Some history. It took us weeks in year 1 to teach him the alphabet and simple words like 'the'. In year 2 he still couldn't read at all. The G.O. did a full assessment (which was very interesting - (97th percentile for higher order stuff, 16th percentile for processing speed)). She said that a kid with his profile would learn to read when he wanted it badly enough. He would have to learn in his own way. Even though the G.O. suggested it would be a waste of time, he was withdrawn from classes for lessons in how to sound out words. [Basically, Joel reads with his right brain. The left side is the side that sounds out. The right brain cannot sound out.] He hated it and still cannot sound out words. But he's taught himself to read anyway. He's getting the meaning of the stories completely correct, and most of the words right - except proper nouns. These are consistently wrong - but who cares?
He's reading. I'm now looking forward to year 7 naplan. In year 3, Joel did the comprehension task without reading the text at all. In year 5, he looked in the text for the answers. Perhaps in year 7 he'll start by reading the text! [But maybe not. I was a good reader and never ever wanted to read the boring text on a comprehension task.]