Menu
Jump to content

What's with the ads?

eztulo

Teaching a 15yo to read?

Recommended Posts

TL;DR - What program would you use to teach a 15-year-old to read? His diagnoses are ADHD and SLDs in reading, writing, and math.

My husband and I recently became guardians of a young relative who turned 15 last month. We’ve had a close relationship with him for the last three years and know that he’s a bright and capable young man, yet he can read fewer than 20 sight words (yes, no, the, etc.) and can’t decode at all. He was diagnosed with ADHD and SLDs in reading, writing, and math in 6th grade and received intervention throughout middle school. They used the Sonday System at school and he’s also worked with a handful of different tutors as well. More than one stopped tutoring him because of his lack of progress.

He started high school last month with an IEP that allows every imaginable accommodation, but he’s drowning in his academic classes and his “reading intervention” class is not actually teaching reading. We’ve spent the last two months trying to work with the school to get him the help he needs and haven’t gotten any closer to a solution for him. I’m going to have to teach reading at home and may very well end up homeschooling him before the semester is over.  

I homeschool my younger children, including one with special needs, and have a background in primary/elementary education, but I really feel like I’m out of my depth here. He desperately wants to read, so the last thing I want to do is get his hopes up and then see him discouraged if he isn’t able to learn.

I’m using Bearing Away! from Dancing Bears/Sound Foundations with my younger child and I’m tempted to try it with him. At the same time, it seems far too simple to work for a student with a severe SLD. I also have the LiPS manual and several other phonological awareness resources though I’d like to have a plan for where to go after one of those before we begin. I have looked closely at Barton, but I’m worried that it’s too similar to the Sonday System, which clearly didn’t work for him.

What other reading programs/resources can you recommend? What would you be looking for when choosing a program for him?  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This doesn't answer your question, but has he had a developmental vision exam?

Edited by EKS
  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Before I did anything, I'd definitely do the developmental vision exam and see if he could pass the Barton pre-test.  Honestly, Bearing Away would probably be a decent place to start.  Does he know any letters/ sounds?  That does sound like a pretty unique situation in that he's had at least some what we'd normally consider appropriate intervention with no progress.  So I'd look at the pre-requisite skills in terms of vision, auditory processing, and memory.  Do you have any idea if he has a digit span of 3?  Would be really hard to do blending without that at a minimum.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Like the others, I'd be getting some good evals pronto. Developmental vision, yes, but also AUDIOLOGY, SLP, and an APD screening. There are SLPs who specialize in literacy, so find one of those to do the testing.

https://serpmedia.org/rise/  This test is inexpensive ($7), not too long to administer (45 minutes on the computer), and it will crank out subtest scores to let you see what areas are holding back his reading.

If the cash is flowing, get the private psych eval as well. If the $$ is the limiter (which it is for almost anyone), I would try audiology through a university (often free or low cost) and do that with a university that also does the APD testing, giving you a two-fer. Then put your money into the SLP eval. The SLP, if you find someone who specializes in literacy, may turn up actionable information. The psych eval will be the MOST $$$$ thing on the table and, while it's good paper trail, sometimes it's not so actionable. Is there any question of more like more SLDs, ASD, FASD, or something else that could get diagnosed? And he already has an IEP? 

So if your money needs to stretch, get the audiology through a univ and find a really kick butt SLP. That way the SLP can run narrative language testing, some screeners for expressive language, vocabulary, etc., run that CTOPP, etc. etc. and bill it at like $80-100 an hour instead of the $250 an hour for neuropsychs.

When you have more data, come back. No, honestly, I would not do dancing bears. I would see what baseline data is in his IEP. I would consider filing a dispute with the school to force them to pay for private psych evals if there are any inconsistencies or things that should have been diagnosed that weren't. I would sue the school for private tutoring if service has been inadequate. And I would run evals to figure out why therapies aren't sticking. 

Your worst case scenario is there's a larger diagnosis going on (ASD, FASD, hearing loss, whatever) and that's why things aren't sticking. I think you already know that he's going to get discouraged if even your efforts fail. That's why I would eval eval eval and then make informed choices. You don't need expert intervention, only the correct intervention. When you have complete information, you'll be able to target the issues and get in there. Even the IQ and psych information being correct at this point would help. It might refine your choices in conjunction with the other materials.

In his IEP, is there by chance any narrative language testing, expressive language testing, or pragmatics? A CTOPP? Some other kind of phonological processing scores?

Oh, if you need the $70 option, then I would get a CTOPP with a reading tutor. If he already has that data in his school IEP evals, then you don't need that. But really, don't fail to do the audiology. You want to know what got missed. Googlefu is saying Sonday can work for tier 3, so you want more data.

Edited by PeterPan
  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is pulling him out on the table? Could you hire a mother's helper or otherwise work it out to be able to work with him say 2 hours a day on his reading at home, interspersed in sessions with your other kids? It sounds like he's connecting with so little of his academics at his school that he could only go up. 

Is there a dyslexia school where your ps could pay for full placement? 

And do you have time to pursue some training?

I'm just asking what's on the table, what you're considering. It would be really nice to flip that dynamic and get it a bit more positive for him. Are there positive things for him at school to stay for? Could he do a partial placement?

Edited by PeterPan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, EKS said:

This doesn't answer your question, but has he had a developmental vision exam?

No, but that is something we can do.  

27 minutes ago, Terabith said:

Before I did anything, I'd definitely do the developmental vision exam and see if he could pass the Barton pre-test.  Honestly, Bearing Away would probably be a decent place to start.  Does he know any letters/ sounds?  That does sound like a pretty unique situation in that he's had at least some what we'd normally consider appropriate intervention with no progress.  So I'd look at the pre-requisite skills in terms of vision, auditory processing, and memory.  Do you have any idea if he has a digit span of 3?  Would be really hard to do blending without that at a minimum.  

He knows letter names, no problem.
He knows most letter sounds, but they don't seem automatic. 
He doesn't know a few consonants (q, x, y) and seems very confused about vowel sounds.  

Digit span was his lowest score when he was tested, but I'm not sure how many digits he can actually remember. I'm sure there's an online digit span test somewhere, so I'll try him out. 

 

 

  • Sad 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, PeterPan said:

I would consider filing a dispute with the school to force them to pay for private psych evals if there are any inconsistencies or things that should have been diagnosed that weren't. I would sue the school for private tutoring if service has been inadequate. And I would run evals to figure out why therapies aren't sticking. 

Your worst case scenario is there's a larger diagnosis going on (ASD, FASD, hearing loss, whatever) and that's why things aren't sticking. I think you already know that he's going to get discouraged if even your efforts fail. That's why I would eval eval eval and then make informed choices. You don't need expert intervention, only the correct intervention. When you have complete information, you'll be able to target the issues and get in there. Even the IQ and psych information being correct at this point would help. It might refine your choices in conjunction with the other materials.

All of the above, especially because of what you said below. And because they've had YEARS to make progress. Less than twenty sight words in all that time is beyond comprehension. Something is NOT adding up.

Quote

He started high school last month with an IEP that allows every imaginable accommodation, but he’s drowning in his academic classes and his “reading intervention” class is not actually teaching reading. We’ve spent the last two months trying to work with the school to get him the help he needs and haven’t gotten any closer to a solution for him. I’m going to have to teach reading at home and may very well end up homeschooling him before the semester is over.  

That's terrible, but they are probably trying to avoid running afoul of Least Restrictive Environment. No employer is going to care about LRE if he can't read. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, eztulo said:

He knows letter names, no problem.
He knows most letter sounds, but they don't seem automatic. 
He doesn't know a few consonants (q, x, y) and seems very confused about vowel sounds.  

Digit span was his lowest score when he was tested, but I'm not sure how many digits he can actually remember. I'm sure there's an online digit span test somewhere, so I'll try him out. 

 

This is hugely concerning for this age. Sonday IS an OG program, structured literacy, a fine, reasonable option. You need to figure out what got missed, because working memory is a minor part of this. The Sonday alone should have taken care of that if he was actually getting implemented.

Now the explanation might be in his IEP in reality. What were the amounts of times for his services? My ds' IEP lists times for everything, and that's the minimum amount of service they agree to provide. My ds has extensive disabilities, and typically the amount of service specified is SO LOW it's ridiculous. Like 15 minutes a week. So good materials without enough intensity still won't get you there. Definitely read through the IEP, then talk with the dc and see if you can figure out whether they were actually doing what they put in the IEP.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you are new to the IEP process and have never dealt with the ps before, you might want to consider connecting with state support orgs. If the stuff you're saying is correct, you'd probably do well to hire an attorney. There are attorneys who specialize in SN advocacy. You are coming in late in the game and you're having to figure out what got missed, what the school botched, whether the school has complied with what they agreed to in the IEP, whether the school has violated the law, etc. It's a lot to come up to speed on really fast. We finally used a high powered SN attorney out of a big big city, and that was how things finally got resolved. She reviewed everything, told us what was missing, told us what data and who to bring in, and boom it was finally right. At the VERY LEAST I'd be wondering about filing a dispute. But you've got a complex situation and you need some fresh eyes if you're new to disabilities. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, PeterPan said:

Like the others, I'd be getting some good evals pronto. Developmental vision, yes, but also AUDIOLOGY, SLP, and an APD screening. There are SLPs who specialize in literacy, so find one of those to do the testing.

https://serpmedia.org/rise/  This test is inexpensive ($7), not too long to administer (45 minutes on the computer), and it will crank out subtest scores to let you see what areas are holding back his reading.

If the cash is flowing, get the private psych eval as well. If the $$ is the limiter (which it is for almost anyone), I would try audiology through a university (often free or low cost) and do that with a university that also does the APD testing, giving you a two-fer. Then put your money into the SLP eval. The SLP, if you find someone who specializes in literacy, may turn up actionable information. The psych eval will be the MOST $$$$ thing on the table and, while it's good paper trail, sometimes it's not so actionable. Is there any question of more like more SLDs, ASD, FASD, or something else that could get diagnosed? And he already has an IEP? 

So if your money needs to stretch, get the audiology through a univ and find a really kick butt SLP. That way the SLP can run narrative language testing, some screeners for expressive language, vocabulary, etc., run that CTOPP, etc. etc. and bill it at like $80-100 an hour instead of the $250 an hour for neuropsychs.

When you have more data, come back. No, honestly, I would not do dancing bears. I would see what baseline data is in his IEP. I would consider filing a dispute with the school to force them to pay for private psych evals if there are any inconsistencies or things that should have been diagnosed that weren't. I would sue the school for private tutoring if service has been inadequate. And I would run evals to figure out why therapies aren't sticking. 

Your worst case scenario is there's a larger diagnosis going on (ASD, FASD, hearing loss, whatever) and that's why things aren't sticking. I think you already know that he's going to get discouraged if even your efforts fail. That's why I would eval eval eval and then make informed choices. You don't need expert intervention, only the correct intervention. When you have complete information, you'll be able to target the issues and get in there. Even the IQ and psych information being correct at this point would help. It might refine your choices in conjunction with the other materials.

In his IEP, is there by chance any narrative language testing, expressive language testing, or pragmatics? A CTOPP? Some other kind of phonological processing scores?

Oh, if you need the $70 option, then I would get a CTOPP with a reading tutor. If he already has that data in his school IEP evals, then you don't need that. But really, don't fail to do the audiology. You want to know what got missed. Googlefu is saying Sonday can work for tier 3, so you want more data.


Okay, wow! This is so helpful. So, he saw an audiologist through the school system in 2017, but I'm not sure exactly what they tested. I know he was referred by the school psychologist who diagnosed the SLDs and that no new diagnoses were added after the audiology appointment. APD is something I've been wondering about and I don't have any evidence that he's actually been tested for it, so that seems like something we need to cover right away. 

The psych report from 2017 does include CTOPP scores (low, I'll have to check for exact scores), but no other language scores besides a few subtests on the WIAT. As far as I know, he hasn't seen an SLP since he was 5 and at that point his receptive and expressive language were average. He did have mild articulation delays that improved by the end of kindergarten. 

His previous school diagnosed the SLDs in 2017. Last month, the high school determined that he is still eligible for an IEP and denied our request for a reassessment. I don't think we have any grounds for an IEE because we don't actually disagree with the 2017 assessment results, and I really don't have any interest in starting a legal battle with the school district. We can afford another psych assessment if it's necessary, but I’m not sure it would give us any valuable information. He definitely does not have ASD or FASD. 

2 hours ago, PeterPan said:

Is pulling him out on the table? Could you hire a mother's helper or otherwise work it out to be able to work with him say 2 hours a day on his reading at home, interspersed in sessions with your other kids? It sounds like he's connecting with so little of his academics at his school that he could only go up. 

Is there a dyslexia school where your ps could pay for full placement? 

And do you have time to pursue some training?

I'm just asking what's on the table, what you're considering. It would be really nice to flip that dynamic and get it a bit more positive for him. Are there positive things for him at school to stay for? Could he do a partial placement?


Pulling him out completely is on the table, but I would be much more comfortable if he could still attend at least for electives. He plays on the school soccer team and is trying out for basketball, so failing a class and becoming ineligible for sports would be a huge blow for him. He also loves his PE and art classes and I'd like for him to keep attending those.

There isn't a dyslexia school within driving distance.

I have the time to do online training, but wouldn't be able to travel for training any time soon. I can definitely make 2 hours/day to work with him – I’ve been spending more than 2 hours doing homework with him! 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

He's 15, not super solid on letter sounds, and didn't get any diagnoses of learning disabilities until two years ago???  That's crazy.  He definitely needs a full evaluation.  

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Can he blend at all?  An easy to blend two letter word like me or am?  

If not, from Englemann's Children of the Code Interview (full interview is interesting, here is link:)

https://childrenofthecode.org/interviews/engelmann.htm

He says that for students that nothing else worked with, and he worked with a lot of kids who had trouble:

Quote

Siegfried Engelmann: So with this we could teach them to a strong criterion on doing the verbal responses. Then if the kids made a mistake of saying “at” for “mat”, I’d say, “Listen! ‘mm-at.’ Say it with me.” “mm-at.” “Say it fast.” “mat.” “Okay, now do it all together. Get ready.” And you could point to the letters as they said, “mm-at.”

But then we also discovered that we couldn’t reach a lot of kids sounding out words that way, they had real problems with the relationship between the individual isolated sounds, and saying it in a word. So we changed the procedure so that there were no pauses between the sounds, so the analogy between sounding it out and saying it was simply a question of rate. It went like, “Okay, I’m going to sound out, listen. “Mmmaaat.” Listen again. “Mmmaaat.” What word?” “Mat.” Okay, now we could really grab them.

Again, we learned this stuff only from the fact that the kids couldn’t do it. So now we had precise corrections that related to what they had learned earlier. We had a procedure for sounding it out that would reach virtually 100 percent of the kids. So we could teach even really low performers now to take the first step on the ladder. Then they can follow the entire sequence and they can learn at a rate far faster than would have been anticipated.

I would start with syllables.  Easier to blend, easier to remember a 2 letter blend than a CVC word.  Plus, you build up his ability with those and you can then do a few 2 syllable words, 2+ syllable words are very motivational for older students who have not experienced much reading success.  I would start out with long vowel syllables, they are easier to blend and the name of the letter is also its sound.  I have a draft long vowel first program if long vowels work for him but he's confused about other vowels while you work on other vowel sounds, I could e-mail it to you if you want a copy.  It starts with 2 sound words, first syllables, then words like may say, see, etc.  It goes through a bunch of 2 sound words before going on to 3 sounds.

I agree with everyone that there might be something else going on, though, and keep looking into that.

I would go daily across and down my chart for letter sounds to get them quick, and if he can blend, let him use the chart while reading words, my students learn the sounds faster when they look them up themselves.  I have a chart for adults and older children with non cutesy pictures near the end.

http://www.thephonicspage.org/On Reading/Resources/40LChartsCombined.pdf

Edited by ElizabethB
  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, eztulo said:

So, he saw an audiologist through the school system in 2017, but I'm not sure exactly what they tested. I know he was referred by the school psychologist who diagnosed the SLDs and that no new diagnoses were added after the audiology appointment. APD is something I've been wondering about and I don't have any evidence that he's actually been tested for it, so that seems like something we need to cover right away. 

So in our school district, the psych will see things, it's not his area to say, he defers and refers. Was this a private audiologist and was there a report? Usually there's at least a letter with the basic data.

So APD is its own eval and there's a screener they can do. I think see what your options are for at least getting that screener done. What has made you wonder about APD? A super common symptom would be difficulty in background noise.

1 hour ago, eztulo said:

no other language scores besides a few subtests on the WIAT

So, like I said, if you find the right SLP who specializes in literacy, they could update the language testing and dig in here. Here's something to get you started, just to let you see the range of what you might be able to get https://www.smartspeechtherapy.com/?s=dyslexia+testing  But mainly you're wanting to know what got missed. I mean, this is pretty mindboggling. 

If you administer that $7 RISE test, you might let us know how it goes. It's kind of fascinating, because it has tables with cut scores for where each area would need specialized services vs. being ready to go into a mainstream classroom. So it would be a quick and dirty way to see what areas are affecting his reading right now and which he's clear on. And if he literally can't read ANY of it, even to attempt the test, that's going to get pretty interesting too. I'd be speaking with a lawyer in that case, as that's outrageous.

SLPs are usually pretty fast to get into. Here's the thing. Evals feel like you're kind of dissecting the kid or overwhelming yourself with information, but you want to get some good information before you jump into this. I think if you give it 2 hours a day of intervention (done with a timer, with breaks, spread out over the morning with him going to his electives in the afternoon, whatever), you're going to make some progress. You can get in another 45 minutes at night if you want with fluency work, paired reading, etc. before bed. You just want to know what all is going on before you push that hard and you want to know that you're factoring in everything and using the best materials.

So I'll go out on a limb here. I would suggest that you *at least* do the $50 intro to OG course someone linked here recently. Or if you can find an online course and just do it, do it, kwim? Then if you want to use Barton or something so you're open and go, cool. But whatever is going on here is big stuff, so you want your brain fully wrapped around the methodology so you can be flexible. Some people will buy ALL the Barton levels and watch all the videos. Fine, whatever. I like the videos. But you need something that helps *you* wrap your brain around it so you can meet him where he is. You could even just buy an OG textbook. You could also check to see if a Wilson training or any other training would be happening in your area. Make some step there now, while you're gathering all this info.

2 hours ago, eztulo said:

He did have mild articulation delays that improved by the end of kindergarten. 

So where is he at now with this? Is he completely intelligible? Any prosody issues? (prosody=intonation, patterns, etc.) And can he tell you about his day or a movie he saw? 

https://bartonreading.com/students/#ss  Here's a link to the Barton student screening. It takes less than 15 minutes to administer, is free, and will probably turn up valuable information. Since you already have a baseline CTOPP and the SLDs formally diagnosed with an IEP, you would be free to begin intervention using the recommendations from this screening ASAP. Feel free to report back with those results. I think, just me, I would be inclined to go forward immediately with intervention if he fails the screener. You can continue to gather data while you do that really basic level of intervention, no problem.

https://www.covd.org  This is where you find a developmental optometrist. My ds with diagnosed dyslexia does NOT have developmental vision problems and my brilliant reader high scorer dd did and needed VT. So dyslexia is NOT a vision problem, but you want to exclude it and make sure there's not a vision problem co-morbid. There can also be retained reflexes, common in ADHD, etc., which glitch the developmental vision. So you want to make sure there's nothing there creating a cascade that either makes vision uncomfortable or that is affecting his visual memory.

Keep reporting back as you gather data. It's a lot to sort through. I think you're safe to intervene based on the Barton screener results if it says you need something like LIPS/FIS. It will give you something productive to do while you're ticking off evals. And I agree a psych eval is probably *not* the thing most pressing now. You're more wanting to exclude major issues (APD, vision, etc.) before you go pushing hard at 2 hours a day. 

How was his IQ in the psych testing? Any significant discrepancies there? A discrepancy is 1.5-2 standard deviations or more between subtests. Actually I think even 1standard deviation is considered significant. It's late and I'm fuzzy on it. So if he had in his IQ testing some scores that were 30 points apart, that would be *significant* and something to be exploring, even if both scores were fine overall. So there might be something in his testing if you see what the test was, what the standard deviations were for that test (google), and then look for discrepancies.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 minutes ago, ElizabethB said:

I would start with syllables.  Easier to blend, easier to remember a 2 letter blend than a CVC word.  Plus, you build up his ability with those and you can then do a few 2 syllable words, 2+ syllable words are very motivational for older students who have not experienced much reading success.

This is going to get in the weeds and I don't mean to confuse the op. However I suggested she do the Barton screening test IMMEDIATELY and use those recommendations to begin intervention. I think it's something he'll fail (we'll see, but yeah sounds like it) and it's something where he could begin having positive success. And the LIPS methodology is going to be a lot like what LizB is describing. FIS is more scripted, but LIPS is very open-ended, allowing you to explore a concept and quickly build it into more complex structures to engage learners who need that. 

That's exactly how I taught my ds. I blended LIPS and Barton 1/2, introducing the sounds with LIPS and build them quickly into every chunk, syllable, prefix, etc. possible to keep him engaged and interested. LIPS is a strong tool to be able to do that. 

http://ganderpublishing.com/product/lips-manual.asp  Here's the manual and there are magnetic face cards.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, PeterPan said:

This is going to get in the weeds and I don't mean to confuse the op. However I suggested she do the Barton screening test IMMEDIATELY and use those recommendations to begin intervention. I think it's something he'll fail (we'll see, but yeah sounds like it) and it's something where he could begin having positive success. And the LIPS methodology is going to be a lot like what LizB is describing. FIS is more scripted, but LIPS is very open-ended, allowing you to explore a concept and quickly build it into more complex structures to engage learners who need that. 

That's exactly how I taught my ds. I blended LIPS and Barton 1/2, introducing the sounds with LIPS and build them quickly into every chunk, syllable, prefix, etc. possible to keep him engaged and interested. LIPS is a strong tool to be able to do that. 

http://ganderpublishing.com/product/lips-manual.asp  Here's the manual and there are magnetic face cards.

Yes, you're definitely going to want to start at the LiPS level, and probably Kilpatrick exercises after that, I was addressing where to go after that, or do a bit at he same time with really easy to bend letters, the best are long vowel syllables starting with M, N, L, and R.

Kilpatrick's PAST test, I'm assuming he'll fail at least the upper levels, maybe some of the lower levels:

https://www.thepasttest.com

Kilpatrick's book with exercises:

https://www.thereadingleague.org/shop/equipped-for-reading-success-2016-book-by-david-kilpatrick/

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We used Highnoonbooks.com program . My son was younger so the exact materials may differ. It is a program considered especially suitable for high interest / low level.  It is a subsidiary of academictherapypress (which sells LiPS systems among other things) and is one of the programs mentioned by Sally Shaywitz for dyslexia.  

They have teen friendly books at levels that can be started (read for practice) part way through the Level 1 Reading program.   All of the Sound Out Chapter books sets include ones with teen characters.  

We did it very intensively starting with several short sessions daily and gradually increasing time as skills and abilities increased.  

https://www.highnoonbooks.com/detailHNB.tpl?action=search&cart=15699025101123670&eqskudatarq=S8271-8&eqTitledatarq=High Noon Reading-Level 1&eqvendordatarq=ATP&bobby=[bobby]&bob=[bob]&TBL=[tbl]

Edited by Pen
  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, Terabith said:

He's 15, not super solid on letter sounds, and didn't get any diagnoses of learning disabilities until two years ago???  That's crazy.  He definitely needs a full evaluation. 

Agreed! Wow, I'm blown away by how they've failed this kid. 😞 I wonder what they're working on in his reading class. If he's not solid on letter sounds, that's the place to start.

If he were my kid, I'd pull him out for everything other than electives. I'd also probably sue the school district and get $$ to pay for my homeschooling materials, or just for revenge. Seriously. Ugh.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd do LiPS (not Foundations in Sound), very slowly over a number of months. But that's once you're ready to start intervention. Right now, I'd focus on getting information about what exactly they've been doing for the past X years. Look at his IEP, gather the progress monitoring data.

And figure out how to pull him out of school while still doing electives and sports.

Since he wants to learn to read, I'd guess you've got a willing student on your hands, which is great. 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If op wants, here's my file on how I blended LIPS and Barton. I'm not saying you have to, just that it's a possibility, an option. https://www.dropbox.com/s/y26rcrwcp4g57mt/Notes on LIPS.pdf?dl=0  Reasons to do it would be, one because LIPS is pretty open-ended, and two because it lets you get into more interesting application more quickly. 

When Mainer is saying to do it slowly over months, it's not like oh spend 2 hours a day showing faces and tracing letters in sand, kwim? She *probably* means applying it. And LIPS says all this, but if you've never done an OG type approach before (not even OG lite) then it might not be as obvious. So you want to be applying very simple concepts as broadly as he can with as much practice as you can while you get that intensity up till you get the fluency and the click. 

Well let us know how the Barton screening test goes! It will be very interesting. If he fails that, you should be so, so angry. That would be completely outrageous. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just remember the line from The Happiest Millionaire: There's nothing so dangerous as the inspired amateur.

You've got this. Gather data, take informed steps, make progress.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, PeterPan said:

When Mainer is saying to do it slowly over months, it's not like oh spend 2 hours a day showing faces and tracing letters in sand, kwim? She *probably* means applying it.

I do 🙂 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 hours ago, kbutton said:

All of the above, especially because of what you said below. And because they've had YEARS to make progress. Less than twenty sight words in all that time is beyond comprehension. Something is NOT adding up.

 

21 hours ago, PeterPan said:

This is hugely concerning for this age. Sonday IS an OG program, structured literacy, a fine, reasonable option. You need to figure out what got missed, because working memory is a minor part of this. The Sonday alone should have taken care of that if he was actually getting implemented.

Now the explanation might be in his IEP in reality. What were the amounts of times for his services? My ds' IEP lists times for everything, and that's the minimum amount of service they agree to provide. My ds has extensive disabilities, and typically the amount of service specified is SO LOW it's ridiculous. Like 15 minutes a week. So good materials without enough intensity still won't get you there. Definitely read through the IEP, then talk with the dc and see if you can figure out whether they were actually doing what they put in the IEP.

Please don't quote this - A piece I really wasn't sure about posting is that he has a severe trauma history and wasn’t removed permanently from that environment until he was 11. He attended at least five different elementary schools, missed months of school at a time, and had emotional/ behavioral issues, to put things very mildly. When he moved in with a relative, it took at least a year for those issues to settle down. So, he started Sonday in 6th grade, but there is definitely a question around how engaged he was during 6th and even 7th grade. He did have delays outside of academics, but has caught up in all those areas. He’s also working close to grade level in math, whereas reading is the one area where there hasn’t been any perceptible progress. 

 

 

ElizabethB, PeterPan, Mainer - Thank you so much for the LiPS/blending discussion! I will have to come back when I have more time to go through all your specific recommendations. I do have the Kilpatrick book and the LiPS manual. I'll order the mouth pictures - is there anything else that would be useful to have? 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
36 minutes ago, eztulo said:

is there anything else that would be useful to have? 

Do you have the results from the Barton screening test? 

I'm sorry he has the additional challenges. We discuss trauma pretty frequently here on the boards, so you might google site search for past threads. He's blessed to have this fresh start. I will tell you that for me, I did trauma counseling (as in a counselor said whoa, back up, you had trauma) a few years ago as a 40 yo woman, and it made a huge difference. It's definitely a thing to be pursuing. We did some bodywork, including a method called TRE=Trauma Release Exercises. So obviously, based on my own experiences, I would recommend looking for someone trained in trauma, trained in bodywork. Here's a book if you aren't already up on it.                                             The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma                                     

Well keep us posted! We're rootin' for you! :smile:

Edited by PeterPan
  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, eztulo said:

I'll order the mouth pictures - is there anything else that would be useful to have? 

Letter tiles, too 🙂 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
35 minutes ago, Mainer said:

Letter tiles, too 🙂 

If she ordered Barton 1 and 2 (hint hint), then she'd have tiles to use with the LIPS. 

I used Lakeshore Learning magnetic letters, and they could be fine for a week or two. I would think a 15 yo would revolt, but who knows. The Barton letters would be more age-appropriate, lol. It's always appropriate to do multisensory. And although it costs $$, the Barton app is quite good. You unlock levels to go with the levels you buy of her printed materials. There are some free phonogram apps, but really the Barton one has a lot of great features, all together, nicely done.

If op buys Barton 1 and 2, the nice thing is she'll have access to the online training videos. Those will help her get up to speed and help her understand how to use LIPS better also. Anything she can do for personal development like that will be good. (Wilson training, online courses in OG, anything)

Another thought. Is there a Scottish Rite near op? They will have free tutors and evals. The tutors will have a waitlist. They also do training, so op could pursue that. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Others have given you so much helpful advice. I will just add that I used Dancing Bears A with DD14, who is dyslexic, and it was not effective for her, other than working on her word-guessing habit and learning to slow down when sounding things out. I have not seen or used Bearing Away. Perhaps it breaks things down phonologically enough to be helpful. BUT I do wonder whether people who suggest the Dancing Bears program for kids with dyslexia have kids whose dyslexia is perhaps not as severe. So I would lean towards advising LiPS and Barton instead. (We did not use those programs ourselves, because we switched to a tutor).

Were the tutors that you tried trained in OG? If not, perhaps try a tutor again, but one with a higher level of training in OG.

Although I think that moms can remediate reading disabilities, it is also so very hard, even with a student who is not as severe. Finding a specialist may lead to more progress. Is there a dyslexia school anywhere in your area or within a few hours? You can consult with them, even if he would not be a candidate to go there, and they should be able to direct you to some avenues for help
 

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

About the IEP....Working with the schools can be really hard. Even when you are in a school district that cares, it can be really hard (ask me how I know). Because he is so atypical, the school will very probably not have a class placement for him that they can just slot him into and have it work well.

First, people do get their public schools to fund students for placements in other schools. If they CANNOT teach him, they have to pay for him to get his education elsewhere. People may have to fight or sue for this. I suggest reaching out to a special education advocate or lawyer, because the laws are complex, and you may need help learning them and getting the school to follow them.

Secondly, some states have disability scholarships for students who are home educated or in specialty private schools. They are not always well advertised, so it could be that your state has this, and you don't know. Be sure to check whether it exists, and find out how to qualify.

Thirdly, since he has changed schools multiple times, a paper trail may be hard for you to find. Be sure to ask to see all copies of all past IEPs (they are updated annually, so there should be a different one for every single year). Ask, as well, to see all evaluation reports. The school has to re-evaluate every three years, so if he was evaluated first in 6th grade, there should be at least two (here they are called the ETR for Evaluation Team Report). Also do whatever you need to to request the full copy of his student record.

The idea is for you to have all of the history of what the school has done and documented so far.

Since he changed schools often when he was younger, you may need to contact more than one school. And you may run into difficulty getting records released to you. This is something that a lawyer or advocate could advise you about.

Once you have a thorough paper trail, you may be able to better make the case that the school has failed to educate him, and that they need to pay for him to get his education elsewhere.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

https://www.amazon.com/Complete-IEP-Guide-Advocate-Special/dp/1413323855/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=nolo+iep&qid=1570109222&sr=8-1

I recommend this book. Also, look at Wrightslaw online. And they also have books.

Also, read through everything you can on your state's department of education website. I have also called and emailed my state DOE with questions, and they have been responsive and helpful.

You said you have been working with the school for two months. It also matters, I think, whether they are willing to work with you, but they just don't have what it takes to educate this young man. Or whether they are hard to deal with and adversarial. Your approach to dealing with them would be different.

Also, this seems extreme, but we actually did it -- can you move to a better school district? We met with and toured several districts in our area and found one that offered better services and support, so we moved.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

On 10/1/2019 at 9:46 PM, PeterPan said:

Do you have the results from the Barton screening test? 

I'm sorry he has the additional challenges. We discuss trauma pretty frequently here on the boards, so you might google site search for past threads. He's blessed to have this fresh start. I will tell you that for me, I did trauma counseling (as in a counselor said whoa, back up, you had trauma) a few years ago as a 40 yo woman, and it made a huge difference. It's definitely a thing to be pursuing. We did some bodywork, including a method called TRE=Trauma Release Exercises. So obviously, based on my own experiences, I would recommend looking for someone trained in trauma, trained in bodywork. Here's a book if you aren't already up on it.                                             The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma                                     

Well keep us posted! We're rootin' for you! :smile:

 

After a busy week, we finally had time to sit down last night and do the Barton screening - he passed!

The RISE test looks like it would be far too difficult for him. We talked about and played around with some reading last night, and he was able to read 23/92 of the Pre-K/Kindergarten Dolch sight words. I noticed, though, that he has an excellent short term memory - when we went through the lists, he wanted me to tell him the words he didn't know. When we finished, he went back and read the words again with only a few errors (swapping 'what' and 'white', etc). 

We tried the PAST, and it was interesting. He was good with syllables. At the onset/rime level, every single word took him a long time to figure out, but he always got there in the end. He couldn't delete/substitute phonemes at the beginning or in the middle of words, but found it much easier to delete/substitute ending sounds.

PeterPan - All the info and questions you posted earlier are so helpful! I'm using them as a guide as I think this all through. It is a lot, but I'll get there. 

The audiologist report seems to just be a screening and all results were "within normal limits". I suppose I don't have specific concerns about APD and I haven't noticed background noise being an issue. I do sometimes wonder whether to blame ADHD vs. teenage brain vs. something else when we miscommunicate or have other tiny issues. 

His speech/language seems entirely normal and age-appropriate to me, but I do think an SLP assessment would be helpful. My younger child's SLP recommended a larger clinic nearby that would have more testing materials appropriate for his age. I have a phone call set up for Monday with one of the SLPs to see if they'll take him, then it will be 3-6 weeks for an appointment. 

One of the reasons we are considering a new psych assessment is that his 2017 assessment includes a lot of qualifiers - "should be interpreted with caution", "may be an underestimate of his abilities", etc. because of his attention/anxiety/behavior during the testing. So, I'm not sure how much to read into the old scores. Working memory was his lowest, which does seem accurate though. 

On 10/2/2019 at 12:21 AM, Heathermomster said:

OP, PLEASE keep up updated.

Does he use audio books at all?  

I will! He uses audio books for school, but doesn't listen to them for fun. He's a podcast kid. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, eztulo said:

After a busy week, we finally had time to sit down last night and do the Barton screening - he passed!

Well this is really good!!!!!! Then he doesn't need LIPS. You can order Barton immediately and get started. He has had a baseline CTOPP so I see no benefit to waiting. If you order Barton 1 and complete it in less than 2 weeks, she will let you return it and give you Barton 2. Seriously. And given his age and that you'll book it, that will probably happen. 

If you order it now, she will send you the video link. That way you can start watching the videos. It's not a *problem* to use LIPS, but I would weave the methodology into Barton 1 and get moving FORWARD. 

The nice thing is Barton is age-appropriate for him. The reading models, etc. are going to be great for him, talking about things he'll connect with. It won't be baby-ish.

1 hour ago, eztulo said:

The RISE test looks like it would be far too difficult for him.

Oh dear.

1 hour ago, eztulo said:

We talked about and played around with some reading last night, and he was able to read 23/92 of the Pre-K/Kindergarten Dolch sight words.

Ok, if I could implore you, please stop the sight words. They have no use in reading so just put them aside. Almost everything is decodable when you understand the phonograms in rules, the vast percentage. There is zero reason to be memorizing random sight words like that. You really want him working on decoding from this point on.

Where were you at with the developmental optometrist? You would like a vision eval and a screening for developmental vision issues. If they find more going on, then they can do the further testing to see if visual processing, visual memory, convergence, something is going on here. You don't want there to be a physical problem making it harder for him to do the reading. COVD is where you find a developmental optometrist. I would get that done ASAP. Check reviews because the docs really vary in how they roll. If you try one or want to sort them out, post here and talk it through.

1 hour ago, eztulo said:

I do sometimes wonder whether to blame ADHD vs. teenage brain vs. something else when we miscommunicate or have other tiny issues.

So on the ADHD, is he on meds? If not, why not? Take the ADHD off the table by medicating it. Also look at 360 Thinking, watch their webinars, learn the strategies, teach him the strategies.

So trauma is known to create a disconnect. I guess if you haven't had it, you just have to roll with it. To my friends, the difference in me was pretty wow. I was about 40 at the time. I went from having zero friends at the Y and being like a ghost to almost overnight being known by lots of people, having everyone say hi, learning about their grandkids... I kid you not. And it was the bodywork for the trauma that removed the barriers that were keeping me from other people. It felt like I became naked, like they could see me. It was really weird. But then I got used to it, and now i'm ok with it. And they'll use fancy words like dissociation and junk, but yes it's not your imagination if you feel like your'e struggling to CONNECT. The trauma can be part of the cause and it's not something he just fixes on his own by wanting to or being told to. It's the physical effect of the trauma, and do the therapies (like the TRE I linked or others) can help.

1 hour ago, eztulo said:

The audiologist report seems to just be a screening and all results were "within normal limits". I suppose I don't have specific concerns about APD and I haven't noticed background noise being an issue.

You could do it anyway, just to be thorough. Like if you can go to a univ and do it for free, do it anyway, kwim? If it's going to cost you $$$, then I guess use your judgment. If you find a practitioner or univ with a good APD dept, then get them to do it and ask them to do the APD screening. It's no trouble and it's just another good thing to take off the table, especially if you can do it for free. Our univ can get people in pretty quickly and is free.

1 hour ago, eztulo said:

His speech/language seems entirely normal and age-appropriate to me, but I do think an SLP assessment would be helpful. My younger child's SLP recommended a larger clinic nearby that would have more testing materials appropriate for his age. I have a phone call set up for Monday with one of the SLPs to see if they'll take him, then it will be 3-6 weeks for an appointment. 

Yay!!! And did we already give you the SmartSpeechTherapy blog links so you can read about things to be looking for to know you're getting thorough evals? All things considered, you'd really like there to be narrative language, writing, vocabulary (of course), and pragmatics. 

1 hour ago, eztulo said:

He uses audio books for school, but doesn't listen to them for fun. He's a podcast kid. 

Oh that's interesting. What are the podcasts about? 

I think see what the SLP evals turn up, but what you might want to do is take the text from one of the podcasts, type a paragraph of it into a lexile finder, and see what lexile it's at. Then use that number (+/-50) to search here https://hub.lexile.com/find-a-book/search  for books, filtering to find topics similar to the podcast. Like if he's listening to gaming podcasts, then find books that involve gaming. 

Do you already have documentation from the ps or some other psych saying SLD Reading? He clearly has a significant disability. I would take that documentation to his MD and get him signed up for BARD/NLS pronto.https://hub.lexile.com/find-a-book/search  They are WONDERFUL and have extensive, very modern offerings. You can access them through apps or by downloading the books onto a USB thumb drive that you use with their player. It's like the old style cassette players, only it will take a USB thumb drive. My ds LOVES this device, for the high sound quality, easy to use buttons, and durability.

It's *possible* that your ds has deficits in either syntax or narrative language or both that are holding back his enjoyment of audiobooks, hence his preference for the podcasts. Lexile accounts for syntactical complexity, so that's why searching by lexile might turn up things he'll enjoy. BARD/NLS also sends out catalogs quarterly with new listings. It may be a great boon to him and a way to get him into books right where he is. 

Just as your tip of the day, you might try something like the Michael Vey books. They're around a 550HL and considered hi/low, meaning they target an older age group with simpler syntax. You can get the audios for free with BARD. Totally worth the effort for the breadth of what you'll be able to connect with for free.

Sounds like you're doing great! You're about to become an expert by jumping in the deep end, hehe. Don't be afraid but just plow forward. The worst that happens is that you make mistakes. I'm suggesting Barton to you because one he passed the screener and CAN DO IT, and two because it's open and go, idiotproof. It will respect your time and is likely to work. There are a few people it doesn't work for. The worst case scenarios are kids with deeper language disabilities, ID, more stuff going on. But honestly, your ds is the exact age Barton was thinking of. If you hear her story or see her tell it on youtube, she got into this trying to help her 15 yo nephew. It's why she got so passionate about it and why her materials are targeted older. 

So don't overthink it at this point. He's got some good things going and is ripe and ready. Make a move on intervention and get it going!! I wouldn't even wait for the psych evals, not at this point, when he already has an IEP and a baseline CTOPP and wants to learn. Get moving on intervention. The one thing that would make me pause at this point is the vision, and I think you can get an appt and get that checked before your Barton materials arrive anyway. So check his vision, but beyond that you're good to go forward! :smile:

Edited by PeterPan
  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, eztulo said:

We tried the PAST, and it was interesting. He was good with syllables. At the onset/rime level, every single word took him a long time to figure out, but he always got there in the end. He couldn't delete/substitute phonemes at the beginning or in the middle of words, but found it much easier to delete/substitute ending sounds.

That's pretty interesting indeed! In "Equipped for Reading Success," Kilpatrick says that the only way reading will happen automatically is if students 1) have automatic letter-sound knowledge, and 2) are able to automatically do all of the manipulations tested on the PAST. His book has a few pages of exercises for each level on the PAST. I've been spending 5 or so minutes per day with each of my students on this, starting at where they bottomed out on the PAST. They are steadily improving.

Kilpatrick actually says that for *most* students, even ones with reading challenges, "Level 3" decoding programs (Wilson, Barton, etc) are overkill. It made me think a lot. Kilpatrick says that these Level 3 programs were developed before we know as much as we do now about the science of reading. I would probably summarize his thoughts pretty badly if I tried - and I need to go back and re-read the relevant sections of the book a bunch more times. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Mainer said:

That's pretty interesting indeed! In "Equipped for Reading Success," Kilpatrick says that the only way reading will happen automatically is if students 1) have automatic letter-sound knowledge, and 2) are able to automatically do all of the manipulations tested on the PAST. His book has a few pages of exercises for each level on the PAST. I've been spending 5 or so minutes per day with each of my students on this, starting at where they bottomed out on the PAST. They are steadily improving.

Kilpatrick actually says that for *most* students, even ones with reading challenges, "Level 3" decoding programs (Wilson, Barton, etc) are overkill. It made me think a lot. Kilpatrick says that these Level 3 programs were developed before we know as much as we do now about the science of reading. I would probably summarize his thoughts pretty badly if I tried - and I need to go back and re-read the relevant sections of the book a bunch more times. 

Ok, I'm reading this with interest, because I haven't looked into the PAST much. I'm familiar with Kilpatrick's name as being in the debates (on SPELL-talk, etc.), but that's about it. 

So I googled and found it. I had seen it before. This is basic stuff any student would probably pass if they've done levels 1 or 2 of Barton, mercy. 

I think it's kind of disingenuine of him to criticize tier 3 instruction that is canned and then expect everyone to learn how to do it CUSTOM to be better and faster. :smile: Like no joke, people with training, people who have wrapped their brains around the concepts, can do custom intervention, target, intervene. Of course they can.

I'd go so far as to say of a certainty I would have expected ds to pass every bit of the PAST after we did Barton 1 and 2 with LIPS. Totally there. I was hitting those skills as we did it. Barton weaves them in.

So something like SPELL-Links is supposed to be your next wave, where they morph out of tedious OG and get analytical and use newer science. That's fine. But reality is we still have to live where we are and get intervention done, lol. 

For op, most kids get through Barton 1-4 and then jump. If they really really like Barton, they might stick with it, but it's a launching point for a lot of kids, where reading is clicking. So the whole should it be custom instruction, etc. is moot if it's working. And you'll know if it's clicking or not. And it's open and go. And she'll let you trade back in level 1 for 2 if you complete it in 2 weeks or less, which he's likely to. So it's pretty low risk I would think for something that is likely to be good enough.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/4/2019 at 10:56 PM, PeterPan said:

I'd go so far as to say of a certainty I would have expected ds to pass every bit of the PAST after we did Barton 1 and 2 with LIPS. Totally there. I was hitting those skills as we did it. Barton weaves them in.

Definitely, I thought that too when I was reading that section. It made me glad I was doing LiPS!! He specifically says that kids may need to use concrete objects to represent sounds at first (which made me think of the LiPS tiles or letter tiles), but then they should be able to do everything orally with no supports.

On 10/4/2019 at 10:56 PM, PeterPan said:

So something like SPELL-Links is supposed to be your next wave, where they morph out of tedious OG and get analytical and use newer science. That's fine. But reality is we still have to live where we are and get intervention done, lol. 

I'm not exactly sure what he's suggesting really. On first read, it sounded like the level of intervention that some do (that I do with kids... memorizing all the spelling rules, exceptions, etc) is not necessary because the brain doesn't instantly access all of that instantly when faced with the printed word. Rather, a word or word part is either orthographically mapped and instant, or it's not. I wonder if that explains why so many dyslexics can become competent readers, yet still remain slow. And often have spelling that lags behind their reading - because they could apply the spelling rules if they really thought about it, but in real life, we don't think about it. 

I'm not sure. I gotta go re-read a bunch more times!!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, Mainer said:

I wonder if that explains why so many dyslexics can become competent readers, yet still remain slow.

I've assumed that was RAN/RAS.

9 minutes ago, Mainer said:

And often have spelling that lags behind their reading - because they could apply the spelling rules if they really thought about it, but in real life, we don't think about it. 

THAT is a really good question. 

10 minutes ago, Mainer said:

I'm not exactly sure what he's suggesting really.

Well he hangs on SPELL-talk and is one of these who debates. I don't know, I just so live in the trenches (like you do), kwim? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

some fabulous suggestions above. 🙂

One thing that a speech pathologist recommended for my a bit younger at the time teen that was really struggling to read was chewing-gum. It stimulates the brain and aids in concentration while reading.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
48 minutes ago, Melissa in Australia said:

some fabulous suggestions above. 🙂

One thing that a speech pathologist recommended for my a bit younger at the time teen that was really struggling to read was chewing-gum. It stimulates the brain and aids in concentration while reading.

Remind me to steal that! :wub: I need to find more gum that doesn't have aspartame and synthetic sweeteners. We've done xylitol gum, but it can be a little stiff. I'm not sure why we stopped, hmm. And we haven't done it during reading. Great tip.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 hours ago, PeterPan said:
18 hours ago, Mainer said:

I wonder if that explains why so many dyslexics can become competent readers, yet still remain slow.

I've assumed that was RAN/RAS.

This too, definitely. 

 

18 hours ago, PeterPan said:
18 hours ago, Mainer said:

I'm not exactly sure what he's suggesting really.

Well he hangs on SPELL-talk and is one of these who debates. I don't know, I just so live in the trenches (like you do), kwim? 

Haha, yep!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...