Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Mom, Why can't I read?

This is a phrase my 8 year old uses often. He is a great student. Since he started school at the age of 4 he has always exuded a personality that enveloped the world around him. I always say Michael doesn't live in the world, he creates a world for him to live. He has an immense vocabulary, loves numbers and has a passion for the arts. He loves school. Unfortunately third grade has been tiresome and frustrating for my young learner. He can not read on level. In first grade we first noticed that he was behind in terms of his peers. He had a hard time with his word lists and could not accurately identify all his letters. We met with his teacher and had him tested. The test results showed that he was on average in most areas with math and vocabulary being above. Reading, of course, was well below normal. We immediately began a plan of action to get him the needed 'one on one' care. He improved enough to be promoted to grade 2. Again in the second grade he showed signs of reading problems and continued his 'one on one' program. Just by the seat of his pants he was promoted to the third grade. Here we stand with our head in our hands trying to figure out why my bright little star can not grasp the art of reading. The teacher said something that really stood out.
"Michael has the knowledge to overcompensate for his reading abilities leaving us with the impression that he is grasping the content. Unfortunately he is a good year behind his class and he can not tell you what he read."

The school is doing everything. I mean everything they could possibly do for my son. Because he is of average intelligence he does not qualify for special education. In Florida we have the FCAT (standardized testing you must pass in order to move on). If Michael passes the FCAT it will be a wonderful surprise but we do not expect it to happen. We feel there is something more going on and so does his teacher. That is why she suggested we look into his eyes. Micheal has been wearing glasses since he was 4. His vision has always been in the back of my head but his doctors keep him up to date with his prescriptions but I never asked about eye tracking. Eye tracking is the ability of the eyes to work together to see words and such. Some of the symptoms are headaches, missing words or whole lines while reading, losing your place while reading, and rereading the same words several times without noticing.... there are more but these are the ones that stood out. Micheal has all of them! I am taking him in next month to have his eye tracking tested. I am hoping that this is the answer to his question. We have other plans in the works like summer school but as of right now all we can do is keep helping him the best we know how... Keep reading!


Mannie of MannieMandible said...

I replied to this on the team thread, but forgot to mention how much I HATE the FCAT & all the other standardized testing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It's a terrible judge on how a child is doing academically.


KrazyFashion said...

I have never heard of this type of tracking before. I really hope this is the answer so that he doesn't have this problem for the rest of his life.
I agree with Mannie too. I hated the FCAT so badly but some how passed it every time. lol
I never got my test result though so I probably just passed by a smidgen. lol