My five year old son has had some issues with writing and reading in Kindergarten. We have had several meetings with the school, as well as meetings with his pediatrician. We have been refered to the Marcus Institute in Atlanta to help diagnose as to whether or not he has a Learning Disability. The Dr. indicates it could be Dyslexia. Does anyone have any words of adivce, or experience with this? I would appreciate any input . Gabriel's appointment is late next week at the Marcus Institute.

[deleted account] ( 25 moms have responded )

My five year old son has had some issues with writing and reading in Kindergarten. We have had several meetings with the school, as well as meetings with his pediatrician. We have been refered to the Marcus Institute in Atlanta to help diagnose as to whether or not he has a Learning Disability. The Dr. indicates it could be Dyslexia. Does anyone have any words of adivce, or experience with this? I would appreciate any input . Gabriel's appointment is late next week at the Marcus Institute.

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Becky - posted on 02/11/2009

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Hi Candace,



Your son sounds so much like my oldest son. He too had difficulties with his alphabet and sight words and would get discouraged when he could not figure things out. I had him enrolled in a resource program in his school plus signed him up for tutoring once a week. This was when he was in Grade 2. He seemed to do much better with one on one situations rather than a huge class. At the end of Grade 2 I had a meeting with the school about him, and I recommended that he be held back and complete another year of Grade 2. They put him in a class with less students and he thrived. Now his reading and writing are right where he should be. I was told by his tutor that some kids just take a little bit longer to grasp things than other kids. Hang in there your son will be just fine, and before you know it he will be reading you a bedtime story.

Nanette - posted on 02/10/2009

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This isn't laziness or even anything "wrong" when young children write some letters backwards. You have to look at it from their perspective - until they get to school, the orientation of an item doesn't change where it is. Upside down, right side up, forwards, backwards - a banana is a banana, no matter how you look at it. Then they go to school, and suddenly b's d's p's and even q's in some writing systems - you turn it around and suddenly it's something else! That makes no sense to little minds, and they have to get used to it. It's perfectly normal and common. I suspect that the original poster's son has some other issues other than just reversals, or they wouldn't have an appt with a specialist.

Zona - posted on 02/09/2009

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My little guy had the same problem last year. I have two boys 16 and 6 and they're both late in the  year babies. Boys sometimes just take longer to get into school but it does not mean they're not intelligent or have disablilites. There are places in Europe where they don't start school till there 7 years old because a lot of children are not ready before then.



Waldorf education also holds to this philosphy. They really like to nuture the creative side of the child.



When I was researching dyslexia I came across this video. I thought it might be my son's problem too. I was told I had a slight case of dyslexia when I was young.



 



Good luck and try not to worry too much. Your guy is still young. My oldest has had a B avg for his grade 10-11 yrs.



 

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Helena - posted on 04/02/2014

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Have you had his eyes checked? Next make it fun, by making letters like animals or as you make the letters show him by talking about how to make the letter, sat with his name, like this the letter i, is a stick with a small dot, or the letter m, is a stick over hill one than hill two and so on.

Amanda - posted on 02/12/2009

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Hi Candice, does your son suffer tonsilitis frequently and snore? If so, have him checked by an Ear, Nose and Throat specialist. My son struggled through kinder, prep and grades 2 & 3 before he was refered to a specialist. He was diagnosed with sleep deprivation disorder which presented like inatentive ADHD, which his peadiatrician diagnosed him with. Hope this helps. Kind Regards. Amanda

Dana - posted on 02/11/2009

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My 8 yr old son is Dyslexic and now goes to a special school for this. I knew very early he processed differently. Let me ask you some questions:



Does he have difficulty with time? Ex. does not understand yesterday or tomorrow?or Does not understand the concept of days, weeks, years?



Does he get frustrated easily when trying to read or even being read to? Dyslexics process information so differently that they get what is known as sensory overload very fast. They need repetition but in very precise ways.



Does he like to use his hands? Ex. legos, video games, painting? Dyslexics are usually gifted and part of their frustration is that they are so smart that they need gifted studies in all subjects but reading and writing and most schools don't do that.



These are just a few questions to ask yourself.



Look up Orton- Gillingham. This is the absolute best program for dyslexics.

They need heavy phonics to learn how to read and can not read in a whole word reading program.



Be his advocate and take daily notes of behaviors so you can tell the teachers and evaluators what he struggles most with.



Most of all love him and encourage him. School is hard these days and some kids, especially boys are not ready for school at 5. I did not start my boys until they were 6 and they still had an adjustment phase.



No matter what they tell you he "has" remind them that you want an "apppropriate" education for your child, not just the education to fit the cookie cutter student that the schools are trying to mass produce!

Kathy - posted on 02/11/2009

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Both my kids have dyslexia and they were diagnosed by the school around 3 grade.  Kindergarten is too early for him to be diagnosed for dyslexia.  I don't know if the testing is expensive, but I would advise to wait.  It is not unusual for a child to struggle in Kindergarten especially a boy.  Of course it is up to you, but I wouldn't spend money on testing just yet.  All kids mature at different ages.  Your son may just not be ready to read.  I actually had my son take Kindergarten twice, and it was not harmful to him at all.  He fits better with the group of kids he is with now.  Hope this helps. 

Robyn - posted on 02/11/2009

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That seems a little early for putting a diagnosis of dyslexia on your child.  I have a 5 year old and she is just beginning to read and write, but often reverses the numbers and letters.  She often writes from right to left, exactly in mirror image.  I think it's a pretty normal situation because they don't yet grasp that sentences must be read from left to right etc.  She mistakes 12 for 21 but I've never considered that this is a disability, it's just a learning curb.  Help your child and explain to him the difference and most of all be very patient.  Most kids don't even start learning to read until at least 6 or 7.



It could mean that he's very creative and open minded or that he thinks with both sides of the brain. 



If he's under observation all the time, rather than helping him, this might create stress and harm his learning.  He's only 5! Einstein had speech difficulties, other famous inventors and writers flunked out of school, my neice didn't start reading until she was 8 and now, at 9 she's reading Lucy Maud Montgomery novels and you can hardly tear her away from a book.



I don't know your son, and perhaps the diagnosis is correct and your son has a learning disability, but if I were you, I'd let him learn at his own pace and maybe try to figure out how he learns best, rather than giving him a stigma and so he grows up thinking he's "disabled".

Fran - posted on 02/11/2009

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Hello there,



I do have experience with this both with myself and my 8 year old daughter. One thing is not to make it out that he is different and make excuse like "he has a learning disability" Kids are very smart know matter what anyone else says and they will start to use these excuse themselves as reasons not to concintrate.



It is very hard to deal with on a daily basis but you have to just take your time with him and make in look at the letters and words very carfully. Let him know it is all about memerizing the letter and sound they make.



One day my daughter was sitting there staring out the window or at the wall and when I told her to read the book to me she looked at me and said " I can't I have a learning problem" That did not sit right with me and I told her the only problem she had was it would take her a little longer to understand the concept but that was the only problem. These kids are very very smart, I bet he is great a video games so make him read what he as to do next that worked great with my son that is now 13 and he is almost on the honour roll. They have to practice a lot more then the average kid but they will get it. It takes alot of work on the behalf of the parent becasue from what I have seen these kids can fall through the cracks very easy. He is young so it is best to start now. First step it the letters and the sounds they make the rest will come later.



Trust me when I say it is extremely difficult to say the samething 100 time and they still don't understand if you get angry or upset just tell him you need a break and go to the washroom or grap a drink or a ciggerette whatever give it 5 or 10 minutes and then back at it. I would say only make him sit and do this work at home for about 20 minutes at first and then if he wants more that is okay.



Best of luck to you and Gabriel.

Jini - posted on 02/11/2009

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Its only Kindergarten.  I have 3 boys, my oldest could write and read very well in Kindergarten, my middle one is now in 1st grade and is struggling with reading.  I had an issue that he didn't read as well as his older brother.  His teacher told me that it was fine and that he just needed to practice more at home.  We have been and there is a big improvement.  Does your childs school have a reading help program?  My son's teacher had me to an exercise with him where I time him on reading a paragraph, he needs to read it within one minute.  We practice that everynight along with his "sight words" on flash cards. 



Have you had your sons eyes checked?  That might help you a little.



On the other hand I think he is just fine and don't think you need to put too much money or effort into seeing if he has a "problem".  It will all come to him, I say that if not by the end of 1st grade, then see the specialists.



 

Sandra - posted on 02/11/2009

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Quoting Candice:

My five year old son has had some issues with writing and reading in Kindergarten. We have had several meetings with the school, as well as meetings with his pediatrician. We have been refered to the Marcus Institute in Atlanta to help diagnose as to whether or not he has a Learning Disability. The Dr. indicates it could be Dyslexia. Does anyone have any words of adivce, or experience with this? I would appreciate any input . Gabriel's appointment is late next week at the Marcus Institute.

My five year old son has had some issues with writing and reading in Kindergarten. We have had several meetings with the school, as well as meetings with his pediatrician. We have been refered to the Marcus Institute in Atlanta to help diagnose as to whether or not he has a Learning Disability. The Dr. indicates it could be Dyslexia. Does anyone have any words of adivce, or experience with this? I would appreciate any input . Gabriel's appointment is late next week at the Marcus Institute.



 



Hi there!   They are trying to diagnose your son for a Learning Disability or Dyslexia at age five?  I say, this is much too early.  Children at age five normally print numbers and letters backwards for  sometime.  Reading takes time and practise and five years of age won't signify a problem this early.  A normal child has all of your issues. Does he have a speech delay, hearing problems, does he need glasses?  If you haven't got his  hearing checked  or sent him to an eye doctor then maybe it wouldn't hurt to rule these out.  I say give it time....work with your son at home as much as possible.  Buy some age appropriate school learning books and flash cards to make it fun learning.   Please do not put your child through any unnecessary testing.  It will only add to the stress, especially to your five year old.  Relax and enjoy this wonderful time in your son's life!  Good luck!      





 

Jennifer - posted on 02/11/2009

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My husband is dyslexic, we have 2 sons (1 of which is showing the signs of Dyslexia), honestly, no matter what...it's gonna be just fine. My husband was able to "self correct" before they really knew what was going on...have you tried saying things out loud to you son, I know that helps Blake (my son)...Like if he's having trouble reading or writing, usually if we'll just be patient & say the word aloud he does much better...Good luck

Vanessa - posted on 02/11/2009

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Hi, I have 2 boys and both struggled with literacy early on, 5 is way too young to expect any child to be able to read & write, one day it will just click with him. My eldest is now 11 and a book worm, he reads all the time and even writes his own stories! My youngest is now 6 and has only taken to reading in the last 6 months, so don't let the experts frighten you with medical diagnosis and terminology.

Vanessa Kokic

[deleted account]

Nanette, Thank you for your words of advice and encouragement. This whole process has been very frustrating. Your right, my son does have more than letter reversal issues going on. There is a long list, and I'm not sure where to start.  Gabriel has had difficulties starting back in Pre-K with writing, or an inability to write. His issues are going a little deeper than letters and numbers. He has not been able to identify all of his letters on a consistant basis, uppercase or lower case. 



He can recite his ABC's but recognizing or writing them have been a problem.Sometimes on any given day he identifies 42 out of 52 letters, but when asked the following day he may only get 23. Sight words have been a problem, we have worked with him at home as well as one on one intervetions at school. He seems to get two out of five sight words a week, but the words he is getting are the two letter sight words as opposed to words with more letters. So after 2 nine weeks of being behind and struggling to get him up to par with sight words, the gap is getting bigger abd bigger. He will be able to pick the words out if they are laid in front of him . I will lay out his words and ask him which on is GET, and he will be able to pick it out. your hold the same words up in a flash card format and he will not be able to read it. If I give him the begining sound he can get it, but reading it on his own, is not working for him.



He is extremly bright, and has a great memory, for stories  but is struggling with writing his letters to the point where his hand writing is completely unledgible. He confuses letters with numbers, and when he has to do independent work assigned by the teacher, he never completes it.   He will write sentence( if walk through it step by step) and he can verbally tell you what a sentence is.He does very well in his school work if an assistant walks him through his work step by step, but this is not something that can be afforded in his classroom all the time.  At this point he can't write a sentence, basically due to his inability to write words, which is coming from his inability to write his letters properly.The school is being very helpful by all means, and they did not indicate that he may have dyslexia. The referral came from his pediatricin, after we had a discussion about my son and issues he was facing.  The Dr. indicated he could not diagnose him, nor could the school if he has a learning disability, the best thing to do was to take him to the Marcus Institute for an early intervention. The school has already indicated there may be a need to retain him in kindergarten. i feel at this point it is possible for him to be retained, I'm not sure if it is a good idea for him to progress forward to 1st grade if he is missing the fundamentals from kindergarten. He will be enrolled in a tutoring program 2 times a week, as well as more intensive one on one intervention in the classroom.



 



 

[deleted account]

Zona, Thanks for the information.  I did check out the website for Waldorf education, but I could not get the link for the video to work.  We don't want to be too quick with a label or diagnosis for our son, we just want to help him succeed the best we can.  I appreciate your words of kindness and advice.

Amy - posted on 02/10/2009

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I've heard not to worry until 2nd grade and 3rd grade is where they all level off. Also, we have found that our insurance will not cover academic testing because the school district is actually responsible for it. In MN, even if you get a diagnosis, the school will re-evaluate anyway.  Good luck

Linda - posted on 02/10/2009

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Hi Candice, my daughter was diagnosed with Dyslexia in the second grade.  We noticed something was not right late in her K year but things did not improve, or shall I say got worse during her 1st grade year.  The school she was in at the time would not heed to my concerns but the following school year we transferred and her teacher saw my concerns.  She was then tested and put in a program for Dyslexia children (504).  She is considered severe but is doing very well with the help she is receiving.  She is now in the 4th grade and on her TAKS test last year her reading was "commended".  The program has been an exceptional progression for my daughter so do not be discouraged if your child is diagnosed with Dyslexia.  I believe it is a little too soon to tell for your son as I have a son who is in second grade and still mixes his numbers and alphabet at times but is NOT Dyslexic.  It all depends on the child.  You may want to give it time, maybe another year.

Jennifer - posted on 02/10/2009

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Very true, I guess we'd need to know more about her sons issues.



I'm going to post a new thread on phonics....maybe you can offer some advice on it, Nanette.

Jennifer - posted on 02/10/2009

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My son had a hard time - may just have been lazy - with his d's and b's, a handful of others that he insisted on writing backwards. With support from his after school class he got passed it. Consistency pays off. My son is 6, I say give your boy a little more time to work through it. Did your son go to preschool?

Heather - posted on 02/10/2009

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Just don't let them push you aside, those who make the most noise will get noticed! It's great that they are doing something. Use your judgement, and if something doesn't seem right speak up and say so. Learning disabitlies can be sometimes hard to diagnose especially in little ones. Taking a tape recorder to the appointment helps to "catch" everything that was done and said, for later referance. Good luck

Sharon - posted on 02/10/2009

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Hi i am a preschool teacher that teaches kids in my home daycare .I always tell people that i am not a babysitter .I love my job and i cannot imagine just sitting around each day taking care of these kids and just watching them play .Its such a good feeling to see how smart kids become when they r introduce to learning very early in life. I have a 3yr old who can actually write his name and the number 3 and many other letters in the ABCs my little baby who is just 17mths can say teh sounds of a cat dog frog and when u ask him to find teh cat on the abc chart he can show it and all this happens because when am doing circle time i put him next to me he knows how to hip hip hooray This is the result of taking time out in my day to do this one on one with each child sometimes i would have my parents bring a note book and the work i did with the kids that day i would send it home for the parents to see and for them to practice with their child and to become a part of what they r doing but at one time i had a parent who commented that they did not like that i was having their 2yr old do homework but that was not my idea of teaching it was for the parents to get involve in what their kids r doing and just so u know its not an easy task it takes time and patience to try and do this on a daily basis but i love it so can u imagine if all preschool did this for kids see we have to remember as adults kids get curious their minds r growing and they need us not as teachers but as parents to become part of that so don,t give thinking that something is wrong with him just because he can,t read and write he just needs a little more time at doing it and its got to be done everyday he might even surprised you my son is 14 and is partly deaf in both ears hes a special ed kid because he is not able to comprehend when he reads but with pictures he can tell you what is in the book thats something you can do to help your child with reading and have him tell you in his own words what is happening in the story as for his writing i help my kids by doing one letter at a time by having them repeat the the lines when we do writing lets say am writing the letter A it goes like this UP DOWN and cross line and i hold their hands and show them what i mean so u can teach him what the up line is and the down line is and the cross line you sound like you have an amazing kid and i know he will surprise you one day and do this hope it helps

Nanette - posted on 02/09/2009

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As a mom and a kindergarten teacher, I wonder what they are using to say that they think a five-year-old is dyslexic. Yes, it can be diagnosed at this age, but it's unusual. If he is dyslexic, you are lucky they are catching it early. You probably know by now that there is a lot more to dyslexia than just letter and number reversals. Many, many five-year-olds (particularly boys) have reversals at this age and up to six and seven without it indicating dyslexia. Good luck with this - if he is dyslexic then you are getting good and early help!

Dawn - posted on 02/09/2009

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My son has had difficulties since K with writing, reading, and getting the whole letters and numbers. He has improved in 1st grade, but not a lot. He also has speach (tongue clipped last spring break,) and his writing and reading is associated with what he hears, etc. There is a community here called moms with children with dyslexia. They would probably have better experience and advice for you. The info from the moms there has helped me. Good luck with the testing.

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