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#1 of 12 Old 11-28-2010, 04:02 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I have a feeling that my 9 year old ds might be dyslexic. I am wondering if anyone here might be able to give me some advice. Thanks.


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#2 of 12 Old 11-29-2010, 05:26 AM
 
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I'm not sure I have advice, but I have a homeschooled DD who has some reading difficulties, so I've been doing some reading about dyslexia and about strategies for increasing fluency.  What makes you think your DS might be dyslexic?  What kinds of problems is he having?

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#3 of 12 Old 11-29-2010, 09:16 PM
 
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My dh is dyslexic, and we thought for sure ds was dyslexic, but it turns out that he has a variety of other issues that affect learning: SPD, dyspraxia, visual processing issues and expressive language disorder. We sought a complete evaluation from a well-regarded neuropsychologist in order to get this level of highly detailed information, and I am sooo thankful that we did. We are now able to implement therapies that specifically address his issues, and they are helping him dramatically. I'm not sure that would have been the case had we assumed that he was dyslexic like his father and simply pursued the instructional approaches that help dyslexic students. 

 

So I guess my advice is, if you suspect that your child is dyslexic, don't attempt to simply read the websites that describe the "warning signs" or whatever. Go get a full evaluation, preferably from a neuropsychologist or an educational psychologist. There are a myriad of learning issues that seem an awful like dyslexia, but are totally different (vision processing comes to mind). Once you know what you are dealing with, you can make informed decisions about treatment, remediation, instructional approaches, etc. 

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#4 of 12 Old 12-01-2010, 08:50 PM
 
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Kelly, I just wanted to pop in and say thanks for such a helpful post smile.gif

I have retired from administration work, so if you have a question about anything MDC-related, please contact Cynthia Mosher. Thanks!
 
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#5 of 12 Old 12-02-2010, 07:57 PM
 
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orngbiggrin.gif Thanks! That made my day!


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#6 of 12 Old 12-03-2010, 07:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yllek View Post
 

So I guess my advice is, if you suspect that your child is dyslexic, don't attempt to simply read the websites that describe the "warning signs" or whatever. Go get a full evaluation, preferably from a neuropsychologist or an educational psychologist. There are a myriad of learning issues that seem an awful like dyslexia, but are totally different (vision processing comes to mind). Once you know what you are dealing with, you can make informed decisions about treatment, remediation, instructional approaches, etc. 



I agree to get the full evaluation if you can afford it.  In the meantime though, I have found lots of help/info at the yahoo group for dyslexia support.  Also, the book "reading reflex" is great as is the book "overcoming dyslexia".  When I began to suspect dyslexia, I figured that it couldn't hurt to switch to a teaching method that was helpful for dyslexics.  While you are waiting for the evaluation, you may wish to do that as well.  

 

If your child is specifically just "not reading" yet, these programs can help any late reader--not just dyslexic ones.  So, it doesn't hurt to try. At the back of the reading reflex book, there is an "eval" for the parents to give their child.  This helps pinpoint which individual skills they are lacking.  I would start there. 

 

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#7 of 12 Old 12-03-2010, 11:33 AM
 
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I'm not sure I can offer advice because I am in the middle of this right now.  I can share some of my experience.

 

I don't know what to think about dyslexia anymore - our son has over 90% of the symptoms, including pretty severe difficulties with sequencing and memorization - came back to add, also right/left issues - , and the description for "dyseidetic dyslexia" matches him perfectly.  He has not been tested for dyslexia - he is under the care of a developmental optometrist (originally for amblyopia, convergence, and tracking issues), and while they do not test for dyslexia, they do test for visual processing issues.  His vision therapy has included work specifically for the three problems areas in visual processing that showed up on his testing (visual closure, form constancy, and visual sequential memory).  The improvements I have seen over the last year are really amazing - I have seen the vision therapy bring about some really huge improvements for him, including the visual processing areas they worked on.    Most of the dyslexia websites and books seem to either suggest, or in some cases, insist, that vision therapy "does not work" for dyslexia.  So, I am left thinking either he is not really dyslexic, or he is dyslexic but has also had other issues which have been helped by vision therapy, or, that some of these dyslexia "experts" either do not include visual processing problems in their definition of dyslexia, or do not really understand how vision therapy can help with visual processing problems. 

 

I am not done figuring out how to help him yet and I know it will be an ongoing process.  He has almost finished vision therapy, so they have done what they can for him.  They have taught me some things to do to continue to help him with visual memory and sequencing, and I plan to work hard on those for a while.  He sees a reading tutor once a week who is helping him a lot.  He seems to have some dysgraphia symptoms as well, so I just ordered a handwriting program that is used by occupational therapists, and I am going to take him through it at home.   If intensive home work for visual memory and sequencing and the handwriting program don't seem to be helping enough, I will have more testing done and get more professional assistance for these areas.  He is also learning to type, and the online spelling program he uses is much easier for him now with the typing strokes being practiced at the same time.  It's like the typing gives him a kinesthetic/motor connection to the spelling that he couldn't achieve before. 

 

I have a few thoughts that might work as "advice".  I would not take the advice of any one "expert" or approach and exclude others.   I've cast a wide net - I have done a lot of reading about learning reading, spelling, and writing, and I have spent time in groups and message boards, and looked a lot of things up.   I have found pieces here and there that have helped me figure out what works for him.  I've thought a lot about the process of learning how to read and broken it down in my own mind, and figured out exactly where our son got hung up, and then I've sought help for his specific problems. 

 

I also decided not to get myself stuck on a definition that seems to change from one expert to another.  Instead I'm looking at each of his individual challenges and tackling them one at a time.  His vision therapist taught me this.  This way I am not overwhelmed by the big picture. 

 

Any area that you find is a concern, I would look at a wide variety of choices for how to approach it.  I do not think there is one right way.  A dyslexia expert may tell you not to bother with vision therapy, but I really do believe based on our experience that for certain specific issues, therapy under a COVD optometrist can be a huge help.  But I'm sure there are other areas that vision therapy can't help at all.  I am not sure there is anyone out there who can tell you everything that may be helpful - I have heard of therapy for visual processing, auditory processing, educational kinesiology, intensive phonics-based programs, and systems that basically teach people to "adapt" to dyslexia.  I don't know how it all fits together, but I do believe it helps to consult a lot of different sources and see what ends up being the most helpful for your child.

 

Another aspect of all this I am dealing with is that I really can't compare our son's academic progress to his age peers or to grade-level curriculum programs.  He is on his own course, learning things in his own time, and it looks a lot different than what is typical.  I cannot read books like "What Your X Grader Should Know" or "Home Learning Year by Year".  It upsetting and overwhelming if I do.  Instead I need to focus on what skills he has acquired, and what is next, and how I can help him take the next step.  I can't think too much about what typical progress looks like or what other kids we know are doing.  I go out of my way to avoid these types of conversations with other homeschoolers.  I am doing everything I can for him, every day, and he is making progress, and that is where my focus needs to be, so I do my best to avoid comparing his learning to anyone else's learning. 

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#8 of 12 Old 12-03-2010, 07:49 PM
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Also wanted to add that we are currently doing neuronet therapy with our dd.  I don't know "why" this seems to be helping, but I really do feel it is making a big difference in her processing skills and more.  Like the pp mentioned, this is more of a "journey" rather than a "hey, dd is/has ____, do xyz to fix it".  But the board I mentioned before has been very helpful because you get to see/hear what other people have tried and how it works (or doesn't) for them.  Many children do seem to have a "collection" of things that contribute to difficulty learning to read.  It seems like I have a mental checklist that I keep going down.  Auditory issues (checked out--not part of the problem), vision (she does have vision issues since she sees out of only one eye, but alas the vision therapist has cleared her as far as issues that would affect monocular vision people), IQ (normal range), etc etc etc.

 

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#9 of 12 Old 12-03-2010, 11:27 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by laundrycrisis View Post

 

 

I have a few thoughts that might work as "advice".  I would not take the advice of any one "expert" or approach and exclude others.   I've cast a wide net - I have done a lot of reading about learning reading, spelling, and writing, and I have spent time in groups and message boards, and looked a lot of things up.   I have found pieces here and there that have helped me figure out what works for him.  I've thought a lot about the process of learning how to read and broken it down in my own mind, and figured out exactly where our son got hung up, and then I've sought help for his specific problems. 

 

I also decided not to get myself stuck on a definition that seems to change from one expert to another.  Instead I'm looking at each of his individual challenges and tackling them one at a time.  His vision therapist taught me this.  This way I am not overwhelmed by the big picture. 

 

Any area that you find is a concern, I would look at a wide variety of choices for how to approach it.  I do not think there is one right way. 

 

I am doing everything I can for him, every day, and he is making progress, and that is where my focus needs to be, so I do my best to avoid comparing his learning to anyone else's learning. 



Laundrycrisis, I am so glad that you joined this thread, because what you wrote up there is golden! It's so important to keep this in mind as we work with our unique LD kids. 

 

[edited to add...]

Not sure what happened to the rest of the post I wrote. I wanted to write that the neuropsych eval helped us figure out the wide spectrum of specific issues that ds was dealing with. And because our neuropsych didn't have a specific therapeutic approach he was "selling," he helped us see how all the pieces fit together, you know? The therapists gave us more insight into the specific ways to deal with his vision, his expressive language, his SPD and motor planning, etc. 

 

I'm in total agreement with laundrycrisis. There is no one right way. In ds's case, there are a bunch of overlapping issues. Right now it looks to me as though they are all related to cerebellar functioning, but for all practical purposes, they need to be addressed separately. 

 


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#10 of 12 Old 12-05-2010, 08:13 PM
 
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My daughter (age 2) has a speech delay. This COULD be a sigm of dyslexia, or not. I am getting educated now.

 

I recently spoke to a reading specialist. She is one of the authors of the Woodcock Johnson evaluation test. I understand it is pretty much THE assessment test.

 

She told me that we should seek assistance if we feel our daughter is not learning what most kids her age are learning.

 

She also advised we NOT get her evaluated. She said to save the money. Instead, just get her hooked up with a reading specialist. They will cater their interventions to her clinical needs regardless of a diagnosis, so this way we would save a lot of money that we could apply to her services.


Created an instant family (7/89 and 5/91) in 1997. Made a baby boy 12/05 adopted a baby girl 8/08. Ask me about tandem adoptive nursing. Now living as gluten, dairy, cane sugar, and tomato free vegetarians. Homeschooling and loving it.

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#11 of 12 Old 12-06-2010, 05:22 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SundayCrepes View Post

 

She also advised we NOT get her evaluated. She said to save the money. Instead, just get her hooked up with a reading specialist. They will cater their interventions to her clinical needs regardless of a diagnosis, so this way we would save a lot of money that we could apply to her services.


I am glad you posted that...it's pretty much what I'm doing.  He sees a tutor who only tutors in reading, spelling, and writing, and she does it privately, not through any center, program, or school system.  She has some training for an approach that is often used for dyslexic people, and many years of experience tutoring in this area.  She is very flexible.  She notices what he struggles with, and she also listens to me describe trouble he is having with his work at home, and adapts what she plans for him to give him the specific help he needs.  I have thought about having him evaluated but I haven't done it because I can't think of how the diagnosis would be helpful, since we aren't looking for any services from the school system or any sort of center that requires a diagnosis.  I feel that I'm already pretty aware of what his issues are because of all the testing and work we've done for vision therapy, and I would rather spend our money on things that help him instead of more testing.


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#12 of 12 Old 12-26-2010, 12:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
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A huge thanks to all of you!!


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