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mamoll
mamoll asks:
Q:

I have a 7 year old daughter who has ADD and does not want to learn how to read, what advice do you have to help help her be more interested?

She was in the Public School system and it was a disaster, so we now home school. She spent most of the year in public school struggling, and failed, before the school brought  her progress to my attention. I fear that because of this her self confidence and love for learning have been severely damaged.

I bought a phonics curriculum, Sing Spell Read Write, because she loves to sing and is very musical as well as artistic. But she is fighting this new curriculum.

Thank you.
In Topics: Helping my child with reading, School and Academics, Learning issues and special needs
> 60 days ago

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Expert

LouiseSattler
Sep 16, 2012
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What the Expert Says:

Hello and thank you for writing to JustAsk!

I know that many parents have had similar experiences and concerns.  Perhaps the organization CHADD.org may be of assistance to you.

In addition, new findings have touted the positive effects of e-readers on children who are having academic difficulties. http://www.ltschools.org/files/www/file/special-ed/Inexpensive%20Assistive%20Technology%20for%20Struggling%20Readers.pdf

Good luck!

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Additional Answers (5)

LDSolutions
LDSolutions , Child Professional writes:
Children with ADHD need constant structure and routine.  A very structured reading program is the key and it needs to be delivered in a structured, systematic, cumulative and sequential process. Through the routine and structure your daughter will slowly know what to expect and therefore become a more confident student.  Lessons should not be longer than 20 minutes and each lesson needs to involve multisensory learning strategies.  Seeing, Saying, Touching, Hearing and Moving are the elements to be included with each lesson.  

Reading is a skill that needs to be practiced regularly.  Without practice, young readers will not develop the vocabulary, the skills, and the fluency necessary to become strong readers. But many children, even those with strong reading skills, do not get enough practice and as a result become disinterested in reading, and can quickly become discouraged. So what do you do?  



- Find books with cartoons or humor  -- which only a child would find amusing

Not everything needs to be a learning lesson.  Letting children read books such as Captain Underpants or Diary of a Wimpy Kid will keep them engaged and entertained.  Although adults might find the language and humor distasteful, children find it very funny and are therefore more motivated to read.

- Zero in on your child's passions and choose books and magazines focused on areas of interest

Find books on specific topics to keep your child's interest, such as science, baseball, American Girl dolls, etc.  Children who already have the background knowledge, language and vocabulary before beginning a book will have an easier time getting through the reading.  Order a magazine subscription to Sports Illustrated for Kids or Nickelodeon.  Children love receiving mail and reading 'their' magazines.


- Find an author that your child likes and stick with it

If your child loves reading Cat in the Hat or Junie B. Jones, then you have found a writing style which stimulates your child's interest.  Go through the entire series.  Don't worry if the reading is below grade level: your child is reading for pleasure and for practice.  Also remember, just because you loved a certain author or series when you were a kid, this doesn't mean your child will love the same books you did.  Browse the bookstore or library and find the newest, most modern series.  Usually these books contain language and themes to motivate the most reluctant reader.  Kids need to relate to what they are reading, and modern language usage helps.

- Let your child talk to you about the book they are reading.

When we adults read books we enjoy, we like to talk about them.  After reading a book, we don't necessarily want to write a summary, book report or make a project of it.  We just want to discuss it with someone else.   Look interested in what your child is reading (yes, even if it is Captain Underpants) and ask questions and have your child tell you about it.  Laugh with your child about the funny parts (even at the bathroom jokes) and help your child feel good about reading.
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Sivasubramanyam1016
Sivasubrama... writes:
School/class must identify weak students and give suitable clues in understanding. The teacher must have flexible/multiple ways and means to draw the attention of student. However, proper teaching technique will elevate her. Take good measures now, delay may cause further drooping.
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rl2483
rl2483 writes:
My advice would be to put her on the program Starfall that has a great phonics system for children. When I taught kindergarten, this program helped out a lot. Also another idea that I would implement in my classroom with helping the kids learn to read is that I would record myself along with them singing the sing spell read write alphabet song and then they would listen to it on their own in a listening center. If she is home schooled you can buy her a cool set of earphones or try and do some kind of incentive.
Hope it works for you! :)
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JamielaIsmail
JamielaIsmail , Teacher writes:
The ADD can be sorted out by asking a doctor to perhaps have her diagnosed as such and then be treated accordingly.  

She loves music and song/art, perhaps this can be a tool to use in order to bring about learning?  That is, she can go for singing/music/art lessons once a week if she does her academic/curriculum learning.

Home school will reduce the stress and anxiety for both you and your daughter.

Hope information is helpful.
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Nina.Blue
Nina.Blue writes:
My son has ADHD, sensory issues, and an auditory processing disorder with central hearing loss.  Needless to say sitting still and learning to read in the traditional phonics based approach wasn't an option.   We ended up homeschooling for two years.

The number one rule of homeschooling is when Mommy/teacher tells you to do your work, you do it.   You get two options -- do the assigned work or sit in the time out chair.   There is no fun alternative.   This took several weeks to get straight and was revisited often during the first year, when my son decided to test the limits.   Now, to teach this I started with easy assignments that I knew he could do, such as "Draw me a picture."  One time, he sribbled on the page and looked defiante.  I ignored his body language and praised him for doing a great picture of a tornado, then he got a reward.   The point was -- ndo what Mommy says, and get something good.   Once that was estabilished the world got much easier, even when I mistakenly asked him to do things that were way too hard. He learned to talk to me about it, rather than avoid it and misbehave.  His "misbehaving/avoidance" is a big part of his ADHD.

Second, I started his reading instructions with the alphabet.   He had to learn three things for each letter -- the name, the shape, and one sound. We used only lower case letter until he had all three parts. (We used flashcards to test this.  The letter were made of sand paper so when he touched them they gave him sensory feedback.)  For the letter shapes, we had "spelling tests" where I said the letter name and he wrote it, or made the shape of the letter out of playdough, or picked the correct letter out of a couple of choices.  (We used Handwriting without Tears, recommended by our OT.)
 Once those two parts were done, we worked on learning to associate one sound with each letter.  I only did the short vowel sounds to start.  The sounds were very hard because of the auditory issues (which at the time were not diagnosed).  I did some reading on how deaf people learn to talk and taught him to make the sounds of the difficult letters the way they teach deaf people to talk.  He couldn't hear the difference between "m" and "n" or "p," "f," and "v" so we focused on physically how you use your mouth, tongue, and breath to make the different sounds and to use those physical movements to match the letter.  

Once I had succeeded in all this, I was feeling really proud and jumped into teaching him to read.  I failed.   There was so much I didn't know, and he needed more help.  I found a tutor who was licensed in Wilson reading program and lindamood-bell, and several other programs.  (I liked the fact that she knew several programs, so she could decided what would be best for him.)  I took him to her.  In a month of using the Wilson Reading program, she had him reading.   In six months he was scoring in the 90th percentile at grade level.   He thinks he is a great reader, and everyone who reads his Ed-psych reports cannot understand how he can possibly read this well.   The power of early intervention and mother's intuition.  I didn't wait for a diagnosis of a reading problem.  I saw he was having trouble and got him help.   We fixed the problem before the educational world even knew he had it.  

We homeschooled for kindergarten and first grade, then we sent him to a private school recommended by our speech language pathologist.  It has been great for him!  

Also, consider OT, speech, and visual therapy -- all of them may help with the reading and the ADD.

My son will be 9 in April and he is doing well in school!

Good luck!
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