<p style=”text-align: left;”>Hi, I have a 7 1/2 year old who knows all his letter sounds but is unable to read or put them into simple words . Even breaking words apart into sounds or blending sounds into words is difficult for him. I have been using the CM approach to reading with him but we do not seem to be making any progress. I realize this could simply be a developmental issue- that he is just not quite ready to read yet. However, I’m beginning to suspect there may be an underlying disability. At what point (if ever) do I “abandon” the CM method and switch to something such as an Orton Gillingham method or other designed for children with dyslexia (if that turns out to be what he has)? Or is the CM method sufficient for all needs?</p>KerriParticipant
I have a 7.5 year old that has been diagnosed with Auditory Processing Disorder. For us a strictly phonics approach hasn’t worked. We didn’t use the CM method for reading but while I think it’s a great method and would have worked with my other kiddos, it wouldn’t have worked for my 7.5 year old. We had to go a different route.
Having said all of that 🙂 have you tried putting away the phonics for a couple of weeks and coming back to it? Sometimes they just aren’t ready. Once I had put it away and brought it back out and then just my gut feeling that something was off I went ahead and had her tested thinking that we might be dealing with dyslexia – it ended up instead to be auditory processing disorder.
In my opinion (just my .02) if you are dealing with dyslexia or auditory processing etc you will need to go a different route, such as Orton Gillingham etc. There are alot of options out there and it really helped me to find out exactly what we were dealing with too. We ended up using Dianne Crafts phonics and brain integration therapy and have seen much improvement. Now I know there are many options out there and I’m sure there are lots of good ones, that is just the route we felt led to go down.retrofamParticipant
Is he interested in learning to read? Does it bother him that he doesn’t read yet? If yes, I would pursue a different reading program. I started Pecci Reading and spelling called, At Last! A Reading Method for Every Child, and the spelling book. I like that she uses charts as references and the alphabet sequence so the child finds the answer if they forget.
All About Reading is a popular option too.CrystalNParticipant
This may not be helpful in any way but my ds did not really read until 3rd grade. He went to public school in K and learned to read, I thought, as he was able to read the little booklets he made in school. But when I brought him home in first it turned out he couldnt “sound out” a word at all. I later discovered two things, he either never learned or daydreamed through phonics in school. And two, his eyes were not ready and could not track words on a page. The phonics was enough to correct, but the tracking was just a waiting game, although I am sure there is some sort of treatment option. There is a book called Better Late than Early I think that addresses some of the development of the eye that can make early reading damaging to childrens future vision. In any case I wasnt yet as “researchy” then as I am now and I just waited and came up with my own treatment plan. Since he new letter sounds already I started building one word at a time on a big white board in very large print – no tracking or eye strain. That year I wrote “secret messages” on the board. Short sentences, large print, usually something to motivate him. “Candy after lunch” or “New toy later”. Around third grade he was finally able to read a book. He still hates to read, sadly, but I am hoping that is the 14 year old boy talking and all my years of reading quality books to him will payoff at some point. I wish you luck, you are a good mama for paying attention to his needs.DebbyParticipant
Thank you all for responding! I’ll try to answer above questions …. i have tried putting things away and then coming back, but not a lot of difference . We did switch to Dianne Craft for a time and he did learn some sight words that way. I’m thinking about using that for sight words but the books they read feel like “twaddle” to me. Maybe I could use her cards/ picture ideas for sight word lessons and then build words on alternate days? I’ve used all about reading with other children before I switched to CM- I’ve thought about bringing that out too. I just love CM methods so much I hate to use something else! He was tested a couple of years ago for other things and they thought there was possible dyslexia but I’m hesitant to test again. I don’t want to be pushed into some kind of “treatment” for what may at this point simply be a boy who isn’t quite ready or interested in reading, you know what I mean?CrystalNParticipant
If it were me I would wait as long as I could before looking into a diagnosis. That is probably not a popular opinion I know. I would research the ideal time for intervention. You know those studies that say dyslexic kids do best if intervention is started by —— age. I would then wait till that age, if that makes sense. I think development can “cure”a lot of what we percieve as problems. I am not discounting learning disabilities. I just think young children can be diagnosed with issues when in fact they are just late bloomers. My sons k teacher wanted me to medicate him for adhd, but I was resistant and in fact he matured and I dont think anyone would suspect adhd today. Keep in mind though that most of those studies are done on public schooled children rather than homeschooled. I remember one study that said if a child doesnt read well by 4th grade they are doomed. That is probably true in traditional school where they have moved on to the reading to learn stage and have no time for kids who arent there yet, but as homeschoolers we can stay in whatever stage for as long as necessary. Anyway my point is that some of those statistics may not be applicable to us. Just my personal opinion. I think a mommas patience, her diligent research and focused attention can do as much or more than a “professional” if in fact it just a timing thing. The trick is knowing when to call in the big guns right.caedmynParticipant
I would encourage you to research symptoms of dyslexia. From your description it sounds like he could be dyslexic (I have 3 of them). http://www.dys-add.com is a good website. Also, consider giving him the free student screening test at http://www.bartonreading.com (under the Students tab) which tests things like auditory discrimination, memory, and sequencing.
My understanding is that research shows that dyslexic kids do best when dyslexia is diagnosed and remeditation begun as early as possible–age 6 is what I’ve heard. FWIW I thought I had a late bloomer in reading at one point…I realized when he was 7.5 that he had many signs of dyslexia. He made good progress once we started reading programs designed for dyslexia but had made little progress in the almost 2 years before that time. None of mine have been formally tested for dyslexia as DH is against it but all had symptoms and I have done a lot of research and choosen reading programs for them based on that and they’ve done well (just to say that you don’t have to pursue a formal diagnosis if you don’t feel comfortable with one).KerriParticipant
I just wanted to chime in and say that we used Dianne Crafts phonics (just the phonics instruction book, not the readers) in conjunction with her Brain Integration Therapy and I don’t think we would have gotten the same results if we hadn’t used the BIT. I’ve used our own readers and that has worked well.VevemeParticipant
I would second @caedmyn’s suggestion to research the symptoms of dyslexia.
I sure wish I’d started earlier on the remediation trail. I was waiting it out, hoping something would click and that my daughter was just a late bloomer. But looking back I was noticing signs of dyslexia even as early as 18 months old- when she could quickly sort the 18 shape sorter with no problems, astonishing everyone with her spatial awareness skills; then again when she was three and four and not able to remember basic color names.
She’s 11 now and we are using a Orton-Gillingham based program and she’s finally seeing some success which is so rewarding for her. I wish though that I’d found this method earlier than 10 years old as it feels like we lost some valuable time that I could have been helping her and she would have been able to glean even more out of our CM method homeschool.
Dyslexia Quest by Nessy is a fun game that can help a parent see where possible learning differences are. I also suggest watching Susan Barton’s video on Vimeo- “Signs and Symptoms of Dyslexia.” It was eye-opening for me.
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