Monday, February 1, 2016

Dyslexia Therapy with NON-dyslexic kids? YES INDEED! Part 2: starting to see some light

PART 2 in "Dyslexia Therapy with NON-dyslexic kids".  And, YES, you have read the title correctly!  This mini-series is all about using dyslexia therapy with kids who DO NOT have dyslexia!      In this post we will continue with A10's story...

A has always liked art
Part 2: Starting to see some light

     I hope you all don't think I am a horrible mother for speaking about how difficult things were with A.  The truth is, while he has many millions of wonderful qualities, the horrendous-ness was so overwhelming, for so many years, that it did overtake life.  Have you ever been there with one of your kids?  Ever felt like no matter what you do that it was never enough?  Like, you just could not get through?  That.  THAT!  That was life with A for 8 YEARS!!!!  Okay... I will call it 7 years, the first year wasn't that bad ;)

Now, take a deep breath...
     Something magical started to happen when A turned 8.  I think it was a combination of things:

  1. He was getting older.
  2. We finally found a consequence/discipline he did not like.
  3. We stopped negotiating with terrorist. Yah... haha.  No, seriously.  We drew a very firm line and A had to toe it.
  4. Some more changes in school were made.
     I know you are probably wondering why I am talking more about his behavioral issues than school stuff?  Simply because, you CAN NOT DO SCHOOL with a KID WHO IS INSANE DISOBEDIENT!  Heart issue must be dealt with in order to accomplish anything else.  Some heart issues are smaller and you work on them on a continuum  and some you need to just hit head on and life does not progress until they are fixed.  A had some of both.  As long as A was with Mom or Dad he was fine.  It was when he was out of eyesight/earshot/arms reach that things happened.

     When he turned 8, though, things really did start to get better.  He exhibited more self control, consideration for others and a general dislike for picking up sticks ;)  We saw that he was yeilding and this was good.
A is happy about his Teaching Textbooks scores
     It was also at this time that he started "Teaching Textbooks" for math.  It's what I used with all my kids at that point- so no "amazing" reason here.  He liked it.  He didn't have to read anything and that made math easy.  He also didn't have to write anything because it was on the computer.  And when he did have to figure a problem on paper, no big deal, it was just numbers.  JUST NUMBERS.  He had no problem "reading" numbers, just words.... hmmm.....
     It was also at this time that he started using a program called Reading Eggs.  He loved it!  I won't go into detail because I have a post about it.  In short though, it's an online reading program that does an assessment of your childs reading level and then plugs them into the system where they are at.  It then systematically, and in a super fun way, continues to teach your child to read.  A likes games and we do not do computer/video games so for him this was a huge treat!
     So, A's school consisted of reading eggs, handwriting and spelling by tracing (I made a folder for him with dry erase pages).  And science and history as a one room schoolhouse. I kept trying our Queens LA, but it was just not working, so I set it aside.  Things were going pretty good, I thought...

     Well, that was 3rd grade, and 4th grade.  He finished reading eggs and the report said he was reading at a 3rd grade level.  But he couldn't really read. I will admit.... I really felt like a lot of this was my fault.  Life was quite jumbled for some time, We had a lot to adjust to.  Between big kids and babies, "elementary school" was my go-to to shluff on.  I knew that reading was not coming easy to him like his older sibling but maybe it's because I am not spending enough time helping him..... maybe....

     Now commence me tutoring my homeschooled kid!...

A and I at the library
     A had knee surgery (he severed his ACL- we have no idea how) right as 4th grade started.  He had physical therapy twice a week for about 9 months.  These coincided with my oldest daughters work hours so we had time to kill. We redeemed the 2 hour wait by going to the library and doing school. So I tutored my homeschool kid twice a week.
     We started working, again, in our QUEENS LA.  I think I had him in the kindy or 1st grade book.  Thats the level he was on.  I bought books with things that would interest him but had more pictures with short descriptions.  We stuck with level 1 and 2 readers.  He worked in his handwriting folder.  I really thought that he needed to just read, read, read.  He needed to practice, and get fluent, and all his problems would end.

     So, as you have probably guessed, they didn't end.  They did get a little better.  By the end of A's 4th grade year he could stumble through a "Flat Stanley".  It was not enjoyable but he had a good attitude (most the time).  He was VERY aware by now that he was way behind on reading.  He was motivated to get better with reading but frustrated that it was so much work.  We did see some positive growth, however.  Here are some things that DID start happening shortly before he turned 10:

  • He started to ask how things were spelled,
  • He began wanting to write.
  • He liked making comics.
  • He could read a 1st and most 2nd step readers to his little brothers with no reading help (but fluency was still bad)
     I figured those were all signs that he had just not been ready to read and was getting there.  Maybe his 5th grade year would BE THE YEAR!!!

Stay tuned for part 3!
LINKS for this series:
Part 1,
Part 2
Part 3


  1. When is the next installment coming? Much of what you described fits my now 10 year old. She didn't have discipline issues as she is a people pleaser, but speaking late and being physically very capable at a young age and not showing interest in spelling or writing or asking about words till just last year. We have been doing the dislexic games and journals and everything that would work for a right brain style learner, but still I am always trying to make things better and see her struggling with reading still. I just started reading eggs for her today and she has been doing it for hours and loving it so I am hoping it is filling in some gaps that we missed in the learning to read process.

    1. I usually post on Monday or Tuesday Mornings. I am glad you started reading Eggs. I will talk more about that in my next post because that program really did help and made a huge difference for A!