DEFINITION OF DYSLEXIA:
Dyslexia is a specific learning disability that is neurological 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 the growth of vocabulary and background knowledge.
Source: International Dyslexia Association www.interdys.org
Many myths about dyslexia are widespread, and hinder the identification and treatment for students with dyslexia. Myths include:
- Dyslexic students see words backwards.
- Eye muscle training is a cure for dyslexia.
- Colored-glasses help dyslexic children to read better.
- Dyslexic children are not intelligent.
- Dyslexic students will catch up on their own.
These myths are false! Dyslexic students are very bright. They do not see words backwards, but do often make reversals. The reason for these reversals is that the sounds within words (phonemes) have less meaning. Students with dyslexia need a specialized curriculum to master core reading skills. This curriculum is called Orton-Gillingham multi-sensory phonics.
What is the Orton-Gillingham method?
The Orton-Gillingham method is a phonics approach to reading that incorporates multi-sensory instruction. Students use visual, auditory, kinesthetic, and tactile senses in learning the rules of English. The program is highly structured and individualized. Students must demonstrate mastery at each level before new skills are introduced.
Who are Orton and Gillingham Anyway?
Samuel Torrey Orton was a neuropsychiatrist and pathologist and Anna Gillingham was an educator and psychologist. Orton and Gillingham worked together to publish materials and train teachers in their method of multi-sensory phonics. The Orton-Gillingham method has been used to help students with dyslexia as early as the 1920s.
How Does The Reading Station Help Students With Dyslexia?
We provide 1:1 sessions for students using an Orton-Gillingham based program. Students progress through the program by demonstrating mastery at each level. Students use multi-sensory strategies to learn to read and spell words accurately. The Reading Station also offers PROGRAMS to help students with reading comprehension, writing, and math skills as well.
Are There Schools Designed For Students With Dyslexia?
Schools that offer Orton-Gillingham phonics as part of the daily curriculum are beneficial to students with dyslexia because they are able to receive intensive daily instruction. It is also important to understand that students with dyslexia are intelligent and can often access appropriate grade-level curriculum with accommodations. Specialized schools understand the nature of dyslexia, and design a program which plays to their strengths while helping them to work on their deficits.
While many schools claim to help students with dyslexia these programs are often not very specialized. These schools are often well meaning, but lack the knowledge and training to provide the appropriate curriculum. It is for this reason that we founded the SEA OF STRENGTHS ACADEMY.
Where Can I Learn More About Dyslexia?
The International Dyslexia Association (www.interdys.org) is a great resource and provides a wealth of information on dyslexia for parents and professionals.
We would also recommend reading “Overcoming Dyslexia: A New and Complete Science-Based Program for Reading Problems at Any Level” by Dr. Sally Shaywitz. The book does an excellent job of explaining dyslexia, and what parents need to know to seek out help for their child. It is encouraging, and full of many success stories.