During the observation the reading specialist said that my son read the flashcards of short words with difficulty. She said on more difficult words such as “ran” the aid would have to point out each letter. Yes, they considered “RAN” a difficult word. She also observed him writing, letter formation and size was good, even with his “unusual pencil grasp.” She stated, “The task of copying and words was not difficult for him, but it took him a long time to complete it. He began to make mistakes with letter formation as the task continued to the second sheet. The third worksheet had short “A” words that had the letters for words mixed up, and he had to order the letters correctly. It was very difficult for him to to copy and order the letters to correctly spell words. He had difficulty tracking the words and problems with directionality and position of the letters. He transposed “and” into “pan” and reversed “d” with “p” and “p” with “q”. A word window was used to isolate each word on the page as he attempted to copy it. This appeared to be helpful, however he continually played with the piece of cardboard, and eventually put it is his mouth to chew.”
She went in to make the following suggestions for instruction.
“Multi-sensory tap and blend activities with manipulative letters, such as spell tabs or letter tiles. Sky writing and sand writing of letters and words would involve large muscles in learning as much as possible.”
“To assist with directionality, place a red dot on the left corner of his desk, and put a red dot on the left hand corner of each of his papers to orient the left to right directionality of reading and writing.”
“Use of a pencil grip to aid pencil grasp.”
“Shorten and break up writing activities. Alternate cutting and pasting pre-printed words with the writing activities.”
“Continue the use of the word window, and use a letter window as well to isolate one letter at a time.”
“Configuration activities to assist with sight vocabulary and visual presentation of words.”
“Use of computer programs such as Word, or Write Out Loud, and phonemic skills such as Boggles (Macmillian/ Mc Graw Hill phonics software) or Tenth Planet Literacy. Also the use of Storybook Weaver software for sentence writing.”
“He may also be a candidate for the “Fast For Word after school program.”
I received the reading observation report and continued with my own research. I wanted to know out what all of this meant and these were some of the websites I came up with. There were tons and tons and I kept reading although by nature I am not much of a reader myself. But it was my child and so I read night after night.
Looking back it was probably the best recommendations they ever put in writing. However, I guess they’d actually get smarter too and try not to put such specific recommendations in writing because they soon learned I was a parent who would hold them accountable if they did not do what they were suppose to do or do what they said they would do. Anotherwards I WOULD exercise my Parental Rights in Special Education. I just had to go and have another baby first!