Dyslexia Tutor

Apu - posted on 11/11/2008 ( 22 moms have responded )

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Hello, I am a recently qualified dyslexia tutor based in London. I would like to answer your queries and possibly help in any way I can.

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Bobbi Jean - posted on 11/14/2012

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Sorry about the second to the last sentence in the second paragraph. It didn't delete during the transfer. Please disregard it.



Bobbi Jean

Bobbi Jean - posted on 11/14/2012

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Hello Apu Poori:



I think your postings are great. I am a certified dyslexia specialist in Texas. If it means anything, all of your responses are spot on.



You had a question about Barton in an earlier post. This is a reading program for dyslexic students based on the Orton-Gillingham method. Barton uses all of the child's senses and reaches both sides of the brain in every lesson. nstructional reading program for dyslexic students based on the methodology of Orton-Gillingham. It is clear and concise.



If you would like me to help field questions, please let me know. It is wonder thing you are doing here to help people out.



Blessings,



Bobbi Jean

Misty - posted on 11/12/2012

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hi i have a son who is 13 and has dyslexia i am a stay at home mom how can i teach my son he is having a hard time in school and the teacher dont even undertsand how to work with him what can i do

LASHUN - posted on 10/17/2012

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Hello,

My son has been having problems in school in his language arts class.. He's 12 yrs old in 7th grade and we were talking last night about his studies and he started to cry and say he hates reading in front of the class because he stumbles over the words and they start to scramble in his head and he doesn't know what the word is. I am looking into getting a tutor for him, but now I'm starting to wonder if I need to test him for dyslexia.... I'm not sure of the symptoms.... Can someone give me some answers?? I need help!!!

Apu - posted on 02/26/2009

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It is sad to hear about your daughter. SEN teaching should not be this way. Please speak to your child's teacher and raise your concerns.

Kerry - posted on 02/26/2009

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Hi, I'm a single mum with a 6 year old daughter who was diagnosed with dyslexia at school 6 months ago. I am happy the school picked it up so early but since then she has been put into SEN teaching separated from her old friends. Her behaviour has completely changed, her last report stated leah has gone backwards, in reading and writing. More to my concern they say and write, she has become listle, lathargic and withdrawn lacking any motivation. I really want to find other ways of help, rather than sen teaching as its clearly not doing her any favours. On top of all of this her friendship groups changed. Teachers have commented that she is giving or being told to give toys and money to other children and she has been pressurised into stealing. She is very quite and lost confirdence. Could you suggest any other forms of help available on a low bugget and ways I can help. I feel alone in this as a single mum and very frustrating. Any suggestions would be a appreciated

Nora - posted on 12/11/2008

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I home school but not all on my own. I use a public school program called WAVA ( Washington virtual academy.) The curriculum is free, and has teachers to contact when in need. Everything but the writing my son loves. Oh as well as the literature/ reading as long as I help by reading it to him a lot. He can read he just gets tired and it is a struggle with seeing words backwards sometimes. He recently rediscovered books on cd. He has devoured wrinkle in time and is now listening at every free moment to a book called Dragon Riders.
I have been going through the process with the WAVA teachers to have my son tested and evaluated so he is not required so many hours and lessons to be completed in a day. Spelling was our hardest most dreaded lesson to get through. After many conversations with the right people we are now free of spelling. We get to go at it at his pace at his level. I think starting with two letter words is a good idea. So is writing in sand!

My son does have low self esteem when it comes to reading and writing. It saddens me horribly when he gets so upset with himself or so tired so quickly, mostly when he gives up and says I can't.
In answer to your question: My son can write letters. On his spelling tests after hours of memorizing he could spell most of the words right. But the next day he could not remember any of them. In composition he has great thoughts and imagination. He struggles because of spelling to get those thoughts on paper. But this year he has plunged in and started getting his thoughts out, even though most of the words are spelled wrong. This is huge for him. He hates doing things imperfectly. You can bet I praise him too for every word he gets right for every effort as well:)

He is really a bright kid! He really gets into science, and understands math principles, Language and comprehension are not difficult for him. He draws and plays the piano well. I love him so much.

thank you for all the advice and for listening. Any more anytime is greatly appreciated. thanks

Apu - posted on 11/27/2008

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Dear Angie,

There are some basics that you should start with. First, make sure your son knows the sound of each letter of the alphabet. Remember to keep the activities short, multisensory and fun. Invest in some good quality magnetic alphabets. 'Smartkids' has great products. Provide materials such as clay, colours, assorted pens and pencils, pencil grips, pipe cleaners, sand/salt tray, puzzles and games. Basic games such as 'snakes and ladders', 'matching pairs' and 'snap' are highly effective. 5/10 minutes daily is better that a 2 hour session in a day. Dyslexia children have a low self-esteem and lack confidence. Lots of genuine praise and encouragement for even the slightest progress is essential. Lots of hugs and kisses too!

Apu - posted on 11/27/2008

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Hi,

Please don't let your child write if it leads to crying!

He can write in the air, in sand, in salt, in shaving foam...

Does he remember how to form letters? If not then let him use a toy car etc to form the correct letter on the carpet, then he can form it on the table, then on a tray, then on progressively smaller items until the correct letter formation is firmly secure in his memory. Revise letter formation everyday and then move on to 2 letter words such as 'at'...

A suggested sequence is 'c', 'a','d', g, q...

Nora - posted on 11/25/2008

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Hey thanks so much for getting back with me! I actually used the paper trick today to help him before he wrote down his spelling words.AAAAh the dreaded subject I have tried having him make the words out of clay, had him imagine a picture for each word. I have had him write them till he cries. We have even tried verbal study and mixing the letters and having him rearrange them. All in all I still hate spelling it seems nothing sticks. He just tries and tries and still can't spell even the simplest words.

Angie - posted on 11/25/2008

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Hello, My son was diagnoised this past January for Dyslexia, He was 9 years old in May. I have searched for a tutor for him and have find one, but she is not a qualified dyslexic tutor, although she had helped my son alot. I was wondering what I should use to tutor him at home, because this tutor is getting very expensive, I have to drive a hour one way for tutoring and plus pay for the tutoring. My son can't spell very well, he reads below grade level, and he has the handwriting of a 5 year old. He was held back in the first grade because he could not read. He is currently in the 3rd grade. He does attend public school and homeschooling is really not an option at this time, I work full time outside of the home. The public school he attends does not offer any help other than special education, which the Sp. Ed. teacher is not qualified to teach dyslexic children. What advice might you have for me?

Apu - posted on 11/19/2008

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Dear Nora,

There are many things you could do to help your child. I'm not sure if it is the actual action of writing or the writing content that upsets him. It could be a motor control problem which is very common in boys. There are many simple ways to improve pencil grip and muscle strength.

Scrunch up a sheet of newspaper with one hand to make a ball and then aim at a target. A great warm-up exercise before writing.

Using pegs to hang up washing

Separating a bowl of mixed dry kidney beans and chickpeas (beads) into 2 separate bowls

Threading beads

pencil grips

special pens, pencils,crayons

For reducing the content I would strongly suggest mindmaps, writing frames, cloze exercises, spider diagrams, objective questions etc...

As far as reading is concerned I believe reading aloud is very good. You should actively encourage this habit so that even while spelling and writing he sounds out/reads aloud. Tell him that his mouth has to tell his hand what to write.

For attention span, keep activities short and interesting. Give a few clear instructions which he can write in a little memo pad. This is for his own use so he can use his own system of symbols, shapes etc. He may have hyper-sensitive vision in which case you have to make him sit facing a totally blank wall (no windows). If he is very sensitive then the noise level has to be kept to a minimum. There should be no distractions whatsoever!

He clearly has visual strength. You must use this asset to teach other skills. Visualisation technique is highly effective. There are very specific techniques however the basic is to get your child to think of an object. Then ask him what colour it is, what it feels like, what it tastes like etc... Then ask your child to click a picture of it using his eyes. Then ask him to place it somewhere so that whenever he needs to access it he can think of that place. For example, When teaching vowel sounds I ask students to place an apple on their ankle, egg on the elbow, igloo in the fridge etc... The student has thought of the words and the places so they are personal clues.

For a sequence of events, I ask the students to associate a particular object in a room or a particular room in their house/school etc. to each separate event.

For visual learners, highlighters, pictures, underlining, different fonts etc. work particularly well.

Sometimes students with heightened visual sensitivity are overcompensating for an audiological weakness. Therefore it is beneficial to get hearing tested. An audiologist will be ale to detect if the child suffers from audiological processing disorder.

Dyslexic children are often great problem solvers because they can see the whole picture and have great spatial awareness. I have tried to fit in a lot of information but I hope it helps. I'll be happy to elaborate on any points further.

Nora - posted on 11/18/2008

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Hi There I am a mom who is homeschooling/public schooling at home. We are using a Washington virtual academy. I pulled my son from public school in first grade because he had a huge lack of focus. The teacher said after 3/4 of the year that he had not improved in his writing at all since the beginning of the year, His reading he also struggled in. I took a home school course as well as kept in contact with teachers once or twice a week through a program offered for home schooling families. I continued to notice him struggling. I was also concerned for the loose structure and not being able to keep him at his current age level of curriculum. He was always asking questions and I wanted him to excel; not be held back by lack of the right atmosphere and knowledge available. So in 3rd grade we started schooling through Wava. This was very hard for him. There were hands on projects but a lot of writing and reading and just plain focus time. I have been concerned about Dyslexia from the beginning and every one kept saying he is to young to diagnose he is just slow in certain areas. He still at age nine is not getting better at far as attention span. He now gets head aches and stomach aches. Cries if he has to write too much. Still switches words all around and numbers too. He can visualize things from all positions and is great at creating/building things like huge lego structures. He is also good at drawing. I have been in contact with the teacher over living in another city. She is trying to get the paper work done for him to be tested. But things are going so slow. I have been trying to see if I can do something in the mean time to help his studies go more smoothly. We have started writing spelling words with clay to help him remember them. So far he just has no ability to retain how words are spelled. He can now read by himself with out mom pointing to each word ( as of a few months ago) But he still can not read silently. He just can't! I read in a book about dyslexia that children often can not hear their own voice in their heads and thus must read out loud to comprehend. I have blabbed on a lot... Sorry I really hope you can give me some advice! Thanks nora:)

Apu - posted on 11/18/2008

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Hi, I think you are doing the best for your child. If it runs in the family and you have a teaching background as well as a support network then I'm sure it's for the best. Sometimes, I feel schools go overboard with political correctness and forget that they are dealing with innocent little children! No wonder innonence is a rare commodity in this day and age. I'm sure Todd has already forgotten the incident and is enjoying his childhood with the full support of his loving mum.

Becky - posted on 11/17/2008

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I do know that he is very young for a diagnosis. The reasons we pulled him were for his physical safety and emotional health. He was accused of sexual harassment at the age of 5 because he touched a girl who was a friend on the butt. The staff really came down on him and "spoke to him about it" for 2 hours they explained things to him that he really didn't need to know about boy?girl relationships. He was kicked off the bus for a while. The last day of school his nurse gave him his epi-pen to bring home to Mom. He is on the bus for an hour and they gave him a hypodermic needle! He was still 5! so I really can't send him to that school. He is in groups with other kids and we have a big family so I am not worried about that. We really don't have the finances to test him or to put him in a private school. My background is in teaching and I am ready for this. I have a support network. Being that we see this while he is so young, I am hoping that we can get to work on it early. I do understand it might turn out to just be immaturity in the end but I think the techniques used for dyslexia can help anyway. I really am pretty sure though because it does run in my family so I have seen it before.

Apu - posted on 11/16/2008

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Hi,

Todd is very young and it could just be a case of immaturity! I would strongly recommend a formal diagnosis. At 6, most children make reversals. It is very common. It is very difficult to identify strategies we use for learning and recalling information. Most adults would have difficulty with this because it is so ingrained. In my opinion, it is very important for children to attend a school with other children. Perhaps, there are other schools in your area that are more supportive however I am not too aware of the Education system in America.

Becky - posted on 11/16/2008

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Hi,
Todd just turned 6 at the end of the summer. He was in public kdg, and they let me know that he "couldn't read at grade level" I pulled him and his brother to homeschool because of other problems with the school. Lucky thing because I don't think they would have found his dyslexia for years if ever. He hasn't been formally diagnosed but I have a friend who is a reading specialist and she agrees that this is dyslexia. This is a new thing to me. It is only about a month that we have realized it. I have been using Horizons math which is alpha omega. I really like the math and have seen progress. He is learning to tell time and that seemed impossible a few months ago. He has problems with reversals and patterns. He also has problems with physical coordination. He can figure out complex problems but when I ask how he does it he can't tell me. We do a lot of activities for school. As much as I can fit in.We try to make everything hands on. any suggestions for helping him?

Apu - posted on 11/16/2008

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Each child is different however there are some common signs of boredom for example, rubbing eyes, looking glazed, looking away, yawning and so on. It all depends on the attention span. The best bet is to follow a set routine of activities each lesson. The activities should be multisensory, fun and kept between 5 and 15 minutes each. For example,

15m: sequencing magnetic alphabets, saying letter names and sounds

15m: Onset/rime spelling strategies using 'post-it' notes, highlighters, sand/salt tray, flashcards, dice...

15m: listening/speaking activity

15m: reading and comprehension

Take into account your child's interests when planning lessons. Little and often is best.

Rhyme and rhythm are extremely important so listen to songs and rhymes. Play games such as snap and/or matching pairs.

Tying shoe laces is a life skill which he needs to learn eventually but there's no harm in getting shoes with velcro until he is confident enough.

Some good books are:

'Alpha to Omega' series

'Violet Brand' series

'Dyslexia- A Practical Guide for Teachers and Parents' by Barbara Riddick, Judith Wolfe and David Lumsdon

Dyscalculia Guidance by Brian Butterworth and Dorian Yeo

Target Motor and Perceptual Skills by Louise Williams

I can suggest other books if I know the child's age and the kind of dyslexia he suffers from. Does he have visual, auditory, sequencing or memory problems?

Becky - posted on 11/16/2008

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I homeschool my son who is dyslexic. I don't know when I should push and when to back off. How important is it that he can tie his shoes anyway? How do I know when it is important to motivate him to work through something? Is there any reading you can recommend?

Apu - posted on 11/12/2008

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I assess the pupils and then tailor a programme suited to their individual needs. I haven't heard of the Barton Method!

Amy - posted on 11/12/2008

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What method do you use to tutor? I am currently tutoring my daughter using the Barton Method (Orten-Gillingham), but I always like hearing feedback from others. Thanks for offering your advice!

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