What Works for Dyslexics?
Research has shown that, for most dyslexics, techniques designed to help all the senses work together efficiently should be used. Specific reading approaches that require a child to hear, see, say, and do something (multisensory) have proven successful with many dyslexic students, including:
- the Orton-Gillingham method
- the Slingerland method
- MTA (Multisensory Teaching Approach)
- Alphabetic Phonics
- Wilson Reading System
- Project READ
- Recipe for Reading
Pearland ISD uses the Orton-Gillingham approach with students. Typically, the duration of treatment is about 2 years, with daily or weekly small group instruction ranging from 30-45 minutes per day at the elementary level to inclusion support tailored to individual needs at the middle school and higher levels. After this type of instruction, students should be able to independently apply their reading, spelling and writing strategies in their general education classrooms.
Experience has also shown that attitude is a powerful influence in the success of these students. Dyslexia should not become an excuse for a child to avoid reading or writing. Because the academic demands on a child with dyslexia may be great and the child may tire easily, work increments should be broken down into appropriate chunks. Frequent breaks should be built into class and homework time. Reinforcement should be given for efforts as well as achievements.
Finally, computers are powerful tools for these children and should be utilized as much as possible. Pearland ISD offers free subscriptions to Learning Ally (www.learningally.org) for students identified with dyslexia or a learning disability in reading. Contact the dyslexia teacher at your campus for more information.
Similarly, there are programs that don't really seem to help dyslexic students. While the extra exposure to reading and math may not hurt the student, these programs often don't use multisensory techniques in their instruction, so the dyslexic student is not getting information into their brain efficiently. These programs include
- Hooked on Phonics
- Reading Recovery
- Read Naturally
- Sylvan, Kumon, or similar franchises
- vision therapy