Reading is such a complex process. When we analyse what the human brain needs to do in order to read, it is astounding that any of us ever master the process. For some individuals, learning to read is a very difficult task. We are here to help!
Too often, needy children receive help:
- For limited periods of time
- From well-meaning individuals
- Often untrained
- Using methods that do not reflect state of the art, evidence and research-based instructional strategies
Poor readers will never “catch up” with their peers given “enough time”, UNLESS THEY ARE PROVIDED WITH A SCIENTIFICALLY-BASED, PROVEN INTERVENTION STRATEGY.
Most delayed readers, who are currently not able to read, will become competent readers through explicit teaching that is phonologically based and developmental in nature.
Research tells us – in order for a reading remediation programme to be effective, it must be intensive and systematic. Letter-sound associations must be taught explicitly. The sequence of letter-sound associations must be taught in a developmental hierarchy. Associations must first be practiced in isolation, then within single words and finally, within sentence/paragraph levels in phonetically controlled texts. Reading phonetically-controlled texts assures success and increases reading fluency and comprehension. Individuals have the chance to practice applying the phonics rules learned in isolation. Reading and spelling should be taught at the same time.
The I Just Want to Read! Programme:
- Provides intensive, explicit one-on-one instruction in reading, spelling and written output remediation
- Is adapted to meet the individual’s needs and rate of progress
- Focuses on establishing strong connections between sounds and letters/letter combinations and how to blend sounds together into larger units to make words
- Developmental in nature
- Multi-sensory in its approach
- Uses decodable text materials to practice specific decoding rules at sentence/paragraph level
Our team of Speech-Language Pathologists will accurately assess and diagnose reading, spelling and phonological processing delays. They will ensure that the intervention is appropriate to each child with intensity and frequency of instruction consistent with the severity of the disorder. Our highly skilled therapists will individualize the programme to meet the child’s current reading ability, speed of progress, cognitive abilities and family’s needs.
Children are usually seen for weekly therapy sessions with a consistent therapist. Parents/Caregivers attend and view all sessions and are trained to implement the daily home practice. All materials are provided. Usually, reading and spelling skills are both targeted. Once reading and spelling improves, instruction in short answer paragraph level writing is included. If a child is using assistive technology (i.e. Chromebook; laptop computer) in school, written output will be completed using the technology.
In addition, we offer training sessions at the Let’s Talk Guelph clinic, for both parents and children, on the use of Chromebooks (Read & Write for Google Chrome) and keyboarding lessons, as required. Please click here to learn more about Occupational Therapy at Let’s Talk Guelph.
Early Warning Signs in Preschool and Young School-Aged Children:
- History of delay in speaking (not speaking until 2+ years) or speech delay (unclear speech)
- Difficulty pronouncing new words (especially multisyllabic ones)
- Not sensitive to rhyming (decreased interest in nursery rhymes)
- Word finding difficulties OR frequent use of imprecise language (i.e. “stuff”, “thing”) OR confusing words that sound the same (i.e. “tornado”/ “volcano”)
- Slow to acquire letter-sound correspondences in JK and SK
- Family history (25-50% have a parent who was a struggling reader; genetic trait)
- Difficulty with rote memory (difficulty remembering isolated pieces of verbal information like their address, phone number, date of birth, months of the year)
- Extra time required to formulate answers when speaking
- Messy handwriting
- Poor phonological awareness
- Avoids reading
Oh those myths! Let’s get rid of them quickly!
Difficulty learning to read is NOT due to …
- Lack of exposure or a poor family model is not the cause of reading failure (although reading is a skill that must be practiced).
- Lack of motivation in the child is not the cause of reading failure. Would you want to practice something that you were poor at or didn’t know how to do?
- Lack of effort by the child is not the reason for reading failure. Most children are very motivated learners. Most poor readers have been trying, but failing. Most poor readers have not been given the right type of remediation to help them succeed.
- Reading failure is not due to lack of intelligence. Most poor readers have good overall cognitive abilities in other areas of learning, such as concept formation, reasoning, comprehension, general knowledge, vocabulary and critical thinking.
- Reading failure is not due to seeing letters reversed (i.e. b vs d). Dyslexia is a neurological glitch in nervous system development that manifests in deficits in the phonological (sound awareness) components of language.
- Reading failure is not due to the fact that, “he’s a boy”. Almost as many girls are delayed readers as boys, although they are often identified later.
- Giving poor readers “more time” or thinking that they “will outgrow it” will not help. In fact, early intervention is the key! We can often identify children at risk in JK/SK. You do not need to wait until grade 3, when many of the children are so far behind their peers and feeling frustrated.
- Holding a child back (delayed school entry; repeating a grade) will not “catch a child up” in reading.
- Not all struggling readers have dyslexia. 80% of struggling readers will become competent readers with correct instruction. Reading will remain difficult for a handful of children, but all will benefit from explicit teaching techniques.
Dyslexia by Sally E. Shaywitz (Scientific American, November 1996)
If this is of interest, please feel free to submit a self-referral or give us a call!