October is Dyslexia Awareness Month

October is Dyslexia Awareness Month

This October is National Dyslexia Awareness Month, and PRIDE Learning Centers is helping to spread the word!

Did you know that Dyslexia is estimated to affect some 20-30 percent of our population? This means that more than 2 million school-age children in the United States are dyslexic!  We are here to help.

 

What is Dyslexia?

 

Although children with dyslexia typically have average to above average intelligence, their dyslexia creates problems not only with reading, writing and spelling but also with speaking, thinking and listening. Often these academic problems can lead to emotional and self-esteem issues throughout their lives. Low self-esteem can lead to poor grades and under achievement. Dyslexic students are often considered lazy, rebellious or unmotivated. These misconceptions cause rejection, isolation, feelings of inferiority, and discouragement.

 

The central difficulty for dyslexic students is poor phonemic awareness. Phonemic awareness is the ability to appreciate that spoken language is made up of sound segments (phonemes). In other words, a dyslexic student’s brain has trouble breaking a word down into its individual sounds and manipulating these sounds. For example, in a word with three sounds, a dyslexic might only perceive one or two.

 

Most researchers and teachers agree that developing phonemic awareness is the first step in learning to read. It cannot be skipped. When children begin to learn to read, they first must come to recognize that the word on the page has the same sound structure as the spoken word it represents. However, because dyslexics have difficulty recognizing the internal sound structure of the spoken word to begin with, it is very difficult for them to convert the letters of the alphabet into a phonetic code (decoding).

 

Although dyslexia can impair spelling and decoding abilities, it also seems to be associated with many strengths and talents. People with dyslexia often have significant strengths in areas controlled by the right side of the brain. These include artistic, athletic and mechanical gifts. Individuals with dyslexia tend to be very bright and creative thinkers. They have a knack for thinking, “outside-the-box.” Many dyslexics have strong 3-D visualization ability, musical talent, creative problem solving skills and intuitive people skills. Many are gifted in math, science, fine arts, journalism, and other creative fields.

 


Symptoms of Dyslexia

Preschoolers

 

  • Late talking, compared to other children
  • Pronunciation problems, reversal of sounds in words (such as ‘aminal’ for ‘animal’ or ‘gabrage’ for ‘garbage’)
  • Slow vocabulary growth, often unable to find the right word (takes a while to get the words out)
  • Difficulty rhyming words
  • Trouble learning numbers, the alphabet, days of the week
  • Poor ability to follow directions or routines
  • Does not understand what you say until you repeat it a few times
  • Enjoys being read to but shows no interest in words or letters
  • Has weak fine motor skills (in activities such as drawing, tying laces, cutting, and threading)
  • Unstable pencil grip
  • Slow to learn new skills, relies heavily on memorization

 

School Age Children

 

  • Has good memory skills
  • Has not shown a dominant handedness
  • Seems extremely intelligent but weak in reading
  • Reads a word on one page but doesn’t recognize it on the next page or the next day
  • Confuses look alike letters like b and d, b and p, n and u, or m and w.
  • Substitutes a word while reading that means the same thing but doesn’t look at all similar, like “trip” for “journey” or “mom” for “mother.”
  • When reading leaves out or adds small words like “an, a, from, the, to, were, are and of.”
  • Reading comprehension is poor because the child spends so much energy trying to figure out words.
  • Might have problems tracking the words on the lines, or following them across the pages.
  • Avoids reading as much as possible
  • Writes illegibly
  • Writes everything as one continuous sentence
  • Does not understand the difference between a sentence and a fragment of a sentence
  • Misspells many words
  • Uses odd spacing between words. Might ignore margins completely and pack sentences together on the page instead of spreading them out
  • Does not notice spelling errors
  • Is easily distracted or has a short attention span
  • Is disorganized
  • Has difficulties making sense of instructions
  • Fails to finish work on time
  • Appears lazy, unmotivated, or frustrated

 

Teenagers

 

  • Avoids reading and writing
  • Guesses at words and skips small words
  • Has difficulties with reading comprehension
  • Does not do homework
  • Might say that they are “dumb” or “couldn’t care less”
  • Is humiliated
  • Might hide the dyslexia by being defiant or using self-abusive behavior

 

Adults

 

  • Avoids reading and writing
  • Types letters in the wrong order
  • Has difficulties filling out forms
  • Mixes up numbers and dates
  • Has low self-esteem
  • Might be a high school dropout
  • Holds a job below their potential and changes jobs frequently

 

Treatment

 

The sooner a child with dyslexia is given proper instruction, particularly in the very early grades, the more likely it is that they will have fewer or milder difficulties later in life.

 

Older students or adults with dyslexia will need intensive tutoring in reading, writing and spelling using an Orton-Gillingham program. During this training, students will overcome many reading difficulties and learn strategies that will last a lifetime. Treatment will only “stick” if it is incorporated intensively and consistently over time.

 

Students who have severe dyslexia may need very intensive specialized tutoring to catch up and stay up with the rest of their class. This specialized tutoring helps dyslexic students become successful in reading, writing, spelling, grammar, and vocabulary. It also will help them with math, and word problems.  Fortunately, with the proper assistance and help, most students with dyslexia are able to learn to read and develop strategies to become successful readers.

 


Karina Richland, M.A., developed the PRIDE Reading Program, an Orton-Gillingham program for struggling readers, based on her extensive experience working with children with learning differences over the past 30 years.  She has been a teacher, educational consultant and the Executive Director of PRIDE Learning Centers in California.  Please feel free to email her with any questions at info@pridelearningcenter.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

How do kids with Dyslexia learn to read and spell

How do kids with Dyslexia learn to read and spell

 

Learning to read in English would be such a simple task for kids with Dyslexia if all similar-sounding phonemes were spelled the same.  They aren’t.  English is such an unfair language with so many iniquitous rules!

For those of us who don’t have Dyslexia, learning to read means memorizing the symbolic code of letter combinations and then using them in new contexts.  Many of us just read naturally, understanding that these letter combinations create words and sounds.  Linguists call these sounds ‘phonemes.’  Our brains just register the words and are equipped to read three or four words ahead of time.  We are also mentally able to pull words apart, separate them into syllables and apply all of those unfair spelling rules easily and logically.

What do kids with Dyslexia need?

For students with Dyslexia, this process of reading does NOT come naturally.  Dyslexics do not use the process of sounding out phonemes (decoding) while reading and applying spelling rules while writing (encoding).  Instead of decoding, these students memorize words in entirety and make mental pictures of each word they learn.  The predicament with this strategy is that when they get to a word that they are unfamiliar with, they have no coping mechanisms to attack that particular word.

An example of the difficulty for some of us to learn which combination of letters creates which phoneme is the sound of the letter ‘a’ as in the word ‘cake.’  The long ‘a’ sound is written differently in different words, as in baby, ape, sail, play, steak, vein, eight and they.  For students with reading disabilities, something interferes with the acquisition of these written phonemes, and in order to learn, these students must be taught how to read in a different way.  One such way is using a multi-sensory method.

What does multisensory mean?

When taught with a multi-sensory approach, students will learn alphabetic patterns, phonemes and words by utilizing all pathways – hearing (auditory), seeing (visual), touching (tactile) and moving (kinesthetic).

When learning the vowel combination ‘oa,’ for example, the student might first look at the letter combination on a picture of a GOAT, then close his/her eyes and listen to the sound, then trace the letters in the air while speaking out loud.  This combination of listening, looking, and moving around creates a lasting impression for the student as things will connect to each other and become memorable.   Using a multi-sensory approach to reading will benefit ALL learners, not just those with reading disabilities.

What is Orton-Gillingham?

The other significant component in helping a struggling reader learn to read and write is utilizing an Orton-Gillingham approach.  In Orton-Gillingham, the phonemes are introduced in a systematic, sequential and cumulative process.   The Orton-Gillingham teacher begins with the most basic elements of the English language. Using repetition and the sequential building blocks of our language, phonemes are taught one at a time. This includes the consonants and sounds of the consonants.  By presenting one rule at a time and practicing it until the student can apply it with automaticity and fluency, students have no reading gaps in their word-decoding skills.  As the students progress to short vowels, they begin reading and writing sounds in isolation.  From there they progress to digraphs, blends and diphthongs.

Students are taught how to listen to words or syllables and break them into individual phonemes.  They also take individual sounds and blend them into a word, change the sounds in the words, delete sounds, and compare sounds.  For example, “…in the word steak, what is the first sound you hear?  What is the vowel combination you hear?  What is the last sound you hear?  Students are also taught to recognize and manipulate these sounds.  “…what sound does the ‘ea’ make in the word steak?  Say steak.  Say steak again but instead of the ‘st’ say ‘br.’-  BREAK!

Every lesson the student learns is in a structured and orderly fashion.  The student is taught a skill and doesn’t progress to the next skill until the current lesson is mastered.  As students learn new material, they continue to review old material until it is stored into the student’s long-term memory.  While learning these skills, students focus on phonemic awareness.  There are 181 phonemes or rules in Orton-Gillingham for students to learn. Advanced students will study the rules of English language, syllable patterns, and how to use roots, prefixes, and suffixes to study words. By teaching how to combine the individual letters or sounds and put them together to form words and how to break longer words into smaller pieces, both synthetic and analytic phonics are taught throughout the entire Orton-Gillingham program.

Students with Dyslexia need more structure, repetition and differentiation in their reading instruction.  They need to learn basic language sounds and the letters that make them, starting from the very beginning and moving forward in a gradual step by step process.  This needs to be delivered in a systematic, sequential and cumulative approach.  For all of this to “stick” the students will need to do this by using their eyes, ears, voices, and hands.

 

Learn more about the New PRIDE Reading Program

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Karina Richland, M.A. is the Founder of PRIDE Learning Centers in Southern California.  She is the author of the PRIDE Reading Program, an Orton-Gillingham based reading program.  For more information visit the PRIDE Learning Center website at www.pridelearningcenter.com

San Clemente Dyslexia Center Offering FREE Assessments in October

San Clemente Dyslexia Center Offering FREE Assessments in October

October is National Dyslexia Awareness Month and a local dyslexia-tutoring center in San Clemente, California is offering free reading assessments.

Owner of PRIDE Learning Center in San Clemente, Karina Richland, reports, “Dyslexia is a learning disability that affects about 20% of the nation.  That means that one out of every five children in the San Clemente classroom struggles with dyslexia.”  Richland, a dyslexia specialist and owner of 5 dyslexia-tutoring centers throughout Los Angeles and Orange County says “Most children with dyslexia in this area go undiagnosed for years.  With early detection, proper intervention, and certain accommodations in school, dyslexics can actually improve their reading skills dramatically.”

Warning Signs in School-Age Children

•   Child uses memory skills in reading not decoding strategies

•   Reads a word on one page but doesn’t recognize it on the next page

•   Confuses look alike letters like b and d, b and p, n and u, or m and w

•   Makes many reversals

•   Substitutes a word while reading that means the same thing

•   When reading leaves out or adds small words like “a, the, to, are, of”

•   Reading fluency is poor

•   Avoids reading as much as possible

•   Misspells many words

•   Writes illegibly

•   Appears lazy, unmotivated, or frustrated

“The sooner a child with dyslexia is given proper instruction, particularly in the very early grades, the more likely it is that they will have fewer or milder difficulties later in life” states Richland.

PRIDE Learning Center provides one-on-one reading help for students with learning differences, including dyslexia, auditory and or visual processing disorder and ADHD.  PRIDE specializes in an Orton-Gillingham reading approach for students struggling with dyslexia.

Parents or grandparents can bring their child in October 21st – October 25th for a free assessment that will measure their reading abilities.  To schedule an appointment contact the San Clemente PRIDE Learning Center at 949-284-8015 or visit the website at www.pridelearningcenter.com

Dyslexia Tutoring Center in Newport Beach Celebrates Dyslexia Awareness Month

Dyslexia Tutoring Center in Newport Beach Celebrates Dyslexia Awareness Month

October is National Dyslexia Month and a local tutoring center in Newport Beach is helping spread awareness by offering free assessments, resources and special events throughout the month of October.

Owner of PRIDE Learning Center in Newport Beach, Karina Richland, reports, “Dyslexia is a learning disability that affects about 20% of the nation. That means that one out of every five children in the Newport Beach classroom struggles with dyslexia.”  Richland, a dyslexia specialist and owner of 5 dyslexia-tutoring centers throughout Los Angeles and Orange County says “Most children with dyslexia in this area go undiagnosed for years.  With early detection, proper intervention, and certain accommodations in school, dyslexics can actually improve their reading skills dramatically.”

Warning Signs in School-Age Children

•   Child uses memory skills in reading not decoding strategies

•   Reads a word on one page but doesn’t recognize it on the next page

•   Confuses look alike letters like b and d, b and p, n and u, or m and w

•   Makes many reversals

•   Substitutes a word while reading that means the same thing

•   When reading leaves out or adds small words like “a, the, to, are, of”

•   Reading fluency is poor

•   Avoids reading as much as possible

•   Misspells many words

•   Writes illegibly

•   Appears lazy, unmotivated, or frustrated

“The sooner a child with dyslexia is given proper instruction, particularly in the very early grades, the more likely it is that they will have fewer or milder difficulties later in life” states Richland.

PRIDE Learning Center provides one-on-one reading help for students with learning differences, including dyslexia, auditory and or visual processing disorder and ADHD.  PRIDE specializes in an Orton-Gillingham reading approach for students struggling with dyslexia.

Throughout the month of October, parents or grandparents can bring their child in for a free assessment that will measure their reading abilities.  To schedule an appointment contact the Newport Beach PRIDE Learning Center at 949-891-0125 or visit the website at www.pridelearningcenter.com

Dyslexia Awareness Month

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