Helping child with dyslexia

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  • Jessica

    My 9 year old son has some difficulties with reading and writing that I’m treating as dyslexia although he isn’t formerly diagnosed. We are in our 4th CM year. I am still only requiring verbal narrations because of his inability to write sentences without copying. He does fairly well with narrations as long as I stop about every 5 minutes to ask for one. Some books I can read the entire chapter and he’ll narrate well. It all depends on how much he enjoys the particular subject matter. I usually have to remind him to start from the beginning and work toward the end instead of all mixed or backwards. The biggest frustration I’m running into is that when I ask him exam questions at the end of a term he very often says I forgot. If I give him a gentle reminder about the subject he will tell me a little, but not much at all. I just asked him about a living history field trip from the end of January and he couldn’t tell me. He very much enjoyed the demonstrations, but said he couldn’t remember any of them. My question was, “what was your favorite demonstration from the ___ field trip?” I did get a little out of him when I asked about a particular demonstration, but it certainty wasn’t nearly as thorough as what he talked about in our conversations on our way home that day. This is just a good example because he did enjoy this a lot at the time, so this one “I don’t remember” isn’t due to disinterest.

    I sometimes think this could be laziness, sometimes disinterest, and sometimes I worry that he is struggling with putting things into order due to dyslexia and just says I don’t remember because he doesn’t want to exhaust himself lining it all up and saying it when it has been a while since he saw or heard the particular thing I’m asking about.

    Anyone with dyslexic children have any advice? Am I doing it all wrong? Should I maybe ask for review narrations halfway through a term or more often?


    I have a son nearly 15 years old with mild dyslexia. I would say your assessment is spot on except for the laziness and disinterest, and don’t worry, there were times too when I thought he was being lazy.

    Over the years i have learnt that ordering and sequencing can be a particular problem for dyslexics as can their perception of time. For years my boy would constantly ask when something occurred or when an event was going to happen. I bought him a calender and that helped.

    Keep persevering, it sounds as if you intuitively know where the problem areas are.

    Sometimes a few modifications need to be made to accommodate a child with LDs. Although ‘review’ is not strictly CM    I have found that going over important material is essential. Now sometimes this can be accomplished through diligent preparation of a reading…scaffolding, and that will be sufficient but other times more needs to be done, a graduated recall. And sometimes it is in there but as you is alot of work for them to get it back out.

    My son often says he cant remember but when he has some careful prompts he can come out with a lot more than he thinks he is capable of.

    The absolute best thing to help.with narration is practicing narration and this helps with the problems of recall and sequencing.

    I also used to get my son to dictate his narrations to me and then he would write it out again as copy work. You could do the narration one day and make that his copywork over the next day or so. That way you are reinforcing his lessons in a natural way.

    Sorry if this seems a bit garbled, i have been writing bits down as i think of them.


    I probably wasn’t very clear, but it is very CM to “scaffold” a reading.

    You could also get your son to drawn narrations too as you are reading that can act as prompts, but they willbe his prompts rather than yours so hes still doing the mental work.

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