View Full Version : Beginning reader vs dyslexia?

03-15-2011, 09:36 PM
I've been using Hooked On Phonics and Handwriting Without Tears (pre-school level) with my 5.5 yo son since we started homeschooling in January. This has been his first kindergarten experience, so no previous teaching of reading.

I've noticed that if I ask him verbally, he correctly identifies the sounds for d, b, and p. When it's written, he mixes up d, b, and p almost every time. I think he gets the sounds of the capitals D, B, and P correct.

Often we'll sound out a word like s-a-t, and then when I ask him to put it together he says "tas".

Is this something most beginning readers do, or should I be on the lookout for dyslexia?

03-15-2011, 10:05 PM
This is something beginning readers do. I'm a K-12 reading specialist, and this sounds very normal to me. Dyslexia is often thought to be that reversal of letters, but this is not really the main characteristic of dyslexia--it is more of a general reading disability, and at this age it would show itself through inability to remember letter sounds or rhyme words despite ample instruction. I hope this helps.

03-15-2011, 10:12 PM
Yeah, my wife works as an occupational therapist with kids of all ages, and she said the same thing to me when I was noticing it in our own 5 1/2 year old's writing and reading development -- no big deal right now. Keep an eye on it, though.

03-15-2011, 10:16 PM
Thanks to the OP for posing the question and for the responses. I was wondering the exact same thing. Monkey1 is just 5 and having trouble with the b/d in writing and reading. He clearly knows the sounds and can rhyme so I'm glad to hear it's a developmental thing.

03-15-2011, 10:52 PM
Yup, if he is still doing it by the end of second grade, it's time to sit up and take notice, otherwise, it's normal for the age. (I was worried, too!)

03-15-2011, 11:18 PM
Thanks. I suspected it was a little early to get too concerned.

03-16-2011, 08:58 AM
Dyslexia CAN be identified that early though. What you listed is definitely in the normal range though.
My daughter was diagnosed at 6 by Texas Scottish Rite Hospital. Besides the things that you listed, she just could NOT get the alphabet down. She didn't recognize most letters. Rhyming words just alluded her. Her ability to learn sight words was dismal. She would be "reading" a Bob Book and she would sound out every word on every page. Even though it was the same three words over and over again.

06-24-2014, 11:06 AM
Just found this old post of mine from 3 years ago. Yes, DS did turn out to have mild dyslexia, and inversions (d/p, w/m, 6/9) are a warning sign.

He has so many other issues (behavior issues from Aspergers and ADHD, as well as dysgraphia) that it took a long time to uncover that dyslexia was an issue as well. Then it was a real struggle to figure out what testing to do and how to get help. I'm going to create a new thread with links to dyslexia resources: http://www.secularhomeschool.com/homeschooling-issues/14129-dyslexia-resources.html#post166347

06-29-2014, 12:09 PM
Just found this this morning. Predicting Dyslexia ? Even Before Children Learn to Read | MindShift (http://blogs.kqed.org/mindshift/2014/06/predicting-dyslexia-even-before-children-learn-to-read/) I would LOVE for some behaviors to go with those brain differences so that I didn't have to wait until age 8 to get it addressed.

My son at age 4, couldn't count, didn't know his colors, no interest in reading, yet was very bright. Had some speech issues, refused to do rhyming games. He flunked a kinder readiness test that I found online. Yet, other than getting speech therapy for his "s", everyone kept telling me he was fine. Because he was smart. But he just couldn't remember those phonemes, and had troubles with common words like "the" and "a". A little bit of reversal, but mostly separating out those sounds.

06-30-2014, 09:50 AM
My 4.5 yo daughter is also showing signs. We were playing a board game based on Super Why, and one of the cards said to name 2 words that rhyme with "hill". She couldn't do it. So I tried giving a hint, "/p/" and modeled "/p/.... ill", and she still couldn't do it. I've tried a few more rhyming things since then and it's hit and miss. I've been working with her on learning to recognize her capital letters, and to write them (using the HWT chalkboard), and she's definitely struggling. Also has the same inversions I saw with my son, and hasn't established a dominant hand. She had 4 of the warning signs on Susan Barton's video about Warning Signs (see Barton Reading & Spelling System (http://www.bartonreading.com)), although we haven't tried shoe tying or memorizing address or phone number yet.

Her fraternal twin can already recognize all capital and small letters, and write all the capitals and many of the small ones (she was obsessed with the LetterSchool app for awhile), and walks around spontaneously making rhymes, segmenting words, and singing phonemic awareness songs she learned in preschool. For grins, I printed out the first Alphabeti book from Progressive Phonics, and she sailed through it and begged for more. She spontaneously started sounding out some of the words in the next book. I tried reading the same book with the struggling twin, and it was agonizing.

I'm planning to do a lot of phonemic awareness activities with them from a book called Phonemic Awareness by Jo Fitzpatrick. I was able to borrow the Sonday System materials over the summer from my son's school, so I've also been doing some of the pre-reading activities (such as tracing letters on the tactile cards) with my daughter. I'm thinking about purchasing either Sonday System or Barton Reading, and just starting with a dyslexia curriculum from the beginning for her. (I contacted Susan Barton through her website, and she said I should focus on phonemic awareness until she is 5.)

The DIEBELS test is meant to be used in the spring of kindergarten, after kids have had some teaching of all the letters. I did see something called "DIEBELS Next" that looks like it has a test module for 3-6 yo. I'm going to look into it some more.

07-16-2014, 05:32 AM
My oldest was reading at around 3.
My middle (also my child with Atypical Autism) knew how to read fluently, but we didn't know it, by 4. He really didn't talk much. But one day, his older sister told him she didn't feel like reading the Zelda video game out to him (like she usually did). He proceeded to immediately read it out loud to her, in its entirety, while the rest of us stood around in shock. :rolleyes:

Now youngest. Oh, my. I had already been homeschooling for years, and, as I mentioned, had two proficient readers.
But this child.
Rhyming alluded her. So did spelling. Sight words. Phonics.

I tired SO MANY things.

By the time she was 9, and we could still not get through "The cat sat on the mat" - and if we did, she would have forgotten "cat" by the next page - we started working through the process of getting her tested.
She hated reading. She never fought with me on it or anything, and I think she really was trying, but it was just not clicking for her at all.
Did not believe me for one second when I told her that I was trying to find a way for her to love it.
Insurance took awhile to come through.
While waiting and jumping through their hoops, DH happened to take the kids to a Titanic exhibit.
She was absolutely enthralled.
She went to the library, and checked out all sorts of books on the Titanic - as many picture books as she could find, but some mixed (like the DK and Usborne kind?) - but also some chapter books.
And that is how my child, in the space of one month, went from struggling to get through "the cat sat on the mat" to reading no-picture chapter books - on her own.
Something clicked.

She is 12 now, and spelling is still an issue (she spells phonetically, which, in English, works about 50% of the time, :rolleyes:.) But she loves reading, reads above grade level, has great comprehension, and her kindle pretty much goes everywhere with her.

Now - I am all for trusting Parent-Intuition (see above re: child with autism). If you get the feeling something is off, trust that. BUT - sometimes they just aren't ready yet, and that's all it is.

My mom mentioned to me the other day, how back when I was little (so 40+ years ago - ACK!), having a child who was three years old and reading - well, that was considered gifted. Most kids went off to Kindergarten or even First Grade without always knowing how to read. But I have seen so many parents in my local homeschool groups be worried when their 3 year olds can't read. (It seems especially hard as homeschoolers, as "can they read?" has been used by others as some type of benchmark, I think.)

Sorry. Rambled.