mommys4boys - the member who asked this question - selected this as the best answer posted by another Education.com member.
from a fellow member
Do you think maybe your child has dyslexia?
Dyslexia is a specific learning disability and primarily affects one's ability to learn to read. Dyslexia is characterized by difficulties with accurate and fluent word recognition and by poor spelling and decoding abilities. Dyslexia varies in degrees of severity and is highly hereditary. It is not uncommon for a child with dyslexia to have an immediate family member who also has this condition. Also, it is not unusual for two or more children in a family to have dyslexia.
Dyslexia is estimated to affect some 20-30 percent of our population. This means that more than 2 million school-age children in the United States are dyslexic. Although children with dyslexia typically have average to above average intelligence, their dyslexia creates problems not only with reading, writing and spelling but also with speaking, thinking and listening. Many times these academic problems can lead to emotional and self-esteem issues throughout their lives. Low self-esteem can lead to poor grades and under achievement. Dyslexic students are often considered lazy, rebellious or unmotivated. These misconceptions cause rejection, isolation, feelings of inferiority, and discouragement.
The central difficulty for dyslexic students is poor phonemic awareness. Phonemic awareness is the ability to appreciate that spoken language is made up of sound segments (phonemes). In other words, a dyslexic student's brain has trouble breaking a word down into its individual sounds and manipulating these sounds. For example, in a word with three sounds, a dyslexic might only perceive one or two.
Most researchers and teachers agree that developing phonemic awareness is the first step in learning to read. It cannot be skipped. When children begin to learn to read, they first must come to recognize that the word on the page has the same sound structure as the spoken word it represents. However, because dyslexics have difficulty recognizing the internal sound structure of the spoken word to begin with, it is very difficult for them to convert the letters of the alphabet into a phonetic code (decoding).
Although dyslexia can impair spelling and decoding abilities, it also seems to be associated with many strengths and talents. People with dyslexia often have significant strengths in areas controlled by the right side of the brain. These include artistic, athletic and mechanical gifts. Individuals with dyslexia tend to be very bright and creative thinkers. They have a knack for thinking, "outside-the-box." Many dyslexics have strong 3-D visualization ability, musical talent, creative problem solving skills and intuitive people skills. Many are gifted in math, science, fine arts, journalism, and other creative fields.
Dyslexia is a persistent learning difference that one does not outgrow. With early detection, proper intervention, and certain accommodations, dyslexics can improve their reading and spelling skills significantly and succeed academically.
Some Symptoms to look out for: (only needs to be a few, not all)
•Late talking, compared to other children
•Pronunciation problems, reversal of sounds in words (such as 'aminal' for 'animal' or 'gabrage' for 'garbage')
•Slow vocabulary growth, often unable to find the right word (takes a while to get the words out)
•Difficulty rhyming words
•Trouble learning numbers, the alphabet, days of the week
•Poor ability to follow directions or routines
•Does not understand what you say until you repeat it a few times
•Enjoys being read to but shows no interest in words or letters
•Has weak fine motor skills (in activities such as drawing, tying laces, cutting, and threading)
•Unstable pencil grip
•Slow to learn new skills, relies heavily on memorization
School Age Children
•Has good memory skills
•Has not shown a dominant handedness
•Seems extremely intelligent but weak in reading
•Reads a word on one page but doesn't recognize it on the next page or the next day
•Confuses look alike letters like b and d, b and p, n and u, or m and w.
•Substitutes a word while reading that means the same thing but doesn't look at all similar, like "trip" for "journey" or "mom" for "mother."
•When reading leaves out or adds small words like "an, a, from, the, to, were, are and of."
•Reading comprehension is poor because the child spends so much energy trying to figure out words.
•Might have problems tracking the words on the lines, or following them across the pages.
•Avoids reading as much as possible
•Writes everything as one continuous sentence
•Does not understand the difference between a sentence and a fragment of a sentence
•Misspells many words
•Uses odd spacing between words. Might ignore margins completely and pack sentences together on the page instead of spreading them out
•Does not notice spelling errors
•Is easily distracted or has a short attention span
•Has difficulties making sense of instructions
•Fails to finish work on time
•Appears lazy, unmotivated, or frustrated
•Avoids reading and writing
•Guesses at words and skips small words
•Has difficulties with reading comprehension
•Does not do homework
•Might say that they are "dumb" or "couldn't care less"
•Might hide the dyslexia by being defiant or using self-abusive behavior
Students with dyslexia will need intensive tutoring in reading, writing and spelling using an Orton-Gillingham program. During this training, students will overcome many reading difficulties and learn strategies that will last a lifetime. Treatment will only "stick" if it is incorporated slowly and consistently over time. There is no such thing as a "quick fix."
The best learning environment for a student with dyslexia is always one-to-one. Students who have severe dyslexia may need periodic one-to-one tutoring to catch up and stay up with the rest of their class. This specialized tutoring helps dyslexic students become successful in reading, writing, spelling, grammar, and vocabulary. It also will help them with math, and word problems.
Also keep in mind that if a child struggles in reading and hates it - they aren't going to want to do it.
Hi mommys4boys, you might want to try the reading activities that are listed on the Education.com website. Just go to the activities section on the webpage and when you are on the activities section, select your child’s grade level and then reading in topics. There are many reading activities for your child and you to try out and have fun with! Below are some links for reading activities, but some may not apply because I am unsure what grade level your child is in. I hope this helps!
Reading should definitely be painless and enjoyable. Teach your child about the wonders of reading by showing him how much you enjoy reading. Tell him about great books you are currently reading, and tell him about your favorite books you read as a child. The joy of reading is contagious, and it is important that you make it a positive experience.
Furthermore, selecting popular, high interest books will make reading more fun for you both. Use your child’s interests and hobbies as guides for choosing the right book for him.
If your child struggles to read, you can help him become a better reader by having him listen to you read. Reading for twenty minutes every night before your son goes to bed is a great way to help him become a better reader. Modeling good reading skills will expose your son to fluent reading. Depending on how old he is, you can either read to him from a picture book each night, or you can read to him from a chapter book. You can take turns reading from the book together, and he can even take over reading if and when he feels comfortable. Your son can also reread the book with you after you have read it to him. It may be easier for him to read a story he already knows.
We must try not to label our children too quickly. However, no matter what the best reading strategies still apply. Always move at your child's pace - 'slow but steady wins the race'.
I have found that because there has been such a big drive towards the learning of phonics for reading and a big move away from whole-word instruction that some students do actually struggle with reading. I am a firm believer that we need to blend both approaches to cater for different student's learning preferences.
Therefore, whilst we must teach phonemic awareness it is also a good strategy to use flashcards for simple word identification. This helps students to identify a wide variety of words fairly quickly and that allows for fluency in the young child's reading. Once fluency picks up comprehension follows and this builds the child's confidence and love of books since he can better understand the stories.
Joining a library is always a good idea. Of course allow your child to pick storybooks that appeal to him whilst you gently guide him towards those more within his reading range to prevent frustration. Remember to read stories to him to help him want to then imitate you.
Children love modelling what their parents or carers do. So let your child see you reading. It doesn't matter if it's the newspaper, a cookery book, an eBook, a romantic novel, a magazine, short stories, a computer manual... anything!
Encourage your child to join in - ask them to read out a recipe for you as you cook, or the TV listings when you are watching TV. When they are just starting to read ask them what the first letter of the next ingredient is and have them guess what they think it is or look for a word beginning with ‘s’ if the TV programme starts with that.
Try using different settings to read
Play at a restaurant. At restaurants, kids can attempt to read the menus.
Play when booking a holiday. Parents can ask their children to browse vacation brochures or look with them as they surf websites.
Play at the shops. Get them to help you reading your shopping list.
Play at home. Baking some cookies can be educational (and tasty!) for children. Reading recipes, finding ingredients, and following instructions can all enhance reading skills.
Play in the car. Parents can ask their child to look at maps, road signs, and even roadside billboards in search of specific letters. For example, children may be asked to locate as many "A's" as they can while travelling, or to find all of the letters that comprise their names.
Play on the Internet. There are lots of free ebooks for children on the internet. Using the computer to play whilst reading makes this a fun activity for children.
Try using wall charts with pictures and words to practice reading with your child.
Try writing out words in dots for them to join up and form letters.
You could write out words with missing letters and get your child to fill in the gaps. Draw a picture of the word or cut out a picture from an old magazine
Read some instructions for playing a game or making a model.
Make a family photo album and write the names and places next to the pictures.
Make your own books! Kids will love to read books they have written over and over again.
Helping your child become a reader is a gift that every parent wants to give to their child. There are so many ways that you can help your child to read – it isn’t all about books!
Jeanette38 said lots of good stuff!
All the experts I trust say that Sight Words are a disaster, and that phonics is essential. (Google: "40: Sight Words -- The Big Stupid.") It's the Sight Words that create dyslexia!
Here is what I think is the most important thing. When you read to your child, sit side by side and casually touch, draw, point at the letters. In the bad days of total Whole Word, they didn't even tell kids which way we read! Crazy. Left to right is arbitrary. You can without seeming to indicate directionality, syllables, letters, etc.
Poems and nursery rhymes are golden.
One of the best ways to help our children under any condition... is be example. There is an old saying that says People dont care how much you know until they know how much you care. Here is an article that is awesome in helping our children with reading. http://new.123biz.info/learntoread