Dyslexia, reading disability, learning disability, or learning difference. Whatever you call it, if your child is not reading at grade level or has difficulty with spelling, your child demonstrates a typical learning profile.
The “typically” developing brain will learn to read, write, and spell with the type of instruction that is provided in school. If your child is behind in literacy tasks, it is because their brain learns differently… and therefore they need to be TAUGHT differently!
For students with a Learning Difference, there are elements of literacy tasks that the brain is just not processing accurately or efficiently. Once you figure out which elements those are, you can create an effective Learning Plan.
In fact, most children with dyslexia are completely capable of reading – they just need the right instruction!
And that is precisely why the International Dyslexia Association has put forth recommendations for an effective reading and language intervention program.
My point is that your child doesn’t need to have a diagnosis of dyslexia to benefit from the type of teaching that IDA recommends.
I think it is worth your time to review their recommendations, and then ask the person that is teaching
YOUR child: How well do they align with these best-practice recommendations for struggling readers?
It’s no small coincidence that our Instructional Approach was DESIGNED around these recommendations and supporting neuro-imaging research. Let’s take a look at what the IDA recommends:
- Teaching should use all learning pathways in the brain simultaneously to create a multi-sensory learning experience to enhance memory and learning.
- Connecting deep neural pathways during our instruction is what we are all about! Don’t forget we ALWAYS start with sounds and language meaning before introducing visual symbols. Only a speech-language expert can provide the type of instruction that will leverage sound and meaning pathways and connect visual with verbal information! Additionally, all our work is hands-on – our activities keep our learners engaged!
- Structured literacy instruction requires that material presentation follows the logical order of language. The sequence must begin with the easiest and most basic concepts and progress methodically to more difficult materials.
- Our instructional hierarchy is built on language development and research regarding child literacy acquisition. With over 60 lesson plans, our approach is systematic to always match the learning needs of our students!
- Each new learning concept must be based on those already learned. Concepts must be systematically reviewed to strengthen memory.
- Our 60+ lesson plans are certainly cumulative! We constantly build from the previous lessons, and our use of charts, worksheets, and visual strategies make it easy and natural to review previous material as we encounter it naturally during functional and integrated literacy activities. The design of our lessons has us encounter words multiple times – the review is built in!
- The inferential learning of any concept cannot be taken for granted. Multisensory language instruction requires direct teaching of all concepts with continuous student-teacher interaction.
- Not only is direct, explicit instruction a huge part of our instructional approach, but we are also providing instruction on language rules and patterns – our instruction is multi-sensory AND multi-linguistic. Who else can claim to be providing expert explicit language instruction within their literacy instruction? Remember that LANGUAGE is at the root of ALL literacy tasks!
- Teachers must be adept at flexible, individualized teaching that is based on careful and continuous assessment of the learner’s needs. The content presented must be mastered step by step for the student to progress.
- I think I have actually beat this point to death. We are ALL ABOUT identifying the individual Learner’s Profile so we can create a custom, individualized learning plan. And if you have ever seen us do therapy, you know that the flexible way we coach, cue, prompt, teach, and scaffold children to discover the answers is an art – and not something that can be “canned” or “packaged” and sold in a box! The very idea of a PROGRAM or a METHOD of teaching reading is LIMITING and is trying to pigeon-hole children. And it simply DOES NOT WORK FOR ALL CHILDREN. There is no single product out there that is right for all kids to learn how to read.
- Multisensory, structured language programs include both synthetic and analytic instruction. Synthetic instruction presents the parts of the language and then teaches how the parts work together to form a whole. Analytic instruction presents the whole and teaches how this can be broken down into its component parts.
- Our assessment and subsequent Instructional Learning Plan ALWAYS takes into account both part-to-whole and whole-to-part learning. Your child’s individual profile is revealed during the assessment. How do they process sound and language during literacy tasks? If you don’t know, you may consider having an assessment completed to learn which types of activities to leverage… and which activities to practice!
- All levels of language are addressed, often in parallel, including sounds (phonemes), symbols (graphemes), meaningful word parts (morphemes), word and phrase meanings (semantics), sentences (syntax), language passages (discourse), and the social uses of language (pragmatics).
- BE SURE TO READ THIS LAST BULLET A FEW TIMES… how many times have you heard me say “multi-linguistic” and not know what the hell I am talking about? Literacy is one of the most complex language tasks that children must engage with, and they must be proficient across 7 LEVELS OF LANGUAGE! I’m not exaggerating when I say that a SPEECH-LANGUAGE EXPERT may be the ONLY one who can teach your child to read!
Don’t take my word for it. Check out the International Dyslexia Association’s website here.
Effective literacy instruction is complex. Anyone who is making it seem easy has simplified it and watered it down. It is easy to make it look good and talk a good game, so here’s a simple test.
What types of activities are being sent for homework? How many of the above principles are being met in those activities? I’m betting the answer is less than 2, and that 90% of the time the answer is ZERO.
Stop wasting your child’s time, your child’s self-esteem, and your child’s future!
Now that you know what to look for, it is time to start looking for the RIGHT instruction for your child.
Take advantage of our free initial parent consultation – it is a GREAT opportunity for a second opinion on YOUR child’s Learning Profile!
BOOK ONLINE HERE.