Did you struggle or are you struggling in school? Is your spelling embarrassingly horrific? Do you think you could be dyslexic?
Consider these warning signs for a high schooler or an adult:
- You have terrible, and I mean awful spelling.
- You would rather lay on a bed of nails than read aloud ever.
- Reading for pleasure? Who in their right mind does that?
- Your reading is slow and choppy. You butcher many words along the way.
- If you come to an unknown word when you have to read, you skip it.
- There, their and they’re are your nemesis.
- You may have ridiculously bad handwriting. Someone may have suggested you become a doctor because of it.
- School was a painful, 13 year event that you endured, but you never wanted to be there.
- b’s, d’s, and p’s can still confuse you if you are sick, tired, or stressed.
- When you drive, you have the world’s worst sense of direction and often get lost in familiar places.
- Just reading this list has given you a headache.
Let’s get serious for a minute. If you can see yourself in this list, you may have also found yourself struggling at work or passed over for advancement. If you have to email anyone, you spend hours reading it over before you hit the send button.
If you are still in high school, you maybe wondering if college is even a possibility. You may dread the thought of anymore school. If you know that you fit in several of the bullet point in the list above, 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.”
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.
It’s NOT Your Fault!
The education system in the US has dealt you a bad hand. The practice of teaching reading has bounced between a phonetic model 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 neither has been proven successful with people who are dyslexic which is why reading instruction never stuck or made sense.
What Does Work?
The only method of instruction proven to work for people with dyslexia is an Orton-Gillingham based program. Unfortunately these program are not often available in the 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 his peers in reading.
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 part C. Part C lets the tutor know 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 phonemic 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’s 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.