Dyslexia is a common learning disability marked by problems with written language, specifically with decoding (pronouncing written words) and/or encoding (spelling words). People with dyslexia have trouble learning how written languages such as English use letters and letter combinations to represent sounds or how to combine letters to form syllables and words.
The keys to helping dyslexic readers overcome this learning disability are early detection and then intervention with a research-based, structured reading program. Early intervention gives the best results. According to Sally Shaywitz, author of Overcoming Dyslexia, brain scans of kindergartners and first graders who have received a year’s worth of reading intervention begin to resemble brain scans of students without reading problems.
Shaywitz also states that dyslexic students typically need intensive, individualized instruction with feedback, guidance, and ongoing assessment in phonemic awareness, phonics, and reading fluency. Instructional programs should emphasize these core elements as well as building vocabulary and increasing comprehension. Besides emphasizing multisensory instruction, the International Dyslexia Association states that "effective instruction for students with dyslexia is also explicit, direct, cumulative, intensive, and focused on the structure of the language."
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|Instructional Supports for Dyslexic Students|
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Gorman, Christine, “The New Science of Dyslexia,” Time, July 28, 2003.
Hall, Susan, and Louisa Moats, Parenting a Struggling Reader, Harmony Books, New York, 2002.
Hall, Susan, and Louisa Moats, Straight Talk About Reading, McGraw-Hill, New York, 1999.
Mather, Nancy, and Barbara J. Wendling, Essentials of Dyslexia Assessment and Intervention, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ, 2012.
Shaywitz, Sally, Overcoming Dyslexia: A New and Complete Science-Based Program for Reading Problems at Any Level, Alfred A. Knopf, New York, 2003.
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