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Can anyone help - ds 2 years behind.

(54 Posts)
WheresMaHairyToe Sat 13-Aug-16 10:06:38

Long, sorry!

DS2 has above average IQ, but terrible difficulty with reading/ phonics.
He has SEN but is only going on the assessment pathway now as he enters P4 (y3) So not sure what the actual problems are. There are definitely auditory processing difficulties - he can't hear the difference between the vowels, hears "th" as "f" for example.
Can anyone recommend a good reading scheme that doesn't use phonics? He's very visual and I think he may be better off learning this way. The school uses a very one -size-fits-all linguistic phonic programme, and it is not working for him.
As an example, he made a sign for our garden independently:
"Nt alwdo on graase." (not allowed on the grass.)
He says he can't read, and his self esteem is in tatters. Our house is coming down with books and he has been read to most days of his life, although he always chooses the same two or three books (mostly Dr. Seuss or other rhyming stories.)
His attention in school is poor, so I plan to request more differentiation - clearly structured work, a visual schedule and possibly a work station to reduce distractions.
Professionals are suggesting ADD or ASD. But diagnosis (and hence support) could be 2 years off. (His older brother has HFA and taught himself to read independently of school from the Guinness book of records - phonics wasn't great for him either! At 11 he never stops reading! dd is 13 and phonics worked beautifully for her, I don't have an issue with the system per se.)
Any suggestions? Ty smile

mrz Sat 13-Aug-16 10:48:22

"Nt alwdo on graase."

I would say this is evidence that he does get phonics but hasn't been taught which alternatives to use.

WheresMaHairyToe Sat 13-Aug-16 12:08:45

We've used some Jolly Phonics at home. But stopped as P2 teacher felt it was confusing to use two systems. His teacher last year did get some progress, he knew 7 sounds securely at the start and now has about 20. His handwriting contains a good few reversals, which I thought could be a sign of dyslexia, but I think he's too wee to judge? I don't push him into reading and writing at home as it is very distressing for him. He does do a fair bit independently and is happy to be gently corrected.
What would you recommend I should do to help him?

mrz Sat 13-Aug-16 12:17:41

Autumnsky Tue 16-Aug-16 12:57:01

I am not an expert, just a few point you may can try. First is a hearing test, has he got one, is his hearing all right?

Second, I think you have to push him to do more reading and writing , but of course in a fun way. I am a firm beliver, if he is weak at something, then you need to get him to practice to become better. The trouble is to find a way that he would accept. I would suggest you keep a record yourself, have a plan for what to achieve per week, but don't let him feel about it. For example, this week is 10 words, you write down this 10 words in your planner, then try to practice with him this week. If he master it, you can write down another 10 words, but revise the 10 words from last week.

If he doesn't like read or write, do you think he maybe can try some online games?

Witchend Tue 16-Aug-16 14:08:44

Try the whole word method.
Flashcards-you can play games like pairs and that sort of thing.
One thing my dc loved to do when learning to read was treasure hunts. You start off with just a word written "window" and they go to the window and find the next clue "bed" etc. As they get better they get full sentences. Then they used to make them for each other too-that's the writing.
Card on each step they have to read on the way upstairs, hidden cards (eg in a shoe) that they read -you can give a reward for each word read.

Before someone tells you that you can't actually remember enough words to read properly, I was half way through the second book in the Lord of the Rings series when I got phonics. I'd read that far without being able to blend at all.

mrz Tue 16-Aug-16 14:13:19

How did you manage all the made up words in Tolkien ...did you just skip over?

WheresMaHairyToe Tue 16-Aug-16 14:36:47

I didn't learn through phonics either. I learned with flashcards. I was reading before I was two, adult reading age at 7. Possibly why I find supporting phonics learning quite difficult, I just don't really get it myself! But as I said, it worked beautifully for DD.
DS2 has had 9 hearing tests, including one private. The last specialist wrote to the GP to say he has no hearing loss - at all. His opinion was that it was a processing issue.

Tanaqui Tue 16-Aug-16 14:50:46

I didn't learn phonics either- 70s baby- and I don't sound out when I read. So any unknown or made up words just get read as the picture of the text, and associated with a meaning. This is fine until you have to read out loud!

I did grasp phonics at some point but I do still struggle with how to pronounce some words, although my reading and writing vocabs are fab!

I think it is quite common to read without sounding the words, even in your head, if you are a self taught reader.

mrz Tue 16-Aug-16 15:14:51

Early readers have usually worked out the relationship between written and spoken sounds in words automatically without explicit teaching. Without phonics you would never be able to read new/unfamiliar words so reading would be restricted to the words actually learnt as wholes - sorry but the evidence is you certainly wouldn't have an adult reading age.

mrz Tue 16-Aug-16 15:15:49

Phonics isn't sounding out its knowing how spoken sounds/words are represented by the symbols we call letters.

haggisaggis Tue 16-Aug-16 15:30:42

dd is very dyslexic - what made the most difference with her was 1 to 1 EVERY DAY. Phonics worked ok with her - I got the Dancing Bears workbook. It is really tedious and we by no means worked our way right through it but it helped. The important thing is doing a short time every day in order to make things stick. She is 14 now and while not a totally confident reader she can at least read (and at age 7 I did not see that time ever coming.) With her I don't think whole word approach would have worked - her working memory is not good enough. Being able to recognise the sounds and put them together worked with her.

Tanaqui Tue 16-Aug-16 15:42:33

😄 I can do phonics now! But for years I just read new words as pictures and could only stab at pronunciation- obv I got c-a-t cat type phonics, but I can remember the revelation when I realised ti and si often say sh! Yet I had a v high reading and comprehension age- I am very text orientated though, if a picture has a caption I struggle to look at the image and not the words, and I can speed read although I try not to.

Badders123 Tue 16-Aug-16 15:45:37

I would recommend sound foundations "dancing bears" and "apples and pears"
My Ds is severely dyslexic and they have helped him hugely - more so than any other intervention....and I've tried em all! 😀

irvineoneohone Tue 16-Aug-16 16:09:43

If you go for whole word method, easiest is to use subtitles on TV, you tube etc.That's how my ds learned to read. I think my ds is similar to yours, has asd traits and have very good memory.
Watching TV with subs enables you to see the word and hear the sound at the same time, all the time, without being conscious of learning something.(Unless he finds it annoying)
By the time we realised he can read words, he was able to read almost anything he saw.

However, my ds learned phonics after starting school, and it did definitely helped him and made him even better reader

Fuckingmoles Tue 16-Aug-16 16:33:26

He is old enough for a dyslexia assessment. You should get his hearing and eye sight tested first to rule those out as problems. If he is dyslexic, he needs more phonics not less + extra help with phonological awareness (actually that applies even if they are not dyslexic ) - is he able to orally blend and segment words, can he identify the initial sound, is able to identify words that rhyme, count the syllables in words?

The children I teach with this sort of delay have often had poor/inconsistent phonic instruction and have been pushed on to books that are too hard for them too soon, they then end up guessing randomly at words and lose any expectation that text will make sense.

Other really common issues are not consistently decoding from left to right through the word, not have a secure understanding of the alphabet..Can your son recite the alphabet, name the letters, order the letters, does he understand that capitals and lower case are different representations of the same letter?. Does he understand the concept of digraphs and how they are used in words as well as recognising them? Often weak readers do not understand the role of morphemes such as plural 's' or "-ed" and how this changes the meaning of the word?

I think you need to find out where the problem actually lies.

Fuckingmoles Tue 16-Aug-16 16:43:54

Just read that he had had hearing test and it was suggested that the issue was processing.

Dyslexia is a learning difficulty that primarily affects the skills involved in accurate and fluent word reading and spelling. Characteristic features of dyslexia are difficulties in phonological awareness, verbal memory and verbal processing speed. (Rose, 2009)

I would looking at SEND Code of practice 2014 and Children and Families Act and ask the school for their plan of action,

WheresMaHairyToe Tue 16-Aug-16 22:35:21

Thanks for replies smile
No, he can't blend/ segment. He can count syllables and mostly spot rhymes (Dr. Seuss obsession!)
He knows either the name or the sound for letters, but only both for a few of them. Cannot distinguish between vowel sounds.
When trying out words, he'll guess from the first letter, regardless of picture or context - the link mrz posted was interesting about using picture/ context.
The teachers are in school next week, I am going to make an appointment and be That Parent - he's been let down for long enough I think.

mrz Wed 17-Aug-16 07:04:14

Letter names are a convention and don't help to read or spell. Children who are taught letter names before being secure with sounds can struggle as they become confused. (Yes there are some who won't find it a problem but as a general rule it's better to teach sounds before names)

Can he hear the word if you say the sounds? - start with simple words d-o-g f-I-sh then slightly more difficult s-t-o-p. T-r-ai-n. S-p-l-a-sh

Can he say the sounds if you say the words?

If he can't I would work on aural blending - no written words so you say the sounds and he says the word.

If he can I would check which sounds he knows and work on any gaps.

mrz Wed 17-Aug-16 07:11:50

From your first post it seems as if he's been taught ineffective reading strategies - working out what the word might be from the first sound - using pictures to work out what the word might be using context to work out what the word might be (key word is might) they all amount to guessing.

I imagine he has a reasonable vocabulary of words he can read automatically but struggles when he meets unfamiliar words?
He needs to be encouraged to use the most effective strategy which is phonics.

Fuckingmoles Wed 17-Aug-16 08:49:15

Of course letter names are a convention but they are useful because they are the only thing that remains consistent about the letter - the sound, representation etc changes. There are clear links between poor understanding of the alphabetic principle and poor reading and they give you and the child a shared language to talk about letters - as many poor readers also have poor metacognition, this is useful to help them make the links that a typically developing reader picks up without explicit instruction. (There is current research looking at whether individuals with autism also have impaired metacognition, individuals with dyslexia have poor metacognition). I have taught several older individuals with literacy difficulties, for example, who did not understand that A/a are the same letter. The fact that the OP's says he uses a mixture of the names and sounds for letters when attempting to decode suggests that he indeed does not know the difference between how the names and sounds should be used and therefore it should be explicitly taught. The fact that he can only "mostly" identify rhyme despite his Dr Seuss' obsession suggest he has poor phonological awareness. This along with concerns about processing points to the possibility of a specific learning difficulty such as dyslexia (a condition that mrz does not believe exists from my recollectiom) and a condition that co-occurs with ASDs. However whether or not he gets a diagnosis, the same principles for teaching reading should apply - multi sensory teaching, phonics based instruction, support for phonological awareness, making explicit links in learning.

irvineoneohone Wed 17-Aug-16 09:13:15

"dyslexia (a condition that mrz does not believe exists from my recollection)"

I never had that impression from any of her(mrz's) post, she is always trying to help us with most effective way to help children. She has so much experience.

heavenlypink Wed 17-Aug-16 09:23:35

I've used this book at school for children with reading/spelling problems - including dyslexic pupils. It does go right back to basics and can appear very simplistic even dumbing down (iykwim) but it can help to pick out where exactly a child is having problems.

Fuckingmoles Wed 17-Aug-16 09:23:55

I am not doubting her knowledge and experience.

irvineoneohone Wed 17-Aug-16 09:36:49

Fuckingmoles, I am sure you are a great teacher as well, I can tell from your post.
But what I don't like is quoting someones as "something"(in this case, who believes dyslexia do not exist).

Why can everybody just give OP advice without bringing somebody down? I believe people who advice has best intention to help.
Receiver of advice can decide what may work for them, which advice they follow. Trying to prejudice that is not on.

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