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I am so offended...advice??

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Last week I wrote a post about believing my youngest is dyslexic.

I researched and researched for hours about it and how to teach her best, specifically in spelling-her reading is not so bad, but her writing and spelling are very hard to read.  I found a program that looked really good, but was close to $300, so I emailed the author just to see if she had any other options or ideas.  Here is what I wrote to her:

Hello Ms. van den Honert,
I was wondering if there are any used copies of Reading from Scratch or if you ever offer any discounts?  I am a new homeschooling mom with a 10 year old daughter with dyslexia.  Growing up, my brother had dyslexia and there wasn’t much they really did.  He now still has a hard time reading and writing, he barely finished high school with a lot of help from our mom, and he dropped out of college soon after starting.  I want better results for my daughter.  This program sounds amazing but since I am no longer working, spending over $200 is just not an option for us.  I wonder if you would even lend a copy out and we could write a review or something?  Or if you have any ideas for us to do this on our own at home, I am an education major so I have a lot of ideas, but none specifically for children with dyslexia.
Anything you can do to help, even just some ideas for at home, would be greatly appreciated.  Thank you for your time!

Debbie


I cannot believe the response I got from her, I am so offended and think this was way out of line..here is her response:

Dear Debbie,

The total price of the Reading from Scratch program is less than $300.  Other methods run into the thousands and don't teach the child to read well.  I strongly suggest that you send your daughter back to public school and get a job.  Your pay can cover the cost of RfS as well as a tutor for three lessons a week of 45 minutes each.  Or you might have a grandparent or nice neighbor, NEITHER DYSLECTIC, who could help out your little girl.  It should only take one school year to get her fixed up. 


Dorothy


So, since I am so offended, of course I am immediately typing an email back.  But I don't want to sound as rude as she did.  So here is what I want to say, can you tell me if you think I am too emotional or if this is a well deserved response?


Dear Dorothy,
I found your reply very rude and unprofessional.  I worked in the public school and my income would then only cover the program and a tutor, that's how poorly support staff is paid.  My daughter was in the public school for five years.  With every meeting and every concern we shared, not a single teacher in that five years suggested she may be dyslexic or need additional help.  
She can read, basically "on level" for her age.  I am more concerned with her education than to throw her back in the system where she was just pushed along.  She will get much better results with me looking out for her best interests than in a class of 25 children.  And I do like to spend time with my children, having her in school all day with an additional 45 minutes three times a week with a tutor would be a lot more "schooling" than one should need.
I am not dyslexic and have a degree in education, I have found some other programs and have educated myself and am fully confident that I can provide her with the skills necessary to be successful in life, even without any overpriced program written by greedy people.

Thank you for the time you took to respond, I would hope you are not so rude to your paying customers.

Some of it is harsh, but I am so offended and this is my immediate reaction.  I'm sure I will tone it down before I send it.  But really?  Is this how people do business??  Everyone else I have emailed or spoken with has been so much more polite!

ETA: I now want to also include something about "getting her fixed up"  I don't think my daughter needs fixing!  She is perfect the way she is, I just want to give her the skills to be able to write a letter without feeling bad she can't spell.  Some of the most important people to our society were dyslexic, we don't need to "fix" them.  I don't even want a program that thinks a special need should be "fixed."
by on Jul. 12, 2013 at 1:01 PM
Replies (41-50):
TJandKarasMom
by Debbie on Jul. 13, 2013 at 9:00 AM
Thank you. At one point I wondered if I was overreacting to her response, but everyone has confirmed that I am not.


Quoting Pukalani79:

 Wow.  I have no words.  I got angry and offended for you as I read her response.  I will also be sharing this post with homeschoolers that I know.


tuffymama
by Bronze Member on Jul. 13, 2013 at 9:43 AM
Dyslectic is a variant of dyslexic, and in this part of the country, the people who use "dyslectic" over "dyslexic" are perceived as a little uppity and affected. LOL.

Dyslexia is a simple neurodevelopmental issue and can be addressed by a homeschooling mom, for sure. It used to be scary, and parents were battered by the threat of their children growing up unable to read, so the $$$ schools for dyslexic kids raked in the cash providing a service that can be found free or cheap elsewhere. Hell, public schools here have a pretty good record for teaching dyslexic elementary kids to read effectively, and I have little faith in this school system.

I was the editor of our paper in high school, and one of the staff was dyslexic. She had been homeschooled and then free schooled before ninth grade, and had some issues with spelling, but that was it. She's now a county commissioner here, being the vice chairman of the commission, and was the green building advisor for an enormous construction company. See? Her mother worked with her! So you can do this. And I'm sure it doesn't have to cost hundreds to do it.
TJandKarasMom
by Debbie on Jul. 13, 2013 at 10:00 AM

Thank you! 

This woman is obviously a little "uppity" lol. 

I *know* I can do this!  I taught the kid to read.  And that was with having no idea she was dyslexic.  She was in public school from K-4th grade, and we brought up our concerns with every teacher after 1st grade and none of them ever mentioned dyslexia (including the reading specialist in 3rd grade).  I wouldn't have even thought of it if I hadn't seen my brother struggling with it growing up.

She is on level for reading.  She does mess up words and say the wrong words sometimes, but she isn't behind, so we are already doing well there.  It's her spelling that concerns me.  She gets embarrassed already when she writes a note with wrong spelling.  So I will be working on that with her, and I will do it well (I think and hope, lol).

Thanks for confirming I can do it.  I am pretty confident with my background and her perserverance that we can do this, without spending lots of money. 


Quoting tuffymama:

Dyslectic is a variant of dyslexic, and in this part of the country, the people who use "dyslectic" over "dyslexic" are perceived as a little uppity and affected. LOL.

Dyslexia is a simple neurodevelopmental issue and can be addressed by a homeschooling mom, for sure. It used to be scary, and parents were battered by the threat of their children growing up unable to read, so the $$$ schools for dyslexic kids raked in the cash providing a service that can be found free or cheap elsewhere. Hell, public schools here have a pretty good record for teaching dyslexic elementary kids to read effectively, and I have little faith in this school system.

I was the editor of our paper in high school, and one of the staff was dyslexic. She had been homeschooled and then free schooled before ninth grade, and had some issues with spelling, but that was it. She's now a county commissioner here, being the vice chairman of the commission, and was the green building advisor for an enormous construction company. See? Her mother worked with her! So you can do this. And I'm sure it doesn't have to cost hundreds to do it.



mommy2kaelynn
by Member on Jul. 13, 2013 at 12:02 PM

Your response was very kind, and I would have gone off on her about "fixing up" my kid! That is just inapporpriate and rude. She is obviously completely against homeschooling. 

Sort of off-topic, how did you teach your daughter to read? We are really struggling with our daughter, who I suspect might be Dyslexic. She had a speech delay though, due to the fact that she was born and lived for 10 months in S. Korea - at least that what her pediatrician feels contributed to the speech delay. Anyway - she is almost 7 and cannot yet read - she REALLY wants to and is very frustrated by it!!

Any advice would be most welcome!

Good luck - and so sorry (and angry) for you!!! 

Chandra

TJandKarasMom
by Debbie on Jul. 13, 2013 at 12:59 PM

First, I had help..she was in preschool (which didn't do much other than have her play with other kids, lol) and kindergarten.  And I have a son 11 mos older that was a huge reader and taught himself to read at 4, she wanted to be like him-so it's definitely good that your daughter wants to read!

I made sure that mine knew each letter and the sounds each one makes (including the two sounds for the vowels and g and c).  Also, it helps if they know that b does not say "buh" it says /b/, very short...I worked in kindergarten and that was a huge deterrent in some of our later bloomers, they would try to read and sound out  "kuh-a-tuh" which sounds much different than "k-a-t" (cat).  If you use a white board, I've read that green against the white is the most eye pleasing to young eyes, so I would use mainly green, but blue, red, and purple to emphasize things.  I would write a word on the board with green, then short blue arrows under each letter, then a long red arrow under that.  Point to each letter and say it first, show her how you blend the sounds together.  Then give her different practice words.  Start with those easy consonant-vowel-consonant words, and patterns like -at (bat, cat, mat, sat...etc). 

Also work on sight words.  Those words are so tricky for them because they do not sound how they look!  I googled "Dolch Sight words"  when I was working with DD to get a list.  Then I wrote each one on half an index card and put them on binder rings.  We started slowly, making sure she knew one at a time, then introduced three, then five at a time.  She still can't spell a lot of them (at 10) but she can read them. 

Rhyming books helped a lot because she loves the flow and sound of rhyming books.  And really really simple books, like 1-2 words on a page are a great way to start, and make sure the picture goes with the words, teach her to use the picture and the first letter of a word (along with context) to try to figure out any unknown words.

Hope that helps!  If I think of anything else, I will post again :)


Quoting mommy2kaelynn:

Your response was very kind, and I would have gone off on her about "fixing up" my kid! That is just inapporpriate and rude. She is obviously completely against homeschooling. 

Sort of off-topic, how did you teach your daughter to read? We are really struggling with our daughter, who I suspect might be Dyslexic. She had a speech delay though, due to the fact that she was born and lived for 10 months in S. Korea - at least that what her pediatrician feels contributed to the speech delay. Anyway - she is almost 7 and cannot yet read - she REALLY wants to and is very frustrated by it!!

Any advice would be most welcome!

Good luck - and so sorry (and angry) for you!!! 

Chandra



celticdragon77
by on Jul. 13, 2013 at 2:02 PM

I looked it up, youre correct, she did spell a different variant of it. 

Quoting TJandKarasMom:

I thought the same thing! I wonder if there are different ways to spell it? I mean she's the author of the program, I would hope she's not continuously spelling it wrong.


Quoting celticdragon77:

She couldn't even spell dyslexic right!! 

I would start posting this conversation EVERYWHERE online! 

My response to the author would not be kind.



JKronrod
by Bronze Member on Jul. 13, 2013 at 2:31 PM

 Am I the only one who thinks that you probably know more about teaching a dyslexicchild than the woman who responded to your e-mail?  (I cannot believe that ANYONE would write that to a potential customer.  The correct response if she didn't want to give a discount is "I'm so sorry, but we don't have any discounts available as the cost of  {fill-in-the-blank} is significantly less expensive than similar but less effective programs.  However, if you would still like to order we will be happy to give you ...[free shipping, a freebee book]."  You'd probably still have bought and recommended the program if she'd done that.  What an fool!)   I'll also get my two-cents in here if the issue is spelling:  I really like Spelling Power by Beverley Adams-Gordon.  It's about $45 but it covers words from K through College.  She also had a daughter who couldn't spell well.  It's 15 minutes a day (actually more like 25) but the approach is rule-based (learn the rule, try the words on the list, without studying, for five minutes), multi-sensory learning (study the words missed using a set of steps that includes speaking, physical writing, imaging, etc. for five minutes) and finally "fun review" (using the words in a variety of activities from crafts to games, etc. for five minutes).  Then there is review for long term retention.  It's not magic, but over time the spelling definitely improves.  The rule-based approach is more along the line of "Here are the 3 (or 4 or 8) ways that the long "a" sound can be made."  Thus, the child has some clue about how to narrow down the possiblities, and once they get exposure to the word, it seems, at least for my daughter, that it's easier to remember that for "main" the long "a" sound is "ai" than "a followed by a consenent and a silent "e".   

Quoting TJandKarasMom:

First, I had help..she was in preschool (which didn't do much other than have her play with other kids, lol) and kindergarten.  And I have a son 11 mos older that was a huge reader and taught himself to read at 4, she wanted to be like him-so it's definitely good that your daughter wants to read!

I made sure that mine knew each letter and the sounds each one makes (including the two sounds for the vowels and g and c).  Also, it helps if they know that b does not say "buh" it says /b/, very short...I worked in kindergarten and that was a huge deterrent in some of our later bloomers, they would try to read and sound out  "kuh-a-tuh" which sounds much different than "k-a-t" (cat).  If you use a white board, I've read that green against the white is the most eye pleasing to young eyes, so I would use mainly green, but blue, red, and purple to emphasize things.  I would write a word on the board with green, then short blue arrows under each letter, then a long red arrow under that.  Point to each letter and say it first, show her how you blend the sounds together.  Then give her different practice words.  Start with those easy consonant-vowel-consonant words, and patterns like -at (bat, cat, mat, sat...etc). 

Also work on sight words.  Those words are so tricky for them because they do not sound how they look!  I googled "Dolch Sight words"  when I was working with DD to get a list.  Then I wrote each one on half an index card and put them on binder rings.  We started slowly, making sure she knew one at a time, then introduced three, then five at a time.  She still can't spell a lot of them (at 10) but she can read them. 

Rhyming books helped a lot because she loves the flow and sound of rhyming books.  And really really simple books, like 1-2 words on a page are a great way to start, and make sure the picture goes with the words, teach her to use the picture and the first letter of a word (along with context) to try to figure out any unknown words.

Hope that helps!  If I think of anything else, I will post again :)

 

Quoting mommy2kaelynn:

Your response was very kind, and I would have gone off on her about "fixing up" my kid! That is just inapporpriate and rude. She is obviously completely against homeschooling. 

Sort of off-topic, how did you teach your daughter to read? We are really struggling with our daughter, who I suspect might be Dyslexic. She had a speech delay though, due to the fact that she was born and lived for 10 months in S. Korea - at least that what her pediatrician feels contributed to the speech delay. Anyway - she is almost 7 and cannot yet read - she REALLY wants to and is very frustrated by it!!

Any advice would be most welcome!

Good luck - and so sorry (and angry) for you!!! 

Chandra

 

 


 

TJandKarasMom
by Debbie on Jul. 13, 2013 at 2:45 PM

First, thank you.  I think I will be just fine teaching her once we get into this!  I have a bunch of education, and a ton of common sense.  I think eventually, I will write my own curriculum.  At which point, I would offer it to someone that needed help since I wouldn't be in it for the money-and if a discount or free wasn't an option, then a response just like you said would be the way to go!  Had she been polite, I would have kept her program on my wishlist and who knows, I could win the lottery tomorrow-but she will never see that money! 

Thank you for the recommendation.  We are going to try Spell by Color which was written as an alternative to All About Spelling which was my original spelling choice.  Spell by Color is free for the first year, so it won't hurt to try it for a couple months. 

Thank you again!  The confidence boost is much appreciated as I drown myself in lesson planning over here!


Quoting JKronrod:

 Am I the only one who thinks that you probably know more about teaching a dyslexicchild than the woman who responded to your e-mail?  (I cannot believe that ANYONE would write that to a potential customer.  The correct response if she didn't want to give a discount is "I'm so sorry, but we don't have any discounts available as the cost of  {fill-in-the-blank} is significantly less expensive than similar but less effective programs.  However, if you would still like to order we will be happy to give you ...[free shipping, a freebee book]."  You'd probably still have bought and recommended the program if she'd done that.  What an fool!)   I'll also get my two-cents in here if the issue is spelling:  I really like Spelling Power by Beverley Adams-Gordon.  It's about $45 but it covers words from K through College.  She also had a daughter who couldn't spell well.  It's 15 minutes a day (actually more like 25) but the approach is rule-based (learn the rule, try the words on the list, without studying, for five minutes), multi-sensory learning (study the words missed using a set of steps that includes speaking, physical writing, imaging, etc. for five minutes) and finally "fun review" (using the words in a variety of activities from crafts to games, etc. for five minutes).  Then there is review for long term retention.  It's not magic, but over time the spelling definitely improves.  The rule-based approach is more along the line of "Here are the 3 (or 4 or 8) ways that the long "a" sound can be made."  Thus, the child has some clue about how to narrow down the possiblities, and once they get exposure to the word, it seems, at least for my daughter, that it's easier to remember that for "main" the long "a" sound is "ai" than "a followed by a consenent and a silent "e".   

Quoting TJandKarasMom:

First, I had help..she was in preschool (which didn't do much other than have her play with other kids, lol) and kindergarten.  And I have a son 11 mos older that was a huge reader and taught himself to read at 4, she wanted to be like him-so it's definitely good that your daughter wants to read!

I made sure that mine knew each letter and the sounds each one makes (including the two sounds for the vowels and g and c).  Also, it helps if they know that b does not say "buh" it says /b/, very short...I worked in kindergarten and that was a huge deterrent in some of our later bloomers, they would try to read and sound out  "kuh-a-tuh" which sounds much different than "k-a-t" (cat).  If you use a white board, I've read that green against the white is the most eye pleasing to young eyes, so I would use mainly green, but blue, red, and purple to emphasize things.  I would write a word on the board with green, then short blue arrows under each letter, then a long red arrow under that.  Point to each letter and say it first, show her how you blend the sounds together.  Then give her different practice words.  Start with those easy consonant-vowel-consonant words, and patterns like -at (bat, cat, mat, sat...etc). 

Also work on sight words.  Those words are so tricky for them because they do not sound how they look!  I googled "Dolch Sight words"  when I was working with DD to get a list.  Then I wrote each one on half an index card and put them on binder rings.  We started slowly, making sure she knew one at a time, then introduced three, then five at a time.  She still can't spell a lot of them (at 10) but she can read them. 

Rhyming books helped a lot because she loves the flow and sound of rhyming books.  And really really simple books, like 1-2 words on a page are a great way to start, and make sure the picture goes with the words, teach her to use the picture and the first letter of a word (along with context) to try to figure out any unknown words.

Hope that helps!  If I think of anything else, I will post again :)


Quoting mommy2kaelynn:

Your response was very kind, and I would have gone off on her about "fixing up" my kid! That is just inapporpriate and rude. She is obviously completely against homeschooling. 

Sort of off-topic, how did you teach your daughter to read? We are really struggling with our daughter, who I suspect might be Dyslexic. She had a speech delay though, due to the fact that she was born and lived for 10 months in S. Korea - at least that what her pediatrician feels contributed to the speech delay. Anyway - she is almost 7 and cannot yet read - she REALLY wants to and is very frustrated by it!!

Any advice would be most welcome!

Good luck - and so sorry (and angry) for you!!! 

Chandra







kirbymom
by Sonja on Jul. 13, 2013 at 4:45 PM
1 mom liked this

 Are you kidding me? You're kidding, right? You thought you were rude back? 

  NO WAY IN THUNDER !!!  

You were way MORE polite than she was. I love your rewritten response! Quite effective. :)  And yes, you are certainly more qualified than anyone else to teach your children    You go girl! . 

TJandKarasMom
by Debbie on Jul. 13, 2013 at 5:04 PM
1 mom liked this
I ended up going with a combination of the two...the second one first to quickly get my point across, and then the first one to emphasize being a concerned and caring parent...that is well qualified to teach my children :). I took out the 'on her level' part about not needing an overpriced program...And I ended with "As a side note, you may not want to refer to children with dyslexia as needing to be "fixed up." They may learn differently, but they certainly are not broken."

I was going to go with the shorter one only, but my mom encouraged me to back it up-where she is one to typically say "don't even give her any of your time"

Thank you :)


Quoting kirbymom:

 Are you kidding me? You're kidding, right? You thought you were rude back? 

  NO WAY IN THUNDER !!!  

You were way MORE polite than she was. I love your rewritten response! Quite effective. :)  And yes, you are certainly more qualified than anyone else to teach your children    You go girl! . 


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