As parents, have you ever felt alone as you try to help your struggling child with reading, writing or spelling?
You are not alone! It is estimated that 1 out 10 people have dyslexia and 20% of the children in the U.S. are dyslexic! However, we find that many schools are NOT addressing the problem and just let the children ‘slip’ through the system! This can leave the parent and the child feeling alone in trying to solve what feels like an impossible task!
As a certified Orton-Gillingham teacher, specializing in dyslexia, I have seen countless parents coming to me after spending thousands of dollars on tutoring and self-help books that DIDN’T HELP!!!
Many parents don’t even know where to start in finding the right ‘key‘ to unlock their child’s potential. This is what this website is about! I want to give you the tips, tools and a solid direction on how to help your child!
THIS KEY THAT WILL UNLOCK YOUR CHILD’S ABILITY TO LEARN HOW TO READY, SPELL OR WRITE IS FOUND WITH ORTON-GILLINGHAM BASED METHOD AND PRODUCTS!!
Definition of Dyslexia
SO, WHAT IS DYSLEXIA?? To put in more simple terms:
Dyslexia is is a language-based learning disability or disorder that can includes poor word reading and comprehension, spelling difficulties, limited oral reading fluency and writing problems. There is also math dyslexia which is called dyscalculia, as well as handwriting dyslexia called dysgraphia.
FIRST and foremost, it is VERY important to know that dyslexia is NOT tied to IQ. Some of the smartest people were dyslexic!! There are many, many famous people with dyslexia, including scientists, artists, musicians, politicians, actors/actresses. Einstein, Edison and Leonardo DiVinci— just to name a few.
Having dyslexia has nothing to do with not working hard. Children are often perceived as being lazy, bored or indifferent. This is far from the truth! The truth is that they just haven’t been taught the RIGHT WAY that works for dyslexic brain! With appropriate teaching methods, that are Orton-Gillingham-based, children can not only learn successfully, but they can even go on to become anything that they strive to be! People with dyslexia excel or even gifted in areas of art, music, design, sports, drama, sales, electronics, mechanics, science, computer science, and math.
Many have asked me, ‘is dyslexia a disability?‘ Yes and no. It is NOT a mental disability! However, it has been classified as a specific ‘learning’ disability.
Is there a ‘dyslexia test?‘ Yes, there are evaluations and testing that can be done by qualified psychologists. Your school should be able to provide that information for you.
For an online dyslexia test or evaluation, visit the International Dyslexia Association. They have a ‘self-assessment tools for dyslexia’ (screener) for adults, preschool, school age children and adults:
More Self-Assessment Tools for Dyslexia
There are many signs of dyslexia, depending on what kind your child has.
A few common signs to look for are :
–Appears bright, highly intelligent, and articulate but unable to either read, write, or spell at grade level.
–May be labeled lazy, dumb, careless, immature, “not trying hard enough,” or “behavior problem.”
–Finds ingenious excuses not to read, spell or do school work.
–Complains of dizziness, headaches or stomach aches while reading.
–Confused by letters, numbers, words, sequences, or verbal explanations.
–Reading or writing shows repetitions, additions, transpositions, omissions, substitutions, and reversals in letters, numbers and/or words.
–Spells phonetically and inconsistently
— When reading aloud reads often ignores punctuation. Omits, repeats or adds extra words
–Can read a word on one page but doesn’t recognize it on the next.
–Often misreads or omits small words
THE MISSING KEY TO DYSLEXIC LEARNING:
The missing ‘link’ in the standard educational process for elementary/secondary learning for dyslexic children is what they call the ‘ORTON-GILLINGHAM METHOD.’
This is the tool that opens up the brain patterns for success. This ‘philosphy’ was founded in the 1930’s by Samuel T. Orton and Anna Gillingham.
ORTON–GILLINGHAM is a method and not a curriculum. It is multi-sensory, step by step approach to reading, based on the connection between sounds and the letters that represent those sounds. It breaks words into their syllables and phonemes (the smallest unit of sound) as to be able to read the word, as well as breaking down the words orally into their syllables to help spell the word.
For struggling readers it is a VERY best way to teach automaticity and fluency at the word level. It is THE PROVEN SYSTEM a proven system that has been tested successfully for those with dyslexia and those who are poor readers.
TIPS TO HELP THE DYSLEXIC CHILD:
- Find a tutor that is trained AND certified in an Orton-Gillingham method program. There are many that you can find online. My favorite is the Wilson Reading Program because they use a method called ‘tapping’ that is VERY EFFECTIVE!
- Once you find a local tutor, make a commitment to do at least 2-3 hours a week to start with. This will give your child the extra ‘boost’ to success that is needed!
- Talk with your child’s teachers about the tutor you have hired so they can work together, if possible. Sometimes this doesn’t happen, but it is OK, as long as you’re providing some form of the Orton-Gillingham program.
- Get resources that will help your child at home. This will include books and workbooks (using the Orton-Gillingham approach). Also there are some video games and puzzles that will also help.
- Use a ‘dyslexic font.’ https://www.dyslexiefont.com/en/home/
- Read books that use a dyslexic font.