Most schools do not yet test or screen for dyslexia. So parents should watch for these classic warning signs in third graders.
My son is a month into 3rd grade, and last year – somewhere in the middle of second grade, he hit a brick wall in reading.
He was always one or two levels behind his peers, and we worked very hard to stay that close to grade level. But in the middle of second grade, as other classmates reading took off, his just flattened out. He ended the year reading at level 18, and he was supposed to be at 28.
So I spent the summer at the library with him, having him read aloud to me. I also had him write 6 or 7 sentences on everything he read, and I was struck by the following:
1. He does not always see the start, middle and end of a word – especially bigger words.
2. He misreads simple words, like those for these, them for they, and who for how — and he substitutes words that mean the same thing at an alarming rate (like every other sentence).
3. He guesses at words by using pictures and a predictable story line.
4. He still confuses b and d.
5. Punctuation might as well not be on the page at all.
6. He reads very slowly, without any fluency or comprehension. It is all he can do to actually read the words and get them right, so he has no chance of understanding what he read. In fact, on his first reading comprehension test ever, he scored a 0.
7. After an entire summer of having him read aloud to me every day, and after an intense first month of school, (I mean reading so much at home that he does not have much time to do anything else), he is only reading at level 20. His peers are 32 and higher.
8. We studied for his first social studies test this past weekend. He had so much trouble memorizing the terms: region, culture, agriculture, climate, artifact, adaptation – that at first, I thought he was joking around. It was not until he began to cry that I realized how hard he was working.
I strongly suspect he has dyslexia.
I also suspect my husband has it. My husband does not read beyond a 3rd grade level, and this is forcing him to relive the hell of his school years.
I feel so stupid for not researching this sooner and for trusting his teachers and the school.
I feel like I have failed my son.
No, you have not. You can change his entire future by taking action now.
If he gets the right type of tutoring after school, plus accommodations in the classroom and during homework, you will be amazed at the improvement in his skills – and self-esteem – by the end of this school year.