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#1 of 12 Old 03-10-2011, 10:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Can someone please give me some info on dyslexia? I have to admit I know next to nothing about it and need to do some serious research so I came here for links, direction, or something. I wonder about dd though. She is very smart and does really well with some things but some of the things this child does just boggle me. Like I can write say letters A-F on a piece of paper and have her rewrite the letters beneath mine and even looking at them she will write some backwards. From what little I know that's a sign of dyslexia. I just really want to learn more about it so I can try to figure out if she is and how to help her. She does well learning but some little things like this seem to hinder some things and it's got me lost. I currently home school her but am considering putting her in public school in the future and want to be prepared in case.


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#2 of 12 Old 03-11-2011, 06:40 AM
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How old is your dd?  My dd is dyslexic; we homeschool her specifically because the school was useless in helping with this.  Here is a link to help you get started. 

http://www.brightsolutions.us/

 

I also really like the yahoo group:   http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/dyslexiasupport2/

 

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#3 of 12 Old 03-11-2011, 09:35 AM
 
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Our son had many symptoms that fit dyslexia and dysgraphia.  I read a lot of different perspectives on dyslexia and I came to my own conclusions that the term itself is a catchall for a collection of symptoms (I know that some experts would disagree with me but I disagree with them.)   Dyslexia can have contributing factors that are eye teaming problems, visual processing problems, auditory processing problems, or even central language problems.  Our son's issues were all in the eye teaming/visual processing area.  A year of vision therapy with a COVD developmental optometrist who also addressed visual processing issues made it possible for him to finally learn to read.  He has also spent a year of weekly sessions with an Orton-Gillingham method trained tutor, but since he never had an issues with phonics, and that approach leans toward those with phonics/auditory difficulties, she had to change her approach for him.  I am incredibly glad I did not just accept the idea that a someone who is "born dyslexic will die dyslexic" and can only learn to adapt.  We continue to work on visual memory and visual motor issues at home and I am using a therapeutic handwriting program that is used by OTs who treat dysgraphia (First Strokes).  He is reading almost at grade level now and catching up quickly in writing.  My advice would be to digest as many different viewpoints of dyslexia as you can and then decide how to find the help you need to address the individual issues that combine to create "dyslexia".


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#4 of 12 Old 03-11-2011, 09:59 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by laundrycrisis View Post

I read a lot of different perspectives on dyslexia and I came to my own conclusions that the term itself is a catchall for a collection of symptoms



Yes, that's also what I've concluded based on my reading.  Some people describe dyslexia as if it were a specific condition, but I think more experts would say that it's not.  One common definition is that it's just difficulty in reading that can't be explained by anything else (such as vision problems or poor instruction.)  There seem to be multiple underlying causes, and they don't all involve difficulty understanding phonics. 

 

How old is your DD?  If she's still young, I don't know that you need to worry too much about writing letters backwards.  I'd pay more attention to how well she's understanding letter-sound relationships and learning to sound out words.  Does she read at all yet?  (If she understands phonics well, but has problems with fluency, I could give you some links to info that was helpful to me.)

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#5 of 12 Old 03-11-2011, 11:37 AM
 
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I would suggest talking to a speech-language pathologist.  My cousin is working on her Master's in this field and she recently conducted an online survey about dyslexia for a class.  She just sent out some of the answers to some of the questions, and the information was interesting.  I don't feel right copying and pasting all of her email, but, as an example, here's a bit (and feel free to PM me if you want the rest of the information contained in her email):

Many children will present with
behaviors such as transposing letters in spelling. However, this is
merely a symptom of the larger issue of grapheme-phoneme conversion.
In addition, children with dyslexia generally stop transposing letters
after the age of about seven.

There is more than one type of dyslexia. TRUE -Subtypes are
"phonological" dyslexia (difficulty with grapheme-phoneme) and
"surface" dyslexia (difficulty with whole words, but they're still not
very good at grapheme-phoneme either); however, dozens more have been
proposed. Current research is grappling with the wide variability and
unclear criteria for the definition of dyslexia and its subtypes.

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#6 of 12 Old 03-11-2011, 12:23 PM
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I agree that it is used often as a catch-all phrase.  However, when you look at the neurological research that has come about since MRIs etc. they have found "dyslexic" brains to be physically different.  They have noticed two specific things (that I can remember).  The first is that a specific area of the brain is larger in non-dyslexics.  This area is said to be responsible for the reading becoming automatic.  They also show that "good readers" all use the same areas of the brain when reading (even when reading nonsense words) and that the "poor readers" didn't use those areas.  They were more 'all over the place'.  The second thing they have found is that in a "dyslexic" person, the right and left hemispheres are of equal size.  In a non-dyslexic person, the left side is larger.  The dyslexic person's left isn't smaller--but their right is larger.  So, I do think that the research is starting to isolate the term more and more.

 

I think that there are MANY things that can contribute to reading difficulties.  It is easy to jump to the term "dyslexia".  I think that many kids have vision, auditory, or other difficulties that contribute to reading problems.  But, that doesn't mean that they are "dyslexic".  Before spending $$$$ on an OG tutor/program, I would want to check out other possibilities.  It may be a combination of factors too.  However, the OG programs do focus on phonological remediation first and then explicitly teach reading step by step.

 

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#7 of 12 Old 03-11-2011, 02:51 PM
 
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Here are a few links to sites that were helpful to me:

 

http://www.childrensvision.com/dyslexia.htm

 

http://dyslexia.learninginfo.org/dyseidetic.htm

 

http://www.dyslexia.com/library/information.htm#Dysphonetic

 

http://www.childrensvision.com/

 

 

Since DS's problems were all related to eye teaming and visual processing, and did not have any auditory processing or phonemic awareness problems, most of these links are about the visual issues.

 

A child who is frequently transposing two letters of blends - I would think possible auditory/phonemic issue.  A child who is confusing the letters they see (not the sounds), writing letters in mirror image, writing words in mirror image, or spelling backwards, I would be thinking possible visual processing issue.

 

 

 


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#8 of 12 Old 03-11-2011, 03:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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DD is young (5 will be 6 in Aug). I am not too concerned with the idea of seeing specialists or getting involved in all that yet so much as trying to find ways to help her learn better and see what we can do at home to help her. Since she is so young I just want to see how things go at this point and see if it corrects itself maybe just that she hasn't learned it yet? or if there is a larger problem. I noticed the backwards letters and such when she started trying to learn (it's not just letters she'll write numbers backwards as well). I thought at first it was just trying to get handwriting down and maybe not remembering which was which when she would write them on her own. She's been learning how to write letters and numbers for a while now though and it's the writing letters and numbers backwards when she's looking at them that throws me off. I don't understand that. That is why I was wondering more about dyslexia and if that could possibly be the issue. She's a very bright child and I think we could work on it together and help her learn to over come it if I knew a little more about it and could learn to work with her issues. I would like the links for fluency with phonics. That could be a help to getting her to learn more. We're still working on phonics and she is learning sight words. She seems to be doing well so far. It may be nothing more than we need more time on the stuff for now but I am just confused at the writing letters and numbers backwards when she's looking at them.


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#9 of 12 Old 03-11-2011, 03:42 PM
 
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Reversals when writing are pretty common when a child is first learning to write.   It is more concerning if they are also mixing up mirror-image letters when they read, because they really can't tell the letters apart from each other.

 

Rainbow Resource carries an inexpensive reproducible workbook called "correcting reversals" that might help.  The First Strokes program has also helped our DS with reversals in writing, because it focuses on the "first stroke" a letter starts with, and puts the letters in groups according to their first stroke.  When DS has to remember that d begins with a counter-clockwise circle, and b begins with a tall line down, his hand remembers how to make the rest of the letter and he is much less likely to mix them up.


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#10 of 12 Old 03-11-2011, 04:14 PM
 
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At that age I think reversing letters, even if she can see a correct example, is totally normal.  I would just give her more chances to practice and not worry about it.  The information I mentioned could be helpful if you knew she understood phonics quite well, and she had been working on reading long enough that you would expect her to be becoming fluent, but she was still having trouble reading words quickly.  It sounds like you're not quite at that point yet.  She's so young that it would be unusual if she were already a fluent reader.  Can she read simple words with no context - like if you wrote "big cat" on a piece of paper and didn't give her any clues about what it said, could she read it?  Can she use her phonics knowledge to read nonsense words like "sim" or "wug?"  If she can do those things easily, I wouldn't worry at all.  If she can't do it because she hasn't yet learned enough about phonics, I wouldn't worry, unless maybe you've been trying to teach phonics for a long time, and she seems to be trying to learn but just isn't getting it.  If she's known letter sounds and how to sound out a word for a long time, but still reads things like that only very slowly, I wouldn't start worrying quite yet, but I might if she hadn't progressed much over the next 6 months or a year.

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#11 of 12 Old 03-11-2011, 05:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Okay thanks so much! It is encouraging to know that this is common for early learners. Like I said I wasn't ready to do anything major yet just was wondering about it and how to help her learn more before deciding if we have an issue. I will check on the First Strokes since it sounds like that might be just the thing to help her improve on her handwriting and memory with the letters. We're still in the early phases of phonics and reading readiness so I'm trying to get a better assessment of her knowledge level there. She seems to be doing well though so I'll just keep working with her and helping her learn. We are really in the early phases with that still but she has learned some sight words and knows them right off hand (little and am as an example). She is gradually learning phonics - so far I've mostly worked on this with just certain 'core words' and adding letters like 'at' as a sight word and learning phonics sounds by making the words cat, rat, sat, etc. She seems to be doing well. I just was confused by the writing letters backwards and would rather an early intervention if there was a problem to help her learn correctly from the beginning if that makes sense. Being my first school age kid I wasn't sure what 'normal' was I guess and I've always heard that writing letters/numbers backwards could be a sign of dyslexia so I wanted to find out more about how to help her learn and if we had an issue.

 


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#12 of 12 Old 03-12-2011, 12:35 PM
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Quote:

 

A child who is frequently transposing two letters of blends - I would think possible auditory/phonemic issue.  A child who is confusing the letters they see (not the sounds), writing letters in mirror image, writing words in mirror image, or spelling backwards, I would be thinking possible visual processing issue.

 

 

 



Or, directionality issues.  DD still reverses some letters, numbers, and will sound out words backwards or switch two letters when sounding out.  We were able to rule out visual processing--though I really thought that she would have some.  But reversals when writing and b/d confusion are common until end of 1st grade.

 

At your child's ages, look at the phonemic awareness rather than the formation of letters.  It sounds like your child is doing fine.  When you do work with things like your example of cat, rat, sat, etc. make sure your child understands which sound is first, middle, and last.  Ask which sound you change to turn cat into rat.  

 

Amy


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