Archive for the ‘Dyslexia Blog’ Category

‘My Brain’ a poem written by one of my students

Posted by Jennifer on September 24, 2014  |   No Comments »

One of my students who was recently diagnosed with dyslexia wrote a poem about his brain. It is so beautiful I had to share it. He is ten years old and coming to grips with what it means to have dyslexia. As you will see, he likes who he is because of his brain, not despite it.

My brain
lets me be free.
My brain
lets me open up doors to new worlds
where there is peace and where know one will bug me.
My brain
lets me change the world.
My brain
lets my ideas open free.
My brain
opens up paths that I will follow.
My brain
brings peace to the world.
My brain
lets me roam free and be creative.
My brain
will open up a portal to a great future
where my creations will be in the open.

Must see documentary on embracing dyslexia

Posted by Jennifer on September 1, 2014  |   No Comments »

A question I hear often is “should I tell my child that he has dyslexia? I don’t want to label him.” This documentary tells the story of families who are faced with this dilemma. I urge you to hear their stories as it may help you in your own journey with dyslexia.

What does it feel like to have dyslexia?

Posted by Jennifer on July 16, 2013  |   No Comments »

Check out this simulation that shows what if feels like to have dyslexia. This video gives a great overview of what dyslexia is and what it is not.

 

What is Section 504?

Posted by Jennifer on June 11, 2013  |   No Comments »

Section 504 is a part of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 that prohibits discrimination based upon disability – this includes dyslexia and AD/HD.

To learn more, check out A Parent’s Guide to Section 504 in Public Schools

This article answers the following questions:

  • What is Section 504?
  • Who is covered under Section 504?
  • Who decides whether a student is qualified and eligible for services under Section 504?
  • What types of accommodations will my child receive if determined eligible under Section 504?

 

Dyslexia Resources

Posted by Jennifer on May 16, 2013  |   No Comments »

Dyslexia Resource Group DRG’s mission is to provide education, support, and voice for families of students with dyslexia in the Denver metro area. They host monthly events on a wide variety of relevant topics such as Self-Advocacy, Assistive Technology, Accommodations, Social Emotional and Self-Esteem issues, Smart IEPs and 504s. DRG’s founders, Sally Pistilli and Lissa True are two moms trying to make a difference by sharing the knowledge they have acquired over the past ten years while supporting their children with dyslexia.

http://www.dyslexiaresourcegroup.com/

Books

  • From Emotions to Advocacy, By Peter W. D. Wright & Pamela Darr Wright
  • Overcoming Dyslexia By Sally Shaywitz, M.D.
  • Learning Outside the Lines By Jonathan Mooney and David Cole
  • The Secret Life of the Dyslexic Child By Robert Frank, PhD and Kathryn E Livingston

Assistive Technology in schools

Posted by Jennifer on May 16, 2013  |   No Comments »

Assistive technology is defined as any device or piece of equipment that helps bypass, work around or compensate for an individual’s specific learning challenges. For example, a student who struggles with reading but who has good listening skills might benefit from listening to audio books. Below are some useful kinds of assistive technologies.

Options for Finding Accessible Books

Bookshare

  • Bookshare is an online resource of books, magazines, newspapers and textbooks for people with print disabilities. This is a free for students once you qualify to use its services. The books are in a special format called DAISY and can be read on an iPad using an app called Read2Go. Bookshare books can be searched and downloaded directly to the iPad using Read2Go. Learn about eligibility requirements for Bookshare at https://www.bookshare.org/_/membership/qualifications

Learning Ally

  • Learning Ally provides audio books for individuals with print disabilities. Learning Ally is an eligibility based service whose qualifications closely match those of Bookshare. Books are also stored in DAISY format but they do not contain text. Learning Ally books must be sync’d manually using iTunes File Transfer. Many students like being able to listen to a chapter the day before the content will be covered in school. Learn more about this service at www.learningally.org

Journey Into Dyslexia

Posted by Jennifer on January 30, 2012  |   No Comments »

I highly recommend HBO’s ‘Journey Into Dyslexia’. It interviewed scientists, professors, children with dyslexia and adults with dyslexia. Hearing them articulate their story was moving. Many viewed their dyslexia as a curse when they were younger in school. Some had suicide plans. Many had teachers who singled them out as failures to the rest of the class. They hated being different and not fitting into ‘the box’. However, as adults, they’ve come to realize that different isn’t necessarily bad, it’s just different. Their dyslexia helped them to create and accomplish all that they have. Many now see it as a gift. Jonathan Mooney, author and public speaker shares more about this important film.

 

Early Symptoms of Dyslexia

Posted by Jennifer on November 10, 2010  |   No Comments »

Many parents wonder if their child may have a learning disability when they are in preschool. There are some symptoms that you can look for before children begin learning to read. These include:

  • Delayed speech (not speaking any words by the child’s first birthday. Often, they don’t start talking until they are two, two-and-a-half, three, or even older.)
  • Mixing up sounds in multi-syllabic words (ex: aminal for animal, bisghetti for spaghetti, hekalopter for helicopter, hangaberg for hamberger, mazageen for magazine, etc.)
  • Early stuttering
  • Lots of ear infections
  • Can’t master tying shoes
  • Confusion over left versus right, over versus under, before versus after, and other directionality words and concepts.
  • Late to establish a dominant hand
    • May switch from right hand to left hand while coloring, writing, or doing any other task. Eventually, the child will usually establish a preferred hand, but it may not be until they are 7 or 8. Even then, they may use one hand for writing, but the other hand for sports.
  • Inability to correctly complete phonemic awareness task.
  • Despite listening to stories that contain lots of rhyming words, such as Dr. Seuss, cannot tell you words that rhyme with cat or seat by the age of four-and-a-half.
  • Difficulty learning the names of the letters or sounds in the alphabet; difficulty writing the alphabet in order.
  • Trouble correctly articulating R’s and L’s as well as M’s and N’s. They often have “immature” speech. They may still be saying “wed and gween” instead of “red and green” in second or third grade.

If three of more of these warning signs exist, especially if there is dyslexia or AD/HD in the family tree, the child should be tested for dyslexia when the child becomes five years old. Also, phonemic awareness games and other reading readiness activities should be done daily during the preschool years.

www.dys-add.com/symptoms.html

I hope this information helps you in your journey to gather more information on how to best help your child. Feel free to contact me with any further questions. You can also find out about the services I offer at www.dyslexiasolutionsofcolorado.com

Learning Disabilities, Dyslexia, and Vision

Posted by Jennifer on November 10, 2010  |   No Comments »

Vision Therapy is a topic that I get many questions about from parents. What is vision therapy? Is it necessary? Will it help my child? From a financial standpoint, should I invest time and money in vision therapy or reading remediation?

Continue Reading…

Orton-Gillingham Approach to reading instruction

Posted by Jennifer on October 11, 2010  |   No Comments »

The Orton-Gillingham Approach to reading instruction is based on the work of Dr. Samuel T. Orton and was developed into a remedial program manual by Anna Gillingham. This approach is considered the first of its kind to implement and popularize the multisensory, Visual-Auditory-Kinesthetic (VAK) approach to teaching students with dyslexia to read.

Principles of Instruction

  • Diagnostic and prescriptive
  • Language-based
  • Systematic, sequential, cumulative but flexible
  • Cognitive
  • Direct and explicit instruction
  • Multisensory
  • Emotionally sound

Since the inception and refinement of the Orton-Gillingham Approach in the 1920s and 30s, many programs have been developed using these principles. These include:

  • Slingerland
  • Project Read
  • Recipe for Reading
  • Language!
  • The Writing Road to Reading
  • S.P.I.R.E.
  • Dyslexia Training Program
  • Alphabetic Phonics
  • Wilson Reading System

Strengths and Weaknesses of the Orton-Gillingham Approach

Strengths

  • Comprehensive and thorough training of practitioners to control for fidelity of implementation.
  • Explicit and systematic instruction for students with severe reading disabilities.
  • Clearly delineated scope and sequence.

Weaknesses

  • Teacher intensive daily planning for creating student specific lessons.

Training to be a Dyslexia Tutor

At the Academy of Orton-Gillingham, there are four levels of training: Subscriber, Associate, Certified, and Fellow. Learn more at http://www.ortonacademy.org/certification.php

Florida Center for Reading Research, www.fcrr.org