Old-School HSV Posts

Signs of Dyslexia in Early Readers

Every day we read. We worked through his reading book. We did sight words. We read Bob books and other early readers.  And every day we both got more frustrated. Then one Sunday a little girl told him he had a “weak brain” because he couldn’t read as well as she could. He cried. I decided it was time to take a step back and find out why reading was so hard for him.

I did some research and realized he is probably dyslexic. Although dyslexia can be hard to diagnosis in early readers, here are the signs our son has:

  • Can’t think of rhyming words, even when he understands the concept of rhyming.
  • Confuses right and left, up and down, over and under.
  • Can read a word on one page (with help), but then can’t read the same word on the next page (or sometimes even in the next sentence).
  • Can’t sound out words easily.
  • When he reads a word incorrectly, he usually substitutes the incorrect word with a similar looking word, like “saw” for “was.”
  • Classic b/d/p confusion, but also n/u and w/m confusion.
  • Poor handwriting and spelling.
  • One or both parents is dyslexic.

There are even more symptoms of dyslexia, but these are the ones we see in our six year old. These symptoms weren’t new to me, since I am also dyslexic, but I wasn’t diagnosed until I was a senior in high school. Because I was highly motivated to read when I was his age, I compensated for my reading challenges. Now I only struggle with my dyslexia in math, spelling, and foreign languages.

But David isn’t as highly motivated to read as I was. And even though I was able to hide my struggles from my public school teachers, he can’t hide his struggles from me. We still have some catching up to do, but I’m so thankful to be a homeschooling mom so I could recognize these early signs and give him the help he needs!

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  • I homeschool my second grade son. He has always struggled with reading so I can understand how you both would get frustrated. I had his eyes checked by a eye doctor who specializes in children. Even though he doesn’t need glasses, they found that his focus and tracking is off. They recommended more testing for vision therapy. So he did an hour plus vision therapy test in their offices which confirmed his tracking and focus problems. So now he is in vision therapy twice a week with vision therapy homework four days a week. It has been a time and financial commitment for us, but three weeks in I could already tell a huge difference in his reading. I blogged about it on my website. http://jessicawhitmore.com/blog/2012/02/vision-therapy/. Maybe vision therapy would help your son too!

    • So glad you were able to find out what was going on and get help for him! I’ll be sure to check out your link. Thanks for sharing!

  • wondersndreams says:

    Like you I was a highly motivated reader so I fooled all of my teachers for a long time, I was in remedial reading for a while but because my reading level was so high I was let out of it. I still find ways to compensate and hide it to this day. My worst area is math and directional issues, I am never far from a calculator.

    • I’m glad I’m never far away from a calculator either! And I wouldn’t be able to write anything without spell check!!

  • I’ve always wondered if our son had some dyslexia. He is also 6 years old. He does exhibit some of the same signs…confusing d/p/b, the saw/was thing, poor handwriting/spelling. I’ve talked to other parents and they say “Oh, that’s common, especially in boys.” He is a great reader though! I pray for our kiddos! You hate to see them struggle, yet sometimes our struggles make us even THAT much more compassionate, humble and overall stronger! I just LOVE your blog!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • You’re right, Cassia! Struggles do make us (and our kids) stronger!

  • I have home schooled four children three who have had reading struggles. It is not easy, especially when others question why your child does not read. We kept at it. I finally found a phonic program that I liked and worked for us. All of my children now read and enjoy it.

  • I believe my 3rd grade daughter is dyslexic. I don’t know where to turn for help in helping her. Are there programs out there that I can use to help her at home? Do I need to have her “officially” diagnosed? If so, where? Any help would be much appreciated!

    • Nancy- We are using curriculum from http://www.dianecraft.org/ and like it so far! Speaking from my experience and research, an official diagnosis helps public school kids get extra help and have a 504 modification plan (extra time on tests, use of a calculator, those kind of modifications). An official diagnosis can also help her get accommodations on standardized state tests, if she has to take any, and the SAT or ACT.

      I recommend reading When Your Child Has Dyslexia by Abigail Marshall (it’s a bargain book on Amazon) for more detailed info!

    • We’re using Wilson Reading System for our daughter. It’s based on the Orton-Gillingham method (like Susan Barton’s stuff but fits our budget better). It has really helped with her phonological awareness. I’m going to check out the Marshall book myself!

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