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Toe by Toe

(18 Posts)
letthembe Wed 06-Jul-11 21:58:28

My DS's school has lent me a copy of Toe by Toe as they are beginning to question whether he is Dyslexic. I want to start it quickly but would like a bit of advice. I know I have to start at the beginning and do each 'word' until he has read it three times in a row. What I'd like to know is how many pages/columns do I with him a day? Or should I just do a time limit?
And finally does it work? (He has a RA of 7.4 SA 7.3 and is 8.3, he's non-verbal is 110 SS - hence the specific learning difficulty query)
Thanks for your time.

dolfrog Wed 06-Jul-11 22:32:31

There are three cognitive subtypes of dyslexia: auditory, visual, and attentional. each subtypes has a different form of cognitive deficit and therefore requires a different type of support and range of coping strategies.

you might find my Dyslexia and Remediation collection of research papers of some interest, which is listed on my Dyslexia and related issues web page

letthembe Wed 06-Jul-11 22:38:36

How do I go about getting the subtypes diagnosed?

They have not said he is dyslexic ... yet. Reading and writing progress are not matching his ability, age or maths level. There is also a family history - my brother is severely dyslexic (couldn't read until he was 14). I am not yet convinced he is dyslexic.

dolfrog Wed 06-Jul-11 23:03:38

Developmental Dyslexia has a genetic origin, and there are three cognitive subtypes auditory, visual, and attentional.

So the underlying causes of dyslexia can be an Auditory Processing Disorder (a listening disability), a Visual Processing Disorder, an Attention Disorder, or any combination of the three.
Auditory Processing Disorders are assessed and diagnosed by an Audiologist, a Visual Processing Disorder is diagnosed by an Optometrist, and Attention Disorders are diagnosed by a Psychiatrist.
Dyslexia is not about not being able to read, but having cognitive problems decoding and recoding the visual notation of speech, or the written word. many dyslexics develop alternative compensating cognitive skills or coping strategies to work around what ever causes their dyslexic symptom.
These underlying cognitive disabilities tend to have a range of symptoms most of which are more serious than the dyslexic symptom.

Have a look at the CiteULike Group: Developmental Dyslexia - library 407 articles the research papers cover most of the related issues.

kalo12 Wed 06-Jul-11 23:09:45

i think its time limited in toe by toe. its really good. i am not at work at moment but i will get back to you

letthembe Thu 07-Jul-11 07:09:40

Thanks kalo12. I've heard that it is good and I am hoping it will give that bit of extra support to read to himself and enjoy reading. He's able to read (and understand) Horrid Henry and Dirty Bertie books - not word perfect perhaps one error in every ten words. So he's not a non-reader, he's a frustrated reader. I am not panicking - yet!!

letthembe Thu 07-Jul-11 07:17:02

Thanks dolfrog. I have often wondered if my DS had some kind of auditory processing disorder -little things: often asks me to repeat questions, struggles to follow complex oral instructions etc. He also seems hypersensitive to noise. Do I go back to school and ask for an Ed Pysch assessment or go to the GP? Now I am beginning to panicking.
(Thankfully he is coping with other aspects of school and I am under no illusions about either of my children being geniuses but I don't want to see them struggle. DD seems OK - at the moment)

mummytime Thu 07-Jul-11 07:40:37

Also I went to a meeting run by one of the Cowlings once; and he suggested if the child can very very obviously do a whole page at the beginning, that you "can move on after only 2 ticks". It is also good to put a rubber band around to show how much progress has been made.
One error in every ten words is too high for reading for enjoyment, it is the top end of instructional reading. So to get him to enjoy it, you need to share the reading. You can also help him practise reading fluently - either get to know the story well from a story tape and then read the book (worked for my son); or you read a paragraph, then you re-read it a sentence/half sentence at a time, with you reading and then him reading straight after, then he rereads the paragraph fluently.

If you want him tested for APD you will need to go through the GP. In the meantime there is a lot you can do.

Does your son enjoy poetry? As this can really help.

mrsbaffled Thu 07-Jul-11 15:06:18

We are doing Toe by Toe with DS (7). His problem is spelling not reading, and it's not helped at all with spelling (but we are doing it anyway as school says we have to). However his reading ability has gone up massively (from good to excellent) and we are about 2/3 the way through. (Wish I'd known about the 2 times bit above, DS got really bored at the start as it was too easy at the beginning for him - more challenging now).

I think it works well for reading x

We do about 15-20 mins a day with him, but if he's really bored of fidgetty it's a bit less. Aim to do some every day, or at least 3-4 times a week.

dolfrog Thu 07-Jul-11 15:13:56

You will need a GP referral to the nearest APD assessment Centre. until early this year there was only Great Ormond Street Hospital, But the new Medical Research Council APD battery of diagnostic tests are begin to be use in more regional centres as the specialists become trained to use them. You will also need the results of a recent hearing test so that they can be calibrated into the APD assessment.
APD can only diagnosed by an Audiologist, and it is recomended to have a multi - discipline (multi professional) assessment. The assessment team should consist of an Audiologist to assess diagnose APD, a Speech and Language Pathologist to assess how the APD affects DSs speech nad language, and a Psychologist to assess the affects of living with APD. (currently this is only a recommendation in the UK, but is a legal requirement in many States in the USA.)
There a few useful downloadable handouts from the APDUK web site with more information on the many APDUK web pages. The APDUK web site is designed to be APD friendly and tries ot demonstrate many useful coping strategies. (multi coloured text, boxes, frames, etc) and you could have a look at my own web site for more ideas as it is my kind of APD friendly

Hope this helps

letthembe Thu 07-Jul-11 20:46:07

Thanks again dolfrog. I can't quite decide what to do. He has the same terrible teacher for two years. Luckily both my husband and I are teachers - so we've been able to give him a lot of support. I know he is not severely dyslexic, he is reading and writing is OK, not brilliant but OK. We've had regular sight and vision tests - all normal.
APD is new to me, even as a teacher blush I have used Toe by Toe before but TA at the time delivered to the individuals.
Tonight he has read Dirty Bertie (about 5 pages), making 5 mistakes in every 100. Some words are built up and some are self-correction, but I honestly don't think this is terrible for an eight year - maybe I am in denial hmm He stops to clarify words and answers questions that require recall, inference and deduction. But he doesn't like to read to himself, he prefers to read to either myself or my DH. I think Toe By Toe is going to help with his segmenting of longer - an area where he struggles.
What will help with his spelling? What is Word Wasp like?

letthembe Thu 07-Jul-11 20:49:09

Thanks again dolfrog. I don't want to know quite what to do next. Do I try Toe by Toe from now until say mid-Sept, see if it's having an impact and most importantly how he's settling with his new teacher (a much better teacher IMO)? or take him to the GP in the holidays?

mummytime Thu 07-Jul-11 21:22:50

I found Word wasp the most like Toe by Toe. My son didn't finish it but managed to increase his spelling age by 2 years in about 6 months when we did it.
95% is still a bit low for real reading for enjoyment, so if you can take over some of the time to help him really get into the book, that will help.

Just think how tired you get if you try to read a scientific paper with a lot of technical terms.

Good luck with the new teacher.

letthembe Thu 07-Jul-11 21:43:39

Thanks. I think he'll be ok. Going to try Word Wasp with both DD and DS, but I think I'll start it in September once they get back to school and he's had a couple of months of Toe By Toe - I don't want to overload them. I never let him struggle with words, he gives me a cute little nudge when he wants to me to read for a bit. And I am always calm with him (this goes back to when my brother was shouted at by my worried mum and dad, back in the day when dyslexia was virtually unheard of).
Mummytime was your DS really struggling to read or a frustrated reader or a bit behind. I know my DS is not a non-reader, I've experienced such children in Y5 and Y6 before. He is just frustrated with gaps in his phonological code. I think this might go back to his reception year when he had 3 teachers in a year. His class have had a pretty poor run of things - Y1 was outstanding. My DD has been much luckier. Good and outstanding teachers so far. I kept them in the school because I think the head is fantastic.

dolfrog Thu 07-Jul-11 21:58:27


Those who have APD tend to need a whole word approach to reading, etc,
There are two ways children have APD either via a genetic link or via a severe ear infection such as Otitis Media with Effusion (Glue Ear)
APD is a listening disability, or not being able to process all that you hear. This can cause problems following conversations, following verbal instructions, processing sirens and alarms, all sound based information.

Most who have APD have problems processing the gaps between sounds, especially the sounds which can make up words, and between words in rapid speech. Those who have APD tend to learn to speak by reproducing the whole sound of a word, and when using the visual notion of speech, can only match the whole sound of a word to the whole visual graphic representation of the word. So the whole concept of phonics can only be an abstract idea with no practical application for those who have APD.

As you are no doubt aware the three main learning styles are Visual, Auditory and Kineasthetic Those who have APD are not very good at using auditory learning skills or abilities, and will have already begun to develop alternative compensating skills and abilities to work around their deficits. Some will prefer to develop the visual learning options (especially natural visual-spatial learners).
We have a Management of APD article on the APDUK web site which was the result of the first UK APD Research at Sheffield University before the Medical Research Council began their APD research program in 2004. It is a presentation hand out which lists the various support programs and how they can help within an APD context.

And from the APDUK web site you will notice the use of multi colour text, which is an APD coping strategy some children like to use the same concept different colours for different letters, the n different colours for vowels and consonants, then different colours for nouns and verbs, and then on to phrases and then sentences, which many adults who have APD can use to help they copy and paste a form or document into a word processor. Unfortunately this is not possible with books or Kindle, yet.

From what i remember Toe by Toe uses a kineasthetic approach. But you will need to find out which learning style or teaching mehtods best suite your DS

I hope this helps

letthembe Thu 07-Jul-11 22:29:37

Thanks this does help. My DS's speech is fine - he is very articulate with a great expressive vocabulary. I would say he is a mix of visual and kineasthetic learning (like myself). He understands most things. He's never had glue ear. He doesn't like really noisy environments (dinner hall, assembly, sports halls etc). I'm just not sure.
I think I'll be doing some weekend reading. I am now thinking about one of the boys in my class, it sounds more like him than my own son.
Thanks again.

dolfrog Fri 08-Jul-11 19:03:10

beng sensitive to noise can be realted to Hyperacusis more weekend reading sorry lol

ILoveChocolatePudding Tue 19-Jul-11 23:17:25

I have used Toe by Toe with my DC and found it very useful and my DC is an auditory learner. I would suggest you start it now before child returns to school as it does take some getting used to and this would be better to get over this without the pressure of the new school term as well. Start of with a couple of pages especially at start and then work up to level that your child is happy to cope with. I would suggest being quite intensive at first, but you need to judge how your child is reacting to it.

Regarding APD, my DC has had full work up at Great Ormond Street and I would say that you might find it helpful to commission an assessment by a chartered educational physchologist as this provides invaluable input not only into the auditory processing assessment process but would give you a better indicator of where your child's strengths and weaknesses lie. It can also provide a very good springboard in terms of investigating their needs for instance ADHD, ASD and/or dyslexia. I found that presenting report to GP made referral to other specialist easier as a request was based on a professional opinion rather than my opinions as a parent.

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