting cute boys or...) then roll with it and use it!

 

This foundational stuff is way more important right now than buying a curriculum. 

Edited by PeterPan

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There are a couple books the OG tutoring place in town uses. I was trying to pull the titles for you. I got them but my ds, because his issues are compounded by the ASD, wasn't quite ready.

 

Just Write Book 1: Creativity and Craft in Writing: Elsie S. Wilmerding, Alexandra S. Bidelow: 9780838826256: Amazon.com: Books This book is part of a series.

 

They also use the Writing Skills series from Diana Hanbury King. If you want the guru, the let's dig in, the this is it, the DHK Writing Skills series is what you're looking for. I didn't say it was joyful, fun, etc. Notice they're using other stuff for that. WS is trying to get right to the EF issues, the structural issues, the organization issues.

 

So, in a sense, you're saying you want writing for dyslexics but you're not specifying what you need. Some dyslexics have low vocabulary and benefit from overall language enrichment. Some of significant EF issues but respond well to something like IEW. IEW is not really an intervention level product. It's more detailed and has more steps than just some random program or writing from a prompt, but it's not going to be intervention material. 

 

Then you've got kids who are diagnosed with SLD writing or have severe issues with organization, structure, sequencing, expressive language, whatever. Some are going to have a huge gap between what they get out when they write vs. type vs. use dictation. 

 

So definitely think through what it is you're trying to solve and see if the materials are even meant for that. Personally, I would buy NOTHING and just write with her a while. If You're Trying to Teach Kids How to Write . . . Revised Edition: You've Gotta Have This Book! (Kids' Stuff)  Your library may have this. Listography: The Game: May the Best List Win!  She's 9, so she might like something like this. You can also get book versions for various themes of Listography or just do it yourself every day with her as a morning exercise. 

 

Also consider going back to something really simple like Aesop's Fables retellings. The Arnold Lobel collection would be inexpensive and you might be able to find it or something similar at the library. See if she even comprehends it when you read it together. Does she understand what the moral was? Could she give it a new interesting title? Who were the characters? What are 3 things that happened? When she can give 3, give 4. Slowly build up narrations. Narrations are the foundation of EVERYTHING. 

 

It's nice to say do structured writing, but it still always goes back to expressive language. You wanted a lower pricepoint, and expressive language (narration, being able to get something out) is something you can do for FREE. 

 

So I'm suggesting you do a variety of these free things every day, throughout the week with her, and just see what happens, see where she is. The ps writing progression is total bunk. See where she really is with real writing (the ability to get her thoughts out about something she gives a rip about) and move forward from there. Structured writing is for later. If you want to bang your head a lot, go work on structured writing before you build a narrative language foundation. 

 

Does she have any writing SHE likes to do? When my dd hated her school writing, she was, at the same time, writing out scads of recipe cards. It was writing SHE cared about and wanted to do. Can she type? What does she like to talk about? If you read a book together, can she discuss it? Your library may have this series How to Report on Books, Grades 3-4  You could jump in wherever it seems to fit her best. With my ds, I keep it on the young end, but just roll with what fits her. It's delightful because it gives you suggested books to use and gives you want to discuss the books as it builds concepts (themes, what they learn, character development, description, etc.). 

 

Oral composition is the foundation of EVERYTHING you're going to be doing with her. Sure you're probably going to want some help with structure at some point. You might like to begin looking into Kidspiration software. But for right now, you might be able to milk the library with these resources, see where she's actually, do brief, oral compositions, scribing, popcorn writing, parallel writing, etc. Like with my ds, when we do lists, we BOTH do them! Have fun with it. Actually write with her and have fun. Teach her to type or use dictation software so she can get her thoughts out. If she has something she's really into or engages with (like writing letters to pop stars or texting cute boys or...) then roll with it and use it!

 

This foundational stuff is way more important right now than buying a curriculum. 

Wow, thanks for all the ideas. I am a bit overwhelmed right now as we just found out the testing results this week. She already has started speech therapy and some remedial work for an hour each morning before we home school at the local public school. Some websites on education have pointed out that gifted children with learning disabilities often have their gifted side ignored with the focus being on the disability side so I have that to think of as well.

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Fables  Here's that Arnold Lobel book I was telling you about. It's adorable, and it would be an easy starting point for many kids that age. Just because someone has dyslexia DOESN'T mean they don't have a lot to say inside! If you want, knock yourself out. You can read about IEW's use of keyword outlines. You can do that easily yourself, mercy. You don't need to pay curriculum for it. It's really not so rocket science. Underline 5 words in the narrative that are important and include them in your retelling. Boom. Done. Yes there's more they do, but she may not need all the rest of that. It can start that simply.

 

Develop elementary reading comprehension, writing and math skills with Kidspiration® | inspiration.com  Not sure what the pricepoint is running on this. I got the full big kid Inspiration for a pretty reasonable price, iirc. It's an AMAZING tool for our kids. Or, if you want free, do the same thing on a simpler mindmapping app on any device you own OR get even more free with a whiteboard and markers! With my ds, I use a whiteboard. I'm wanting to move up to software soon. 

 

The slick thing about software, mapping, etc. is that you can go visual too, so you can use pictures, not just language. Make clothespin figures and retell the stores. She's probably very visual.

 

When you're ready to kick up her retellings even further, you can begin changing things, like changing the time or the setting or changing things to past tense. I really like Writing Tales, both levels 1 and 2. They do a terrific job with expanding narratives in fun, engaging, thoughtful, creative ways. When she has worked through the fables, she would be easily ready for WT1, yes. Fun stuff, super fun stuff. And that narrative level, doing WT1 and 2, retelling narratives, etc., is really adequate for a while. My dd began doing some mapping of essays and engaging articles around maybe 4th or 5th, like what WTM describes, but with her EF deficits she wasn't really ready to write essays until later. There's not a huge advantage there in rushing. We did WWS1 in 8th, iirc. Seriously. Like that's way later than other people say. Don't be on the rush rush bandwagon. Build foundations, joy, ability to get out her thoughts about something she cares about. It will come together

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Wow, thanks for all the ideas. I am a bit overwhelmed right now as we just found out the testing results this week. She already has started speech therapy and some remedial work for an hour each morning before we home school at the local public school. Some websites on education have pointed out that gifted children with learning disabilities often have their gifted side ignored with the focus being on the disability side so I have that to think of as well.

 

Yup, that's why I'm saying don't spend a ton of money. You don't need to spend money and this is all so new you don't even know where she's at. 

 

Have you read Dyslexic Advantage? It revolutionized how I approached my dd (not dyslexic, straight ADHD, but fits the patterns), highly recommend. Your library should have it. You definitely want to be watching for strengths, engagement, ownership, empowerment. Anything where you can flip it and say what do YOU want to write, what do YOU want to be able to do with text, will be motivating to her. 

 

Is she getting OG at the school? What are they doing in speech therapy? I'm just more curious than anything. My ds has gotten speech therapy since he was two, but he has verbal apraxia.

Edited by PeterPan

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You could start a thread, if you want, asking how people balance disabilities and giftedness. We've had some discussions like that, but often they're buried in another thread. People here like OneStep would have things to say to that. Definitely do that. It would be a fun thread. :)

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We are doing AAR and AAS at home so they aren't planning on doubling that. I think the resource teacher is trying to figure out what she needs. The more input I can put in, the better. 

 

In speech, she is working on sh, ch, and blends.

 

We had one 2 hour meeting that went over the test results and then determined what minimal services were required by the state to offer her by state law. It was a lot to take in. My lay-person view of what dyslexia is turns out not to be what it is! I did order a book from the library. 

 

I will try to get more specific info on where she is on the spectrum from the tester asap. She said it was very hard to quantify exactly what was going on with my daughter because of her gifts. 

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If they will copy the scoring sheets for some of the tests, that can be interesting. The CTOPP is one to ask for. Like don't really be bashful, kwim? All they can do is say no, lol. I usually just ask and make up some excuse. I want to share it with another provider, I want it for her files, blah blah. And some of it is I want to go through the scores myself and see what I can read into it.

 

That's really cool that the school is making some effort to help you. That's striking though if a dc is 9 and needing work on /sh/ and /ch/, hmm. Any explanation for that? In general, you don't expect a dc to be manipulating sounds they can't yet pronounce. 

 

Did you give her the Barton pretest? It may turn up something useful. I would STRONGLY encourage you to give it to her, like pronto, today. It's free and takes maybe 15 minutes.

 

Students | Barton

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That contradictions is the tester seeing? Maybe bright kids with straight SLDs and nothing else still present pretty typically. The psych we have now updating our evals is pissed because she says the atypical presentation was strong indication that there was more going on and that the school just STOPPED. They eval so far and just stop.

 

Take your time, dig in. Definitely try to get the score sheet on that CTOPP. Surely they did a CTOPP? What other tests are listed in your report? Did they do any language testing like the CELF? Did they do anything for pragmatics?

 

And your dd was enrolled at the time of the evals or homeschooling?

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If they will copy the scoring sheets for some of the tests, that can be interesting. The CTOPP is one to ask for. Like don't really be bashful, kwim? All they can do is say no, lol. I usually just ask and make up some excuse. I want to share it with another provider, I want it for her files, blah blah. And some of it is I want to go through the scores myself and see what I can read into it.

 

That's really cool that the school is making some effort to help you. That's striking though if a dc is 9 and needing work on /sh/ and /ch/, hmm. Any explanation for that? In general, you don't expect a dc to be manipulating sounds they can't yet pronounce. 

 

Did you give her the Barton pretest? It may turn up something useful. I would STRONGLY encourage you to give it to her, like pronto, today. It's free and takes maybe 15 minutes.

 

Students | Barton

 CTOPP ? Huh? DC? Dear child? Barton pretest? Do I really need to test her more after all these professional assessments?

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That contradictions is the tester seeing? Maybe bright kids with straight SLDs and nothing else still present pretty typically. The psych we have now updating our evals is pissed because she says the atypical presentation was strong indication that there was more going on and that the school just STOPPED. They eval so far and just stop.

 

Take your time, dig in. Definitely try to get the score sheet on that CTOPP. Surely they did a CTOPP? What other tests are listed in your report? Did they do any language testing like the CELF? Did they do anything for pragmatics?

 

And your dd was enrolled at the time of the evals or homeschooling?

My daughter has only been homeschooled. Never enrolled. CELF? What is that? SLDs?

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SLD=specific learning disability It will probably say something like SLD Reading or SLD Writing or SLD math in your paperwork from the school. It's not board shorthand but used everywhere.

 

CTOPP=comprehensive test of phonological processing

CELF=I forget what

 

Again, both of those are the ways they will show up in your paperwork if the school ran them. Usually the report will have a list of what tools were run. They may have only run achievement and IQ or even just short forms of those. They SHOULD have run the CTOPP and CELF. If they didn't, that's something to raise your eyebrows. You've got their SLP saying she's complex, that things aren't fully clear to her, and we're filling you in with tests that should have been run that could have clarified things.

 

The Barton pretest is free and takes less than 15 minutes. It's just free info. Complex kids often have holes, like doing advanced things well and struggling with easy things. It's more of a way to check for some holes and make sure they won't impede her progress with what you're doing.

 

Don't forget, you can always google these terms. If you just google them, they'll pop up, complete with sample scoring sheets and reports, etc.

 

https://www.google.com/search?client=safari&rls=en&q=celf&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8  When you google CELF.

 

https://www.google.com/search?client=safari&rls=en&ei=-ctkWqzuMtC4tQX1hLDwDg&q=ctopp&oq=ctopp&gs_l=psy-ab.3..0l10.11485.12196.0.12501.5.5.0.0.0.0.27…  When you google CTOPP.

 

Your other googling tip of the day is how to do a google site search. So say you wanted to know what EKS used with her ds for math in 5th grade. She responded to you in your other thread, and maybe you're like wow I want to know more about what she did! So you can go to your google bar and type "EKS math 5th grade site:welltrainedmind.com" By adding the site:welltrainedmind.com you're telling google to search that particular site for those hits. It happens to turn up some stuff

 

https://www.google.com/search?client=safari&rls=en&q=eks+math+5th+grade+site:welltrainedmind.com&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8

 

I use site searches all the time. Like I'll spend an evening and just follow through threads on what interesting people have done. That way, you can track down people who maybe no longer post but who maybe had a situation similar to yours. Great tool.

 

That's pretty cool, btw, that your dd is doing so well with Singapore math. My ds' SLD math is complicated by his autism, so even though he's gifted, his trajectory is just really different.

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Thanks to everyone who wrote in. I appreciate you taking the time to try and help. I will follow-up with the school dept. here as I am sure that they will be able to continue to help me understand what exactly is going on. I think that perhaps this avenue of exploration is too confusing and overwhelming for me. Thank you for your kindness.

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Thanks to everyone who wrote in. I appreciate you taking the time to try and help. I will follow-up with the school dept. here as I am sure that they will be able to continue to help me understand what exactly is going on. I think that perhaps this avenue of exploration is too confusing and overwhelming for me. Thank you for your kindness.

:grouphug:

 

We are so used to conversing in shorthand that we forget just how much shorthand we are actually using.  So sorry.  I don't think anyone means to be so confusing.  There are just so many pieces to the puzzles that are our kids that it can take volumes to walk through it all.  Shorthand keeps posts from being super long but unfortunately can also leave readers with huge gaps in understanding.  I have definitely been there and done that.  LOL.  I was so lost when I started this journey.

 

To make this simple, I think right now, this week you might benefit from simply reading The Dyslexic Advantage by Brock and Fernette Eide.  See if there is a copy at your library.  Start there.  Then we can recommend other resources for you to read to get an overall picture of learning differences like dyslexia and can help you break down any evaluations you aren't certain of, etc.

 

Also, though, I agree with PeterPan that you might want to run your child through the Barton Reading and Spelling pretest.  It simply checks for certain key components necessary for the successful use of any Orton-Gillingham based reading/spelling program (usually referred to as an OG based program and considered the Gold Standard for instruction for a child with dyslexia).  If a child is missing those key components then they may need a targeted program like LiPS or Foundations in Sound BEFORE they can successfully navigate a reading/spelling/writing program.  The test is free, pretty easy to administer, and just gives you a bit clearer picture of where your child is right now with regards to certain important skills needed for reading.  I have linked it below.

 

https://bartonreading.com/students/#ss

 

There is a student screening and a tutor screening.  To administer the student screening you need to pass the tutor screening.  This is not knowledge based.  It is tied to the ability to hear and dissect sounds, among other things.  Make sure you are both well rested and are doing the screening in an area that is relatively quiet.  Do it at a time of day when you don't have to rush and will not be interrupted.  Frequently evaluations do NOT take this step so going through the screening, which is FREE, makes a ton of sense for giving you a better picture of where your child is right now.

 

For what it is worth (FWIW), my children are both dyslexic.  My daughter passed the screening without issue.  I assumed my son would do the same.  I was wrong.  He failed section C.  He had certain deficits with certain specific sound combinations that were making it MUCH harder for him to learn to read.  He needed to remediate those issues before he could successfully navigate a phonics based reading program.  The evaluations we had did not address this particular issue and yet it was a big component of why he was struggling in certain areas that my daughter was not.

 

Again, I am sorry we tossed so much at you at once.  Always feel free to as people to slow down, break things into smaller pieces, cut out the shorthand.  We are here to support each other.  We want to help.  Sometimes posters just need a reminder that this can be REALLY confusing and overwhelming.  

 

Hang in there.  Best wishes.

 

:grouphug:

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I considered it but it has "faith based content."

Just an fyi, Writeshop has a secular option you can email them to ask for.

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We have started using Brave Writer for my kiddo with dyslexia/dysgraphia/autism spectrum disorder. I started not by buying anything, but by watching Julie Bogart's youtube channel to see if it would work with my family. Since P has dysgraphia, I scribe for his free writes, so he can concentrate on generating ideas instead of on the physical aspect of writing. We will be moving to speech-to-text software eventually. His special interest is WW2, so he happily does copywork if it's quotes from Winston Churchill, Dwight Eisenhower, Patton, etc.  :lol:

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My ds used a whole bunch of different things.  Writing was the hardest thing for us to find something that would work. The single best fit for him for composition seemed to be Bravewriter.  It isn't designed for dyslexia, but seemed to work well for ds, esp using me as scribe or the computer so that he did not have to write by hand. He turned out an initial good piece with IEW, but then it led to tears after that.  MCT Sentence Island was useful just to read--the exercise parts not so much for ds--but it helped him with an appreciation for language which in turn may have helped him get to where he was able to write some poetry, including some that got published in children's or local publications.

 

Nothing much was useful  for writing till reading was well remediated, so if your dc was just dx'ed and is still having reading remediated, it may be premature to start a writing program.

 

For us, while reading was being remediated, our reading program had some grammar parts built in.

 

 

 

I don't know if it exists in the same form any more, but at one point ds did Hogwarts is Here which had graded short essays, and was helpful for his writing. But that was at a point when he had already been able to read the whole of Harry Potter, not while still remediating reading skills.

 

 

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Nothing much was useful  for writing till reading was well remediated, so if your dc was just dx'ed and is still having reading remediated, it may be premature to start a writing program.

 

For us, while reading was being remediated, our reading program had some grammar parts built in.

I talked to the people at All About Reading and they suggested to wait until after AAS lv 3. She is familiar with grammar from her latin studies so I am hoping Grammar Island helps.

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Many of the posters on this board have been posting here for years, and have been learning from each other and have been sharing the results of testing that has been done for their children, as well as the curricula they have used. So there is a ton of knowledge here. It can be overwhelming to have a bunch of information tossed at you all at once, so I sympathize with that.

What I suggest is to print out the responses you have received, so that you can refer to them later. Or if you will remember to search for this thread later on, just come back and reread it periodically. I think you will find that the information and suggestions will make more sense to you as time goes on.

 

I hope your local school sources continue to be helpful to you as you try to understand what the testing shows. That would be awesome!! More often, though, the school personnel does not have the expertise to explain the results completely. I've found the posters on this board to be more knowledgeable than the schools, particularly when it concerns homeschool resources, but also when it comes to naming and understanding diagnoses. Our school was hopeless at explaining the WHY of any learning disability, and I've found that it not uncommon. As you mentioned, the school's job is to determine the minimum that they must offer to their students according to the law. But the things that are available to help your student will be much more varied than that, and you will be seeking to do more than the minimum, I'm sure.

 

All that to say, I hope you stick around and don't decide that the information on this board is too overwhelming. It's just a lot!! But it's a lot of good stuff, and you have years to figure it all out before your child graduates. ;)

Edited by Storygirl
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I also second the suggestion to look at Writing Skills by Diana Hanbury King. We used that, and we also have used some of the IEW materials and methods. They address different writing needs and use different methodology, so take a look and think about which method might be what you are looking for.

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I talked to the school dept psychologist today when we were at the school for speech therapy. It turns out that the special needs teacher who sees my daughter 5 days a week now taught gifted children in his last job. He has decided that after they finish the current story they are reading that he is going to bump her up a lot. He also gave me a lot of resource materials geared to gifted children to keep and use. One of the things he recommended which was interesting to me was anti-coloring books.

 

The psychologist said I should be reading literature to her and focusing a lot on science, logic, and problem solving because she is gifted in abstract thought, logic, problem solving, and in language. She isn't worried about her reading since we have a program in place for that. She also suggested I be here secretary for math. My daughter can answer everything orally and I can write it down for her. We are hoping that by taking that step out that her thoughts won't get disrupted.

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It sounds like you are working with a great school. That is really awesome. Many schools will not offer any services to homeschoolers, much less advice, so you are fortunate!! Sounds great!

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Sounds good!

 

My particular child like drawing and art, but did not like anti-coloring books, but yours may love them!  

 

We used a lot of audio books at that stage, both fiction / literature type books and also Story of the World on audio for history.  Some things like Sentence Island were sit side by side as I read aloud.  But other things were a lot easier to handle with a professional reader on a recording.

 

If your dd excels in logic and problem solving some games may also be good, such as chess, mastermind, etc.

 

Also at around that stage, my ds did TalkingFingers.com read write type program which was helpful for both some typing and also some reading and spelling skills.

 

When I wrote about "scribing" for my ds, I meant physically writing for him, like being his secretary.

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They have been super great.

It sounds like you are working with a great school. That is really awesome. Many schools will not offer any services to homeschoolers, much less advice, so you are fortunate!! Sounds great!

 

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We read to her all the time but she is always reading or doing some project. She was teaching daddy homeschool when I went out for an hour. We may try audiobooks.

 

Yes, they said I should try being her "scribe" for her math to see if that helps. Today did go better. 

 

Chess! Yes, need to get back to it. :)

 

 

If your dd excels in logic and problem solving some games may also be good, such as chess, mastermind, etc.

 

Also at around that stage, my ds did TalkingFingers.com read write type program which was helpful for both some typing and also some reading and spelling skills.

 

When I wrote about "scribing" for my ds, I meant physically writing for him, like being his secretary.

 

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I recommend that you start by reading Overcoming Dyslexia by Sally Shaywitz followed by The Dyslexic Advantage by Brock and Fernette Eide.  Pay no attention to Shaywitz's assertion that parents should not try to teach their kids how to read.  What she means is that parents should not *wing it* when trying to teach their kids how to read.  

 

I would make sure that your daughter is reading well (fluently and on grade level) before you do anything beyond handwriting for writing.  Once you're at that point, I would start by gradually introducing grammar with Grammar Island (Michael Clay Thompson).  I would follow this by going through Sentence Island, but omitting the exercises.  I would then do one sentence per day in Practice Island.  When you're finished with that, move on to the Town materials and do Grammar Town followed by Practice Town.  This should take you about a year.

 

Then I'd switch to Saxon Grammar (and Writing, but don't use the writing part).  This program will allow her to review the grammar she's learned in a different context and also introduce and allow her to practice usage and mechanics.  I'd aim for trying to do one half to one lesson per day (don't spend more than 20-30 minutes on it at a time).  You will probably want to start with the 4th grade book, but it would also be fine to start with the 5th or 6th grade books (I'd not go below her official grade level).

 

During all of this I would have her dictate all of her written work to you.

 

Once you've gotten through at least half of Saxon Grammar, I'd introduce keyword outlining.  In my opinion, it is the only thing worthwhile that is taught in the IEW (Institute for Excellence in Writing) program.  The keyword outline approach is good for kids who don't know *what* to write.  If your daughter has lots of ideas and is able to get them down on paper already, it is not necessary to use this approach with her.  

 

Then you can move on to written narrations/summaries and, after that, essays.  But this is a long way off.

 

I've tried many writing programs over the years and found every single one to be wanting.  My advice based on that experience is for *you* to learn about teaching writing from many different angles and then devising your own program as you go.  Since a gifted dyslexic's needs will change rapidly, this is really the only practical way to do it anyway.  In my opinion, that is :)

 

Since she is gifted you're going to want to keep working on her weak areas until her achievement in those areas is at a gifted level (so 98-99+ percentile on standardized tests) and *not* at an average level. 

 

And one other thing--you will not find a better resource for helping you to help your daughter than this forum.  I'm glad that you seem to be working with someone at the school who has a clue about things, but, and I'm saying this gently, instead of getting overwhelmed by the information folks here are giving you, a more productive response would be to make it your business to learn to understand what they are saying.  Any acronyms for tests (such as CTOPP) can be googled.  And just ask us for the names of programs.  We are happy to help.

 

I was able to fully remediate my adult son's dyslexia using the advice of the folks here (and others who are no longer here).  I will be forever grateful to all of them (as well as to SWB for hosting these boards and had the forethought to have a learning challenges subsection).

 

 

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Thank you for sharing what worked for you. I have ordered MCT's books. I appreciate your support of this forum. I think it is natural to be overwhelmed by it but I am sorry to have shared my feelings here. By admitting this, it seems that I have started something that I did not intend to start. I thought the forum would be receptive to my experience and some people have acknowledged that it can be hard to jump into. Productive or not, my feelings are not unusual I suspect. Perhaps, voicing them is? I would rather keep the thread on topic not about how I use or process information. I am sure that any help is freely given with the best intentions. I can let you know that I read it gratefully with the intention to understand. 

I recommend that you start by reading Overcoming Dyslexia by Sally Shaywitz followed by The Dyslexic Advantage by Brock and Fernette Eide.  Pay no attention to Shaywitz's assertion that parents should not try to teach their kids how to read.  What she means is that parents should not *wing it* when trying to teach their kids how to read.  

 

I would make sure that your daughter is reading well (fluently and on grade level) before you do anything beyond handwriting for writing.  Once you're at that point, I would start by gradually introducing grammar with Grammar Island (Michael Clay Thompson).  I would follow this by going through Sentence Island, but omitting the exercises.  I would then do one sentence per day in Practice Island.  When you're finished with that, move on to the Town materials and do Grammar Town followed by Practice Town.  This should take you about a year.

 

Then I'd switch to Saxon Grammar (and Writing, but don't use the writing part).  This program will allow her to review the grammar she's learned in a different context and also introduce and allow her to practice usage and mechanics.  I'd aim for trying to do one half to one lesson per day (don't spend more than 20-30 minutes on it at a time).  You will probably want to start with the 4th grade book, but it would also be fine to start with the 5th or 6th grade books (I'd not go below her official grade level).

 

During all of this I would have her dictate all of her written work to you.

 

Once you've gotten through at least half of Saxon Grammar, I'd introduce keyword outlining.  In my opinion, it is the only thing worthwhile that is taught in the IEW (Institute for Excellence in Writing) program.  The keyword outline approach is good for kids who don't know *what* to write.  If your daughter has lots of ideas and is able to get them down on paper already, it is not necessary to use this approach with her.  

 

Then you can move on to written narrations/summaries and, after that, essays.  But this is a long way off.

 

I've tried many writing programs over the years and found every single one to be wanting.  My advice based on that experience is for *you* to learn about teaching writing from many different angles and then devising your own program as you go.  Since a gifted dyslexic's needs will change rapidly, this is really the only practical way to do it anyway.  In my opinion, that is :)

 

Since she is gifted you're going to want to keep working on her weak areas until her achievement in those areas is at a gifted level (so 98-99+ percentile on standardized tests) and *not* at an average level. 

 

And one other thing--you will not find a better resource for helping you to help your daughter than this forum.  I'm glad that you seem to be working with someone at the school who has a clue about things, but, and I'm saying this gently, instead of getting overwhelmed by the information folks here are giving you, a more productive response would be to make it your business to learn to understand what they are saying.  Any acronyms for tests (such as CTOPP) can be googled.  And just ask us for the names of programs.  We are happy to help.

 

I was able to fully remediate my adult son's dyslexia using the advice of the folks here (and others who are no longer here).  I will be forever grateful to all of them (as well as to SWB for hosting these boards and had the forethought to have a learning challenges subsection).

 

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Thanks to everyone who wrote in. I appreciate you taking the time to try and help. I will follow-up with the school dept. here as I am sure that they will be able to continue to help me understand what exactly is going on. I think that perhaps this avenue of exploration is too confusing and overwhelming for me. Thank you for your kindness.

 

Thank you for sharing what worked for you. I have ordered MCT's books. I appreciate your support of this forum. I think it is natural to be overwhelmed by it but I am sorry to have shared my feelings here. By admitting this, it seems that I have started something that I did not intend to start. I thought the forum would be receptive to my experience and some people have acknowledged that it can be hard to jump into. Productive or not, my feelings are not unusual I suspect. Perhaps, voicing them is? I would rather keep the thread on topic not about how I use or process information. I am sure that any help is freely given with the best intentions. I can let you know that I read it gratefully with the intention to understand. 

 

I think everyone who has had a child with special needs has felt overwhelmed after first learning of the diagnosis and at regular intervals thereafter (and before as well!).  I know I did. 

 

The issue, at least my interpretation of it, is that what you said in the first post I quoted seemed to be implying that professional advice is better and that all we've done here is confuse and overwhelm.  But many of us here have found that professional advice is usually tailored to the traditional school environment and that far more often than not it neglects the gifted piece, so after spending a considerable amount of time on preparing a response to your query, to read something like the first bolded statement can be frustrating.  It's great that you have someone who seems to get your daughter and her needs!

 

Anyway, best of luck to you, and please know that we are here if you need us.

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I just wanted to reiterate we absolutely understand what you are going through.  No one is judging you.  No, your feelings are not unusual at all.  I am sorry if our posts made you feel that way or if our attempt at reassurance was upsetting to you.  We were trying to be both helpful and reassuring in addressing your feelings while also trying to share our experiences because for many of us that has been far more helpful in the long run than help through the school system or other professionals.  

 

Best wishes.  We are here if you need us.

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The issue, at least my interpretation of it, is that what you said in the first post I quoted seemed to be implying that professional advice is better and that all we've done here is confuse and overwhelm. 

 

In future, I hope people here feel free to ask for further information rather than to take offense at what I can clearly tell you was not meant as a criticism of this forum or anyone on it. I can see in our own homeschool community that parents have issues when involving the schools but I am so thankful that my experience was the opposite. I felt that because I was did have trouble understanding the language on the forum that it would be easier to seek further assistance from the school system than here. It was the kindness of people from this forum who wrote to me privately to say they understood and to continue to try that helped me to try again. 

 

When facing any new problem, I hope that I am open to many different sources of help. Books, school psychologists, my homeschool community, and I was hoping here. I am kind of amazed at how poorly this is going. I see other threads where people are having more anxiety and clearly expressing more feeling with much encouragement and support. I have asked once to keep the post about the topic but it has become more of an interpersonal discussion about my way of expressing myself and defending myself for really no reason. I am so sorry that people have such strong reactions to whatever I wrote. Again, it wasn't meant to offend. I am going to sign off from this group now as I have enough going on without adding all this conflict. I appreciate those who understand implicitly and for those who don't, I wish you well.

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There is no conflict. Definitely go back channel, meaning contact people individually, if you feel you’d like more info.

 

And I agree, the acronyms are crazy. You needed to be provided information more slowly, and we flooded you. Sorry about that.

 

Maybe check out the dyslexicadvantage blog when you can rest and be more focused.

 

https://www.dyslexicadvantage.org/#

Edited by Heathermomster

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