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snr11
snr11 asks:
Q:

I have an 11 year old with reading difficulties. Any guidance would be greatly appreciated.

I have an 11 year old son in 6th grade.  He can read, he reads slowly, however if he reads he has little or no comprehension with that he has read.  He is poor at handwriting, spelling and giving detailed thoughts.  He excels in math and science however not when a lot of reading or writing is involved.
I am concerned that he has some sort of reading disorder.  He has been viewed by his teachers as lazy for all of these years.  I truly don't believe that he is just lazy it is like he just doesn't get it.  He is a very intelligent child and is very compassionate and caring.
I am unsure if his reading is tied to his spelling and his handwriting.  His spelling is horrible.  It always has been.  His handwriting has also been a huge challenge.  It is almost impossible to read and teachers have simply passed him as they could not read what he wrote.  I have put him through thousands of dollars of occupational therapy for his writing with virtually no improvement.  We have also tried using raised line papers with no real improvment.
I am meeting with the school in two weeks to yet again request he be evaluated but I find it hard to request special testing when I don't know what I want them to test him for.  I have 2 siblings and a father with dyslexia however I feel that my son see's the letters correctly, he just cant process the words as a whole, if that makes sense.   Any guidance would be greatly appreciated.
In Topics: Helping my child with reading, Learning disabilities
> 60 days ago

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Expert

DrSheldonHorowitz
Sep 26, 2010
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What the Expert Says:

You are on the right track... DON'T STOP NOW! I think it would be safe to replace the word "concerned" with "presumed" in your question, and the real issue is not "if" but "what kind" of learning disability is causing your son to read so slowly and in so labored a fashion. Your positive family history for dyslexia and your report that occupational therapy provided little relief all point to your son having a reading disorder. A targeted evaluation (hopefully done by the school district at no additional expense to you) sounds like an excellent next step.

Reading comprehension comprehension is the result of a complex set of cognitive processes that depends upon more than just a few ingredients all working together in a synchronous, even automatic way. Vocabulary clearly plays a critical role in understanding what has been read. The reader must also be intentional and thoughtful while reading, monitoring the words and their meaning as reading progresses. And the reader must apply reading comprehension strategies as ways to be sure that what is being read matches their expectations and builds on their growing body of knowledge that is being stored for immediate or future reference.

There are a few 'proven' (effective) ways to improve rate of reading, automaticity (which means what it sounds like... having the reading process be 'automatic' rather than slow and labored) and comprehension. But they take lots and lots and lots of good modeling, rehearsal and practice.  Share your questions and observations with your child's school district as part of a formal request, in writing, to have your child evaluated. And know your rights and how to be a well-informed advocate should you have any questions and worries along the way. A wonderful resource for you and others is NCLD's IDEA Parent Guide (http://www.ncld.org/publications-a-more/parent-advocacy-guides/idea-parent-guide).  
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Additional Answers (4)

ZeQuan
ZeQuan writes:
I say try the leap frog learning devices.They have all diffrent kinds.It helped my son alot He is in 2nd grade will be 8yo in June and reads pretty good.Like I said they many diffrent ones Im sure u can find one to suite ur son.Good luck
> 60 days ago

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beata
beata writes:
My son has exactly the same problem, he is in grade nine right now and has as much problem as before.  The teachers at his high school recommend to use laptop to write all his assignments.   It help a lot as you probably know kids this days interact really good with electronics.  All his homework is done on line throw the teachers side so I can have guidance when he is stack or couldn't finished something.
> 60 days ago

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professor87
professor87 writes:
Bering a parent u should not look your child as a problem. They are in formative age. you can make him to grow to fullest extent with his all potentialities.you should always encourage your child. don't recognize his weaknesses rather find out his strength.what are things where he performs better and motivate him by encouraging that he can do better in reading and handwriting also. In slightest improvement reward him with a gift or with your love. when ever gust come to your home tell them in front of your child that you child now a days ding batter and you trust that he will improve further in future. see the magic result.
> 60 days ago

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m.nelson
m.nelson writes:
This sounds similar to the trouble many of my middle school students face in reading.  I've had some luck with a new reading program employed by my school district, which uses audiobooks as a major part of their strategy.  I believe the connection between the printed word and spoken word is extremely important, and adding the audio element while students read engages them in a natural process of language comprehension.  Perhaps this would be worth looking into for your son?  Especially since the books I use in my class are so male-focused, with sports and tech-based stories.  The MP3 audio players that we use are readings of the same stories, and both the text and audio accomodate multiple reading levels.  For my students, they are working great.

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