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Ds is 8.5yo, very likely dyslexic but not formally diagnosed and had eye tracking problems but went through vision therapy and has so-so results (it definitely helped but it doesn't seem to be the entire problem of why ds can't read fluently yet). He can blend easily and well but fluency just isn't following. He is stuck in that agonizing limbo stage of reading where he sounds out every sound, of every word, every time he reads it. He has been stuck here for about a year now.

He has a handful of words that he recognizes at a glance but there is no rhyme or reason as to which words he knows and which he doesn't so that gives no clues as to where he needs help or extra practice. For example, he can read with fluency the words: dog, cat, so, of, over and bed, but will have to sound out and sometimes mess up the words: bog, no, on, done, little and hot. He still sounds out most 3 letter cvc words, sometimes with chunks, sometimes not. He can recognize a chunk in one word but not recognize the same chunk in the next word. He is good at splitting larger words into syllables but again, he sounds out every letter, every time.

His oldest brother, ds23 who is now an adult, did a very similar thing when he was young and learning to read except ds23 didn't go through vision therapy. Ds23 didn't learn to read until he was 9.5yo. I had been beating my head against a wall since he was 4yo trying to teach him using every way and curriculum under the sun to do it. It was like he just woke up one day and said, "Hey, I want to read now." and he just started reading and never stopped. He was reading above grade level within a year or two just like his younger siblings who learned to read at 4yo, 6yo, 3yo and 7yo respectively.

Part of me says Ds8.5 is very similar personality-wise to ds23 so maybe we just need to keep plugging away and he will just have the same epiphany one day that ds23 did and start reading. But another part of me says do I really want to take that chance, ya know? But what else can I do to encourage fluency? My other kids either slowly built fluency with practice like most kids do or just became fluent one day with no warning like oldest ds.

Right now, we have been doing SWR with lukewarm results and a lot of resistance from ds8.5yo. Handwriting is another issue though it is not quite to the dysgraphia stage like his second oldest brother, ds21. I was just given a copy of Phonics Pathways last night. I've thought about just working on reading and work on spelling/writing as a separate skill using Phonics Pathways. I also have SWR obviously, 100EZ lessons (I hate how cluttered the pages are though and the odd font throws ds off), Ordinary Parent's Guide (I use it for practice sentences mostly) and LOE Foundations (so. many. moving. parts.). We really don't have the funds right now to buy any more curriculum so we need to use something we have.

Suggestions, tips or stories of what to do when fluency just doesn't follow with repeated exposure are appreciated.

Just wanted to add that ds8.5yo is otherwise very smart. Very math and science oriented. Will explain very advanced physics concepts with ease and understanding, physics is his favorite area of science. He is very math intuitive and constantly surprises me with understanding and using math that I haven't taught him yet. His reading comprehension is spot on. If he can read it, however haltingly, he can comprehend it. His listening comprehension is much higher than that. He asks and answers questions beyond just the literal "what just happened?" type questions. He listens to audiobooks every day for an hour or two, by choice, and I read aloud to him as much as I can. He reads aloud for 15 to 20 minutes a day most days. That's usually the most either one of us can stand of him reading aloud.

 

ETA- He has also done straight OG, both with a tutor and with me. The tutor moved away. I forgot to add that in the first post. He still gets lots of O-G methods no matter which programs we use because we adapt it to him and make it O-G. I'm starting to think I may need to resort to bribery (we joke that bribery is his love language lol) and do multiple lessons per day to get him the extra practice he needs... good idea or recipe for disaster? 

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6 hours ago, sweet2ndchance said:

ETA- He has also done straight OG, both with a tutor and with me. The tutor moved away. I forgot to add that in the first post. He still gets lots of O-G methods no matter which programs we use because we adapt it to him and make it O-G. I'm starting to think I may need to resort to bribery (we joke that bribery is his love language lol) and do multiple lessons per day to get him the extra practice he needs... good idea or recipe for disaster? 

I'll respond on this part -- I do think a little extrinsic motivation can be good. We normally take a long summer break, but last summer I wanted DS9 to keep working on reading and spelling with me so we wouldn't lose the progress we had been making.  Since it seemed so unfair to him to have to do "summer school" on his least favorite subject, I basically set up a point system where every day we worked together he could get one point, and two points if he did it with a good attitude/no complaining.  Then he earned a couple rewards -- a special ice cream date, and a new board game -- by the end of the summer.  It really did wonders because I set it up so that he needed to have a good attitude most days in order to get the big game reward at the end of the summer, and he was motivated to get the game!   After working really hard for over a year straight, I let him take the summer off this year, and he is just doing typing (with TTRS) and reading a book with me a few times per week.  I'm sure he's going to forget stuff, but I am prepared to spend a month reviewing if needed -- we both were ready for a break. 

I took OG training in early 2020, and I've mostly worked with DS9 creating my own lessons for reading and spelling.  I'm going to pull in some outside resources to follow this year and still make use of what I learned in my training, because I am really burnt out on writing my own lessons. I'm not sure I have a good answer for you about the slow gains in fluency other than for dyslexic kiddos it just seems to take way, way, way more repetition and review than you would really expect.   Like, out of the blue DS will just forget phonograms he totally knows or will have a hard time with a word that he has read many times before.  I try not to sweat it, and just remind him and move on.  It might be interesting to try and take notes of words he misses or struggles with and see if you write it down if there is any pattern that's not immediately obvious.  

 

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Free things you can do

1) evals through the ps to get the SLDs diagnosed

2) https://www.smartspeechtherapy.com/free-literacy-resources-for-parents-and-professionals/  an entire blog post of free resources, including a link to the MA Rooney foundation's *free OG* materials. Completely free, open and go. 

3) https://www.dropbox.com/sh/4rcl6f0uo70esmv/AAAaGAHw3_YTMEQZSw_WI-t_a?dl=0  A link to my dropbox files for RAN/RAS (rapid naming) pages.

 

 

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We've done the Rooney foundation O-G stuff and your RAN/RAS.

He can do the RAN/RAS without a single issue... until you try to replace the colored dots with words.

I'm hoping to avoid the public school evals but it is looking unavoidable. Sigh.

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3 hours ago, sweet2ndchance said:

'm hoping to avoid the public school evals but it is looking unavoidable. Sigh.

At least you'll have paper trail for an NLS (national library service) application. And who knows, if you can get them to run helpful tests, maybe you'll learn some things too. I've always found our ps helpful. 

Have you ever wondered about his auditory processing? Does he pass the Barton screener?

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His auditory processing is actually amazingly good. He definitely makes up for his vision issues with stellar auditory processing. He has been tested for auditory processing by an audiologist and passed.

We did the Barton screener forever ago. A year or more maybe? He barely passed at that time. I just gave it again and he passed no problem.

I'm thinking about possibly recording him reading and posting. Would that give a better picture?

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2 hours ago, sweet2ndchance said:

We did the Barton screener forever ago. A year or more maybe? He barely passed at that time. I just gave it again and he passed no problem.

You probably are just going to have to do a lot of fluency work. I don't know how you're doing it, but with my ds I took every word, phrase, and sentence in Barton that we were doing and put them into Quizlet to drill to fluency. Once he could read the words for the lesson, then we drilled the phrases. Once he nailed the phrases, then we drilled the sentences. 

I don't remember exactly, but we're probably talking at least 2 hours of fluency drill for one lesson in Barton. Just saying.

When my ds was diagnosed, the psych (who was a nasty piece of work, arrogant, possibly with furry ears and a tail and not a nice bunny one) was adamant that I should not teach my ds to read. And we all know that's hogwash, because I was perfectly capable of it and so are you. But what he meant was that parents tend to wimp out and not want to do what it will actually take. 

So Barton doesn't say work 2-3 hours a day, but people do. And if you know every other piece is present, then sometimes the gap is that repetition. Can be fluency drills. Can be reading basal/controlled readers. You can write little stories using his target words. 

I would not be using SWR fwiw. Try to use the closet thing to thorough, deep instruction and drill it till the horse dies. Are you makign the words both ways? Encode the targets, decode. 

To get those high amounts of practice/fluency work, I was throwing the app on my phone, on the kindle, on the ipad, and then wherever I was we could whip it out. In the car, before bed, after a meal. Over and over and over, letting those 5-10 minutes of effort accumulate. 

Another trick is if he goes through the list and is having to sound the words out, read them AGAIN now that he's seen them! There's a word for it but basically it's preloaded, ending on a good note, reinforcing. So if that target list for the lesson had 20 words, we were going to read that list over and over till he could blow through it. Then we read the phrases. But at that point it's more like a working memory and anxiety thing, kwim? At that point he had the words and it was ok, stay calm, you can do this, you can hold everything in your head. It's rocket science.

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3 hours ago, PeterPan said:

You probably are just going to have to do a lot of fluency work. I don't know how you're doing it, but with my ds I took every word, phrase, and sentence in Barton that we were doing and put them into Quizlet to drill to fluency.

I'm doing something similar just with Google Slides instead of Quizlet.

3 hours ago, PeterPan said:

Are you makign the words both ways? Encode the targets, decode. 

Yes, encode and decode everyday. And retaining words that give him issues in the list until he can both encode and decode fluently. 

It sounds like the only thing we are not doing is the 2 - 3 hours a day. If that's what it is going to take, we can make that work. In bite size pieces, of course. Right now, we are spending 45 minutes to an hour a day on reading. We can up that, no problem. Well, no problem for me. He might have a problem with it lol. But that's where we can do the motivational stuff.

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9 hours ago, sweet2ndchance said:

Right now, we are spending 45 minutes to an hour a day on reading.

Maybe try taking that up to 45 minutes on fluency work. That would be reading through the lists 5-6 times a day. Then you can spend another 20-30 minutes reading together with controlled readers. That would leave you room for your intervention type lesson together (another 45 minutes). That would have you at 2 hours pretty easily.

The other trick is to sneak in life level reading. I got my ds started on the Wii and then got him a Switch and basically refused to answer questions. He HAD to read to play, lol. Like if you play Wii Vacation, there's a lot of simple reading in there! Environmental print, things where it's useful to him to read. Kid cooking recipes where he needs to follow along, his daily list, notes, small reading in games, whatever. 

To me I was looking for data showing my approach was working. If you take the frequency up, see how it goes, what your data says. For my ds (no vision problems, flies through VT testing), 5-6 sessions with the fluency drills was enough to get fluency. So see how many times through it takes and see if there's a pattern there, some consistency.

I'm trying to remember. I think at some point I may have also tried to do something with pictures, like a picture on one side of the card, word on the other. You can shake things up like that. Comprehension is always such a big issue. So he can read the word and draw it. You can draw the picture that he labels. He can type the words.

Oh, we did word searches!!!! Try Carson Dellosa. We did oodles and oodles of word searches, anything that looked low enough that they were similar to what he was decoding. 

I'd be looking for fun stuff to get from the two hours to three. Or like do a bit more of the reading intervention (say 20-30 minutes) and then do games/environmental with reading for another 30-40 minutes. It all adds up. 

https://www.amazon.com/Word-Searches-Grades-Homework-Helper/dp/0768206928  Here, this is one of the products we used. I can't find the series on the Carson Dellosa site anymore, but the price on amazon is great. The words are simple, the font large. They have a couple levels. Love. Remember, he can circle, strike, use a highlighter, use a smelly marker, whatever he likes. So then it's a sensory break too. 

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9 hours ago, Ausmumof3 said:

Not an expert but I wonder if you could build on the recognised words by doing word lists with rhyming patterns like dog, bog, cog, hog etc to see if you can expand the recognised list?

There are Word Ladders books by grade level if he has the vocabulary to do them. They're by Rasinski, guru of all things reading. You can do them by writing or use letter tiles or letter magnets. Your library may have the series.

https://www.amazon.com/Daily-Word-Ladders-Reproducible-Vocabulary/dp/0545074762/ref=sr_1_3?crid=225FTUE7BVVOM&dchild=1&keywords=word+ladders+grade+1-2&qid=1626714765&s=books&sprefix=word+ladders%2Cstripbooks%2C178&sr=1-3

 

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I also like kits from Lakeshore Learning, but I guess we were trying not to spend money here, lol. They aren't necessarily OG specific, more just fun, colorful, connected to comprehension (spell to go with the picture) and hands on. They have a series of hands on crosswords that is terrific. Apparently my ds has a positive memory of the experience (even though they were REALLY HARD for him!!) because he picked up the newspaper crossword yesterday and tried to do it, hahaha.

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On 7/15/2021 at 12:49 PM, sweet2ndchance said:

He is stuck in that agonizing limbo stage of reading where he sounds out every sound, of every word, every time he reads it. He has been stuck here for about a year now.

The thing that seemed to help with this for us was Audiblox.  It was definitely the most fringe-y thing we did, but I think it actually worked.  When we did it, it was not online, and I think that the one-on-one aspect of working with an actual human and actual physical materials was important.  I'm not sure if you can get the physical kit anymore though.

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On 7/19/2021 at 12:17 PM, PeterPan said:

Lakeshore Learning

I love Lakeshore Learning... my wallet, not so much lol

 

9 hours ago, EKS said:

The thing that seemed to help with this for us was Audiblox. 

Audioblox sounds familiar. Maybe it was something we did with oldest ds when he was having trouble learning to read? I know he did Earobics for a while when he was in speech therapy...

 

And now, just because real kids are complicated, Ds does this....

He was playing Minecraft today and he wanted me to help him spell the word "wheat". I told him to sound it out. He said the first sound was /w/ so I told him to use "two-letter /w/". Took him a couple tries but he figured out it was "wh". Then I asked him what is the next sound, he says /ee/ and he types in the letter e and it auto fills in the word "wheat" for him before I can tell him which /ee/ phonogram to use. He says, "Oh it has the word "eat" at the end. And the phonogram "eat, bread, steak" /ee/, /e/, /A/." He only learned that phonogram last week. I was dumbfounded for a second because I was still having to help him on the phonogram reviews with that phonogram last week. We haven't done the word "eat" yet as a spelling word so it is not one I would expect him to recognize. The only formal exposure he has had to the word "eat" is as part of our mnemonic for the phonogram ea.

So I was thinking about dropping SWR at least for a while like you said @PeterPanbut today's events have me in a quandary. Is it evidence that SWR is working its magic, however slowly for DS or just a one off epiphany? I used SWR exclusively to teach both my girls how to read. It didn't really work for oldest ds. But however similar they may be, DS8 is not oldest ds. Oi, why do real kids have to be so complicated lol!

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10 hours ago, sweet2ndchance said:

He says, "Oh it has the word "eat" at the end. And the phonogram "eat, bread, steak" /ee/, /e/, /A/."

Perhaps he's sounding everything out because he's having to think of all of this while he's reading.  

There is an exercise in Audiblox that I think is particularly good for pushing past this sort of thing.  They had these mini flash cards (small enough to fit in the palm of your hand) that had high frequency words on them.  You take two cards put one face up on a table, then immediately put the other one face up on top of it, and then put your hand over the whole thing.  This should take all of two seconds.  Then the kid tells you what the cards said.  It takes a bit of practice to be able to do it in one smooth motion.  Anyway, it forces the kid to take the entire word in at once and say it at once.

Also fluency readings are good.  Start with something that he can read very easily without sounding out.  It's ok if it is something really, really easy.  Then have him work up to reading aloud for 20-30 minutes every day.  Gradually increase the reading level of the books you choose until you reach a level that is in line with his general cognitive ability.  This could take a while--we did it for well over a year when my son was 8-9-10 years old.

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5 minutes ago, EKS said:

Start with something that he can read very easily without sounding out. 

That's just it though. It changes day to day what he can/will read without sounding out. Yesterday, same day he had the "wheat" revelation, he was sounding out "A cat and a rat. A rat and a cat." when we were trying to find some super easy fluency readings. But he also read "Gus wept, "Help! Help!"" without sounding it out yesterday.

I'll try that Audioblox exercise with him a little later and report back.

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41 minutes ago, sweet2ndchance said:

That's just it though. It changes day to day what he can/will read without sounding out.

Also repeated readings can be helpful.

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Logic of English has online free spelling, similar to SWR, foundations online lite. I would work through that as part of what you're doing, after a few he could perhaps do them while you fold laundry or something. 

https://elearning.logicofenglish.com

I would work through in short sessions, Phonics Pathways and the old Open Court, which is long vowel first, free online, start with blue workbook then gold workbook. It's too bad they no longer sell School Phonics workbooks, they are long vowel first with a lot more repetition than old Open Court, it was the perfect amount of repetition for my son who needed a lot of phonics repetition.

Old Open Court:

http://wigowsky.com/school/opencourt/opencourt.htm

I would also get the Phonics Pathways book Reading Pathways, it's designed to improve fluency, and work that in, do 20 to 25 minutes of each thing spaced out through the day. Maybe alternate Phonics Pathways and Reading Pathways.

I would also work though my syllables lessons:

http://thephonicspage.org/On Reading/syllablesspellsu.html and then all of the 2+ syllable words in Webster's Speller if the speller works out for you.

The Logic of English game book has a ton of phonics game ideas:

https://store.logicofenglish.com/collections/product-type-supplements/products/game-book

My free concentration game:

http://thephonicspage.org/On Phonics/concentrationgam.html

 

Edited by ElizabethB
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14 hours ago, sweet2ndchance said:

He said the first sound was /w/ so I told him to use "two-letter /w/". Took him a couple tries but he figured out it was "wh". Then I asked him what is the next sound, he says /ee/ and he types in the letter e and it auto fills in the word "wheat" for him before I can tell him which /ee/ phonogram to use. He says, "Oh it has the word "eat" at the end. And the phonogram "eat, bread, steak" /ee/, /e/, /A/." He only learned that phonogram last week.

I want to back up and make a comment. Would fluency make more sense if we called it AUTOMATICITY? You need to drill to AUTOMATICITY. Whatever phonograms you have covered, you need to drill to AUTOMATICITY. You say the sound, he writes it or selects it from a field of magnets/tiles, without hestitation. You show the phonogram and he says the sound, without hestitation.

You drill to complete, rapid automaticity:

-phonograms

-words

-phrases

-sentences

14 hours ago, sweet2ndchance said:

So I was thinking about dropping SWR at least for a while like you said @PeterPanbut today's events have me in a quandary. Is it evidence that SWR is working its magic, however slowly for DS or just a one off epiphany?

I'm not sure where this is going. SWR is holding him back because it presents too many things at once, too fast for a dyslexic. It's conceptually a fine program, but Sanseri took Spalding's work and both are streamlined to fit a NT, typical school, typically developing audience. They were not meant for dyslexia and present (using good methods) too much, too fast. And only when you get into a program that is more broken down (AAR) or much more broken down (Barton) will you finally see this.

He is learning IN SPITE of SWR. Yes, he would do better with AAR or Barton or any program meant for dyslexics. 

If you do not have options, then you don't. If you can sell everything you have and make something dyslexia appropriate happen, he would make better progress. Clearly he is struggling to learn with his current materials. 

I own SWR and loved it for my dd. My ds couldn't even get out of the gate with it. It has streamlined out so many important features for a dyslexic that you don't realize are missing. It makes many assumptions about phonological processing being intact and it teaches too much too quickly. Even slowing it down does NOT correct the problem, because it's missing components of intervention a typically developing dc will not need. The instruction you need is not there.

Could it be on the table to hire another OG tutor? Or if that is not possible, what about selling what you have to get a level of Barton? Once you get one level, you could sell and use the proceeds to help buy the next. Barton can sometimes be less than AAR when you do that.

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I successfully used High Noon Reading Program (Sound Out Chapter Books and the Reading Program) with my ds w similar seeming issues to what u describe .  Also Read Write Type from Talkingfingers was started a few months later overlapping and gave variety...

We started from scratch at start of the Program and patched holes in understanding in very short work periods (such as 1 minute several times daily, working up to longer and longer time at a stretch ability). When we reached the CVC level in program we used many of the Chapter Book sets at that level while progressing slowly through the program.  Like all 9 CVC books read perhaps 5 times each or whatever it took for automaticity, especially early on. We went through each multiple times to achieve fluency and automaticity at that level- but for example, by time he got to some higher levels he didn’t need as many repeats though some levels he did. (The advisory staff at HN said I could read them to Ds initially so he would have the story idea and type of words, but he preferred to sound out the books himself )
 

He also did some of the workbooks of the program ... 

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