My Son Is Having Trouble Reading

Toni L - posted on 03/27/2014 ( 98 moms have responded )

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My 6 year old son is having problems reading. He is great with numbers but letters make no sense to him. He says the letters jump around on the page. Has anyone ever gone through anything like this before? I am lost on how to help him.

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♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 04/01/2014

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Isabel, I'm certain the child knows that reading is important. Have you ever experienced dyslexia, or irlens? Letters don't 'look' right. They move, they shimmer, they duplicate, they jump up and down, they turn themselves around. All while you are trying to read them.

When a child tells you "the letters are moving", they're indicating that they need to be evaluated for a visual/neurological concern. Starting with the ophthalmologist, and moving on to other exams as necessary is more effective in this case than "trying to play with words" so that they understand the importance. That actually is extremely frustrating for the child, and can cause an absolute hatred for printed matter.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 04/01/2014

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Have him checked for dyslexia, or other similar conditions.

Also, when's the last time he had an eye exam? My youngest complained of double vision, jumping characters, etc. He's dyslexic and short sighted.

I notice another poster said that dyslexia is NOT the transposing of letters, etc, but that it's just the jumping of characters. That person quite obviously has not experienced it for themselves, as my dyslexia involved both transposition of letters when reading, and also jumping characters, etc.

E - posted on 04/02/2014

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Good day, first you have to pray. Pray for your child. I can tell you that my 7 years old did not wanted to even read saying that it was to hard, but I went to the local library and started getting books with vivid pictures and minimal reading (level 1) and he created an interest for it. Moreover, I got him his own membership of books from Highlights and he liked it. He love everything and we started working in reading from simple to now that we started reading complex books in level 3 and regular books. You have to commit yourself to help patiently your child and spend the time picking interesting books for a boy, like Lego books or book that talk about super heroes or star wars are very good examples. Be patience and have faith. He will learn with love and support. Oh, and they love when you praise every word they read. DO a dance at the end or something else, but so not buy anything for him because He will expected every time.

Kat - posted on 04/01/2014

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As an English teacher with dyslexia myself, it sounds like dyslexia. There are so many different kinds of dyslexia though, that he will need to seen by someone who has experience with diagnosing dyslexia. Please contact your school district and demand that they get him testing, and an IEP if he needs one. Also, if he hasn't had an eye exam this year, I strongly recommend an eye exam A.S.A.P. to rule out any vision issues. This is something that you can work with, and you're starting early, so you're off to a good start.

Denikka - posted on 03/27/2014

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If he is having that kind of difficulty with letters, it's quite possible that it's some sort of dyslexia or something similar. Get him in to get tested :) A professional will be able to help give you the tools to help your son :)

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Beth - posted on 11/11/2014

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Hi, how stressful, every Mom wants to see their child succeed, especially with reading - were glasses able to help? A friend of mine experienced something similar when he was learning to read and was about that age. Try Bam Boomerang app
http://www.appstore.com/BamBoomerang
A fun app where kids play educational games to learn how to read. Kids feel it's a game and not like reading, and it get's them reading out loud. It really takes them from the letters to blending and decoding words. Hope this helps and you and your son are on your way to reading together!

Joi - posted on 10/24/2014

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Hi mommy, I can feel the stress in your words, sending a hug. I'm sure you are checking for health concerns, so I'll just share my experience in the hope that it will help. I thought my son was having trouble reading at that age also until two things happen. 1 - his grandmother began reading with him. she read a page then he read the next. they snuggled and read and he loved it. just saying, that it worked with her and not so much with me - still don't know why. 2 - I can't remember if it was age 7 or 8, but a buddy in school told my son about the alex rider series. He couldn't wait to get to the bookstore to get his own copy. next thing you know, I would find him reading away. he had set a goal for himself to be up to speed with everybody else so that he could talk about the next book in the series that they were reading. from then to now he loves to read. here's hoping that something might spark his interest and that nothing more serious is the culprit!

Erisreignssupreme - posted on 06/06/2014

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sounds like dislexia. and hes also young some kids dont settle into reading untill they are older. but usually by age six they would only be mixing up d and b. dislexia is really common and most schools have supports for it and there are techniques that you can google which help dislexic people to read. but you could ask his teachers if they have a testing plan for dislexia. they might not do it till a later age. in northern europe they dont teach kids to read untill they are about seven becuase the brain is not wired properly yet and they think that making akid read at a younger age can have adverse effects...like walking before you canb crawl. our whole school system ignores this scientific research into how kids work and focuses so much on letter formation at an early age. its madness. i took my kid out and homeschooled him because he was great at math and hated writing or reading....i left him alone and he has started by himself which is great {he also complained of not being able to focus on letters} so it may just work out or it may be dislexia.

Mrsjames28 - posted on 04/28/2014

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he wear glasses? this what my son going threw and we told eye doctor and he tested him and got him glasses n he saying he can see better and everything looks better and bigger

User - posted on 04/15/2014

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Have you had his eyes checked. Ask doctor for some eye exercises for his eyes. Ask your child to cover one eye at a time to see if eyes jump or move.then ask your son what would he like to read about. there has got to be some thing he is interested in.

Hazel - posted on 04/10/2014

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Hi, strangely, my son did exactly that with the word CAT. Just to let you know, he now is 33, has a PhD in Health Sciences and reads fluently. He was helped by (a) occupational therapy for a while (b) coloured glasses for a while (c) an Aid class for a year and (d) being read to every night. I honestly don't know which or what helped him the most, but we did everything, including making sandpaper and clay letters and reading a book called The Gift of Dyslexia.

Kristen - posted on 04/04/2014

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We love Heidi Songs! heidisongs.com has tons of resources to help little ones read and more importantly learn to love to read. There are lots of different DVDS, CDS and workbooks that focus on sight words and the basic building blocks of reading. Her DVDS have motions and songs to help little ones learn as well. Love love love them!

Heidisongs.com

April - posted on 04/03/2014

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Yes. Look up Irlen's Syndrome. The filters really helped my son and I both. And our headaches are better.

Greg - posted on 04/02/2014

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Just encourage your children in everything. I did not read well until I was about 10 years old. I have Cerebral Palsy. I DID go to university and graduated with a 3.8 GPA. Never give up hope Dear Moms and Dads.

GP

Debbie - posted on 04/02/2014

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Naureen-

You may be one of the few who is passionate and actually there to help the children. Ask any number of parents on this board if their school helped them and the immediate reply is an astounding NO. Very sad.

I completely agree that the intervention should take place as soon as possible, but most parents are told the schools do not test or address dyslexia. Mine did.

User - posted on 04/02/2014

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Hi Toni. I experienced something similar when my son was about that age. We were told my son needed tutoring. So we did that. Reading has not been his favorite subject ever. However he loves math and does very well. Now my son is 12 and we've tried everything. We changed optometrsts. . This new doctor diagnosed the problem. An opthalologist agreed with the diagnosis. We learned he experiencing Convergence Insufficiency. That means that his eyes don't always work together. The Convergence Insufficiency has other symptoms that you may not recognize yet since your son is young. I am providing the site in case you'd like to look at it. convergenceinsufficiency.org. My son will be starting Vision Therapy soon. It is contravercial, but we'd rather try it than not. It could be that your son just isn't ready to read yet and math greatly appeals to him. In either case, I wish you the best! Rosa

Peggy - posted on 04/02/2014

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I am dyslexic., though they don't jump for me they tend to be backwards. I would take him to a neurologist first and then to an opthomoligist. Just to make sure everything is ok. There is excersizes he can do to train the eyes and brain to work together. You need to have him seen ASAP and get to the bottom of the problem. My grandson is autistic and this also happens to him. Get it checked!

Naureen - posted on 04/02/2014

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Sounds like he needs to be tested for dyslexia and given a direct, systematic approach to reading such as the Wilson method. Without specific instruction to help him associate letters with sounds, he will never catch up and become a successful reader.

He needs guided instruction as soon as possible in a clear, concise method that has data-proven results such as the Wilson method I mentioned. This system is designed to help learning disabled readers retrain their brains to understand the phoneme-grapheme connection sound -letter) and to step-by-step, bring him from where he is to where he needs to be at his age.

Waiting until he grows will only give the instruction less time to work, as he will not make the vital connections himself! Bring him to the SPED department in your school system and request comprehensive testing to determine where his needs and skills fall apart. Then, once diagnosed, they will be required to provide his instruction, both in the classroom, and in pull-out lessons,, that will give him what he is missing fill in the blanks).

There are hundreds of qualified, certified Wilson instructors around the world who can help him! I'm one of them!

Start with the crucial phonemic awareness testing and go from there.

Debbie - posted on 04/02/2014

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This sounds like a strong case of dyslexia. Like a previous person mentioned, 1 in 5 are dyslexic. My son has dyslexia and you can find programs that will help him. I do not know what state you are in, but Decoding Dyslexia can help you (in 46 states). An educational psych or neurologist is the best way to get a reliable identification so that you can get help in the school. Otherwise, the school will most likely NOT help until it is third grade or higher.

Valerie - posted on 04/02/2014

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My son has problems reading due to an eye condition that can be corrected with glasses. Maybe you could get his eyes checked and see if that might be the problem. He can't stay on one line- his eyes jump.

Cate - posted on 04/02/2014

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http://irlen.com/ Have talked about this with a couple of different people. The letters moving/swimming comment is the most poignant reason for looking at Irlen Syndrome. Yes, it costs to be evaluated. But isn't any progress or new understanding worth it? *hugs*

Poloist12 - posted on 04/02/2014

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I agree with you on this one. But I would also like to ask, have you been reading to him since birth? My daughter is well ahead of her class in reading and writing because I read to her every night from the start.

Lori - posted on 04/02/2014

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Letters jumping around sounds like an eye issues - maybe teaming or tracking. My kiddo had eye teaming issues. We did a 3 different brain integration programs. Be careful if you decide to do vision therapy - be sure to research it because it should only take 6 months or so from what I've heard. The vision people will try to keep you on the hook for 2 years or more and it will cost thousands of dollars if you do that.

Also, I just pulled one of my books this morning. It's called The Writing Road to Reading - The Spalding method. You might try that. There's also a good program for kids with dyslexia - but I can't think of the name right now.

Tamika - posted on 04/02/2014

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Let it happen on its own! Your kid will learn to read! Spend time reading to him each day, and let him be a kid. The best thing I did was pull my kids from public school so they could learn on their own.

User - posted on 04/02/2014

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try reading to him about things he likes. Take him to library and let him pick out the books he wants.

User - posted on 04/02/2014

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I also wanted to say that when my son did start reading, I bought him a big book called Dick and Jane. He read it over and over. He began to recognize the words by seeing and saying them over and over. It builds their confidence when they can finally read. When your child starts reading an easy book of interest, let your child keep reading it over and over again. Good luck and God bless!!

Applehaze - posted on 04/02/2014

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That does sound like dyslexia. When I was a young kid I couldn't understand math and I was tested and sure enough dyslexic which thank god because I was put in a different classroom. My teacher was so mean before my diagnosis she thought I just didn't want to learn so didn't my mom this was the early 80's. My point is he is so lucky nowadays because they are educated on learning disabilities and he will be able to get the help he needs. Imaging how it must be for him if he is in a regular class. You should get him tested so that he can get the proper assistance that he needs.

Jenn - posted on 04/02/2014

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My son just turned 7 and he is in first grade he has slit of the same problems with reading I had him tested because unfortunately he has leukemia and I thought it might be all the chemo. Go to find out it was his speech and I sight he was not using one of his eyes at all now he where's glasses also his speech was off which makes it very hard for him to sound out words since he can not say them correct to begin with

Greg - posted on 04/02/2014

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I had trouble reading when I was 6. Try reading about a subject your son loves. Sound out the words and letters in the article or story. He will eventually catch on.

Shaida - posted on 04/02/2014

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it is good that you have found out about your child, because I was diagnosed with dyslexia in 2014, and I was dyslexic all through primary, secondary and college.

Sylvia - posted on 04/02/2014

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You can request that your son be tested at school. I did this when my daughter was in middle school. When she would read out loud she would say many wrong words. She only read the first couple of letters and said a word that began with those letters. It turned out that her best friend read all the time and was a fast reader. My daughter had the idea that you had to read fast rather than accurately. When she was tested she would ask how long she had to read. When the instructor explained that when you read, you read everything no matter how long it takes, she did much better.
Be aware that many schools including my daughter's will try to give a diagnosis that doesn't require an IEP for the child because that can cost them money up to and including age 23.
Title 1 is a special reading program for kids having trouble in the early grades. It's usually a temporary program to catch kids up with the rest of the class.
As someone else said, using a ruler helps many kids. Notice if your son starts on one line and ends on another line when he's reading. There's also a theory that the color of the page can affect reading. There are plastic/vinyl sheets to cover a page and many report that the letters stop moving. Amazon sells them - 6 sheets for $12. Read the reviewers comments. Easy enough to try out without setting up doctor appointment and school testing.
http://www.amazon.com/Tinted-Plastic-Rea...

Emma - posted on 04/01/2014

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He is dyslexic ask the school if they will test him
I had to fight tooth and nail to get help for my son because the tea gets just kept saying he was lazy, until he got to a teacher who would finally listen.
He'll get a reading rule. Which is like a coloured piece of plastic to out over the page when he reads and it will help a lot.

Cat - posted on 04/01/2014

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It sounds like he could have a form of dyslexia. It's actually more common than you think. 1 in 5 children will have some degree of dyslexia. My son has it, though it's not as severe as others. His second grade teacher had it and she said that the letters seem to vibrate and jump around. One thing you can do is to use a ruler or piece of paper to help him read line by line (covering up the rest of the page) and move the ruler or paper down slowly as he reads. That helps readers that have those problems. You may want to look into getting him tested. You can find resources online.

User - posted on 04/01/2014

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Hi I know exactly what you are going through. My little boy will be 7 in August. He is in Kindergarten. When he was younger, he didn't have a lot of interest in anyone reading to him. I didn't understand. He didn't want to look at the book. My daughter was totally opposite. I put him in pre-k at the age of 5, because I felt that he would be behind. At the town that we lived in the school did vision exams and told me that he needed to go to the eye doctor. I took him and his vision was so bad that if I would have let it go much longer it would have turned into lazy eye. He got glasses and was interested in books and letters. He is now reading at the right level for kindergarten. In your case, it could just be because boys seem to catch on later than girls. Just had to tell my story, because I had no idea that he just needed glasses.

Saima - posted on 04/01/2014

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Just do propigAte lettrs at night time before sleep in story telling manner.it works best

Shannon - posted on 04/01/2014

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Our daughter really wanted to learn. I am a writer; there are books in every room of our house. It irked her that her older brother and a younger friend could read, and she couldn't, yet.

But we also happen to know many other naturally learning families, and the children learned to read at ages from 1 (!) to 16. None failed to learn, and all became proficient- the later readers more quickly, because they had a more complex grasp of vocabulary, grammar, and sentence structure when they began.

With my son, who is now 12 and reads at an adult level, I noticed that,until age 8 or so, he made many more reversals when he was learning something new. It was as though his brain could handle one challenge at a time, but not two at once.

Jacqueline - posted on 04/01/2014

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Thanks. I appreciate the different perspective. It's really hard to know 'what's right' when you are listening to what schools/governments/society expect...and what your gut is telling you. I really don't like the idea of pushing a six year old boy too hard, but I don't want to see him struggle either. It's a difficult one :)

Shannon - posted on 04/01/2014

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Children allowed to learn to read naturally do so at many ages. I was 4. My daughter, who is homeschooled, was 8. This is not unusual; many children's eyes are not developed well enough for the fine coordination needed for reading until they are about 8.

Now, at 9.5, she reads at near an adult level. She will often come to read over my shoulder, and discuss what she reads. She enjoys fiction, non-fiction, poetry, word play, and trivia books and magazines. She does internet reearch and plays text-based games.

She's never had a reading lesson; it was a matter of her being wholly ready for the complex decoding that is reading.

Had she been in school, she surely would have been labeled, and maybe given extra help that would have made her feel inferior to other kids.

Because she wasn't pressured, though, she is a confident and competent reader who knows she was able to learn to do this very useful thing.

Six seems very young to be worrying. All may iron itself out, in another year or two. It is well-documented that early readers end up no better readers than those who learn later...

And you can have the joy of being his reader a while longer.

Hope all works out, for you both!

Jacqueline - posted on 04/01/2014

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Thanks so much. I was told last year that it was too early to tell, but I just have a gut feeling there may be something wrong.I don't want to wait too long. The school Psych told me to wait until the end of year one (Australia). The general consensus by the school and my private child Psychologist was wait and see what develops....needless to say I don't want to wait.

I will seek a dyslexia specialist.

Thanks

Jacqueline - posted on 04/01/2014

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We are following the Jolly Phonics program that is used by the school - however I am presently researching Thrass as I have heard it is stronger in several ways. We are subscribed to Reading Eggs and I watch my son using it and am very happy - I do see some results (it is very engaging as it is colourful and there is lots of music, movement and language, this holds his attention). I can really recommend Reading Eggs! We read together as much as we can (difficult as I am a solo mum with a very active 2 year old also!) I am using a lot of levelled readers on loan from school as well as spending time just reading good fun books to him (that are too difficult for him yet) so that he can hear fluent reading and listen to pronunciation, expression, rhythm etc. I have just downloaded a new app that I am trying to get him to use that is supposed to assist with problems with reversals...yet to see how that goes.

I am so sorry that your son feels he is stupid..it hurts I know. My son was in tears last night because he can't 'do maths' and dosn't want to partcipate in an upcoming maths incursion. As one of the last posters' (Ba) said - give him confidence in other fields. As we know they all have something they are great at. :)

Good luck. I am studying teaching so if I hear of any good reading programs I will let you know.

Alexsandra - posted on 04/01/2014

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Another perspective is that of Dr. Joseph Chilton Pearce, Waldorf philosophy (and others): The more optimal time for reading, based on brain development ought to be done no earlier than 7 years old! Then, when reading is started, it is much much more efficient without nearly as much time spent in repetition, writing letters, etc. Dyslexia has many forms and can really work to one's advantage, but to their disadvantage with reading . . .

Rachel - posted on 04/01/2014

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What type of home study program did you use for reading? My son is in 5th grade with two different types of dyslexia and reading on a first to second grade level. He has been in the Dyslexia program at school for several years and I have yet to see any improvement in his reading. It is extremely frustrating to him because he knows he is highly intelligent with an IQ of 127, but he can't read so he feels stupid. I haven't found anything that works.

Bade - posted on 04/01/2014

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He needs an intervention. it's good that you noticed it this early. it could be a learning difficulty, which I promised you is something that can be managed with love and understanding. I have a son who has it and he is already done with a bachelor of science course in a university. He is successful in his field. I was so frustrated and depressed during his grade school years, then I put him in a home study program. If it is dyslexia, just be patient. Give him confidence in other fields.

Jacqueline - posted on 04/01/2014

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Just wondering if anyone here has experienced issues with reversals. My son is 6 1/2 and from what I have read reversals of letters such as p b d q are quite common until around the age of 7, however I have noticed that unless he is copying his name - he writes it back to front. He reads many street sign numbers backwards e.g.. 376 as 673. He confuses 7 and L and sometimes writes from the bottom of the page up - with the words backwards. These are just a few examples.

Last year after after many months of seeing specialists and Dr's for possible ADD or learning problems we found he had severe glue ear. Since the insertion of grommets he has been happier and seems to pay attention a bit more (still struggles though).He is very keen to read - and his reading over all is slowly improving. He is decoding words reasonably well and has memorised a reasonable number of sight words. He particularly enjoys reading some of the same books over and over - but I can see that this is because he has memorised them (that's ok I know.) Sadly as far as school goes he is not achieving results that are expected for his age, he is well below level, but his teacher and I both agree that he is improving albeit slowly and most importantly he is enthusiastic.

I just can't help but wonder if there is something else at play here - some form of dyslexia? I have recently been reading about about inner ear disorders and dyslexia - still researching this.

Any input anyone may have would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks
Jacqui

Rosemarie - posted on 04/01/2014

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I would personally start with an eye exam and go from there. I agree with a previous post, letters "jumping" or "sliding" is a sign of dyslexia, however that may not be it. I would start with the eye doctor and go from there. Hope this helps :) All the luck to you and your son, things will work out great for you.

Kellie - posted on 04/01/2014

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Letters jumping or sliding around is a sign of dyslexia. The good thing is that if you catch it early, he can learn how to read in a way that works for him.

Denise - posted on 04/01/2014

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My son was having similar problems. We had had his eyes tested by a vision therapist. They found that his eyes wer having problems with several functions including tracking. After several months of therapy and at home eye exercises, he was much better.

Brenda - posted on 04/01/2014

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yes an iep is what is needed but the school dosnt want you to have them tested outside the school because then they have to adhere to that test,and alot of ppl dont know it but the the physiologist at the school is just out of college,no kids and no experience,they go by the book trust me been there done that,

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