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My son and Dyslexia (a little long, sorry!!) *Updated in Blue!*

Posted by on Jan. 18, 2010 at 4:00 PM
  • 19 Replies

Ok, my eldest is in the first grade and we're well aware of some of his problems.  He was diagnosed this summer with ADHD and Dysphonetic Dyslexia. 

(ADHD is a problem with inattentiveness, over-activity, impulsivity, or a combination. For these problems to be diagnosed as ADHD, they must be out of the normal range for the child's age and development.)

(Dysphonetic dyslexia, on the other hand, is associated with auditory-processing difficulties. These children have difficulty remembering letter sounds, analyzing the individual sounds in words, and sequencing/blending these into words.)

As a result, we have him on 18 mg of Concerta daily to manage his hyperactivity.  Do not bash me as I have done multitudes of research on the condition and have watched my son carefully during this process.  He is not made into a zombie.  His brain is slowed down enough to take in information and incorporate it into his thought process.  He is less violent and impulsive while on the medication and it has made a vast improvement on his life.  He is able to slow down and think about things before he does them.  I will admit it has not only made his life easier, it has also made his brother's and my lives easier, too. 

With the dyslexia, we knew he would struggle with reading.  I have bought the Hooked On Phonics system and work on it with him every day when he is with me.  We went through the entire Kindergarten program over the summer and we are slowly going though the 1st Grade program now.  He struggles, but does well enough to progress.  However, this is not the case at school.  I had a meeting with his teacher, reading coach and principal last week and they are very concerned.  Normal sight word comprehension is between 16 and 36 words at this point in the school year.  They say that their testing has him sitting at 2 to 10 words.  His hand writing varies on the weeks when he is with me as apposed to the weeks he is with his father.  When he is with his father, his hand writing is barely discernable.  It is all over the place and very difficult to understand.  The weeks he is with me, it is much more controlled and understandable.  We do not know why.  I have asked my ex-husband and his wife if they give him his meds and they swear it is every day.  I ask him (my son) if he is upset or worried about something and he doesn't want to answer the question. 

Today, since there is no school, I had him sit down and work on his spelling words.  Normally, I write the words out on top of the dotted lines and have him re-write them three times each under what I've written.  Then, I have him flip over the page and spell and write them from memory.  He did fine.  I can easily read his writing and he made no errors.  I also went through his sight words with him.  At first, so not to overload him, I only used the first 16 words (ordered in the average number of times each word is used in every day writing) and had him go through.  He struggled a bit with three of the words, but did ok.  After reviewing the a few times, (yes, I shuffle them up after each time) I decided to test him.  I took out my trusty stop watch and explained to Alec (my son) that we were just going to see how many we could get through.  He got through all the words, no stuttering, stalling or guessing, in 40 seconds.  I tried it again after a good shuffle to make sure it wasn't a fluke.  Then I added 4 more words.  I reviewed them once and then timed it.  all 20 words in 55 seconds. 

What do you all think is going on?  I mean, he does well enough with me.  Why is it that he's having so much trouble at school.  I know there are other kids there and other distractions but it shouldn't impact it that much, right?  I've already set up a time to come in once or twice a week the weeks that my boys are with their dad to work with him.  I can't do it when I have them because I have his little brother and no child care. 

I need some advice please.  My boy already has so much stacked against him and I want to make things easier for him.  Please help!!!

I wrote a letter and sent it with my son to school about the information that I'd found on here.  I asked her why an IEP had not been set up for my son and I told her that I want to set one up for him asap.  She promptly called me and told me that, "Well, I don't think Alec will qualify for it since he has to have a learning disability.  I'll go ahead and set him up for the testing for it and everything but I don't think he'll qualify."  WTF???  Last week, she was telling me that my son would have to be kept back in the first grade if his reading didn't vastly improve!  I've also given copies of the diagnosis from a child PSYCHIATRIST in town that diagnosed him with both ADHD and dyslexia.  Correct me if I'm wrong, but at least ONE of those is a learning disorder!!!!  I'm quite irritated and feel that my son is slipping through the cracks simply because he requires a little more effort than some of the other children.  Your thoughts ladies????

by on Jan. 18, 2010 at 4:00 PM
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Replies (1-10):
xx_erika
by on Jan. 18, 2010 at 4:01 PM

BUMP.

Lil_ol_me9306
by on Jan. 18, 2010 at 4:11 PM

Another bump.  Please, I need some advice.

catngabsmom
by on Jan. 18, 2010 at 8:44 PM

what is his testing atmosphere like at home and school? my oldest dd has it written into her IEP that all testing is done in the resource room, there are usually no other students in there when she tests.

Lil_ol_me9306
by on Jan. 18, 2010 at 9:11 PM

Unfortunately, I know that it's pretty hectic at school. I don't know if I can get anything different for him there.  At home, I turn off the TV and send his brother into their room to play so it can be one on one time.  He does wonderfully that way.

Quoting catngabsmom:

what is his testing atmosphere like at home and school? my oldest dd has it written into her IEP that all testing is done in the resource room, there are usually no other students in there when she tests.


tyfry7496
by on Jan. 18, 2010 at 9:19 PM

You need to demand an IEP for your son, it is the school's job to make sure he is getting all components of an education. If he is having issues with reading,spelling,etc. then the school needs to set up extra help for him. There are many distractions at school, he is not getting one on one attention that you provide and when a teacher tests a child for sight words,etc. the teachers do not provide any coaching or help. They can't or the test won't be accurate. Get that appointment for an IEP now.

Lil_ol_me9306
by on Jan. 18, 2010 at 9:21 PM

I feel really stupid for asking this but, What is an IEP????

Quoting tyfry7496:

You need to demand an IEP for your son, it is the school's job to make sure he is getting all components of an education. If he is having issues with reading,spelling,etc. then the school needs to set up extra help for him. There are many distractions at school, he is not getting one on one attention that you provide and when a teacher tests a child for sight words,etc. the teachers do not provide any coaching or help. They can't or the test won't be accurate. Get that appointment for an IEP now.


xx_erika
by on Jan. 18, 2010 at 9:23 PM

An IEP is an "individualized educational plan" - you and the school psychologist will come up with a variety of "rules" for your child in school. like some kids can test better when listening to music, so in their IEP an ipod or mp3 player will be permitted during testing... etc. You'll come up with the best scenarios for your child.

Lil_ol_me9306
by on Jan. 18, 2010 at 9:28 PM

Thank you so much.  I'm a little ticked that the school didn't start this when we got him enrolled.  We told them from the very beginning that he is ADHD and dyslexic and they just kind of went, "Oh, ok, we'll see how he goes."  I will be sending a note in the morning asking the teacher when I can come in to do an IEP.

Quoting xx_erika:

An IEP is an "individualized educational plan" - you and the school psychologist will come up with a variety of "rules" for your child in school. like some kids can test better when listening to music, so in their IEP an ipod or mp3 player will be permitted during testing... etc. You'll come up with the best scenarios for your child.


catngabsmom
by on Jan. 19, 2010 at 9:11 AM

you definitelly need an IEP! my dd has an IEP, in it is that she does her math in the resource room in a small group with assistance, her math tests and quizzes are done in the resource room alone with a teacher moderating her and reminding her to stay on task. she goes for reading assistance with a specialist daily for 30 minutes, the resource room for math is also daily for an hour, she also gets speech therapy for 30 minutes 3x a week and occupational therapist  is once a week. this is all written into her IEP and i meet with her team, principal, teachers, therapists, psychologist, and social worker once a month to make sure all of her needs are met! you are your childs cheerleader, so you need to push to get them to give your son the best education he deserves, with every single bit of help he needs.

tinybubblez
by on Jan. 19, 2010 at 9:28 AM

it sound like he'd do well with 1 on 1. when my son was in K, i volunteered as a classroom helper, one boy struggled (with the distractions as you'd mentioned) he was very bright, but the classroom was too stimulating. eventually, the teacher recommended he get an IEP. the assistant was awful! she'd sit there and text the whole class, she'd reprimand him but i never heard her encourage him or say anything positive when he did well.

my advice would be to get a sitter, one day a week, and sit in and monitor what's going on in the classroom. how old is your younger child? maybe he can qualify for playschool or pre-K. you are the mom. you know what's best.

my sister is dyslexic and to this day, i have a hard time reading her letters and Christmas cards, but she has a good job. so, hang in there!

good luck to you and your family.

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