Keep in mind that no two people with dyslexia are alike. Be on the look out for 3 or more of the following warning signs.
• delayed speech
• mixing up the sounds and syllables in long words
• chronic ear infections
• constant confusion of left versus right
• late establishing a dominant hand
• difficulty learning to tie shoes
• trouble memorizing their address, phone number, or the alphabet
• can’t create words that rhyme
• a close relative with dyslexia
In Elementary School
• dysgraphia (slow, non-automatic handwriting that is difficult to read)
• letter or number reversals continuing past the end of first grade
• extreme difficulty learning cursive
• slow, choppy, inaccurate reading: - guesses based on shape or context - skips or misreads prepositions (at, to, of) - ignores suffixes - can’t sound out unknown words
• terrible spelling
• often can’t remember sight words (they, were, does) or homonyms (their, they’re, and there)
• difficulty telling time with a clock with hands
• trouble with math - memorizing multiplication tables - memorizing a sequence of steps - directionality
• when speaking, difficulty finding the correct word - lots of “whatyamacallits” and “thingies” - common sayings come out slightly twisted
• extremely messy bedroom, backpack, and desk
• dreads going to school - complains of stomach aches or headaches - may have nightmares about school In High School All of the above symptoms plus:
• limited vocabulary
• extremely poor written expression - large discrepancy between verbal skills and written compositions
• unable to master a foreign language
• difficulty reading printed music
• poor grades in many classes
• may drop out of high school
In Adults Education history similar to above, plus:
• slow reader
• may have to read a page 2 or 3 times to understand it
• terrible speller
• difficulty putting thoughts onto paper - dreads writing memos or letters • still has difficulty with right versus left
• often gets lost, even in a familiar city
• sometimes confuses b and d, especially when tired or sick
These warning signs reprinted with prior written permission from Susan Barton, Founder of Bright Solutions for Dyslexia
Simply put, dyslexia actually means, “difficulty with language.” People with dyslexia experience greater-than-average difficulty with learning to read, write and spell.
The official definition of dyslexia, adopted by the International Dyslexia Association, is as follows:
“Dyslexia is a specific learning disability that is neurological 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 the growth of vocabulary and background knowledge.”
Some important points in the above definition: Dyslexia originates because of differences in the brain. It is NOT related to intelligence and it often may be indicated when a person has normal or even gifted intelligence and the provision of good classroom instruction (including phonics). If additional reading help and “trying everything,” does not yield significant improvement, consider the possibility of dyslexia and the need for research-based intervention (see below) that has been proven to work.
What is Orton-Gillingham?
Dr. Samuel Orton (1879-1948) was a neuro-psychiatrist who first determined that the condition we term dyslexia is genetic and could be treated via the right educational interventions. His findings and approach have been validated through much subsequent research.
Anna Gillingham (1878-1963) was an educator and master of the English language. She assisted Dr. Orton by developing instructional materials based on his findings.
Orton-Gillingham instruction is not a program, but a teaching approach. It ismulti-sensory, using a student’s visual, auditory and kinesthetic pathways simultaneously, to help overcome visual and auditory processing difficulties and strengthen memory of taught material. It is structured, sequential and cumulative. Steps are taught logically, moving from simple to complex, with much practice and review. It is cognitive, as students learn why and how they learn best. All rules and sounds are directly and explicitly taught and learned to mastery. It is also individualized and throughout each lesson, I diagnose (make note of areas of need) and use that to prescribe further practice, or determine success.
The Barton Reading & Spelling System was created by Susan Barton, a leader in the field of dyslexia. Ms. Barton was inducted into the International Dyslexia Association's Hall of Honor, where a plaque with her name now hangs next to those for Dr. Orton, Anna Gillingham, Reid Lyon, Beth Slingerland and other internationally recognized authorities in the field of dyslexia. To learn more about Susan Barton and the Barton Reading & Spelling System, go towww.BartonReading.com and www.BrightSolutions.US.
Research has shown that students require a minimum of two, one hour sessions per week for effective learning and progress to take place. What is the goal? It is to bring a student up to or beyond his or her grade level in reading and spelling. This is a commitment that will take approximately 2 years to complete. The great news is that the skills gained by the student are evident within the first few months of tutoring. The investment in this work will greatly benefit all aspects of their life.
Students of all ages work hard and focus during sessions. One-on-one tutoring takes a great deal of mental energy even when games are involved. For the younger students, here are a few suggestions to make sure your child gets the most out of a tutoring session.
The student should be:
Aware that this tutoring will lead to a clear understanding of how to read and spell
Well hydrated before the session
Not hungry, make sure to give him/her a healthy snack before the session
Given the chance to use the rest room before the start of a session
Barton Reading and Spelling Teaching/Tutoring for Dyslexic Children and Adults. Initial Screening/Consultation appointment $60.00.
Private one on one Tutoring for Dyslexic Children and Adults Specialized, Systematic & Cumulative Multisensory Orton Gillingham program. 1 hour each appointment, recommended minimum of twice a week for success, with continued diagnostic assessment. $60.00
Tutoring sessions are one on one with the certified reading specialist.
These sessions are available in person or online. Many families find the flexibility of both very convenient over the summer and during vacations.
At every session students interact with the tutor, move letter tiles, type words or write on paper.
is a great option for:
Occasional make-up or distance sessions – if scheduling difficulties, bad weather, car trouble or illness make an in-person session difficult on a particular day, a distance session can be a good alternative to avoid cancellation and rescheduling.
Part or Full time distance tutoring- If a student lives too far away to come in person twice a week, doing half or full-time distance sessions offers an alternative for instruction.
There is no additional charge for distance tutoring. If you think you would like to use this service, even occasionally, the following steps are needed:
Indicate that you may like to use this service on occasion. This is necessary so that we can ensure we have the files available for the student’s level.
You must have a computer or laptop (mac or pc) and a good, internet connection at home. iPads or other tablets will not work with the screen sharing program.
The student will need a headset with earphones and a microphone. Online audio is not as clear as in-person. This will make audio 50% easier to hear for both student and teacher. The student also needs a mouse and a keyboard so he can manipulate the cursor on screen, to do various tasks during the lesson.