bagpuss asks:

Help! How can I help my 7 year old daughter improve with her literacy as she is a year behind.

My daughter is 7 and in year 2 and still has problems with her phonics which is causing problems for her when she reads and writes.  I have been told that they wont test for dyslexia until she reaches middle school at the age of 9 which really concerns me as she is already 1 year behind. When she is reading she will put letters in words that aren't there or miss out letters all together.  She always gets from for of and off mixed up.  And words like then she will say when.  Her spelling is also very bad as well she finds it hard to recognise sounds in words like th and f. Also I have noticed that when she forms letters and numbers she starts them from the bottom of the letter and not the top.  I was amazed to see yesterday her writing number 8 starting at the bottom I'm amazed she can do it as its really hard.  I have spoken to the school about her reading and they did agree with me that she needed more help so has been on a better reading course and also a rapid reading course.  She did make some progress whilst doing these but I am worried now that they have ended she is starting to slip again.  She now attends Explore Learning twice a week just to help her out.  I really wondered if anyone else has had these types of problems with their children and how you helped them the best.   I do have to admit that sometimes I do get frustrated which I know is wrong but I am only human.  
In Topics: Helping my child with reading, Learning issues and special needs
> 60 days ago



May 17, 2012
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What the Expert Says:

Hello and thank you for writing to JustAsk.

I have never heard of a school district not addressing reading and writing delays until middle school.  It would be my suggestion that you ask for a review of your child's academic progress in relationship to her age and grade peers.  This request should be in writing versus by phone.

When you ask for a meeting I would also recommend bringing a friend or a spouse with you.  That way someone else is present who can help with questions or writing down notes in addition to those that are the formal meeting minutes.

Having a child in remedial help- such as Explore Learning sounds like an excellent idea.  Also, encourage her to play "school" where she reads aloud like the teacher or creates spelling tests. This "backwards" way of learning actually can help!

Good luck and below is a website that may prove helpful.

Louise Sattler, NCSP

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