Teaching Students with LD and ADHD

Decoding Automaticity

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Joined: Apr 05, 2007
Posts: 4
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Posted Apr 14, 2008 at 1:03:30 PM
Subject: Decoding Automaticity

What do you do with a struggling, older reader who can’t seem to break out of the decoding phase of reading? I have been working on decoding with my 11-year-old son for over two years. His reading progress has been steady, but very slow. I thought this child would never learn the alphabet, so I am thankful he can now sound out words – but I want to see faster progress!

My son completed an O-G reading program (Go Phonics) about six months ago, can read a stack of phonogram cards with only a few errors, but reads connected text very slowly and has to sound out most words. I think I should have slowed down even more and made sure my son had mastered each step by reading fluently before I moved on to the next step. I was too impatient to get through the phonics instruction so we could get to some “real” reading.

I recently purchased Concept Phonics (I liked the emphasis on automaticity) and we have been doing speed drills, worksheets and contrast cards to increase his reading speed. I have seen a dramatic increase in his ability to recognize sight words, but his progress with decodable words has been slow. I don’t like the idea of going back to the beginning (well, back to CVC words) and working forward, but my son can’t read anything but the first set of Bob Books with any kind of fluency.

Any suggestions? I think he needs more oral reading practice, but at his independent reading level it’s difficult to find material. He doesn’t like to read columns of words or the same reading passage over and over and I can’t blame him, but I am not sure what else to do.


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Joined Jul 11, 2005
Posts: 550

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Posted:Apr 14, 2008 7:09:03 PM

I found that using a text to speech program really helped my dd connect words to their sounds. Her reading level was very low at that age but she is very smart and it was hard to find anything interesting for her to be able to read. Exposure to higher level reading with the assistance of auditory input and visual cues (highlighted words) really helped her connect everything at a higher level so that she could enjoy what she was reading. (In 6th grade read at 2nd/3rd level, end of 9th read at grade level.)

scifinut mom to: ms 16, bp/adhd/anxiety/complex ld mr. 20, add/dyslexic I hear and I forget I see and I remember I do and I understand. -Anonymous

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Angela in CA
Joined Mar 17, 2005
Posts: 88

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Posted:Apr 14, 2008 10:32:46 PM

We did a program called Read Right. You can look at their website and they also have a book out. With the book you may be able to use their technique of repeated readings. We used their over the phone tutoring service. They sent us books and our son read over the phone to his tutor twice a week for an hour each time. Our son made a huge jump in his reading. He would barely read to me for 10 minutes and ask to be done. With his tutor he read for an hour each time. We had done quite a bit of decoding, but nothing seemed automatic...Read Right made a huge difference for our son.


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Ken C
Joined Jun 16, 2003
Posts: 63

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Posted:Jun 02, 2008 12:23:04 PM

The top programs in reading fluency are Read Naturally, Great Leaps, and the Seven Minute Solution. Ken Campbell

author - Great Leaps

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Joined May 05, 2008
Posts: 424

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Posted:Jun 02, 2008 12:27:43 PM

I never broke out of it! Atleast not really. I still read a little slower than most. But my reading is perfect and it is very second nature to me and my brain puts it together quite fast and it isn't a problem. A little slower isn't much slower. My mom reads a page and i read the same page she finishes on average 8 seconds sooner than i do. But again every situation is different

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Joined Oct 02, 2006
Posts: 172

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Posted:Jun 04, 2008 7:06:41 PM

We were sort of in the same boat. My daughter is in 3rd grade and is decoding at nearly grade level, but her comprehension is SUPER low, like still at 1st grade level. Most of the kids in her class read chapter books, but there's no way she could get through, especially since there are no pictures. But the 1st grade books are way too young for her. I went to e-bay and found a set of leveled readers by houghton mifflin. You could google that I'm sure. Anyway, they are very short texts with lots of pictures, but more age appropriate content. She willingly reads to me because they are not overwhelmingly long books and at the end are a set of questions to answer, which helps her with comprehension (or at least it tests her comprehension).

Beyond that, I'd say keep on working on the phonics and possibly explaining how words are taken apart. Look at prefixes, suffixes, etc... For my daughter, everything is a sight word unless she has never seen it before. She can read very difficult words if she has seen them before, but sometimes, even short words that she has not seen before, she cannot figure them out. With the language disorder, it's hard for her to "put it into context" of the sentence because that is not automatic either.



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Joined Jun 19, 2008
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Posted:Jun 19, 2008 1:43:08 PM

Have you tried the Wilson Reading Program? They have a great fluency program. I would highly recommend it for any LD student with reading difficulties.

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