Question about friend's daughter's reading issues

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by mstang67chic, Nov 20, 2010.

  1. mstang67chic

    mstang67chic Going Green

    My friend M has a daughter ....erm....also M so we'll call her MA. Anyhoo, MA is in third grade and is having some issues with reading. She can read, likes to read but there are still some issues. She's a slow reader and sometimes when she encounters a word that she doesn't know, she will just substitute a different word. It can mean the same thing but it's a totally different word. Her teacher has told M that they might want to look into having MA tested for ADD but both M and I think that's koi. MA has no behavior issues either at home or at school aside from typical stuff for a kid her age. She get's awesome grades in EVERYTHING else and even has no issues with spelling. In the past, the school noticed issues with MA's reading but one year, didn't mention it to M and her husband until the end of the year. Another time, MA was signed up to get help from some sort of aide with the school but the lady was apparently busy and only met with MA 2 times in a grading period. Now, the teacher is trying to tell M that if MA doesn't pass her reading section of the state tests, the state will make her repeat the third grade.....supposedly some new law.

    M wants to get MA some sort of tutor but someone that doesn't know MA. Mainly because when MA works with someone she knows, when she gets frustrated, she will try to get out of it. She'll start talking about something else or use some other sort of distraction. I've known this girl since she was born. She is NOT ADD, we're all pretty sure she doesn't have dyslexia but the thing about substituting words makes me think there is something going on between her eyes and her brain.

    This is an issue I don't have experience with so of course I wanted to come to the experts. Where would M go to have MA tested for any kind of Learning Disability (LD)? She's thought of going to Sylvan but it would be a drive for them and she wants to avoid disrupting their schedule as much as possible.

    So....any ideas or thoughts?
  2. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    She should be able to have the school test for LDs. If there's a Boys and Girls Club out her way a lot of them have afterschool homework help or the high school kids that work there doing that might be willing to earn some extra on the side tutoring privately.
  3. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    I'd recommend having her tested privately by a speech and language pathologist who has expertise in reading issues. It can be quite tricky to tease out why a child has difficulty with reading.

    by the way, ADHD manifests itself differently in girls and often is not picked up until very late. I'm not saying this girl has ADHD; I'm just saying it can't be ruled out just because she doesn't look like what a boy with ADHD looks like. Girls with ADHD are dreamy, distracted and disorganized.
  4. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    Has her vision been tested?

    And I would check on the exact wording of that new law. Chapter and verse included.
  5. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    Piglet has ZERO behavior problems. She is even well-behaved for a easy child. And she is most definitely ADD.

    I would ask the school district to test for a reading disorder. Barring that, I would hire a primary school teacher to tutor her (not her teacher but there must be others in the area).
  6. svengandhi

    svengandhi Well-Known Member

    Why do they think this is ADD? It could be a processing issue because she is substituting synonyms for words she doesn't know. That means she gets the context or she wouldn't be able to pull an appropriate substitute word out of her brain. I would also have her checked for a reading disorder.
  7. mstang67chic

    mstang67chic Going Green

    I think the teacher mentioned ADD simply because that's the "thing" now. Who knows. I told M to request testing through the school and also maybe ask her pediatrician where she could get testing done. I just didn't know if there was something I didn't know about. JJJ and Smallworld, I know that girls present different but I'm almost positive that MA is not ADD. She's not dreamy, disorganized or anything else, boy or girl, that you would expect to see. Her only atypical issue is the reading. I'm kind of thinking it's some sort of processing issue myself which is why I encouraged M to check into testing. I appreciate the input though. M is kind of torn between being ticked at the school for being all doom and gloom but not really offering up any help and worrying about MA's reading skills.
  8. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    She might be dyslexic.

    on the other hand, I was an extremely slow reader, though I loved reading. To the point my parents had to take away books. And if she's substituting a word that means the same thing - what's the problem? Don't they tell kids to "guess" based on context?

    FWIW, I now read so fast that I run out of books in a hurry. And I still love to read.
  9. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    Here's a thought from my own childhood--

    I was really weird with words I didn't know...and I used to "substitute" other words, too. One that comes to mind was the word 'favorite'...I don't know why, it was just a word I had trouble with--so instead I would say "best liked" in "Dogs are my best liked animal."

    Teachers explained to my parents that I was trying so hard to get everything right that I would rather "substitute" than risk making a mistake.

    Eventually, I got over it...but I'm sure that the habit slowed my early learning.
  10. aeroeng

    aeroeng Mom of Three

    M should get her tested. Without a diagnoses the school is not required to provide any kinds of accommodation. With it they are. This includes the tutoring support and excusing from the state required test. Dyslexia means someone of normal intelligence or above normal that has trouble learning to read in a traditional environment. There are as many different reasons to have trouble learning to read as there are dyslexic individuals. And, yes some of them can spell very well. Most kids have some troubles learning how to read, the label only gets attached with the difficulties impact other areas and/or interfere with the education process in general. Many school systems don't even recognize the term Dyslexia using terms like Learning Disabled instead. It does not mater what they call it, as long as proper training and accommodations are provided. You won't get ether without the testing. One really good source for information regarding reading issues is the International Dyslexic Association (
  11. agee

    agee Guest

    I just read an article about how kids in 3rd/4th grade who substitute words they don't know instead of sounding out the actual word actually need more phonics instruction. Man, I wish I could remember where I read that. Basically, because the emphasis in the younger grades is on sight words, many kids get through 2nd grade on level for reading but have actually memorized words and aren't reading phonetically. Not a bad strategy, and actually I know this is the way I learned to read as well and both my kids learned/are learning to read this way, but since it relies on knowledge of vocab, contextual clues, picture clues, etc. it eventually leads to this substitution when a word is unfamiliar.
    I am in no way a learning/reading specialist, but I read a lot about teaching and learning since I am a former educator and a (possibly) future homeschooler. My difficult child does this type of thing all the time - since he had a terrible 1st grade experience (bad teacher and lots of medication trials) he pretty much missed the whole phonics thing. So this made sense to me.
  12. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    My kid is having some reading issues now, but it's not the phonics. She knew more about phonics by the end of 2nd grade than I ever learned, because by the time they were introduced to me I was reading way above my grade level and couldn't grasp them. Still can't.
  13. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    I learned to read very, very early - by memorizing Fox in Socks by Dr. Seuss.

    Learning by rote isn't necessarily bad... And phonics still throws me.