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Recommendations for child who cannot be taught to read (so far!)

Discussion in 'Special educational needs' started by Starlighter, Dec 10, 2015.

  1. Starlighter

    Starlighter New commenter

    This is my dilemma:
    I have a 7 year old child in my class who was late to speak (3 and a half) and had impoverished language input; parents mixing up languages, and moving around a lot in the world. Our goal is to teach her to read. All efforts so far have proven utterly fruitless despite the concerted efforts of 4 teachers before myself. This girl is very cooperative and wants to learn and is very frustrated. The diagnosis by a child psychologist is that she has good peripheral hearing but that she has a congnitive disorder in processing the phonemes she is reading and correlating them with graphemes. Apparently certain sounds present more problems than others and the noisier the room is, the more she struggles. In the meantime, she is also very self-conscious about learning to read and has developed a defeatist attitude towards it.

    We have a department in the school which does pull-out interventions, which will also support me as much as it can in this task, but I would also like to design some class-based interventions which my TA can do with her on a 1-1 basis.

    According to the diagnosis, she has poor reading skills and poor overall language skills and would benefit from visual (such as using colours) and tactile tasks (such as pronouncing words by breathing onto her hand to feel if a phoneme is voiced or voiceless). These non-aural activities would apparently enable her to develop her language skills and her reading skills.
    I wanted to ask you if you know of any schemes of work focussing on these non-aural activities which I could refer to online to give me some ideas of what kind of activities I can prepare for my TA to do with her.
    The more I google this, the more I am asking myself if I can just use activities which are designed for dyslexic children, as they struggle in similar areas.
    I would be most grateful for any advice before I begin the daunting task more experienced others have failed at before me. I hope I can contribute to changing this. Thankyou for your time.
    SIB13 likes this.
  2. languageisheartosay

    languageisheartosay Occasional commenter

    The hearing is meant to be okay. Presumably the vision is?! Very long-sighted kids can be a conundrum and don't necessarily stick out as not being able to see well. All other things being equal, early talkers are often early readers - because they know what people say. The opposite can be true too - late-to-speak children (a) may never realise that writing actually represents what we say, (b) they are not good at anticipating the shape of sentences because they can't do it in speech as they have poor vocabulary and grammar.
    Have you tried abandoning the phonic approach for now and going for visual matching, symbol support, and particularly early language skills etc.? I have uploaded quite a few early reading resources to TES listed here http://languageisheartosay.com/resources/reading-practice/ and you will find lots of other early language stuff under the sidebar headings. They were prepared for TAs or parents to use and are intended to be self-explanatory.
  3. dzil

    dzil Occasional commenter

    I totally agree with what language has to say.

    Synthetic phonics is great for typically developing children without a comprehension problem. With the sort of problems and difficulties you and this child have I'd go for some simple sight vocabulary then teach analytical phonics to start with (de-constructing the words she can read once she has a sight vocab of around 15 - 20 words)

    I'd start with some simple familiar words (e.g. mum, dad, I, can, see) and teach maybe one or two of them a day or a week if that's what she needs. Using flash cards, games (snakes and ladders for example, you can't go up the ladder unless you read the word; you can save yourself from the snake if you read the word – that sort of thing. She could play with a peer or two, each player has their own set of words to read, that are difficult for them- so they may have 20 of the latest curriculum words, she has her two or three words, but all have a similar sized pile to make it look fair.

    Fairly quickly the girl can begin using her words to read and write sentences (I can see mum, I can see dad, mum can see dad and so on) You can even break down the writing so she “writes” by selecting then putting her words in correct order, reading it to you then copying (the old breakthrough to literacy approach) You or the TA can do loads of activities around this. You write the sentence, she reads it them draws the picture works well and is easy to do. This way the girl begins to see herself as a reader and breaks that failure cycle. You add words that can expand the sentence – and is a good one, school, garden, in, a, the (beware of adding only nouns) – and, once she has the confidence and understanding of the reading business you’ll have enough phonically regular words to begin analysing. PM me with your e mail if you want more.
  4. ConvivialCatMan

    ConvivialCatMan New commenter

    Good advice on last post. Sight words first.
  5. acthell

    acthell New commenter

    A programme we have started to use that is quite successful and used a lot in special schools is the 5 minute literacy box http://www.fiveminutebox.co.uk/ We have a child who came to us at 11 with very few HFW and this is really starting to make the difference after a term. This is used in conduction with precision teaching of HFW 1:1.
  6. TeachersTimeTurner

    TeachersTimeTurner New commenter

    Totally agree with the previous posters - sight words first AND emphasis on success not failure.

    I had a boy in my class who similarly had great difficulty with phonics despite being very good verbally. I actually bought the old Ginn360 series. I bought the teacher book and levels 1 (red books) and 2 (yellow books).

    The benefit especially at level 1 is that the child only needs to learn 20 words (look, I, can, help, etc) and then they can read the whole of the level 1 set of books. It really fosters a feeling of success in reading. I found the boy I had in my class was much more interested in reading once he could read the first few books. I also used the words for him to construct his own sentences and to play games with other children too, just simple matching games like pairs or snap.

    This is the address for the teacher book from amazon: http://www.amazon.co.uk/New-Reading...id=1452166844&sr=8-3&keywords=ginn360+teacher

    This is the address for the first set of books (red level 1) from amazon: http://www.amazon.co.uk/New-Reading..._UL160_SR121,160_&refRID=12ED061TBXY6F74BTBTM

    I found a lot of the books actually in our schools book area too so I didn't need to buy them all, if you look through the old book boxes you might find some.
    SIB13 likes this.

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