Dyslexia and Homeschooling

Discussion in 'General' started by lisachalf, Oct 6, 2009.

  1. lisachalf

    lisachalf Well-Known Member


    We think my DS has Dyslexia and I was wondering if anyone had experience with this and is there any therapy we could do at home. What curriculum did you use with him/her?
  2. KCMichigan

    KCMichigan Well-Known Member

    I dont HS- but worked w/ children with Learning disabilities. How old is he and what kind of difficulties is he having? What are you using?

    'Orten Gillingham' and 'Writing w/o Tears' are great for written and reading disabilities- but w/o knowing more, it is hard to suggest anything.
  3. sharongl

    sharongl Well-Known Member

    Yes, please give more info. I am guessing you are talking about your 7 year old. What makes you think he is dyslexic? There are a lot of reversals that 7 year olds do that are a completely normal part of development. I really can't offer anything until you give us some more info.
    1 person likes this.
  4. Dielle

    Dielle Well-Known Member

    My 9 yo is dyslexic, and we homeschool. I'm certainly not an expert on dyslexia, but here are some of the things we've done/are doing...

    I had him evaluated by a neurological optometrist, who recommended vision therapy. It was one of the best things we've done for him! In 10 weeks in the middle of 2nd grade he went from almost not reading at all, to being at about an early 2nd grade level. He also went from not being able to hit a baseball, to batting 1.000 over the last 12 games of his coach pitch season, which was great for his overall confidence level. It didn't "fix" the dyslexia, but it really helped his eyes to work together and gave him some tools to recognize some of his issues and correct himself. Unfortunately it wasn't covered by our insurance and from what I understand, it rarely is. I don't know if it would be helpful for everyone, but it certainly was for Trey.

    We have some physical tools he uses, like reading strips, and a wire stand that holds the book at a good angle. We also read aloud and listen to lots of books on CD, which gives him exposure to words and language that are above his current skills. And I find books and magazines that are things he's interested in. It's maybe overly simplistic, but he is able to read far above his level, if he's very very interested in the topic. I don't force them on him, but leave them around, casually give them to him, etc, then back off and let him go for it... a book about WWII planes, a Popular Science magazine, my DH's Handyman magazine, etc. He's still kind of slow, but can read it if determined. I'm sure he reads MUCH slower than what would be considered normal for 4th grade. Everything else in his life is done with exhuberance. But for his schoolwork, it's slow and steady wins the race. The one thing I don't have an answer for is spelling. He is atrocious. He knows the rules when it comes to sounding out words he's not familiar with, but never remembers them when trying to spell.

    I recently read The gift of Dyslexia, which looks like it has great possibilities for helping him, but I haven't done the exercises with him, yet. One cool thing that came of the book is that I told Trey it says that Leonardo da Vinci was probably dyslexic. Trey thought that was about the coolest thing he'd ever heard, because da Vinci has been his idol for about 3 years now, since seeing an exhibit about him at the flight museum.

    When we first figured out that he was in fact dyslexic, I wrestled over whether or not to tell him. I didn't want him to use it as a crutch or as an excuse. But I think telling him was the right thing to do. He understands that his brain is wired a little differently, and that it means he has to work harder or sometimes just differently to accomplish certain things. But he also knows that being dyslexic helps him to do things that he can do much better than most anyone he knows. He has fabulous spatial reasoning/abilities. He can figure out how things work, go together, come apart so much better and faster than I can. I believe the most important thing we're giving him is self confidence and a good work ethic. We'll keep looking for solutions to problems that arise, work to help him learn how to accomplish certain tasks, etc. So I'll keep educating myself, on how I can help.
    1 person likes this.
  5. lisachalf

    lisachalf Well-Known Member

    It's my 7 year old. He is supposed to be in the 2nd grade but we had to drop down to 1st grade work. He reverses several of his letters and numbers. He also has a lot of difficulty with spelling. We study very hard for his tests and he sometimes only gets 1 out of 7 right. If he writes a sentence I have to spell out most of the words for him. He also has difficulty with memorization. His reading skills are ok but he often guesses words and has trouble with phonetics. He also has poor coordination. He cannot write his last name no matter how many times we go over it. He also says "F" for "Th." He's a smart kid it's just that something is not connecting right.
  6. sharongl

    sharongl Well-Known Member

    First of all, my son still says "f" for "th", and the other one says "th" for "f", so those are actually perfectly normal speech for this age. Dyslexia is a small part of the larger umbrella of learning disabilities, and it sounds like you need to have a professional eval. If you were in public school, you could get one through the district. I don't know if you can have one done as a homeschooler, but you can always call and ask. Otherwise a professional evaluation will cost a bit of money, but it would be worth it. An evaluation can pinpoint where he is having problems--at 7 it is still a bit difficult to separate developmental issues from learning issues, but a professional can do it.

    There are many aspects of learning disabilities and until you really know what his problems are, it is hard to give you strategies to work with. I could give you a dozen different things to try, but without more info, you will be doing trial and error more than anything to find out what works for him. Until you can get some type of eval. done, one thing I would do is get him a letter strip to keep at his workspace. That way he can find the letter he writes and do a self check to see if it is written correctly or reversed.

    For spelling, I would stick with word families, and make it things where he can be successful--use patterns. Like he words can be: bat, cat, sat, mat, hat, vat. Once he gets the word families down, then make them a bit harder.

    I hope this helps as a starting point.
  7. Dielle

    Dielle Well-Known Member

    I don't know where you are, but here the schools are still supposed to provide evaluation services if it's deemed necessary, even if you homeschool. I don't know if you want to go that route, but it might not hurt to check it out and see if that's an option.
  8. lisachalf

    lisachalf Well-Known Member

    My husband is supposed to call Special Services at the city school system to schedule testing.
  9. jenn-

    jenn- Well-Known Member

    I hope your schools are more cooperative than mine. Ours no longer are required to provide services to homeschoolers.
  10. sharongl

    sharongl Well-Known Member

    Jenn, I don't think they will provide services to homeschoolers--but they may have to give an evaluation. Not to start anything, but teachers are stretched thin in the schools to begin with, and it would be very difficult to give services to students not in the school. You are free to take advantage of all services offered by placing your child in public school, but once you decide to pull them out, the school cannot provide the services.
  11. jenn-

    jenn- Well-Known Member

    I am sure teachers are stretched to the max in schools. They should be glad all I want for my tax money that I pay into the school is 1 hour of therapy a week instead of bus charges, teacher pay for 10 hours for multiple teachers, utilities, etc on top of the therapy they would then happily provide. Sounds like the schools would definitely still be on top if they still provided us homeschoolers with the services they were once required to provide.
  12. sharongl

    sharongl Well-Known Member

    Actually, beyond age 3, schools have never been required to provide home based services. If that was something your district could afford to do, then that is great, but the reality is that most school districts can't afford it. Homeschooling, and any schooling outside of the public school is a choice you make. One of the consequences of that choice is that special needs services are no longer available to you free through the school district. I am not trying to start an argument, just stating facts--I am well schooled in special ed law.
  13. lisachalf

    lisachalf Well-Known Member

    This thread is kinda getting off topic BUT I must say that if I pay school taxes then I ought to be able to use the public school resources otherwise don't tax me! That's my two cents.
  14. sharongl

    sharongl Well-Known Member

    You can use school resources by utilizing the public school system. Once you choose not to use that system, they are not under any obligation to provide services. At any time, you can enroll your child in the public school and use their services.
  15. lisachalf

    lisachalf Well-Known Member

    Then I should not have to pay for other children's education meaning school taxes. You sound like you are against homeschooling so I am not sure what you are doing in this forum. It sounds like you are a troll trying to stir things up. This forum is for parents to get encouragement and support. I will not comment further on this subject nor will I bother looking at this thread since you have hijacked it.
  16. jenn-

    jenn- Well-Known Member

    I agree!
  17. lisachalf

    lisachalf Well-Known Member

    I also forgot to add that I see that you are a moderator. As a moderator you should know better.
  18. FirstTimeMom814

    FirstTimeMom814 Well-Known Member

    This forum is a sub-forum of the Education Issues forum, which is lead by Sharon. She offered you several tips on what steps to take next, the first of which is getting an evaluation. She is also a teacher so she offered you some insight on how the system works. Nobody said anything about not approving of your choice to home school. It would be great if you could show a bit of respect to those who are trying to help you and calling a very long time moderator a troll is not appropriate. You should take a few minutes to look over our Terms of Service.
    4 people like this.
  19. becky5

    becky5 Guest

    Lisa, I thought about you when I was at the pediatrician's office with my kids this morning. I was reading through a magazine and came upon this article about dyslexia, that had several links to resources:





  20. twoplustwo

    twoplustwo Well-Known Member

    :thanks: Trish
  21. mel_michigan

    mel_michigan Well-Known Member

    I encourage you to look into testing and also look at your state laws. HSLDA's website can be a good place to start. I live in Michigan. State law here says that if I homeschool and meet certain conditions my school district is obligated to provide auxillary services. I currently have two children receiving services. Both attend for speech therapy, and one has a dual enrollment for ELA written into her IEP. You need to research your state laws and your school districts written policies. When I first applied for services everyone looked at me like I'd grown horns, until I got to the Director of Special Education. :) Same thing when I suggested a partial day. But, in the end it wasn't written anywhere that they couldn't do it. ;)

    A positive approach is as important as a well educated one.

  22. We just switched our 9yr old ADHD, dyslexic son (he also has dysgraphia) to the AKVO sequential spelling program http://www.avko.org/sequentialspelling.html it works like magic for him. It has so many great points, teaching spellings by chunks and patterns, you have the child write the word, then you write it on the whiteboard or whatever and he corrects his to make it look the same. It is the act of correcting that is the learning process. You "grade" the paper at the end of the session, so they always make 100% correct (their corrected spellings count as correct). What a difference in motivation! Pretty quickly I noticed him writing his try, proofreading and correcting before I put the right answer up, usually he's so demotivated he doesn't really even try. This program had him spelling words like "beginnings" correctly by about the 5th day, until we used this program he couldn't even spell words like "do" or "my" but the chunks and patterns they teach click with him. It is designed for dyslexic students. It is also *cheap* $15 and *downloadable* and you can try before you buy. I bought it without hesitation after our first trial lesson, he was like a different kid, actually asking to do more!!
  23. jenn-

    jenn- Well-Known Member

    I also use this program for DD even though she is not dyslexic. I like it because spelling always felt like busy work with fill in the blank worksheets and word searches. DD is a natural speller so she does not have to see the list of words to spell most things right the first try (well when she wants to at least). I would definitely recommend the program for someone struggling with spelling since that is who they designed it for, but it works well for good spellers too.
  24. Dielle

    Dielle Well-Known Member

    I don't know how I missed this post. Thank you so much! I've just looked through the website and am going to try the sample lessons, starting tomorrow.
  25. Dielle

    Dielle Well-Known Member

    So I've been using Sequential Spelling for a little over a week, with my boys (Sage spells at like a mid 12th grade level, so it's not necessary for her). They LOVE it. And it's working. I'm so impressed with it. Neither one is a great speller, but I am seeing so much improvement, and it's completely without tears or stress. They do it willingly and have fun doing it, even when they need to correct themselves. Yay! Thanks for the great suggestion.
  26. Stacy A.

    Stacy A. Well-Known Member

    I might just have to get this program for myself! I am a HORRIBLE speller. I know the rules, but so many words break the rules they are practically pointless! And, contrary to popular belief, good reading skills and good spelling do not go hand-in-hand. I was an English major for goodness sake! But, I never write anything - even a quick note - without typing it on the computer for spell-check.
  27. Dielle

    Dielle Well-Known Member

    Stacy, my mom says she was a great speller until she became a gradeschool teacher. Then after seeing spelled words spelled so many different ways, now she can't remember which way is right.

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