If you follow this blog at all, you know that reading has been the bane of the Engineer’s existence. Unlike the stereotypical gifted kid, he didn’t read early. In fact, he didn’t read at all. Not until now. Not until we did 2 long sessions of vision therapy.
The Engineer was sad that vision therapy is over. Mostly because he wants the opportunity to win small prizes after every session for good behavior. A bribe – but a bribe that worked!
I offered him a new opportunity: read me a book. Not a little easy book, but a real book that I pick out. For every book he reads he gets a prize.
The very first try he read the entire book. It was slow and halting, with frustrating hiccups over the “th” sound that he keeps forgetting, but he read whole chunks at one time. He easily read words like “springtime” and “hungry,” but stumbled over “they” every single time. I’m not concerned – it will come with practice.
As he read the book, a smile kept breaking out over my face. My son was reading! Willingly, doggedly reading a book. Something he’s refused to do up until now because he had to work so hard. The reading specialist for his IEP evaluation said he was decoding (sounding out) EVERY single word, even ones he had just read 2 seconds ago. Now he’s not. Now he’s remembering words and reading with some semblance of fluency. Yay!
What level is it?
I went and looked up the Lexile level for the book he read: “Bear Wants More” by Karma Wilson and Jane Chapman. I know it’s not an accurate assessment of his reading level, but this book is listed as a 500 Lexile level book, or in the grade 2 level.
He went from a grade behind during the spring to grade level reading. How’s that for a victory? I’ll take it!
I often feel like this blog is full of our trials and difficulties, so it’s lovely to write a celebration post. He did it! He’s doing it! And hopefully it will only get easier for him from now on. I’m so proud of him!
I’m also frustrated that it took this long. He couldn’t be evaluated for vision issues like tracking or focus problems until age 7. We got him in right after his 7th birthday, and started therapy the next week. In the space of a summer, he improved so drastically that it shocked his eye doctor. Clearly, the issue wasn’t his defiance – it was his eyes. It wasn’t that “he’s just not ready to read yet,” but that his eyes couldn’t read.
You know the best part of all of this? He’s decided that he’s good at reading. If you remove the stumbling block that’s hampering a kid, they can soar.
(and that prize he so desperately wanted? A set of Lego connectors for his train. Go figure.)