Students with dyslexia and other language-based learning disabilities often learn differently and require an alternative approach to learning basic reading. In addition, most of these young learners are working full tilt while sitting in the classroom and by the time they get home and have to complete their homework, they are mentally spent. As a result, tagging on remedial reading lessons to a cup that is already overflowing can be enough to turn these kids off to learning altogether.
- First, employ an individualized approach as each student has unique challenges and gaps in knowledge. If you need to assess the areas that require remediation be sure to use an assessment tool such as the Good Sensory Learning Reading Assessment
- Second, the process needs to be fun and engaging. Many programs require students to slog through boring lessons, complicated rules, and bland workbook pages. Many of these concepts, however, can be enjoyable and motivating when employing mindful memory strategies and games. Here are some multisensory materials that can be used with any phonics or Orton-Gillingham program. They can be used to strengthen weak areas of cognition Click here for a menu of options.
- Third, help students learn how to visualize what they are reading. Many struggling readers do not have the cognitive space to use their mind's eye when reading, therefore, developing this skill to automaticity is key. To learn about the research behind visualization and learning as well as how to teach this needed skill Click here.
- Fourth, supplement all reading programs with card and board games that allow students to practice the concepts they are learning. This brings the fun factor into learning and can help to nurture a love for reading.
- Fifth, use a remedial program that is backed by time, testimonials and research. The Orton-Gillingham approach to reading is a well-established and researched approach that offers a multisensory, sequential, incremental, cumulative, individualized and explicit approach. There are many programs that are available. Click here to learn about a selection of these programs.
- Sixth, integrate a student-created, colorful, language arts handbook or guide. Click here to learn more about this method.
At Good Sensory Learning, we offer a large selection of downloadable card and board games that work with any Orton-Gillingham or phonics-based reading program. In fact, we specialize in tools for dyslexia remediation!Cheers, Dr. Erica Warren
Dr. Erica Warren is the author, illustrator, and publisher of multisensory educational materials at Good Sensory Learning and Dyslexia Materials. She is also the director of Learning to Learn and Learning Specialist Courses.
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