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Mild Dyslexia help


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We just got the results back from my daughter's learning disability evaluation. She is 12, has severe ADHD combined type, borderline on Auditory Processing Disorder, and what I'm calling borderline Dyslexia 😂 Basically, she has some weaknesses in some areas of reading, but not enough for an actual Dyslexia diagnosis. The Psychologist recommended backing up and doing some phonics instruction to make sure she has a solid foundation. She will NOT be on board with anything too "babyish".
 
The programs I'm looking at are Logic of English Essentials, Pinwheels/Wand by Rooted in Language, or maybe AAR/AAS? Honestly, I'm very overwhelmed looking at these programs. They seem to be a lot of moving parts. I have 2 older kids with various learning issues and I have ADHD myself. So I need easy and scripted, and hopefully something I won't need to take out a second mortgage to pay for!
 
I'd love any input! My brain is still swirling a little from the results meeting!!!
 
ETA: I am a Math/Science girl, and Language Arts is NOT my scene, so I need help. My older 2 taught themselves how to read.
Edited by scbusf
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Is the problem with fluency? Comprehension? How is spelling?

Have you considered intervention for the auditory processing? igaps.org is where you would look for professionals that offer intervention. I know a professional who has some experience offering therapy online if you don't have someone local to you. Therapy made a big difference for my mild dyslexia/APD/ADHD kid.

 

 

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Her lowest scores on the Woodcock-Johnson IV were in: Basic reading skills, Letter-word Identification, Spelling, Passage Comprehension, Word Attack. These were all in the Low Average range.

I would definitely be interested in your therapy contact info.

We are also looking into Neurofeedback for the ADHD.

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I am going to PM you with the APD contact.

I think I saw your post on another site, and I will not repeat advice there. I am tangentially familiar with RIL products, and while it's a little to open-ended of an approach for me for literature, I hear awesome things. That said, I didn't know about them for reading products a long time ago, and I am not sure they made their reading products publicly available when my mildly dyslexic kiddo was learning to read. We used A Beka with modifications, but I already knew A Beka and could flex with it (I learned to read with A Beka and still have pretty vivid memories of the whole process). I also added in the syllables book from Explode the Code. 

If she likes to tackle problems conceptually, I think that any solid phonics programs that offers charts, supplements, spelling, etc. would potentially be fine for you to modify. You could enlist her help with tracking her own fluency--if it's brushing up on phonemes, tackling syllables, etc., all of that would be something that she could maybe challenge herself with almost like drills for soccer skills or whatever she's into. I would definitely get her to help with problem-solving if that would motivate her, and I think that is one thing that RIL might be able to offer you. I just don't have experience with the reading stuff they offer to be specific about how.

My son is somewhat a visual speller, and he still spells things crazily when he's on autopilot, but one thing that helped a great deal was using Sequential Spelling. It's very pattern based and can be made visual. Once he typed proficiently, we did it with typing so that it reinforced his motor memory for spelling patterns as well as typing patterns. It's not to replace phonics, but for my kids, spelling and phonics seem to run on parallel tracks that don't really overlap often. 

For comprehension, I really like stuff from Mindwing Concepts. They have older and younger kid stuff. Older kid stuff starts with Thememaker, but it covers the same ground as the stuff for younger kids. They start with narrative language and work their way into expository writing. They have some lesson plans on their website as well. 

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Neurofeedback, if it's a system using auditory feedback, is brutal for kids with APD. Get meds and be done with it. She's 12 and has severe ADHD. No therapy is going to change that. Did this psych run pragmatics? 

You actually want two SLPs here, one to work on the APD (which is the root of the phonological processing problem you're calling dyslexia) and another to test for pragmatics and do things like Zones of Reg, Interoception, 360 Thinking, etc. Has she had an OT eval? Usually with severe ADHD more is going on that an OT can address (sensory, retained reflexes, etc.).

OT will not change her need for meds but it will make her more comfortable in her own body and more self aware to learn what she needs to regulate and self advocate.

12 hours ago, scbusf said:

Logic of English Essentials, Pinwheels/Wand by Rooted in Language, or maybe AAR/AAS?

skip

You want something APD specific.

An SLP is using this with my ds right now and he has made significant progress. https://www.proedinc.com/Products/37614/the-central-auditory-processing-kit.aspx

Look at it very carefully and you'll see that APD work is on the bits of language (phonological processing, morphology, prosody, etc.) and focuses on the AUDITORY side of it. Dyslexia intervention (Barton, LIPS, etc.) tends to focus on the VISUAL processing of the language. They intertwine obviously, but you probably already have a lot of the visual side. Nuts, most of the "dyslexia" testing they do is auditory anyway like the CTOPP. 

I also used https://www.therapro.com/Differential-Processing-Training-Program-Acoustic-Tasks.html  with my ds, which got us significant benefit. I haven't seen CAPS (the other program I linked) in person. I suspect they're very similar and that my ds, because of his challenges, has needed the repetition of doing tasks many ways. The SLP had worked in the deaf community (something to look for!) and brings a strong understanding of the need to process language and how hard it is. She spends a lot of time with him working on processing every single skill and step in noise as well as without so every step is super strong. He works with her 3X week for 45 minutes. If you get a program yourself, you can do it daily and make good progress. That's just your tip of the day to add in background noise. She'll have him turn on youtube videos during the tasks and they have increased the volume setting/number of the videos over time. 

Severe ADHD merges into ASD and girls are underidentified. You would be very wise to pursue social thinking, pragmatics, and make those tools available to her. Sometimes things become more clear with time, but you're in a good window to ignore preconceptions (what is and is not going on) and just make the tools available to her. If she's struggling with anxiety, she might like access to a counselor as well who can merge those tools of self-awareness and social thinking.

 

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11 hours ago, scbusf said:

Basic reading skills, Letter-word Identification, Spelling, Passage Comprehension, Word Attack. These were all in the Low Average range.

Again, this is really a time to get some detailed SLP testing. There are SLPs who specialize in literacy who will own detailed language testing to help you pinpoint the cause(s) of the challenges. If you assume/guess based on achievement testing, you may waste time and frustrate her. 

For my ds, most of those pieces (spelling, letter-word, word attack) were connected to the APD and the need to process language at that level, which is what you do in an APD program. The passage comprehension can reflect vocabulary, prior knowledge, inferencing, all sorts of issues. Google the reading rope and see all factors that merge into what we call reading. 

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Lots of info! She is on ADHD meds. Sort of. We have stopped for the summer because it was effecting her appetite too much and she getting was getting into a dangerous place weight-wise. This is the 5th med we’ve tried, so we are definitely on top of that. 

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What she needs for APD intervention will vary based on what her particular issues are. The stuff that PeterPan linked looks very good, but if your DD is borderline, she might need only really specific intervention. My son didn't need loads of therapy, and it was very specific. 

7 minutes ago, scbusf said:

Lots of info! She is on ADHD meds. Sort of. We have stopped for the summer because it was effecting her appetite too much and she getting was getting into a dangerous place weight-wise. This is the 5th med we’ve tried, so we are definitely on top of that. 

If the meds are otherwise beneficial, have you tried adding really high calorie foods and such in the evening when the meds start to wear off or at breakfast? I have an underweight kid who is using Boost (he likes the Breeze ones), milkshakes, etc. as he's lost a bit of weight due to surgery. They have something called benecal that you can you can mix into foods to make them more calorie dense--he will eat it in refried beans/burritos and pancakes. Anyway, if she's in danger territory, a nutritionist consult might yield some good results. Sometimes insurance will cover the supplemental products.

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On 7/8/2022 at 9:45 AM, scbusf said:

We have stopped for the summer because it was effecting her appetite too much and she getting was getting into a dangerous place weight-wise.

Have you worked with a nutritionist or gotten some advice to get this up? Are those stats normal for people in your family or her gene pool? 

I ask because my ds' weight percentile went up DRAMATICALLY when we finally got him myofunctional therapy to improve his ability to chew, swallow, and just plain eat. He doesn't fatigue, so he eats more. 

If someone has complications of sensory (causing foods to be averse/uncomfortable), motor planning problems (making chewing fatiguing), gut issues, etc. these can all factor in. If the meds alone are the cause sometimes people will feed first, then administer the meds. Or go for a much shorter acting med, 4 hour, instead of an extended release med. That way it wears off and she eats. The doctors like XR meds because they're thinking about driving, etc. but maybe balance more factors. 

Uncontrolled anxiety can cause weight loss in some kids, and the anxiety can become more apparent as the functionality that comes with the meds kicks in. Ironically, getting their anxiety under control can help them regain weight. 

Edited by PeterPan
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She is adopted from China and we know nothing about her birth family. She is medicated for anxiety. We have tried all the things to get her to eat more. We have tried 5 different ADHD meds and none of them really help her focus very much. So it isn’t worth the trade off. 

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41 minutes ago, scbusf said:

We have tried 5 different ADHD meds and none of them really help her focus very much. So it isn’t worth the trade off.

Have you worked on retained reflexes and interoception? Those two things might get you some breakthroughs. 

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AAR/AAS is scripted.  I only used AAS though I'm familiar with AAR.  I  stopped using a lot of the moving parts after a certain age. 

We added one aspect though to our reading, based on suggestions from someone here actually, that made a huge difference.   We added practice with nonsense words.   That helped especially because my child had memorized a lot of the more common words, but then couldn't use the phonics principals when she came across an unknown word.  It helped us figure out what she needed more practice with and gave us a way to practice it. 

I did not find All About Spelling babyish at all.   We tried AAR later (level 3) but decided to just use it to supplement AAS occassionally, and we only used the lessons, not the books.

(My son has ADHD and Dyslexia but not many of the other things you mentioned.  His dyslexia is pretty clear but his ADHD is attentive type and fairly mild). 

 

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On 7/7/2022 at 10:56 PM, kbutton said:

 

My son is somewhat a visual speller, and he still spells things crazily when he's on autopilot, but one thing that helped a great deal was using Sequential Spelling. It's very pattern based and can be made visual. Once he typed proficiently, we did it with typing so that it reinforced his motor memory for spelling patterns as well as typing patterns. It's not to replace phonics, but for my kids, spelling and phonics seem to run on parallel tracks that don't really overlap often. 

 

I think Sequential Spelling is very easy to use and I am using it right now.  You can see it here.  We have also added SpellingYouSee, which is another easy program, but more like studied dictation.  And there is a British program, The Word Wasp/Hornet, which has been helpful for us.  They also have an American version.  A combination of those three programs has done wonders for my daughter.  

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  • 4 weeks later...

My watch and learn lessons:

http://thephonicspage.org/Phonics Lsns/phonicslsnslinks.html

My interactive lessons, teaching is by video but you need to do some work, the videos make it easy:

http://thephonicspage.org/On Reading/syllablesspellsu.html

Other things I like for older students linked at end, they why of guessing habits first, only relevant if she got sight words or balanced literacy (used in most schools.)

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/building-good-reading-habits-liz-brown/

I would follow on with reading all the 2+ syllable words in Webster's Speller, my interactive lessons teach how to use it.

PDF:

http://donpotter.net/pdf/websterspellingbookmethod.pdf

Book:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1496153278/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1

 

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On 7/7/2022 at 5:30 PM, scbusf said:
The programs I'm looking at are Logic of English Essentials, Pinwheels/Wand by Rooted in Language, or maybe AAR/AAS? Honestly, I'm very overwhelmed looking at these programs. They seem to be a lot of moving parts. I have 2 older kids with various learning issues and I have ADHD myself. So I need easy and scripted, and hopefully something I won't need to take out a second mortgage to pay for!
 

(OOOPS...I did not realize I had already posted on this.   But since I wrote all this and it's more detailed than my last, I thought I'd leave it).

 

My kiddo has ADHD and dyslexia too.

All About Reading is not as hard as it looks.   Just remember you don't have to do a whole lesson every day.  You can break it up in smaller parts.  Eventually we stopped using the tiles much and just had him write everything (but I think we would have kept using them if we could have used the app...our ipad was too old for it).

We also added nonsense words which I HIGHLY suggest.  I think Toe by Toe/Pinwheels incorporates nonsense words and all the rest do not.   But you can add them on the side just by making your own nonsense words based whatever phonics concepts you are going over.   Nonsense words practice is important with later struggling readers because they may have learned a lot of the regular common words that are focused on in these programs by sight.   But they still need the concepts to tackle syllables in longer words (things like "tas" in fantastic). 

Syllables Spell Success has a free list of nonsense words you can practice with (as sometimes making them yourself up can be tricky...you don't want to accidently use a rarer irregular real word, or something like that)...

http://www.thephonicspage.org/On Reading/Resources/Blend Phonics Nonsense Words.pdf
 

You might be interested in their whole program.  It wasn't something we tried as it seemed a little dull for the age level my child was at at the time, and just supplementing with nonsense words was helping a lot without having to change our regular reading program.   But I think for an older kid, this might work well (and it's not babyish at all).

http://www.thephonicspage.org/On Reading/Resources/Blend Phonics Nonsense Words.pdf

You can also use nonsense words to test whether a student needs work on a certain phonics concept.


The CORE phonics survey is a good free test you can give your child that helps sort out which phonics concepts they need.    It's a little easier to understand it AFTER you've taught a phonics program all the way through.   But, if you know another homeschooler who used the same phonics curriculum you used, you can have them look over it and help you figure out what chapters you need to review and which you can skip (be careful though because, for instance, All About Reading/Spelling will cover multiple concepts in one chapter sometimes...for example they might cover some irregular words in the chapter mainly on another topic).  So you will want to make sure to cover those things even if you are skipping the rest of the chapter.

https://bridgettenygard.weebly.com/uploads/2/1/4/2/21421624/core_phonics_surveys_2.pdf

 

 

 

Edited by goldenecho
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