A Guide For Teachers Dyslexia Christine H. Lopez, Ed.D. Dyslexia - a Definition Dyslexia is a specific learning disability that is neurological in origin. That is, it is based upon the brain and its functioning. It is characterized by difficulties with accurate and/or fluent word recognition and by poor spelling and decoding abilities. These difficulties typically result from a deficit in the phonological component of language that is often unexpected in relation to other cognitive abilities and the provision of
effective classroom instruction. It appears that dyslexia runs in families. Secondary consequences may include problem in reading comprehension and reduced reading experience that can impede the growth of vocabulary and background knowledge. International Dyslexia Association Language-Based Learning Disability Special learning disability that is neurobiological in nature Characterized by difficulties with language, especially reading Problems with accurate and fluent word recognition Poor decoding and spelling
Difficulty with pronouncing words Challenges with math Deficit in the phonological component of language Lifelong impact - often results in much lower reading/spelling in relation to other academic areas. Benefits from multisensory, structured literacy instruction Language-Based Learning Disability Dyslexia
is a specific learning disability . . . that is neurobiological in nature. It is characterized by difficulties with accurate and/or fluent word recognition and by poor spelling and decoding abilities.
These difficulties typically result from a deficit in the phonological component of language. .
. . that is often unexpected in relation to other cognitive abilities and the provision of effective classroom instruction. Common Characteristics Dyslexia Not ALL may be present Common Characteristics of Dyslexia Present specific characters that persist over time and interfere with learning.
Individual diagnosed with dyslexia using has several of the following: Oral Language Reading Written Language Other Common Symptoms Characteristic: Oral Language Difficulties Difficulties: pronouncing words acquiring vocabulary or using age appropriate grammar following directions
learning the alphabet, nursery rhymes, or songs understanding concepts and relationships with word retrieval or naming problems Late learning to talk Confusion with before/after, right/left, etc. Characteristic: Reading Difficulties: learning to read identifying or generating rhyming words counting syllables (phonemic awareness) hearing and manipulating sounds (phonological processing)
learning the sounds of letters (phonics) remembering names and shapes of letters naming letters rapidly Characteristic: Reading (cont.) Transposing the order of letters in reading transposing the order of letter in spelling Misreading or omitting common short words Stumbles through longer words Oral reading slow and laborious (fluency)
poor reading comprehension during oral or silent reading, often because words are not accurately read Characteristic: Written Language Difficulties putting ideas on paper Proofreading Many spelling mistakes Many do well on weekly spelling tests, but may have spelling mistakes in daily work Characteristic: Other Common Symptoms
RAN: Rapid Automatized Naming Difficulty naming colors, objects, and letters rapidly, in a sequence Weak memory for lists, directions, or facts Needs to see or hear concepts many times to learn them Distracted by visual or auditory stimuli Downward trend in achievement in test scores or school performance Inconsistent school work Teacher says, If only she would try harder, or Hes lazy. Relatives may have similar problems
Related Learning Disabilities Dysgraphia (handwriting) poor fine motor skill Cannot remember kinesthetic movements to form letters correctly Dyscalculia (math) Counting and calculation errors Cannot retain math vocabulary or memorizing math facts ADHD - In/variable attention, distractibility, impulsivity, hyperactivity Dyspraxia (motor skills)
Difficulty planning and coordinating body movement Difficulty coordinating facial muscles to produce sounds Executive Function/Organization - loses, forgets, overwhelmed, slow pace Causes and Challenges Dyslexia Not ALL may be present Causes
Causes Differences in brain development Difficulty identifying speech sounds and learning how letters represent sounds Universal - NOT due to lack or intelligence or desire to learn Present in all languages (as we know) - reading is a learned behavior Occurs in all backgrounds and intellectual levels Runs in families Difficulties with spoken language challenges Expressing themselves clearly
Fully comprehending what others mean when they speak Social and Emotional Aspects Stress and Anxiety Can feel have no control of a situation Need to understand their learning disability Years of self-doubt = less tolerate of school and life challenges Self-image - feel dumb May be discouraged about continuing in school Success = luck; failure = blame themselves Depression Negative self-image
Difficulty visualizing a positive future Misconceptions Do NOT read backwards Spelling is jumbled because have trouble remember letter symbols for sounds and letter patterns in words NOT a disease = no cure Need proper diagnosis Appropropriate and timely instruction Diligence and support Do NOT have a lower level of intelligence - often very bright
Impact in School Dyslexia Not ALL may be present Picture of a Young Dyslexic Student Difficulties with Rhyming, blending sounds, learning the alphabet, linking letters with sounds Learning spelling rules - use letter name for sounds (lafunt = elephant) Remembering sight or red words - the, of, said
Listening comprehension is usually better than reading comprehension - understand a story when read to him but struggles independently Picture of a Secondary Dyslexic Student Reluctant readers Poor fluency - great difficulty with words not in their listening vocabulary (words in lists, vocabulary words, nonsense words) Very poor spellers misspell sounds, omit sounds, add/omit letters or syllables
Non-fluent writers - slow, poor quality and quantity of essays When speaking, mispronounce common words (floormat for format) Difficulty using/comprehending complex grammatical structures Listening comprehension superior to performance on timed reading tests Weak vocabulary knowledge and use Common Signs and Symptoms in School
Problems with Spelling and Organizing written and spoken language Memorizing number facts and completing math operations Reading quickly enough to comprehend, especially with longer reading assignments Learning another language Remembering simples sequences (counting 1-20, days of the week, alphabet, etc.) Understanding onset rhyme Pronunciation Clapping hands to the rhythm of a sound Word retrieval Remembering names of places and people
Spoken directions Plan of Action Diagnosis - Only a medical doctor can give a formal diagnosis. rules out other common causes of reading difficulties determines if the student profile fits definition of dyslexia. Intervention Planning - develops a focused remedial program with a specialized approach to reading instruction. Documentation Evaluation documents history of a students learning disability Family history has a heavy impact here. Formative assessment in the classroom is a key component.
Evaluation for Dyslexia Background information - remember family history! Intelligence - difference IQ and reading skill Oral language skills - speech
Word recognition Decoding Spelling Phonological processing = sound system of English Must be able to think about, remember, and correctly sequence the sounds in words in order to learn to link letter to sounds for reading and spelling. Reading comprehension Vocabulary knowledge Assessments for Dyslexia Comprehensive CST Evaluation
Comprehensive Reading Evaluation Teacher use Evaluation Gallistel Ellis Test of Decoding Skills WADE - Wilson Assessment of Decoding and Encoding Wilson Fundations Placement Woodcock Reading Mastery Qualitative Reading Inventory (QRI) Informal Reading Inventory (IRI) Recommended Instruction Dyslexia
Not ALL may be present Teaching Dyslexia Students Dyslexic students need a different approach to learning language from that employed in most classrooms. They need to be taught, slowly and thoroughly, the basic elements of their languagethe sounds and the letters which represent themand how to put these together and take them apart. They have to have lots of practice in having their writing hands, eyes, ears, and voices working together for conscious organization and retention of their learning. Margaret Byrd Rawson, a former President of the International Dyslexia Association (IDA)
Multisensory Structured Language Teaching Effective instruction for students with dyslexia is explicit, direct, cumulative, intensive, and focused on the structure of language. This is the idea of structured language instruction. Multisensory learning involves the use of visual, auditory, and kinesthetic-tactile pathways simultaneously to enhance memory and learning of written language. Links are consistently made between the visual (language we see), auditory (language we hear), and kinesthetictactile (language symbols we feel) pathways in learning to read and spell. .
Multisensory Structured Teaching Systematic and Cumulative Systematic - follows the logical order of the language sequence - begin with the easiest and most basic concepts, progressing to more difficult concepts Cumulative - each step must be based on concepts previously learned Explicit Instruction - deliberate teaching of all concepts with continuous student-teacher interaction. Diagnostic Teaching -individualized and based on careful and continuous formal and informal assessment,
Automaticity -comprehension and expression. Structured Multisensory Reading Instruction The integration of listening, speaking, reading, and writing makes this instruction multisensory. This instruction also enhances the reading and academic achievement of all students. Phonology - word attack ability to understand/apply letter/sound systems Orthography - the writing of language Syntax - the structure of sentences Morphology - word meaning: roots, prefixes and suffixes
Semantic - the organization of spoken and written discourse. Phonology = word attack - Sound-symbol association - OG = SOS Syllable instruction - identify and segment Classroom Strategies: Tips and Tools Teaching students with dyslexia across content areas is challenging! Schools can implement academic accommodations and modifications to help students with dyslexia succeed:
Give extra time to complete tasks Help with taking notes, and modified work assignments Taped tests Allow students with dyslexia to use alternative means of assessment Listen to books on tape Using text reading and word processing computer programs Orton Gillingham Approach Dyslexia
Not ALL may be present The Orton Gillingham Approach The Orton-Gillingham approach = structured, sequential, multisensory techniques established by Orton (1920) Gillingham (1936) , and their colleagues. Orton - kinesthetic-tactile reinforcement of visual and auditory associations. For example, students who confuse b and d are taught to use consistent, different strokes in forming each letter. Gillingham and Stillman (1936) alphabetic method combined multisensory techniques with teaching the structure of written English, including the sounds (phonemes), meaning units (morphemes such as prefixes, suffixes, and roots) and common spelling rules.
The Orton Gillingham Approach Direct Instruction Simultaneous, Multisensory (VAKT):uses all learning pathways in the brain (i.e., visual, auditory, kinesthetic tactile) simultaneously or sequentially in order to enhance memory and learning. Systematic and Cumulative: Follows the logical order of the language. Beginswith the easiest and most basic concepts and progress to more difficult material. Each concept must also be based on those already learned. Concepts taught must be systematically reviewed to strengthen memory.
The Orton Gillingham Approach Diagnostic Teaching: Flexible and individualized teaching. Based on careful and continuous assessment of the individuals needs. The content presented must be mastered step by step for the student to progress. Synthetic and Analytic Instruction: Synthetic instruction presents the parts of the language and then teaches how the parts work together to form a whole. Analytic instruction presents the whole and teaches how this can be broken down into its component parts. The Orton Gillingham Approach
Comprehensive and Inclusive: All levels of language are addressed sounds (phonemes) symbols (graphemes) meaningful word parts (morphemes) word and phrase meanings (semantics) sentences (syntax) longer passages (discourse) social uses of language (pragmatics). Matrix of MLS Programs Classroom Accommodations
Dyslexia Not ALL may be present Accommodations Involving Materials
Clarify or simplify written directions Present a small amount of work Black out extraneous stimuli Highlight essential information Use a placeholder Provide additional practice activities and opportunities Develop reading guides Consider graphic novels
Use an audio recording device Use of assistive technology - iPads, audiobooks, text to speech Accommodations Involving Interactive Instruction USE EXPLICIT TEACHING PROCEDURES Present an advanced organizer, demonstrate the skill, provide guided practice, offer corrective feedback, set up independent practice, monitor practice, review Repeat directions - several steps, add visual, read and understand Maintain daily routines - written, oral, kinesthetic
Provide copy of lesson notes Provide graphic organizer Integrate technology Accommodations Involving Interactive Instruction (2) Use step-by-step instruction Sequential Scaffolding Write key points or words on chalkboard/whiteboard (before lesson) Have student get into the habit of writing reminders for
themselves Use balanced presentations and activities - oral, visual, kinesthetic Use mnemonic instruction - rhymes/phrases Emphasize daily review Simultaneously combine verbal and visual information (Kinesthetic) Unsung Hero
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