My son is in 2nd grade and can't read at all yet either. It is definately a phonetic problem as James Poysky describes. The school is trying whole word memorization with pictures. It helps until you take away the picture and then he can't tell you the word by itself, so I don't know if this is the way to go. It is very slow going. I have read a lot on this subject and the difficulty that some DMD boys have with reading. Our boys are at higher risk for learning disabilities because dystrophin is absent and they know that it's in the brain as well. Why some boys are affected more mentally than others I don't know. I believe it has something to do with where the deletion is. James - I would be interested in reading what you have on the subject.
Could you please send me a learning guide for boys with DMD as well. My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org Many thanks,Boys with DMD have the same kind of reading disorder that the general public does, it just occurs more commonly (about 40% of boys with DMD vs. about 5 to 10% of the general population). This is commonly referred to as dyslexia. Contrary to common belief, this is not due to a visual problem. Rather, 98% of the time it is related to deficits in phonological awareness (understanding that spoken words are made up of small sounds that are blended together) and subsequent problems breaking spoken words down into sounds and being able to manipulate them. As a result, they have difficulty on several levels of reading including matching up the correct sound with what they see (sound/symbol associations such as letter names and letter sounds). They also have difficulty looking at printed words, breaking them appart into their appropriate sounds, and then blending them back together to make the word.
Evidence suggests that boys with DMD respond to the same kinds of interventions that other children do, namely phonological awareness training and systematic (synthetic) phonics instruction. The problem is they need a lot of it, and they need it on a daily basis. About 70% of kids with dyslexia respond to this kind of intervention, and probably the more severe the root problem the less likely they are to get benefit from intervention. Oral guided reading can also be helpful in improving problems with reading fluency, but is probably not as helpful in addressing the core deficits. The earlier you jump on this the better the outcome. The brain starts to get more hard-wired at 9 to 10 years of age and it gets harder to make progress. Send a message to my account that includes your email and I will send you a learning guide for boys with DMD.
My younger son Patrick may be an example of how this can all evolve. When in Preschool he was uninterested in reading or alphabets. As hard as we tried to get him interested he had other ideas. So, we delayed his entry to kindergarten as he showed little progress with learning the alphabet and any form of reading. He was great with assembling jigsaw puzzles, even putting them together upside down. Geometric recognition is a strong point. By the end of the year he knew most of his lower case letters and none of the upper case. We had an IEP meeting and much of the discussion involved this issue as he was doing fine physically. The school developed a phonological awareness program for both classroom and direct one on one support starting at he entered the first grade. This program worked wonders and by the end of the school year he was reading "chapter books" including "Captain Underpants".
Patrick is now in the eighth grade and has been on the Honor Roll throughout Middle School. By choice he reads thirty minutes or more every night before sleeping and has read all the "Harry Potter" books.
Every child is different, yet with appropriate support it is possible for those needing help to overcome many of their academic difficulties. The trick is getting the staff the right information about your child and for them to tailor a program to meet their needs.