The average student learns between 2000 and 4000 new words each year. That is approximately 40-50 new words each week! Students with learning disabilities will learn less each year than their peers due to the struggles they face in reading, writing and memory processing while learning. With these learning challenges in mind, teachers and parents will need to provide a range of experiences with new vocabulary so that students with learning disabilities can learn just as many new words as their peers in meaningful ways.
Learning a new word can actually create an interest and an excitement in many students. The focus should be on providing a meaningful explanation of the new word with multiple examples provided by the teacher and parent.
Although many strategies are effective for students with varying abilities, the following methods work best:
1. Present the word in the context of the story or text from which the word was selected.
2. Ask students to repeat and write the word.
3. Provide a “student-friendly” explanation of the word by using every day language that the student can understand and connect with.
4. Personalize the word to the student that includes references to “you,” “something,” and “someone” to help the student make a personal connection with their own lives.
5. Have students create their own examples of the word.
6. Students will need to say and read the word repetitively to establish a link to its phonological representation.
Really learning and comprehending a vocabulary word requires frequent and repetitive exposure by hearing others using it, seeing it in print, and saying it aloud in a sentence. Students with learning disabilities will require ongoing exposure and use of new words to assure that they understand and retain the meaning and use of the words. It takes 12 encounters with a word to learn it well enough to improve reading comprehension!
Using Mnemonics or Key Word Strategies are a key method of assisting students with learning disabilities in memorizing the definitions of new words. Students with learning disabilities benefit from connections created by linking a familiar key word or image with a novel word. For example with the word ROCOCO (asymmetric ornamentation in art) a mnemonic might be: “Rococo you arrange and decorate coconuts in a row.”
Students with learning disabilities should also listen to audio books regularly. Audio books will help expand the student’s listening vocabulary. Later, if the student runs into the same language in print, they will be better able to decipher the word and its meaning by having already had the exposure to it beforehand.
Although the amount of words that students need to learn may seem daunting, promoting student engagement with text is the most important way to increase vocabulary, and most importantly, leads to increased reading comprehension. Simply put, the amount that students read is related to the number of words they know and, in turn, allows them to read and understand increasingly complex text.
Learn more about the New PRIDE Reading Program
Karina Richland, M.A. is the Founder of PRIDE Learning Centers, located in Los Angeles and Orange County. Ms. Richland is a certified reading and learning disability specialist. Ms. Richland speaks frequently to parents, teachers, and professionals on learning differences, and writes for several journals and publications. Visit the PRIDE Learning Center website at: www.pridelearningcenter.com
Our summer program is our most popular program of the year. Pride’s teachers are all credentialed and certified in Orton-Gillingham methodology. Pride programs are always taught one-on-one.
Pride’s fun-filled yet intensive one-on-one reading program has become so popular that we even draw families from all over the globe. Recent students have come to Pride from China, Japan, Saudi Arabia, France, England, Canada and even the San Fernando Valley.
Sample Daily Schedule:
9:00 – 10:00: Orton-Gillingham Reading Instruction
10:00 – 10:30: Computer Based Reading Instruction
10:30 – 11:00: Snack, Fun and Movement
11:00 – 11:30: Written Expression
11:30 – 12:00: Orton-Gillingham Reading Instruction
9:00am – 12:00pm or 1:00pm – 4:00pm Monday – Friday
Our Summer 2012 program runs weekly from June 25th – August 31st. You can sign up for any weeks you like during those dates.
Tuition is $980 weekly
Take advantage of our Discounts!
- 10% off early registration by April 31, 2012
- 10% off for returning families
- 20% off for bringing a friend
- 15% off if you register for 4 or more weeks
Space is limited and our summer sessions fill up quickly.
Call us today at 866-774-3342 to request a registration form. Or email us at email@example.com
By: Renée Firby, MSC CCC-SLP
Over the last several years countless families have come to our offices seeking assistance for their children who are struggling academically. The majority of our school-aged clients present with some form of language learning disabilities. These language learning disabilities can directly impair a child’s reading ability. Research supports that one of the best predictors of a child’s success in reading is an individual’s oral language abilities. So you ask, “What’s the connection?”
As infants we begin to learn language. We respond to pleasant voices by smiling, we turn our heads when we hear sound, and we begin to babble. These emergent language skills continue to grow and develop over the first few years of life to more complex unconscious abilities such as storytelling, developing and understanding humor, making judgments as to the appropriateness of content for certain listeners, editing for errors, learning metaphors, similes, antonyms, synonyms, etc. Although many children acquire the most basic and fundamental components of language such as vocabulary, generating a sentence, and grammar, they fail to learn the more complex language skills. Reading requires the ability to unconsciously define words, recognize synonyms, antonyms, and homonyms, identify parts of speech, recognize grammatical errors, recognize multiple meanings, etc. Therefore, reading is a language-based skill as it utilizes all of the same processes of an individual’s complex oral language skills. If an individual is unable to develop complex oral language skills, they are unable to develop the skills necessary to be a successful reader.
Speech and language intervention is an essential component to the achievement of a successful reader for those who are challenged academically! Intensive treatment supports the development of advanced language skills, which in turn support the skills necessary for reading. Jackson Jade Speech & Occupational Therapy customizes treatment programs that are designed to innervate the areas of the brain responsible for language development, which target the fundamental building blocks for reading including phonemic awareness, phonics, vocabulary development, fluency, and comprehension. Research indicates that stand alone school-based programs are not intensive enough to meet the needs of struggling readers. Children who are enrolled in intensive programs and those who receive early intervention tend to score higher on cognitive and academic achievement measures than those who do not receive intervention or rely on school-age treatment alone.
If your child is struggling with reading there are several things you can do to support their development. In addition to seeking school-based services, enroll them in a reading-based program that uses a multisensory approach and seek a comprehensive language program through a speech language pathologist that specializes in brain based development.
Renée Firby, MS CCC-SLP is a speech language pathologist and executive director of Jackson Jade Speech & Occupational Therapy. Ms. Firby has extensive experience working with medically, educationally, and cognitively challenged individuals. She has provided speech language pathology services to infants through the geriatric populations ranging from the mildest to most severe impairments.
If you have any questions or would like information about scheduling an appointment at Jackson Jade Speech & Occupational Therapy call 888-808-7838 or visit www.jacksonjadesp.com for more information.
By Karina Richland, M.A., E.T.
- Is your child easily distracted or bothered by loud or sudden noises?
- Are conversations difficult for your child to follow?
- Are noisy environments upsetting?
- Are verbal (word) math problems demanding?
- Does your child have difficulty following directions?
- Is abstract information tough to interpret?
- Does your child struggle with reading, spelling, writing, or other speech-related language difficulties?
Central auditory processing disorder (CAPD) occurs when the ear and the brain do not coordinate together completely. Many of the behaviors associated with central auditory processing disorder also appear in other conditions such as learning disabilities (LD) and attention deficit disorder (ADHD). The symptoms in each individual can range from mild to severe and only a trained professional, such as a speech-language pathologists and an audiologist who specialize in CAPD, can determine if your child actually has a central auditory processing disorder.
If your child does have central auditory processing disorder and finds it difficult to concentrate and follow directions, there are numerous strategies that parents can implement for their child.
What was I supposed to do again?
In order to help a child with CAPD follow directions, try reducing background noises, always have the child look at you when you are speaking and use simple, expressive sentences. Speaking at a slightly louder volume and at a slower tempo will also help significantly. Have your child repeat the directions back to you aloud a few times and be certain that they understand the directions they are repeating and not just mimicking your voice.
I left my book at school.
A student with CAPD will thrive on routine and structure. Teach your child how to focus and cope in chaotic environments (like middle school). Before going home for the day, for instance, have the child check his or her assignment book and list what he or she needs to take home that day.
I can’t concentrate; it’s too loud in here.
At school the child should sit towards the front of the room facing the teacher with his or her back to the windows, doors, and other sources of distraction. The teacher can periodically touch the child’s shoulder to remind him or her to focus or get ready for a transition. Teachers should use lots and lots of visual aids jotting down instructions or key words on the board, and providing simple written outlines. For younger students a drawing works fine as a reminder.
At home, provide the child with a quiet study place. Keep the TV turned off and any outside stimuli far away. Make sure the work desk is free of clutter and well organized. Maintain a peaceful, organized lifestyle that also encourages good eating and sleeping habits and keeping a neat room and desk.
Teachers and parents both need to remember that central auditory processing disorder is a real condition. The symptoms and behaviors are not within the child’s control. Children with CAPD are not being defiant or being lazy. Help them build a strong self-esteem and learn to advocate for themselves, as they get older. Keep it positive and keep life fun!
Karina Richland, M.A., E.T. is the Managing Director of Pride Learning Centers, located in Los Angeles and Orange County. A former teacher for Los Angeles Unified School District, Ms. Richland is a Reading and Learning Disability Specialist. Ms. Richland speaks frequently to parents, teachers, and professionals on learning differences, and writes for several journals and publications. You can reach her by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the Pride Learning Center website at: