Reading Problems at Home

Have you chose to home-school your child?  Do you have a child that is struggling to learn to read despite your best efforts?  Have you tried many techniques to teach reading at home but have met with limited success, or are you searching for a home tutoring program to help your child learn to read? Then you have come to the right place.  If your child is not learning to read at an expected rate, then your child could be dyslexic.

Most children look forward to learning to read and, in fact, do so quickly.  For dyslexic children, however, the experience of learning to read is frustrating and difficult.  Dyslexic children see other children learning to read effortlessly, while reading always seems out of reach for them.  These children quickly grow frustrated and they begin to feel that they are not as smart as their peers.  If these children do not receive appropriate intervention and instruction they quickly fall behind in school which can lead to a lifetime of devastating consequences.   Dyslexic children are twice as likely as non-dyslexic students to drop out of high school before graduation, and a recent study suggest that as much as 80% of the prison population suffers from dyslexia.

Many people, including teachers, and school administrators still believe the myth that dyslexia is seeing numbers and letters backwards.  Contrary to this popularly held myth, dyslexia has nothing to do with writing and seeing numbers and letters backwards, in fact, it is normal for children to write their numbers and letters backwards through about age 7.

Dyslexia is a specific learning disability that is neurobiological in origin. It is characterized by difficulties with accurate and/or fluent word recognition and by poor spelling and decoding abilities. These difficulties typically result from a deficit in the phonological component of language that is often unexpected in relation to other cognitive abilities and the provision of effective classroom instruction. Secondary consequences may include problems in reading comprehension and reduced reading experience that can impede growth of vocabulary and background knowledge.”-National Institute of Child Health

The harsh realities of living with dyslexia every day can clash dramatically with the perceptions of teachers, administrators, and self-appointed opinion makers who question the existence of this disorder.  Many teachers and school administrators still attribute children’s reading problems as sociological, educational, or related to attention deficit disorder.  Furthermore, in-school testing for learning difficulties often does not lead to an accurate diagnosis of dyslexia but simply “a non specific learning disorder in reading”.  However, the distinction between dyslexia and other reading disabilities must be made because there is overwhelming scientific evidence that supports the fact that dyslexic children learn to read with a very specific method of instruction.  The reading curriculum for dyslexic children must be a multi-sensory, sequential reading instruction program that is provided in small groups or ideally, one to one instruction.  This method of teaching reading is referred to as the Orton-Gillingham method of instruction.   There are many different Orton-Gillingham centered reading programs available to public and private schools, however, these programs can be costly and school administrators may try to get around implementing appropriate programs for dyslexic children either because they don’t believe dyslexia is real or because they see the programs and manpower required as too costly. However, it is important to keep in mind that “No child left behind” is a law designed to protect children with special learning needs.   This federal  law requires schools to implement evidence based researched interventions for children with specific learning disabilities, therefore, if you have a diagnosis of dyslexia you can force your childs school to implement appropriate intervention, but this process is often a long uphill battle.

As a parent of a dyslexic child, I understand how overwhelming and frustrating it can be when you are desperately seeking a way to help your child, so take a deep breath, and know that you have come to the right place for answers, hope, and support.