Learning to read

My wonderful son has a language delay.  He’s “on the spectrum” as people like to refer to functioning autistics.  I actually don’t think autism is the correct diagnosis because he doesn’t have the aversion to people and extreme disengagement that seem to be defining of the disorder, but it doesn’t really matter.  In all things all people are individuals and this is especially true of psychological symptoms.

His speach delay is all but cured with a little persistent mispronunciation of the blended “r”s.  He can say rap and par but “twap” kicks his butt.

He was in the third grade and struggling to read on the 2nd grade level.  After giving up on the school system saving him we hired a tutor I found online.  She’s $30/hr for 2 hrs a week.  She’s very generous with her time and actually keeps him for a full hour a session instead of 40 min so he can have breaks to refocus.  $60 didn’t sound bad in February, but come September I’m much more aware of how much this has cost me.

The Barton system of tutoring is mainly just really patient one on one work to teach him to sound out words. (sounds simple, but it’s a level of patience I don’t think I could come up with everyday for him)  The only trick to it is the gradual and ordered introduction of new sounds.  He’s now reading words that have blended sounds at the beginning and end of the same word



Another trick is that they’re still only using short vowel sounds.  He brought home a single page story about riding a sled, but due to use restrictions there’s were several words were conspicuously absent: Ride.  Snow. Ice

I’ve alway thought there weren’t enough letters for the sounds we use and the vowels particularly seem overworked.


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