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

Posted by on Jan. 18, 2010 at 4:01 PM
  • 21 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 4:01 PM
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Replies (1-10):
by on Jan. 18, 2010 at 4:13 PM

Bump.  Please, I really need some advice.

by Gold Member on Jan. 18, 2010 at 4:15 PM

 All i can say is to keep working with him. The parents of one of my cousins was told he would never read or write because of his dyslexia. Samual is a genius otherwise.  His parents worked with him everyday on top of him going to school.  Samual now works with his Dad (in a different department) at NASA as a scientist. I really don't know what else to tell you. I am dyslexic myself but have no experience as far as my own child

by on Jan. 18, 2010 at 4:31 PM

Do you have a Sylvan learning center near you? They really helped my sister with her reading difficulties, and it's a one-on-one tutoring type of program. 

by on Jan. 18, 2010 at 4:39 PM

what state do you live in?  I am a School Psychologist in NJ.  Has the Child Study Team tested him or was his diagnosis done at a private doctor?  It seems he should have an IEP or at the leasta  504 Plan.  Children often do better at home than in school...also with ADHD there is ALWAYS inconsistency, it's the nature of the disorder and when you incorporate Dyslexia in as well it seems this could be why he struggles much more at school.  They should do a full battery of testing, which means a School Psychologist, Learning Consultant, School Social Worker, and Speech Therapist.  I recommend the speech therapist test his language because they could teach strategies for auditory processing in speech therapy.  Also an OT eval may be helpful for the handwriting.  Kids with ADHD often have poor handwriting, it's okay and they should modify his work for him.  Perhaps teaching keyboarding skills instead.  They should do whatever they can to minimize his frustration so he can learn the most important things.  When all of the evals are done they have teachers who can help him with the areas needed specifically with techniques that work for him.  It might just be too hard in a large class, with time constraints.  It sounds like you are doing everything right at home, and I think that's the school needs to step it up! message me if you want!

good luck!

by on Jan. 18, 2010 at 4:47 PM

Does your son get anxiety at school (maybe kids are mean to him, maybe other kids "watching him" make him nervous, maybe his teacher is not best for him, maybe having a reading coach makes him feel "different" and kids don't like to feel "un-normal")?  I think he is relaxed around you and comforable enough to concentrate with you but NOT anywhere else so he does best with you.  Maybe the teachers are not giving him the attention he needs on some aspect.  Maybe see if you can vary his school life a bit (different teacher, different time of day for coach time, different meal at lunch, different sleep pattern better suited for school days,etc) and see if that changes things.  Children with ADHD ESPECIALLY need plenty and lots of sleep and good nutrition.  That may be also why he doesn't do nearly as well when staying with his dad.

I don't know what state you live in, but here in Texas there is a Shriner's Hosptial for children with bone and learning problems that test and treat children for free.  You may see if your area offers anything of the sort as well.  Your school's couselor or advisor should know of programs such as this.  It is worth checking into even if these programs can do no more then build your or his esteem on this topic or give you a few pointers for progress.

Good luck!


by on Jan. 18, 2010 at 5:03 PM

Omg you are so horrible for helping your son just kidding. I really believe my oldest has dyslexia he has all the traits of it. Hes in 3rd grade and doesnt read really. Hes in special ed. I gave him ADD medication so he can speed up his learning. I wasnt into giving kids medication but sometimes you dont have a choice. What I would do is just keep working with him. I cant afford a tutor but if you can afford one it couldnt hurt. Btw so many dyslexics are genius'. Albert Einstein was a dyslexic, Tom Cruise and so on. What you can try and I do now is I pressure him to learn and remember it because my son knows how to play games so well and he can teach others but he has issues with school. At my sons other school they never pressured him, the teacher only focused on behavior which I didnt understand. good luck and if you find a way can you update us.

by on Jan. 18, 2010 at 9:52 PM

Have you ever tried to take  away  food coloring and corn syrup?

It has made a huge difference in my kids. His  handwriting has improved and  is getting much better  grades.

Thisis the book you should get at the library . It talks about  food and how it affects school and learning.

Is this your  child by  Doris  Rapp.

by on Jan. 19, 2010 at 1:43 PM

Bump for Update

by on Jan. 19, 2010 at 2:00 PM

if your son gets a IEP Im pretty sure hell be in special ed. My oldest has a IEP and hes in special ed.I would fight for it If I were you, talk to the principal and so on. I really feel dyslexia is a learning disability I hate to admit it, but if your son gets the help he needs itll help him greatly. ADD isnt a learning disorder because many kids who are in regular classes have it.But be aware if your son gets in special ed they will not push him so you will have to at home. My oldest is in 3rd grade and is in a kindergarten reading level and a first grade math level. I always ask myself what did I do wrong but when I was pregnant with him, I was by the book.

by on Jan. 19, 2010 at 4:07 PM

Sadly schools are so short on funds that a good deal of dyslexic children fall through the cracks.  You can fight the school and get him the help he need. You need the book From Emotions to Advocacy by Pam Wright and Peter Wright. Also Overcoming Dyslexia by Sally Shaywitz, MD is a must read.

There is help for dyslexic kids. Susan Barton has developed a wonderful system for parents to help teach their child to read in a muti-sensory method.  The programs run about $250 pre level, however they can be bought and sold on Ebay for about 80% of their value.

Out of my four boys three are dyslexic, two are gifted dyslexic and did very well in school. My youngest has double deficit dyslexia. And without help from home and private tutors, he will fall through the school systems cracks until he is so far behind and there is nothing left of his self esteem.  This will not happen if I can help it all.

Good luck with your journey, I know how hard it is, drop me a line if you have another questions.



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