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Dyslexia

Myth

Dyslexia is a reading disorder that is based in vision problems, which causes people to read backwards or mix up b and d.

Learning to read is a natural process.

Fact

Dyslexia is a brain-based disorder associated with impairments in the brain areas associated with manipulation of sounds, not vision.

Learning to understand spoken language is a natural process.  Learning to read requires skilled, systematic teaching.

So . . . What Is Dyslexia?  

 

According to the International Dyslexia Association (2002), "Dyslexia is a specific learning disability that is neurobiological in origin.  It 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." 

Recognizing The Signs Of Dyslexia

 Family history of language-based reading or writing difficulties

Difficulty pronouncing some words correctly

Difficulty learning to rhyme

Difficulty blending and segmenting speech sounds

Difficulty decoding single words

Difficulty spelling words

Switches the order of letters in words

Tendency to use different spellings for the same word

Difficulty organizing spoken and written language

Difficulty processing information that is heard

Difficulty reading quickly enough to comprehend

Why is my child struggling with reading comprehension?

Reading has two basic components: 

1.  Decoding (sounding out words and sight word knowledge), and

 

 2.  Language Comprehension (the ability to understand spoken or written language). 

 

Reading comprehension cannot occur unless both decoding skills and language comprehension abilities are strong.   Both of these areas can be viewed separately for assessment and treatment, although both are needed to achieve reading comprehension.  A comprehensive assessment will determine if your child has difficulty in reading, language, or both.  

Logo for Dyslexia Therapy at West Orange Language & Literacy, LLC

What areas will be assessed?

A reading assessment may include the following areas: 

- phonological awareness 

- phonological memory

- rapid automatic naming

- letter/sound correspondence

- decoding of real and nonsense words

- oral reading fluency

- spelling

- writing

- listening comprehension

- oral language and higher order verbal reasoning skills

A Speech-Language Pathologist is an expert in oral language development, which is the foundation for learning to read, spell, and write.  At West Orange Language & Literacy, your clinician has had additional training in various structured literacy approaches and years of experience helping clients cultivate communication, build literacy, and inspire confidence.

What is Structured Literacy Reading Therapy?

Structured Literacy is a teaching approach, such as Orton-Gillingham, that uses a science-based, structured approach to teaching reading, spelling, and writing.  The goal of structured literacy is to develop a student's independent ability to read, write, and understand language.  

Explicit:

Systematic:

Therapist clearly explains and models key skills.  Students are not expected to infer skills.

Well organized sequence of instruction with easier and more useful skills taught first so that students can immediately put those skills to use reading real words. 

Cumulative:

Each step should build on top of the previous ones.  Students learn the structure of English through practice, review, and repetition, repetition, repetition.

Diagnostic:

Teaching is based on careful and continuous assessment of the student's needs.  The content must be mastered to a level of automaticity.  

Multisensory:

Teaching is done using all learning pathways in the brain.  (visual, auditory, kinesthetic-tactile) simultaneously in order to enhance memory and learning. 

Students
My Approach

Reading/dyslexia therapy clients are seen 1 : 1 so that they can move forward at their own pace.  Each session is generally 45 or 60 minutes in length.  Students should be seen twice a week, or more, because intensive structured literacy, literally changes the brain.  I use a variety of Structured Literacy approaches including Orton-Gillingham, Wilson, Lindamood Phoneme Sequencing Program (LiPS), and others.   I believe in using a customizable approach to remediation based on the student's strengths and weaknesses.  There is not one program that will meet the needs of all students with dyslexia.  At West Orange Language & Literacy I use elements from various approaches and programs, as appropriate, to create a personalized therapy plan uniquely tailored to the needs of your child.  My goal is to move students from learning to read to reading to learn

Please call my office at 407-850-8346 if you have any questions about dyslexia, Structured Literacy Reading Therapy, or to book your FREE 20-minute video or phone consultation.

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