- Dyslexia (lack of words) has a Greek prefix (dys=lack of) and a Greek root (lexia=words).
- Dyslexia was made known to the world in 1876 by a group of doctors.
- Before then, doctors thought of dyslexia as vision problems.
- Doctors would make special glasses and check the patients’ eyes to see if anything was wrong.
- Finally they discovered that it was not the eye, but the brain that caused the problems of dyslexia.
- Teachers saw students as dumb, lazy and not worth anything.
- Famous people such as Albert Einstein had dyslexia.
What is Dyslexia?
- Dyslexia is a condition affecting literacy skills.
- It is actually a Developmental Reading Disorder (DRD) caused by disturbance in brain functions.
- Dyslexic people face extreme difficulty to read and spell the written language alphabets.
- This learning disability is not caused by low IQ.
- These reading difficulties are unexpected for the students age, educational level, or cognitive abilities.
- Dyslexia affects about 7% of people of all ages across the full range of socioeconomic backgrounds in society.
- People with dyslexia are often viewed as slow readers or slow learners however they are usually quite intelligent who simply struggle with language.
What Dyslexia is Not?
.. is NOT a visual problem
.. is NOT a lack of intelligence
.. is NOT due to lack of effort
.. is NOT a developmental lag
.. is NOT uncommon: 517.5% of population
.. is NOT responsive to standard reading instruction
Can Dyslexic Gain Success in Life?
- It is important to help the child identify areas of strengths and develop some expertise, these are. . . . . .islands of competence.
- Resilience comes from a mindset associated with optimism, hope, satisfying interpersonal relationships, and effective coping strategies.
- Many dyslexic persons who faced difficulties in the school age were successful in their life and became well known personalities of the world.
- Thomas Edison, Albert Einstein, J.F. Kennedy, George Washington, Steve Jobs, etc. were all Dyslexic.
What It Looks and Sounds Alike?
- No two dyslexic are exactly alike.
- No one has every symptom, but most have several.
- Difficulty with:
- pronouncing words correctly (e.g., aminal for animal, hangaburg for hamburger)
- coloring, writing, and tying shoes
- learning letter names and sounds
- separating and blending word parts orally and while reading
- reading at a normal pace
Myths about Dyslexia
- Dyslexia affects four times more boys than girls
- All children who reverse b’s and d’s or p’s and q’s have dyslexia
- Dyslexia is rare (7% or less)
- Repeating a grade will often help children gain skills because it allows them to mature and become developmentally ready to read
- Dyslexia cannot be diagnosed until a child is 8 to 11 years old
- If a dyslexic child doesnt read by age 12, it is too late. They won’t be able to learn to read.
- Many children who experience reading and writing problems in kindergarten through third grade will outgrow those problems
- Children with dyslexia are just developmentally delayed
- Dyslexic people hear and see normally but have difficulty remembering what they hear and see. This is called processing information.
- Brain scan experiments have shown that dyslexic people use different areas of the brain to process information.
- We all absorb information in different ways. Some people learn best through listening, some by seeing and others by doing.
- There are also combinations of these. Understanding how you absorb and process information is useful in the workplace or during study.
- Minor adjustments can make a big difference to students with dyslexia and be helpful to all students.
- Each dyslexic individual has different strengths and weaknesses.
- They may have additional problems e.g. attentional deficit.
- Individuals with dyslexia have a wide range of talents e.g. art, drama, entrepreneurial work etc.
How Dyslexia Affects a Student?
- Inefficiency in short term and working memory
- Difficulties with phonological processing
- Problems with visual processing
- Difficulties with motor skills or co-ordination
- Managing time and organisation
- Also face difficulties in:
- Oral fluency
Symptoms of Dyslexia
- Which of the following are/can be symptoms of dyslexia?
- Number and letter reversal
- Difficulty in copying from board
- Poor short term memory
- Difficulty in taking dictation
- Difficulty in reading silently
- Difficulty in reading aloud
- Poor handwriting
- Poor / bizarre / inconsistent spelling
- Tendency to mix upper and lower case in writing
- Difficulty in sequencing
- Poor sense of direction
- Lack of concentration / distractibility
- Defective / delayed speech
- Signs of ambidexterity
- Inability to plan / organise
- Poor sense of direction
- Difficulty in telling the time
- Lack of sense of time
- Physical uncoordination
BUT KEEP IN MIND
- They ALL can be, but you would very rarely find any dyslexic exhibiting all symptoms.
- Different clusters of symptoms will be found in different dyslexics.
- Many people who are not dyslexic display SOME of these symptoms.
- Also, younger children will display some as a normal developmental stage.
Causes of Dyslexia
- The most common cause for dyslexia is genetic the child has inherited the genetic material from one or both of the parents.
- Far less common are head injuries where the cause is acquired brain damage.
- One common finding relates to the question of timing in that with either visual, auditory (or both) information coming in through the eyes or ears, timing issues of discriminating one piece of information from the next may be faulty.
- In people with dyslexia, brain function does not work as well and thus, the end result is that the person struggles to learn reading, writing and spelling to a degree far greater than people expect.
The Root Cause.
The Brain NEURONS
What is a Neuron?
- A neuron is a cell that contains a cell body, axon and dendrites.
- The dendrites connect to other neurons and activate neurotransmitters which send signals to other neurons.
- Learning occurs when two neurons communicate.
NEURONS – How the Brain Works?
- How Many Neurons in the Brain? ~ 100 Billion
- How Many Connections Exist in the Neural Networks in the Brain? ~ 100 Trillion
- How Many Connections for a Single Neuron? ~ 40,000
- So, we have an organ that is specifically designed for learning and behavior.
Why do some brains work differently than others?
Dyslexic Reading Methods
Dyslexic readers use compensatory systems to read.
- Dysphonetic (phonological) Dyslexia (~ 67%)
- (Decoding < reading comprehension) < AVERAGE
- Sight word recognition somewhat better than decoding
- Reading fluency is typically slow (this may persist even after remediation)
- Primary deficits in phonological awareness (e.g., segmentation, deletion, blending, and so on of syllables, phonemes, etc.)
- Often weak in auditory working memory and factual information
- Has trouble spelling phonetically regular words
- Dyseidetic (Surface) Dyslexia (~ 14%)
- Primary deficit in orthographic processing
- Decoding better than sight word recognition
- Over-reliance on sound/symbol associations
- Try to sound out every word (e.g., sign = /sig-en/)
- Very slow and laborious reading speed
- Mixed Dyslexia
- Involves reading/spelling features of both dysphonetic and dyseidetic dyslexia
- Severely impaired in reading, and progress will be very slow
- Results in very bizarre error patterns & poor syllabic representation:
- e.g., Advice read as Exvices
- e.g., Material read as Mitear
Rare Reading Disorder Subtypes:
- Hyperlexia – uncanny ability to decode words despite significant cognitive deficiency. Comprehension very poor.
- Deep Dyslexia – a reading comprehension disorder characterized by impairments reading words with abstract meanings; but reading more concrete, easily imagined words are intact.
- DeJerine Syndrome – dyslexia without dysgraphia. Student has little difficulty writing, though cannot read.
Why Screen for Dyslexia?
- Commonest developmental disorder (around 5%)
- Genetic origin, 50% chance of child suffering if their parent is dyslexic, persists into adult life
- Appropriate teaching support improves reading, phonological skills, spelling and confidence (Rack, 1994)
- Lack of support leads to continuing failure, problems become entrenched and generalised
- The earlier support can be provided, the more cost-effective it will be. The stitch in time approach
- Our aim – to identify problems before children fail!
Diagnosis for Dyslexia:
- Physical check-up
- Abilities test
- Oral and written language tests
- School performance and family background
- Academic tests on reading, spelling, oral language, handwriting, composition
- Evaluation of social skills/emotions
- Development of IEP
Eight Domains to Assess
- Reading single words in isolation
- Word decoding (real and non-words)
- Phonological awareness
- Letter knowledge (name & sound)
- Rapid naming
- Fluency / rate and accuracy
- Reading Comprehension and/or
- delay in talking
- difficulty with rhymes and rhythm
- difficulty with remembering rote information, e.g. telephone no., names
- difficulty in remembering and following directions
- What to do:
- Follow up child’s verbal language skills
- Read to child, encourage songs and rhymes
- Note emerging literacy skills
- Primary School
- difficulty in learning letters, characters, symbols and their sounds.
- unusual reading and writing errors.
- difficulty in remembering words over time.
- difficulty in comprehension from text.
- difficulty in organizing ideas in text writing.
- Other features accompanying dyslexia:
- poor pencil grip and handwriting.
- poor sense of time.
- poor organization and ability to keep belongings.
- poor study habits.
Primary School: What to do?
- Find schools and teachers who specifically know about the condition and how to help
- Teaching should be evidenced based, supportive to the child, but demanding
- Program should have:
- direct instruction in area of deficit
- multi-sensory approach to learning
- systematic step-by-step teaching
- appropriate accommodations
- Reading: difficulties in visual short-term memory, word recognition, speed of reading and comprehension, extracting main points, misreading, the need to re-read several times.
- Writing: difficulties in expression, sentence structure, punctuation, planning and structuring essays, sequencing and transition between ideas.
Auditory assimilation: difficulties in auditory short-term memory, remembering series (e.g telephone numbers), polysyllabic words and remembering mathematical formulae.
- Memory: may be less effective, revision can be a longer process and support for study skills is needed.
- Spelling: each new word needs to be learned, may inhibit writing (fear of negative reaction), may affect the teachers understanding and evaluation of student work, reversal of letters and figures (eg b /d, 15/51), basic grammar rules not applied (eg likeing, lookd) and may not remember how a word sounds
- Proof reading: difficulty in identifying errors, a document may require proof-reading 4 or 5 times
- Handwriting: letters may not be joined, printing may be found to be of help
- Vocabulary: language acquisition will take longer as more examples of a new word or sentence structure are required before they are learned
Dyslexia is not a disease to be cured of, but a way of thinking and learning.
- Linguistic Approach
- Used with individuals with writing and reading disorders.
- Emphasis on listening, speaking, reading, and writing skill.
- Readiness skills
- Learning letter-sound correspondences and phonetic analysis.
- Used with individuals with writing and reading disorders.
- Instructional Aids
- Used primarily in Dyslexic cases.
- Individuals perform better with aids
- such as tape recorded lectures
- writing editors
- Supervised School tasks and peer groups.
- Modified Speech Stimuli
- Individuals with language disorders find improvement in intensive training in modified speech stimuli.
- Specific computer games aimed at language learning.
- Audio Tapes all incorporate slowed speech sounds
- Modified Speech Stimuli exhibited far better results then did unmodified speech stimuli.
- Megavitamin Therapy
- Some learning disabled children suffer from biochemical imbalances and
- genetic metabolic deficiencies (LePerchia, 1987)
- Megavitamin therapy may be helpful in controlling disability (LePerchia, 1987)
- Anti-motion Sickness Drugs
- Anti-motion sickness medications such as Dramamine have found favorable responses in dyslexic children (Levinson, 1991)
- Vision Therapy
- Vision care is a key part in helping children and adults with learning
- Vision therapy improves efficiency and visual processing thereby allowing the individual to be more responsive to educational instruction.
- Disabilities cure.
How to Teach a Dyslexic?
- Provide multi-sensory, structured language instructions.
- See it
- Hear it
- Say it
- Touch it
- Provide structured, explicit, direct instructions.
- NEVER EVER SHOULD YOU TELL AND/OR MAKE A STUDENT FEEL THAT THEY ARE STUPID!
- Try recording the reading assignment on a tape recorder so that the student can listen to the assignment.
- Its YOUR job as their teacher to help them.
- The words will float around the page – sometimes the pages with change colors.
- Kids with dyslexic have a hard time paying attention in class.
- Greater intensity of instruction.
- Increased frequency and duration of instruction.
- Research-based instruction in the five components of reading (phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, comprehension), as well as writing, and spelling.
- Have patience, yet high expectations
- Break work into doable chunks
- Focus child on your lips when pronouncing words or listening for sounds
- Give more time and patience to finishing work
- Give additional testing time
- Provide a quiet work area
Education of Educators
- Structure of language
- Language development and issues in second language learning
- Psychology of reading acquisition
- Use of screening, progress-monitoring, and diagnostic assessments to inform instruction
- Familiarity with lower incidence handicapping conditions
- Internship in teaching a structured language approach with students of different disability profiles
Teaching Strategies: Not to Do
- Make them read aloud in public
- Ridicule or employ sarcasm
- Correct all mistakes in written work it is too discouraging
- Give lists of spelling words to learn, no more than 3 and related words e.g. plate and cake
- Make them write out work again
- Compare them to other students
- Make them change their writing e.g. printing is easier than cursive for them.
Teaching Strategies: To Do
- Build confidence in the students
- Praise wherever possible and Encourage
- Find something they are good at
- Give less homework
- Mark on oral responses where possible
- Make sure they understand instructions
- Make teaching material more dyslexia-friendly
- Have expectations of success
- Seat them at the front of the class, closer to the teacher
Tips for Teachers
- A person with dyslexia tires more quickly than others greater concentration
- is required.
- They suffer from constant nagging uncertainty.
- They are often disorganised and may also be clumsy and forgetful, despite trying hard.
- Use wooden or plastic letters to teach them the feel and shape of letters.
- Use pictures and memory books (Letter land).
- Give as much practice as possible in reading, writing and spelling as
- dyslexics need more practice than most children.
- Talk about letters, words and stories to create interest in words and books.
Possible Clues of Dyslexic People
- A noticeable difference between the pupil’s ability and their actual
- A family history of learning difficulties;
- Difficulties with spelling;
- Confusion over left and right;
- Writing letters or numbers backwards;
- Difficulties with maths;
- Difficulties with organizing themselves;
- Difficulty following 2- or 3-step instructions.
Accommodations for Dyslexia
- more time in completing written work / exams
- avoid closely packed multiple exam sessions
- Testing in a small separate group
- Limit distractions
- Presentation Format
- Larger print with less crowding
- Questions and answers on same page
- Directions in simple wording, childs understanding checked
- Test items read to student
- Response Format
- Answers on large-spaced paper
- Students answers verbally
- Spelling etc requirements waived
- Aids allowed e.g. Dictionaries
- Use of word processor
What Happens In a Lesson?
- Speech sound awareness
- Sound-symbol links (see, say, write)
- Learning a new letter pattern in print
- Blending sounds in the printed word
- Increasing speed in word, phrase, sentence, and book reading
- Writing words with the patterns learned
- Vocabulary building word meanings
- Applying comprehension strategies
- Phoneme Awareness AND Phonics: They Are Not The Same!
- Phoneme awareness provides the foundation for learning phonics and for differentiating similar words in speech
/b/ /r/ /I/ /t/
b r igh t
- The Alphabetic Principle: Phoneme-Grapheme Mapping
/C/ /o/ /t/
C augh t
/S/ /l/ /u/ /j/
S l u dge
- Read as fast as you can:
Rid ride hid hide kit kite
Ride hide rid hid kit hide
Hid kit rid hid kite kit ride
Word Identification Fluency
- Read as fast as you can:
Do does done don’t any many
Does any done do does don’t
Any does many do don’t done
Does any many don’t does done
Many do any does do
Pattern Recognition & Recall
- How do we spell /j/ at the ends of words?
Charge wage dodge
Splurge stooge ridge
bilge stage fudge
indulge oblige wedge
sponge huge badge
- Syllable Types and Connections
Napkin circus Friday poodle
Muffin perfect lady cattle
Connect turkey motor people
Helmet market even hobble
Amaze describe complete
admire awake postpone
From Syllables to Morphemes
want-ed mak(e) ing
Beyond Phonics Word Study and Spelling
Layers of English Sound-symbol Syllable Morpheme
Anglo-Saxon truck, bump, Shinny Dumped leftover
grab, smell surface
- Directly teach a set of sound-letter, syllable, and morpheme spellings
- Give guided and independent practice of what has been taught
- Follow a developmental sequence until fluency is achieved
- The past tense ed is pronounced three different ways, /t/, /d/, and /ed/.
- Lets see if we can tell which sound ends each word:
liked, hoped, recovered, decided
- listen for the endings
- identify the endings in print
- read words with the endings
- write words and sentences with the endings
- add the right ending on to fit the meaning of a passage
- use words with endings in own writing
wiped, discovered, reminded, frightened, watched, enchanted, forested, picnicked,
- Accuracy of sound and symbol identification
- Accuracy at syllable, morpheme, and whole word levels
- Speed and automaticity word recognition without conscious attention
- Reading passages fluently for meaning and enjoyment
Reading Aloud Builds His Vocabulary
He learns the word while listening to the story…
When we flash you a signal you will have to open the door and bail out with the help of emergency rockets.
…Then your child can more easily sound out the word if it is part of his listening and speaking vocabulary.
Incidence of below basic reading was 5% in the 1st grade regular classrooms where the code-based program was well implemented; very few children had severe reading problems (NICHD Early Interventions Project, Washington, DC)
Good Programs and Approaches
- Wilson Language
- Alphabetic Phonics
- SpellRead P.A.T.
Spalding: Writing Road to Reading
- Lexia Learning Systems
- Project Read
- REACH Direct Instruction
- ReadWell, SpellWell
An Achievable Goal
- Almost every child with reading difficulty will progress yearly in relative standing, as a consequence of early, expert, intensive, collaborative intervention based on an understanding of best practices supported by research.
Some Mind Tests
1- Find the C below…do not use any cursor help.
2- Find the 8 below…do not use any cursor help.
2 – If you already found the C, now find the 6 below.
3 – Now find the N below. It’s a little more difficult.
4 – Can you read this? Only great minds can read this. This is weird, but interesting!
I cdnuolt blveiee that I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd what I was rdanieg. The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid, aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it dseno’t mtaetr in what oerdr the ltteres in a word are, the olny iproamtnt tihng is that the frsit and last ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can still raed it whotuit a pboerlm. This is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the word as a wlohe. Azanmig huh? Yaeh and I awlyas tghuhot slpeling was ipmorantt!
Eonvrye whocan raed this rsaie your hnad. If you can raed this, you have a sgtrane mnid too.
If you were able to pass these tests, you can cancel your annual visit to your neurologist. Yourbrain is great.
The Parents Role!!! The Most Important:
- Questions to Ask the School
- How are students with dyslexia served?
- Is there a dyslexia specialist at the school? If so, is it a pull-out or push-in program?
- What training has the teacher been provided in order to work with students with dyslexia?
- Is there evidence that the program is effective?
- How are children taught to approach unfamiliar words?
- Does the program include opportunities to practice reading, to develop fluency, to build vocabulary, to develop reading comprehension strategies, to write, and to listen and talk about stories?
Strategies to Use with Child
- Frequent breaks
- Reading to the child
- Perception of body language of the child
- Scribing for the child
- Typing for the child
- Talk about words and word meanings
- Teach the child to think out loud when completing mathematics problems or answering reading questions.
- This will allow you to listen to your childs thought processes and check for understanding
- Reading Pen & Audible Dictionary
- The Reading Pen is a fully portable, reading device that is designed especially for people who have reading difficulties, learning disabilities or dyslexia.
- This portable reading tool provides immediate word support and helps students read and understand independently.
- It helps users with learning disabilities by providing a definition of the scanned word or line of text.
- It reads both the words and definitions aloud using its miniaturized text-to-speech technology.
WordQ Writing Software
- WordQ is a software tool used along with standard writing software.
- WordQ suggests words for you to use and provides spoken feedback to help you find mistakes.
- Users of all ages who have problems writing and editing, particularly those with learning disabilities (LD), can benefit from using WordQ.
Technology can help support the needs of students with specific learning difficulties.
Sometimes simple technology can work more effectively.
Technology does not replace the need for specialist learning support, but it does give students more independence and freedom to work using their skills and strengths.
- He’s my Brother by Joe Lasker Level MP-UP
- The Don’t-Give-up Kid by Jeanne Gehret Level LP
- Different, Not Dumb by Margot Marek Level LP-MP
- The Gift of Dyslexia by Ron Davis
- Mark by Encyclopedia Brittania (Video) Level LS-US
- Miles T.R. & Miles E. (1999) Dyslexia: A Hundred Years On, 2nd ed., Philadelphia, Open University Press
- Lost for Words by BBC Worldwide (Video)
Some More Good Websites
- The International Dyslexia Association
- Dyslexia Parents Resource
- Learning Disabilities Association of America
- Bright Solutions for Dyslexia