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Dyslexia - Anyone have any experience of it in a 6 yr old?(13 Posts)
I'm beginning to suspect that my son is dyslexic, he's 6 turning 7 in Jaunary of next year. He just can't seem to retain words, we'll read it on one page but be totally stumped when he comes across it again in the same story!
I've gone over endings of words 'ing', 'er' ect but he just can't retain it. He sounds out every letter of words and cannot seem to see words within words, for example, mend = end then add the m sound to work out what it is.
Anyone any experience of working with a child with dyslexia or does anyone have a dyslexic child, if so what were the indicators?
Would love to know also as I have an exact same copy of what you are going through. I have been wondering dyslexia also for a while, he is making progress but it is like pulling teeth....slow, painful and not much fun!! We got a very average report that says he makes effort only sometimes whilst I can see how hard it is for him to understand what is going on in the classroom.
I have resolved to tackle it with the teachers and an ed psych consult.
I used to tutor, and had two pupils like this.
One had a poor visual memory, but a good auditory memory. So it took endless repetition to remember anything visual, but only a few times to remember it if she'd heard it. She became a successful reader, but not through the school's methods. What we did was:
1) Learn the sounds slowly, with much repetition, until she knew every single one.
2) Practice all the sounds every day (I wrote a little booklet for each week, with the sounds we'd done so far, in a different order each time (or they just learn the order!). EVERY day, she read through that booklet with her mum.
3) Word games/reading every day, for words using the sounds she knew. This was to speed up her sounding out, not to aim for word recognition (as that wasn't going to happen).
4) Irregular words to practice daily - slowly building them up. She could remember them by sounding out 'w' 'a' 's' says woz (was) so could tell once she'd sounded it out that it was meant to say a different word, but couldn't see it on the page.
5) Lots and lots of reading games, short books etc.
In the end, our success came through her knowing all her sounds, knowing which words sounded out then made different sounds, and having enough practice to be able to sound out very fast, so she could read as she went.
The other also had visual problems, but for her the letters jumped around on the page and she couldn't pin them down for long enough to see them as a whole word. We started with coloured paper and large print (which made a huge difference), then she was properly assessed and had a coloured overlay, then glasses (the colour she needed isn't made in the overlays). You can test for this at home by asking them if the print moves/blurs, and by playing with different coloured backgrounds on computer/writing on coloured paper. Her reading them progressed as any other child's would.
My son is dyslexic and so are most of the boys/men in my near family. That meant we were to some extent expecting it, but even so I found it very hard to help ds and he got completely frustrated by reading, to the extent that he pretty much refused to read at home. School weren't at all helpful (much more interested in his social difficulties) so we had an Ed Psych review and then sent him to a specialist synthetic phonics tutor which helped enormously (ds is 15 and got the tail end of mixed methods teaching instead of phonics so was particularly disadvantaged).
There are some really good posters here who will help you much more I am sure, but have you had his eyes tested? ds's other issue was being very long sighted (annoyingly not picked up by our community optician but by the school nurse, so much later than it could have been).
What is the ponics teaching like at their schools? Have they been taught to guess words from pictures etc.alongside phonics? Have they been expectd to try to memorise some words as 'wholes'?
Some children need to sound out and blend words very many times before they get nto long term memory. You just have to be patient and put 0up wth the repetition until your dc 'gets' it. There aren't arent any short cuts.
I would suggest not teaching confusing strategies such as looking for words within words or trying to get the child to remember word 'parts' as whole units. If a child's memory is poor they won't retain it anyway.
Whether or not 'dyslexia' is eventually diagnosed the support needed for 'dyslexics' and 'poor readers' is just the same' good, rigorous phonics teaching.
Thanks so much for your replies. He knows his phonics well but has a tendency to just guess words so 'turning' could be 'table', 'to' etc. His teacher has said that he just needs to read, read and read some more over the holidays. It hugely frustrating as have always done extra reading on top of school send home.
I will put some of your strategies in to
Place Bronya, the progress is so slow that tonight I just thought that there must be something else thwarting his ability to recognise words.
MaisieD they've been taught to sound out the letters. We've been doing that for two years but he hasn't really moved on from sounding out each individual letter instead of seeing letters together that make sounds like 'ch', 'sh', 'th' so for these he'll still sound out each letter individually. This happens no matter how many times we go over the sounds. He's a bright child so I just don't understand why he can't retain this.
"He knows his phonics well but has a tendency to just guess words so 'turning' could be 'table', 'to' etc"
Then I'm afraid his phonics isn't "good" Poppet. I may know letter/sound relationships in isolation but he isn't applying that knowledge which is his problem. I would use a cursor card and reveal words sound by sound (not letter by letter) and teach him to blend as he goes rather than blending the whole word.
Avoid onset and rime (your m+end example)
The fact that he is guessing words from initial letters suggests that he has been "taught" this as a strategy. Stop him every time he does this (even if he guesses correctly) and encourage him to look at the word more carefully.
"he hasn't really moved on from sounding out each individual letter instead of seeing letters together that make sounds like 'ch', 'sh', 'th' so for these he'll still sound out each letter individually."
Does he understand that sounds can be spelt with 2,3 or 4 letters?
hopefully using the cursor card and revealing words sound by sound will reinforce the concept.
Poppet, Just to add (mrz is the expert here, and her advice is brilliant) that you should, at the moment, go for 1 strategy (synthetic phonics) and do it really, really well and consistently. Don't be tempted to go down the 'endings of words' route, teach yourself about digraphs and trigraphs and alternative spellings so that you and he can go down the 'pure phonics' route for the moment.
Have you had his eyes tested, including things like eye tracking / coloured overlays etc?
Some of the 'intervension' programmes used in schools, like Dancing Bears, are perfectly parent-friendly - but as maizie says, they are basically phonuics teaching under another name so making sure that systematic phonics is the basis of all your discussions about reading is still the best first step.
We see this gentleman and the change in my granddaughter has been amazing.
My daughter has a dyslexia diagnosis - however this covers a very wide range of learning difficulties relating to reading and spelling. Children may have a deficit in one or several areas. My experience (I am a primary teacher) is that many SENCos and schools know very little about specific difficulties and are unable to assess children effectively and therefore do not provide appropriate support. In addition, many schools still have literacy interventions that are based on mixed methods eg Early Literacy Support and Reading Recovery.
The Dancing Bears books mentioned by teacherwith2kids are easy for a non-professional to use and get good results. They are phonetically based and use the cursor method suggested by mrz.
I would echo GrannyOnTheSchoolRun's suggestion, Jordan's is a behavioural optometrist. My daughter saw Dr Annette Grounds (also a behavioural optometrist) at Colchester Hospital and she found it very helpful. You can find members here:
I second the post about visual problems. We'd had our son's eyes tested and he has 20:20 vision. What I didn't know is that normal eye tests just don't pick it up. It's so easy to check. Just ask what happens when they look at a page of text. Do the words jump around or stay still? My son now has tinted glasses and it's solved the problem for him, but we didn't realise until he was 8. Poor kid, it's no wonder he struggled to learn to read - he couldn't see the words! btw, my son happens to be dyslexic too, but you don't have to be dyslexic to have the problem.
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