Tag Archives: > Dyslexia

Quick Fixes Don’t Work

Louisa Moats on dyslexia:
“Quick fixes don’t work.

[W]e should abandon the expectation that serious reading disabilities can be fixed or remediated in a few short lessons per week over a year or so.

If evidence is going to drive our thinking, then all indicators point to this: screen the kids early; teach all the kids who are at risk, skillfully and intensively; and maintain the effort for as long as it takes.

Meanwhile, nurture the students’ interests, aptitudes, and coping strategies and trust that most are going to make it in real life.”

Orton-Gillingham reading tutor in Columbus OH: Adrienne Edwards 614-579-6021; or email aedwardstutor@columbus.rr.com 

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5 Tips to Get Your Dyslexic Student Through High School

by Tiffany Sunday, for Noodle

[for O-G tutoring in Columbus OH: see contact info at the end]

“Where did the week go?” This is a common question in our household.

As the parent of a dyslexic eighth grader, our weeks are busy and pass quickly. Staying organized, keeping track of assignments and upcoming projects or tests, and studying effectively are challenges many middle schoolers face — but these issues can often be more acute if you have dyslexia.

Recently, while speaking with my son’s guidance counselor, she mentioned that we needed to think about preparing him for high school. I knew, in the blink of an eye, I would be having this same discussion with his high school counselor when he prepares for college.

Learning how to Manage Dyslexia
My son is learning how to study and effectively manage his dyslexia. To help him — and because I too have dyslexia — I share strategies and organizational habits that I developed back when I was in high school. With my sights set on the future, I know he needs to develop study strategies and strong organizational habits to help him succeed in college.

In high school, I worked to improve the techniques I had begun to develop in elementary school and junior high. Learning how my dyslexic brain functioned and absorbed new information was half the battle, and these strategies and skills became the toolkit I relied on throughout my education.

Here are five effective strategies and organizational habits to add to a dyslexic high schooler’s repertoire.

1. Be the Teacher
I am a visual and verbal learner, and one of the approaches I developed was to pretend to be both teacher and student. I would stand in my bedroom and verbally review the homework or test material — actually speak it aloud — as if I was both teaching and taking the class. I posed questions to my imaginary students and would then respond as one of my classmates.

I used this strategy throughout high school, college, and graduate school. Today, my son teaches his classwork to me, and I, in turn, direct questions to him. Instructing me in the material he’s learning helps my son study for exams and gain a deeper understanding of the subject. A whiteboard is a great tool to use with this strategy since it enables your high schooler to work out math equations, science problems, and take notes.

2. Listen to Understand
In college, I recorded all of my classes and listened to the lectures over and over, often gaining new understanding that had eluded me the first or second time I played the material. The benefit of listening to a recording of a classroom discussion or a teacher’s lecture is that you can pause it, take notes, return to it for further clarification, and create a list of follow-up questions to ask the instructor. My mother, who taught high school advanced placement courses, used to tell me that if an instructor repeated a statement multiple times, you could bet that it would be on the test. Very often, dyslexic students attend to spoken repetition that they may overlook in written form.

Your high schooler can record her class notes on a mobile device and then play them back as often as she needs to prepare for quizzes and tests. And for reading assignments, check out Learning Ally’s audiobook library, which has a selection of more than 80,000 titles. The special education coordinator can also help locate these supports through the school or public library system.

3. Create Stories to Remember
Because my dyslexia prevents me from hearing the phonemes in words — that is, distinguishing a ‘p’ sound from a ‘b’ sound, for example — learning new spelling or vocabulary words has always been difficult, especially in advanced science and English classes. One of my solutions was to develop mnemonic techniques that helped me retain definitions, phrases, and formulas. These strategies might include silly songs, rhymes, or stories, such as one I created to recall the definition of “flagellum.”

This appendage is a long, whiplike structure that helps unicellular organisms move. I memorized this science vocabulary word by imagining flags whipping in the wind, bringing to mind air movement. I would, in turn, visualize flagella as tiny flags helping an organism move around. When I was taking the test, I would remember this visual aid and its association with movement to enable me to identify the correct definition of the word.

4. Organize the Workspace
Help your teen learn how to prepare her physical environment as well. Having a distinct space with few distractions and little background noise helps many dyslexic teens remain focused. For visual learners in particular, clutter may make it difficult to concentrate and stay on task, but having a specific place to post reminders, such as a whiteboard calendar installed next to a desk, can ensure that valuable information and appointments are not mixed up.

Encourage your high schooler to test different organizational systems, including digital, erasable, and paper calendars. For instance, large whiteboard schedules can help her see the big picture and allow her to plan effectively for future projects and tests. By using different colored markers for tests, quizzes, and extracurricular activities, she’ll be able to keep these responsibilities distinct from one another.

Paper clips and sticky notepads are essential in our house. Before using these supports, my son often forgot to turn in school work or ask his teacher a question. Now, though, he is learning how to keep his homework together and write reminders to himself on the sticky notes; he simply places the reminder beside a question or writes in big letters “Turn In!” on sticky notes that he affixes to his assignments.

5. Study with Buddies
Encourage your high schooler to find a study partner or form a group to prepare for tests, midterms, and finals. Throughout my education, I had classmates I could call for help or ask questions if my notes did not make sense. Most dyslexics distill verbal or visual information quickly, and indeed, I sought out classmates who could summarize class notes in a similar manner. I learned early that finding peers whose study habits were in sync with mine was more effective than trying to adapt my approach in ways that were at odds with my dyslexia.

Learning new information in school and preparing for tests requires more than studying the subject matter. Creating an organizational system that helps your high schooler keep her work together and completed on time is important. And, of course, being able to manage time effectively and submit assignments when required are essential skills for succeeding in college.

Preparing your student for college? Be sure to check out Noodle’s college search feature to find schools that your families’ needs, as well as other expert-written articles, such as, 3 Questions to Ask About College Disability Services.

https://www.noodle.com/articles/5-tips-to-get-your-dyslexic-teen-through-high-school

……………

Tiffany Sunday : Dyslexic,  Author,  Entrepreneur. Her books include “Dyslexia’s Competitive Edge” and “You Posted What!? ”  

She is passionate about entrepreneurship and inspiring the dyslexic community: see Tiffany’s TEDx Talk Dyslexia 2.0: The Gift of Innovation and Entrepreneurial Mind.

Orton-Gillingham tutoring in Columbus OH: Adrienne Edwards 614-579-6021 or email aedwardstutor@columbus.rr.com

+ Defining Dyslexia: Difference Not Deficit

From Dyslexic Advantage; by Fernette Eide

[O-G Tutoring in Columbus OH: see below]

Dyslexia has traditionally been defined as a brain-based condition that causes difficulty mastering reading-related skills, such as:

  • identifying and manipulating the component sounds in words (phonological processing)
  • sounding out words (decoding), recognizing printed words by sight, and spelling words (encoding)
  • reading sentences and passages quickly and accurately (fluently), and with comprehension in line with general verbal ability, especially in time-pressured situations.

In other words, dyslexia has been seen as a disorder or disability. It has been assumed that something has gone wrong with the way dyslexic minds have developed. They’re trying, but failing, to work like “normal minds”. As a result, our goal should be to find out what’s wrong with them and fix them.

This way of thinking about dyslexia is misleading in several ways.

Differences Between Dyslexic and Non-Dyslexic Brains are Widespread and Complex

First, the differences in structure and organization that distinguish “dyslexic brains” from non-dyslexic ones don’t just involve a few brain regions that play a role in reading, but are found throughout the brain. For example, dyslexic and non-dyslexic brains differ in the relative sizes of the two brain hemispheres, in the pattern of brain folding, in the size of the white matter tracts connecting the different parts of the brain, in the organization of the cells in the cortex, and in various features of the cerebellum. In short, dyslexic brains really look like they’re built to do all sorts of things differently.

Many Ways Dyslexic and Non-Dyslexic Brains Process Information Differently

Second, reading and spelling are just a few of the tasks that dyslexic brains perform differently than non-dyslexic ones. Differences are also found in a wide range of processing functions including word sound (phonological) processing, visual attention, word retrieval, processing speed more generally, procedural learning (or mastery of “how” skills in which steps and rules are learned to the point where they can be performed automatically), and auditory-verbal working memory.

Dyslexic Advantages

Dyslexia Mind StrengthsThird, and most intriguingly, dyslexic people have been shown as a group to outperform non-dyslexics in certain cognitive functions. These include advantages in three-dimensional spatial reasoning, divergent creativity and problem-solving, and incidental learning (or learning from experience in a non-directed fashion). Dyslexic individuals have also been found to be present in significantly greater numbers than their prevalence in the general population in training programs and professions including art and design, engineering, and entrepreneurship.

Taken together, these facts suggest we should change our way of thinking about dyslexia. Here’s something we’ve found useful. Instead of asking, “What is dyslexia?” start by asking, “What can we learn about minds that have dyslexic reading and spelling challenges?”

In other words, don’t limit your thinking about “what it means to be dyslexic” to reading and spelling challenges. Instead, recognize that dyslexic minds work differently in all sorts of ways. And don’t focus only on challenges, but try to understand what dyslexic minds do well, because these strengths are the true core features of dyslexic minds. Once we understand what dyslexic minds are for, we’ll understand how to create an education for dyslexic students that fits their unique patterns of development and learning strength.

Support Dyslexic Advantage and enjoy more resources and videos by becoming a Premium Member. It’s just $5 a month! Link below:

http://blog.dyslexicadvantage.org/2015/04/09/dyslexia-as-a-difference-not-deficit/

Orton-Gillingham tutoring in Columbus OH: 614-579-7021 or email aedwardstutor@columbus.rr.com

+ Notre Dame College-Ohio Endorsed by IDA


February 2015

By Kathleen M. Oliverio, Ed.D, Reading Program Coordinator

Notre Dame College Photo
Q: Why did you participate in the IDA Review process?

A: Notre Dame College offers strong programs in teacher education. In addition, we have a mission of serving underserved populations of college-capable students, such as those with learning disabilities. Having IDA review our dyslexia coursework seemed natural and appropriate.

IDA accredited the Reading Endorsement Program at the graduate level. This program appeals to teachers with varied job requirements. Some are interested in adding the Reading Endorsement to their current teaching license. Others are interested in a program that can result in a Master’s Degree with a minor in reading along with the Reading Endorsement. Adding a dyslexia component to the Reading Endorsement curriculum was a logical way to support teachers who work with struggling readers.

Q: How was the experience of preparing for and participating in the review?

A: The preparation process was arduous, but the results are more than worth the effort. We spent a lot of time on alignment of syllabi, supplemental readings, assignments, textbooks, quizzes, and activities. Additional assignments were created to meet both the IDA and Reading Endorsement standards for Ohio. The whole process took about six months to complete. An added benefit was that this process provided the impetus to revamp the Reading Endorsement Program to make it even more valuable to our students. The end result puts us in a better position to serve our education students and the students they will teach. As a result of the IDA review process, our professional education program is now stronger and more responsive to teachers who want to increase their knowledge and ability to recognize and teach students with dyslexia.

Q: What does IDA Recognition (now Accreditation) mean to your university?

A: We are proud to be one of the four colleges and universities in Ohio with IDA accreditation. We view this accreditation as a gauge of the quality of our division of education. We believe that IDA accreditation puts us in a leadership role for serving students with special needs by providing expert teachers to educate them.

Q: Describe some of the innovative ideas you have implemented to give students a richer practicum experience.

A: Due to the fact that the program is online, we had to come up with a way for instructors to work one-on-one with students. As a result, students videotape teaching lessons for the instructor to review. Individualized feedback is provided through a tele-conference. To better meet the demands of the course, it was extended to fifteen weeks instead of the regular eight weeks for our typical online courses to give teachers more instructional time with their students.

Throughout all of the courses in the program, lessons are videotaped so that the instructor can monitor performance of course participants as they teach the major areas of phonological awareness, phonemic awareness, decoding, vocabulary, syntax, semantics, comprehension, and writing. By the time course participants are ready for the practicum course, they have taught numerous lessons with feedback from not only the instructor but other students in the class as well. They have also received instruction in all of the elements included in the IDA Knowledge and Practice Standards.

Q: How has your program leveraged outside partnerships to increase students’ learning experience?

A: Notre Dame College works collaboratively with schools in the greater Cleveland area and surrounding districts. To provide a range of field experiences for our students, we partner with public and private schools in urban, suburban, and rural settings.

Since becoming accredited by IDA, we are actively promoting the program on our college website; in the fall/winter issue of the College Magazine, Notre Dame Today; in monthly newsletters sent by our president to trustees of the college; and other communications we send to alumni, media, local business and community leaders, and supporters of and potential donors to the college.

Calls are starting to come in from people who are becoming aware of IDA and its accreditation of the College. I look forward to more people hearing about the program and future collaboration.


Kathleen M. Oliverio, Ed.D., is assistant professor of education and coordinator of the reading program at Notre Dame College.


Copyright © 2015 International Dyslexia Association (IDA). We encourage sharing of Examiner articles. If portions are cited, please make appropriate reference. Articles may not be reprinted for the purpose of resale. Permission to republish this article is available from info@interdys.org.

Orton Gillingham tutoring in Columbus OH: Adrienne Edwards 614-579-6021 or email aedwardstutor@columbus.rr.com

+ Whole Language is a Coping Mechanism, NOT a Strategy

from the Dyslexia Training Institute:

I think about hanging up my advocate hat a lot because sometimes it just isn’t healthy for me. There are moments when I think we are making progress with dyslexia awareness and then there are days when I feel like I was hit by a truckload of indescribable frustration. Today, one of my clients was sent a picture as an example of how they will help her dyslexic son. This is from a large district that knows better.

So, let’s take these Whole Language ‘strategies’ one at a time.

They say: Look at the Picture

Well, if we are looking at the picture, how is that actually teaching reading? It is actually teaching guessing based on the picture. That isn’t reading and it certainly is not decoding. It certainly isn’t creating reading independence.

They say: Slide through the Whole Word

I was not even sure I knew what this meant, so I Googled it. What I found was that it means having the student use their finger or some kind of tracking device and start to read the word from the beginning. Okay, so using a tracking device isn’t an entirely bad idea, but how does that teach reading. It is an accommodation, not a strategy. Where is the explicitness?

They say: Skip the Words and Then Go Back

Again, how is this teaching reading? It is no secret that reading is a skill that has to be explicitly taught, so how is just ignoring a word, explicitly teaching reading? This is reading on and then filling in the blank with what you think might fit. So, the sentence could be: He went to the ___ to get some milk. The student could insert any of the following: store, shop, café, grocery store, refrigerator, Starbucks, counter, etc. Which one is right? If we are teaching the students to fill in the blank what will happen when they start to get to a level when they are guessing at every other word?

They say: Get Your Mouth Ready to Make the First Sound

What?? I have no words. Is this an attempt to incorporate phonetics? If so, they are dangerously close to explicitly teaching reading. But this doesn’t make sense. What about the second and third sounds? What is the first grapheme is <ch>, which phoneme are they getting ready for? /k/, /sh/ or /ch/? (Etymology is a great tool for this question).

They say: Reread. Does it look right? Does it sound right? Does it make sense?

There is something to be said for rereading something and self-correcting. But, does it look right? That should be a question for spelling, not reading. Of course it looks right, the publisher did not misspell the word, right? Words don’t make sounds, people do. So, does it sound right also does not make sense. I am assuming they mean, when I pronounced it, did I hear a word that fits? If it sounded right, you probably wouldn’t have to reread it, right again?

They say: Spell the Word Out Loud

Okay, now here is something I can get behind! But it depends on the purpose of spelling it out loud. Are they spelling it grapheme by grapheme like ch + ea + p or are they spelling it out loud like c + h + e + a + p. If it is the latter, then it’s pointless. If they are spelling it out loud in order to identify the different graphemes and/or morphemes, then have at it!

They say: Try a Different Vowel Sound

This could go wrong on so many levels. The first and most obvious is which vowel should they try? Should they try a long vowel or a short vowel? Now they have up to 9 different attempts at the word. Also, are they doing this for each syllable? What if the word is <approach>, which vowel will they try to represent the schwa sound, which is arguably the most common phoneme in English? Oh, that’s right, we just skip teaching the schwa, because it is too complicated, right?

They say: Think of a Rhyming Word You Do Know

If you knew a word that rhymed with the word you are stuck on, then wouldn’t logic follow that you would know the word you were stuck on? So, I come across the word glass and I can’t read it, but I understand that class and mass rhyme, then I implicitly understand that the word is glass. Also, what happens when the word is <with>? What other words have the rime ith? Smith and pith? What grade school student is going to come up with that? See for yourself at http://www.neilramsden.co.uk/spelling/searcher/.

They say: Chunk it. Look for Smaller Words Inside

Oh, the bane of my existence. This could be so valuable if we just changed it a little bit. How about: Chunk it. Look for Morphemes. Let’s take the word <heard>. So the student finds <ear>, which has a different pronunciation that the [ear] in <heard> and now they are not only confused about pronunciation but losing out on the learning the structure of English. Another par to the travesty, is that is missing the opportunity to show the morphemic boundaries of this word which is <hear> + <-d>. Now we have the fruitful conversation about our writing system being meaning based.

I save the best for the last: GOOD READERS.

Good readers do not use pictures to decode words, they do not look for smaller words in bigger words, they do not think of rhyming words while they are reading, they do not think about their mouth and first phoneme of a word, they certainly do not replace vowels! They don’t need to, because they are good readers.

The moral of the story is that science has shown time and again that explicitness is the key to teaching reading. Our brain was not intended to decipher print but it has developed the capacity to learn when explicitly shown how to do something – like read. We know that students with dyslexia need a little more help strengthening the reading system and guessing is not a strategy it is a coping mechanism! This graphic does nothing more than rob our children the opportunity to learn how English is structured, how to interrogate their language and learn to decode unfamiliar words in order to be independent readers and spellers.

http://www.dyslexiatraininginstitute.org/blog/dyslexia-whole-language-coping-mechanism-strategy/

Orton Gillingham tutoring in Columbus OH: Adrienne Edwards 614-579-6021 or email aedwardstutor@columbus.rr.com

+ How Children Learn to Read

by Maria Konnikova, from the New Yorker

Why is it easy for some people to learn to read, and difficult for others? It’s a tough question with a long history. We know that it’s not just about raw intelligence, nor is it wholly about repetition and dogged persistence. We also know that there are some conditions that, effort aside, can hold a child back. Socioeconomic status, for instance, has been reliably linked to reading achievement. And, regardless of background, children with lower general verbal ability and those who have difficulty with phonetic processing seem to struggle. But what underlies those differences? How do we learn to translate abstract symbols into meaningful sounds in the first place, and why are some children better at it than others?

This is the mystery that has animated the work of Fumiko Hoeft, a cognitive neuroscientist and psychiatrist currently at the University of California, San Francisco. “You know where the color of your eyes came from, your facial features, your hair, your height. Maybe even your personality—I’m stubborn like mom, sloppy like dad,” Hoeft says. “But what we’re trying to do is find out, by looking at brain networks and accounting for everything in the environment, is where your reading ability originates.”

This fall, Hoeft and her colleagues at U.C.S.F. published the results of a three-year longitudinal study looking at the basic neuroscience of reading development. Between 2008 and 2009, Hoeft recruited a group of five- and six-year-old children. Some came from backgrounds predictive of reading difficulty. Others seemed to have no obvious risk factors. In addition to undergoing a brain scan, the children were tested for general cognitive ability, as well as a host of other factors, including how well they could follow instructions and how coherently they could express themselves. Each parent was also surveyed, and each child’s home life, carefully analyzed: How did the child spend her time at home? Was she read to frequently? How much time did she spend watching television? Three years later, each child’s brain was scanned again, and the children were tested on a number of reading and phonological tests.

When Hoeft took into account all of the explanatory factors that had been linked to reading difficulty in the past—genetic risk, environmental factors, pre-literate language ability, and over-all cognitive capacity—she found that only one thing consistently predicted how well a child would learn to read. That was the growth of white matter in one specific area of the brain, the left temporoparietal region. The amount of white matter that a child arrived with in kindergarten didn’t make a difference. But the change in volume between kindergarten and third grade did.

White Matter

What is white matter? You can think of it as a sort of neural highway in the brain—roads that connect the various parts of the cortex and the brain surface. Information, in the form of electrical signals, runs across the white matter, allowing for communication between the different parts of the brain: you see something, you give it meaning, you interpret that meaning. Hoeft saw an increase in the volume of pathways in the left temporoparietal, which is central in phonological processing, speech, and reading. Or, as Hoeft puts it, “it’s where you do the tedious work of linking sounds and letters and how they correspond.” Her results suggested that, if the increase in white matter doesn’t occur at the critical time, children will have a hard time figuring out how to look at letters and then turn them into words that have meaning.

Hoeft’s discovery builds on previous research that she conducted on dyslexia. In 2011, she found that, while no behavioral measure could predict which dyslexic children would improve their reading skills, greater neural activation in the right prefrontal cortex along with the distribution of white matter in the brain could, with seventy-two-per-cent accuracy, offer such a prediction. If she looked at over-all brain activation while the children performed an initial phonological task, the predictive power rose to more than ninety per cent. Over-all intelligence and I.Q. didn’t matter; what was key was a very specific organizational pattern within your brain.

The group’s new findings go a step further. They don’t just show that white matter is important. They point to a crucial stage where the development of white matter is central to reading ability. And the white-matter development, Hoeft believes, is surely a function of both nature and nurture. “Our findings could be interpreted as meaning that there’s still genetic influence,” Hoeft says, noting that preëxisting structural differences in the brain may indeed influence future white-matter development. But, she adds, “it’s also likely that the dorsal white-matter development is representing the environment the kids are exposed to between kindergarten and third grade. The home environment, the school environment, the kind of reading instruction they’re getting.”

She likens it to the Dr. Seuss story of Horton and the egg. Horton sits on an egg that isn’t his own, and, because of his dedication, the creature that eventually hatches looks half like his mother, and half like the elephant. In this particular case, Hoeft and her colleagues can’t yet separate cause and effect: Were certain children predisposed to develop strong white-matter pathways that then helped them to learn to read, or was superior instruction and a rich environment prompting the building of those pathways?

Hoeft’s goal isn’t just to understand the neuroscience of how children read. Neuroscience is the tool to figure out a much broader question: How should early reading education work? In another study, which has just been submitted for publication, Hoeft and her colleagues try to turn their understanding of reading ability toward helping to identify the most effective teaching methods that could help develop it. Typically, children follow a very specific path toward reading. First, there is the fundamental phonological processing—the awareness of sounds themselves. This awareness builds into phonics, or the ability to decode a sound to match a letter. And those, finally, merge into full, automatic reading comprehension. Some children, however, don’t follow that path. In some cases, children who have problems with basic phonological awareness nonetheless master phonic decoding. There are also children who have problems with the decoding, yet their reading comprehension is high. “We want to use these surprising cases to understand what allows people to be resilient,” Hoeft says.

“Stealth Dyslexia”

She’s studied, in particular, a concept known as stealth dyslexia: people who have all of the makings of dyslexia or other reading problems, but end up overcoming them and becoming superior readers. Hoeft may even be one of them: she suspects that she suffers from undiagnosed dyslexia. As a child in Japan, she had a difficulty with phonological processing very similar to that experienced by dyslexics—but, at the time, the diagnosis did not exist there. She struggled through without realizing until graduate school that a possible explanation for her problem existed in scientific literature. Studying stealth dyslexics, Hoeft posits, could be key to figuring out how to improve reading education more broadly. These stealth dyslexics have reading problems but are able to develop high comprehension all the same.

Hoeft’s group, she told me, has found that stealth dyslexics display a unique dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. That’s the part of the brain that is responsible, among other things, for executive function and self-control. In stealth dyslexics, it seems to be particularly well-developed. That may be partly genetic, but, Hoeft says, it may also point to a particular educational experience: “If it’s superior executive function that is helping some kids develop despite genetic predisposition to the contrary, that is really good news, because that is something we do well—we know how to train executive function.” There are multiple programs in place and multiple teaching methods, tested over the years, that help children develop self-regulation ability: for example, the KIPP schools that are using Walter Mischel’s self-control research to teach children to delay gratification.

What Hoeft’s studies demonstrate is that no matter a kid’s starting point in kindergarten, reading development also depends to a great extent on the next three years—and that those three years can be used to teach something that Hoeft now knows to be tied to overcoming reading difficulty. “That might mean that, in the earliest stages, we need to pay attention to that executive function,” she says. “We need to start not just giving flashcards, letters, and sounds the way we now do, but, especially if we know someone might be a problem reader, look at these other skills, at cognitive control and self-regulation.” Being a better reader, in other words, may ultimately involve instruction around things other than reading.

Maria Konnikova is a contributor to newyorker.com, where she writes a weekly blog focussing on psychology and science.

Orton-Gillingham tutoring in Columbus OH:  Adrienne Edwards 614-579-6021 or email aedwardstutor@columbus.rr.com

+ Identifying Young At-Risk Children Before They Experience Reading Failure

Modified from Overcoming Dyslexia, by Sally Shaywitz, M.D.

The five-year-old who can’t quite learn his letters becomes the six-year-old who can’t match sounds to letters and the fourteen-year-old who dreads reading out loud and the twenty-one-year-old who reads excruciatingly slowly. The threads persist throughout a person’s life. But, with early intervention, this scenario doesn’t need to happen.

Today, it is possible to reliably identify boys and girls at high risk for dyslexia before they fall behind. Good help is available to them now as never before. Here is what we believe is the most scientifically sound and sensible approach to identifying young at-risk children before they experience reading failure:

  1. Observe your child’s language development. Be on the alert for problems in rhyming, pronunciation, and word finding.
  2. Observe your child’s ability to connect print to language. Notice if he is beginning to name individual letters.
  3. Know your family history. Be alert to problems in speaking, reading, writing, spelling, or learning a foreign language. Some families with more than the average complement of dyslexics seem to have an abundance of photographers, artists, engineers, architects, scientists, and radiologists. Somewhat less frequent, but still impressive, are the large number of families sprinkled with great writers, entrepreneurs, and jurists who are dyslexic.
  4. If there are clues to problems with spoken language, learning letter names, and especially if there is a family history, have your child tested.

Focus on strengths as well as the weaknesses. The goal is to make sure that the strengths and not the weaknesses define the child’s life.
All of these steps here can help you judge if your child is ready to read or if he requires special attention or education to help him begin to read. If his testing indicates that he is not quite ready to read, you have the choice of delaying kindergarten or allowing him to enter kindergarten and receive intensive, evidence-based prevention programs. Our recommendation is not to delay kindergarten; waiting another year will only delay needed help.

source: The Yale Center for Dyslexia and Creativity  http://dyslexia.yale.edu/PAR_EarlyIntervention.html

Orton Gillingham tutoring in Columbus OH: Adrienne Edwards 614-579-6021 or email aedwardstutor@columbus.rr.com