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5 year old with Dyslexia...suggestions please?

5 year old with Dyslexia...suggestions please?

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I currently have my Bachelor's in Childhood and Special Education 1-6 and am working on my Master's in Reading and Literacy. Thus far in my studies I have some resources but I am a novice teacher and have not had experience in working with students with dyslexia. I am going to start tutoring a 5 year old who is dyslexic. He has a tremendous vocabulary, speaks very well, is extremely creative, loves building and anything hands on. Socially he is outgoing. His mother has asked me to tutor him in order to help him learn his alphabet. They have tried for three years to teach him how to write his name and recognize letters of the alphabet but nothing has really retained. Is there an assessment I can use (and easily have access to) to gage his current abilities and use as somewhat of a diagnostic tool? Also, books, resources, tips, etc. I would love to hear input from those who are more experienced. I am looking forward to hearing from you! :)

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DavisGraham's picture
A husband and father with the Gift of Dyslexia, Bradenton, Florida

A little late but, here you go. or Balabolka (see my blog for download links, they are freeware) has helped me, have the child type his name and then allow him to hear it and see it. The quicker you teach him to type the faster he will master the world of the written world.

Janice Whitney's picture
Janice Whitney
Retired Special Education Teacher and Mother of cured Dyslexic son

You must see Dr. Harold Levinson of New York. He can cure your daughter like he did my son. He is a neurologist and psychiatrist and dyslexic himself and has written over 13 books and multiple papers on dyslexia and he has breakthrough treatments. He has treated over 35,000 patients in his 35 + year career. Please google him. I am on his web site under Multi media with my son from 1996. He treated my son( John) in 1996 when John was 11 years old and in Grade 6. John went from a Grade 2 reading level to a Grade 5 reading level in 3 weeks and a grade 6 reading level in 3 months using Dr. Levinson's medications which are very simple and showed very dramatic results. I am a Special Education teacher and I had my son tested every three weeks by his Special Education teacher in Grade 6 when he started his medications and his reading and spelling and math levels had amazing results and are all documented. John is now 26 and has 2 college diplomas. When John was in grade 4 he could not even recognize the word "the". His teacher and I were at a loss. I also found an eye doctor who gave John prism lenses in eye glasses which were for a binocular focal point misalignment which was corrected in Grade 4. I urge you to read Dr. Levinson's book "Smart But Feeling Dumb" and then implore you to go to him. I have sent many clients to him over the years and they have all been amazed at their child's improvement. His medications really do work and your child will learn to read and gain incredible self confidence.
I also recommend the computer program Fast Forward and the coloured Irelen lenses which Dr. Levinson also endorses.

DavisGraham's picture
A husband and father with the Gift of Dyslexia, Bradenton, Florida

The key to unlocking the Gift of Dyslexia is to create an environment which enables me or the person with dyslexia the ability to read. Recently, I read "Dyslexics are over represented in board rooms and prison cells", and yet our archaic education system remains. Today, like 'many my life has changed with the "Gift" of Dyslexia. If any one has dyslexia they are living in a technical dream come true world which can equip the 10-20% of those who have the Gift of Dyslexia with tools such as Balabolka, Readplease, Xmind (note taking tool) and which will change the landscape of their future outlook. It is my hope nobody has to go through what I went through in high school, grade and middle school, but the word needs to get out to the public. Today I read with not boarders or hurdles to the written word at speeds of 340 to 510 words per minute with 90+% comprehension. Bookshare has changed my life and Bookshare is free for all U.S. students with qualifying disabilities, thanks to an award from the U.S. Department of Education Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP). Bookshare has 125,000 digital books and textbooks of which are awaiting access to those who struggle with the printed word. Read:OutLoud is the text to speech software which comes with the membership (free for students or $50 for non-students who qualify) and can take any textbook, or book and turn it into a virtual book.

Today, in this awesome digital and software landscape for a dyslectic I am free to read. The journey I have experienced has been similar and can be read at: or

Jeanine S's picture
Jeanine S
Specialist for children with Dyslexia, ADHD, and LD. Mom to dyslexic child.

Please look into Orton-Gillingham based methods of teaching reading, writing, phonemic awareness. It is research-based and the roots from which all other programs for reading disorders stem. Specific programs for working with young children include Wilson Fundations, PhonoGraphix, Lindamood Bell (there are several programs through Lindamood Bell). Do not use any program that claims to "cure" dyslexia. Dyslexia is not a disease, there is no cure. People with dyslexia are generally very intelligent but learn in a much different way because their brain is wired differently for acquiring language and reading skills (and therefore writing and spelling is also impacted.) The key: Multi-sensory instruction that is research based... Look up Orton Gillingham! (For example, when teaching letters, there is a scope and sequence that can be followed depending on the program. Teaching the letter needs to be associated with its sound, and it needs to be taught by having the child HEAR it, identify it in words, write it in the air, write it in sand, etc. Another great resource is Handwriting Without Tears and Really Great Reading. They have wonderful resources to buy for working with such children. I'd also look into Explode the Code series, which supplements the Orton Gillingham approach for teaching students with reading disorders- and is also a wonderful resource for teaching ANY child to read. Good luck!

Jane Kronheim's picture
Jane Kronheim
Educational Vision consultant in New England

hi, I just joined this site. so, perhaps my input will be passe. However, look at the book Overcoming Dyslexia by Dr. Sally Shaywitz, a noted pediatrician who has spent a lot of time sudying these individuals and their learning difficulties. Let me know if this helps at all....

Mary Meyers's picture

Hi Molly, I was an elementary teacher for 35 years but in truth, I never had kids with dyslexia as a noted issue. I have been tutoring lately though and have several boys with the issue. I've gotten hold of everything manipulative and visual, connecting all modes of learning. I've even used finger writing on a little guy's back, which he then tries to make on a small whiteboard in front of him. Most importantly, I learned not to give up because all of a sudden - he got it. Manipulatives and more manipulatives - but always remember Piaget and readiness.

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