This week, I would like to feature a guest blog by the American Dyslexia Association (ADA), a wonderful resource for teachers, parents and individuals with dyslexia.
What is ADA and What Resources Do They Offer?
ADA is a not for profit organization that provides help for individuals with dyslexia and dyscalculia by offering free online printable worksheets to help children improve their reading, writing, spelling and calculating difficulties. The worksheets, that are based on the Attention Function Symptom (AFS) Method, help children improve academic challenges. This scientifically proven method has been helping children with dyslexia worldwide for over 20 years.
Tell Me More About the AFS Method:
Livia Pailer-Duller, Executive Director of American Dyslexia Association, emphasizes that children with dyslexia see (perceive) things differently than non-dyslexic children because of genetically inherited difference in brain functions. This causes children with dyslexia to have difficulty recognizing and processing letters, numbers and symbols. Based on this scientific fact, the AFS-Method goes beyond working on the symptoms of dyslexia (mistakes in reading, writing or arithmetic) by focusing on the development of the children’s attention and sensory perceptions as well.
How Does the AFS Method Work?
The AFS worksheets help children with dyslexia by training the different sensory perceptions in the areas of visual word recognition, memorizing the sequence of words and acoustic perception, or the sound of singular or groups of letters. The worksheets also address spatial perception, the ability to perceive size, or distance between objects. The ADA offers over 1500 free worksheets designated to train each of these specific areas.
- “The AFS-Method is unique firstly because it focuses on all areas that cause the dyslexic child to make mistakes in reading, writing and doing arithmetic and secondly because it is designed to be used in a home setting. However, teachers can certainly implement this training as well,” Pailer-Duller said.
How Do I Use This Program?
Before beginning the training and selecting a worksheet category, it is important to determine the problematic areas for each individual with dyslexia. The ADA also offers directions on how to detect challenges in the different sensory perceptions.
- “To achieve success, continuous training of the deficit area is important. It is recommended working with the child 10-20 minutes a day up to five times a week,” Pailer-Duller said.