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Runningmom80

Anyone feel like talking about stealth dyslexia?

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(It's actually becoming glaringly obvious to me so maybe "stealth" is a misnomer. 🙂)

I'm pretty much convinced my DD is dyslexic. I have had suspicions since she started reading, but she's progressed just enough to fool me every year.  She started at public school about a month ago and it seems very obvious to me now that she has some sort of language processing disorder, seemingly dyslexia. 

 

Here is what I'm seeing:

1. Dislikes reading despite reading above grade level. She says it makes her tired and makes her head hurt. 

2. Her spelling is abysmal. "evryon" (everyone) "pepol" (people) etc. Today I asked her to spell "word" and she said "wrode"

3. Her handwriting is nice but the content of her writing is not up to par. Aside from the spelling, she just has no stamina. 

 

She has a large vocabulary and can decode well: she reads out loud very well. Its the "expressive language" piece. 

 

She did do a round of vision therapy last fall for convergence and saccadic issues. She has reading glasses but she doesn't love to wear them and tells me she doesn't need them. 

Did any of your kids present this way? How have you accommodated them? 

I have a conference scheduled with the teacher next week, and I have started to look into getting her evaluated privately. (Not through the school district.)

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My 7th grader is dyslexic and her dyslexia presented itself differently than her brothers'.  Theirs were classic symptoms.  They had difficulty with learning to read, wrote letters backward, misspell everything.  My dd, otoh, seemed to pick up reading without too much difficulty.  She reads deliberately and I can see her processing word by word even if she isn't sounding like she is reading word by word. (it's more like she isn't reading words ahead of her speaking.) Her spelling is atrocious, though, and it is in her writing and spelling that I see where her dyslexia mimics her brothers' disabilities.

ETA: I just realized this is the accelerated forum.  This child is absolutely not accelerated.  She also has difficulty memorizing things long term.  WIth her, things are more like in one ear and out the other.  She is the weakest of all of my kids in terms of academics.  She is on the low end of avg to avg except in math.  She is solidly avg in math.

Edited by 8FillTheHeart
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My dd has some similarities, but not completely. 

1) She dislikes reading, but I have to caveat here: She always acted like she disliked reading, but in a moment of vulnerability during our evening quiet time (everyone looks at books in their bedrooms, even pre-readers, who just look at pictures), I was laying next to her reading, and about 10 minutes in she just threw her book across the room and burst into tears, saying, "This stinks! I'm never going to be able to read the things that I want to read! I try and I try and I try and I never get any better!!" Now, this isn't true, because she's progressing pretty solidly "average" or slightly above (maybe 1/2 a year ahead, though how they measure that so exactly is a bit beyond me - I just know this from having her evaluated). But she's very, very bright, and I think she feels a real struggle between the audiobooks that she's into (Castle Glower, Harry Potter, Septimus Heap, etc.) and the books that she's actually able to read (Cat in the Hat, Elephant and Piggie, Ten apples up on top, etc.). And unfortunately, the gap is only increasing as her language skills and interests accelerate even more quickly than her reading abilities are growing. 

2) & 3) Also very nice handwriting, very poor content and spelling when free writing. Surprisingly good spelling when focused on spelling though and using Spalding, though.

Dd also had vision therapy, but was not really clicking with the therapist or the exercises, so we're taking a break. We'll probably try to hit it hard again this summer when she turns 8. She also has reading glasses that she doesn't like to wear. 😉 Good thing I didn't spend too much on them!!

Unlike your dd, though, my dd cannot read aloud fluently. It might *sound* relatively fluid when you hear her -- until you realize that she's using the words on the page as a rough guideline and mostly filling in her own sentences just using the keywords in the book... Also, my dd can express herself verbally just fine, so I'm not sure I'd classify her issues as expressive language issues.

When we had her evaluated privately, she tested in the 9th percentile for phonemic awareness and phonological processing, despite a processing speed above the 99.7th percentile. No wonder the poor kid was frustrated!! Her reading has improved since we started interventions, but still not as much as she'd like. It's gone up about one grade level in the last six months, I'd say? Possibly a little more. 

 

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3 minutes ago, Runningmom80 said:

Ok that does sound a lot like my DD! At 6 her reading aloud was very choppy but as she has practiced she’s improved.

 

 


I can tell you what we've been doing if you want, but it might be boring and/or unhelpful if your dd is more advanced than mine?

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14 hours ago, 4KookieKids said:


I can tell you what we've been doing if you want, but it might be boring and/or unhelpful if your dd is more advanced than mine?

 

 

If you have the time I'd love to hear what resources people find helpful.  I'm not sure yet how we will remediate/accommodate her. I'm assuming for the time being that the school district isn't going to be helpful and it's going to be up to us to help her. 

Edited by Runningmom80

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I'm pretty sure my oldest is a stealth dyslexic, though I've never had her evaluated, fwiw.  It did not show up in her silent reading or in her reading comprehension (she loves to read), but was noticeable in her inability to decode long words not in her spoken vocabulary, and extremely noticeable in her atrocious spelling and general difficulty with oral or written expression (she was a slow and reluctant writer, and was resistant to orally explaining her thoughts), plus her handwriting was bad.  With reading, she used her excellent pattern matching skills and her good visual memory to make up for her horrible phonemic processing, inattention to detail, and general difficulty with putting things into linear order.  When we started spelling, she was unable to perceive the middle of words either aurally or visually, which explained a lot about her truly atrocious spelling ("inrteuering" for "interrupting") - she was spelling (and reading) off the first and last syllable plus her hazy memory of the word's outline.

To help her learn to pay attention to the visual details of words, I did several weeks of Spelling You See (enough for it to click) and then had her use the SYS color-coded marking system on all her copywork for a year.

At the same time, to help her phonemic processing, and to force her to learn to blend, I did covert blending practice disguised as cursive practice.  Learning cursive was hard for her.  I've read that you have to read/spell by syllables in order to write in cursive, and well, she could do neither, so I tried to teach her how to do both through custom blending/cursive practice.  After she'd learned all the cursive letters and practiced the common phonograms in cursive, I had her work through the first 2,000 words in our phonics primer (Let's Read: A Linguistic Approach).  I wrote up all the words using the super-spiffy sound pictures from Dekodiphukan (Decode-if-you-can) and printed them out.  (She'd already learned the sound pictures from playing with the Dekodiphukan apps.)  Then, she'd have to sound out the word from the sound pictures (forcing her to practice blending because she didn't know the sound picture words by sight), write the word in cursive (I coded the pictures to indicate spelling), and then read the cursive word back.  She did 20 words a day, repeating when things got tough, and took about a year to finish through most all one-syllable words.  I started her on cursive copywork at that point.

At the same time I did REWARDS with her, which was helpful overall, but suffered a bit from being both too hard in some areas and too easy in others.  Her ability to tackle unfamiliar multi-syllable words went up, but she was still shaky on blending syllables together - I think learning to visually break up words bolstered her still-weak ability to break up words by sound.  My goal between the intense one syllable word blending practice, and learning to blend syllables together into words, was that between the two she'd learn to read & spell any given syllable and learn to read (in REWARDS) & spell (in Spelling through Morphographs, discussed below) any given long word by syllables, and then would have the tools to tackle most any word.  One thing with her was that she needed a ton of practice before she could generalize her phonics skills to words she hadn't seen before, so we worked through a *ton* of one syllable words, hitting all the syllable patterns.

At this point her spelling improved to "garden variety bad speller", which was an immense improvement.  After finished REWARDS, I started Spelling Through Morphographs (which takes a similar focus-on-syllables approach as REWARDS, only with a spelling focus instead of reading focus), and we've been slowly working through it.  Something clicked one-third of the way through, and she's a much better speller now - there are a few patterns that still trip her up, but she can spell most things, certainly more than enough for spell-check, and she can usually catch her mistake when she re-reads what she wrote.  (I think StM's approach has helped with her linear order problem.)  I've also started typing this year, using Touch, Type, Read, and Spell, which takes an OG approach (so yet another covert pass through phonics and spelling).  She struggled hard through the first module - something about typing was hard for her - but then things clicked and she's done fine since.

~*~

WRT writing and written expression in general, that's still a work in progress.  We did WWE2 and part of WWE3, which was a big help in moving from "picking up the pencil is torture" to being able to write and narrate pretty fluently.  At the same time I started requiring her to show her work in math, meaning equations and an answer written in a sentence.  Oh, the wailing and gnashing of teeth that caused - it was the first time I really required her to figure out how to translate her intuitive jump-to-the-answer into a linear thought process.  But we persevered, and it's become old hat.  Now we're doing IEW SWI-B, and it's been going fairly smoothly. 

~*~

Hopefully something in there was helpful.  Let me know if you'd like a copy of the Dekodiphukan words, because they were *so* helpful - probably the best thing I did (I'm using them with my younger two, as well) - and also they took *so* long to type up, so it would be awesome if other people got some use out of them, too.

Edited by forty-two
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1 hour ago, Runningmom80 said:

I will look up that list! Thank you for typing all of that out, I really appreciate it!

You're welcome - I hope it helps 🙂.

I've attached my word lists in pdf form, so you don't need the sound picture font.  (I also attached the sound picture font file (as a TrueType Font) and the font's keyboard layout, if you ever wanted to type your own stuff.  If you want the actual editable files, either as a LibreWriter .odt file or a MS Word .doc file (which use the above font), let me know.)  There are five word lists: CVC words (lessons 1-36), Blends (lessons 37-54), Consonant digraphs (lessons 55-71), vowel digraphs (lessons 72-97), and the Dolch words not covered by the above.  (The vowel digraphs list has a few blank spaces where I'd had family names that I removed for the share-online copy.)

There's also a sound-spelling chart, where I listed out the spellings for each sound in order of frequency (similar to WRTR/SWR).  I coded all the words in the word list using that chart, and the kids had a copy of that chart to refer to when doing their words.  I didn't write anything for the first sound, but for second/third/etc sounds, I wrote a little 2/3/etc under the sound.  I also wrote "x2" for doubled letters; and "schwa" to indicate that while you used the indicated sound to spell the word, when speaking the vowel was schwa'd.  For silent letters I had a blank space with a number to indicate which silent letter (if it was an uncommon silent letter, I just wrote the letter itself under the blank space). 

I had the kids color in the spellings on the chart with the SYS color-code, so they could use the same charts in doing SYS marking on their copywork.  The sound-spelling chart file has a filled-in consonant page, a blank consonant page, a filled-in vowel page, a blank vowel page, a filled-in blends page, and a blank blends page.  (I added blends into our SYS marking system because the kids had so much trouble hearing blends.)  We also used a copy of REWARDS' prefixes and suffixes page to round off our SYS marking sheets.  Silent letters are on the consonant page.

(Our version of SYS's marking system is: 1) Vowel digraphs in yellow, 2) R-controlled vowels in purple, 3) y-as-a-vowel in green, 4) consonant digraphs in blue, 5) silent letters in orange, 6) blends in brown, 7) prefixes in red, 8.) suffixes in pink.)

~*~

WRT learning the sound pictures themselves, Dekodiphukan has a cute rhyming story that introduces them and makes learning them painless.  If you have an ipad, you can get a free app with the story (which is what we did).  Otherwise, you can download a picture of each individual page and make your own file (which I attempted but gave up), or else buy an already made ebook for $5.99 (or a paper copy for ~$50).  Also, there's a summary chart for parents (or anyone who can read) here.  Some of the sounds are self-explanatory (hissing snake for /s/, e.g.), while others only make sense in the context of the story.  It's aimed for younger kids, but my oldest enjoyed it as a game and in helping her younger siblings. 

~*~

Also, wrt to resources we used, I attempted LiPS.  We didn't get all that far with the actual program (just through the consonant sounds, though that helped a lot wrt teaching the girls to differentiate between sounds better), but I organized our sound pictures using the LiPS categories, plus I learned a lot from the manual and incorporated it in other things we did.

~*~

Dolch sight words, arranged phonetically - edited for online.pdf

Let's Read flashcards, lessons 01-36 (CVC words, complete).pdf

Let's Read flashcards, lessons 37-54 (blends, complete).pdf

Let's Read flashcards, lessons 55-71 (ng, nk, sh, ch, th, wh, ck, tch, doubled consonants, qu, x) - edited for online.pdf

Let's Read flashcards, lessons 72-97 (ee, eer, ea, ear, oo, oor, ai, air, ay, oa, oar, ou, our, ow, aw, au, oy, oi, silent e) - edited for online.pdf

sound-spelling chart complete (exported from speadsheet).pdf

engrea51.ttf

KeyboardTemplate.pdf

Edited by forty-two
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8 hours ago, Runningmom80 said:

If you have the time I'd love to hear what resources people find helpful.  I'm not sure yet how we will remediate/accommodate her. I'm assuming for the time being that the school district isn't going to be helpful and it's going to be up to us to help her. 

 

Of course! We started with NILD tutoring, and she did that for about 4-6 months, but our lives got hectic and we felt like she needed a bit of a break. So we took a break. This was also when we started the IM-like app that we use (where she has to tap to a certain beat and it tells her if she's too fast or too slow). She also does ball bounces to the beat and other stuff like that.

When we started back, it was with  LiPS. She was really interested in feeling and naming the sounds, despite it being hard for her. She spent a lot of time feeling her mouth and shaping her mouth and thinking about what her mouth was doing. At the same time, we played a lot of the nonsense word game from the Phonics Page. Your kid may be way past this stage, but I'll just throw out there that I thought mine was too. I was certain she didn't need to review basic letter sounds and figure out what her mouth was doing. But she really did and I had no idea! I was shocked at the things she couldn't tell me about how her body moved to make sounds! (T is obviously your tongue tapping up against the gum above your top front teeth, right? Why are you telling me it's your lips moving??)

After that, we started going through Equipped for Reading success, the Syllables spell success program, and several other programs Elizabeth has developed, like a long vowels first program and a consonant blends program (dd struggles the most with consonant blends).

I've spent a lot of time reading the free online OG materials here: http://www.marooneyfoundation.org/professional-learning.aspx
And have been incorporating a number of those ideas into our daily conversations about words/reading/sounds. But we haven't actually been going through the program the way the lesson plans are laid out. 

At the same time as all this, we applied to NLS's talking book program, and dd received a talking book machine and more access to independent audiobooks (keyword being independent -- she hated having to ask us every time she wanted to listen to a book) than she could've ever imagine. We let her just take it in and get as many books as she wanted (so long as they were appropriate). We wanted her to love books again.

When I started asking her to read to me, she chose books that she had practically memorized on her talking book machine. I didn't care. We may read a paragraph a day or a page. What I focus on is making sure she reads *every single word.* I have to really work with her to go slowly, because she just wants to fly through it, filling in gaps by looking for the big idea words. I still point at the words for her most of the time, or we use one of those little ruler things to underline the line that we're on. It forces her to look a little more closely, and helps her not get overwhelmed by the sheer amount of visual information. (Sometimes we even make a cut out in a cereal box so that the *only* line she can read is the one she's on -- none below and none above.)

I enlarge everything I can for her. Any resource we print from the web gets enlarged. Obviously this doesn't help with actual books, but it makes practice an awfully lot easier for her. 

Something else I hope to incorporate soon (more re: a vision perspective than a language one, but she has so many issues with both that it seems worth it to me) is to find tangram type games, but that only use 2-3 pieces. I was always surprised by how she hated those kinds of visual games when she was younger, despite my older ds loving them, but it all makes sense now in light of her visual processing issues. They're just really hard for her! With her NILD therapist, she sometimes got a picture of TWO pieces put together, and they even *showed* her which two pieces they were, and she still struggled to figure out how those two pieces could fit together to make the given shape. It was positively mind-blowing for me to realize exactly *how* much of a challenge this posed for her. 

 

Edited by 4KookieKids
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So I have been using AAS with her, but I don’t know that anything is sticking. It claims to be good for dyslexics so I wonder if I’m using it incorrectly, or if it’s just not working for us. Did anyone else try AAS with their dyslexic child?

 

I’m going to look into the other spelling programs mentioned

 

Eta: she seems to understand while we are going through the lesson, and she spells the words correctly when I quiz her, but the following week when we’ve moved on, it seems like it all fell out of her head!

Edited by Runningmom80

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13 minutes ago, Runningmom80 said:

 

So I have been using AAS with her, but I don’t know that anything is sticking. It claims to be good for dyslexics so I wonder if I’m using it incorrectly, or if it’s just not working for us. Did anyone else try AAS with their dyslexic child?

 

I’m going to look into the other spelling programs mentioned

 

Eta: she seems to understand while we are going through the lesson, and she spells the words correctly when I quiz her, but the following week when we’ve moved on, it seems like it all fell out of her head!

 

I hear you. My dd loves the Spalding program (many similarities to AAS/AAR), and even spells pretty well when we're doing the lessons.  But as you say, there is no retention. More importantly, the Spalding lessons do not seem transfer over to reading for my dyslexic kiddo. (It worked just fine for one of my others, though, and I still love the program.) 

I feel like she's finally making progress, but we really had to take it down to basics. Things like "Say fry... Now say fry but instead of /r/, say /l/." "Say split. Now say split but without the /l/." These exercises were almost impossible for dd to do at the beginning. She could sat "cat" but replace /c/ with /m/ just fine. But as soon as we started blending sounds, she couldn't actually distinguish what was one sound and what was more (is "st" one sound? What about "str"?) Given that she *had* been reading roughly on grade level, I was completely taken aback by this kind of massive gap in her abilities. We have spent 20-30 minutes a day working on these exercises (most days but not all) for the last two months, and she's *starting* to get it some days (but still has huge lapses if she's tired or emotional -- just this afternoon, she couldn't turn "tight" into "sight" by replacing /t/ with /s/.)

 

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2 hours ago, Runningmom80 said:

 

So I have been using AAS with her, but I don’t know that anything is sticking. It claims to be good for dyslexics so I wonder if I’m using it incorrectly, or if it’s just not working for us. Did anyone else try AAS with their dyslexic child?

 

I’m going to look into the other spelling programs mentioned

 

Eta: she seems to understand while we are going through the lesson, and she spells the words correctly when I quiz her, but the following week when we’ve moved on, it seems like it all fell out of her head!

I have 3 dyslexic kids and the only spelling program I have used that has produced real improvement across their writing ins Apples and Pears.  https://www.soundfoundations.co.uk/en_US/product-category/apples-pears-en_us/ The entire program is viewable online so you can look and see what you think before buying.

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I have a daughter who has read above grade level pretty much from the beginning, but who has been an absolutely abyssmal speller from the get go.  Absolutely no amount of repetition improved her spelling.  We literally did over 10,000 repetitions of the correct spelling of the word "what" over the course of a week, in a WIDE variety of modalities, very multi sensory (made it out of play dough, wrote it in salt, in chalk on driveway, shouted out spelling while jumping on the trampoline, painted it, plus many more)....only on the following day for her to spell it "wut."  That was the end of my attempts to teach her to spell.  

She never got a dyslexia diagnosis, because they won't diagnose a reading disability when she reads and comprehends so far above grade level.  But she has a diagnosis of "disorder of written expression."  Really....it's dyslexia.  There may also be some dysgraphia, too, but it's not the handwriting kind.  She has excellent expressive language.  Her CTOPP showed that both phonological awareness and rapid naming were in the average range (94 and 91) respectively, but her phonological memory was 79.  Her subtests had a lot of scatter.  Her elision subtest (listen to a target word and omit a phoneme from a position in the word) was a 4.  Her blending words was 14.  Her memory for digits was 5, rapid digit naming was 8, nonword repetition was 8, and rapid letter naming was 9.  Not AWFUL....but not what would be expected of a kid with a pretty high IQ.  (Although she's varied a lot on IQ tests, both by subtests and type of test.  She got a 140 on a Stanford Binet, a 131 on a WISC, and an 84 on Woodcock Johnson Cognitive, but it imposes a lot of memory and processing speed into all the subtests.)  

She has one week left to complete the Wilson program.  It has helped her ability to decode unfamiliar words and has somewhat improved her spelling, but it hasn't really brought her spelling into even the realm of spellcheck being able to fix it.  I think she's going to need predictive text and an editor.  Homonyms, for example, are an absolute lost cause.  Texting has been really good for her.  She's in public school now, and I think she could use targeted instruction in essay writing, but she's not getting it in public schools, and frankly, by the time she's finished with school and homework and Wilson tutoring....she's done.  I'm not going to get her to participate in writing tutoring when neither she nor the school sees an issue with her writing.  I do, but my standards are higher, but oh well.  I'm not sure if college is in the cards for her, despite her IQ.  She's so spiky in her areas of strength and weaknesses.  I think she could get through college, but I don't think she could get merit aid, and I'm not sure if student loans are worthwhile.  

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1 hour ago, Terabith said:

I have a daughter who has read above grade level pretty much from the beginning, but who has been an absolutely abyssmal speller from the get go.  Absolutely no amount of repetition improved her spelling.  We literally did over 10,000 repetitions of the correct spelling of the word "what" over the course of a week, in a WIDE variety of modalities, very multi sensory (made it out of play dough, wrote it in salt, in chalk on driveway, shouted out spelling while jumping on the trampoline, painted it, plus many more)....only on the following day for her to spell it "wut."  That was the end of my attempts to teach her to spell.  

She never got a dyslexia diagnosis, because they won't diagnose a reading disability when she reads and comprehends so far above grade level.  But she has a diagnosis of "disorder of written expression."  Really....it's dyslexia.  There may also be some dysgraphia, too, but it's not the handwriting kind.  She has excellent expressive language.  Her CTOPP showed that both phonological awareness and rapid naming were in the average range (94 and 91) respectively, but her phonological memory was 79.  Her subtests had a lot of scatter.  Her elision subtest (listen to a target word and omit a phoneme from a position in the word) was a 4.  Her blending words was 14.  Her memory for digits was 5, rapid digit naming was 8, nonword repetition was 8, and rapid letter naming was 9.  Not AWFUL....but not what would be expected of a kid with a pretty high IQ.  (Although she's varied a lot on IQ tests, both by subtests and type of test.  She got a 140 on a Stanford Binet, a 131 on a WISC, and an 84 on Woodcock Johnson Cognitive, but it imposes a lot of memory and processing speed into all the subtests.)  

She has one week left to complete the Wilson program.  It has helped her ability to decode unfamiliar words and has somewhat improved her spelling, but it hasn't really brought her spelling into even the realm of spellcheck being able to fix it.  I think she's going to need predictive text and an editor.  Homonyms, for example, are an absolute lost cause.  Texting has been really good for her.  She's in public school now, and I think she could use targeted instruction in essay writing, but she's not getting it in public schools, and frankly, by the time she's finished with school and homework and Wilson tutoring....she's done.  I'm not going to get her to participate in writing tutoring when neither she nor the school sees an issue with her writing.  I do, but my standards are higher, but oh well.   She's so spiky in her areas of strength and weaknesses.  I think she could get through college, but I don't think she could get merit aid, and I'm not sure if student loans are worthwhile.  

I encourage you to not mentally limit your Dd at this point. 2E kids can change rapidly. Our most severe dyslexic (and I mean severe. He was still reading Frog and Toad type books in 2nd grade and did not read on grade level until 5th grade. His spelling is still atrocious) went from being below grade level in language areas going into 8th grade to being advanced across the board by 12th. He attended college on full merit scholarship. He graduated with "Distinguised Undergraduate" honors (his Us highest honor for students who never earned a grade below an A (his school is on the  +/- system.) He scored very high on the GRE and PGRE and is now a grad student at Berkeley.

Your comment about spiky and strengths and weaknesses just struck a chord with me bc that same kid was as advanced in math as he was behind in reading.

Edited by 8FillTheHeart
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@Terabith This is a blog post I wrote about that ds when he was graduating from college. I wrote it as encouragement for all those other families out there who can't see the future but need to know that not all struggles mean no hope. https://treasuredconversations.com/2018/05/01/to-infinity-and-beyond/

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That's awesome!  She's not mathematically gifted.  But she has a phenomenal vocabulary, and a great memory for some things (and no memory at all for others).  And she's funny and sarcastic.  

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I just started The Dyslexic Advantage, and it talks a lot about “spiky” kids and the skills they trade for others because of dyslexia. It’s very interesting.

 

i appreciate all of the responses. Terabith, I can see my DD testing that way as well. Her eval is next month. 

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12 hours ago, 8FillTheHeart said:

I have 3 dyslexic kids and the only spelling program I have used that has produced real improvement across their writing ins Apples and Pears.  https://www.soundfoundations.co.uk/en_US/product-category/apples-pears-en_us/ The entire program is viewable online so you can look and see what you think before buying.

 

 

This looks really great. Thank you for posting about it

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16 hours ago, 4KookieKids said:

I feel like she's finally making progress, but we really had to take it down to basics. Things like "Say fry... Now say fry but instead of /r/, say /l/." "Say split. Now say split but without the /l/." These exercises were almost impossible for dd to do at the beginning. She could sat "cat" but replace /c/ with /m/ just fine. But as soon as we started blending sounds, she couldn't actually distinguish what was one sound and what was more (is "st" one sound? What about "str"?) Given that she *had* been reading roughly on grade level, I was completely taken aback by this kind of massive gap in her abilities. We have spent 20-30 minutes a day working on these exercises (most days but not all) for the last two months, and she's *starting* to get it some days (but still has huge lapses if she's tired or emotional -- just this afternoon, she couldn't turn "tight" into "sight" by replacing /t/ with /s/.)

 

These kinds of exercises have been a huge help here, as well - and likewise were extremely hard for dd to do at the beginning.  Consonant blends, in particular, were a huge bugaboo - she couldn't distinguish the individual sounds making up the blend either.  I heavily used the Dekodiphukan sound pictures in doing this; it provided a visual reference for what sounds she was supposed to be hearing but still forced her to blend instead of sight read.  (She could do CVC substitutions by picturing the words spelled out in her head and visually noting which letter was different, instead of doing it by sound.)  I also made magnetic tiles of the sound pictures, and used them in doing these sorts of exercises - she could build the word from the sounds she heard, and then read it back and hear any mistakes.  With blends, I initially had her build the word "rap", say, and then have her turn it into "trap", for instance.  It gave her some visual and kinesthetic cues to help bolster her weak auditory processing, but without allowing her to "cheat" by sight reading.  (I did/do the same sorts of exercises with my younger two as part of the learning-to-read process, and they were/are invaluable.)

LiPS teaches kids to learn how sounds are made in the mouth to provide that additional visual and kinesthetic feedback (it also does a *ton* of sound replacement/deletion/addition activities), and though we only got through learning consonant sounds, even that little bit helped a lot.  There were sounds the girls couldn't distinguish between, and sounds that even I couldn't say on their own, but only in a word that contained them, and by learning how to mouth moves to make them, we all learned to both hear them and say them.

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My older son was always the same way as far as not being able to read what he wanted to read.  He would be so mad.  It took a lot of time and work for his reading level to improve to where he could read what he wanted to read.  It is very hard.  

He has some advanced reading interests, and he has always had some kind-of advanced interests he likes to talk about, but he is not an advanced kid overall.  

Right now he is 13 and he is reading a series called Wild Cards, edited by George R. R. Martin.  He has been reading it since probably the beginning of summer, and I think he is on the 8th book now.  He loves this series.  It is a good fit for him AND he can read it well himself.  And there are over 20 books in the series, so that is exciting.  I am not a fan of some of the content in this series but oh, well.  

Anyway, it made him really picky and disappointed about reading for a long time.  He would have to practice with stuff that was as engaging as I could possibly manage, but not actually engaging to him.  I read out loud to him until he could be close, and then always tried to help him find books.  He would find a lot of books disappointing.  He read the Harry Potter books, and then he would get mad at books because they weren't as good as Harry Potter.  Then he read the first book of Game of Thrones, which I told him, it is a great book, he can't expect other books to be as good..... but I don't think he read past the second book.  

He does also love the Wings of Fire books.  He loved a series by Brandon Mull, for the first 3 books or so (the Five Kingdoms series), but by the time the next book came out, he didn't like them anymore.  He did read those books himself.  I read to him so many series, though, thinking that there would be one he would read himself, or re-read, or something.  He really never did.  There was too much of a gulf between me reading and him reading.  

He did end up reading The Hobbit on his own, later.  

Anyway, I hope it will go better for people here.  It took a long, long time for my son to be able to read what he wanted to read, though, and it made it a lot harder to practice reading.  He stayed a reluctant reader for a long time, even though he really did like to be read to and was very engaged by books.  

What was also very frustrating, was that at a certain point, after a few years, he really did have a good reading level, but those weren't the books he wanted to read.  It was maddening.  

But now he has found a series he really likes, and I think it will feed into more books that he likes.  I have shown him some other series of urban fantasy, that I am aware, even though it's not a genre I like, and there are books he thinks would like to read (which is amazing for him).  So -- I am pretty optimistic that he is a confirmed reader, now.  

I did a lot of different things with him, recommended for dyslexia.  He also had trouble with fluency, not just decoding.  I tried at first to focus on decoding, and then it turned out he needed fluency also, not just decoding.  Then it just took time for him to practice reading enough for it to be enjoyably smooth.  

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2 hours ago, Lecka said:

also very frustrating, was that at a certain point, after a few years, he really did have a good reading level, but those weren't the books he wanted to read.  It was maddening. 

 

This has been our (limited) experience as well. With lots and lots of hard and focused work, dd's reading improved  maybe 1.5 grade levels in the last 10-12 months (which was GREAT!! don't get me wrong here!!), but in that same time span, the books she likes and listens to and wants to be able to read went from a 2-3 grade level, to a 4-7 grade level. Boo. So she feels even more behind/incompetent snd even less able to read what she'd like to read. 😛

What did you do for fluency? I feel like dd is getting *better* at words in isolation (e.g., a nonsense word game), but loses all that progress and reverts back to sight-guessing whenever she's face with an actual book. 

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I read a book about fluency.  I can link the one I read, but there are several that look similar.  https://www.amazon.com/Building-Fluency-Lessons-Strategies-Reading-ebook/dp/B00FZ4HWXO/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1550002696&sr=8-3&keywords=fluency+wiley  

So, there are two parts of reading fluency (from what I remember).  One part is automatically recognizing words.  The other part is reading with expression, noticing punctuation, and proper phrasing.  My son had a lot of trouble learning to read with phrasing.  

So -- I did do some fluency drills with him for just recognizing words.  I did that as part of a reading program we used (some reading programs include this).  This is basically -- reading a list of words from a lesson, and practicing them, but just as single words.  I did do that. 

Then for phrasing, I did repeated readings.  I did "mark-ups" where you have a page (more or less) and mark pauses and stops with lines, like / or //.  I have also seen to mark them with color, or to draw scoops under phrases.... there are different options.  But I did do lines, and then you practice with the page with the lines, and then later practice the same thing without the lines.  That was one that helped my son.  

Then, repeated reading.  I would always have a basket, once he was at the point that he could read anything independently, with some books easy enough for him and/or that he had heard me read aloud before so that he was familiar with him.  Then I had some amount of time he was required to read out loud.  He did not mind funny books or picture books, once he could read them, BUT with the context that he was definitely going to have to read something.  I would usually have a snack, drink (hot chocolate in winter), etc, for him at this time.  Once he was reading out loud decently, he could read in his head.  With my younger son, I have just started a star chart for him, and he is going to get a trip out for ice cream for himself and his sister when he gets ten stars.  My older son would not like things like this.  

If there is reverting to guessing, I think there are some options.  One, go easier.  It really does help to go easier.  Two, add support by having her just read a line here or there, while you read most of it.  Choose lines for her that you think she will be able to sound out the words (currently) or that you think will not be too hard for her.  

I think it depends on why she is guessing, to some extent.  I am seeing different things between my sons.  

My older son had a lot of issues with fatigue.  My younger son does not.  If there is fatigue, I think preventing fatigue is so important.  Fatigue is more likely if she is trying to read stuff that is a little too hard.  I think -- reading to the child helps with this a lot.  

Is it rushing?  Reading together can help with rushing/guessing.  

My younger son does a guessing thing when he is kind-of unengaged and is kind-of giving up, he is kind-of going through the motions.  My older son never did this.  For my younger son, going easier and helping him to sound out words helps him.  

Overall, I think the books she wants to read might be too big of a jump, maybe she needs to practice at an easier level.  Which -- is disappointing.  

It could still be good to practice with sounding out words, but if she is really fine with that, but then it's not transferring to books, I think easier reading practice can be needed.... with repeated reading, or supported somehow (with you reading along or reading most while she reads here and there).  

I have found that there can be something from decoding that you have gone over and over, and you're sure your child knows it, but then low and behold, you go back over it, and it is forgotten.  That can be a factor in guessing for sure.  

Text complexity is something I am seeing as a huge factor for my younger son.  The sentences get longer and he has no idea about phrasing.  My older son was not like this, but he had a lot of trouble with dialogue and following along with who was speaking.  

If the books she wants to read have longer sentences, though, that makes it harder to figure out.  

Have you hard of cognitive load?  This was a huge deal with my older son (and I think went along with his fatigue issues).  He has so much focus to give to reading, and if he is trying to keep track of the story, then he doesn't want to stop and take the time to decode, because then he will forget what is happening in the story.  I would see him do this, with just saying a made-up word, that he knew was a made-up word, because he wanted to keep going in the story, not forget what was going on, etc.  

He would be so frustrated to lose his train of thought.  

So my understanding was -- get the component skills better, and then component skills will not take as much mental effort.  

My younger son is not necessarily tracking with what is going on as he reads, so he is not necessarily realizing from context that he has made a mistake.  I think this is a lot worse problem to be honest.  

But I think there is guessing where it is just -- random guessing, and the child is unengaged with what they are reading, and I think this is a big problem.   And then there is guessing because either it seems too hard to figure out the word, or it will lose the train of thought and the story is interesting..... then I think the reading level is just too high.  

Things that make books easier to read:  reading a series where a lot of information is known going into the book, reading a book related to a movie, reading a book where the plot is already known..... for quite a while my older son would do a lot better when he already knew the plot for a book, before he read it.  It took a lot of strain off of him, that he wouldn't have to work so hard to follow along with the plot.  He would also like it if I would tell him a plot summary.  

He would not like that with a book he listened to, but for a book he read, it helped a lot.  

If she is reading on her own and she is enthusiastic, I would not worry about it, but just make sure she does things properly when she is doing reading for you.  

Not having a reading time with mom is nice, but I think it is necessary when there is guessing.  

Any enthusiasm she has for any independent reading is very precious.  I think only say positive things.  I think it the same way I think, if a child is writing a story for fun, that's not the time to be critical about anything, even if you are noticing or know there are issues.  

Edited by Lecka
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4 kookie kids -- I have two thoughts.  One, what you are doing right now for evening quiet time might not be working great for your daughter.  Maybe she could listen to an audiobook during that time instead, if it is intended for reading.  Or maybe encourage her to do a craft or something instead.  I don't think she is reading fluently enough to get a lot out of it, since you say she isn't reading what is written on the page.  

It's all very well to say it shouldn't be frustrating for her, but if it is frustrating for her, then even though it should be easy enough for her to look at pictures, it isn't going that way for her.  

http://www.readingrockets.org/article/what-works-fluency-instruction

This is an article I have read a lot of times.... basically it is saying, if your child needs more support in reading, then having them read on their own is probably not doing much for them, even though it is very appealing for a parent.  

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A huge issue I didn't realize, was that excessive frustration or excessive fatigue can lead to stress, and stress can lead to anxiety.  

My son would have a lot of frustration and fatigue around reading, and basically he is a kid where, for some things, he brings plenty of angst with him, I need to go out of my way to have positive experiences, limit frustration (by helping, by making things easier), and encourage *not* pushing through.  

These are not things that are an issue for him anymore, but they really were around reading.  

I would love for us to have had an experience more like 8's son in her blog post, but we did not.

I am strongly assuming that 8 provided a very warm, encouraging environment and did a lot to help her son feel good about himself with his reading.  

I think it is pretty easy to mess up, and then, it's HARD when a child just isn't reading what they want to read.  

I didn't even realize the difference it would make, but my daughter is reading just what she wants and has been for a while, and it is just this natural thing for her, there is no side of angst or frustration with it.  She has a lot of confidence and a pure relationship, where my older son had a lot of angst and frustration tied in with it for a long time.  

I was really influenced by the idea of making "catch up progress" and I think it made me a little too pushy.  

We had kind-of the same thing with his speech therapy.  He was frustrated with speech therapy on many levels, but he was also frustrated with not being able to speak clearly on many levels.  So is it really doing him a favor, to have him do less speech therapy, if it just takes longer until he can speak clearly?  There is not a good solution, I don't think.  

Edited by Lecka

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19 minutes ago, Lecka said:

4 kookie kids -- I have two thoughts.  One, what you are doing right now for evening quiet time might not be working great for your daughter.  Maybe she could listen to an audiobook during that time instead, if it is intended for reading.  Or maybe encourage her to do a craft or something instead.  I don't think she is reading fluently enough to get a lot out of it, since you say she isn't reading what is written on the page.  

It's all very well to say it shouldn't be frustrating for her, but if it is frustrating for her, then even though it should be easy enough for her to look at pictures, it isn't going that way for her.  

http://www.readingrockets.org/article/what-works-fluency-instruction

This is an article I have read a lot of times.... basically it is saying, if your child needs more support in reading, then having them read on their own is probably not doing much for them, even though it is very appealing for a parent.  

Oh, we've completely switched over to audiobooks since that one book-throwing tantrum! 🙂 She has Audible and BARD on three separate devices that she can access on her own (at least 100 books loaded onto each one) as well as her NLS talking book machine that she calls and requests new books for about 1-2 times a month. In fact, we've been doing everything she can to *stop* her from reading (actual books) the last six months, because we found that the more she tried (even just on her own and for pleasure), the more she fell into sight-guessing habits. The only time she is supposed to be reading at this point is with me at her side doing a specific lesson/activity.

Edited by 4KookieKids
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I think that's a good idea.  

It really surprised me, but I have had some success with my younger son, with talking to him before reading, and reminding him that we want to read what's on the page, and if we come to a word we're not sure of, we can do our best to sound it out, and then as we read we want to make sure things are making sense.  

I think we have some self-monitoring issues with him, and giving reminders ahead of time is recommended for that.  This is my son who has autism, so it is a little different.  

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@Lecka PS. ITts lots of rushing because she just thinks quickly and doesn't want to taker her time sounding things out. I think dyslexia just poses a special challenge to my girl with a processing speed above the 99.7th percentile... She wants the STORY!

Edited by 4KookieKids
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She might really wish she was reading something more complex.  Complex might be a lot more engaging.  

I think when books are a little more compelling, it seems a lot less boring to go a little slower.  

This is the thing about reading out loud with fluency, too.  You are reading it to sound good, so you aren't rushing through.  

I think making it sound good can take a little more effort, but it can also give something a little extra to keep from just wanting to find out the plot.  

I think there is also some maturity here, because I think ------ part of it is the stories, and part of it is the kids, but I know my older son used to be very unaware of any character traits of characters, and he used to be very unaware of any word play or little jokes.  He was on the extreme side that way, maybe.

But anyway ---- if she is *extreme* in just wanting to know what happens, I have two ideas.  One is, maybe re-read the same book, or -- maybe she doesn't want to do the same book twice, but if you did reading practice with a section, she would already know what happened, and that wouldn't be a reason to rush anymore.  Two is, maybe talk more about characters or just other things to notice and think about in a book, besides just the story.  It is harder with some books, but there can be a lot of "wondering questions" and.... there is reading comprehension stuff where you talk about what questions you ask yourself as you read, and things like that, and it does add a little more to the reading process.  But she might be really young for that.  

For some things, my son might really like and enjoy, when he was younger, he might *really* be liking the plot, but he might be missing a lot of other things about the book.  I don't think that is a problem, but I have seen with him, when he is noticing more going on, he doesn't mind things going more slowly.  

If you know her processing speed is that high, though, it makes sense it would be more about that.  

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6 hours ago, Lecka said:

But anyway ---- if she is *extreme* in just wanting to know what happens, I have two ideas.  One is, maybe re-read the same book, or -- maybe she doesn't want to do the same book twice, but if you did reading practice with a section, she would already know what happened, and that wouldn't be a reason to rush anymore.  Two is, maybe talk more about characters or just other things to notice and think about in a book, besides just the story.  It is harder with some books, but there can be a lot of "wondering questions" and.... there is reading comprehension stuff where you talk about what questions you ask yourself as you read, and things like that, and it does add a little more to the reading process.  But she might be really young for that.  

For some things, my son might really like and enjoy, when he was younger, he might *really* be liking the plot, but he might be missing a lot of other things about the book.  I don't think that is a problem, but I have seen with him, when he is noticing more going on, he doesn't mind things going more slowly.  

If you know her processing speed is that high, though, it makes sense it would be more about that.  


We have been doing your re-reading books ideas. In this case, she's less about getting to the end of the story, but speed is still a problem. It's almost like the parts of her brain that are *not* working hard to sound out a word are just making up the story faster than she can read. So she kind of flits from big/obvious word to big/obvious word, and just makes up a lot of what's in between. It's a real struggle to get her to read what is *actually* on the page (like you said). Unfortunately, for books that she already knows the story to, she is far more likely to just recite the story as best she can remember it, using just occasional word cues from the book. It takes super careful reading on my part to catch her when she skips a part or makes up her own sentence for a part -- if I were just listening to her while cooking or something, I would never know that she wasn't actually reading what was on the page. 

I'll think about if I might be able to convince her she'll get more out of the book if we read more slowly. It's an interesting idea.  I think the biggest issue is that her story-brain is usually several steps ahead of her sounding-out brain, and doesn't really want to slow down, so she just consistently skips a few words ahead with her sounding-out brain to catch up instead of slowing her story-brain down. I'm not sure if that will make *any* sense to anyone else, but she almost rushes more when she knows the story well, because she's more able to remember how the story goes and just make things up as she goes (and they're usually *pretty* close in meaning - even if completely different in actual language). 

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Here is another thought.... maybe what she is re-reading is just a little too hard for her.  

You can go back to reading individual sentences for fluency practice (like a list of sentences).

It’s boring but it takes away everything about trying to follow along with the story.  It is easier.

There’s an order: word, phrase, sentence, paragraph, page, chapter.  

You can go back to sentence with her.  

For what I have seen — my son could be doing well with sentences and then when we went to a book he would take a lot of steps back in his reading.   

I don’t know what reading programs or piece-meal you have done, but a lot will linger at phrases and sentences, and/or have mastery targets (with a really high accuracy percentage) for them.  

Your daughter might memorize but it’s harder to memorize because there is less context.  You also probably don’t need to re-read just the same sentences if you suspect memorizing.  

Another idea is:  sometimes have her read something on the short side, with a single goal of very good accuracy.  If it’s not very long and maybe in the middle of funner things, it’s less likely to be too boring or cause fatigue.  

If a lot of reading components are taken out and it’s “just” trying to read for accuracy, it is easier.  You can also see how hard/easy it is for her.  Like — at what level is she easily reading fluently and accurately.  

Then the other thing is nonsense words.  I am not a big nonsense word person, but they are very recommended for dyslexia guessers or suspected memorizers.  It’s to let you see, did your child really learn to properly sound out these words, or did your child just quickly memorize a word list because of visual strengths.  This gets mentioned.

I definitely agree, she is frustrated because she would like to be reading faster.  Or that’s what I think you mean.  I totally agree.  

But what to do about it?  Why can’t she read it faster?   Two choices are it’s too hard, so she quickly pieces together a story using lots of mental energy since she’s having to dart around to find words she knows.  

Or, she has memorized a lot of words, and then doesn’t integrate the process of reading some words she’s memorized and some words she still needs to sound out.  If you have an idea, that there should probably be pauses to sound out, or re-reads (self-correcting) here and there, and you never hear them, she may not know how to do that.  These are both skills that have to do with reading fluently and they both add a lot to the reading task, on top of tracking the story.  These are both hard and take practice.  

Two suggestions for fluency you see a lot are poetry and readers theater.  These are both ones where it’s natural to go slower (or at least not rush) and to repeat readings, and to think about phrasing and reading expressively.  There might be resources like this at the library.  

So — here is my experience.  By interest, my son would have skipped over everything about early and medium reading.  By interest, that was the case.  Or — he didn’t skip over listening to medium read-alouds, but he was past them by the time his reading level got there.  

But, not much about his learning-to-read process involved any kind of skipping.  Instead, he had to have extra steps added in at many levels.  He would take much more than regular reading programs.  He would stall on something or not master something, and need more added in.  When other parents might say “when we got to this point in the reading program, that’s when my child started reading chapter books,” my son would be nowhere near that schedule.  He would not make some easy transition to fluently reading chapter books.  A lot of kids really do, but he did not.  

There is forgetting, also, that can happen.  It can be hard to tell because kids figure them out from context, but they can have forgotten some phonics here and there.  

The thing is, figuring words out partly from context is a good thing.  But it can’t be at the expense of decoding.  If it’s mostlh from context, then decoding needs to be stronger.  It is not strong enough for what she is doing (this is what it sounds like).  So what intermediary skill does she need?  Or does she need to practice coming to words and sounding them out and then re-reading (or realizing she needs to re-read for other reasons).  This is really harder than it sounds and it can be a real disruption when it is very hard.  Or is she weaker than it comes across with sounding out, and she needs to do nonsense words.  Or has she forgotten some things and needs to review.  

Or it could be all of those things, or more, or different...

Anyway, I totally agree about all the comments about phonemic awareness and blending.  I totally agree.  My son needed speech therapy and did phonemic awareness in speech therapy, so I have never done LIPS with him.  But he was at that level.

But then, I had an impression like once you get through that, kids just take off.  After than, my son made steady and reliable progress, but it was slow, and he didn’t really skip any steps.  He quit being behind grade level at a certain point too, but that didn’t mean he just started picking things up.  

I was told when I asked (I asked someone I was seeing with my younger son, though) and was told that for a lot of kids who struggle early, they are going to need extra all along, even after they are caught up.  

I was under the impression — if I did a big push with my son and he was caught up, then from them on, he would just have a natural progression.  It did not happen and I was pretty disappointed since that is what I had thought.  But it turns out for some kids, if they are at-risk when they are young, it keeps going that way with reading, until they are really reading well.  

 

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I think accuracy is really important.  Its fine to make some mistakes sometimes and sometimes misread a sentence.  But a lot of times it is worth it to kind-of insist on accuracy.

But is it really guessing?  Or what I think of as guessing....

Is it more of making a mistake, or is it more of not being able to correctly sound out the word?  

A lot of times you hear about kids who, with their many strengths, can do pretty well with logic, and figure out what they are doing.  

But then they have trouble with reading a math word problem, or directions.  

Then they really need to read accurately. But this is short stuff, is it really guessing?  I do think it can be being inattentive.  But it can also just be — not knowing how.  

I think with guessing, if you think, she knows how, she just isn’t practicing what she knows..... that is different from thinking, she doesn’t know how (or not good enough), and she is compensating the most natural way to her and using her strengths.  

It is really easy as a parent to think it’s a choice, and not realize how hard it might be.  And at the same time, some kids don’t want to let others know when things are hard for them.  There is a lot about this with dyslexia.  It is really worth watching for and mentally filling in that things are probably harder than the child might let on.  

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To compare two of my kids....

My daughter took off in reading in 2nd grade.  She could read the Fairy books (like the Jewel Fairies).  She needed a little help.  Then she got into Junie B. Jones and loved those, she could read them by herself by the end of 2nd grade.  She has been able to choose and enjoy books since then, and can pretty much read to herself the books she is interested in.  

For my son, he was grade level since late-2nd grade... he passed DIBELS (a phonemic awareness thing) in 1st grade.... but the books he read on his own were very few.  Most of them tied in to a movie.  There were a few books by Brandon Mull.  Then there was Wings of Fire, which was huge for him.  Then -- in 6th grade (but maybe 5th grade?) he got some Star Wars books and he loved Darth Revan.  He was so happy to have Darth Revan and he really liked it.  Then it was like -- he liked that book, but would he find another book he liked after that?  He was still very reluctant and would tend to think he wouldn't like books, would say he didn't like them after a few pages, etc.  

But just looking at a sample for Darth Revan, it looks like it's a lot harder than what my daughter is reading now.  But my daughter can read just what she wants, and has for a while.  

It is just so different, and really I look back and I feel like -- well, if I had known he wouldn't really be happy until he could read at *this* reading level..... And I am glad he is happy now, but it is a LONG time to have a mis-match, and have to practice with stuff he's not really super-engaged with, and then have read-alouds on the side.  It DID get better with Wings of Fire, but it's like -- if there wasn't a Wings of Fire book coming out, and he didn't re-read one, nothing else would look interesting to him.  Which is fine, really.  

But it is really a long time to have a mismatch, and he didn't have the same kind of "I can read what I want" from 2nd grade.  He does feel that way now, but it's just been so much harder.  

 

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On 2/1/2019 at 5:56 PM, Runningmom80 said:

1. Dislikes reading despite reading above grade level. She says it makes her tired and makes her head hurt. 
2. Her spelling is abysmal. "evryon" (everyone) "pepol" (people) etc. Today I asked her to spell "word" and she said "wrode"
3. Her handwriting is nice but the content of her writing is not up to par. Aside from the spelling, she just has no stamina. 

She has a large vocabulary and can decode well: she reads out loud very well. Its the "expressive language" piece. 

She did do a round of vision therapy last fall for convergence and saccadic issues. She has reading glasses but she doesn't love to wear them and tells me she doesn't need them. 

Did any of your kids present this way? How have you accommodated them? 

My son finally got a dyslexia and dyscalculia diagnoses last fall, just before his 11th birthday. He is somewhat accelerated, depending on the subject and on whether you are talking about his interest level/ability to discuss or his ability to produce age-typical work. Those things are not synchronous at all! 

He has co-morbid ADHD and lots of other stuff. Basically if the word "processing" is part of something, he has a deficit in that area (oral motor, speech motor, gross motor, fine motor, auditory processing, phonological processing, processing speed...). The gap between his IQ and achievement has been widening. His achievement scores have gone from above average (depending on the testing--some are still advanced) to more like average, but as we've helped remediate or improve side issues, his IQ score has gone up (examples: medicating the ADHD, OT/PT for coordination and stamina, VT for visual processing issues, etc.).

He is a case of lots of little things going wrong from every direction. His dyslexia is not as severe as his aunt's. He loves to read and does have issues with some aspects of reading, but he did learn to read well pretty early. His aunt, by contrast, struggled to learn to read; however, they both read voraciously for pleasure.

His spelling is insane, and that's after vast improvement. I used an intensive phonics program for him and intensively tied it to handwriting (which was always behind his reading). Neither or my kids have been able to easily apply phonics to spelling (my older son is a decidedly visual speller). I adapted everything I used as I saw him struggle, but it's hard to say how--I just followed rabbit trails and broke things down more. I adapted if I saw him latch onto something that made lights go on and used that method as widely as possible. He's a very self-reflective kid, and he could reflect on his own learning very, very early. I think that is his biggest accommodation, honestly, and he does it himself. He could not hear distinct vowel sounds--they all sounded the same to him except when well-isolated. He spoke that way as well. At some point, he recognized that words that were spelled different could sound the same, and at first, that was a problem. It was great for things like to, too, two. But, he also thought that thin, then, and than were the same word because he heard them the same. He thought I was playing a trick on him (so much better than being frustrated, lol!). But then after that, he started to listen really hard for the differences, and he trained his ears to do that. (He's also musical and can do this with musical notes too.) From then on, he spent a lot of time trying to reconcile things that didn't match up. I helped as much as I could, but that ability to reflect on his own learning is what has made the biggest difference.

Regarding dyscalculia--that one surprised me, but he does have a really difficult time with math facts and with doing calculations efficiently without little mistakes. His conceptual reasoning is very sound. As with reading, he started learning and reconciling things intentionally in his own mind very early (like as a preschooler). He devised his own system for testing his number sense--he noticed that bigger numbers for kids' ages meant bigger kids. Then he started asking adults how old they were (he was adorable and little enough to get away with this--they all would tell him!), he was confused--little old ladies would have bigger numbers than his super tall grandpa. That didn't make sense. So then, he noticed that bigger numbers meant gray hair and wrinkly, wobbly skin. He does this with everything--he makes comparisons and figures out the patterns.

My son's vocabulary is fantastic, but he feels like it's not good. He doesn't learn words from context as well as his older brother who has some serious language deficits (2e ASD, profoundly gifted). For every area of the WISC except WM and processing speed, this kiddo has at least one ceiling test (usually two if there are three or more subtests), but then one score that is significantly lower. The language portion of the WISC is his highest area, but vocabulary was the non-ceiling score for that section. And while he knows lots of big words, he is missing definitions for fairly ordinary words a lot of the time. It's pretty random what words are in there and what words are not.

As I have felt more free to look at dyslexia stuff now that I have an official label, I can see patterns of where he's starting to be overwhelmed in middle school, but it's also becoming more predictable what he's struggling with.

I do a lot of scribing for him. We tackle new procedures for things in bits and pieces (steps are hard). His short-term and working memory is a bit compromised, but his long-term memory is excellent, so that helps a great deal. He has good story memory--I can't remember what the Eides call this in their book, but he's got it, and he can use it to learn new stuff sometimes.

 

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23 hours ago, 4KookieKids said:


We have been doing your re-reading books ideas. In this case, she's less about getting to the end of the story, but speed is still a problem. It's almost like the parts of her brain that are *not* working hard to sound out a word are just making up the story faster than she can read. So she kind of flits from big/obvious word to big/obvious word, and just makes up a lot of what's in between. It's a real struggle to get her to read what is *actually* on the page (like you said). Unfortunately, for books that she already knows the story to, she is far more likely to just recite the story as best she can remember it, using just occasional word cues from the book. It takes super careful reading on my part to catch her when she skips a part or makes up her own sentence for a part -- if I were just listening to her while cooking or something, I would never know that she wasn't actually reading what was on the page. 

I'll think about if I might be able to convince her she'll get more out of the book if we read more slowly. It's an interesting idea.  I think the biggest issue is that her story-brain is usually several steps ahead of her sounding-out brain, and doesn't really want to slow down, so she just consistently skips a few words ahead with her sounding-out brain to catch up instead of slowing her story-brain down. I'm not sure if that will make *any* sense to anyone else, but she almost rushes more when she knows the story well, because she's more able to remember how the story goes and just make things up as she goes (and they're usually *pretty* close in meaning - even if completely different in actual language). 

DD13 is dyslexic and also has a 99th percentile processing speed. The processing speed is a gift, but it also makes slowing down long enough to decode individual words challenging. We had the same problems with her reading too fast, filling in words via context clues, and so on. During reading instruction, I had to use books she had never yet read, because if she knew them, I could not get her to actually practice the reading skills. I would also cover up all pictures, so that she would not gain any clues from them.

When she was in fourth grade, we stopped homeschooling, and she enrolled at a private Christian school, which had an intervention teacher trained in OG. She received tutoring. The next year, she switched to a private dyslexia school, which she still attends now in seventh grade. So after fourth grade, others took over her reading instruction.

But when we were still homeschooling, we tried the Dancing Bears reading program. Honestly, it was not the right program for DD over all. However, it did help her learn to slow down and sound out every syllable instead of gulping down whole words and sentences at once.

The key was to use an index card to cover the line of text and only reveal one phoneme at a time for her to sound out. For DD, I also had to take a sheet of paper and cover up all of the text on the whole page that she had not read, because she still wanted to read ahead.

You wouldn't need to buy the Dancing Bears program to try this technique. You can use it with any text that you want her to read.

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28 minutes ago, Storygirl said:

DD13 is dyslexic and also has a 99th percentile processing speed. The processing speed is a gift, but it also makes slowing down long enough to decode individual words challenging. We had the same problems with her reading too fast, filling in words via context clues, and so on. During reading instruction, I had to use books she had never yet read, because if she knew them, I could not get her to actually practice the reading skills. I would also cover up all pictures, so that she would not gain any clues from them.

When she was in fourth grade, we stopped homeschooling, and she enrolled at a private Christian school, which had an intervention teacher trained in OG. She received tutoring. The next year, she switched to a private dyslexia school, which she still attends now in seventh grade. So after fourth grade, others took over her reading instruction.

But when we were still homeschooling, we tried the Dancing Bears reading program. Honestly, it was not the right program for DD over all. However, it did help her learn to slow down and sound out every syllable instead of gulping down whole words and sentences at once.

The key was to use an index card to cover the line of text and only reveal one phoneme at a time for her to sound out. For DD, I also had to take a sheet of paper and cover up all of the text on the whole page that she had not read, because she still wanted to read ahead.

You wouldn't need to buy the Dancing Bears program to try this technique. You can use it with any text that you want her to read.

Thanks so much for writing this! Most of the time, I hear about folks with some similar issues but low WM *and* low PS, whereas dd only has low WM, but wicked fast PS. Thanks for your thoughts on the slowing down, and yours too, @Lecka!! It's kind of funny because sometimes she'll just be flying through something and she'll read a word wrong because she's not *actually* reading it, so I usually just tap it once or twice (I still point to her reading because she does have some vision issues we're working and I just find it's easier to work on vision separate from her reading) to indicate that she should try again. Occasionally she'll read it wrong 3-4 times because she's just trying to fill in something that makes sense in that place, before actually slowing down to look at the word itself. And often (maybe 70% of the time?), once she *really* looks at the word, sounds it out slowly (here I may have to cover up parts of the word so she only gets a syllable at a time, or I may remind her to split syllables between the consonants or some other such thing), she really can read it. (We're not talking very complicated words here, though.) It just sometimes takes several "taps" before she stops to actually read. 🙂

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Just for more options, you do have more options for cueing her.

Okay, so my older son, when he was 9 and already had extensive remediation, scored completely average on working memory and processing.  He scored lower (like 25th percentile) on phonemic awareness.  I had thought when he was younger he might have lower WM and I have also read some things saying some kids can improve WM through dyslexia remediation (because you work so much on remembering letters and things, is my understanding).  But I don’t know either way.  

I do know his phonemic awareness was very poor and he needed speech therapy for articulation related to phonological processing, which I didn’t know at the time, but is really a huge red flag. 

I am going to share here, it does depend on the testing a little, but in general, anything below 15th percentile is pretty low, and anything below 10th percentile is really low.  It depends on the test, but a 9th percentile score, a lot of times, means it’s going to be a lot harder than for someone scoring above the 10th percentile, and is a huge gap from someone scoring above the 20th or 25th percentile.  

I think especially when your daughter has such good scores in other areas, it’s easy for people (other people more than parents) to whitewash and think it’s not that big a deal.  But 9th percentile is probably on the side of being a big deal.  In context it’s also not a big deal because there’s every reason to think she will do well with remediation.  But just not to think that somehow the dyslexia remediation part will necessarily be very different than for other kids who started with 9th percentile.  But at the same time kids make very different rates of progress and it’s not just a percentile where they started.  But at the same time, for some things, kids might be flagged for a score below the 25th percentile, and then you could have two kids who both got flagged, and one got flagged with a 25th percentile and one with a 10th percentile, and there is really a big difference between them.  

Anyway, you have more options for cueing besides just tapping.  It depends on frustration/fatigue, and your purpose.  If you were doing word lists or sentences, it’s probably more often going to be good to take the time.  It is a needed skill!  

But you are allowed to cue different/faster if she is reading and would get frustrated (aka angry) to lose her train of thought, or if she seems frustratingly stuck.  

3-4 times does not really seem frustratingly stuck to me if her composure is good.  

Okay, tapping and other non-verbal cues are recommended particularly for kids where hearing someone talk is very distracting to their thought process.  

But — you have options, you can prompt with a sound, and you can prompt by pointing out what sound they are missing.  

You definitely don’t have to, because if her process is working then it’s working for her and she is getting good practice.  

My son would have times where he would kind-of freeze and it was like, once he had read a word or a sound wrong, he could not remember the correct sound.  So I would definitely cue him on the sound if I thought he froze and couldn’t remember it.  I also might model or start to model the blending process I wanted him to do. He would sometimes freeze and seem to forget that.  

He was very slow and laborious to learn to blend and he would not read ahead or gulp things down.  That is not what he was like.  

Okay, for strategies, I think on one hand if something works it is good to always (or very often) do it so it gets a chance to actually become a habit for the child, which takes a lot for any habit, especially changing a previous habit.

But then it can also be good to change things around, just for boredom or to adjust support.  

Like, you could cover things AND also provide a sound or model blending, or model the beginning and have her finish, or say “say it with me,” etc.  

Sometimes too, kids really do not want to be helped, they want to figure it out on their own and not be interrupted.  

If I can find it I am going to link an error correction guide that I like.  

But I think think about the top thing.  It sounds like rushing or reading ahead, and then covering makes sense, and you may be covering for a long time because it can take time for habits to change.  

 

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Highlighting can be fun, too, and it might encourage her to look at individual words.  You can look for a phonogram, or highlight syllables, etc.  Some kids like it and like color.  It’s also on the multisensory side.  

Okay, I think there are two scenarios....

One is your daughter is solid with blending.  She is also solid with segmenting.  She does great with both blending and segmenting nonsense words.  She has got it down, but *she doesn’t do it when she reads.*  Maybe she needs to get used to doing it faster, with connected text, or just doing it consistently because it is not her habit.  

Another is, your daughter is a great guesser because she can figure out a word that makes sense.  She also has a strong sight memory and already knows a lot of sight words.  She also has a great memory.  

But her blending is sometimes hesitant or sometimes she might sound out “p a n” and then say “man” (or something like that).  Nonsense words are an issue.  Segmenting is very hit or miss with some strange mistakes.  

Or it’s somewhere in the middle, or one day it seems one way, and then another day, it seems another way.  

Anyway, if you are tapping and she doesn’t then do proper blending you want her to do, then you are allowed to move to prompting with a sound or modeling blending (as much as is needed) if it helps.  

If you see she can do it when she will just look at the word, I think covering words sounds really helpful.  

But you are allowed to mix things up.  

When I was starting I would feel like I only had a limited number of ways to provide help/feedback, and if saying “say the sounds” or “sound it out” or “now say it fast” weren’t cutting it, then I would be stuck.  The more choices the better.  

 

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I googled to find this, but it does say what I have read about dyslexia remediation helping working memory.

http://dyslexiahelp.umich.edu/professionals/dyslexia-school/working-memory

I saw things along these lines and never did the things where you have kids repeat numbers.  I think repeating the sounds in a word, to blend it, is the same difference.  

But I think it’s one of those things where you can find other people saying the exact opposite, that also seem legitimate 😉

 

 

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15 minutes ago, Lecka said:

One is your daughter is solid with blending.  She is also solid with segmenting.  She does great with both blending and segmenting nonsense words.  She has got it down, but *she doesn’t do it when she reads.*  Maybe she needs to get used to doing it faster, with connected text, or just doing it consistently because it is not her habit.  

Another is, your daughter is a great guesser because she can figure out a word that makes sense.  She also has a strong sight memory and already knows a lot of sight words.  She also has a great memory.  

But her blending is sometimes hesitant or sometimes she might sound out “p a n” and then say “man” (or something like that).  Nonsense words are an issue.  Segmenting is very hit or miss with some strange mistakes.  

Or it’s somewhere in the middle, or one day it seems one way, and then another day, it seems another way.  

I think she's kind of all of the place. She can *always* sound out "p a n," but she often struggles with blends. So she might see "split" and read "slit" or "spit", and vice versa, she often does this thing where she sees something like "spit" but reads "split." (It's pretty common for her to insert an l or r after another consonant blend.) Elizabeth B has been working with her a lot, which has been super helpful, because she was able to identify that dd's biggest struggle (aside from rushing) is consonant blends, and I hadn't recognized that previously. So, so long as words aren't overwhelming (i.e., just *look* long, like "fantastic") and don't have consonant blends, she can read *most* things at this point, if she actually slows down to read carefully. But if any one of those pieces is missing (i.e., she's hurrying/guessing, the word looks overwhelming to her, or it has consonant blends), then she's hosed. Some days she can blend consonants at an almost OK level - others, particularly when she's tired, she has no hope of hitting even a two-letter blend.  She's actually starting to get her consonant blends down a bit better in the nonsense word game, but it is not transferring very well to words of more than one syllable. But it's a start!

PS: Sorry for taking over some of the initial direction of this thread, OP. I will take it to a private chat, if you'd like, but it's not clear if this might still be helpful to you, even though it's more detailed than you may need at this point?

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My son isn't dyslexic, but at that age he could read well ahead of grade level, was fluent expressive reader, good memory,  etc etc and still spelled like he couldn't hear all of the phonemes.  Our trouble was really that the instruction at his school was all verbal (included classroom, so no reading since half the class can't read) , and it was distorted for him since he usually had fluid in his ears and his classroom was always noisy.  Add that advanced readers only get instruction twice a week, and he wasn't analyzing enough print to get a feel for spelling.    I remediated at the end of fifth with MegaWords Vol. 1, just the spelling portion. Picture a kid who spent the year reading LOTR while the teacher did remediation with special needs students, chastised kid for showing off when using phrases like 'endangered speecies', had his reading group repeat the exact same work they did the year before,  and cut his spelling list to seven words a week, while the school declared he didn't need any help.  Megawords was a huge relief to him, he knew intellectually what each phoneme was and the sound it corrresponded with, but he hadn't sorted out how to choose which grapheme for a sound...does schwa result in er, ar, what?  Is it please or pleese? It helped him put the trees in the forest in order.   After that he had to learn things like state and chemical names the old fashioned way*, and spellcheck corrected a few things. By 10th it was not an issue.  

* see it, say it, spell it, spell it backwards -- latter two verbal or print

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I love word chains and letter tiles for consonant blends.  

I think they are really hard, though, and can take a long time.

I don’t know if you are seeing her have fumbles at the word level, but if you are, then it’s just going to be amplified with connected text.  

It is fine to look for decodable readers without consonant blends yet, and it is also fine to supply her a word in reading if it’s in there but you know she is working on it in her reading program.  Depending on whether she is doing all reading from a reading program.  

I think ElizabethB is awesome.  

Just give it time!

Here is something I think.... okay, our kids had a phonemic awareness delay.  They weren’t picking up on the sounds in words.  For other kids — they get to have a long developmental process where they might spend a year doing rhyming words and nobody dream of giving the words with consonant blends (to distinguish between).  For regular kids it gets stretched over all of pre-school and Kindergarten.  

Oh, but because they are older, our kids are supposed to condense this all into a few months?

I think definitely work on it and address it, but it makes a lot of sense to think it would take time for kids to really start to own it.  

Something to keep in mind about r blends, the sound r is a later sound and (depending on if it’s the only thing, or this or that) might not even be a target for speech therapy until age 8.  

Do you know she can tell the difference between the sounds of f, fl, fr?  Or c, cl, cr?  They are very easy to confuse because they do sound similar.  It makes them harder, it is common for l and r blends to be harder and hard to tell apart.  The same with consonant blends.  

Have you heard of “fast” and “slow” consonants?  A slow consonant can be held, like mmmmmm, nnnnnn, ssssss.  A short consonant can’t be held, like k, t, d.  

Fast consonants are harder to blend.  

It is really just hard to hear and hear differences.

I have also had things where.... an earlier word in the sentence starts with br, and then three words later a word starts with b, but it is sounded out and read as br.  

I think this is a sign of.... it’s hard, it’s taxing.  

You can practice putting consonants in and out with word chains with letter tiles or on paper.  I think it really helps. 

On this I would probably immediately point and give the correct side, in reading, because I am used to it being a “stuck” thing.  

You can also (if talking doesn’t irritate her) do the prompt like in the video “you said bRake, but I don’t see an R.”  For “stuck” I wouldn’t do this because my son might not even be aware he wasn’t saying “b.”  He had speech therapy for articulation and he could have to really think about how he was saying things, and it would be easy for his mouth to make the previous sound.  He would be more “stuck” and I wouldn’t frustrate him over it, if it wasn’t exactly what we were working on.  I do think it can be tiredness or an off day.  But it can show how much effort is going into the good/average days....

You can always go back to word chains or do warm-ups with word chains, too.  

I think consonant blends are really one of the hardest things, though.  They are particularly hard.

 

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Skipping everything in the middle to just respond to the first post (I'll go back and read the middle after and make a second response or edit this one): You pretty much described my kid to a T except that she likes reading and her spelling is sometimes worse. (Unsurprisingly, her ability to spell correctly fluctuates a lot with stress, focus, and the phase of the moon.)

It's a bit of a mixed blessing. On the one hand, she can read with great comprehension, and she evidently uses those excellent comprehension skills to her best advantage to cover gaps when she has trouble decoding. On the other hand, people don't take you seriously when you point out that your second grade child is "only" reading on a third grade level and that, based on the amount of time she spent reading and her enormous vocabulary you felt the school should be much more alarmed by this than they were - even when you follow up with the fact that she literally was unable to spell her own name. (It still trips her up sometimes.)

Edit: In response to curriculum requests, I'll second the advice for Apples and Pears. I don't know how it works, but she really has retained what she's learned, and as it's all scripted there isn't much prep time for you. Just set aside 15 - 20 minutes a day, open and go. When we started she was hopeless, and now - as long as she is able to focus! - she's more like a person her age who has trouble spelling. Which sounds awful, lol, but is massively better than it was. Her spelling errors make sense now, and she can sound out words she hasn't learned to spell and get something phonetic onto the page. You can look at her writing and you know what she's trying to say, and if worse comes to worst, spellcheck knows what she's saying too.

Edited by Tanaqui
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Have you heard of “fast” and “slow” consonants?  A slow consonant can be held, like mmmmmm, nnnnnn, ssssss.  A short consonant can’t be held, like k, t, d.   

 

The technical term for what you call a "fast" consonant is "stop" or "plosive". A "stop" is a consonant where, in order to make it, you stop the airflow entirely. Because there are more than two phonological categories it probably makes sense, when dealing with kids, to use "fast" and "slow" to divide them into two groups, but it's useful to know the technical term as well in case you want more information.

(And now that I've said that, I'll say that the other categories of consonant in English are nasal (m, n, ng - the airflow is redirected through your nose), fricative (f/v, s/z, sh/zh, h, th - you stop the airflow a little bit but not much), semivowel  (r, l, y, w - you barely stop the airflow at all, which is what makes them similar to vowels), and affricates, which start as stops and end as fricatives - we have two, ch (starts as t and ends as sh) and j (starts as d and ends as zh). So now you know!)

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On 2/20/2019 at 8:26 AM, Tanaqui said:

Skipping everything in the middle to just respond to the first post (I'll go back and read the middle after and make a second response or edit this one): You pretty much described my kid to a T except that she likes reading and her spelling is sometimes worse. (Unsurprisingly, her ability to spell correctly fluctuates a lot with stress, focus, and the phase of the moon.)

It's a bit of a mixed blessing. On the one hand, she can read with great comprehension, and she evidently uses those excellent comprehension skills to her best advantage to cover gaps when she has trouble decoding. On the other hand, people don't take you seriously when you point out that your second grade child is "only" reading on a third grade level and that, based on the amount of time she spent reading and her enormous vocabulary you felt the school should be much more alarmed by this than they were - even when you follow up with the fact that she literally was unable to spell her own name. (It still trips her up sometimes.)

Edit: In response to curriculum requests, I'll second the advice for Apples and Pears. I don't know how it works, but she really has retained what she's learned, and as it's all scripted there isn't much prep time for you. Just set aside 15 - 20 minutes a day, open and go. When we started she was hopeless, and now - as long as she is able to focus! - she's more like a person her age who has trouble spelling. Which sounds awful, lol, but is massively better than it was. Her spelling errors make sense now, and she can sound out words she hasn't learned to spell and get something phonetic onto the page. You can look at her writing and you know what she's trying to say, and if worse comes to worst, spellcheck knows what she's saying too.

 

 

Im finally able to log in on safari! Woo hoo!

 

anyways to the bolded, YES. She’s “grade level” for spelling. Or maybe I should say “age appropriate” so I’m not counting on much help. 

 

We’re about 8 weeks into their public school careers and I am experiencing every gifted and 2E cliche of why people leave public school. We are getting testing in 3 weeks so we’ll see how it shakes out!

Edited by Runningmom80
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On 2/14/2019 at 8:25 AM, 4KookieKids said:

I think she's kind of all of the place. She can *always* sound out "p a n," but she often struggles with blends. So she might see "split" and read "slit" or "spit", and vice versa, she often does this thing where she sees something like "spit" but reads "split." (It's pretty common for her to insert an l or r after another consonant blend.) Elizabeth B has been working with her a lot, which has been super helpful, because she was able to identify that dd's biggest struggle (aside from rushing) is consonant blends, and I hadn't recognized that previously. So, so long as words aren't overwhelming (i.e., just *look* long, like "fantastic") and don't have consonant blends, she can read *most* things at this point, if she actually slows down to read carefully. But if any one of those pieces is missing (i.e., she's hurrying/guessing, the word looks overwhelming to her, or it has consonant blends), then she's hosed. Some days she can blend consonants at an almost OK level - others, particularly when she's tired, she has no hope of hitting even a two-letter blend.  She's actually starting to get her consonant blends down a bit better in the nonsense word game, but it is not transferring very well to words of more than one syllable. But it's a start!

PS: Sorry for taking over some of the initial direction of this thread, OP. I will take it to a private chat, if you'd like, but it's not clear if this might still be helpful to you, even though it's more detailed than you may need at this point?

 

 

No worries at all! I’m not sure how much applies to us yet but I’m taking it all in and ma happy for the participation on this thread.

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