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How to choose a program to treat dyslexia

 

Can Medication Help a Dyslexic Child?

 

I heard that dyslexia might be due to a vision problem, is this true?

 

What's the difference between A Workbook for Dyslexics, Blast Off to Reading and I Can Read?

 Is the reading program a cure for dyslexia?

Will this type of reading program help any child?

Can this program be done in a small group?

Will this help a child with ADP?

What if I don't have 40 minutes a day?

Can we skip the first few easier lessons?

Can we skip around in the book?

How long before we see an improvement?

We finished the program - what's next? 

 

How to choose a program to treat dyslexia:
Choosing the right program to treat dyslexia can be confusing. Our advice it to find one that is based on the Orton-Gillingham method, which is affordable to you and one that you could work with. We prefer the good old fashioned workbook format because writing is a key component in treating dyslexia. Some programs use software, which may omit physical writing, thus losing out on an important factor in remediation. Many dyslexic children have terrible handwriting, and often their writing will dramatically improve as they go through our program. This wouldn't happen with a software only program. In addition, we feel that a dyslexic child should have the guidance of an instructor since a real person can hear and see what the child is going through and make the necessary adjustments along the way. That is not to say that software doesn't have it's place. It certainly does, and children today are computer savvy and enjoy it, however, we feel that for this purpose, the workbook format is best. If you're not sure, test our program out for yourself; see our book previews for the first few lessons.

As for tutoring and learning centers; their effectiveness depends on how often your child goes and what they do there. Tutoring once a week is not going to be enough, unless you (the parent) are given instructions on what to do on those "off" days. You also need to know what program they use and is it specific for dyslexia.

Can Medication Help a Dyslexic Child?
We have found that there are medical doctors treating dyslexia with medication; they purpose that dyslexic individuals have poor motor skills and prescribe the same medicine given to people with vertigo.  We have not seen a correlation between dyslexia and poor motor skills, in fact, many of the dyslexic children we know are gifted gymnasts and dancers, and many learn to walk at very early ages.  How giving them medication to improve their reading skills is not known to us, unless it is given along with a reading program, in which case you would see improvement, but it would not be due to the medication. 

I heard that dyslexia might be due to a vision problem, is this true?
It’s possible that your child may have a vision problem causing a delay in their reading. If you feel this is the case, you should have your child tested by a developmental optometrist. It’s possible that your child may need vision therapy. With that said, having dyslexia does not mean that the child has a vision problem. Quite often, after dyslexic children have vision therapy, they still struggle with reading, in which case a reading program based on the Orton-Gillingham method would be needed.

What's the difference between A Workbook for Dyslexics, Blast Off to Reading and I Can Read?

All three programs teach decoding in a cumulative, repetitive manner. I Can Read does not go into the depth that the other two programs go into, since it is for Kindergarteners and first graders. It will provide a spring board to teach phoneme awareness to those children who may be dyslexic and stave off many problems that these children usually encounter.

Both Blast Off to Reading and A Workbook for Dyslexics will walk your student through the process of learning to read. Each lesson will introduce a new sound or rule, and then there will be exercises to review previous material as well as new. These programs both utilize flash cards (which you can purchase through our site, or make your own) and dictations (which is available for free at this site). Blast Off to Reading is designed for younger children (ages 7 to 13) with larger text, age appropriate vocabulary and it is color.

 Is this reading program a cure for dyslexia?
This is not a cure for dyslexia.  Dyslexia is not a disease, it is a condition that one is born with.  A dyslexic student needs a reading program that provides all of the sounds and rules along with constant repetition for reinforcement. Dyslexic children are known to have poor memories (where language is concerned) and must have repetition. Using our program will not "cure" your dyslexic child, but it will get them to read, and once they start reading they will become more proficient at it.  When he or she no longer fears reading and actually wants to read (yes this will happen), their abilities will improve with every book they finish. In fact, MRI studies have shown that after this type of treatment, tracking the brains of people, with and without dyslexia, during a reading task, the dyslexic brain seems to function similar to those of the non-dyslexic control group.  Although this is hard work, it is very encouraging to know that you can help your child so dramatically.

Will this type of reading program help any child?
Yes, our program can help any child (or even adult) improve their reading and spelling.  For example, did you know that the letter 'c' takes on an /s/ sound only if it is followed by and 'e', 'i' or 'y'?  This type of information is not normally taught in the schools, and, although most people naturally pick this up, the dyslexic child needs to be taught this. Once you know all of the spelling rules and rule breakers, you can't help but become a better reader/writer.

Can this program be done in a small group?
Yes, the programs (Blast Off to Reading and A Workbook for Dyslexics) can be done in small groups. However, since each child will work at their own pace, we recommend that you do the lesson part as a group and, possibly some exercises, but then give each child some individual attention when it comes to reading words from the lists. Also, they will do the dictation parts alone, and since the dictations must be redone (over and over) until they’re mastered, you will have to keep track of this for each child.

This program has three major components: the book for lessons, the dictations and flash cards. You can do the flash cards in a group where everyone says the sounds together, but you should encourage these cards to go home with the students as well (the children can make their own on index cards) and the parents can go over them with their child once a day.

Will this help a child with APD?
Yes, it can help children with APD (Auditory Processing Disorder).  Since dyslexia and APD are related, these children are often diagnosed as dyslexic, and many dyslexic children are diagnosed as having APD. Either way, the student must learn to read in the same manner (by using a systematic approach that covers all of the sounds, rules and exceptions of our language). A Reading Program for Overcoming Dyslexia offers this approach, which your child or student can benefit from.

What if I don't have 45 minutes a day?
We suggest that you work with your child for 30-45 minutes each day. If you feel you can't do the minimum, then you may want to look into hiring a tutor. Someone must sit with the child, they can not do it on their own. It is preferred that the same person administer the program (for consistency), however, when needed, you can enlist the help of older siblings, friends or other relatives to help out. The program is very straight forward (even scripted) so that anyone can use it.

If your child doesn't have the time, due to too much homework being assigned, discuss this with your child's teacher (or guidance counselor) and ask if homework can be limited.  A good teacher will recognize that learning to read must occur before one can read to learn and will accommodate you.

Can we skip the first few easier lessons?
The first few lessons may seem easy and can even be insulting to some children (or even adults who are going through the program), however, they are important and should not be skipped.  Learning to read and write is a gradual build up, it is necessary to provide a good foundation. You may be surprised how many problems your child or student will have with these initial lessons.

Can we skip around in the book?
Do not skip around, the lessons are cumulative and build as you go. You can skip around to lessons that you've already completed for reinforcement and review.

How long before we see an improvement?
Every child is different and will work at their own pace.  From our experience, it could take between 3 months to a year to complete the book, however, improvement happens much quicker.   It is suggested that you use a composition notebook along with the workbook for the dictation part of the exercises.  Date each dictation, and in a matter of weeks, you can flip back to the earlier dates to see how much the child improved.  It is amazing and encouraging to show the child how well they are doing.

We finished the program - what's next?
Have your child read, read and read some more. Get books that will interest your child, to help him or her develop a love for reading. Have your child read the books to you, when he/she comes upon a word that they can't figure out, use the rules of the reading program to help them. Sometimes a word is an exception to the rule, and you will have to instruct your child on how to figure out what it is (use sounds, rules -if they apply- and context). Cover up words with parts of your finger and have him/her sound them out. If possible, get books that your child can read on their own (they should be able to at this point). Encourage them to read as much as possible, since with practice they will improve. For more on fluent reading, click here.

 

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