Dyslexia simply means difficulty with written words. According to the International Dyslexia Association, up to 20% of the population may be dyslexic. Students with dyslexia struggle to learn to read with the traditional sight word and partial phonics methods used in many reading curriculums today. Students with dyslexia benefit from phonemic awareness, intensive systematic phonics instruction, direct instruction in vocabulary, fluency practice, and reading comprehension practice. Students with dyslexia also benefit from multi-sensory teaching that utilizes all four learning modes: auditory, kinesthetic, visual, and speech.
There are two primary types of dyslexia: visual and auditory.
Since the printed word has an obvious visual component - decoding the letters on the page to read and encoding them to write - students with weak visual skills often struggle with reading and spelling. Students with visual dyslexia will frequently reverse letters in both reading and writing. They will often blend the end of one word with the beginning of another when reading and write with too much space between letters within a word and too little between words. The challenge for students with visual dyslexia is memorizing and discerning the shapes of words and letters. Students with visual dyslexia find memorizing long lists of sight words to be not only frustrating but virtually impossible.
Many students with visual dyslexia are strong auditory or kinesthetic learners. Many of these students quickly remember anything they learn through hearing and/or are highly coordinated and gifted at athletics.
At Pedia Learning Inc our goal is to celebrate these learning differences and aid teachers, parents, and students in learning how to utilize their strengths while strengthening their weaknesses. In the case of visual dyslexia, students need to be explicitly taught the auditory connections to the phonograms by hearing and saying all the sounds made by each phonogram. They also need to develop kinesthetic memory of each phonogram by being taught how to correctly write each phonogram with explicit instructions, then writing the phonograms while repeating the sounds.
Once students have mastered the phonograms, they can begin to use them to sound out words and practice writing them. This multi-sensory approach develops the students’ abilities to read and write simultaneously while respecting their learning styles.
Some students enter school with weak auditory processing skills. These students often struggle to comprehend a story that is read to them, have difficulty following spoken directions of more than a few steps, have sounds missing in their speech, and mix up endings on words. Since the printed word is a visual representation of speech, students with weak auditory processing skills often struggle to learn to read. Many students with autism fall into the category of auditory dyslexia.
Students with auditory dyslexia frequently have strong visual and/or kinesthetic skills. These students learn best when they are explicitly taught that written phonograms correspond to sounds and when they are shown how to write each of the phonograms.
Many students with auditory dyslexia also need to be taught how to correctly pronounce some of the 45 sounds in English. This is best done by showing them the phonogram flashcard, teaching them how to form the sound with their mouth, helping them feel the positions of their tongue, teeth, and lips, and providing them with a mirror to see themselves make the sound. Students should also be taught how to write the sound using explicit directions.
For example: many students with auditory dyslexia are missing the /th/ sound in their speech. Begin by showing them the “th” phonogram. Then explain this sound is made by sticking your tongue out between your teeth and blowing. Show them how the sound is made. Help them to practice making the sound. For these students whenever they see the “th” phonogram it will be a visual clue to a kinesthetic activity. As students learn to read they will become more aware of the “th” sound in words by seeing it and it will then heighten their awareness of it in the speech around them.
The Logic of English series is based upon the multi-sensory Orton-Gillingham method which has been successfully used for over eighty years to teach students with dyslexia, autism, and other disabilities how to read. At the heart of the program are the 74 phonograms and 30 spelling rules which logically explain 98% of English words. The Logic of English makes systematic phonics easily accessible to parents and teachers without expensive training or testing. Logic of English curriculum uses the four learning pathways: auditory, kinesthetic, visual, and speech. This approach respects the gifts of all learners while strengthening areas of weakness.
The materials are designed to be easy-to-use while maintaining flexibility to adapt to the needs of the students. Optional activities coded by learning style allow teachers to expand upon lessons without looking elsewhere for materials. Reference materials such as Uncovering the Logic of English, and the Logic of English Reference Chart provide teachers quick answers to questions. Numerous supplements are available to engage student interest.