Dyslexic teenager defends upside down reading

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by teacherman1, Oct 11, 2009.

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  1. sue35

    sue35 Habitué

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    Oct 12, 2009

    I think the reason that some people are confused or suspicious about this is how you are bringing it up. First of all, there is little research to back this up and almost everything seems to be coming from you. Also, some of the facts (such as what you posted about 15% of the population being dyslexic) aren't totally true and you are tweaking them to fit dyslexia.

    When you say that most teachers do not know anything about dyslexia again you are basing that on the teachers you know, not teachers as a whole.

    If you are so sure about this method have you thought about meeting with LD specialists to maybe start putting together a research study group for this. It would probably be more effective in the long run and help teachers everywhere. It sounds like you are very passionate about this so why not do the work to make it a known strategy? :)
     
  2. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    Oct 12, 2009

    OK.

    Thanks for the explanation. All I am saying is that my school would not, could not, adopt something that is not research based, no matter how much anecdotal evidence there is.

    I'm all for helping children learn. I don't have any kids I would classify as dyslexic right now, but I have in the past. However, for me personally, a 10% success rate isn't going to be enough to override other, proven, methods. (yes, I did watch the youtube video)

    I wish you the most luck with your research! Please, keep us posted as to how you come out. If you could give us some numbers of reading fluency before (the normal reading way), and after, that would help. Until then, best of luck!
    :)
     
  3. bonneb

    bonneb Fanatic

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    Oct 12, 2009

    I read upside down to my students everyday for the past 9 years! I didn't know it was something special. I thought all teachers read picturebooks upside down. Anyone else?
     
  4. monsieurteacher

    monsieurteacher Aficionado

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    Oct 12, 2009

    I agree bonneb... often I even write upside down (though I'm not as good at that... my letter e always ends up backwards)
     
  5. JustMe

    JustMe Guru

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    Oct 12, 2009

    I don't get what the fuss is about. If it works for one of your students, great! If it doesn't, keeping working to find ways to help that child.

    This is an honest question: What is there to be suspicious of?
     
  6. teacherman1

    teacherman1 Devotee

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    Oct 12, 2009

    I don't really care what number you finally settle on. We're way off the track here.I think you'll agree that it's a huge number of people.

    If I have just one kid in my class that can't make progress, that's one too many. I'll do whatever I have to do to get that child moving.

    If you feel like I do, this is what I suggest.

    First, assess the child in the normal way. We happen to use the DIBELS early literacy assesment.

    If the child does well, or even mediocre, teach him or her conventionally.

    If the child bombs the LNF (Letter Naming Fluency) and/or the NWF (Nonsense Word Fluency) you have a choice to make...

    You can go on doing things the way you've always done and begin the process of intensive intervention OR let the child try it again upside down. It literally will take you about five extra minutes.

    If s/he does the same, or worse, then teach the child conventionally.

    But if there's a marked improvement, let the child hold the book upside down from then on.

    That's it.

    Teach that child exactly the same as you would any other student in your class.

    One or two months of inverted reading and s/he will transition to holding the book normally. ( At least that's what I've found)

    You have nothing to lose and the child has everything to gain. The choice is yours.

    Teacherman

    P.S. If it works or it doesn't work, I'd still like to know. Again, you have absolutely nothing to lose.
     
  7. bonneb

    bonneb Fanatic

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    Oct 12, 2009

    Sounds reasonable. I've never had a student who read upside down - if I get one, I will try your method. There are many "odd" or "outside the box" strategies that kids learn to cope, and this might be one of them.
     
  8. teacherman1

    teacherman1 Devotee

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    Oct 17, 2009

    A number of people have asked me to produce research to back up what I'm doing.

    It hasn't been easy to come up with research because, obviously, if someone had discovered this before we'd all be doing it now.

    But in a study published in the the Annals of Dyslexia (I can hear the chuckling now) in 1984, Steen Larsen and Paul Perlenvi did scientifically prove that poor readers read significantly better when the text was inverted.

    I'd like to simply give you a link to this study, but its unavailable unless you want to pay $34.00 to download it.

    I paid it, so here are some highlights from the study:

    QUOTE
    The purpose of the study was to investigate possible differences in reading the same language in different directions. Only a few studies have dealt with this problem. Orton (1937) reported that in rare cases the skill of a dyslexic child in reading reversed or mirrored print was better than his ability with material printed in the ordinary direction.

    Another example was reported by Pirozzolo and Rayner (1978). A 22 year old dyslexic woman exhibited the normal pattern of "reversed staircases" when reading from right to left, but a poor and disorganized pattern when reading from left to right. The patient reported that during her school years she had turned books upside-down to achieve the reversed direction of reading from right to left. Turning the book upside-down is a very simple method of establishing a reversed reading direction.

    The subjects were 66 2nd grade children from public schools in the suburban area of Gothenbug. The control group contained 20 children, 12 boys and 8 girls, whose performance on a standard reading test was above or corresponded to the standard mean level. The experimental group included 46 children, 27 boys and 19 girls, whose reading level was at least one standard deviation below the general Sweedish standard.

    In experiment 1, two matched lists, each containing 153 words, were presebnted under two conditions: one version of the test in the upright position and the other in the inverted position. Oral reading was requested under both conditions and all responses were taper recorded.

    In experiment 2 the eye movements of all subjects were recorded during their reading of two matched meaningful sentences each containing 10 words.

    Both groups made a smaller number of errors in the inverted position, but the reduction of errors in this condition was most pronounced among the poor readers. A significant difference between the number of errors of the control and experimental groups was found in upright reading, but not in inverted reading.

    The experimental group revealed a smaller percent of error in the inverted compared to the upright position.

    Errors were separated into reversal and non-reversal errors. Eight percent reversals in the upright and 95% in the inverted position were found in the controls compared to 6.09% and 1.3 % in the experimental group.

    The poor readers in Experiment 1 were a little slower, but much more precise readers when reading right to left (upside down).


    Thus the experimental group as a whole made fewer errors in reading from right to left than in the normal direction.

    The two groups differed significantly in mean reading time in the two positions. The control group read significantly faster in the upright compared to the inverted position, while in the experimental group an opposite tendency was found.

    Thus 58.7% of the poor readers read faster from right to left compared to 34.8% who read faster from left to right, while in 6.5% there was no difference. This is different from the pattern in the good readers, all of whom read better from left to right. If a criterion of 15% faster reading in one or the other direction is set, 28.3% of the poor readers read faster from right to left and 21.7% faster from left to right. In comparison 85% of the good readers read 15% faster from left to right, and none read faster in the reverse direction.

    That the advantage of the good readers disappears in the inverted condition seems to imply that they are not only faster readers in the upright position but that they are using a different reading strategy from the poor readers. That the poor readers are not influenced to the same degree by the inverted position presumably relfects the fact that they cannot lose a reading strategy which they have never achieved.

    The poor readers in Experiment 1 made significantly fewer reversal errors and showed a higher semantic memory score in the inverted condition.

    In Experiment 2 the poor readers as a group exhibited a trend to be even faster readers when reading from right to left.

    Taken together the most obvious conclusion of the present study seems to be that the directional aspect of the reading process is of great importance to poor readers. Thus at least 28% of the poor readers proved to be clearly better readers when reading from right to left.

    Further research is needed. It would be interesting to know what differences could be found between inverted reading and reading of the mirrored text, i.e. reversed only in the horizontal dimension.

    END OF QUOTE

    Larsen,S. and Parlenvi P.1984, Patterns of Inverted Reading and Subgroups in Dyslexia, Annals of Dyslexia, Volume 34, 195-203

    Of course, the question is, why didn't anyone follow up with another study?:unsure:

    Teacherman
     
  9. BioAngel

    BioAngel Science Teacher - Grades 3-6

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    Oct 17, 2009

    I have some kind of learning disability that was never tested but I got extra support when it came to reading and writing. I have slight hearing issues and new words still bother the heck out of me (and I'm 24). It's always been an issue. But you know what, I still learned that just because I have "issues" that doesn't mean I get a free ride.

    -- Check your spelling (yes it takes up a lot of time, but it's better than using the excuse "I have a learning disability")
    -- Re-read what you write 2-3 times (yes it takes up a lot of time, but I'm a professional so I put in the necessary time)
    -- Ask for help (yes its scary but how else are you going to learn)

    As for the upside down reading, I don't know anything about it and if it harms the child in the long run. I know most children would not be understanding of that and most adults would think its "funny" too. But regardless the child has to do what he or she needs to do to learn and if that is honestly the BEST way he or she reads then so be it.

    As for using "txting" language--- that honestly is NEVER okay (except in a text). Even then I'm tempted to just spell everything out, but that's just me.
     
  10. IAMdoneSubbing

    IAMdoneSubbing Companion

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    Oct 17, 2009

    I have always been sensitive about special need.

    Thansk for the info that the kidsn can do the transition all by themsleves.
     
  11. WaterfallLady

    WaterfallLady Enthusiast

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    Oct 17, 2009

    What is your agenda?
     
  12. ChristyF

    ChristyF Moderator

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    Oct 18, 2009

    If you are simply wanting to share a possible strategy with other teachers, you've done that. I feel like you are wanting more, though. While my principal gives me a fair amount of room to try new things, we have state high-stakes tests, and the only modifications allowed there are accepted modifications for the state. New ideas aren't there yet. I have had a fair amount of training to work with true dyslexic children. I know that what works for one often doesn't work for others. I also know that, while many children may have some dyslexic tendencies, there are few truly dyslexic children. Often what is considered to be dyslexia turns out to be another processing disability. As a regular ed classroom teacher, with a pretty large inclusion group, I worry less about the actual diagnosis, and more about simply helping the child learn. I understand about being passionate about something you feel you have discovered that no one else is using, but I think your vehement postings are what has caused many to question your intent.
     
  13. leisurej

    leisurej Rookie

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    Oct 18, 2009

    In 3rd grade I was diagnosed as borderline dyslexic. I now teach algebra & geometry in high school. I have always found it very easy to write backwards, to read upside down, and to write upside down. I used to play tricks on my husband when he was in the navy by writing him letters backwards. It comes very natural to me. This is an interesting discussion, with the exception of the ones here who are so "close minded" to trying something new.

    I only read one of my assigned novels in high school. I read Jane Eyre, only because the teacher was patient, gave me extra time and was willing to work with me. My 3rd grade teacher, yelled at me for reading the wrong words. I made it through high school and college by using the short stories and synopsis. My spelling is atrocious. I have a word book that I carry everywhere with me, and share with my students, it is nothing but words, no definitions, just words. I had to figure out what helped me to get through school and I now try to share that with others.

    I've had several SPED teachers in the 3 different schools admit to me that most of their courses were about ADD, ADHD and others, but little was taught about dyslexia. I've actually had one or two come to me and ask for suggestions about what they might try to do to help their dyslexic student. (I do not hide my dyslexia, I share it with my students, and fellow teachers.)

    I use nothing but colored paper in my classroom, because white with black text is such a severe contrast that the letters feel like they are in motion. I have colored transparencies that I keep by my bed to read novels.

    In class I only ask for volunteers to read aloud and try not to read myself. My reading has improved, but I'm still not confident in my reading ability. In class I find it very easy to read and write on the opposite side of the student. I've never thought about actually trying to read upside down, but I'll try it.

    I'd give the upside down reading a chance. You never know...
     
  14. teacherman1

    teacherman1 Devotee

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    Jan 6, 2010

    Dyslexia and the Use of Upside-Down Reading and Writing

    Just a quick update on the 5 students who were reading and writing everything upside-down at the beginning of the year.

    All five are now reading on, or above, reading level and all five have transitioned to "right-side-up".

    I've been corresponding with one of the country's foremost experts in the field of dyslexia, Dr. Dale Jordan. He has seen all of my videos and knows all the details about how and why I've been using PI reading and writing to help these kids. He is also helping me to initiate a scientific study on the use of PI reading with dyslexic students in the classroom, but I'm afraid it's going to be a long process.

    Wishing everyone a Happy New Year!! :),
    Teacherman
     
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