Dyslexia: How Can I help my Child?
Could my child be dyslexic?
- Is there a relative in the immediate or extended family who spells poorly?
- Is there a relative who had trouble learning to read as a youngster?
- Does your child seem to not remember the sounds associate with letters?
- Does your child mix up b's and d's, p’s and q’s?
- Does your child write numbers or letters backwards consistently past 2nd grade?
- Is your child a poor reader in spite of good instruction and family exposure to literacy activities?
- Does your child read 'saw' for 'was', 'if' for 'it'?
- Does your child have trouble sounding out and blending words?
- Is your child a “Friday speller?” Can spell words on Friday, and by Monday is unable to spell words from the Friday spelling test?
- Does your child have difficulty comprehending what he/she reads because the process of reading is so slow and laborious?
- Does your child express dislike for reading, i.e., by crying, making excuses such as ‘I have a headache’, ‘my eyes are tired’ , ‘reading is hard for me’?
- Does homework take forever and create conflicts?
If your child is between 6 and 7 years of age and you answered yes to 6 or more, or between 8 and 9, and you answered yes to 4 or more, your child may have characteristics of dyslexia.
What is Dyslexia?
Dyslexia is a specific language based learning disability, which affects the auditory, visual, and motor aspects of reading, writing, and spelling.
Children with dyslexia tend to be bright, creative, and the inability to read or spell is in striking contrast to all their other gifts and talents.
International Dyslexia Association Definition:
“Dyslexia is characterized by difficulties with accurate and / or fluent word recognition and by poor spelling and decoding abilities. These difficulties typically result from a deficit in the phonological component of language that is often unexpected in relation to other cognitive abilities and the provision of effective classroom instruction. Secondary consequences may include problems in reading comprehension and reduced reading experience that can impede growth of vocabulary and background knowledge.”
There is help available
A full speech and language assessment, phonological awareness evaluation, and screening of dyslexia characteristics are recommended.
Screening can be done by a Speech-Language Pathologist, teacher/educator, or psychologist with specific training and experience in dyslexia.
It is a good idea to seek the help of an Educational Psychologist for a full learning evaluation in order to obtain accommodations and exceptionality status for your child’s education program.
What We Do
- We provide screening and make recommendation for parents to help their child.
- We provide preliminary phonological awareness therapy as a first course of treatment for more severely affected students.
- We provide parent-training workshops in the Orton - Gillingham Method/Simultaneous Multisensory Teaching and provide advice on other available programs.
- We provide periodic review, client re-evaluation and parent/teacher support.
What is the Orton-Gillingham Method?
The Orton-Gillingham Method is an approach to teaching the rudiments of decoding and spelling, which uses all the senses simultaneously to integrate sound, letters, orthography, and spelling. It covers, sound symbol association, phonological awareness, rules of spelling conventions, spelling exceptions, syllable division, syllable accent, plus Latin and Greek derivatives. It discretely integrates speech, and auditory processing with literacy.
The program works on a skill-mastery basis. It takes between 150 and 200 hours to administer and is delivered by the parent over a two-year period. The parent delivering the program must not have dyslexia him/herself.
Such programing is the treatment of choice for problem readers according to the IDA, (International Dyslexia Association) which has a wealth of information for parents on their website, as well as the NIH, (National Institutes of Health), one of the world's foremost medical research centers.
Below are some websites that may be helpful to parents: