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Please help!!! 7 yr old struggling to read.

(9 Posts)
Brighteyes Wed 16-Mar-05 18:47:33

My 7 year old nephew is struggling to read and has fallen behind the rest of his class.

He has one-to-one help from a specialist teacher but doesnt seem to be catching up at all.

At the moment I think he has a reading age of about 5. He tends to guess and memorise words rather than actually read them.

I really want to help him develop his reading skills so he can catch up with his peers before its to late and he starts being discriminated by the other children for needing additional help.

I have bought the learning skills books for 4-5 year olds to build up his confidence and help him with the basics (we've starting doing 5 pages a day which he seems to enjoy) and have promised him each time he finishes a learning book I will take him out for a treat i.e cinema, swimming etc.

He's keen at the moment but I'm looking for any suggestions to keep the learning fresh and intresting. Can anyone suggest any novel ways to encourage his reading so he doesn't get bored with just the learning skills books?

MunchedTooManyMarsLady Wed 16-Mar-05 18:50:11

Have you got a good children's bookshop nearby? If so go in and ask for some recommendations as to which books he should read. Nothing encourages reading more than reading iyswim. When my nephew wouldn't read and was behind I got him some good books and now his reading level is above his classmates. hth

MrsDoolittle Wed 16-Mar-05 18:55:52

Hi Brighteyes. This is exactly what happened with my brother. He was guessing all the time and trying to memorise words, sadly DM was very strict with him and spent evening after evening torturing him going over the same books. This was over 20 years ago and someone suggested dyslexia. At great cost he was assessed in London by a specialist who said he was quite babdly dyslexic. Poor DM was absolutely mortified (He has got away with blue murder ever since) Things have come along way since then, so your nephew should be well supported if this is the case HTH

Whizzz Wed 16-Mar-05 19:04:53

Would definately assess for dyslexia. DH wasn't diagnosed until late & really fell behind. If he has got dyslexia then he can get the help he needs. Heres a link that may have info here if its any use

Brighteyes Wed 16-Mar-05 19:33:15

thanks for the advice ladies.

Just been on the phone to dm (nephew lives with my parents, sadly my sister passed away shortly after he was born). I have passed on your advice about being tested for dyslexia and she is going to speak to his special needs teacher tomorrow to get this investigated.

Hopefully, whatever the diagnosis we can help him catch up with the rest of the class with the right support

swedishmum Wed 16-Mar-05 20:01:13

Hi sounds like my ds3. Though he's bright reading has not been easy for him. He's currently out of school (for other reasons - 6 month stay in Stockholm). He was tested for dyslexia shortly before his 8th birthday last Nov and at the moment his reading is really coming on well. I've read every book there is, but my advice is to keep it fun. Silly as it sounds we start each session with ball catching standing on one leg (don't know if you've heard of BrainGym?). It really helps him focus. We also use Phono-graphix - can't say I really like it on one level but a DFEE research project gave it very positive feedback. If the school is supportive, work with them, but sometimes you have to stick your neck out for your own child. I say this as a teacher - time and resources don't always allow for the one-to-one necessary. Lots of reassurance and making sure he knows you're all proud of him are vital too (I'm sure you already do this - excuse me for going on but it's one of my pet subjects at the moment!)

wendy33 Wed 16-Mar-05 20:19:16

You could give him rewards similar to the ones he already recieves. Put little notes up around the house with clues for him to find his reward. Doing this also makes learning to read fun instad of a chore.
I have found the series of 'jolly phonics' a good way of encouraging reading. This is aimed at age 3+ children. They are available from ELC.
I hope I have been helpful.

silvera Thu 17-Mar-05 11:11:59

Hi this is my first post, but this sounds so familier , my boy is now 8 and is finally making progress, we found out he was dyslexic (as am I) 18 months ago. At this point he could read his first name, four other simple words that he had worked on for 3 years and that was it, he couldn't even recognise his last name out of context. We began to teach him differently, ignoring whole words initially, and concentrating on every phonic and variation we could think of, building lists in a note book as we went. These we practised verbally without a pen and paper in sight (as this was something that made him nervous) eg. what does "e" "e" make, telling him if he got it wrong, and praising lots if he got it right. Dyslexics need to learn differently, for me I had to concentrate on every word I can spell and commit it to memory, there are still many I can't spell, and I still learn at 31! My son is at a point now where he can cope even though he is behind, he reads simple text. He will cope fine because he has your support.

Brighteyes Thu 17-Mar-05 15:32:36

thanks for sharing your experience ladies. I've decided to get a book on helping children with dyslexia while we wait for the school to test him. Looks like we will have to push hard for the test though because the school is concerned about the cost

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