My 8 year old is failing to read and I am losing patience with him

Flossy - posted on 02/08/2010 ( 82 moms have responded )

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he is in grade 3. He loses concentration. When i try to teach him some words he goes all blank. This sets me off.

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Aideen - posted on 02/10/2010

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I have been teaching children with Dyslexia and other reading difficulties for the past few years and indeed not progressing with his reading by age 8 can be very worrying for you and him. He will have realised that everyone else can do it and often when it's not easy for him it's sometimes easier not to try than to keep failing. It may be easier for him if you get mad that he wont try to read, than you getting mad because he can't read. I'm sure he doesn't want to dissapoint you. Whatever the reason for his difficulties you need to get him reading! Once he gets to 9 or 10 most children are reading well and instead of learing to read in school they begin to learn by reading. Until now his reading lesson was difficult in school but soon every lesson will involve reading and he'll be struggling all day. There is a lot you can do.

Talk to the teacher/principal of the school. Ask about his progress, ask for extra help for him, make them aware that he's having difficulties....many teachers are not trained to recognise difficulties and many children manage to hide problems in class...trip to the bathroom/lost the book (mad teacher forgets to listen to reading) and so on. Teachers usually appreciate support from home if they are trying to help a child and I know I'd be delighted to loan games and workbooks etc. that would help. An interested parent is worth 20 teachers. I would also look into having his difficulties assessed as he may be entitled to extra support in school. Reports usually have a list of programmes and ideas to help with problem areas and it's great for teachers and parents to know what will help.

If you're finding it difficult to help him yourself (it often is) ask the school if the could reccommend someone to help him after school. Some schools would frown on a teacher giving extra help privately outside school as they'd see it as saying that the school isn't doing enough during school hours. You might need to ask a teacher about this quietly, or even visit another school and get the name of a teacher who works in support there and see if they'd be interested in helping. It would obviouly cost more than helping him yourself.

Helping him yourself:
Presuming he's having difficulty sounding out the words....there are a number of things you can do to help him.

letter sounds: does he know the basic letter sounds (not their names, but the sounds they make in words? like b-b-b-ball). To check this write a letter (small letters not capitals) and ask him what sound it makes. If he keeps telling you the letter name like 'Bee!' explain again that you want to know the sound it makes in words: b-b-b-ball, b-b-b-bat. Do all the letters and just see what he knows. (take notes).
If he doesn't know his basic letter sounds this is where you'll start. (Let me know and I can give you some activities or names of books etc.)

If he knows the letter sounds he may be having difficulty with the blends: when 2 letters come together to make a different sound like 'sh' and 'ch' and also 'ou' (in the word out) and 'ie' (pie), there's lots more. You'll need a list to check this. (let me know if you can't).

Magic 'e' / silent 'e'
These words can cause great difficulty for some children and they need lots of practice. cube! cake! That magic e at the end pinches the vowel (aeiou) and then it says its name so you dont get c-u-b .... cub but c-you-b .......cube (hard to show that, sorry) and not c-a-k-eh but c-ay-k. Lots of activities can help with this. check if he can manage these tyes of words.

Blending
some children know their sounds and can say the sounds in the word but can't 'hear' the word. b-e-d.... and then they say 'bread'. sh-o-p ....shape. These kind of problems would need lots of listening work (phonological awareness activities) and rhyming games. His school might have some games you could play (get back to me if they're not helpful with this).

Sight Vocabulary
There are lots of words that can't be sounded out and these need to be learnt but this can be fun. Games like bingo are fab and fishing games can be nice. There are some games online to help with this. The Dolche list is a list of the most commonly read words in English and a lot of these are ones you can't sound out. (the, there, these, as, like). I would test him on this list and see if it's an area he needs help with. Get back to me for games ideas if you need to or the list if you can't find it. Again the school should have lots of info for you.

The final thing I would be worried aout is his interest in books. I would make sure the school are proving him with appropriate reading materials every night, and head to the local library if they cant do this. If his class reader and class library books etc are too hard how could he be practicing his reading and enjoy the stories? To check if they're too difficult count 100 words in his book and mark the 100th word. Get him to read the 100words out loud to you and count his mistakes (and words he has to stop to figure out) on your fingers. More than 10/100 is considered difficult, he won't understand the story. about 5/100 would be ok but I would be sure he's being helped with those 5. No mistakes/tricky words means the book is too easy or just suitable for him to read alone. Listen to him reading everyday. I would read every second page together if this keeps him interested and less stressed. I would do a lot of talking and laughing about th pictures and story.

If I can help in any way let me know!

Check out Lexia at http://www.lexialearning.com/
they have quite a good computer programme for kids, we use it in school. He would need someone to sit and help with it. If you make too many mistakes it makes you practice and then try again....but most children don't move on past a difficult part without a little adult help. I don't see any prices on the web site but I can say it is good.

I would also talk to him...he knows he's having problems. I would tackle it like a bullying problem or a sports challenge: I can tell your reading is getting you down, we can take this on together and work together to improve your reading, I'm on your side with this, we can get there, I'm gonna talk to your teacher to see if she has any training ideas for us...he sould know you've got his back.

I'd better go to bed so I can teach my own kids tomorrow! good luck!!

KELLY - posted on 03/05/2013

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Im having the same problem and it makes me angry with him. Did it get better for you?

Debra - posted on 02/13/2010

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Ruth, you are correct that boys and girls learn differently. Boys (especially young boys) tend to learn better with activity. This is because multiple modalities are used, not just language intensive vision and hearing. Sorry Ruth, but you are incorrect about boys being better at math. Research shows that girls are much better than boys in math up to puberty. The leading theory is that their language and social skills are more developed which gives them an edge in being able to better understand concepts as they are explained. "Boys are better at Math" is a widespread myth that has been debunked.

Flossy, being able to read is the number one factor in determining school success. So, please take this very seriously. Definitely contact the school and ask for testing. A written, dated letter explaining your concerns and specifically requesting that testing take place can expedite the process. (Many schools legally have a specified number of days to respond to a request. A dated letter starts the clock ticking. Make sure to keep a copy and make it a request, not a demand.)

Definitely contact his pediatrician and voice your concerns. Vision, hearing and other medical problems will need to be ruled out. A word of caution: ask for referrals to specialists for these tests. Pediatricians do not have the equipment to catch everything that a specialist can identify.

Read often. Spend at least 15 minutes (or better yet 30 minutes) a day reading to your child. Don't try to make him read, as that is obviously causing frustration. Instead, read to him. You may want to start by just reading out loud in his presence. Show him that you value reading. Read children's books. Read hobby magazines. Read store fliers. etc. Since he has encountered so much frustration, he may be very resistant to the idea. Look for books that he would like... textured, bath time, dinosaurs, firefighters, bikes, super heroes, etc. whatever he would find of interest. Explain your problems to the librarian and/or children's book store. You will find great expertise to assist you. Eventually, once you have developed a regular routine of reading, introduce fairy tales. Reading fairy tales develops all sorts of creative parts of the brain and creates a smarter child. (Einstein's parents were told this when he encountered reading problems.)

Watch language building television shows. Another myth is that parents should prevent children from all television watching. Parents should limit its amount (especially when the child is young) and restrict the selection to educational programming. I highly recommend that if the television is on, it is on PBSkids. SuperWhy is currently top rated among children; it has a super hero (SuperWhy: Reading), a princess (Princess Presto: Spelling), an animal (AlphaPig: Letter Sounds) and Little Red Riding Hood (WonderRed: Rhyming) as main characters. One or two shows a day is plenty.

Make sure that he gets plenty of exercise. Wiggly children have difficulty concentrating when sitting. Let them burn off their excess energy before doing a sedentary task.

There are many educational products available. Some are better than others, so do some research (other than the company's advertisement) before buying. I personally found LeapFrog's Letter Factory DVD to be very helpful. You won't find this in the DVD section usually. Instead, look in the LeapFrog section of the toy section in your local store.

Good luck,

From a mother and a Mathematics teacher.

Michele - posted on 12/15/2012

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My son is 8 yrs old and I am getting him extra help. He has adhd and some learning disabilities. Definitly have things checked out soon.. I understand your frustration

Nadine - posted on 12/13/2012

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Kids don't know how to process their inabilities at that stage. they don't know how to explain what's going on so they go blank. The more stressed you get, the more stressed they get. Their response is 'blankness'. A part of that too is that they know they are not like others. They feel failure. My daughter was a bit the same she was diagnosed with central audio processing disorder. Their blankness to us is extremely frustrating but please.. remain calm.. they need to know you are for them and have all the patience in the world and accept where they are at and that you will help.

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Sophiacolon - posted on 06/23/2014

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Don't worry get him evaluated for dyslexia if it is try to be patient find a advocate for advice to navigate the school system it's a journey ahead but only you can fight for your child goodluck

Helena - posted on 04/02/2014

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Take him to library and let him read what he like. In summer the library has contest, where you earn a gift of some kind by how many books you read. try that and also have a few friends join a book group, where they read together the same book and talk about it.

Roberta - posted on 11/19/2013

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This was such a wonderful help for me! I am a substitue teacher, with an 8 year that is reading on a 1st grade level. I had no idea where to start, I can help other children learn but it is so difficult for me to teach my own child and help him! Thia has been the BEST advice that I have heard! Thank you so much for the feedback!

Misti - posted on 11/07/2013

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Also same. We are starting a testing program with a councilor at his school! I do not get upset with him but do get frustrated that I can't help him with his need. I've been talking with the school since the end of kindergarten... We are in second now, held back first. It's a helpless feeling I know but hang in there!!!

Ariana - posted on 09/25/2013

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If you are getting frustrated the best thing would be to take a break. Get him a tutor who can assist him. It's only going to strain your relationship if you're getting frustrated, and he in turn will get upset and try to avoid working on things with you.

If you do try to teach him something try to work on basic skills at his level and do short manageable tasks. That might mean working on one word at a time and no more, so that you and he don't get frustrated.

Reading to him every night is also really important. You can also try to get him an online reading program, there are many available (although check it out beforehand).

I've used readingeggs with the workbooks and that can be helpful. There are other ones out there too I'm sure.

Whatever you do try to keep from getting frustrated as this will just make it harder on you and him.

John - posted on 09/24/2013

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I do not wish to upset many of the people who have posted here. Many of you need refresher courses in grammar and writing. I can tell most of you are not doing much reading or writing yourselves.

[deleted account]

When children or adults go blank, it is because they don;t understand something usually a word.

Get a story, you know that he goes blank on, or loses interest, gets agitated, goes blank or you notice he isn't there in mind with you. Now, read to him or get him to read and watch for above sign, each time he stops, etc. ask him if there is a word he doesn't understand? If he tells you one, give him a simple answer, pictures to explain are best, if not ask him what the word means? You will find his interest returns, soon and his concentration will drop.
We got an illustrated dictionary from education-tech.org.uk, because we found it very hard to explain those sight words, you can see on their free download some samples of how much easier it is to explain. Our son, if he doesn't know something, asks to look at that "picture book."

[deleted account]

When children or adults go blank, it is because they don;t understand something usually a word.

A person reads a page and finds himself going blank on what he just read. It has been found in a study of well over a 1000 people that all had more than 1 word, and most more then 10 words they did know or only knew partially. When they clarified or corrected all those words in a dictionary, the person re-reading the page not only retain the whole page but also in most cases reported to feel good, as in compare to earlier where they didn't want to reread the page and do something else.

Same with kids, kid doesn't want to listen to the story any longer, I find out what word he doesn't understand, tell him what it means and he is happy to carry on - p.s. unless he got some more words he isn't understanding. (we must keep in mind that children have a shorter attention span, so keeping any activity short is quite important.)

Patricia - posted on 12/13/2012

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How is he doing in school? Have they said you might need to have him evaluated? He might sense you are losing patience and therefore does not want to learn.

Joji - posted on 12/13/2012

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I think the problem is if he does not having a learning disability it must be boredom. Try to make the session interactive for instance, ask him to read just the words he know or highlight all the pronouns and things like that.It worked for me. Dont get worried.We are more anxious and the stress is passed on to the children so try to be calm.

Joji - posted on 12/13/2012

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I think the problem is if he does not having a learning disability it must be boredom. Try to make the session interactive for instance, ask him to read just the words he know or highlight all the pronouns and things like that.It worked for me. Dont get worried.We are more anxious and the stress is passed on to the children so try to be calm.

SiewYean - posted on 12/10/2012

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I am not very sure if you are referring to him unable to pronounce the words or the interest in reading a book. Nevertheless, it is a concern since he already in grade 3.



Be patience and speak to his teachers. If needed, get a specialist to access.



To share my experience...my boy has difficulty both in reading (as in pronouncing) and interest in reading books all along. It was until when we move him out from the local Chinese school (it was a typical rote learning system) into an international school where everything is taught in English. The change in environment has a huge impact on him; especially the emphasis given on reading. They were allocated 20 minutes a day for reading. He can pick any books around the classroom to read. School library session is compulsory weekly. The teacher also assign a book for him to read weekly. I see great improvement within a couple of months.



Now, even at 10 years old, he still insists that I read to him every night before going to bed. It has become a routine for him. It is tiring for me but I am glad that he has changed his attitude in reading.



I hope you evaluate his learning environment and continue to encourage him.

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We approached our teachers a few times and they didn't really know themselves what to do, so we investigated ourselves. - Looking at the experience with our children (12 and 5), the problem started int he first 2 years of schooling but wasn't detected till now. There is an excellent download, free, that explains the problem our children run into with current school methods. Most kids seem to get through it by memorization but some don't and we, parents, of these kids are left to our own devises to figure out the problem and a solution. Since we understand the problems, education-tech(dot)org(dot)uk, we have made major inroad on the reading ability and general learning skills of both our children. i CAN not emphasis enough of how much of change it has made. Basically they use images and activities to explain the meaning of the sight words, so kids actually understand them not just memorize them as a symbol. My advise is get the book or read the download and make up your own flashcards to teach your kids. I found it too much work so I just bought the book but you really don't need to.

Charlene - posted on 12/07/2012

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hey, my son does the same thing.So now i let him draw me. in when he is done, he have to write five words on the paper, in its going good.one day at a time

Becky - posted on 08/09/2011

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My daughter hated reading and presented as a child with ADD only when I tried to.get her to read. I finally took her to a developmental opthamologist and found out she was seeing double from very near to 16 inches away - reading distance. We went through four months of vision therapy and now she won't stop reading, she is reading to me while I cook dinner as well as reading to her little brother. She is six years old and did quite well in math and reading in kindergarten, even before we found out what her problem was. We still have a few months left of vision therapy, but it is easier when you can see the excitement in her face as she reads now. Best of luck.

Chazmine - posted on 08/05/2011

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you could try cite words with him and make it a game. you could also take the site words and make sentences out of the words and make a short book with all the words he has learned we did that with my son and he has learned alot of words you can even through in pics to make it more enjoyable I also purchased the tag reading system it has helped tremendously ad you can check his progress online the key is to try to make it as fun as possible and they will respond good luck

Melissa - posted on 08/05/2011

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first off go into school and in writing request that he have regular sessions with the reading recovery or reading specialist in your school/district. Also in writing request he be evaluated by the child study team to see if there is any reason he might have difficulties. I know some people said dyslexia, add, learning disabilities, etc. He might also need vision therapy. I was lucky one of my son's OT's recognized that his eyes (while he could see) were not working together. Which will affect tracking. Obviously you need to track to read. Dont know if school can help you there. You might need to google Vision Therapists (Opthomologists/Optometrists) in your area and have him evaluated. Hope this helps.

Teresa - posted on 08/04/2011

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My son has ADD and I know he does. He is not hyperactive, he can focus but he is very out of contriol with it. His relationships with other boys his age were suffering because they could not relate to his lack of concentration. Once he got on his meds his reading and handwriting improved. I could see the difference in his relationships with other children his age. he was able to relate to them.

Denise - posted on 08/04/2011

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Nearly 50% of children that are "diagnosed" with ADHD or ADD are misdiagnosed. Have your son tested for dyslexia. Don't fight with him or become frustrated by his inability to read. You are posting on the Internet so I suggest you google Pinnacle School and look at the resources that they have posted there.

Gypsy - posted on 08/03/2011

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I have an 8 yr old who cant read well as well as a 14 yr old. I also have one that is 4 yrs old going into pre k for the first time this yr and i think i will try the relearning of the alphabet sounds with my 8 yr old to see if that helps. She loves to play teacher and i think it would be good for both of them. Thanks co-moms.

Lisa - posted on 07/29/2011

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One of the best things you can do for a boy is to home school him because the schools have been very boy unfriendly for a long time. home school mom

Aideen - posted on 03/13/2011

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A child who has attended school regularly and whose parents are interested in helping with homework should be reading wel by age 8 unless there is a difficulty. I would suspect Dyslexia if he seems able to cope with other aspects of his learning and if you have the resourses I would have an educational psychologist assess him. In most schooling systems a diagnosis of dyslexia would entile him to additional support. It would also let him and you know that it's not a lack of effort or intelligence....just a reading difficulty.
Toe-by-Toe is a great resourse for teaching a child to read at home...you don't need to be a teacher to follow the programme. It may be alittle early to start on this programme with him but perhaps the word wasp (a similar programme) would suit his age better.

http://www.wordwasp.com/

best of luck!

[deleted account]

I agree with others that there may be other reasons for your son having difficulty with reading, and an evaluation at school may be required. I also think if you realize he has a problem, and isn't just resisting you, that you may be easier on him and yourself.

Aideen - posted on 06/09/2010

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FUZZBUZZ is great for kids over 7 who are not reading yet! I've used the programme myself and have yet to meet a child who doesn't love it. I enjoy it everytime myself too!

MARY - posted on 02/14/2010

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A teacher got my son to read more by giving him pokemon cards. I know pokemon is not the big thing now but maybe yugio or some other cards with hit points and power ups it also improved his math because to play he had to add and subtract hit points. I also play hidden object games with my youngest and make him read the tutorial to me. Good luck and be patient.

Brittany - posted on 02/14/2010

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Have you ever try getting help for him, being a mom means helping your child in any way. My son is 5 and his teacher is notice some problems so I'm having him tested may be thats you need to do. They will go to his school and watch him and take notes and let you know what your next step is. Dont get mad at him or yourself, And if thats not the problem get him a tutor or ask a teacher to help him.

Sam - posted on 02/14/2010

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I have had a very similar situation with my 8 1/2 year old son. The more i tried to help, the more he would close down, and i know my frustration made him feel worse. This year, i have taken him to a tutor for assessment, and it turns out his reading is fine, but the comprehension is not, and this is now being addressed. Taking myself out of the situation, and asking someone professional (He is a fully qualified junior teacher) to look into it for me truly has helped. I have also got friends who have visited the optometrist and found that eyesight has been an issue. Good luck to you and your son :-)

Project BackUp - posted on 02/14/2010

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I can relate. I use to be very impatient and just go off. I realized it wasn't my son it was me. Children don't react well to anger its basically negative energy your sending out. I started meditating and taking time to take care of myself first. I realized I was very unhappy which effected the way I interact with my children. Two of my children have had issues in reading. You might want to start just reading aloud to them and letting them pick out the books. I had to force myself to sit and read with my children because when i grew up no one cared if i did well in reading there for no one read to me.

JENNIFER - posted on 02/14/2010

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get him some books with pictures and few words and he will enjoy them because i had the same problem with me 6 yr old and now he always wants to read...

Colleen - posted on 02/14/2010

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I wasn't getting anywhere with my daughter with matching letter names to the shapes or the sounds associated with them, then I ordered the Leap frog letter factory and word wammer and she just took off. It took like maybe 3 watch throughs and she got it. It was amazing and I would recommend them to anyone.

Colleen - posted on 02/14/2010

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He's shutting down or are there distractions. Has he had his eyes checked? I got my child leap frog tag and not only does it read the book to them it can just read one word at a time as they place the pointer on it. It is a way to incorporate technology into learning and it may not be so boring or a chore for him, you can play the games which actually reinforces paying attention to the story because it asks you about the story and in order to get the answer right you have to have payed attention. Rewarding him for little milestones might encourage his progress and he may just be wanting to do something else so he's being stubborn about reading to you. Choosing a good time is key. Hope this helps.

Kelly - posted on 02/14/2010

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Have you gotten him tested for any learning dissabilities. He might be just as frustrated as you are. Check with the school to see if they can get him some help. There is also a reading program out there helping thousands of kids to read called F.A.S.T program look it up online and check it out too. Hope that helps. You must be so stressed!

Michele - posted on 02/14/2010

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My son was in 3rd grade when we discovered he has ADD. We put him on meds and what a differance this has made. He's able to concentrate and is less distracted he's in the 5th grade now. It wouldn't hurt to ask ur dr.

Toye - posted on 02/14/2010

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I have a 11 yr old with Ad/HD and at 8 she didnt want to read or so we thought it was far from that the reading they wanted her to do was below what she could read therefore it waas boring to her,have you had him tested? See if that helps if not try interesting stuff to him (cars ,trucks,sports to give him a boost might herlp best luck to you been there

Julie - posted on 02/13/2010

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My 8 year old has had issues with reading too. We had a conference with her teachers, the counselor, and principal and we shared many ideas specifically for her. One of the suggestion was to have her read to her younger brother. They all agreed witht that suggestion, because kids tend to read better when they are reading to younger kids.

Denise - posted on 02/13/2010

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We went through this with two of our kids. Don't get mad, it makes it worse for both of you. If he is in public school they will test him for a "disability" but I call them differences. They also will not give you a diagnosis, but rather an indiviual learning plan, which in my experience doesn't work. Before you lose it see if you can have him tested for dyslexia. Nearly 50 percent of children are misdiagnosed with ADD who actually have a form of dyslexia. It's easy for them to learn to read with the right tools. Here is a link with more information. http://www.dys-add.com/teach.html

Jenny - posted on 02/13/2010

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You can also try having his vision checked. My son was having trouble reading, at his eye check up his doctor found out that one of the muscles in his eye was weak. He could not focus for very long before his eyes would start to hurt. He now reads better but he is still playing catch up with his classmates.

Lynne - posted on 02/13/2010

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Hello Flossy I just came across your post and wanted to give you some advice. I deal with these things all the time. when a person, and that is of any age, not just children, go by words they don't understand they go blank and lose concentraton. It is normal to do this. To resolve this you go over any word he doesn't understand or get the idea of. Sometimes this means that you need to look the word up in the dictionary for him and explain that to him using examples and get him to make some examples so that you can see he understands it. Do this with the words of his books and see what happens. Make sure he understands the title of the book and also the meaning of the subject he is studying about. A lot of kids study a subject but have never been told what the definition of the subject is itself, so how are they able to learn anything about the subject if they don't know this in the first place. Let me know how you get on.

Angel - posted on 02/13/2010

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my daughter is in kindergarten and she refuses to talk to ANYONE at school...

Kim - posted on 02/13/2010

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I have a 71/2yr that is having the same problems, thank you so much for the insite, I have been working with the teachers at his school to help him with math and reading. I to am having lots of frustration with helping at home, he just blanks out and has no interest. I have him read a book and I read another at bedtime. We have a long way to go, I will ask the teachers about the ideas that I have read, I am looking forward to getting some results!!!! Thankyou soooo much!

Misty - posted on 02/12/2010

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Sounds like he doesn't feel smart enough so he's not trying or he's scared of something.. Try a reward system.... If he gets 3 words right in a week then he'll get to do something special with you... Any reward system always works... I just got my 4 1/2 year old to stop sucking her thumb this way... Its worth the try... Maybe talk to his teacher and see if they can get him in some kind of tutoring for free.. some schools offer these type of thing... Us as moms aren't good at everything... Its o.k. to ask for help with things like this.... best wishes to you and your boy...

Misty - posted on 02/12/2010

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my 9 year old was doing that because she was having trouble with some of the words... So we went to the library and let her pick out some books she liked... Then I read some and she read some... Now she is doing much better and isn't embarrassed to read out loud... Blessings to you.. Don't give up yet mom you can do anything!

Brandi - posted on 02/12/2010

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My 8 year old has the same problem. We found out in 2nd grade that he is far sighted, and reading glasses has helped, but hasn't solved the problem. I've had other parents tell me they have the same concentration and focusing problems with their boys, and I've talked to older parents who say they grow out of it eventually. I think a lot of the problem is the way they are teaching things at school, and at least for my son, his lessons are not grade appropriate. I recently found out that his spelling words were taken from 4th grade material. He's barely reading at the 3rd grade level, but he's supposed to be able to spell "pharmacy, conclusion, occurrence, etc... My advice is to check the grade level his words are coming from, and talk to his teacher if it's inappropriate. Otherwise, try to make a game out of his spelling words, practice spelling while you go for a walk or ride in the car, and last but not least, take a deep breath, tell yourself it will get better, tell your son that you're proud of him for trying, and take a break. You can always try again tomorrow. Good luck! =D

Linda - posted on 02/12/2010

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See if his school offers programs to help with this so that you will not have to get upset with him. I know with my daughter I make it a game and it keeps us both from getting upset. You might also want to try Sylvan my daughter goes there two days a week.

Ivonne - posted on 02/12/2010

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I'm sorry for your frustration. I too was frustrated with my stepson when he turned six and was expected to start reading. His teacher sent home a whole list of words to start off with and every day we had to go through the words on flash cards. It took some time but he finally started remembering them and now he's in second grade and reads big books (100 pages or more) with little help. If your son has a learning disability this could be why he is having difficulties. I believe you can have him tested and if it's decided he has a disability of some sort then he can get the extra attention he needs in order to get him up to speed. I hope this helps and please try to just help him sound out the words he has the most trouble with.

Hayley - posted on 02/12/2010

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Children with Autism



Autism

We are pleased to announce that Brainwave therapists now design programmes for children who are either on the autistic spectrum or who have autistic tendencies as part of their diagnosis.

Like all children who visit Brainwave, children on the autistic spectrum are unique. Each child has their own strengths and weaknesses. For some it is purely social and communication, but for many children with autistic spectrum disorder there are difficulties with hand skills, movement skills, attention, concentration, behaviour and sensory processing. At Brainwave our therapists will take time to get to know and assess your child and their particular skills and develop a tailor made programme that will challenge their specific difficulties.

For children who find it difficult to attend to tasks, our programmes may include vigorous exercise, which can help to reduce anxiety, self- stimulation behaviours and aggression in children with autism. We have found that doing physical exercises before any concentration work helps children to sit for longer periods of time and concentrate more easily on the task. This is largely due to the fact that the children feel calmer but also because the exercises help to increase body awareness. When a child knows where their body is in space, everyday tasks such as sitting on a chair become less daunting and easier to carry out.

Many children with autism also have sensory problems which may have an effect upon behaviour, movement and cognition. This is clearly an extremely important area as it impacts across so much of a child's life. Our programmes, therefore, include exercises to address these problems in order to help each child to reach their full potential. Although we look at all sensory systems, we have a particular focus on the tactile, vestibular and proprioception systems..

Communication is another aspect of development affecting many children with autism. All therapists at Brainwave are trained in Makaton and some therapists are also trained in PECS (picture exchange communication system).

Therapists at Brainwave are skilled at assessing fine and gross motor skills which are other areas that may pose a problem for children on the autistic spectrum.

Through doing the Brainwave programme, children with autism have been noted to be calmer, less sensitive to touch, more responsive and happier to co-operate. These are just a few areas where a Brainwave programme can help, and it is clear that practising a Brainwave programme can make a very positive difference to family life.

Ruth - posted on 02/12/2010

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First let me say there is a huge difference between boys and girls. One of my sons who is 8 and in the third grade does not read well either. But in other areas he is fine. I have done alot of research and come to find out that it is ok at this age to still be struggling with reading, for boys. Some research also shows girls at this age struggling but mostly boys. From what I have read on numerous different sites and books some boys who are not profficient in reading at this age but do do well in other areas such as math, just learn differently. We had our son tested for ADD and he does not have that. He just is more of a problem solver. He likes doing things hands on. He learns better when he can physically "hold" the learning in his hands. The problem I think is that when our kids get to this point in school we are made to feel like if they are not keeping up there is something wrong with them,but it is ok that every year the curriculum gets harder and harder and they try and squeeze more and more in to a year!? Then they spend a year of learning how to read or do math problems one way only to have a whole new "way" shown to them the next.

Diane - posted on 02/12/2010

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I know it's frustrating but it will come. They all have different ages where it kicks in. MY daughter hates to read but now at 12 she is starting to do fairly well. She's still behind and loses focus but it is getting better. Practice, practice....make him read something every night, even if its an article in a magazine, anything...reading is reading

[deleted account]

Hi there my son is in grade 4 now but had a very hard time with reading in grade 3, he just was not interested in reading and it was very frustrating. we picked books that would be easy for him and built his confidence up so that he felt good about himself. also the teacher's aid in the class would give him extra time for reading with her and couple of other kids, so that also helped.

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