Hooked on Phonics and Dyslexia

Updated on June 04, 2010
V.I. asks from Smithfield, VA
10 answers

My daughter is 7 and very dyslexic. The school is not being very helpful and I need to start getting her on track. I have heard Hooked on Phonics is a good tool for this but only on their website. Have any of you had any success with this program? Is anyone else having any luck with other at home products/techniques and dyslexia?

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answers from Washington DC on

I do not like Hooked on Phonics (HOP) because the child must learn to read the word inside out. For example, they teach the sound for "op" then put "t" in front. I do not know about the others they have recommended - but I would look for something that decodes the words in order from the first letter to the last. I cannot imagine that HOP would be helpful to a dyslexic. I did use and love "Professor Phonics" which may be out of print, but Steck-Vaugh has a great phonics series called "Explode the Code". You can but one book at a time and they are very helpful.

About me: SAHM of 5, 2 grown and in the service, 3 in high school. Homeschooled them all K-12.

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answers from Roanoke on

Hi V.. My 12 year old son is dyslexic. The best program is the Barton Reading and Spelling System. You can see their website at bartonreading.com
They have a program to tutor your children at home. Susan Barton is also very helpful. I talked on the phone with her for about an hour and she patiently answered all of my questions. She also directed me to resources in my area where we could get help. If you are local then you might also want to contact The Achievement Center in Roanoke. Their website is achievementcenter.org
It is a school for dyslexic children. I can't afford the tuition for my son to attend there, but he does attend the summer program which runs for 6 weeks. Their teachers also do private tutoring for an hourly fee. They use the Orton-Gillingham system, which is the same system that the Barton Reading and Spelling System utilizes. Good luck!



answers from Washington DC on

V., people who are dyslexic do not have the "wiring" to process words in the little pieces called phonemes, which everyone else can process.


LD Online http://www.ldonline.org recommends information from Reading Rockets site, and this page seems to be very useful.


There is a lot more out there for children with dyslexia now than when my son was in school, so I hope your daughter can be successful.

You did not mention if this is a public school, but if it is, they are required by Federal law to provide an appropriate education for your daughter. Most parents find they have to intensively advocate for their disabled children, sad to say. For great web site which can help you know what your daughter's rights are and a place to learn effective advocacy stragegies which will preserve the home/school relationship, check this out:


The people are located in VA, but they hold seminars all over the US.

If your daughter is not in a public school, then you may not get any help from the school because they are not mandated to provide for her needs.

If you need tips on how to advocate, please feel free to email me, I know how hard it is and I was very successful. But if a child does not get intervention before the 3rd grade or is still very far behind in their reading at that time, then they probably will never read at their grade level. That is the result of scientific studies, and is well excepted as facual. They will catch up to an extent over time, but they will always be behind while they are in school.



answers from Washington DC on


You might try the Leapfrog videos as a less expensive method of seeing if phonics videos help. They are fun (singing and dancing letters that even swing through the trees). I don't have any experience using them with dyslexia, but all 3 of your children would probably enjoy watching them and Leapfrog might help.

Also, try labeling everything in your house with the written word, i.e. "table" on the dining room table, "chair" on lots of chairs in the house, etc. I know several teachers who have done that with their own children, some of whom had learning disabilities.

On a separate note, I have 3 cousins with dyslexia and 2 of them have master's degrees and the 3rd is a talented salesman so your daughter can have a very bright future with a little help to learn to compensate for the dyslexia. I wish you all the best!!




answers from Richmond on

I really have no idea if Hooked on Phonics helps with dyslexia or not, but if you want to give it a try, I have a complete set you could have. It's cassettes, not cd's but its all there. Let me know if you'd like it.



answers from Washington DC on

Not sure how HOP would be for a child with dyslexia but it is a good program in general. It teaches children to break words down into pieces that they can sound out individually and put together to create a word. We used it to teach my now 6 year old to read when he was 3 (he was reading chapter books by 4) and are currently using it with our youngest who is 3 and progressing nicely. Neither of them have dyslexia so take that with a grain of salt. If you know someone with the program, maybe you could test it with your daughter and see how she does. Other posters with more experience with teaching children with special needs have made some great alernative suggestions, so I'd check out some of them before spending any money on HOP.



answers from Dover on

My advice would be to start at the school first. Talk to her special education teacher and express your unhappiness. At the very least she or he should be able to steer you in the right direction as to what materials might be right for your daughter since they see her true reading performance on a daily basis. He or she would probably welcome your insight about your daughter.



answers from Washington DC on

I use Hooked on Phonics with the children I tutor (ages 6-9). I have definitely seen some growth since using that program.

I have used the 2nd Grade Program as well as Master Reader. In my opinion, they are great phonics programs. There are several components to reading (phonemic awareness, phonics, vocabulary, sight words, fluency, and comprehension). Hooked on Phonics does a nice job hitting some of those areas better than others. For example, the comprehension is probably the weakest...if your child needs help with comprehension, then you should look for an additional program.

You can buy them from other places (like Walmart and sometimes Target). I've even seen them at JCPenney occasionally. And you can get some discounted (used) sets off Ebay. Most places are MUCH cheaper than buying straight from Hooked on Phonics... unless they are having a huge sale.

Also, on another website, someone listed this info:

Hooked On Phonics has a few new items in their overstock/outlet department at 75% off with an additional coupon code save40 available. Shipping starts at $5 and varies depending on your order total and items ordered.

Items of interest (prices after discounts, before shipping)

* Discover Reading Baby Edition Premium $12
* Learn to Read Pre-K Edition Premium $12
* Hooked on French Deluxe $15
* Learn to Read-Kindergarten $18. [Discuss]
* Learn to Read Kindergarten - 1st Grade $24
* Discover Reading Baby Edition Deluxe $24.



answers from Washington DC on

I am a special ed teacher in Alexandria and have a program teachers use. If you are local you are welcome to borrow it. Please call ###-###-#### if interested.



answers from Miami on

I have "Hooked on Phonics," it's a good program, however, it will fall short with your needs, my daughter has a learning disability, initially I brought HOP, you will need the "Orton-Gillingham Program."