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End of reception year and still can't read

(92 Posts)
BrightonMama Wed 03-Jul-13 10:47:41

Just wanted to know how common it was really, and how worried I should be. Am wondering if DS could be dyslexic, or would it be too early to tell?

He was a very late talker which seemed to impact on his ability to learn phonics - can't hear the sounds or make some of them.He entered reception still having additional needs with his speech and language (didn't start talking til about 3 and a half. He is much better now but some speech sounds are a bit unclear).

Things looked good mid way through the year as he seemed to make some progress. He was moved out of the special needs group for reading and started to bring home reading books.

But his progress seems to have stopped and is possibly moving backwards. Reading with him recently and you wouldn't have thought he'd ever seen a word/had a phonics lesson in his life.

I think my worry is that you can show him a word on one page, turn the page and show him the same word and he's forgotten it again. He does have a terrible memory - can't remember days of the week etc. He also struggles with writing, certain aspects of dressing etc

We read every night - not just boring books, things like the beano which he loves etc Have tried loads of things to get him reading too, like iPad apps, different reading schemes, Cat in the Hat etc

Thanks if you've read this far! Any words of advice or comfort gratefully received!

Notcontent Wed 03-Jul-13 21:43:32

Don't panic.
4/5 is still very little. In some countries children don't start school until they are 7.
My dd just didn't get reading in reception. She wasn't ready. Now in year 2 she has caught up with children who were far ahead of her and is an excellent reader.

BigBoobiedBertha Wed 03-Jul-13 21:46:34

My DS1 could read 27 words at the end of Yr R. They were supposed to have at least 45. He was bottom of the class.

A year later he was near the top of the class because we worked on learning the key words. I think partly he was just slow to get going and wasn't ready and partly we hadn't been focussing on the right way of doing things for him. He always loved being read to as well and probably didn't see the point of doing it himself if I could do it so much better.

Don't worry too much yet. It is something to keep an eye on but it won't necessarily become a problem. Speak to the teacher and see if there is anything they can suggest that will help him too.

QueenofLouisiana Wed 03-Jul-13 21:50:27

My DS couldn't read until Christmas of yr2 (is a May birthday), couldn't recognise the words from one age to the next. I was starting to worry (even though I taught the same age range at the time). Suddenly he got it and made good progress from then on. He is finishing yr 3 as a fluent reader, about 2 years ahead of his chronological age.
Most schools will not assess for dyslexia until 7 years old so that this sort of rapid development can occur naturally. It isn't an unusual thing to happen. Keep going with what you are doing- it is far more likely to fall into place than not!

bamboobutton Wed 03-Jul-13 22:02:03

My Ds is finishing reception and cannot read at all, doesn't recognise any words at all despite being read to every night, not that i know of anyway, he might read them at school.
Tbh it's not even remotely bothering me. I didn't learn to read until i was at least 7. I can remember trying to read ivor the engine and it just suddenly clicked, i can remember going downstairs and telling mum that i can read now. I'm still an avid reader that will stay up reading a gripping book until my eyes burngrin

BrightonMama Wed 03-Jul-13 23:00:02

OK, I've just signed up to the Reading chest and chosen the reading schemes that said they were phonics based (as opposed to ORT) and have gone back to pink level to increase his confidence.

mrz Thu 04-Jul-13 07:12:23

My DS1 could read 27 words at the end of Yr R. They were supposed to have at least 45. no they aren't! I do wish schools would stop telling parents incorrect information - the 45 reception HFW were replaced in 2007

Alibabaandthe40nappies Thu 04-Jul-13 09:28:55

Mrz - that poster's son is old enough that the 45 words would have been correct at the time.

BigBoobiedBertha Thu 04-Jul-13 09:41:09

Actually Mrz it was 2005 that I am talking about but it was the principle and reassurance I was giving the OP - that the failure to meet the target at that time at the end of Yr R (and significantly fail as the numbers show) doesn't mean a child has failed as a reader forever. The school target was actually 100 key words but I didn't want to freak anybody as I know some schools aim lower. If you want up to date, when he did his CAT test at 11 he had a reading age of somebody 4.5 yrs older. The use of the word 'were' gives a clue to the fact it is in the past as well - I didn't say 45 words is the target. hmm

Thank you Ali. You are right, he was only little.

GhoulWithADragonTattoo Thu 04-Jul-13 10:56:46

I agree a chat with the teacher is a good idea. But try not to worry as he is still very little and his speech issue could be an explanation of his slower than average progress.

I think I would get loads of interesting books from the library (not reading scheme, something like Horrid Henry perhaps or picture books aimed at older children) and read to him everyday. That will hopefully build up his love of books and he may then start to want to read them for himself.

mrz Thu 04-Jul-13 16:57:31

BigBoobiedBertha the RA of 4.5 is probably down to the school teaching the 45 HFW hmm ...bad practice even in 2005

grants1000 Thu 04-Jul-13 17:45:03

Yes still teeny weeny, my eldest DS is just about to leave Y6 and could not read at the end of reception or that well at the end of Y1. Now in Y6 KABOOOOOM!!!!!!!!!!! totally great and reading and writing. He blossomed like a swan in Y2 and Y5, he's always loved school and we are lucky that school are spot on with their help, support and guidance.

Ignore what they are 'supposed to be doing/done' all children cannot and shoud not but are shoved down the same route and it does not suit all. 'failure to reach the target' seriously wtf?!? Those words should never be uttered to a child or parent, schools set up kids to fail with words like that!

I'd be carefull with pushing it at home, short fun bursts is all you need, or you could put him right off.

BigBoobiedBertha Thu 04-Jul-13 19:11:13

Mrz - what is ra and what are you talking about?

mrz Thu 04-Jul-13 19:37:54

Reading Age?

mrz Thu 04-Jul-13 19:40:44

What I'm on about is the stupidity of setting targets of 45 or 100 words ... when they could be reading every word they meet if taught how to tackle them effectively ...

FishfingersAreOK Thu 04-Jul-13 20:32:00

My DS changed school after half term pretty much where your son is (change due to moving house). I was slightly concerned but his old teacher had just kept saying he was "fine" and at "expected levels". Sometimes he would seem like he knew the sounds - more often he seemed like he did not. He frequently refused to read. I rarely heard him sound out of blend anything.

His new teacher was concerned and did say he was behind his new peers - but probably as his old school was of the "old" type with mainly play focus. He is alse very young.

Before he started the new school I said it would be exciting as this is where he would learn to read and wouldn't that be fab - I in essence got in his head that the new school would be more learning, more exciting things to discover.

I also asked the teacher how to support him. She suggested the Jolly Phonics CD (we now play it daily). I also splashed out £7 or so and got the Jolly Phonics wall freize. 4 weeks on and I can confidently say he is now reading.

He knows his sounds (a few d/b slip ups) he can sound out pretty much perfectly, and his blending his great. He wants to read his school book, He wants to read 2. And then again at breakfast. His confidence and enthusiasm are like a different child.

So what has worked? Who knows? He is ready? He thinks this is what school is about as well as playing? The Jolly Phonics stuff at home? Different school? Different teacher?

Who knows - but firstly I think don't worry - as someone above said - you care, he will get there. But secondly - have a chat with his teacher. Get an action plan from them about what you can do to help him. Have they got resources you can use?. Or could they recommend something. Working with them will benefit everyone so you do not confuse him.

Good luck. Feeling for you. But you are there behind him. He will be fine.

girliefriend Thu 04-Jul-13 20:39:44

I wouldn't be too worried, ime kids read when they are ready to a bit like walking and talking.

My dd wasn't reading by the end of reception and I wasn't concerned at all (although tbh I don't really agree with children starting school at 4/5yo I think they should be 6/7yo)

She is now getting to the end of year 2 and reading confidently, something clicked this year and she loves her books.

I think the most important thing at your sons age is that he likes and enjoys looking through books. I wouldn't make a big issue out of the reading as it will just make you frustrated and your ds.

lljkk Thu 04-Jul-13 20:43:10

There is something called working memory, google it, he sounds like he could be low in it. Has he had an eye test?

Otherwise, OP's DS doesn't sound that different from DS and I am pretty sure DS is no worse than slightly below avg compared to most his peers. I am failing to understand what OP meant.

DS can reliably remember simple phonics (say s or p) but mostly forgets more complicated phonemes(?) (ay or ee). He can blend to sound out single syllable words, but not 2+ syllable. He can read keywords in his keyword books but 50:50 if he recognises them elsewhere. How much worse is your son than that, BrightonM?

BigBoobiedBertha Thu 04-Jul-13 20:44:31

Still don't get your point or where you get the a RA of 4.5 from.

Of course children should be taught to read. Isn't that the point of going to school? Why are you so hung up on targets? I mentioned it only because it illustrated how much he was struggling and that he was not keeping up with his peers. It was a quantifiable measure which I personally find more useful than a pointless 'He couldn't read much' which begs the question compared to who or what? Why derail the thread with a 'discussion' about targets and how useful they are? Why not give the OP the benefit of you experience and help her help her DS instead of banging on about ancient history?

mrz Thu 04-Jul-13 20:47:56

Who is derailing me or could it be you? I made a single comment then a further 2 posts (this being the second) to answer your questions ...

MerryMarigold Thu 04-Jul-13 20:57:59

Hi. This reminds me of my son. We've had quite a time figuring him out and still not really managed. He is just finishing Y2. His memory is actually great but he could not read by the time he left Reception as they were heavily phonics based and he couldn't blend (although he knew all letters of alphabet by the first term). He still could not tell you the days of the week NOW though he would remember if you told him what day it is today. He also can't tell the time yet. With writing, he could only write his name and nothing else (blending is required to write as well).

We found the floppy phonics books really good and we did them at home a bit in the holidays between Reception and Y1. He came on leaps and bounds in Y1 and is currently 'average' (nationally) at the end of Y2, although at the bottom end of his particular class. He's always been described as 'young' despite being a Nov birthday and I think he may have some developmental delays. I am hoping they will iron out by the time he's in secondary.

I think he may have some signs of dyslexia, but has not been assessed for this - writing backwards. He is almost certainly dyspraxic as he did very badly in an OT assessment for his fine and gross motor skills. We do loads of drawing, trampoling, cycling (it's great he can cycle as he has poor balance) and all these have helped but he's obviously still delayed in these areas.

The thing which rang bells for me with your ds was on hearing. My ds has auditory processing problems which makes following instructions really hard, and blending very, very difficult for him. Look into sensory processing and see if any of it rings bells. You could ask the school and doctors to begin referrals to Occupational Therapy and anyone who could look at developmental delay. It's worth getting on the case now because it does take a while. Good luck! Above all, keep up his self esteem in other areas and don't push too hard or too fast!

MerryMarigold Thu 04-Jul-13 21:00:10

Oh, I would also add when I read your post that some of the 'taking a step backwards' could be tiredness. My ds is certainly in this position at the moment and started writing some letters backwards again which he had cracked in the second term of Y2. I think children who do have some processing problems do get more tired as their poor brains are just working overtime trying to figure it all out. And if his motor skills aren't great, that is another hard work. Other kids have to make a lot less effort so they do get less tired.

bassingtonffrench Thu 04-Jul-13 21:00:32

my son is end of reception and can't 'read' either.

it's not that unusual.

it is sad to see them bottom of the class and I know he doesn't like that himself. But he is making progress and that is the important thing.

sipsina Thu 04-Jul-13 21:04:21

By all means speak with the teacher about this but also try not to stress about it just yet either..

My cousin was a late talker and certainly dosnt suffer from any lack of confidence, she passed 2 gcse's a year early and is now a respected fashion designer.

Keep going with the great things you are already doing. I'm sure you will see some positive things soon


BeehavingBaby Thu 04-Jul-13 21:07:49

DD2 is in reception and is on 'red' books, she can't read in any functional way, forgets words from one page to the next but we are plodding along, trying to keep it fun. DD1 was at the same level and at 7 is a complete bookworm, has to have her book confiscated to achieve anything in the morning. I am surprised to see that posters consider it so uncommon, but very happy that I didn't know with DD1.

BrightonMama Thu 04-Jul-13 21:48:09

Thanks all so much again - although now I'm veering wildly between thinking I need to chill out about the whole thing or really get on the case with the reading schemes!

Lljjkk - sounds pretty much exactly the same! I'd say a simple word he could sound out, but anything more complicated just throws him. He does know a few keywords and will surprise me sometimes, but will seem to know them sometime and forget them the next.

Merry Marigold - thanks for the tip but I googled both auditory and sensory processing and they didn't ring any bells. But I do think maybe an OT might be able to help us.

Anyway, I've now made an appointment to see his teacher on Monday so I'll go in with my list of concerns and see what she thinks. Like I said, it's not really just the lack of reading that's worrying me. There's also the poor memory and motor skills.

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