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Y2 reading abilty - reasons to be concerned?

(15 Posts)
cakeaddict Mon 21-Nov-16 12:14:24

Apologies in advance if this is long.

My DS is almost 7, and in Y2. I have been concerned about his reading ability and the pace (or lack of) his progress for a while. But I don't have much sense of whether or not his ability and progress is appropriate for his age. School do not seem concerned and feel he is 'doing OK', though his reading fluency needs work. He did not pass the Y1 phonics test (only missed it by 1 mark, so school weren't overly concerned).

He is reading books at Oxford Band 6 (Orange) level. He is a reluctant reader, and we struggle to get him reading more than a couple of pages of his school book at a time - it's as though he lacks stamina or finds it difficult to concentrate on reading for long periods.

I've noticed a few issues when he reads with me at home:
- he fidgets constantly when reading & struggles to concentrate (will often find an excuse to talk about the picture or ask questions about things in the middle of a sentence - meaning that he forgets what he's read by the time he gets back to it)
- he gets put off if there are more than 3 or 4 lines of text on a page
- if we are reading other picture books we have at home, he's easily put off by strange fonts (e.g. handwriting fonts) and won't be able to read them
- he struggles to decode longer words (more than two syllables) and often can't blend the sounds together effectively to make the word (he might put the sounds in the wrong order for example, or add in letters and sounds that aren't there)
- he seems to sometimes 'forget' common phonic sounds, or not recognise them when he sees them in a word

Having said all this, I'd also stress that he does have 'good days' where he seems to not do any of the above and appears to be making more progress or reading more fluently, but then the following day appears to revert back again.

I think I need to go and have a chat with his teacher, but I have a feeling they'll tell me not to worry or that he's not behind, and I really wanted another perspective as to whether or not this all sounds normal for his age/stage - or whether or not there is cause for concern here.

So as not to dripfeed I should add that his dad is dyslexic, so it's something I'm very aware of. Because of this, I'm not sure if I'm actively looking for problems where they might not exist, or actually, if I have good reason to be concerned, so would appreciate other perspectives.


Artandco Mon 21-Nov-16 12:20:52

I would say he is a bit behind and would talk to teacher about ways to encourage. Mainly as I also have a child in year 2, they get lots of long passages or text at school and for homework that they have to read, comprehend and answer questions about it. If he finds the text hard to read in the first place, he must fine the answering questions about the text tricky. Also a lot of the maths is also written in text way so they need to clearly be able to read the questions before working out the sums.

Do you read to him every evening and get him to read to you every evening? 15 mins each

cakeaddict Mon 21-Nov-16 12:33:01

Thanks - yes, I've seen the SATs papers they need to sit at the end of the year, which is one reason why he needs to improve his reading and why I'm worried he's not quite at the right level.

Yes, we do read every day - but as I said it can be hard to sustain his concentration long enough to get through a decent amount of the book. We read both him to us and us to him (and lots of turn-taking with simple books, e.g. I'll read a sentence, he reads a sentence). But as I say, he is something of a reluctant reader so I'm trying to find books that spark an interest at the moment, beyond the phonic readers he gets from school.

irvineoneohone Mon 21-Nov-16 12:35:31

Orange can be behind if it was end of school year for yr2. I don't think your ds is behind at all.
But with concerns with family history, there's nothing wrong to speak to teacher and address your worry. Also somehow to blush up with phonic skills would not be a waste of time.

irvineoneohone Mon 21-Nov-16 12:39:05

Some comics, fact books of his interests, magazines, anything that interests him would be better than nothing.

user1479731162 Mon 21-Nov-16 12:50:12

Please have a look into Irlen Syndrome or Scotopic Sensitivity. My daughter aged 12 has always been a slow and reluctant reader. I've spent years trying to figure out what the problem is. My son has dyslexia, as do many other family members I've so I have looked at all the signs and symptoms but nothing seemed to add up. Then last week I was ranting and raving at her about wearing her reading glasses at school and she told me that she can only see one word at a time and the rest of the page is a complete blur. I am taking her to be tested for Irlen Syndrome tomorrow. I wish I had known about it years ago.

cakeaddict Mon 21-Nov-16 13:22:35

Thanks irvine, that's reassuring. Yes, I agree on the reading material - problem is he likes football, but even I can't pronounce half of the players written about in a football magazine so he has no chance!! I've just bought a Frankie's Magic Football book which he is interested in, and we're reading it together (taking turns).

user that's worth being aware of, thanks, though I'm not sure the checklist I've found makes sense in the context of my DS. Good luck with your DD, hope you get some answers.

user1479731162 Mon 21-Nov-16 14:15:46

Thank you. We have our fingers crossed for the test tomorrow.
This is the first time I've posted on Mumsnet. I felt that I had to reply to you as your description of your son's reading was exactly what I experienced with my daughter 5 years ago. Learning to read really shouldn't be that much of a struggle. You sound intelligent and very articulate; you read to him and listen to him reading every day; you buy him books that think will interest him; you are doing everything right and still he struggles. I have volunteered to listen to readers at our local infant school for the past 8 years. Some children are slow learners, some can't be bothered, some get no help at all from home and some speak a different language at home, but most still learn to read quite easily by year 2. Please trust your instincts - Mum's know their children best and if you are worried about his progress then talk to school, keep asking questions and see if you can get some tests done. Poor eyesight, Dyslexia and Irlen Syndrome are the obvious culprits! I hope you find some help for your son. It sounds like he has a wonderful Mother on his side!

SisterViktorine Mon 21-Nov-16 18:34:58

cakeaddict I could have written exactly your post about my DS (Y2 7 in August) six months ago. The way you describe your DS reading, perfectly describes how he was reading- down to having good days and bad days.

His school did a dyslexia screener and it didn't flag anything up. We went for a more robust battery of tests and these showed that his phonological awareness and auditory processing are ropey.

I would recommend getting the Dancing Bears A/B Fast Track book and beginning do systematic work with this at home. DS has been doing it since the beginning of the summer holidays and is now reading fluently on white level. (We have also been doing Apples and Pears because his spelling is dire too).

We also have this little green reading ruler that helps on a bad day. He needs it less and less though as I think the Dancing Bears is helping his tracking.

VikingMama Mon 21-Nov-16 21:12:59

Have you had his eyes tested recently?
My boy passed his school eye test, then promptly failed at the Opticians. His reading took off once he got his glasses.
I'd test his eyes as something to rule out or rule in.

cakeaddict Mon 21-Nov-16 21:31:04

Viking - no, I haven't had his eyes tested since the standard checks they do on starting school. I've been meaning to do that so I will get on and book a test asap.

Sister - that's interesting, were the extra tests done through school, or something else? And I'll take a look at that resource.

I think I'll arrange a meeting with the teacher. It's lots of little niggles that individually can all be brushed aside as meaning nothing, but when I sit and put them all down together, I worry they add up to a slightly bigger issue.

elfonshelf Mon 21-Nov-16 22:03:23

This sounds almost exactly like my DD.

What's his writing like?

School raised the dyslexia possibility with us in Y2, and organised full testing with the Ed Psych just before half-term this year (Y3). Generally the child needs to be at least 7 for testing. They did the WICS-IV and the WIAT-II tests as well as discussion with DD's teachers.

Result was that DD scored very high on the verbal and non-verbal reasoning (98th centile) but appallingly badly on working memory (7th centile) and just average for processing speed. She had a minimum 27 point difference between predicted and actual scores on the WIAT-II - anything over 6 points difference indicates a problem. Now has an official dx for dyslexia and is getting lots of intervention at school to help.

Because she's a bright kid she was finding various work arounds and wasn't 'failing' on the phonics and reading, but the writing was a give away and what gave the school the push to get the testing done.

You can buy sets of colour overlays that double as reading rulers on Amazon for around £10. DD finds the pink one helps - not sure it's anything more than the fact she likes pink, but they make handy reading rulers and it was useful to try them out.

Basicbrown Tue 22-Nov-16 08:05:07

OP I'd be concerned, yes. While there are always stories of DC who suddenly click he sounds like he is struggling with reading to me. I'd also be worried about his comprehension level.

Also I'm not sure book bands are a reliable way of measuring reading ability but dd and most of her friends (who were 'expected' readers at the end of year 2 although very comfortably) were on orange at about this point in year 1.

Traalaa Tue 22-Nov-16 12:09:18

My DS was similar and we've discovered he's both dyslexic and has Irlens. It is seriously worth asking your DS what he sees when he looks at a page of text. So do the words blur or move?

With ours, we didn't put pressure on him to read at home as the school thought just loving books was more important. So we read to him lots and asked questions, explored the book that way. He loved that. Make reading a joy if you can.

Don't be too alarmed though. My DS didn't read until the end of year 2 and he's top sets now in secondary school and loves reading. Diagnosis definitely helped (he was yr4 before the school would agree to do it). The eye thing is kind of jaw dropping if they do have it as it's such a massive handicap. Honestly do ask him.

cakeaddict Tue 22-Nov-16 21:09:11

Thanks all for your advice. I have spoken to the teacher, who shared some of my concerns. They are going to give him a bit of extra support, and we'll try at home as well - I'm going to look at the Dancing Bear resources suggested upthread. Then we'll review at the end of term and take it from there.

I'm also going to book an eye test just to get that checked out. I have asked him about words moving or jumping - but he says they don't. (Well, actually, he looked at me like I was mad and asked me why I thought words jumped!)

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