We have a reading problem here. For Andy, with his vision screwed up for so long and other processing issues, reading takes an incredible amount of energy. He loves books- but he would prefer to listen to them. I have tested his auditory comprehension with books he has "read" by audio book, and he seems to get almost every word. If I read books to him, he loves it, and he loves the stories, the information, and he likes the pictures if there are any. Reading by himself is a much bigger problem. I find myself thinking, what is more important? Him reading the words himself off the page, or him getting the information, the narratives, the understanding? And how to broach the issue with his teachers?
Joey also scores poorly on reading comprehension tests, but has a lot of issues with auditory processing as well. I can't just pop in a CD and expect him to get when he needs that way. Narratives often make no sense to him. Visualizing a story, a character, a place, is a real challenge. Understanding the inferences of words remains a challenge.
At least his teachers think so. I have often said he could read War and Peace, if you gave it to him one sentence at a time. If you give him the smaller bits and let him process it, he not only gets it, he keeps it. It never goes away. My brain used to be like that. It has its pros and cons, but at this age, the pros are far greater- if you allow him to process and retain.
I now can say he can read War and Peace- and now, you can give him three sentences at a time (maybe even up to five!). You can break it down, discuss it in these smaller bits, get through the page, and he can answer questions about what he read. Don't read it to him- let him do the reading. He can focus and pay attention that way.
Why these learning differences can't be accepted and worked on, I have no idea. By the end of the school year, we should have those five sentences consistently- that's a whole paragraph at a time. Last I looked, that' show I read- in paragraph units, think about it, then move to the next one. Why does everything have to be such a rush? Yes, it takes me longer to read things. However, I understand them when I am done. I have noticed many folks who read faster, but have to go back and read it again. Which is better?
(The answer is neither. They are just different ways of reading, learning, and gaining understanding.)
So this coming week, provided no one showers us with any homework, my goal is to do some reading with Joey, and see if I can't get him enjoying books again. Even if its just three sentences at a time.