Is there a specific diagnosis for this?

Discussion in 'Special Education' started by Upsadaisy, Apr 13, 2012.

  1. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2002
    Messages:
    18,938
    Likes Received:
    681

    Apr 13, 2012

    My 3rd grade student has two reading problems that I could use some help with.

    First, he seems to have absolutely no familiarity with most phonics rules, and he is very weak at vowel digraphs. You'd think he was never exposed to them in the previous two years.


    He also frequently substitutes one short sight word for another, often leaves off a plural s, sometimes just substitutes another word with the same first letter. This happens when reading aloud and I worry that it is even worse when he reads to himself.

    He has made a lot of progress in reading, and some in spelling, in the last 6 months of tutoring.

    Any insight into the cause of either of these? Any suggestions?
     
  2.  
  3. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

    Joined:
    May 13, 2005
    Messages:
    29,807
    Likes Received:
    1,170

    Apr 13, 2012

    Interesting. How's his oral language?
     
  4. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2002
    Messages:
    18,938
    Likes Received:
    681

    Apr 13, 2012

    He speaks just fine, expresses himself well. I get the sense that he is young, developmentally speaking.
     
  5. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

    Joined:
    May 13, 2005
    Messages:
    29,807
    Likes Received:
    1,170

    Apr 13, 2012

    How's his comprehension when he reads silently?
     
  6. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2002
    Messages:
    18,938
    Likes Received:
    681

    Apr 13, 2012

    Since we usually only have one hour a week together, I haven't had him do too much silent reading. I do know his teachers are concerned about it.

    The complicating factor is that he tested into the gifted program because of his strong math scores. But, I wouldn't be surprised if he had some sort of reading disability, so he struggles in this area even more so than he would in a regular ed class.
     
  7. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

    Joined:
    May 13, 2005
    Messages:
    29,807
    Likes Received:
    1,170

    Apr 13, 2012

    Ah. How's his vocabulary in math?
     
  8. Tasha

    Tasha Phenom

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2007
    Messages:
    4,391
    Likes Received:
    5

    Apr 13, 2012

    Does his family speak any other languages?
     
  9. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2002
    Messages:
    18,938
    Likes Received:
    681

    Apr 13, 2012

    No other languages. I haven't worked on math with him at all due to time constraints.
     
  10. letsteach

    letsteach Comrade

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2005
    Messages:
    277
    Likes Received:
    0

    Apr 13, 2012

    Did he teach himself to read using 'look and say'?

    I had a 5 year old whose parents told me he could read Dr Seuss Hop on Pop and other books. When I tested his letter/sound knowledege he had no idea. Dr Seuss books rhyme and I did not purse his reading and let him learn the phonics with the other children. We were in the dental van when he read, 'medical emergency'. The dentist and I looked at each other. I went straight back to the class and tested him. He could indeed read but he had learnt through 'look and say'. I did some research on this and found that students who learn this way, visualise the shape of the word and because they have poor phonemic knowledge become poor spellers. He read the word, 'there' as 'then', and 'where' as 'when'. This was because he was visualising the beginning of the word and in his knowledge of words, 't-h-e-.-.-.-.' was then. Your student could be doing the same which could be why he misses plurals (he's only seeing the first part of the word).

    Good luck.
     
  11. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2002
    Messages:
    18,938
    Likes Received:
    681

    Apr 13, 2012

    And, speaking of vocabulary, the teacher assigns weekly vocab from a workbook that might be a few years beyond 3rd. And, they don't read the passage for each list, they just discuss the vocab words. (I would never assign words out of context.) He has trouble with the words in the questions, forget about the words on the lists. He has made lots of improvement on the tests but I don't really see the point of the whole thing.
     
  12. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2002
    Messages:
    18,938
    Likes Received:
    681

    Apr 13, 2012

    That does sound somewhat like my student. I don't know how he learned to read (I don't work at his school, I just tutor him). But, perhaps he did learn that way - and it could explain why he substitutes one short word for another.

    He has just recently begun to read for pleasure and he has a wonderful attitude about working hard. He is a joy to tutor.
     
  13. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2010
    Messages:
    6,196
    Likes Received:
    2,125

    Apr 13, 2012

    Several things could factor into this. A whole language approach to learning to read can cause this. A visual problem (not problem seeing but the eyes working properly together) can cause this. An over-reliance of language skills used coupled with weak or barely existing phonics skills can also cause this.

    How is his phonemic awareness? Can he tell you the sounds in a word or given sounds tell you the word? Can he substitute sounds in a word 'say mat - now instead of the m sound say the word with the r sound'? If so, how much phonics work have you done to mastery before going on to the next sound or vowel diagraph. If it is taking a huge amount of effort working on one sound for weeks, it indicates a problem, but keeping up with it is the solution, particularly with a good multi-sensory program.

    If he seems to be progressing with this work, it may be a really poor habit of reading quickly and guessing. Make sure he reads each word at a time and points to it as he reads. Don't let him read past his finger or pointer. Practice perfect reading. Sure it goes against developing fluency and reading of phrases, but this is only a temporary practice until he learns and overlearns making sure he is reading EXACTLY what is written. Make sure he corrects. The mistakes will dog him forever until he automatically reads what is there. Better to be slower and more accurate than fast and sloppy.
     
  14. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2002
    Messages:
    18,938
    Likes Received:
    681

    Apr 13, 2012

    I have been bringing his attention to every single misread word. Also, bringing to his attention every time his comprehension is affected by these habits. It has helped some.

    I did test his phonemic awareness at our very first meeting months ago. It seemed quite good for the basics. Yes, he can substitute one sound for another.

    I have thought about some visual type of factor. I think I will mention that vision testing could give us more information. I'm going to wait until the end of the school year, though.

    One thing has concerned me in regard to spelling. I have been working with him on spelling the word, 'said', for a few months. Yes, months. He finally will spell it correctly orally, but when he used it in writing the other day, he reverted to his old spelling ('sed'). The length of time taken to learn to spell this one word seems really extreme.

    I keep reminding him that the more he reads, the easier spelling will become. I have seen this happening for him and he is really proud of reading more often and enjoying it. I am sure hoping that his parents will keep up the tutoring over the summer.
     
  15. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

    Joined:
    May 13, 2005
    Messages:
    29,807
    Likes Received:
    1,170

    Apr 13, 2012

    If he's reading for pleasure now, hurray! Motivation is huge. I'd been going to suggest locating texts he'd find engaging - let's face it, decodable text is usually boring as all get out, and it's also the case that some kids just aren't into stories per se; they'd rather read expository prose.
     
  16. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2010
    Messages:
    6,196
    Likes Received:
    2,125

    Apr 13, 2012

    For vision, I'm not talking about just sight (blurry or not) but eyes working together. My own child has issues with tracking. Using the finger helps tremendously. Even in upper grades, the finger would come out to help track across the line.

    The big problem with allowing some kids to spell poorly early on is they get the false spelling stuck in their head and in their motor memory. When they recall the spelling while writing, sometimes the old spelling comes out.

    The other method I have seen used is you use a pencil to point to each word. If your pencil doesn't move, that means he needs to look at the word again. It takes a long, long time to break bad practices. He should be using a pointer every time he reads.

    The only other thing that is in the back of my mind is problems with cognitive fluency and recall. It is possible this is weak so he can approxmate the words, but quickly brining up the right word is difficult so he over-relys on his language skills to make sense of what seems to be on the page. Once he makes on mistake he cascades the rest of the sentence to fix his mistakes. Often the mistakes can make sense meaning that could be the next word linguistically, but then to make the rest of the sentence make sense, he must change the remainder of the words to match the thought he is comprehending based on the mistake he made. Some kids once they make one mistake will change words to make the sentence they are saying grammatically correct. So, if they changed a singular subject to a plural, they will correct the verb to match the change in the subject.

    This comes from pushing the 'does it make sense' question before a child is able to decode. The student was told the most important thing is 'does it make sense' not is it accurate.

    Keep working on decoding and reading for accuracy. Hopefully the decoding work will translate into more accurate spelling in writing (but it may not do that right away - it could take years). BTW, the notion that reading more will fix the spelling in the writing isn't really true. It all depends on the student. I know some kids that read tremendous amounts and still suffer from poor spelling from never having phonics or a spelling program that studied word patterns. They were forced to write before they even knew all of their letter sounds and were harmed by misspelling things so many time their brains just can't undo the false spelling links easily.
     
  17. WaterfallLady

    WaterfallLady Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2006
    Messages:
    2,061
    Likes Received:
    2

    Apr 14, 2012

    Sounds like most of my kids with severe learning disabilities.
     
  18. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2002
    Messages:
    18,938
    Likes Received:
    681

    Apr 14, 2012

    TG - I am thrilled that he has been turned on to reading. It will make all the difference in the world.

    a2z - thank you for all the input. Yes, I know something about the various vision conditions that can be addressed as I've had students diagnosed and treated. I don't know if that is a possibility with this family, but I'll talk to them at the end of the year.

    The information and cognitive recall and fluency info seems to apply to this little guy. I tend to use that 'does it make sense?' questioning strategy, but I'll do that more judiciously from now on. I do track the track with my finger or pencil when he reads, and I pause and tap lightly to redirect him back to a misread word. I've encouraged him to use a bookmark under the text, but he is resistant. He also doesn't seem to ever anchor the paper down with his hands, which I find unusual.

    So, I will continue with the decoding lessons, and will have more time for spelling patterns in the future (testing is next week). I was hoping that reading more would at least help him to recognize correctly spelled words, not necessarily write them correctly.

    His parents have been wonderful in encouraging good habits, recognizing the importance of his education, and providing healthy structure. So, he does have a lot in his favor. I know he can continue to improve.
     
  19. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2010
    Messages:
    6,196
    Likes Received:
    2,125

    Apr 14, 2012

    Oh, I think you misunderstood me. The problem of guessing and misreading comes from trying to use langague, 'does this make sense', INSTEAD of teaching him to read exactly what is written. He needs to learn to be accurate. Others may disagree with me, but in the end, accuracy matters.

    Any chance you can get him to track with his finger? It is great that you do it so you can stop when he misreads, but what does he use when he is independently reading. Using a bit of both would be great. Try to get bigger print books.

    Getting a child that struggles with reading to become automatic in decoding takes a lot of time. It takes daily practice. Can the parent work with him on some multi-sensory decoding exercises at home?
     
  20. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2002
    Messages:
    18,938
    Likes Received:
    681

    Apr 14, 2012

    I will definitely try to transition him to use his own finger when tracking text.

    I don't think the family can do anything more than they are doing right now. Making sure he gets homework done is a priority with them, and they do that. Mom and dad switch off with the kids 1/2 week each, but they all are comfortable with the arrangements, so they work.
     
  21. tracykaliski

    tracykaliski Connoisseur

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2008
    Messages:
    1,927
    Likes Received:
    1

    Apr 16, 2012

    He sounds like the dyslexic kids I tutor.
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. jakecrew
Total: 263 (members: 1, guests: 238, robots: 24)
test