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Dyslexia....

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

Anyone homeschool a child with dyslexia? What programs did you use? What worked best for you?

I am seeking a program outside of school to help my child with reading challenges. The school has declared that he isn't dyslexic but just "behind" because we took a year away from traditional school and homeschooled. Yet after two years back in school and extra after school tutoring he is still struggling to read and write. It doesn't seem as though he is catching up. I'd like to start a program that might help him and might have a different approach than the traditional. Help!

post #2 of 10

I do.

 

My favorite resource is the yahoo group for dyslexia.  Here is the link:

http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/dyslexiasupport2/

 

Susan Barton (creator of the Barton system) has a website too for general dyslexia information.  She also has a newsletter (email) that you can sign up for:  http://www.dys-add.com/

 

I also got great information from

"Reading Reflex"-- not dyslexic specific, but great info about teaching reading.  Also gives parent a plan/method to use.

"Overcoming Dyslexia"

"How the Brain Learns" -- again, not dyslexic specific, but was interesting for me.  There is also one called "How the Brain Learns to Read".  

 

 

Programs:

The most popular at-home reading program for dyslexics is the Barton Reading Program.  It is scripted, the parent can implement it, it is Orton Gillingham influenced, and the first level is all about phonemic awareness skills.  Most people recommend an OG type program for dyslexics.  We have borrowed Barton from a friend, but dd found it 'boring' and we were already progressing steadily with my hodgepodge of a method, so I stopped using Barton.

 

Some people use ABeCeDarian.  This is not OG influenced--it is closer to phono-graphix (similar to what Reading Reflex explains).  There is a great explanation of the similarities/differences in a file on the yahoo group for dyslexics.  

 

I am a bit different in that I kinda make my own thing.  I used Reading Reflex for the phonemic awareness stuff and for the basic code.  Then, we tried ABeCeDarian, but level B was a bit overwhelming at first for my dd and it was tedious.  So, we took a break from reading programs--it seemed like we 'hit a wall'.  During this 'break' I was going back over everything (review style) and I had her read a lot without increasing the difficulty.  We also started All about spelling (AAS) for this time.  AAS is and OG influenced spelling program.  I have been able (with a bit of work) to use it for reading and spelling.  I have her read from the I See Sam readers http://www.3rsplus.com/ for fluency.  I also use other things when I think appropriate to reinforce a concept or just to break up the monotony.  She has even done some ABeCeDarian again.  We have also been doing neuronet therapy.  This isn't specific to dyslexia, but I have noticed quite an improvement in many areas since she started the therapy.  

 

However, don't forget to check for eye issues too--20/20 vision doesn't mean that the child can track correctly.  There are many things to check for, but I don't remember them.  


I hope this helps.  

 

Amy

post #3 of 10

Dyslexia runs in my family and I am pretty sure at least three of my kids have are at least somewhat dyslexic, but nobody has a formal diagnosis. That said, the two who are readers have used classic compensatory strategies for learning. Essentially, they do a lot of looking at context to work out words they don't know and a lot of sight word memory of phonetically spelled words. Although my eldest was at school at the time, the reading instruction that worked was done at home.

 

The kids played a lot of Starfall and other online games that highlighted a single word at a time while they heard it. (Things like Tumblebooks that do a sentence at a time were not useful.) There are some excellent pages in the printable Starfall worksheets that involve putting words into forms that show how many letters are in the word and which letters go above the midline or below the baseline. They really help dyslexic kids find the shape of whole words.

 

Focus on the words with meanings that are easy to visualize. Work on the in-between words later. We did a lot of work where I asked them to pick out the names in a story (visually distinct because of the capital letters).  DS3 definitely learns capitalized words separately from the same word not capitalized.  If he doesn't recognize a capitalized word, I tell him to imagine it with a lowercase at the beginning and he can often make the connection.

Look for what the publishers call hi-low materials (they are designed for older, struggling readers).

 

Listening to audio books while following along was crucial to building a big enough vocabulary for independent reading. 

 

A technique that I have been told about but haven't used is to teach word families (sat, cat, bat, mat, etc.) and have the student highlight the common element ('at') in each word to build a picture of the commonality.

 

Good luck.

post #4 of 10

I forgot to ask: what grade is he in now?  How did the school rule out dyslexia?  What methods of reading instruction are they using?  Is he reading at all?  If so, what does he do if he sees an unfamiliar word?  Does he just guess or does he try to sound it out?  

 

Clearly, if what they are currently doing/using isn't working, it would be a good idea to try something else.  Also, lots of schools won't diagnose "dyslexia", instead they say someone has a "specific learning disability in reading".  

 

Amy

post #5 of 10

I started using Spell to Write and Read with my 9yo in January. Test results showed a "severe reading disability," but dyslexia is a medical diagnosis and the tester was a PhD., not an M.D., so was not able to diagnose dyslexia specifically. At that point he was reading at a >1st grade level, but with SWR and consistently requiring him to read aloud to me, he is now almost at grade-level! SWR is very parent-intensive, but it has worked for us. He still doesn't enjoy reading and often needs me to read back to him what he read so that he can focus on content, but I'm amazed at how far he has come in just six months.

post #6 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by TwinMom View Post

I started using Spell to Write and Read with my 9yo in January. Test results showed a "severe reading disability," but dyslexia is a medical diagnosis and the tester was a PhD., not an M.D., so was not able to diagnose dyslexia specifically. At that point he was reading at a >1st grade level, but with SWR and consistently requiring him to read aloud to me, he is now almost at grade-level! SWR is very parent-intensive, but it has worked for us. He still doesn't enjoy reading and often needs me to read back to him what he read so that he can focus on content, but I'm amazed at how far he has come in just six months.


I've hear good things about this program too.  I am happy that it is working so well for your 9yo!

 

post #7 of 10

Thanks, AAK! It has been a difficult road and he still has a loooong way to go, but it is progress. I am positive that if he were in school he would not be able to function in a typical 4th-grade classroom. He is SO smart but his working memory is almost nil. I'm so grateful that we are able to homeschool, otherwise I am sure his loving, confident spirit would be crushed. It makes me want to cry for all the children like him who could be successful if they were able to be taught and to learn in the way that their brains work, not the way an institution chooses.

 

OP, I hope you find something that helps your child. From what I have read, consistent reading aloud, even if it is the only auxiliary activity to regular education, is the best thing to do. Keep us updated! If you find something excellent, I'd love to hear about it.

post #8 of 10

Our son had the visual parts of dyslexia and none of the sound-related parts.  He needed vision therapy with a COVD optometrist, including the parts for visual processing (which not all COVD optometrists do).  He spent about 6 months on eye teaming therapy and about 6 months on therapy for three very specific visual processing issues.  It made a HUGE difference.  It was a lot of work and expensive but exactly what he needed.    For kids with problems with the sound-related parts of reading there are similar therapeutic approaches for auditory processing and speech/language issues.  For handwriting help I used a program called First Strokes.  He needed some real help with reversals and remembering the steps to make each letter.  I did not like HWOT at all and found this instead.  It was affordable, easy to use and very helpful.


Edited by PGTlatte - 6/18/11 at 8:36am
post #9 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by TwinMom View Post

Thanks, AAK! It has been a difficult road and he still has a loooong way to go, but it is progress. I am positive that if he were in school he would not be able to function in a typical 4th-grade classroom. He is SO smart but his working memory is almost nil. I'm so grateful that we are able to homeschool, otherwise I am sure his loving, confident spirit would be crushed. It makes me want to cry for all the children like him who could be successful if they were able to be taught and to learn in the way that their brains work, not the way an institution chooses.

 

OP, I hope you find something that helps your child. From what I have read, consistent reading aloud, even if it is the only auxiliary activity to regular education, is the best thing to do. Keep us updated! If you find something excellent, I'd love to hear about it.



You're welcome.  

 

I agree with your whole post, but especially the bolded.  My dd was in a ps and things weren't going well.  We pulled her out mid 1st grade.  Within 2 weeks here stomach problems left.  Within 6 months her confidence was getting stronger and now--well she thinks that she is super smart and wonderful (which of course, she is!)  It breaks my heart when I think about what could have happened if I wasn't able to pull her out and find things that work for her.  

 

Also, laundrycrisis, thank you for telling OP about the vision therapy.  I know lot of dyslexic people that were helped with vision therapy.  At the same time, some kids need vision therapy as well as other therapies.  While lots of people want to make dyslexia out to be a "one size fits all" thing, each kid is so different, and so is how dyslexia affects them.  That is why I love that yahoo group so much.  I hear about what is working for all sorts of people, filter through the info, and then decide what I think will be the next step for us. 

 

OP, I really hope you come back to give us an update!

 

Amy

post #10 of 10


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by AAK View Post

 While lots of people want to make dyslexia out to be a "one size fits all" thing, each kid is so different, and so is how dyslexia affects them. 



ITA.  I was very frustrated looking for help for our son because almost every approach I found was focused on helping dyslexic students by solving a phonics-related problem that our son didn't have.   So then I ended up learning about the different subtypes of dyslexia and found that there are different types of problems at the root and a person may have only one, all of them, or any combination of them.  I decided to focus on the therapies and teaching approaches for the specific issues our son had instead of on the dyslexia label.  This helped him get unstuck.  All the intensive phonics in the world would not have got him reading.  IMO it's really important to get the testing done to find out what the specific issues are and then address that child's unique set of challenges.

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