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Reading - dyslexia? - in 5yo w PDA

(5 Posts)
Treaclecrap Mon 02-Feb-15 17:04:42

I'm at the end of my tether with reading and spellings. It's clearly a massive struggle for him to do either, it almost seems unfair making him do either. His working memory appears to be very poor... which doesn't help my frustration at I'm trying to decode a word he's just identified on the previous page... He enjoys stories just only when they're read to him! :D

So I'm asking for help in making reading and spelling more bearable for both of us... And even dare I say it - fun?! Without knowing why he is struggling, I'm at a loss to know how to actually help him. I almost dread the battle with getting him to do anything ... But unless he 'over learns' as the teacher puts it... How will he actually learn to read and write?

He actively resists sounding out and blending, but when he does it, he gets much farther than merely guessing each word... But he hasn't accepted this yet... (It's a pda thing).

School have just given us 20 minutes on spellings and reading extra each week. They say they wouldn't do anything different with him if he had a diagnosis of dyslexia anyway. And apparently he is too young for a diagnosis anyway...

I can't see how he can make any progress. Fwiw we are on the pink set of stage 4 books, and have been for some time. I admit I'm not 100pc certain of what that means but we've not progressed which I'm now also worried about!

Should I get some coloured overlay films to see if it makes life any easier? And if so, where from? He struggles so much and it's having a big impact on his self esteem. (Along with the hypermobility and ASD etc..)

Sorry for the essay. Just feeling so useless!

senvet Mon 02-Feb-15 20:14:38

I have a ds with dyslexia/dyspraxia. They said things like 'wouldn't you like to wait?'.

No nonono NO! - early intervention is the name of the game

So I would get whatever assessments you can. The dyslexia association do some.

The term dyslexia may get expressed a specific learning difficulty or as a percentage chance of developing dyslexia, (just in case there is a sudden spurt of development), but you will get a better idea of just how much harder your dc has to work to get to the same place as his mainstream peers.

In the meantime, definitely let him enjoy you reading to him, and be prepared to scribe his stories and answers when he wants to write.

Taking the pressure off has a lot to recommend it.

As well as coloured films, different backing coloured paper can help, and e-readers with much larger script might help.

For spellings I drew cartoons - I had Blue Loo Under Elephant for BLUE.
This produced the result that he could score well in a spelling test but it went out the window the moment anything else was in play eg thinking what to write.

Luckily spelling is not needed so much now with spell checkers, and even reading can be sorted by a text-to-speech programme, so if he never masters reading writing or spelling he can still emerge from Oxford Uni with a first class degree.
Good Luck

dyspraxicmumof1 Thu 16-Apr-15 20:13:54

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

ilovesushi Wed 08-Jul-15 21:06:00


My son in Y2 has dyslexia and a whole host of other learning challenges but the thing that really revolutionised his reading was dropping phonics and doing short daily bursts of 'tracking' where the child follows the text with their eyes while you read, and 'paired reading', where you read in unison.

His EP explained that phonics didn't work for him and she advised us to drop the dull as ditch water phonics-based books and instead choose fun interesting books that fired his imagination so he could learn in a top down way meeting words in the context of a sentence rather than breaking them up into their component parts.

At the start of Y2 he could barely read at all and was very very resistant to even looking at words, though he loved being read to. I used all the Roald Dahl, Enid Blyton, Pippi Longstocking books and similar that he enjoyed at bedtime for reading practice. I'd get him to track a couple of lines then I'd read the rest of the chapter with him just listening and enjoying the story. He found tracking really hard at first but he improved and his reading has taken off this year. More importantly his attitude and self esteem have completely turned around.

There is a really good book that explains this approach called Dyslexia Toolkit for Tutors and Parents: What to do when phonics isn't enough. I can't recommend it highly enough but start small with a 5 yr old and build gradually. It will happen.

From my own experience I would also suggest giving spellings a good shot initially but if he is repeatedly getting zero out of ten or whatever despite lots of practice at home, I would ask the teachers to radically simplify and cut down his words (1 or 2 a week), otherwise you are heading for a child with bruised self esteem who still can't spell. Our EP advised tackling reading first and spellings later. I wish the school had taken this on board but they kept on with the weekly spelling tests and it has caused nothing but unnecessary stress. We are doing touch typing at home and I think for us this is the way forwards.

I read a great stat somewhere that a dyslexic child needs to see a flashcard of a word over 1000 times for it to sink in, but they only need to meet that same word 30 times in a sentence to learn it. Basically phonics, spelling tests do not work for dyslexic kids.

Nothing is easy but if you can tap into how your child learns you'll be up and away.

Good luck!

Tissie Fri 17-Jul-15 17:50:21

My mother, brother, son and grandson are all dyslexic. Phonics was of no use at all to any of them. An assessment which should provide a detailed picture of how your child learns woud help with planning work. As phonics don't work you need a visual/language based system with multi sensory teaching. For spellng try Wordshark. it is expensive to buy new (£69) but you could look on ebay for a second hand copy. Then you set up a regular time each day to do 10 mins. You do this 5 times per week. Test by dictating sentences with the word in. I aways let pupils type the word on computer and if it underlines in red let them self correct. Self esteem and success are so important. Superteacher worksheets has a wide range of comprehensions which might be better for your child. Whole books are so off putting because of their length. Parents in touch web site is also good and sparklebox has some good bits. For the time being ignore speciasit vocab in these xercises unless your child is interested but note the more common vocab and write out on yellow card. Play games with this such as Kims Game. Place face down and take in turns to ick up; he must read his to keep it you must spell yours backwards.
Touch typing is a really good idea.
Also encourage short bits of writing using a computer. Initially he can copy from articles he finds interesting. With paper copies show him how to highlight key facts and then transfer to a bullet list. I am a specialist dyslexic teacher. pm me if you want to talk more.

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