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Tutoring dilemma-need advice

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ohbaby08
Winter is Coming

Member since 10/07

1718 total posts

Name:

Tutoring dilemma-need advice

My son has always needed extra help with reading. He started going to a tutor one day a week when he was in 1st grade, he's now in 4th (9 yrs old). He was still seeing her up until June and then I let him take off for the summer with the understanding that he needed to increase his independent reading at home. That didn't really happen and I partly take the blame because I didn't really enforce it.

I had told him that we would see about continuing the tutor in the fall depending on if I thought he still needed the extra help. Well, he was again recommended for extra push-in services at school, so I decided to start up with the tutor again.

Here's where the advice is needed...
I informed him yesterday that he would be starting the tutor again today and he first thought I was kidding and then told me, "well, I guess that means you think I'm not smart." This crushed me. I have told him millions of times that needing a tutor doesn't make him not smart and that some people just need extra reinforcement. It doesn't help that his 1st grade sister can read at like a 3rd grade level. I know he feels inferior for needing a tutor, but I don't know what else to say to make him realize it doesn't mean he isn't smart.

Just looking for maybe a different approach that I can take. Thanks for reading this far.

Posted 11/8/17 11:33 AM
 

LSP2005
Bunny kisses are so cute!

Member since 5/05

19452 total posts

Name:
L

Re: Tutoring dilemma-need advice

Can I ask, have you had him tested for dyslexia?

Posted 11/8/17 12:53 PM
 

MrsT809
LIF Adult

Member since 9/09

12167 total posts

Name:

Tutoring dilemma-need advice

I think I'd go with a kid friendly version of the multiple intelligences. Everyone is good at something but no one is great at everything. Basically talk about what he's really good at and talk about that it's okay to struggle and accept help in other areas. Maybe talk a little about your own strengths and weaknesses so he sees that it's normal and okay.

Posted 11/8/17 12:57 PM
 

Straightarrow
LIF Adult

Member since 2/11

3534 total posts

Name:

Re: Tutoring dilemma-need advice

Posted by LSP2005

Can I ask, have you had him tested for dyslexia?



My son is dyslexic (and I believe yours is as well) and one day of tutoring a week wouldn't have helped him enough at all...

However, maybe there is another type of processing disorder?

Posted 11/8/17 1:25 PM
 

shaleywhale
LIF Adolescent

Member since 12/09

537 total posts

Name:

Re: Tutoring dilemma-need advice

Posted by Straightarrow

Posted by LSP2005

Can I ask, have you had him tested for dyslexia?



My son is dyslexic (and I believe yours is as well) and one day of tutoring a week wouldn't have helped him enough at all...

However, maybe there is another type of processing disorder?



This. Perhaps consider having him tested for other issues, such as convergence insufficiency and/or tracking issues? My daughter, 13, has had a decent amount of success with vision therapy (and, as you can see from my most recent post, they are considering trying out prism lenses for her as part of her treatments)

Some of her symptoms were difficulty with reading, tired from reading, words would "swim" and "move" on the page, she would lose her place, skip words and entire sections of sentences, forget what she read, have trouble making connections/comprehending as a result, and would often avoid reading because it was so difficult and tiring... and having to read aloud in class would give her a special kind of anxiety.

She is still doing vision therapy, but she just recently finished reading The Fault in Our Stars, cover to cover. I think this was the very first book she ever picked up and finished on her own, without it being an assignment. This was an amazing accomplishment for her!

If you haven't had him tested, I would definitely consider it. It's time consuming and can be costly, but we have had a lot of success with it (and I understand it works even better/quicker when they are younger)

Good luck. I feel for him... my daughter felt for many years that she was not smart because she needed extra help, and she believed that her teachers thought she was dumb and lazy. It's heartbreaking, and I feel your pain. Chat Icon

Posted 11/8/17 1:39 PM
 

ohbaby08
Winter is Coming

Member since 10/07

1718 total posts

Name:

Re: Tutoring dilemma-need advice

Posted by LSP2005

Can I ask, have you had him tested for dyslexia?



I haven't. It has crossed my mind, but I figured someone at the school would have noticed or spoken to me about it if they had suspicions.

He mostly has problems with fluency. His tutor is one of the reading teachers at his school, so she sees him in class as well. I've asked her about dyslexia, and she didn't think that was an issue.

Posted 11/8/17 1:44 PM
 

ohbaby08
Winter is Coming

Member since 10/07

1718 total posts

Name:

Re: Tutoring dilemma-need advice

Posted by shaleywhale

Posted by Straightarrow

Posted by LSP2005

Can I ask, have you had him tested for dyslexia?



My son is dyslexic (and I believe yours is as well) and one day of tutoring a week wouldn't have helped him enough at all...

However, maybe there is another type of processing disorder?



This. Perhaps consider having him tested for other issues, such as convergence insufficiency and/or tracking issues? My daughter, 13, has had a decent amount of success with vision therapy (and, as you can see from my most recent post, they are considering trying out prism lenses for her as part of her treatments)

Some of her symptoms were difficulty with reading, tired from reading, words would "swim" and "move" on the page, she would lose her place, skip words and entire sections of sentences, forget what she read, have trouble making connections/comprehending as a result, and would often avoid reading because it was so difficult and tiring... and having to read aloud in class would give her a special kind of anxiety.

She is still doing vision therapy, but she just recently finished reading The Fault in Our Stars, cover to cover. I think this was the very first book she ever picked up and finished on her own, without it being an assignment. This was an amazing accomplishment for her!

If you haven't had him tested, I would definitely consider it. It's time consuming and can be costly, but we have had a lot of success with it (and I understand it works even better/quicker when they are younger)

Good luck. I feel for him... my daughter felt for many years that she was not smart because she needed extra help, and she believed that her teachers thought she was dumb and lazy. It's heartbreaking, and I feel your pain. Chat Icon



Who would test him for things like tracking issues?

Posted 11/8/17 1:45 PM
 

shaleywhale
LIF Adolescent

Member since 12/09

537 total posts

Name:

Re: Tutoring dilemma-need advice

a developmental optometrist did my daughter's testing. It was pretty intense for her - it was a long appointment and she was quite tired by the end (fell asleep in the car). I had no idea that reading was that taxing on her. They had a cool test where she put on special glasses, read a passage, and then had to answer some comprehension questions. The doctor was able to play back on the computer what her eyes saw as she was reading. I could actually see her eyes jumping down two or three lines, missing words, staying on some words for a length of time (re-reading them), etc etc. It was a very enlightening experience for me, to see how much work it actually was for her to read.

Anywho. Try this website to see if there is anyone in your area that is COVD certified. If this site isn't helpful, maybe try googling "vision therapy in my area" or something...

COVD website

Good luck, and if you have any questions that I can answer, let me know!

Posted 11/8/17 2:38 PM
 

LSP2005
Bunny kisses are so cute!

Member since 5/05

19452 total posts

Name:
L

Re: Tutoring dilemma-need advice

OP, I would request to have your child tested by the school or pay out of pocket for testing (about $1000, in my experience). One day of tutoring is really not enough if the child has dyslexia or any learning processing disorders. Not every school is on the ball about these things and I would advocate for my child. FWIW, my own son could not read in second grade. I paid for testing and he was placed into orton gillingham instruction five days a week for half of the school day. He has a mensa level Iq, and scored perfectly on the state 4th grade science testing. I am telling you this, because children with processing disorders and dyslexia are not dumb. In fact, they are much much smarter than the average child. They just process things differently. He is in fifth grade now and is on a fifth grade independent reading level. It has taken him a long time to get where he is now but he was able to succeed. In our old school district, the teachers brushed off my concerns. They were not equipped to help him. We moved to a new district when he was in second grade and the teachers were night and day different. I would get him tested, it was the best thing we did. His confidence improved, he actually loves to read now, and will pick up a book without me asking. He can now read for an hour independently. It was a long road, but I know the testing made an enormous difference. Based on what you wrote, I would get your son tested. There are a lot of resources available on this issue.

Posted 11/8/17 11:18 PM
 

nycgirl
Angels!

Member since 3/09

7721 total posts

Name:

Re: Tutoring dilemma-need advice

As for tutoring, I would tell him that like he has to practice to get really good at a sport, he has to do the same for reading. It’s just another thing exercise. Some kids need more practice at basketball, some soccer, some reading, some math.

Posted 11/9/17 8:04 AM
 

LSP2005
Bunny kisses are so cute!

Member since 5/05

19452 total posts

Name:
L

Re: Tutoring dilemma-need advice

Start with your child's pediatrician and get a recommendation for a neurodevelopmental pediatrician. Then make an appointment for testing. It will be an IQ test and the Woodcock Johnson IV test. You can only have this done every few months so as not to taint the results of a second test. Your child's test will exhaust them as it is a long test.

Posted 11/9/17 8:12 AM
 

Aries14
Can't plan life...

Member since 8/08

2860 total posts

Name:

Re: Tutoring dilemma-need advice

Posted by LSP2005

OP, I would request to have your child tested by the school or pay out of pocket for testing (about $1000, in my experience). One day of tutoring is really not enough if the child has dyslexia or any learning processing disorders. Not every school is on the ball about these things and I would advocate for my child. FWIW, my own son could not read in second grade. I paid for testing and he was placed into orton gillingham instruction five days a week for half of the school day. He has a mensa level Iq, and scored perfectly on the state 4th grade science testing. I am telling you this, because children with processing disorders and dyslexia are not dumb. In fact, they are much much smarter than the average child. They just process things differently. He is in fifth grade now and is on a fifth grade independent reading level. It has taken him a long time to get where he is now but he was able to succeed. In our old school district, the teachers brushed off my concerns. They were not equipped to help him. We moved to a new district when he was in second grade and the teachers were night and day different. I would get him tested, it was the best thing we did. His confidence improved, he actually loves to read now, and will pick up a book without me asking. He can now read for an hour independently. It was a long road, but I know the testing made an enormous difference. Based on what you wrote, I would get your son tested. There are a lot of resources available on this issue.




I just want to say that my 6 year old was just diagnosed and reading this gave me a little hope. Thank you! How amazing your school provides orton gillingham instruction!

Posted 11/9/17 9:02 AM
 

LSP2005
Bunny kisses are so cute!

Member since 5/05

19452 total posts

Name:
L

Re: Tutoring dilemma-need advice

Aries, I am glad that my post gives you hope. Getting diagnosed by age 9 is critical as brain development studies show that being able to properly teach how to read before then is usually the determining factor of a child being able to read. There are many studies that show children who can't read independently by the end of fourth grade don't lean to read. I would ask your district to bus your child to a school that provides orton gillengham, or learn the program yourself to teach your child. This is not a once a day one hour thing, to be successful it is a multi hour every day program. If we had to pay for the schooling privately it would cost $50k a year. I am eternally grateful our district provides this instruction.

The things I did, I learned some of the techniques as my son did them so we could practice at home. I also made sure to get books that he enjoyed. We would sit together and he would read out loud to me. We go to the library every week. I no longer give my card, they know us by sight.

As for schools to initiate testing, some schools are reticent to initiate testing because if they find out the child needs help it will cost the district money, so they don't initiate it. In our old school district, for kindergarten they sent my son to a reading specialist once a week. By March they said he was at grade level so they dropped him from the program. They knew there were issues, and did not encourage testing. By first grade we knew something was not right, but the district did not want to help us. I would not rely on the district being proactive about testing.

Message edited 11/9/2017 9:50:52 AM.

Posted 11/9/17 9:42 AM
 

Straightarrow
LIF Adult

Member since 2/11

3534 total posts

Name:

Re: Tutoring dilemma-need advice

Posted by LSP2005

OP, I would request to have your child tested by the school or pay out of pocket for testing (about $1000, in my experience). One day of tutoring is really not enough if the child has dyslexia or any learning processing disorders. Not every school is on the ball about these things and I would advocate for my child. FWIW, my own son could not read in second grade. I paid for testing and he was placed into orton gillingham instruction five days a week for half of the school day. He has a mensa level Iq, and scored perfectly on the state 4th grade science testing. I am telling you this, because children with processing disorders and dyslexia are not dumb. In fact, they are much much smarter than the average child. They just process things differently. He is in fifth grade now and is on a fifth grade independent reading level. It has taken him a long time to get where he is now but he was able to succeed. In our old school district, the teachers brushed off my concerns. They were not equipped to help him. We moved to a new district when he was in second grade and the teachers were night and day different. I would get him tested, it was the best thing we did. His confidence improved, he actually loves to read now, and will pick up a book without me asking. He can now read for an hour independently. It was a long road, but I know the testing made an enormous difference. Based on what you wrote, I would get your son tested. There are a lot of resources available on this issue.



In NYS the school will not diagnose anything.

My son's whole private testing was covered by insurance

Posted 11/9/17 12:08 PM
 

CurlyQ

Member since 6/07

2024 total posts

Name:

Tutoring dilemma-need advice

If he is being offered push in reading services, my assumption is that he is on the cusp.
Saying that he is dyslexic or tracking issues without any evidence of why is a really strong statement. Being advised to get your school district to pay for your child to receive a reading program that does not work for all is highly unlikely without any formal IEP. You would have to show no growth for many years. It sounds like your son is growing, but just not exactly where he should be? If he is in 4th grade, there would be red flags and teachers would have contacted you to go through the CES process. Being that your child does not have special education services, or has ever been tested for one shows me that he is a little below and the extra push in services and tutoring sounds like a good plan of action. CW Post has a great reading clinic that is pretty inexpensive, as does Hofstra if you were looking to do a little bit more on the outside. Learning Disabilities generally don't show until 3rd or 4th grade because you need to show 2 or more years behind grade level.

School districts can not diagnose. They are not Dr's.

I would contact his teacher and ask if they feel you should get an evaluation on the outside or if he is just a little behind. Ask if its more of a decoding or comprehension issue. Also find a book series that will make your son want to read more independently. I know many 4th grade boys will not pick up a book and want to read independently by choice. The Diary of a Wimpy Kid books are very motivating for that age group. Magazines are also great because they have short articles. Anything that will be motivating, to try and help him want to read more. I'm not sure if it is a comprehension or decoding but if it's a comprehension issue he would also benefit from listening to you read to him and having discussions about what you read.

I like the idea of talking about multiple intelligences, along with the idea that everyone has their own strengths and weaknesses. That kind of conversation I think is great.

Posted 11/9/17 5:35 PM
 

LSP2005
Bunny kisses are so cute!

Member since 5/05

19452 total posts

Name:
L

Re: Tutoring dilemma-need advice

Ah, in NJ the school can administer the test or you can go to a private facility to have the testing. It is not covered by insurance.

Curly, if he is not making progress and he is 9, then why would testing harm him? Not every teacher is great and some districts are better than others for helping children that have reading issues.

Posted 11/9/17 8:17 PM
 

CurlyQ

Member since 6/07

2024 total posts

Name:

Re: Tutoring dilemma-need advice

Posted by LSP2005

Ah, in NJ the school can administer the test or you can go to a private facility to have the testing. It is not covered by insurance.

Curly, if he is not making progress and he is 9, then why would testing harm him? Not every teacher is great and some districts are better than others for helping children that have reading issues.



The OP did not state he is not making progress, just that he is behind. There is a huge difference between those two statements. Being that he is getting push in services and the school has not contacted him to get tested indicates to me that he is a little behind, and why I suggested talking to the teacher to see what areas are the issue, and use that information to see if she should seek private testing on her own. All schools in NYS follow the RTI model and students are put into tiers according to how behind they are. They are progress monitored at the very least every 6 weeks. If a child is receiving push in support it is most likely tier 2 support. Which shows that a child needs a little extra help. With all of the changes that common core had brought in, a lot of the new standards are ABOVE children's developmental levels. Students that years ago would have been just fine and now behind because they are just not developmentally ready yet. Also if the school district did not request the child to come for summer support services- it also shows progress by the student has been made.

Posted 11/10/17 7:57 AM
 

LSP2005
Bunny kisses are so cute!

Member since 5/05

19452 total posts

Name:
L

Re: Tutoring dilemma-need advice

Posted by CurlyQ

Posted by LSP2005

Ah, in NJ the school can administer the test or you can go to a private facility to have the testing. It is not covered by insurance.

Curly, if he is not making progress and he is 9, then why would testing harm him? Not every teacher is great and some districts are better than others for helping children that have reading issues.



The OP did not state he is not making progress, just that he is behind. There is a huge difference between those two statements. Being that he is getting push in services and the school has not contacted him to get tested indicates to me that he is a little behind, and why I suggested talking to the teacher to see what areas are the issue, and use that information to see if she should seek private testing on her own. All schools in NYS follow the RTI model and students are put into tiers according to how behind they are. They are progress monitored at the very least every 6 weeks. If a child is receiving push in support it is most likely tier 2 support. Which shows that a child needs a little extra help. With all of the changes that common core had brought in, a lot of the new standards are ABOVE children's developmental levels. Students that years ago would have been just fine and now behind because they are just not developmentally ready yet. Also if the school district did not request the child to come for summer support services- it also shows progress by the student has been made.



I really appreciate your explanation. I can say from personal experience, getting summer services is nearly impossible and only reserved for the most severe cases. I agree with you that common core does have standards above what was previously required and a child that previously needed no support might warrant support, but this is not the first time OP has posted worrying about her child and their reading, and how he did not improve his reading over the summer, which is why I am suggesting he get tested.

Posted 11/10/17 8:45 AM
 

ohbaby08
Winter is Coming

Member since 10/07

1718 total posts

Name:

Re: Tutoring dilemma-need advice

Posted by CurlyQ

If he is being offered push in reading services, my assumption is that he is on the cusp.
Saying that he is dyslexic or tracking issues without any evidence of why is a really strong statement. Being advised to get your school district to pay for your child to receive a reading program that does not work for all is highly unlikely without any formal IEP. You would have to show no growth for many years. It sounds like your son is growing, but just not exactly where he should be? If he is in 4th grade, there would be red flags and teachers would have contacted you to go through the CES process. Being that your child does not have special education services, or has ever been tested for one shows me that he is a little below and the extra push in services and tutoring sounds like a good plan of action. CW Post has a great reading clinic that is pretty inexpensive, as does Hofstra if you were looking to do a little bit more on the outside. Learning Disabilities generally don't show until 3rd or 4th grade because you need to show 2 or more years behind grade level.

School districts can not diagnose. They are not Dr's.

I would contact his teacher and ask if they feel you should get an evaluation on the outside or if he is just a little behind. Ask if its more of a decoding or comprehension issue. Also find a book series that will make your son want to read more independently. I know many 4th grade boys will not pick up a book and want to read independently by choice. The Diary of a Wimpy Kid books are very motivating for that age group. Magazines are also great because they have short articles. Anything that will be motivating, to try and help him want to read more. I'm not sure if it is a comprehension or decoding but if it's a comprehension issue he would also benefit from listening to you read to him and having discussions about what you read.

I like the idea of talking about multiple intelligences, along with the idea that everyone has their own strengths and weaknesses. That kind of conversation I think is great.



His comprehension is good. He mostly struggles with fluency. He does get push-in reading help. In 1st/2nd grade he received both pull-out and push-in help, but now it's just push-in.

He loves the Diary of a Wimpy kid books and just took the new one out of the library, so that's good.

I have asked his teacher every year if they think there is a need for outside evaluation and they've always said that they think he is just a little behind. I genuinely don't think there is any underlying issue, but I won't rule it out.

We talked and he seems to understand that everyone is good at some things and need help with other things. Hopefully he really believes it.

Thanks to everyone for the responses Chat Icon

Posted 11/10/17 9:44 AM
 

ohbaby08
Winter is Coming

Member since 10/07

1718 total posts

Name:

Re: Tutoring dilemma-need advice

Posted by LSP2005

Posted by CurlyQ

Posted by LSP2005

Ah, in NJ the school can administer the test or you can go to a private facility to have the testing. It is not covered by insurance.

Curly, if he is not making progress and he is 9, then why would testing harm him? Not every teacher is great and some districts are better than others for helping children that have reading issues.



The OP did not state he is not making progress, just that he is behind. There is a huge difference between those two statements. Being that he is getting push in services and the school has not contacted him to get tested indicates to me that he is a little behind, and why I suggested talking to the teacher to see what areas are the issue, and use that information to see if she should seek private testing on her own. All schools in NYS follow the RTI model and students are put into tiers according to how behind they are. They are progress monitored at the very least every 6 weeks. If a child is receiving push in support it is most likely tier 2 support. Which shows that a child needs a little extra help. With all of the changes that common core had brought in, a lot of the new standards are ABOVE children's developmental levels. Students that years ago would have been just fine and now behind because they are just not developmentally ready yet. Also if the school district did not request the child to come for summer support services- it also shows progress by the student has been made.



I really appreciate your explanation. I can say from personal experience, getting summer services is nearly impossible and only reserved for the most severe cases. I agree with you that common core does have standards above what was previously required and a child that previously needed no support might warrant support, but this is not the first time OP has posted worrying about her child and their reading, and how he did not improve his reading over the summer, which is why I am suggesting he get tested.



Maybe my explanation wasn't clear. He IS progressing. He moved from tier 3 to tier 2 at the beginning of last year and is just on the cusp of needing tier 2.

The advice I was looking for was more in terms of helping him not feel inferior because he needs tutoring, especially when his sister can read 2 or more grade levels ahead.

However, I very much appreciate the advice about testing as well.

Posted 11/10/17 9:49 AM
 

oldtimerocknroll
LIF Adult

Member since 11/14

1656 total posts

Name:

Re: Tutoring dilemma-need advice

What if you changed the language that you use to describe the tutor and instead say "coach" or "consultant"?

Posted 11/22/17 9:35 AM
 
 

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