Can dyslexics ever learn to read well?

(30 Posts)
myDSisdyslexic Mon 11-May-15 19:06:47

Name change. DS2 is "mildly dyslexic" it effects his reading and spelling. Up until now (he's 17) he's winged it (his IQ has been formally tested as higher than 140)and done very well, A* in IGCSE etc but now he has to do more reading he's really struggling because he has to read slowly every sentence 7-8 time to even try to understand it. He's had quite a lot of help from school, been shown various techniques to try and speed up and improve his comprehension but to no avail.
Does anyone have any suggestions. He's becoming increasingly demoralised.

Lonecatwithkitten Mon 11-May-15 20:10:40

Practice does make perfect. I'm dyslexic and now only gave slightly lower than average reading speed and am doing my post graduate diploma. DD dyslexic always had an above average reading age, she is very slow to write though, but getting better.

myDSisdyslexic Mon 11-May-15 20:13:44

It's the comprehension I think that's the real problem he's now reading quite academic texts and has to keep rereading the same sentence repeatedly it all becomes such a time consuming effort for him

smee Tue 12-May-15 11:50:12

It's worth asking him what he sees when he looks at a page of text. So do the words stay still or move or blur? Normal eye tests don't pick up it, but my son has this problem. So when he looks at a page of text and focusses the words distort horribly, so he can't read properly. He had to re-read and then lost his place/ couldn't remember what he was reading, etc. He now wears tinted glasses which stop the distortion. It's made a huge difference to him, so it's definitely worth asking your son in case he's similar.

mrz Tue 12-May-15 19:33:55

Many children/adults with a diagnosis read fluently with no difficulties.

mrz Tue 12-May-15 19:35:11

Sorry not helpful

agoodbook Tue 12-May-15 19:46:13

School may already have done this, but have they checked with coloured filters?

DaisyStarLight Tue 12-May-15 19:51:08

There are 7 different types of dyslexia. Some people see halos around words, some see the words move or run together. As Smee suggests try different colours to help with this. Amazon sell a pack of 12 different coloured reading rulers that you put over the text to help read more clearly.

Secondly I'm dyslexic and when I read I stop seeing the words and only see what's happening in the story the way I remember books is the same as I do a film I have watched. When reading technical reference books about theories its a lot harder to read for me as its not easy to visulise. This makes reading and understanding text books a lot harder.

There is also more use of unknown words that need to be decoded and learned so it takes longer. Would it help if you could read out loud the text book or get an audio cope of them?

What helped me was high lighters and mind mapping (drawing ideas to help me remember them or colour codeing them).

His university should have a dyslexic support officer that could help with finding what works best for him.

But it is going to be hard but well worth the effort. I hope he finds something that works for him. Good luck xx

morethanpotatoprints Tue 12-May-15 20:00:58

Yes, Yes and Yes. You need lots of perseverance though and it may not happen until the child is much older.
I taught myself to read and write mostly as school couldn't help.
I even managed lots of Uni courses inc degree and masters.
They wrote me off at 5 and told my parents to not expect much sad
it took until my early 30's but got there eventually.
My reading on the test was half the speed of the average adult. I just used to think others read really fast.
Typing has been a nightmare and i still use a couple of fingers but am much quicker these days grin
please tell him he is doing fine and it doesn't matter. I found the more pressure the less well I did.
Make sure he gets support at college or uni, I didn't at first and it was really hard.

dementedma Tue 12-May-15 20:02:31

Yes. Dyslexic dd is now at uni and doing ok. She uses mindmaps a lot to help with comprehension and has to work at it but she's doing fine.

kesstrel Tue 12-May-15 21:01:57

Is his phonetic decoding ok? If not, I've read accounts of young people his age benefiting enormously from phonics tutoring.

myDSisdyslexic Tue 12-May-15 22:31:01

He tells me he reads every word, very carefully, if he leaves a word out he loses the thread of a sentence. He's perfectly able to recognise words, he could read a whole page of random words but it's when they're in a sentence that he struggles to comprehend what they mean. I frequently do typos in emails to him and even though to me it's obvious what I'm saying, an incorrect word for him then means the sentence completely looses it's meaning because he's unable to replace the wrong word with correct word in his head, a spelling error has the same effect. So for example if I'd said work instead of word in the last sentence he wouldn't understand what on earth I was saying. Does that make sense? He was taught to read phonetically but doesn't find it helps at all. He then taught himself whole word recognition.
Weirdly he's excellent at languages he learnt three for IGCSEs and got A*'s in all of them with no work at all.
We are looking at getting a text to speech app anyone recommend one?

DaisyStarLight Wed 13-May-15 02:14:50

Has he been assets by an educational phycologist? They should have assessed him and produced a 40 page in depth report of your ds condition and picked this out as a problem and how your son compensate for it. They may suggest the audio book. If you read the paragraph out but replace a word would he still not understand the meaning? Is it the same verbally as written work?

I was told not to read or write if it caused more stress, so tape recorder for lessons instead of notes, ask for a audio text book and recorded your own audio notes and have someone write the answers for you in exams as its the information and knowledge that is important to understand the subject.

MooseBeTimeForSpring Wed 13-May-15 04:22:24

My DH is severely dyslexic. He did very well at A Level. In later years he started an OU degree. He got a formal assessment done and was then offered no end of assistance - free laptop, text to talk programs, dictaphone, extra time in exams etc

ThumbWitchesAbroad Wed 13-May-15 04:26:12

To be fair to him, I'm not dyslexic but when I was doing my science degrees, I'd have similar problems with some textbooks, notably biochemistry! I'd read the sentence but lose the thread of what was being said halfway through and then have to go back and re-read it a few times to try and make sense of it.

Some textbooks are really very difficult to deal with, even if you can read fluently.

I know that's not giving strategies, but it might help his morale if he knows that it's not necessarily because of his dyslexia.

eastendfareast Wed 13-May-15 04:35:29

Has he had his visual tracking checked? My son is a slow reader as his eyes don't work as a teamand jump around the page/split words up. This affects his working memory tremendously. A behavioural optomotrist can check this and give exercises to train and strengthen his eyes.

sashh Wed 13-May-15 05:59:20

Recommendation for software - my study bar - it is free and has overlays and mind mapping software, if he likes it there are other more expensive options. Has he tried transposing sentences in his head? Putting things into his own words?

starsandunicorns Wed 13-May-15 06:33:26

Im dislexic and very visual when reading text when i did my degree as a adult i worked around the techical words i would place them on a sheet of paper put a shape eg a triangle around this helped in exams as i could picture the shape to rember the info jumping to new paragrahs is still a struggle though i used a blue sheet it stop the white glam of paper otherwise words bounce around and seem to wander off the page or dissapear alogether

myDSisdyslexic Wed 13-May-15 06:36:07

We have a very extensive ed psych report very old now done when he was about 9 yrs old, he gets extra time in all exams and uses a lap top. Frankly up until now it's not really been a problem his grades have always been excellent lowest IGCSE was an A for English which was predicted. He has also read and understood quite complicated fiction books in the past including early English, Shakespeare Russian authors etc with little difficulty although he believes slower than his peers.
I think Thumb has a point some text books are difficult, in fiction you can often guess the plot and what's coming next you can't do this with text books.
east his working memory is only average in comparison with his very high IQ I will get a behavioural optometrist to test him thank you for the suggestion.
Daisy orally he would understand a sentence if I used the wrong word he can replace it in his head with the right one, he's very articulate, we've looked into audiobooks and some are available in his chosen subject but not many so now were looking at text to speech translation for him.
Thanks sashh we'll look into that programme you suggested,
Thank you all for you suggestions in put keep it coming.

summerends Wed 13-May-15 07:23:50

MyDS it is true that a step in the difficulty of academic texts and getting used to that may be not a small part of his frustration. I would even say that somebody who is reading these fluently is probably being too superficial. You will find a number of high level academics who read each sentence in these sorts of texts a few times, even with their background of tackling them and being familiar with the vocabulary.
What about if he records himself saying the sentences, dividing into sentences bits as necessary? He may then find it easier to understand.

summerends Wed 13-May-15 07:33:16

I would also add that people with very high IQs may get more frustrated when something is n't easy because they have n't had to get used to surmounting intellectual difficulties. It will be actually useful to him to learn to work through something with more effort than he is used to.

Redhead11 Wed 13-May-15 07:49:47

DD2 is fairly severely dyslexic and she finds electronic text easier to manage - id on computer or kindle. She was tested by an optician for coloured glasses and needs to be checked regularly, as the colour you require can change. Tinted overlays can help, but we found the tinted glasses to be better, as her colour is, at the moment, a mixture of two. The difference between her reading speed before and after the glasses was astounding. She is now at university doing a joint degree in history and politics. the university have been incredibly helpful with providing software that reads her notes back to her, or reads the books aloud. There are a lot of options out there. Good luck to your son and i hope he does at university.

Mitzi50 Wed 13-May-15 07:58:52

He needs to get an up to date assessment and may possibly qualify for DSA. His university will be able to help with this. My DD got speech recognition software and equipment to record lectures and seminars as she struggles to keep up with note taking. She reads relatively slowly so is allowed to keep books out of the library for longer (eg can keep a 4 hour loan book for 24 hours) and has longer in exams. She also has tracking problems (co-occurring with her dyslexia) and has any continuous text passages in exams in a larger font which she finds really helpful.

I agree with what others say about academic texts often needing re-reading but would add that, if he never got phonics as you mentioned up thread, he will be struggling as he doesn't have the strategies to decode the new unfamiliar technical language that he will come across in these papers.

myDSisdyslexic Wed 13-May-15 08:17:00

He's had endless lessons on phonics starting at infant school through prep and even at senior school he just doesn't get it. He doesn't understand concepts like soft EEs or long Os, neither do a I by the way and was taught a special phonics based reading skills in the late 60's early 70's. But my reading in contrast is excellent and incredibly fast but I use no phonics but word recognition. I'm an avid reader and I guess practice makes perfect. I frequently mispronounce verbally and in my head unusual/rare/technical words that I read but ultimately it doesn't matter I still recognise them and I know what the mean.
I think your Mitz right in academic texts he doesn't recognise the words we will get an up to date assessment.
Summer you're right he's never had to work hard he's always winged everything (his friends and teachers complained that he did nothing for his IGCSE') and now it's all a bit of a shock.
Redhead it's interesting what you said about electronic text although many text books are available that way and the tinted overlay I've googled behavioural optometrists found a local one and am going to get his eyes tested.

NotCitrus Wed 13-May-15 08:19:54

MrNC is severely dyslexic and it became clear that while most students preferred reading reviews of literature and only going to primary sources if really necessary, he was the other way round - would slowly chunk through a paper sentence by sentence, because his figuring-out speed was the same as his sentence-comprehension speed, but reviews and secondary sources were equally hard for him.

I suspect your ds may be similar and its the same leap all students have in moving to papers where everyone has to really think about every sentence.

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