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Understanding Dyslexia Jennifer Delancy, M.Ed. Reading Specialist.

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Presentation on theme: "Understanding Dyslexia Jennifer Delancy, M.Ed. Reading Specialist."— Presentation transcript:

1 Understanding Dyslexia Jennifer Delancy, M.Ed. Reading Specialist

2 What is Dyslexia? Dyslexia is a life-long language processing disorder that hinders the development of oral and written language skills. Children and adults with dyslexia can be highly intelligent, however they have a neurological disorder that causes the brain to process and interpret information differently. Dyslexia is a brain based disorder that causes difficulty in using and processing linguistic (speech) and symbolic (letter) codes-Letter sound correspondence. Traditionally dyslexia causes problems with reading, writing and spelling and those problems manifest themselves differently in each person. Dyslexia can also make it difficult for people to express themselves clearly. It can be challenging for them to use vocabulary and to structure their thoughts during conversation.

3 Myths and Misconceptions Dyslexic children see letters and words backward and that reversals are an invariable sign. Reversals are irrelevant to the diagnosis of dyslexia. Dyslexics are left handed All dyslexic children are clumsy

4 Is Dyslexia Common? According to the National Institute of Health, up to 15% of the population has significant difficulty learning to read. Dyslexia occurs among people of all economic and ethnic backgrounds. People are born with dyslexia. Often other members of the family will also have dyslexia.

5 Causes Dyslexia is in an inherited neurological condition that often runs in families because there seems to be a genetic basis for this disorder. Research indicates that dyslexia is the result of a brain difference in the “wiring” of the neural pathways and parts of the brain that are related to the language functioning and reading. Researchers have found that people with dyslexia may use different and less efficient parts of the brain when doing reading tasks.

6 Signs and Symptoms Difficulty understanding that words are made up of sounds (phonemic awareness). Difficulty assigning the correct sounds to letters-alone and when combined to form words. Difficulty pronouncing words properly-blending sounds into speech. Difficulty learning the alphabet, days of the week- basic sequential information.

7 Components in the Clinical Identification of Dyslexia - The International Dyslexia Association Family and Individual History Cognitive ability or Intellectual Aptitude Specific Language Skills Related to Reading and Writing Success. Speech sound and syllable awareness, word pronunciation, word retrieval, rapid naming, knowledge of word meanings, comprehension and production of sentence structure (syntax), expressive verbal ability, including organization of ideas, elaboration, and comprehension of what is heard and read. Single Word Decoding Reading Comprehension Spelling Written Composition Handwriting

8 Treating Dyslexia Recognizing dyslexia early in life is a key factor in how much the learning disability will affect a person's development. Unfortunately, adults with unidentified dyslexia often work in jobs below their intellectual capacity. But with help from a reading specialist, teacher or other trained professionals, almost all people with dyslexia can become good readers and writers. Incorporating the following strategies into the learning process can help overcome the difficulties of dyslexia.

9 Essentials of a Successful Reading Program... Early Intervention-Diagnosis is the essential first step in successfully teaching a child with dyslexia. Intense Instruction-Reading instruction for the dyslexic reader must be delivered with great intensity. A child who is struggling to read should be in a group of three to four students, and should receive specialized reading instruction at least four to five times a week. High Quality Instruction-this type of instruction is provided by a highly qualified teacher such as a reading specialist. A child with a reading disability who was not identified early may require 150-300 hours of intensive instruction ( at least ninety minutes a day for most school days over a one-three year period).

10 Effective Programs Systematic and direct instruction in: Phonemic Awareness Phonics Decoding Spelling Reading sight words Vocabulary and concepts Reading comprehension strategies Practice in applying these skills in reading and writing Fluency training Enriched Language experiences: listening to, talking about and telling stories

11 Effective Scientifically Researched Programs... Great Leaps Wilson Reading System Read Naturally Orton-Gillingham Approach (Payne Education Center)

12 Accommodations “For a dyslexic reader, accommodations represent the bridge that connects him to his strengths and, in the process, allows him to reach his potential.” -Sally Shawitz, M.D. The most important accommodation for the dyslexic is the provision of extra time. Recorded Texts A quiet separate room for examinations Allow students to record lectures

13 Modifications Giving a student a different or alternative assignment. Working with instructional materials at a lower level than other students of that grade. Reducing the number of words that a child needs to learn for a spelling test or testing him or her on different words. Allowing students in middle school or high school to have a modified class schedule. Instead of taking a foreign language, allow them to have an extra study hall.

14 Multi-sensory Instruction Research has shown that dyslexic people who use all of their senses when they learn (visual, auditory, tactile, and kinesthetic) are better able to store and retrieve the information. So a beginning dyslexic student might see the letter A, say its name and sound, and write it in the air -- all at the same time.

15 How to Help a Dyslexic Reader in Your Classroom... Visual Methods:using flash cards, looking at pictures, charts or maps, visualizing and color coding. Auditory Methods:listening to someone read or explain, talking into a recorder then listening to it, studying with music in the background, using songs, raps or rhymes to learn information. Tactile-Kinesthetic Methods:writing down or typing information, tracing, drawing, graphing, demonstrating, acting it out, using manipulatives, studying while doing something physical.

16 Strategies that have worked for me... Let students use magnets for spelling test. Use sand and a tray for a multi-sensory approach. Use sandpaper for spelling Use gel boards when new letters are introduced Air writing Use buttons when segmenting and blending words. When introducing a new letter, use an object (stuffed animal or picture) to associate the letter with.

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