Dyslexia Help: Dysphonetic (phonetic) VS Dsyeidetic (visual) Dyslexia
After over twenty years of being in education, I provide tutoring, consulting, and coaching on dyslexia and other neurodevelopmental differences. Over the last 15 years, I’ve observed an increasing amount of behavioral, sensorial, cognitive, physical, mental, and spiritual difficulties and differences along with an increased number of children being medicated; Therefore, I developed a revolutionary program that includes an evaluation that “looks at the whole child.” I work with all stakeholders on constructive engagement when learning based on my student “whole child” observation(s) inspired by Maria Montessori, Benjamin Bloom, Peter Levine, Conrad E. and Cohen B., Dr. J. Puleo & Dr. L. Horowitz, Howard Garner, Dr. Bradley Nelsen, Hans Berger,Jean Piaget, Grolnick, W. & Kurowski, C. and Erik Erickson. I have also developed a revolutionary training/intervention program for people with unique learning and neuro-differences. This program is based on my own inductive reasoning and a detective sense contributed to my own gift of dyslexia, countless hours of student observations, educational research, and studies along with my perpetual care for children.
People with dyslexia have a sound and language processing problems. They will struggle to connect letters to sounds and, mainly problems identifying speech sounds and learning how they relate to letters and words; as well, those with visual processing problems struggle to understand visual information such as letters, shapes, or objects and, mainly problems processing graphic symbols. Related to the absorption and processing of sounds [sounds especially can be omitted from the middle position of words the most because it’s the last sound to be processed; even though, it’s in the middle position], Therefore, students with dyslexia most commonly omit letter sounds, words, phrases in the middle position, then the end, and least commonly the beginning. When they omit, they might do sounds confusions such as repetition(s), substitution(s), addition(s) or delete altogether, on the other hand; transversal and reversal are more common in students with a visual processing problem. Because dyslexia cannot be cured, students can develop tools and strategies to help their working memory, phonological awareness, reading, speaking, and spelling. I’d have them remember: if it doesn’t look or sound right reread or rewrite till you’re brain feels like “it’s just right” [trust your brain- you are smart, you can do it, and you are love].
“In the 1930’s Dr Samuel Orton in the USA noticed that learners with dyslexia had problems in reading and writing when taught by ‘traditional’ methods. Working on the premise that some cerebral connections, notably those between the visual and auditory areas, could be less strong in these learners, he looked for a system of teaching which would use other associative areas of the brain to link the visual and auditory areas.” https://www.dyslexia-and-literacy.international/ONL/EN/Course/S3-2-2.htm
4. LEARNING DISORDER that affects your ability to read, speak, write, and spell (see below)
In the medial position (mostly) you’ll see omissions of sound processing hence the students will add, repeat, substitute and even delete all together letters in the middle of the word, phrase, sentence or paragraph (check the medial, final, and initial letters in their spelling).
Hard time with diction and transcription writing- due to spelling, working memory. and executive functioning.
*Note: Students can have deficits that are both auditory and visual in nature! Total Functional Dominance.
2) Spelling Inventory. Read phonetic and sight words (back and forth) to have the student spell onto black T-chart. Check phoneme sounds above to the nonsense word spelled out by the student. See Appendix Cont. for Student Prompt.
Auditory Processing-Words, Phrases, Sentences-writing and/or 10 word spelling sample onto copy paper, mark position (words ex. for the word cap below)characteristics and markers, and make note and percentage.
Why spelling words (see above)?
The middle sounds even though in the middle position is the last to be processed. The last sound even though is the last position is the second to be processed. Since language sound processing is needed for spelling, you will observe them misspelling in mainly in the middle position, then the last position by doing omissions (leading to deletions, additions, substitutions, repetitions)! Orton Gillingham methods are great for helping anyone who has these sound processing issues.
Omissions: ex. the word cap
Fusion- She allowed (fused first sounds of two different words)
Include PA- Language/
Listening, Alliteration, Assonance, & Rime (see below). Also, ask about sensitivity to loud noise, muffled sounds when in a crowd for CAPD.
Visual Processing-Words, Phrases, Sentences- again writing and/or 10 word spelling sample onto copy paper, mark position (words ex. for the word cap below)characteristics and markers, and make note and percentage.
Why spelling words (see above)?
Have you ever seen anyone fix a b/d reversal by sounds, phonics, and auditorily methods? I have not. I have seen visual methods such as drawing a /bed/ work, noting the hands L/R, and holding up the hands. Mainly, I have seen where a developmental or behavioral optometrist, OT, or special lenses have helped the most.
ex. the word cap
Reversals- c@P, pac
Closures- a, o’s, etc. don’t meet up/ front/back tail
Maria Montessori defines “spirituality” as one of the domains of Early Childhood Education and Development. I’ve been a Montessorian since around 2006 and teacher trainer since 2008. The thought of adding “spirituality” to kids’ education was in my Montessori training and practice of methodology. It’s also embedded in her Montessori philosophy. What’s interesting: About eight years ago, I also attempted to add “spirituality” into the domains of development into one of my ECE teachers’ training; not surprisingly, it was “shot down” by my supervisor instantly. I can not let go of even the yearning and need to add “spirituality” to the way I teach those with dyslexia and other neurodifferences with, of course, meeting their other needs such as cognitive and sensory-motor needs.
I have been tutoring since 2001; for about five years since my O-G training, I have been working heavily with students with dyslexia. I was blending Montessori and O-G methods and even came up with a program named, Oh Good Golly. To me using multi-sensory, individualized, sequential methods etc.. are key to helping students with learning differences; but a year ago, I was getting the guilt feeling of not “meeting the needs of the whole child”. Therefore, I started on writing my new Program Named ELBERT™ which is an intervention program to help students and training programs to help parents and teachers to better understand learning differences and challenges. This ELBERT™ program is a hybrid of elements from Montessori and Orton-Gillingham and based on my own inductive reasoning and a detective sense contributed to my own gift of dyslexia, certifications, credentials, and experiences including countless hours of student observations, educational research, and studies along with my perpetual care for children. Similar to the Montessori philosophy, the Free The Literacy International Online Course by Dr. Vincent Goetry, Course Director, and Dyslexia International, based off of his recommendations, the dyslexic students need to be provided a safe, secure and happy environment by bearing in mind that children with dyslexia usually need several approaches in order to (Read on 7/17/20, https://www.dyslexia-and-literacy.international/ONL/EN/Course/Intro.htm):
·Encourage risk-taking in class, by persuading them to raise their hands even if they have doubts about their answers
·’Help’ them to give correct answers
·Avoid putting them in situations of failure in front of the others
·Reinforce self-esteem in class
·Preserve their self-esteem when marking their work
Encourage risk-taking in class, by persuading them to raise their hands even if they have doubts about their answers:
Personally, I talk to my students about being their own advocate and educate them on their capabilities and their own brain. They learn to speak out because they know that their thinking is unique and just as important as anyone else’s viewpoint/ideas. I actually write in my evaluation that the students and their parents give and encourage them opportunities to develop agency for something that they believe in whether it be animal rights, racial injustice, disability rights, advocacy, and dyslexia awareness/education!!
Lastly, I give them tools and strategies such as “thinking maps” because it’s not their thoughts, beliefs, and ideas that are so much shamed by others but the way in our disorganized communication that gets others to shame us. The thinking maps are done visually in their heads that help them to organize their own thoughts, beliefs, and ideas in an analytical way for others to understand better!!
‘Help’ them to give correct answers:
First, being a Montessorian, Maria’s philosophy is all about facilitating the child’s learning. This means that you trust and respect the child. I think they may know more than myself and I’m in their service. I serve the child not in the mindset that because I’m the adult that I necessarily know more- BUT, I do have them feel safe, secure, and happy at the same time. This takes a balance and an uncanny open-mindedness!!
Third, I ‘help’ them to give correct answers by not saying, ‘no or that’s not right’ when referring to an answer to a question. In my classes, the students are also safe and secure amongst their peers because I never discourage any thought, belief, and idea. If I have questions about it, I will ask to have them think. In turn, It usually persuades me to rethink my own thoughts, beliefs, and ideas!!! Love my kids and their “outside-of-the-box thinking”! On the other hand, I can take their answer and work with their answer by assimilating what I know that they have in their background knowledge and experience to the new skill, the content of the question that I’m presenting to them.
Avoid putting them in situations of failure in front of the others:
I’m a fan of Dr. Shultz and reading about his work in the IDA Handbook!! Dr. Shultz (2015) puts those with dyslexia on even “playing ground” which will set them up to succeed. “The R in the De-Stress Model means Reduce the threat. That means take the fear out of the environment for the child. If the child, for example, is intimidated by working in a large class filled with 26 or 30 kids, provide some time for small group instruction. However, if a child is stressed by being in a small group because all the attention is focused on him, then think about that when you create the space in which learning is supposed to occur. “
He also talks about, “The T in the De-Stress Model means to Teach the child the skills that she needs to be successful. We’ve talked about looking at her strengths and her weaknesses. But unless she has tools she can use consistently and regularly that are going to allow her to be successful, she won’t’ be, it’s random. So if there’s a particular method of reading instruction or math instruction or social skills interaction that you know from experience will be helpful for this child, teach her how to do those kinds of things. Let her rehearse those kinds of things in a safe environment. Don’t put her on stage without any preparation. Otherwise, she’ll experience yet again another failure. We don’t want to have that happen.” Read on 7/17/20 https://www.kidsinthehouse.com/special-needs/learning-disabilities/the-de-stress-method-to-help-kids-succeed; https://dyslexiaida.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/DITC-Handbook.pdf
Lastly, I personally pair them with students who will mentor and uplift them. I carefully set up my small and individual pairs for collaborative work. They can grow in connection with these other students because again the careful pairing will set them up for success.
Reinforce self-esteem in class:
Independence and self-regulatory behavior are in direct correlation to gaining and keeping one’s self-esteem. In Montessori, we don’t use any outside reinforcement and believe all self-esteem and regulatory behavior needs to be positively internalized. I try to give my students tools and strategies to self-regulate. I don’t use prizes, sticker charts, and such. I ask them, ‘how did it make you feel when you completed such and such all by yourself’. At the same time, I do want them to know that I am proud of them!! This again takes balance!!
I am not a fan of ABA because it shows immediate changes/results in a child’s behavior and actions. It is not long-lasting like self-directed neuroplasticity. To help save their self-esteem, they need to know that they are in control independently as it relates to their actions and behavior by having self-directed neuroplasticity. Going along with Montessori again, I trust the child in their actions and behaviors- I try very hard sometimes in being open to understanding why they chose to do what they do. In turn, I help them to think positively about themselves and their actions which is the biggest self-esteem saver!! Read on 7/17/20, https://amshq.org/About-Montessori/Inside-the-Montessori-Classroom/Early-Childhood
Dr. Shults (2015) states, “The S in the De-Stress Model has to do with Speculate. And for me, that means, sitting down with the child and speculating with the child, what do you bring to this learning task that’s going to help you be successful? A child might say, I don’t know what you mean by that, and you can say, you know what? When you take things apart, you do a really good job at that. Or when you get in front of people and you do your comedy routine, you’re really great at that. Those are all strengths” Also, “S means success. And success means once you build a foundation for success by reducing stress and building confidence and building competence, success builds upon success. That’s an important part of the model. The final S in the De-Stress Model has to do with strategizing, thinking ahead. You’re saying to the child, now that you know these things, you know what’s going on in the brain, you know the impact of stress on your learning, you’ve been taught strategies to work on these things, take what you’ve learned here and try to apply that to the very next thing that you’re going to be asked to do. You can do it. And you know you can do it. And I hope that this.De-Stress Model helps kids get to that point of success.” Read on 7/17/20 https://www.kidsinthehouse.com/special-needs/learning-disabilities/the-de-stress-method-to-help-kids-succeed; https://dyslexiaida.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/DITC-Handbook.pdf
Preserve their self-esteem when marking their work:
I have not used red ink in probably 20 years. I literally threw away all my red ink pens!! No joke..I have dyslexia and other learning differences. As a child, It killed me more than any to see my creative writing all marked up with a red pen with a frowny face or test for that matter. One year, I went into an already established and set-up PreK classroom, I threw away all the red pens that I found!!
I use learning conferences instead of marking their work. This way we are a team. They are directed by using rubrics that we make together!! Now, the rubrics are key along with the learning conferences. This way they know my expectations and what I “believe in” them that they may not even know yet that they can accomplish. If they think something is impossible, I will listen and take into consideration and “meet them where they are”.
If they think they can’t do something, then they pretty much can’t because I know, “you create your own reality’. I talk to them about envisioning what they want to see happening in their work and share it with me. This is where goal setting is absolutely key!! During learning conferences, it is so important to revisit those goals and recognize their self-esteem when goals are met then set new goals!! Read on 7/17/20, http://www.moedu-sail.org/lessons/developing-using-learning-rubrics/
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