14yr old who can,t read - FamilyEducation
14yr old who can,t read
11/26/2007 at 18:18 PM

hi everyone, new here but like what i see.

my problem is my 14 year old who can,t read, school thinks its ok to give him a reader and scriber when needed but i think this isnt encouraging him to try, i,ve tried everything i can think of but don,t seem to be getting anywhere and now he is being laughed at by his so called friends which is making him withdrawn and depressed(he doesnt want to here), he is severly dyslexic as his is little brother, i need help! anyone with any advice would be very welcome

My friend also has the same situation and she has done private tutoring. It has worked but the school needs to step up to the plate and and do their part. As far as his friends they are at the age that they don't care about other people's feelings and they don't know the long term damage they  do when they make fun of people.


cant get him to private tutor, he hasnt the confidence anymore, going to try the school again, think i might need to see a doc as well,so frustrated!

My boy had perception problems--his eye muscles didn't work smoothly.  I don't know what is going on with your boy, but I wonder if the exercises Jed did would help him with dyslexia.  We started with a short period of time, then worked up to 10 minutes.  The exercise used an object suspended on about 3 or 4 feet of cord.  Jed would lie on the floor, and I would stand and swing the object about a foot above his eyes.  I would swing it left to right for a while, then up and down, then diagonal one way and then diagonal the other way, and finally in a circle.  At first his eyes got tired in just a minute, so we would quit.  I learned this from a company called Learning Technics.  It was just $90 for their evaluation.  It was more for the whole program but it was a miracle for Jed.


Hi, I'm new here and when I read this I thought of my son.  He's now 22.  School days were days from hell!  He couldn't read.  In the 3rd grade I talked to his teacher and she agreed that he had a problem.  We couldn't put our finger on it, so I went to work looking for answers.  I started at the library.  It took some time and I found a book on Dysgraphia(?) It's a branch off of Dyslexia.  Your eyes will see one thing and the brain will send out false signals. Example: The man walked on ice. When putting this on paper your brain is telling you to write:  tH(backward e) maN WaL(backward k)eD on iC(backward e) My sons numbers were the same way.  Capital and lower case letters were mixed up and several letters were always backwards.  This was about 13 or 14 years ago when I discovered what was wrong.  The school really fought me on this, by 8th grade they finally listened.  It was to late, he had already formed bad study habits and homework was a nightmare. He took the typical ADD/ADHD drugs .  Then in comes computers!  What a change in his school work. He no longer had to have written assignments. He read his work and then took his tests off of the computer. He finally graduated high school by the seat of his pants and a wonderful girlfriend.  Once he got in the work force he was able to take job test on computers and today he is a certified crane operator at 22.   Don't give up, my son is still not a very good reader. (He hates to read)  Find something he's good at and go from there.  These are things I did with my son and while it didn't look like it was helping then, it really was helping more than I realized.  Good luck with your son.


Readers and scribes are accomodations and they do have their place, but it is no substitute for teaching the lifelong skills he will need.

Go back to the school and request remediation or teaching of the skills he is lacking, and the older he is the more intensive the services need to be in order to make up for lost time.

There are lots of resources on the internet that address reading problems, the schools call it a specific learning disability in reading, other resources call it dyslexia or other more specific reading disorders.  The more info you have gthe better able to helop you will become  http://www.interdys.org/



I know you said your son is all tutored out, but contacting the International Dyslexia Association and finding someone truly trained to remediate using an Orton-Gillingham approach is really helpful.  Also is there is a Masonic Learning Center in your area they offer 2 years of free tutoring with well trained O-G people.  There are also great schools for Dyslexic Students and you might need to take your school to court to get them to send him to one.  And finally Recordings for the Blind and Dyslexic is an organization where you can get any book your school may be using in a recorded format as well as any novel your son may be interested in.  This is a great help for getting through the school work. 


All of the above comments are very good and true.  I've specialized in working with these kids for the last 15 years.  One of the things that is very important to let them know is that they learn differently than the "normal" people.  There are a lot of things they can learn to help them with their learning process.  Many of the children I have worked with intelligently are very gifted and go on to do very great things.  They are some of our greatest inventors because they can see how things should be and assemble them that way where the "normal" person has a great deal of trouble seeing the overall picture.  Many of these children see things as pictures, not words in their minds.  When finding your tutors, look for someone who is willing to work with you, not one that is telling you what to do.  If they believe in only one method, question it.  Some people are out there to just sell their method as the "cure all".  A tutor that will try different things to find the best way your child can learn is the best thing.  Once your child and the tutor get to know each other and find the ways to learn, you shouldn't have the fighting to get them to learn to read.  I know.  I have three children with various learning challenges, two of which are very dyslexic, one hearing impaired, one ADHD.  They were my reason for specializing in this with my education.


I am an elementary education major, and one of my classes this semester is all about children with special needs.  For one of our assignments we are supposed to try and talk to a parent on here and see how the childs needs effects the family, and some ways that you try and work with the school to get the best for your child.  If you could provide any feed back I would appreciate it.  I really hope everything works out for you and your family.  Thanks,



I worked with a boy who had trouble reading all his elementary school life. His mother didn't take the time to really listen and ask him questions. What hinders you from comprehending....Well this child had a simple solution. He couldn't see with the white pages of the book. He needed special colored glasses that helped him look passed the white of the pages to the words on the page. It worked for him, he is now a college graduate with a masters degree. 

Take the time to ask him what hinders him from understanding the words...It can be several things but let your child guide you rather then complaining and taking him to see so many doctors....He thinks there is something wrong with him...so as the others have commmented he has lost his confidence. Good Luck and really listen to your child, sometimes they know more.


It doesn't matter if your son is having a reader and a scriber at school because it shows that the school cares about your son. My advice would be not to turn down any help especially as he's 14 years old. Of course it's acceptable to have a reader and a scriber in exams if you need them. You aren't helping him at all if you refuse to acknowledge and do something about his dyslexia. Ignoring dyslexia is wrong and it tells your son that you don't care about him as well. Stop ignoring your son and try reading to him at home. Hope this helps.

What you mean is that it is normal for you. There is no such thing as a normal person anyway.

Not nessaricly. It is best to let the child go at his own pace. Making the service more intensive won't help anyone and will create unneeded pressure and stress. Don't worry about making up the lost time as everyone progresses better at their own level and pace.

Hi lorcun, I understand the frustration you, your son, and his teachers feel towards dyslexia, as my husband too is a sufferer. I can't help you with the disorder as my husband feels the only way he survived school was pure tenacity. He graduated back when we actually had to learn the material with whatever given instruction we had to work with, or fail. He struggled, but he learned to hide his problem, and this isn't good either. He doesn't enjoy reading, but actually reads quite well. The hidden problem is he struggles so hard putting the letters in the right order to be able to read the material fluently to hide his disorder, his comprehension of the material often gets lost and frustration reigns supreme. I feel you're fortunate you know what the problem is so you can seek help for your young. No one sensed this problem in my husband and praised him for his reading ability, not realizing how much he lacks in comprehension. Please don't give up on your search for help for your children! Their futures depend on you and your ability to get them help with this. I beg you to continue your search. I have a book "From a Child's Perception" by Anna Fowler that won't help you with this search, but it might help curb their self-esteem issues which stem from being different. This is a book written from the heart, not a textbook and I would like to suggest it to you to see if it can help you build your young's confidence in themselves. Being different isn't a bad thing, but how we percieve ourselves can lead to frustration and depression. I want to help your children so badly, but this is the only suggestion I feel qualified to give. I do hope you find answers that will lead to success for your young. Googling "From a Child's Perception" by Anna Fowler will offer you reviews for this book. I hope it helps! God Bless you and yours!

Hi I'm dyslexic and could hardly read at 14, maybe find a subject your son is intersted in and buy books on the matter. If someone has a interest in the matter then they will be more willing to read. Also have you tryed putting a see through coloured sheet over the writing. Sometimes I find it hard to read anything on pure white background and putting a see through blue sheet over the writing helps a lot. Another thing to remember is just because your child can't read at 14 doesn't mean he won't make anything of himself. Think of Richard Branson, and it's not uncommon. I was put in special education in the late 80s and I know two of the people now have thriving buisnesses. One is a millonair and he doesn't come from a rich family. I think it's a case of looking passed what your child can't do, and focusing more on the talents he have. And also remember dyslexica doesn't effect the I.Q it just effects what you are good at learning.