I am new here, and any input would be greatly appreciated. I have a son that is almost 11 and in the fourth grade. He is having a lot of problems with writing, spelling, and copying. His spelling is very poor and very inconsistent. He still misspells high frequency words such as 'went' and 'stop', often getting the right letters but writing them out of order. He may spell a word right one day, and not the next. He may even spell it right in one paragraph only to misspell it in a following paragraph. He omits letters from words and words from sentences. He omits suffixes and often omits punctuation and capitalization. He finds copying work, whether copying from the board to paper, or even copying numbers and plugging them into a calculator, very tedious and makes a lot of mistakes.
He feels very embarrassed about his writing struggles, in particular his spelling, and I can see his self confidence falling. His teacher is sure he does not have dyslexia, because he reads too well. And he does read very well. He is not the fastest reader, and does have difficulty reading orally, but given time he can read to himself very well, and has very good comprehension.
I guess I just don't know what is going on with my son. How is it he can read well, but has such difficulties writing? Do these symptoms sound familiar to anyone? Any insight would be wonderful. Thanks!!
Oh, I am so sorry your son is struggling. My son (almost 13) is dyslexic and I have watched him struggle since 1st grade. I knew in my heart that he was dyslexic before he entered 1st grade, and no one would listen to me. The school kept saying, "oh he's just a normal boy. Boys mature slower than girls do when it comes to school work." Well, I got tired of hearing this and had him screened when he was in 3rd grade. The psychologist comfirmed what I already knew.
I can't tell you why your son struggles with the things he struggles with, yet is a strong reader. All I can tell you is that dyslexia is still not a very well understood condition. The reason being, is that it manifests itself so differently in each person. It can affect some people in one way, and other people in a totally different way.
My son is very intelligent. He is in the 80-90 percentile in intelligence according to the tests he took with the psychologist, yet he struggles to keep good grades. He is NOT a strong reader. He does struggle in many of the same ways your son does too though. It's funny you mentioned your son having problems copying written materials from one place to another, because my son has the same problem as well- even if he is copying straight from a book to his paper. I have a horrible time explaining this to the school staff. They just keep saying, "Well, the words are right in front of him, so why can't he copy them to his paper without misspelling them?" I don't know how many times I have to tell them, "It's because he SEES the words differently than someone who isn't dyslexic...that's why" ,before they will finally understand and believe me! It's frustrating to say the least.
I can't say whether or not your son has dyslexia, but I CAN tell you that if you think there is even a small chance he is, please, PLEASE find a reputable psychologist and have him screened ASAP. The longer something like this goes on, the chances of a child becoming frustrated greatly increase. This will take a toll on him mentally and psychologically, and it will deeply affect his self esteem. If there is some kind of problem, it's better to catch it BEFORE a student is beyond 3rd grade.
I do have to ask if your son has had his vision checked lately. Sometimes vision problems can and will cause the problems your son is having. There could be other things such as some kind of processing disorder going on too. The only other thing I can suggest is do as much research as you can....the more information you can find, the better prepared you are to help your son.
I didn't find out about my dyslexia until I was in college. Hard to believe, huh? I have always been a strong reader and done well on standardized test, but was an almost complete failure in school. Luckily I found a good school in high school where the teacher-to-student ratio was small and I was able to work at my own pace (which, as it turned out, was much faster than average). I blossomed.
I feel your pain, and your son's, and I hope that things get better for both of you.
I would agree with the other posters, my son (now age 11) is similar - except math he is fine. He does not read or write well and is unable to get his thoughts on paper. Everyone thought I was crazy for saying it was dyslexia, because all of his teachers where trying to say he was ADD or ADHD. They wanted me to dope him. One teacher was quite blatent in her words, so I called the principal and asked if I could see a copy of MS XXX's doctorate or DR qualifications. THAT shut her up real quick and she was very cordial after that.
The school tested him, and said he did not qualify for Spec. ED services as he was learning and not that far behind. Bottom line what I saw in the tests was a highly inteligent (IQ in above 95 %) kid, that could not perform to that level. Long story short raised a fuss, wrote a letter and requested an independent testing on him, at the schools expense. Bottom line other agencies got involved, the school ran more tests and here is the kicker he qualified for services off of the original tests. Just qualifed as "a" learning disability, I wanted the "a" off of his school records.
BOTTOM LINE: Even though he qualified, I brought him in for an independent evaluation, which cost me about $1000. But the peace of mind that the DR, said no ADD or ADHD, but learning dyslexia. I gave the school a copy and I no longer here the comments about "what do the dr's say?" etc....
Follow your heart, for me I saw a little of myself in my son, and that's why I said dyslexia, I had difficulties, but not enough for any concern.
HI it sounds like your son is kinda like I was and still am you don't grow out of it you just learn to deal with it, I had all of the spelling problems associated with dyslexia but none of the reading/comprehension problems, infact I was and always have been above grade level in reading, but I am extremely phonetic with spelling. A dyslexic person can be a great reader, there are alot of different symptoms and you don'y have to have them all to be dyslexic
If your son is an average reader, have you thought of the idea of Dysgraphia? A lot of what you describe sounds like Dysgraphia. Writing down letters backwards, or in the wrong place, horrific spelling, can't copy but can read a paragraph. All are signs. Does he also have really bad handwriting? Doesn't use punctuation well? More signs.
My best of luck to you.
p.s I developed Dysgraphia at an older age because of disorganized thought processing by another disorder. I can read fine, a little slow reading out loud, but can pronounce any written word, and can comprehend what I read (to an extent of an ADHD mind ).