To Read or Not To Read ........

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Andy, Oct 21, 2009.

  1. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    My kids do not like to read. This has been a personal frustration to me because I grew up with a book in hand. My mom would threaten with, "And I don't want to see you reading until the chores are done".

    Anyway, I do know that Diva has read some on her own. She used to love to read until a very know-it-all 1st year teacher told the 4th graders that they were to read 20 minutes each night. So, Diva started to set the timer and would stop at 20 minutes because her teacher told them to read just 20 minutes each night!!!! I was so mad, there are two kinds of readers - one you tell to read a set amount of time because they do not like to read and one you tell to read until they want to stop because they love to read. Setting that timer was a burden to Diva, it put an unneccessary strain on her enjoyment of reading so she just stopped reading. I could not get her to understand that the teacher was wrong in this - I had already started to be the stupid mom who knows nothing in her eyes. The teacher thought she found the greatest reading program in this "rule" that she would not listen to me. She did not communicate well with parents on anything.

    Now, difficult child has never been a reader. He has done well on those short comprehensive tests but that is because they are less than a page long and he can look back to find the answers. He states he does not like to read because he can not remember what he reads. He has read two very very short AR books and failed both tests so is now avoiding reading again.

    I asked the teacher for help and her answer was to have her help him find a book and for me to encourage him to read. She believes that his problem is in only avoiding the task.

    Today, difficult child brought it up to therapist who encouraged him to keep on reading. I told difficult child to continue taking out the small books until he can pass those tests (he thinks the teacher will get mad if he only chooses short books).

    psychiatrist appointment followed the therapist appointment so I brought it up there also. psychiatrist gave difficult child and I each a screening test. He reviewed our answers and concluded that there are enough red flags to warrant further testing. There may be an attention deficit going on that difficult child really is having difficutly remembering long reading assignments.

    So, I have forms for each teacher to complete and one for the school counselor. difficult child goes back on Nov 2nd to take a computer test to gauge his attention level (if insurance is approved ect, but I will see about setting up payments if insurance doesn't cover).

    psychiatrist states that this could be feeding into his anxiety. If he really can not remember and teachers are not believing it, that would add to the anxiety.

    I felt these last two years that there may be a reading problem but with the work we were doing on behaviours, that took a back burner. Now that things have calmed down and he is doing well, we can start looking at things like this in closer detail as they crop up.

    difficult child is adamant that he can only remember what is TOLD to him, not what he reads. So, we shall see. The hard part is that many things such as these are so well hidden in avoidance and are so subtle that teachers will not pick up on them or want to refer to whoever tests. They would rather tell us that he needs to work harder, put more of an effort into this.

    I agree, he needs to make more of an effort on his end but I am glad we are going to check it out. My gut tells me he would not be avoiding if he felt he could do it. He really does want to do well in school.
  2. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    Look into NonVerbal Learning Disorder (NVLD) (Non-Verbal Learning Disorder) since he said he can only remember what is told. favorite website for it is gone, but that one looks good.

    Also, long term anxiety can create these kinds of issues with memory, processing, etc., too. And NonVerbal Learning Disorder (NVLD) comes with built in anxiety pretty much.

    It's almost a what came first: the chicken or the egg?

    Since the psychiatrist is doing some testing, I would ask for Executive Functions to be tested. Has difficult child had a neuropsychologist evaluation? That would be the best way to go if he is having issues in this area.

    As far as reading with my daughter...I can't keep her in books. They had required reading (20 minutes a night with a log signed by parents) starting in first grade. It usually stops in high school, but her English teacher is wanting them to read every night and then write in their journal about what they read; about the story, what they think of it, etc., and turn that into her every Monday. difficult child is flat out refusing to do it. She says it takes all of the fun out of reading. And as she has always tested Advanced or Accelerated in both reading and writing, I'm not prone to push her. In fact, we have an IEP meeting Friday and that's one of things that is going to be discussed. She has other areas where she is really struggling - that isn't one of them. We need to focus on the areas she needs extra help. Math is her biggest issue, Social Studies being a close second. Social Studies is basically memorization which doesn't come easy when you have EFD.

    easy child hates to read. He hates to write, too, though he is quite good at it.
  3. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    Andy. I wish I knew what to tell you about the reading. A lot of people say that the reading thing is due to the advent of TVs and videos and games and the like.

    I can't say. I didn't have any of those things. on the other hand, my mother is a voracious reader as is my sister. I'm actually hyperlexic. I was reading before I turned three years old, and I was understanding most of what I read.

    I have the opposite problem. I have trouble absorbing what I am taught verbally. I have to read it.

    A lot of lecture classes are designed around what was taught via reading. So, if the student didn't get the reading part, odds were good the lectures would be useless.

    I figure in my case it's a learning disability just like my not being able to handle math unless it is applied to something such as science. Even there, I need the books. Teacher standing at blackboard does nothing for me.

    I'd advise getting this evaluated. The sooner you get on top of it, the sooner you can get interventions in place to deal with it.

    I do find this funny in a sidenote sort of way. I was in SPED for gifted children for my early years. I had an aide assigned to me in order to make sure I read ONLY what was assigned to me. Otherwise I'd slurp up my entire textbook as soon as I got my hands on it, LoL
  4. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    GN - I don't comprehend information or stories that are told to me, either. I have to read it. Or if it's a task, like learning a new program (or whatever) at work, I have to read and do it hands on at the same time.
  5. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    Flutterby. I used to HATE storytime in grade school classes. I got nothing out of it, couldn't get my hands on the books used, and on top of everything else, had to sit still when all I wanted to do was pace around.

    Let's just say that while I actually tried not to be annoying, I wasn't very good at sitting still, either.
  6. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    While I can read a 3,000 page novel and comprehend it, reading facts is another story. I need somebody to explain it to me verbally and allow me to ask questions if I don't comprehend.

    My daughter actually has this problem and they are working with her on it...have been since third grade. She goes to the resource room for her tests in case she has a comprehension problem.

    I'm a reader AND a writer. Not one of my five kids likes to read for pleasure. It's frustrating to me, however they all have their own creative outlets (sigh).
  7. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    Thank you!

    psychiatrist is looking at Executive Functioning. I have forms for each teacher to complete and the 1st test is on Nov 2nd. psychiatrist wants us back in a month with the forms in hand and the test will have been read.

    He does understand but does not remember. His last school would say that there was no problem because he was passing the comprehensive tests. To which, he would say that was because he was able to look back on the pharagraph and find the answer. I think I have much of the same - I understand what I read but ask me for those small details than forget it! (Like who really cares the name of the family's dog? The name had nothing to do with the entire story, unless it was the name of the book of course!)

    I suppose 20/20, I should have been more deligent with this two years ago but then again, I don't see the docs we had then would have done anything - we needed a psychiatrist who really understood the issue and what to look for. And as stated before, we were dealing with behavior problems that had us fighting just to get through each day let alone school work.

    He is very smart so any learning disorders he has is going to be ignored by the school district. Schools knowing he is smart want to tell us that because he is smart he possibly can not have a learning disorder that it has to be his lack of motivation. We here know better. His psychiatrist also stated that just because his grades are good doesn't mean there isn't a problem.

    It is so awesome to finally have docs who will really pay attention to the small details and look at all possibilities to figure out what is going on.

    I can see the school just pooh poohing it as each year goes by and grades decrease. They don't want to "waste" funds on a student with a history of good grades - if he is failing, then it isn't because he can't do the work, his history shows he can! Ugh! Learning disorders that kids struggle with silently as they are younger and find ways of disguising do get increasingly harder for them as they get older and disguising it comes harder.
  8. Josie

    Josie Active Member

    difficult child 2 started complaining in the 3rd Grade that she couldn't understand what she was reading or maybe that she couldn't remember it long enough to enjoy the story. I asked her teacher about it and she informally evaluated her and she seemed fine. Now, she was capable of reading at probably the 6th Grade Level and the test was probably on the 3rd Grade level. We thought maybe her comprehension was ok but just not on the same level as her reading ability. And we also thought her Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) could be playing a part in it. Some kids with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) read and re-read because they aren't sure they got it.

    Last year, when she was in the 5th Grade, I had another neuropsychologist test done on her. This one did show that there was a significant gap between her ability to listen and understand and her ability to read and understand. The report also said that because of her overall high ability, she was able to compensate for this and would not really appear to have a problem. The neuropsychologist's recommendation was for her to read out loud when she could and to make a recording and listen to it when she needed to study. Possibly making notes, also.

    difficult child 1 is a big reader. She is in the 8th Grade and the LA teacher wants them to read for a certain number of minutes per week and keep a log of how much they read every day in minutes and pages. I told difficult child 1 she could "estimate" and/or "summarize" her log so she met the requirements. It would ruin my enjoyment of a book if I had to keep track of the minutes and pages I read every day. I don't think she has to write a summary, but if she did, I am sure she would just come up with something for every day at the end of the week.
  9. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    In my case, they didn't really recognize a lot of learning disabilities when I was a child. I and those I dealt with knew I had problems with math, but it was written off to my being 'lazy'. After all, how could I do so well with other subjects yet be unable to do my math work.

    I actually found out about the NonVerbal Learning Disorder (NVLD) and math disability with the past ten years when I was tested as part of a study on familial spectrum disorders done at University of Chicago
  10. Lothlorien

    Lothlorien Active Member Staff Member

    Andy, I didn't want to hijack your thread, so I posted a separate thread on NonVerbal Learning Disorder (NVLD), because I am seriously interested in hearing more about this.

    Missy has some serious comprehension issues, coupled with a lot of anxiety. This is what I have done to alleviate both and it is working. Missy is actually starting to like to read, though I'm still not sure she is comphending it all.

    I made up several "chore" cards and three behavior cards. Put them in pocket on a poster board. Chores are things like cleaning her room, craft area, putting clothes away, etc. One of her chore cards is reading in a quiet place for a 1/2 hour. She has to do all the chores or one card gets taken away. The beauty of it is that she knows these things have to be done everyday so it takes away the argument and the anxiety about it. It just is, period. She can handle that. She can't deal with me telling her to just go read when it comes unexpected. She went from hating reading to reading beyond the 1/2 hour and she likes to read before bed. I instituted this plan right before school started in September and she has fully read about 6 chapter books since.

    I don't know if this will work for you, but it might be worth a try. If you want more info about my little poster board, pm me and I'll take a picture.
  11. TPaul

    TPaul Idecor8

    My wife doesn't comprehend much of what she reads. I have to go over something with her several times to make sure she gets the jest of what something is saying. She has a form of dislexia and did not have the best help when she was in school. I have to go over any letters she writes and correct mistakes. She leaves words out of a sentence when she writes it. Ask her to read the sentence and she reads it with the words in the sentence but she has not written them down. It is very odd

    difficult child does not like to read, and has some of the same things mom has but not to the degree that wife does.

  12. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    Andy, I don't know what the psychiatrist is going to do exactly, but neuropsychologist testing would show if there is a discrepancy between verbal and non-verbal ability. If that number is big enough, the school can't ignore it.

    difficult child's number wasn't big enough, but I don't let them ignore it. Even though that number wasn't big enough she has all of the characteristics. She was 13 before she could clean her room on her own. I didn't do it for her, but would sit in her room and tell her what to, then what to do next, and on. She also doesn't recognize sarcasm or joking (although she seems to be getting better) and I always used an exaggerated tone or expression so she would understand. Things like that.

    Let's see...what else....she cannot take once concept and apply it to another without considerable guidance. She can take information in and regurgitate it back to you, but if you ask her to take that information and apply it another way, she's lost. There's a lot more, but I'm about brain dead. I'm sure you get the idea.

    It's not uncommon for NonVerbal Learning Disorder (NVLD) to not be diagnosed until 5th grade or up because the issues don't become really apparent until school work becomes more complex, and students are expected to be more independent with their work.

    ETA: difficult child does very well on the proficiency tests, but her classroom grades don't reflect it at all. Not even close. That's really another flag.
  13. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    Taking one concept and applying it to another! That is what is going on in science I think. I am not good at explaining why/how the homework and the book really do match. I think because when it comes to science I am totally lost!

    It frustrates me to no end trying to help with science because you take the concept of the text book and apply it to solve a homework assignment. And of course being the perfectionists difficult child and I both are, the answer is impossible because the concept includes so many options and the only ones I can see are the ones in black and white in the book.

    For example, If there is a project on electricty - maybe building something electrical. The book may show a picture of a connection that is connected at the back of the project, however, the actual homework may call for the connection to be in the front. I just can not handle that - that is NOT what the text book showed/told - how can my homework turn out correctly if it is not EXACTLY like the text book? How can I help difficult child see that you do not have to follow the book to that extreme? But we know that the concept is not where the connection is but what the connection is doing. (does that make sense?)

    So, maybe overanalysing and expecting things to match EXACTLY are part of some learning disabilities. It shows lack of comprehensiveness.
  14. mstang67chic

    mstang67chic Going Green

    I haven't had to deal with this much with difficult child simply because he just isn't much of a reader. I don't think there is any kind of Learning Disability (LD) there, I just don't think he's a reader unless the book comes with cool pictures. :tongue:

    But, if your difficult child is having issues...and you may have to wait till you have testing results to back you up but...what about audio books? I think some of them can be downloaded to an ipod (??? I'm soooo not a techie) or maybe the teacher would let you record some AR books. That way, he's still getting the information but in a way that he can process. Or maybe even listen to a book and follow along at the same time. It could help him with his AR stuff and maybe get him into reading on his own for fun.

    Personally, I can't imagine not reading. I went to that book convention and was in heaven! LOL All those boooooooks...:drool: and those wonderful, magical people who make them.

    Anyhoo....not sure if that would work for difficult child but just a thought!
  15. skeeter

    skeeter New Member

    My daughter in law has had accomodations all through high school and now college that enables her to have all her text books and assignments read onto CDs for her. They link it to her ADD. She can hear and comprehend and remember, she cannot read and remember.
  16. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    K has a pretty severe Learning Disability (LD) with pretty large gaps in her testing numbers. We had her Nuero-psychiatric come to the IEP meetings and then her therapist who is very well versed in the Reports and Learning Disability (LD)'s.
    Our Nuero-psychiatric sat and went over the whole report, blew the whole team away!
    Costly but well worth it.
    We now have valid reasons for everything.
    And everything in the report is showing up unfortunately. K will barely make it to 3rd grade despite having an IQ of genius level and being in the TAG class.

    I have a wonderful book on Learning Disability (LD) I will post it when I can get up... LOL I am sick.
  17. ML

    ML Guest

    Manster doesn't like to read unless he wants to read. The forced 20/30 minutes doesn't work for him. I have never pushed it to the max. I would make him do it for like 10 to 15 minutes and if he melted down after that, we were done. Now, he will occasionally pick up a book if he's bored (the Diary series and Hardey Boys mostly). But because words and reading are his strong suit, he remains at grade level despit our lazy habits. If I can bring the book to the boy it helps. Remembering to bring home the books is where our routine breaks down lol. Good luck!
  18. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    We have a family friend, someone my dad taught with, who is a reading specialist. She says reading is not like a board, not something you understand or don't understand. It is more like a brick wall. You can have the wall be 4 feet tall but have more holes than swiss cheese. The holes are where the meaning leaks out.

    It can be very had to find the holes and patch them.

    Things that help are reading textbooks onto tape/mp3 (you can do this iwth a microphone and the computer), watching tv with the closed captioning on and getting audiobook (unabridged) versions of books. He can sit with the audiobook on and follow along in the book - this will really boost his comprehension and his reading ability.

    Just a few ideas, but ones that are supposed to be very helpful.
  19. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    I've been lurking on this post, but honestly... My Mom says I didn't like to read either.

    But as far back as I can remember I got in trouble at school for reading ahead. And caught with a flashlight under the sheets at night.

    Still. I do love to read now. But it was nigh impossible to get either child to read, though husband and I both do. Until Twilight.

    Now Onyxx is a voracious - and I am NOT joking here - reader. House of Night. Vampire Kisses. Impulse - which is poetry sort of... I got her to read Go Ask Alice and it scared her, but she loved it.

    I had to declare some of my books off limits. She's only 14!

    Jett still has issues with it, but he likes books a lot. He will read when we are out - ask what things mean - just not thrilled at home.

    I like the new program better. They have to read a chapter a day, 4 times a week. 3-page chapter or 20, doesn't matter. And then write one sentence about the chapter. After the last, they have to write a summary about whether or not they liked the last 4 chapters they read.

    Jett read four chapters Wednesday night and then stopped and said... How many sentences? I told him - one per chapter.

    Then he tried to say he was done for the week. Unh-uh. He chose to read more.
  20. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    I LOVE to read. I've been reading as long as I can mom says I was reading freeway signs at three. I always have at least one book going, and own so many there are stacks upon stacks.

    Miss KT HATES to read. I mean, really and truly HATES it. She doesn't remember what she reads, so standardized testing is a nightmare for her. She can't translate directions on food packages (mac-n-cheese soup, anyone?), and then gets frustrated. The only books I know she has read voluntarily are "And I Don't Want To Live This Life" and "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland." She's taken the placement tests at college I don't even know how many times, and never improves her score, so she's decided just to take the remedial classes. Since she's rejected the notion that she get any help from DSPS, maybe the classes will give her some useful tips.