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Reading and the Learning Disabled Child

by Karen

I first became concerned with my son's reading difficulties when he was still in nursery school. He could not learn his abc's. He did learn the order of the alphabet by singing the song. However, he could not recognize all of the letter's when asked what a particular letter was visually.

His teacher mentioned to me that I should be pointing out and identifying the names of letters, constantly.

When in the grocery store I would point out an F on a frosted flakes box, K in Rice Krispies, etc. I obsessed about it, used flash cards, magnets, everything. It didn't help, when confronted with letters, he would freeze up or guess wrong. I felt so terrible, because he was embarrassed in front of the other children by this, well onto Kindergarten.

His kindergarten teacher tested him the first week of school. She told me she was concerned, he still couldn't recognize all twenty-six letters. Well, by the end of the term and a lot of extra work, he could finally recognize and name all the letters of the alphabet. What a relief. However, almost every child I knew, could do this at the beginning of nursery school.

Well, once the abc's were finally down it was time to tackle reading words. In the first grade, reading phonetically takes around seventy-five percent of the school day.

My son was struggling with the smallest sight words, for example: the, and, her, him. Here we go again. Knowing what it took to get the alphabet down, I knew there was hope. This would take time. I got him a tutor who was a reading specialist. He also received extra help in school. Finally, it took about three years, but he was able to read fluently by the middle of the fourth grade. It wasn't easy, but it happened. My advice is simple, don't give up.

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