Dyslexia is a language based learning disability which affects one in five school children. Without diagnosis and proper intervention dyslexic children often face lifelong academic struggles, poor self-image, and in some cases school failure.
Section 504 protects students with disabilities from discrimination and ensures that they are provided for on par with non-disabled students. Understanding the basics of this law helps parents of disabled children to make informed decisions in advocating on behalf of their disabled child.
Confusion often abounds over which disorders qualify, under federal law, as learning disabilities. ADHD, is one of the more commonly mislabeled disorders that does affect learning but does not meet established criteria to be classified as a learning disability.
Many schools discontinue decoding instruction after 3rd grade.This is often problematic for struggling readers who lack skills to tackle the multi-syllabic vocabulary encountered from 4th grade on. Word attack instruction teaches techniques to make it easier to decode complex multi-syllable words.
Many academic struggles are the result of weaknesses in one or more of the basic cognitive skills which support learning. Cognitive skills training works to strengthen weak cognitive skills so that academic learning ability is enhanced.
At the core of most learning disabilities is a processing deficit in one or more cognitive skill areas. Cognitive skills training focuses on strengthening these underlying deficits so that overall academic learning ability can be improved.
There are a growing number of spelling curricula designed to assist with instructing
students who have dyslexia or who otherwise struggle with spelling. They use innovative instructional methods which often succeed where conventional methods have failed.
Phono-Graphix is an instructional method with documented success in remediating reading and spelling difficulties in students with diagnosed learning disabilities. Rather than relying on traditional phonics instruction, it heavily emphasizes phonemic awareness and knowledge of the alphabetic code.
Children with dyslexia or other reading difficulties need a great deal of supplemental instruction to improve their reading proficiency. Assistive technology does not replace an instructor, but can help both teachers, parents, and students by providing skill reinforcement and reading practice.
Kids with auditory processing disorder have an issue which affects how their brain recognizes and processes sound. They typically don’t suffer from hearing loss, but rather struggle to differentiate subtle differences in words. If not identified,this can lead to speech delays and academic problems.
Reading fluency is the ability to read with speed, accuracy and fluidity. Students with reading difficulties must stop to decode unfamiliar words which stops comprehension. Fluent readers read and comprehend simultaneously.
Fluency training can improve comprehension skills for struggling readers.
Students with dyslexia, ADD, and ADHD may suffer from dysgraphia, a learning disability that adversely affects handwriting. They require targeted remediation in order for their handwriting skills to improve. Curricula targeted to handwriting difficulties can help affected students improve skills.
Phonemic awareness is one of the most accurate predictors of future reading success or failure. Children with dyslexia and other reading difficulties usually have inadequate phonemic awareness skills. Through early diagnosis and intervention, reading failure can be prevented before it occurs.
Nearly all children with dyslexia struggle with spelling. Most children with dyslexia experience spelling difficulty that can’t be corrected through conventional phonics and spelling instruction. With the proper instruction, weak spelling skills can be greatly improved.