Did you struggle in school? Are you struggling in school? Do you have a child who has been struggling for far too long but don’t know why? Do you teach high school or college and have that ONE student who works so hard for the grades they get?
Do you think it could be dyslexia?
Consider these warning signs for a high schooler or an adult:
- Spelling is terrible, and I mean awful.
- A bed of nails would be more comfortable than ever reading aloud in front of people.
- Reading for pleasure? Who in their right mind does that?!
- Reading is slow and choppy, and many words get butchered along the way.
- All unknown words get skipped.
- There, their and they’re are only words grammar nazi’s worry about.
- Becoming a doctor is a good choice merely due to ridiculously bad handwriting.
- School was a painful, 13-year event that was endured at best.
- Letters like “b”, “d”, and “p” can still confuse you if you are sick, tired, or stressed.
- Getting lost still happens regularly, even in familiar places
- Just reading this list has given you a headache.
If you are still in high school, you may be wondering if college is even a possibility. You may dread the thought of any more school. If you know that you fit in several of the bullet points in the list above, then you should learn more about dyslexia.
Adults: Let’s get serious for a minute. Have you ever found yourself struggling at work or have you been passed over for advancement in your career? Have you ever had to email someone and you spent hours reading it over before you hit the send button? If you can see yourself fitting any of this criteria…then you should learn more about dyslexia.
What is Dyslexia?
According to the International Dyslexia Association, “Dyslexia is a specific learning disability that is neurobiological in origin. It is characterized by difficulties with accurate and/or fluent word recognition and by poor spelling and decoding abilities. These difficulties typically result from a deficit in the phonological component of language that is often unexpected in relation to other cognitive abilities and the provision of effective classroom instruction. Secondary consequences may include problems in reading comprehension and reduced reading experience that can impede growth of vocabulary and background knowledge.”
In plain English, this means what you have been struggling with for all these years is a brain difference!
It’s Never Too Late!
It doesn’t matter if you are 17, 37 or 67! It’s never too late for you to learn the skills you need to be a successful reader. We have several students at our reading clinic who are in high school, and we would gladly welcome any adult who wishes to learn to read.
NOTE: Since this piece was written, we now have adult students learning to read at our literacy center.
It’s NOT Your Fault!
The education system in the US has dealt you a bad hand.
Please note this is not your teachers’ fault.
The practice of teaching reading has bounced between the alphabetic principle and a “look-say” or whole language model for the past 100 years. Depending on when you attended school you were taught one or the other of these models for reading.
The problem is that reading instruction does not make sense nor it does not stick because neither of these models has been proven successful with people who are, in fact, dyslexic.
What Does Work?
People with dyslexia need a SYSTEMATIC, EXPLICIT, SIMULTANEOUSLY MULTI-SENSORY instructional program.
The only method of instruction proven to work for people with dyslexia is an Orton-Gillingham based program.
Unfortunately, these programs are often not available in public school even though dyslexia can affect up to 20% of the population.
Tutoring outside of the school setting is often the most effective solution for teaching a dyslexic person to read.
In late August of 2015, Noah’s mom contacted me. At the time Noah was 17 years old and starting his 10th grade year. Noah struggled with reading, writing, and spelling. Like many moms of dyslexic children, Noah’s mom was told not to worry. She was told that he would be just fine and eventually he would catch up to the reading level of his peers.
Well, that never happened. So, after his mom reached out to me, I met Noah to give him the Barton Student Screening. There are three parts to this screening, but the most critical part is the third part, part C. This tells the teacher if the student is struggling with any auditory discrimination, auditory memory, or auditory sequencing deficits.
Noah did not pass part C. I began teaching Noah with the Lindamood-Bell LiPS program. This is an excellent phoneme sequencing program. After 6 or so weeks of working on the LiPS program twice a week for an hour each day, Noah passed the Part C of the Barton Student Screening.
Now, we could move forward with Barton Reading & Spelling program. It is worth mentioning that Noah would not have been able to begin any Orton-Gillingham based reading program without having the LiPS program first. The skills taught in that program are essential to learning to read.To
learn more about this read How to Guarantee Orton-Gillingham Will Work for Your Child
Fast-forward fifteen months, Noah is now in the middle of Barton Level 6. He has made tremendous progress in 2 hours per week for the last year and a quarter. One of the greatest gains Noah has experienced during our work together is a huge boost in confidence. Noah was able to enroll in a couple of college courses this past fall. These courses were challenging, but certainly not impossible for him.
Just like Noah, you, too, can become an amazing reader. You need the right program, and you need to start in the right place.
Do you have any reading success stories? Please share them in the comments below.