My son was diagnosed with dyslexia in 4th grade. He does get services in school but has seen little change. He is now in 7th grade and struggling. He is smart and to see him get bad grades because he simply doesn’t understand the reading is sad. I’m looking at additional programs on my own to help him and maybe have him be confident in learning and reading.

Dr. Pierson's Response: 

I'm sorry that your son continues to struggle. I’m wondering whether he has had structured literacy (SL) intervention, which is the term that the International Dyslexia Association coined to describe the type of intervention that is needed for dyslexia.

It has been my experience that many school-based interventionists have not been trained in SL. I recommend getting a copy of Dr. Sally Shaywitz's book overcoming Dyslexia, which she wrote for parents. There is a new 2020 edition. It will tell you all you need to know (relatively speaking) about dyslexia -- what it is and, importantly, what needs to be done for intervention. Without knowing your son's profile of strengths and weaknesses, it is hard to make specific recommendations. By 7th grade, in addition to 'word work,' including working on Latin and Greek roots, prefixes, and suffixes, these students need to learn reading comprehension strategies. I've got some information here.

I do think it can be challenging to work with your own child, but that said there are ways that you can support him. Audiobooks are key to our students’ success. Dictation software is helpful for students to get their thoughts down when writing, but they need direct instruction to know how to get those ideas into the required written form and then edit. Here are some other pieces that I wrote that you might find helpful. I have a lot of software options here.

I do think working with a professional to help guide you is, ideally, the way to go. I’ve given you a lot of suggestions to start from.