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Learning - Dyslexia, Simply Put Is Reading Difficulty

Aug 18, 2007
The following excerpt from a parent says it all;

Quote: Why then, can I prove (and tens of thousands like us), that my son cannot be taught to read, write or spell to grade level by a "regular education teacher", (whether private or state educated) and can ONLY be taught to read, write and spell to grade level by highly qualified individuals who are trained in a SCIENTIFICALLY proven method of teaching?

The child referred to above was not stupid or lazy as some tried to acclaim. If that were the case, he would not have learned to read 6.9 grade levels ahead in 18 months with a scientifically proven method of teaching.

Rather, the teachers who attempted to help this student were not trained in diagnosing and remediation of reading problems. Reading Specialists are the only professionals that are trained in not only diagnosing and remediation, but scientifically proven strategies to overcome reading problems as well.

Contrary to what some believe, children who read below level need only be taught with scientifically proven methods to achieve reading and spelling at level or beyond. Learning to read and spell correctly comes easily when taught by a highly qualified reading specialist. Acquiring a high quality education should not be something a child dreads which is what happens so often when children do not learn how to read, write and spell easily. It only becomes a dreaded task for the child if the teaching methods are not appropriate.

The research tells us that with the support of parents, caregivers, and early childhood educators, as well as exposure to a literacy-rich environment, children progress from emergent to conventional reading. By interacting through reading aloud and conversation, children are exposed to learning early. It is very important to read aloud to children and provide opportunities for them to talk about the stories that they hear. As Anderson, Hiebert, Scott, and Wilkinson (1985) state, "The single most important activity for building the knowledge required for eventual success in reading is reading aloud to children, especially during the preschool years". It helps them develop oral language, cognitive skills, and concepts of print and phonemic awareness.

Children read to develop background knowledge about a range of topics and build a large vocabulary, which aids them in later comprehension and development of reading strategies. They also watch how others read and therefore become familiar with the reading process. They are constantly learning.

Tell children stories that you were told as a child. It makes no difference how old the stories are. Each story is a new adventure to the child and you can relive it as well. Ask your child to tell you a story and listen with all of your heart. Let your enthusiasm show and know that you are celebrating your child's potential and actively nourishing child development.

Sing songs appropriate to your child's developmental stage, play dress up and pretend, role-play (take turns being each other). Any activity that involves moving is nurturing your child's natural instincts and motor skills. Make puppets out of socks and stage a puppet show. Allow the child to make up lines and be a puppet, actively participating in the learning process.

Drawing, writing and painting are invaluable activities that boost child development. Keep a variety of materials for these activities readily accessible to your child. Participate with your child in the learning process.

All children have goals. Goals will correspond to the child's age, but they are still goals, ever so important. By identifying a goal that a child wants to achieve, then locating books that entertain that goal, you teach the child that dreams or goals can become reality. And, you are giving modelling motivation. These activities are helping children learn to learn.

It is clear that child development of critical early reading-related skills, such as phonemic awareness or sound/symbol correspondence is fostered when children are read to and with at home during the preschool years.

When preschool children learn their letter and number names, and when they are introduced at very early ages to concepts of print and literacy activities, that barrier between spoken words and print no longer exists.

Dyslexia, simply put, is reading difficulty. Child development of phonemic awareness, an understanding of the alphabetic principle, and the application of phonics in reading and spelling are mandatory beginning reading skills that all children must master in order to understand what they read.

Dyslexia can be overcome with the correct teaching methods.
About the Author
Ms. Geier K-12 Reading Specialist uses research-based Synthetic Phonics Approach to reading, writing and spelling. Each lesson builds on skills from the previous lesson: Child Font - the art of reading and writing.
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