Dyslexia in the older reader

Susan - posted on 12/13/2012 ( 4 moms have responded )

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After years of specialized help for Dyslexia my 14 year old was put in a "regular" classroom without co-teaching. His MAP test were great, but he is not doing well in the class. I want to go back to recorded books but my husband is resisting, saying it wont' help him practice. I know we're not through - so what can I say to convince him (and myself) it won't turn back time?

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Bobbi Jean - posted on 12/13/2012

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Time is not really neatly divided in real life. I would say that for matters of school--textbooks, notes, handouts, and other nonfiction learning, it should be straight reading. If your son doesn't use his skill at reading, he will lose it. Other things which should be read are article length 1,500-5,000 word texts. This would include directioons, newspapers, most short stories, magazine articles, as well as the suggestions below. The only exception are novels which are assigned for school. Many of these are historical in nature and were actually meant to be read aloud. They served as the television equivalent of the day.

Listening to a book for pleasure is not harmful, as long as it is done in moderation. An hour listening to a book, INSTEAD OF watching television is actually beneficial. It should not be done for a solid hour, but in split sessions of 30 minutes max. It will help your son with mental imagry. However, he still should read at least an hour a day. Non-mainstream computer websites, text messages, and facebook don't count because there is no way to ensure that they are written in Standard English.

I would suggest a mixture of things for your son. Magazine articles on topics which interest him are great. When my son (very similiar story to your son's) was about 14 he hated books--though he was a strong reader.

Boys don't have to read books to be good readers. Some will not read fiction, but will listen to it and will read nonfiction. When my son was that age he avoided novels, but read everything he could get his hands on to do with martial arts. One of my current male students reads fitness and cooking magazines. Another one, who is going through SAT prep., likes the practice passages because they are short.

I have found the following things worked well with boys your son's age to motivate reading:

--Magazine articles on subjects which interest him--the library is a great place
--Articles from a mainstream site--such as CNN--the sports articles are great
--USA Today--Many kids will read this cover to cover
--Nonfiction books on subjects he likes--car maintenance always went well with boys we knew
--Books with short articles such as the "Uncle John's Bathroom Reader." It has many short articles on all sorts of things.
--Many boys liked the almanac--I have no idea why but reading is reading
--gaming magazines--read them yourself to see if you approve of the content.
--Try short stories--there are an amazing amount of them at: http://www.eastoftheweb.com
--If your son likes cooking--give him the cookbook and let him at it.
--Use your imagination--one weekend I bought a bag of fertilizer, a spreader in a box, and an article which explained how to fertilize the lawn.--It was his reading assignment for the weekend. There was a lot of reading in those directions.
--Lots of reading in skills he will need in real life, such as self defense, first aid, staying fit, eating healthy, taking care of the car, cleaning his room, cleaning a kitchen. When my son was that age, he would read directions for his chores--his Dad's idea. You can find directions for anything on the internet.

Letting him listen to part of a novel for about thirty minutes before he goes to bed may actually help him to unwind and relax.

I hope this helps. Congratulations to you, your son, and your husband for such a wonderful success! : ) Best wishes for continuted growth and success!

Susan - posted on 12/13/2012

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Hi Bobbi Jean,
My real question is if my son (14) is becoming a strong reader, is listening to ebooks going to weaken his skill? We got away from them for a while, now he wants to listen instead of read - I understand, completely, that's it's difficult - but how do you decide when to listen and when to work on reading?

Susan - posted on 12/13/2012

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Hi Bobbi Jean,
My real question is if my son (14) is becoming a strong reader, is listening to ebooks going to weaken his skill? We got away from them for a while, now he wants to listen instead of read - I understand, completely, that's it's difficult - but how do you decide when to listen and when to work on reading?

Bobbi Jean - posted on 12/13/2012

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Hi Susan:



I am a Dyslexia Specialist living in Texas. How can I halp? You can reply here or directly at my e-mail bobbijean.mcdonald1@gmail.com. I'll help if I can.

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