Possible dyslexia

My son is currently in kindergarten and attends a private school. I’m concerned that he may be dyslexic but he’s only six so can’t be tested. Does anyone have any suggestions as to how I can help him? He is having a lot of difficulty learning (visually) the alphabet and learning what sounds each letter makes.

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Dyslexia runs in my family. Both my dad and brother have it pretty hard and my sisters and I are all borderline. I’m worried about my five year old, too. He dose ok until we get to letters like ‘d’ and ‘b’ and ‘p’ and ‘q.’

What my parents did for my brother was they got him into a special tutoring program just for kids with reading problems. They were amazing! By middle school he graduated “tutoring” and now he’s in college getting a degree in engineering. He says basically it was all the extra one on one time he got to work on it. It’s not that he was slow or couldn’t learn it, it just took longer for his brain to learn to sort things out.

I talked to my mom some about my son. She’s an elementary special education teacher and combined with working with my dad and brother she’s fairly well versed in dyslexia. (Plus we tease her because she’s forevermore saying things backwards! She’s not dyslexic but calls it dyslexia of the mouth :slight_smile: )

She told me that there’s not much I can do right now but to keep working on what he struggles with and help him not be discouraged. We homeschool so that’s giving him the one on one he needs, and I can continue to be encouraging and help him through trouble spots. We might look into a similar tutoring program somewhere down the line with someone more experienced, but for now homeschooling is our solution.

Oh I almost forgot! I try to re-do any of my son’s assignments that have a lot of text or letters on them using the Dyslexie font. It’s amazing! Even for a normal person it’s so much easier to read! The letters are changed around just a little so that 'j’s and 'i’s don’t look alike and letters like ‘b’ and ‘d’ have dents in their bubbles in different places. It makes differentiating between them easier.

Plus it’s free!!!


All About Reading is a pretty good program. It’s modeled closely on the Orton Gillingham program. (That’s a good option if you have the money and a tutor in your area Orton Gillingham that is)
Also the website thisreadingmama.com is a great site by a homeschooling mom who also happens to be a reading specialist. She has a book, tons of freebie printable sand also packs for sale. Her articles are great, varied, extensive I can’t say enough positive things about her site. Also hit the library for books for you. I would recommend some titles but I am still working my way through my own stack. Orton Gillingham, All About Reading and This Reading Mama should be a pretty good start though.

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Dyslexia runs in our family back at least three generations. Two of my four kids have it. They are currently in 3rd and 7th grade, but I realized their dyslexia very early on, before they even “officially” started homeschooling. The younger child has it much worse than the older, her mind not only flips things left to write but also up and down like a lake mirroring the mountain behind it. At first she wrote backwards, upside down, and mirrored both left/right and up/down. It all looked correct to her, and she thought her mirrored letters matched my correct letters when asked.
I found that when they were young and learning their letters, basic reading, and basic writing the best thing to do was get their hands involved with the letters in as many ways as possible. We focused on each letter for at least a week (or more if needed). I had them trace the letter into rice, whipped cream, on the carpet, with sandpaper letters, and build the letter with wikki stix. I used magnatabs by Kiddo, fridge magnet letters, and anything else hands-on that I could find. I wrote each letter on a 3x5 card with a permanent marker, then traced over it with a thick line of elmer’s glue and let it dry. Then I had them trace their finger over these raised bumpy letters. Plus writing the letter with big pencils and crayons on paper, and writing them big with dry-erase markers on our dry-erase board… I used a lot of the activity sheets from the COAH website. Plus Read/Build/Write which I made magnetic and put on a cookie sheet. I found that repetition with each letter, but in a variety of ways, really helped cement it into their heads. I spent probably at least 6 months with each kid just focusing on really getting the letters down through all these fun and different activities. I always made it fun and they were excited to do the new and different games and activities.
I am happy to say that while they each have their strengths and weaknesses (as does any child), both of them are doing excellent with reading and writing above their grade level at this point. It seemed that getting a bunch of one-on-one focused attention and building a good letter foundation with them while they were young made all the difference in the world.

I encourage you to look into Diane Craft brain training. Excellent research based information. My son has either a writing “glitch” or dysgraphia and her techniques are very helpful and very simple to implement. (We are early on so don’t have complete results, but two friends further down the road have seen amazing progress.)

Another thing to look into is having your child tested for tracking issues. Even if your child’s eyes test 20/20 if there is a tracking issue vision therapy might be very beneficial.