43 answers

Reading Help

I need help.... My 9 year old son doesn't like or want to read. He just has a meltdown whenever we try to get him to read or tell us about what he has read. We have tried to get him to read about things he is interested in, but that doesn't work either.... He isn't doing well in school, and I just don't know how to help him without causing another meltdown! Does anyone have any ideas for us to try?

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We have an eye Dr. appt. on Monday, but he already wears glasses, so don't know if they will find anything else or not... Thanks for all the advice, and I will get back to you when we know something more! I am planning on trying a lot of the given here!

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Does he know how? Does he know his letters? I know he's a little old, but try the letter factory and word factory dvds by leap frog. My three year old loves telling me what sounds letters make because of these. good luck!

Get him tested. It is possible that he has a moderate case of dislexia. It sounds exactly like my cousins. It's more common in boys and it isn't fun to read when you can't make sense of what you just read. It may not be the case, but I'd rather rule it out than wait too long.

I know a couple of kids with the same issues. For both of them, it was a tracking issue with their eyes. So because it's so challenging for them, they just don't like reading. And it results in not being able to see/read well in class so all studies suffer. I would recommend getting a full optometrist evaluation, for both vision as well as other issues. One child has started vision therapy & is doing much better. Best of luck!

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Hi M.,
I don't have time to read all the other advice, and i know this is really late, but hearing difficulties can also play a very large part in reading problems. Also, try this: have him dictate a story to you about something fun or interesting he's done or you've done together, like going to the zoo. Write it just as he dictates it, without correcting him. Read it back to him from time to time, hang it on the fridge, make a big fuss over it, have him decorate it. After awhile he may want to read it to you or someone else who is important to him, no pressure for it to be correct. Kids love this exercise and it really helps them as beginning readers. You can do this once a week. Good Luck!!

1 mom found this helpful

I would have him tested for minor learning disorders such as dyslexia.
I used to HATE to read and was just bad in school. Years later we found out that I wasn't dumb at all, just had issues putting letter and numbers together.
Had my parents known this earlier we could have avoided so much stress and heartache!
Now I am a successful woman who graduated college with no problems.
So don't look at getting your son tested as a negative thing or that there is something wrong with him; just that perhaps he needs help in how he sees letter, numbers and words in general.
Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

Hi M.,
I found that the books on cd worked well with my son. He didn't like to read at all and wouldn't until I got him books on cd. He could listen to the words and sometimes he would follow along in the book, but most of the time he just listened and was able to retain the material much better than he did when we forced him to read it.
As for resources, we loved working with the Sylvan Learning Center. They did an incredible assesment with our daughter and were able to see what was at the root of her poor grades and lack of motivation.
Hopefully this helps...have a great day.

1 mom found this helpful

M. you have gotten a lot of advice on this subject, but I just wanted to add that any amount of reading is good. Have you tried Graphic Novels or Comic books? They might help him enjoy reading.

I know a couple of kids with the same issues. For both of them, it was a tracking issue with their eyes. So because it's so challenging for them, they just don't like reading. And it results in not being able to see/read well in class so all studies suffer. I would recommend getting a full optometrist evaluation, for both vision as well as other issues. One child has started vision therapy & is doing much better. Best of luck!

I also would recommend testing for a learning disability. But don't rely on the schools answer...their testing is more a screening test. Talk to his teacher and state your concerns and YOU can request that he be tested, it doesn't take a teachers request. The if you aren't satisfied with the results that they come up with, have your doctor refer you to Children's Hospital Learning Services (In Denver)for further testing. We went through the same thing with our daughter. I noticed in 2nd Grade that she was having difficulty and that it wasn't enjoyable for her. The teachers kept telling me that she was right where she needed to be. I volunteered in the classroom alot and knew that my daughter wasn't reading at her grade level. By the end of 3rd Grade, I found out that I could request that the school test her. They of course didn't find anything, I think that they didn't want to. I kept insisting that there was a problem and no one would believe me. In 4th Grade her teacher agreed with me that she wasn't up to level (her CSAP scores also indicated that) and we requested more testing by the school. Again they found nothing. In the meantime I had spoken with our doctor and she recommended testing at Children's. Found out that our daughter is dyslexic, has no phonemic awareness and has very slow processing speed. I went back to the school armed with all the reports and the counselor looked at me and said that there wasn't anything they could do for her because Dyslexia is a medical condition in Colorado. We were however able to get her on a 504 for classroom accommodations. We went through 24 weeks of intense cognitive therapy at Learning Rx in Parker and it helped trememdously. It is expensive but worth it. She is now in 6th Grade, and is reading at or above grade level and when she thinks no one is looking reads for pleasure. She is still inclined to pick out books with large print, pictures and below her level, but I figure if she is reading who cares. Dyslexic kids are generally really bright and compensate with their other skills. Our daughter is a very auditory learner and if she heard it, she remembered it. One more word of advice. MOTHER KNOWS BEST, so listen to your instinct. Even though teachers/professionals think they know more about LD, you know your child better than anyone. There is a great website with tons of information on Dyslexia and LD. It is greatschools.com. They have been my greatest source of information on 504's, IEP's, learning strategies etc. Best of luck to you and your son and God Bless. J.

A little about me:
I am a mother of 2 beautiful girls, 14 and 12. Have been married for 15 years and am a SAHM and volunteer in the schools and church.

Just read WITH HIM. Instead of forcing the issue, read with him; have him follow along by reading and then stopping once in awhile to have him read the next word. If he's watching the words as you read them he's still learning.

I'd have him evaluated for tracking and dyslexia.
Consider this: http://www.dyslexia.com/library/symptoms.htm
also this: http://www.dys-add.com/symptoms.html (be sure to click on the link of famous people--it will be helpful)

I hope this helps.

Hi M.,

I am a mother of 4 busy boys and have had trouble with this very issue, with 2 of them, the oldest was a breeze and the baby is still to young to read, but my 7 and 9 year olds I have had a horrible time with until.... I decided one day that I would read to them, and every night, I read to them and count that as their reading, they sit with me so that they can read along and it has built fluency and site reading. The other thing that I decided to do was let them play on the computer at specific sites that help with reading, in order to play the game they have to read and understand what they have read in order to succeed in the game. They love to play on the computer so its a win-win thing, they are reading and having fun at the same time. My second son also struggled with math and we have done the same thing, we have a very good downloadable game that they love to play and it has increased his math skills big-time!! If the problem is with the meltdowns, try to make it as fun as possible. The other thing you can do is play board games where they have to read the cards. I also make my kids say out loud, "I can read", it sounds really silly but sometimes they just tell themselves enough times that they cant that they stop trying. The positive affirmations have helped alot too. Keep trying, something is bound to work. If its not the meltdowns then maybe there is something cognitive that needs to be diagnosed, in which case talking to the school social worker will help get you on the right track.

Good luck!


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