Dyslexia – Solutions?

 

There isn’t a precise definition of what dyslexia actually is, according to Dianne Craft, an experienced special educator, on her website diannecraft.org. Some say it is a “language processing problem that involves the distinguishing of sounds of letters—this is why the struggling reader cannot remember phonics sounds to decode a word. Others believe that it is a visual/perceptual problem since these children reverse words laterally (b/d) and vertically (m/w) as well as scrambling letters (“the” = “het”) when they read and write.” She also thinks it’s a visual/motor (eye/hand) problem.

Since the brain is divided into the left and right hemispheres, a person with dyslexia has to deal with processes that the right side is supposed to handle, like writing, and letter identification, still being in the left side of the brain. The degree of the problem that a person has with these types of processing determines whether there is an actual diagnosis of dyslexia.

There are several forms of therapy and different types of tools available to help dyslexic individuals. If you are a dyslexic educator, a teacher with a dyslexic student in class, or a parent with a dyslexic child, you can utilize technology to help dyslexic individuals. For example, Yale University’s Center for Dyslexia and Creativity has a list of technology tools, like the LiveScribe Smartpen that uses a camera to take pictures of your notes and also records whatever the teacher is saying.

Here are some other tips for teachers of dyslexic students from Dyslexia Victoria’s website:

1.) Put two lines and a dotted line under each question so dyslexic students can practice learning how to use space on the page.

2.) When teaching someone with dyslexia how to spell a word, use a drawn or printed image of the whole word, not separate parts of it or its phonetic sounds.

3.) Teach a lesson in one session with a big-picture view of it and why it’s important. Follow with more detailed lessons.

4.) Use a “dyslexia-friendly” spelling and reading program to develop a vocabulary on level with material being read in class to avoid decoding words all the time.

5.) Teach students to write by teaching them about the structure of what they’re writing. Use mind maps or similar techniques to help them see the details.

6.) Give dyslexic students a step-by-step guide to how they are to complete an assignment if it requires completion of multiple parts.

7.) Use drawings of the items in a math word problem to help them solve the more abstract ones.

Super Hero Teacher On Staff

IEP- Function and Purpose

 

When your child is identified as having a disability, the school will bring together several people, including you, to help write an IEP. An IEP is a tool to help your child succeed in school and to ensure that appropriate interventions and academic and social goals are set.

Definition

An IEP is an Individualized Education Program. It is a document that lays out the educational program that is tailored to your child. The purposes of an IEP are to identify academic and social goals and to state which supports and services the school will provide your child to help them succeed, according to the Parent Center Hub website.

Law

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, necessitates that schools have a process in place for assessing disability, which can be early intervention services for children under the age of 2 or special education services for those between the ages of 3 and 21.

Components of an IEP

This law also states that the IEP has to have statements about “present levels of academic achievement and functional performance,” “annual goals,” “special education and related services to be provided,” and “participation with children without disabilities,” according to the Parent Center Hub website.

The present levels of academic achievement and functional performance says how your child is doing now in school and how the disability affects that. The goals describe what the school team thinks your child can accomplish in a year as far as needs that relate to the disability, and they map out how your child can take part in the general education curriculum. The services to be provided discuss tools and arrangements, like a communication device or different seating arrangements, as well as special education services from personnel at the school, that can help your child succeed. The IEP also spells out how much of the day your child will spend educated away from the general population.

IEPs also include a variety of other components, such as dates and location of services, participation in assessments, transition services, and how progress will be measured. Read the Parent Center Hub site for more information about all IEP components.

Who Creates an IEP?

IEPs are created by one regular education teacher, a special education provider or teacher, a representative of the school system, someone who can interpret evaluation results, others the school or you invite, parents, and your child, when appropriate.

If at all possible, attend IEP meetings at your child’s school so that you understand the plan to help your child succeed and to advocate for them, if necessary. The meetings can be done without parents participating, so try to attend, if you can. You can still get records of the meeting if you don’t attend.

In the end, an IEP is designed to help your child succeed. They are updated annually, and they reflect the desire of the school to see your child do well in all aspects of life. Don’t be afraid of them. Embrace them as a tool to support your child.

 

M.L.Page, M.Ed.

My Child Reads! Why Is He Failing?

 

When it comes to reading, you may find that there is some kind of disconnect between what your child can read aloud and what they can actually understand of what they just read. This is the difference between fluency and comprehension.

Fluency                 

Fluency refers to your child’s ability to decode words quickly and accurately, to recognize words on sight and to be able to say them. Think of your child reading a book aloud. How quickly they read and how accurate they are with what they read is the essence of fluency.

At school, teachers test fluency by having students read a short passage at their reading level, or maybe slightly above or below it, and they time how far they can read in a certain amount of time. They also mark how many mistakes they make, such as if they skip a word, mispronounce a word, etc. This helps them determine an overall fluency rate. They will use passages that are slightly above or below their reading level to help them determine the right reading level for your child to be reading at in class.

Comprehension

Comprehension is another vital component of determining how well a child reads. This is how much of what your child read was understood. The teacher will ask your child questions about the passage, and the questions are on the general idea and the details. They may also ask your child to be able to think abstractly about the story and connect what they read to other ideas.

When teachers combine fluency and comprehension rates, they have a good idea of the reading level of your child. This helps them tailor their reading instruction to your child’s current level of ability and to challenge them to the next level appropriately. It also keeps your child’s frustration level down if they are reading at a level that suits them. Additionally, they are more likely to enjoy reading if they can read about subjects they’re interested in at a level that they can read fluently at and at which they can comprehend what they read.

M.L. Page , M.ED.

Is Your Child Really Getting Anything Out Of What They Read ?

One of the stressful duties of parenting is offering reading help to your children. As children begin to read longer texts, it is vital that they develop their reading comprehension skills along with their ability to decode.

Reading help doesn’t have to be offered at school alone. At home, you can help your child improve their reading skills. The following are a couple reading comprehension strategies that can come in handy anytime you offer reading help to your children.

 

Marking Up Text with Post-It Notes

When your child has a question about something that they are reading, encourage them to write the question down on a Post-It note and then put it next to the text that was confusing. At the end of a section of reading, they can go back and re-read, think about their question some more, or ask you for more information.

If your child doesn’t write much yet, you can also have them draw pictures of their questions. If your child doesn’t have questions about the text, they can mark the parts that they found interesting or surprising.  All this encourages them to connect to the text and to think about it more critically.

 

Personal Connections

Education is more than learning to read or write. The personal connection between subject matters is also an important aspect. Before, during, and after reading a text, have your child think about any personal connections they can make with its subject matter.

For example, if your child is about to read about a kid who is made fun of in school, ask them if they have ever been laughed at, how it made them feel, what the circumstances are, etc. This can help your child make a personal connection with what they read. In the long run, their comprehension will gradually improve.

 

Background Knowledge

Sometimes children have background knowledge on the subject of a text, and sometimes they do not. If they do, it might be incomplete. Before your child starts reading something new, spend some time talking about the subject matter. Watch a short video on the Internet about the subject, or look at some pictures of it. Not only will this help improve your child’s reading comprehension ability, it also helps you bond while parenting.

 

Ask Questions

As your child reads through a text, encourage them to ask questions. Sometimes stopping every few sentences to ask a question can impede comprehension, so it might be a good idea to make a list of questions to ask at the end of each section of the book. Encourage your child to do some research to find answers to some of their own questions. This will help in their education, reading comprehension, and learning ability. It will also help them perform better in school.

 

Visualizations

Utilizing your parenting skills, you should be able to help your child visualize. Talk about what a particular scene or action in the book might look, feel, smell, taste, and sound like with your child. Even though your aim is to offer reading help, however, it shouldn’t be about reading only.

Have them draw pictures of different parts of the book. These visualization exercises help them to better understand what they are reading. You could also have them draw pictures of different parts and then put the pictures in order. This will reinforce understanding of sequential events in the story.

There you have it! All the above are various ways you can help your children improve their reading comprehension ability. If you haven’t been offering reading help, guess it’s high time you fire up your parenting tools. Start offering reading help to your child from now on. Within a short period, you will definitely notice drastic improvement in his or her education, and performance at school.

M.L.Page, M.Ed.