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Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Accommodating Students with Dyslexia: 12 Strategies for Success

Students with dyslexia or symptoms of dyslexia often struggle in school. It is not that they have limited abilities.  On the contrary, many have IQs in the above average or genius range. As a result, instead of a dumbed down curriculum, these students need to be challenged and they need to receive accommodations, modifications and multisensory teaching techniques to unleash their learning potential.  

What makes it difficult to accommodate students with dyslexia is that each student has their own unique strengths and weaknesses. Yes, two students with dyslexia don’t have the same pattern of cognitive processing deficits. In fact, there are a number of profiles that can lead to this diagnosis. In addition, there are a number of specific cognitive skills that can cause symptoms of dyslexia. Consequently, a successful remediation often requires a tailored, individualized approach.  To tap into the quickest results, I have learned that one has to look at the specific cognitive difficulties underlying the academic struggles and also develop the core skills required for reading. Then, these areas can either be strengthened or compensatory strategies can help blaze detours that lead to learning.

12 Difficulties, Common Accommodations and Remedial Strategies for Success.
The following is a table that I created to help make the pathway to success a little bit easier.
Past or Present Difficulty
Accommodation
Remedial Strategies
Letter reversals (b and d), symbol reversals (< and >) and words reversals (was and saw)
- Teachers should not take off points when students exhibit reversals.
- Color code common reversals to help students perceive the difference.  For example, make the letter b, blue and the letter d, red.
- Provide strategies: For example, turn the greater and lesser signs into a Pacman and explain that the Pacman eats the larger number:3443
- Do fun activities that exercise abilities from the Reversing Reversals Series.
Trouble with reading aloud and sounding out words
- Provide audiobooks through organizations like Bookshare, Learning Ally, Raz-kids, and Audible
- Offer instruction in an Orton-Gillingham Based reading program
- Make reading aloud optional for struggling readers.  

- Provide audiobooks through organizations like Bookshare, Learning Ally, Raz-kids, and Audible and encourage students to either read along or visualize the story.  Encouraging learners to read along while listening can improve tracking, whole word recognition and more - learn more HERE.  
- Students with learning disabilities that impact reading can qualify for a free membership at www.bookshare.org
- Offer instruction in a Orton-Gillingham Based reading program
Challenges with math word problems
- Use large graph paper to help students line up problems.
Trouble understanding jokes, punchlines, sarcasm and inferences
Think aloud and explain the meaning behind abstract concepts, inferences and other “hidden” meanings.

Check for understanding to make sure concrete learners fully understand any abstract concepts.
- Practice interpreting jokes,
- Practice finding inferences in billboards and magazine advertisements.
- Click here for other strategies.
- Use the Good Sensory Learning Higher Order Language Bundle to exercise and strengthen these skills.
Difficulty following a series of written or aural directions
- Have a student explain their understanding of an assignment and correct any misconceptions.
- Simplify directions and highlight keywords.
- Provide oral directions, check for understanding, and repeat directions - if needed.
- Offer a larger font with less content on each page.
- Provide text to speech technology.
- Play fun games and activities that strengthen these skills.
- Consider some basic remedial assistance with the core skills required for language processing.
Trouble mispronouncing words
- Be patient and guide the student to the correct pronunciation.
- Try not to laugh at funny mispronunciations as many kids get embarrassed and feel like they are being laughed at or made to feel stupid.
- Practice difficult words by coming up with your own tongue twisters.
Difficulty rhyming words
- Spend additional time on this concept and show the idea visually by taking simple words such as cat and changing the beginning consonant.
- Play hands on rhyming games or online ones.
Trouble mispronouncing words
- Work with a speech and language professional and help the student learn how to produce the proper letter and word formations.
- Help students learn how to form the sounds with their tongue and mouth.
Trouble telling directions
- Place markers on a student’s desk or body to help them with directionality.  For example, they might have a ring on their right hand or a rabbit on the right side of their desk and a lamb on the left.
- Do fun activities that exercise directionality abilities from the Reversing Reversals Series.
Trouble recalling names or words
- Offer a word list that can help students recall important words.  
- Teach the student to use a thesaurus.
- Teach memory strategies.  Click here to learn more.  
Difficulty with spelling
- Do not take points off for spelling errors.
- Allow student to use a computer with a spell check.
- Use a smartphone, tablet, Echo or other device that can provide the spelling of a words upon request.
- Learn about Spelling strategies
Trouble learning how to read
- Provide audiobooks through organizations like Bookshare, Learning Ally, Raz-kids, and Audible
- Offer instruction in a Orton-Gillingham Based reading program
- Provide extra time when reading.
- Shorten reading assignments.
- Simplify directions and highlight keywords.
- Provide oral directions, check for understanding, and repeat directions - if needed.
- Offer a larger font with less content on each page.
- Provide text to speech technology.
- Offer instruction in a Orton-Gillingham Based reading program

If you would like a discounted bundle of all of my products for dyslexia remediation, CLICK HERE.



Dr. Erica Warren is the author, illustrator and publisher of multisensory educational materials at Good Sensory Learning.  She is also the director of Learning to Learn and Learning Specialist Courses.



Wednesday, November 8, 2017

100+ Powerful Learning Specialist and Educational Therapy Materials

This week I wanted to tell you about my online store, Good Sensory Learning.  I’m Dr. Erica Warren, and I established this site so I could share all the materials that I have created over the last 20+ years as a learning specialist and educational therapist. When I first began my private practice, Learning to Learn, I had great difficulty finding fun and multisensory materials for my students that were effective and engaging. So back in 2005, I made it my mission to design and distribute high-end, remedial products as well as memorable, motivating lessons that bring delight to learning.  If you would like to try a free sampling of 24 of my activities, CLICK HERE.


How Are the Products Organized at Good Sensory Learning?
You can download my Free Printable Catalog or you can browse the site using the grey “search all products” bar in the top right of any page with keywords such as dyslexia, working memory, and executive functioning.  What’s more, drop down menus in the red banner allow you to shop by grade, subject, need, or discounts. If you select more, you can learn about my teacher training courses, consultations, purchase orders, and my expertise. A variety of quick links are presented at the bottom of the page, and I’m always just an email away.  If you would like product advice, send me an email with a list of student difficulties or lesson topics, and I’ll reply with suggestions.


Why Do I Sell Digital Downloads?
There are a number of reasons why I sell digital downloads to my customers instead of hard goods.
  1. Digital downloads are available to my customers immediately via email. This is very convenient for my customers in countries like Africa, Asia, Europe and Australia.
  2. Digital downloads enable me to keep prices low (no shipping or printing) so teachers and specialists can afford my products.
  3. Materials can be printed over and over again for your students year after year. Please note that a single purchase offers a license for a single teacher.
  4. Digital downloads are easy to store, and they don’t gather dust.
  5. Many of my materials can be made interactive on a computer or tablet for one-to-one or online sessions. Here is a free video that shows you how you can do this: https://youtu.be/yRvozyE-BpU
  6. Digital downloads enable me to make updates and additions to products - if needed. Occasionally, a customer will find a typo or make a great suggestion. I greatly appreciate this feedback, and I’m always happy to offer store coupons for your time and communication.
  7. You can print each activity or game as needed. I love to place key activities in dry erase pockets, so I can use them over and over again. I also place my games in binders with the use of page protectors. This is great for storage and protection.


Are There Ways to Save?
If you would like to stay abreast of the latest promotions, coupons and publications, you can join my once a month newsletter: https://app.convertkit.com/landing_pages/69400. You can even become an affiliate and earn 15% commission on all sales that come through your links.  

When purchasing items on my site, don’t forget that if you spend over $50.00, you can get 5% off your order by using coupon code: SAVE5. Better yet, you can get 10% off of $100.00 or more with coupon code SAVE10.


I’m always here to help!  Reach out anytime @ erica@goodsensorylearning.com.


Dr. Erica Warren is the author, illustrator and publisher of multisensory educational materials at
Good Sensory Learning.  She is also the director of Learning to Learn and Learning Specialist Courses.
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