Sunday, October 14, 2007

Learning to Read --LD

I am stuck on teaching reading to Aidan using 100EZ lessons. He has been able to identify letters by their sounds for a couple of years now but is not getting blending. Part of this, I realize, is because he isn't segmenting sounds or being able to put them together again. So when I sound out "d-o-g" it has nothing in common to him with "dog". It might as well be "man on the moon".

So I'm reading different books trying to figure out ways to get him comfortable with decoding and blending. Here are some resources I found this weekend:

Montessori Mom -- Learning to Read.
--Lots of good information about the pink cards and how to use them. One advantage for this approach with Aidan is that (1) he needs lots of repetition (2) he loves doing things he can do by himself.

Some ideas for Teaching Blending and Decoding
There are some visuals for phonics manipulatives here.

Here is some information on teaching LD students Phonological Skills.
Aidan has been able to recognize rhyme and generate it for a long long time -- probably because of the ongoing music immersion in this house. But there's a step from there to being able to produce it on call. With him, there is a big step between producing something spontaneously, and being able to produce it on call. This is showing up in all different areas of his life.

This site does give a progression for teaching to discern broken-up words, which is something Aidan has gotten stuck on both in 100EZ and in Reading Reflex.

(A thought! Get Aidan's SLP involved in this -- it does seem like an aspect of speech and langauge therapy and most therapists seem to settle in more productively when they have something concrete to work on -- probably because unavoidably, they know the therapy better than the individual child).

Finally, I am thinking that teaching the signing alphabet might help him segment. When he was struggling to learn to talk, he made huge strides once I figured out a "combination" approach. He had DK-type realistic picture books which he loved. I found that pointing to the picture and slooowlly, emphatically saying the word, and then talking about it (because his receptive skills were way above his expressive ones) was effective, and so was signing the word and saying it slowly at the same time. After a while he took off on verbalizing and I dropped the picture and sign talk because they became cumbersome. But thinking about that, maybe writing out the letters, signing them, laying down cards and so on might help him in the same way.


  1. You mentioned his LD and that he gets speech services. It sounds to me like auditory processing issues(?) My kids used a computer program caled Earobics. It's not cheap (it was around $50 when I bought it). It was specifically designed for kids with auditory processing difficulties to help with auditory processing and promote reading skills. It included some traditional phonics skills (letter/sound recognition) but also specific skills like blending phonemes and such. I'm sorry I don't remember more; I used to know loads about this kind of thing. *LOL* My knowledge base shifts as my kids' issues evolve. I don't know whether I am in any way on the right track, but I thought I'd throw it out just in case. I was also helped by Peggy Kaye's games for reading. Here is a specific example of a game I used with Sarah when she was quite young. We were working on *blending* sounds to make words. I'd set up three cups (to represent "beginning," "middle" and "end.") We'd focus on a sound, like /k/ I'd say the word "duck" and she would throw an M&M into the "end" cup, because she heard that sound at the end of the word. It helped with her auditory discrimination and reading skills. Again, I don't know whether this is even close to what you need, but I'm tossing out this resource just in case.

  2. Ooh, that's neat about the M$Ms. I remember hearing about Earobics in the past but it had slipped my mind. It's encouraging to hear, since I know Sarah reads all the time now.

    "My knowledge base shifts as my kids' issues evolve. "

    How true that sounds!