Archives for December 2014

Does my child have ADHD?

ADHD or Dyslexia? Or could it be something worse?

This week Dr. Linda answers a fairly common but scary question; “Does my child have ADHD or dyslexia?” Here’s what you need to know.

Picture of boy pulling girl's hair.Dear Dr. Linda,

Miles is in the fourth grade. We just had a meeting with his teacher. She said that she felt he had ADHD. Last year, the teacher mentioned it also. We know something is wrong, but we don’t think it’s ADHD. Our neighbor’s son has ADHD, and Miles doesn’t act anything like him. We really think it’s something else. Does Miles have ADHD? How would we know?

ADHD or Not?

Dear ADHD or Not,

There are so many parents that feel something isn’t right with their child, but they are not sure what it is. Could their child have dyslexia? Could their child have an auditory processing disorder? And without fail, the question comes up, “Could my child have ADHD?” Most parents don’t want that label. They continue to tell me that their friend’s child has ADHD, but their own child doesn’t behave like the other child.

Moms and Dads just don’t want to accept that their child’s problems may be coming from ADHD, with or without hyperactivity. The reason may be that ADHD is associated with medicating their child and almost all the parents tell me on the onset that they don’t believe in medication. [Read more…]

Reading and Self Esteem

What to Do When Your Child Says He’s Stupid

famous people with dyslexiaThat’s a bold headline, but if you’re a parent of a child with low self-esteem, it can be heart breaking when it happens and you’ll do anything to help. Dyslexia can contribute to feelings of low self esteem.  In this edition of Ask Dr. Linda, learn how to help boost your child’s self-esteem and that many successful people struggle with and overcome dyslexia. We also have links for more information.

Hi Dr. Linda,

I really enjoy reading your columns and learn so much.  But we have an issue that I don’t think you have addressed and maybe your readers will benefit if you can help us with our situation.

My husband and I are fortunate enough to have three wonderful children. Our oldest and our youngest have always done very well in school. Our middle child is just as bright as his siblings, but he struggles in school with dyslexia.

He’s in 5th grade now and has begun saying that he’s the stupid one in the family. He’s even said that he’s the stupidest one in school. Our hearts break every time he says that. What do we do to help his self-esteem?

Thanks in advance. [Read more…]

Introducing the Best Reading Program

The Best Reading Program For Preschoolers, Dyslexia, Struggling Readers and Elementary Schools…

        …Because Teachers Tell Us What They Want and What Children Need!

We’ve surveyed teachers, tutors and parents to find out what they need to teach kids to learn how to read. For 2015 and beyond, they said over-whelmingly that reading programs need to be multi-sensory and integrating phonics and whole language components into a balanced literacy guided reading approach. It is interactive & comprehensive.

They want it aligned with Common Core Standards and compatible with the Orton Gillingham Approach.

It also helps that it is “The Funnest Way to Learn How to Read in the Whole Wide World!”

Why should you watch the Tiger Tuesday video? [Read more…]

4th Grade Reading Comprehension

4-Year-Old Understands More Than His 4th-Grade Brother

A concerned parent wants Dr. Linda’s help for her 4th grade son’s reading comprehension.

low reading comprehension in 4th gradeDear Dr. Linda,

My son is in fourth grade and he loves to read. He even reads the newspaper. But he has no idea what he’s reading! He reads stories to his younger brother who’s four. My four year old can tell me about the story, but his fourth grade brother can’t. I’m concerned there’s something wrong with him.


Dear Janet,

What’s happening is that he’s learned to read as if he’s reading a word list. He is not visualizing an image in his head nor is he thinking about the story. He also may not be focusing. He’s just reading words. [Read more…]

When should we begin teaching our daughter to read?

What Do Beginning Readers Need and When?

Today’s Mailbag Question comes from parents of a 4-year-old who ask a common question. Dr. Linda has great insights and a few suggestions.

when-should-we-begin-teaching-our-daughter-to-readDear Dr. Silbert,

Our daughter Megan is 4 years old. She’ll go into kindergarten next year. Should we start teaching her to read now so she won’t be behind?  Or is it better just to let the school do it. Of course, we want her to do well in school and will help her in any way that is appropriate. Thank you for your help.

Patti and Mike

Dear Patti and Mike,

Many concerned parents have the same question, wondering whether they should start teaching their kids to read at home.

Megan doesn’t need to know how to read by the time she gets to kindergarten. But as a beginning reader, it’s helpful if she has some basics down and is looking forward to reading.

If she really wants to learn to read now, that’s fine. She should be encouraged as long as it’s fun and not taking time away from playing.

Beginning readers play, run around, skip, sing, and imagine. They love learning new things about their world. They’ve got questions, energy, and enthusiasm.

Most, especially if they’ve been read to or introduced to books, look forward to reading themselves.

What they don’t have is a long attention span. Sitting still and being quiet for long periods of time is not their strength. Boring is out.

So what do beginning readers like Megan need? [Read more…]

Teaching Children with Reading Disabilities

Helping kids with learning disabilities to readSolutions for Reading Disabilities

When a child can’t read, it’s frustrating and a challenge not only for the child but also parents and teachers. However, with the right strategies for teaching children with reading disabilities, they can succeed in school.

Learning disabilities are neurologically based. Children with learning disabilities do not necessarily have low IQs. Many are as smart or smarter than other kids in their class. They simply learn differently because of the way their brains are “wired”

Before working with a child who struggles with reading and you suspect a learning disability, the child will need to be tested.  The test will show if a child has a reading disability and specifically what it is. Although dyslexia, a well-known reading disability, is common not all children who struggle with reading are dyslexic.
[Read more…]

Improve Your Child’s Reading Comprehension

How to improve your child's reading comprehension

Teach Think, Explain, Ask, Clues, Handwrite

Just because kids love to read doesn’t mean they love to read what’s required in school. Dr. Linda Silbert offers a 5-step plan to improve your child’s reading and comprehension.

Dear Dr. Linda,
Charlie is in the 4th grade and loves to read. But when he reads his books from school or a handout that a teacher gives him, he gets nothing out of it. How can I help him?


Dear Sandy,
Charlie isn’t getting anything out of reading textbooks and other school related reading material because he’s not interested in it. [Read more…]

Phonics Centered — Consistent with Orton-Gillingham — Multisensory