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Best Defense Against Dyslexia: Early Detection

This article is part 2 of 10 in the column Simple Words

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When a child has dyslexia, the child’s brain has difficulty matching sounds with letters, so reading and writing also become difficult. In addition, the skills needed to learn these basics—accurate and/or fluent word recognition and good spelling and decoding abilities—don’t come naturally.

The most effective antidote? Early diagnosis and intervention. Dyslexia can be diagnosed as early as age 3, especially if it runs in the family and there is an awareness of the symptoms. Ideally, it would be caught by kindergarten or first grade, before the gap widens between the dyslexic student and the student’s peers. Read more

Fluency in Dyslexic Brain: Practice Makes Progress

This article is part 1 of 10 in the column Simple Words

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As with all new skills, learning to read is a process that requires practice.  First, a person learns to read a word accurately. With practice, he becomes fluent, adding more expression and achieving better comprehension. But when dyslexia is added to the mix, practice is not just required, it is critical.

The difference is in how the brain works. A nondyslexic reader activates the front and back parts of the left-brain when reading—the side associated with language processing and reading—helping him associate words and sounds quickly and efficiently. Read more

Eight Guidelines for Parents of Dyslexic Children

This article is part 3 of 10 in the column Simple Words

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Dyslexia is frequently called a hidden disability. Although many, including me, would challenge using the word “disability,” the word “hidden” rings true.

Dyslexia can be invisible to someone who does not know what symptoms to look for. So as parents, we often trust medical or educational personnel to catch dyslexia symptoms and educate us on what needs to be done to help our children. This can be a big mistake.

As a parent of a dyslexic child, I have learned what works and what doesn’t work, and have condensed my experiences into these eight guidelines. Read more

Parent to Parent

This article is part 4 of 10 in the column Simple Words

Pamela Guest is the founder and chief editor of IEP Magazine. “IEP” stands for “Individualized Education Program/Plan.” The IEP is the document developed for each public school child who needs special education. Pamela’s mission is to bring attention to inequities, advocate for change where it is needed, and help parents with the information and knowledge they need to effectively advocate for their children in the public school system.

More importantly, Pamela is the parent of a dyslexic child and struggled throughout her son’s education. She had to learn the ins and outs of the system on her own with little to no support. As my path crossed hers on our journey to help others facing the steep dyslexia hike, our common goals brought us together. Education is her passion and this is my interview with her. Read more

On Coaching Millennials: A Guest Interview with Jess Hopkins

This article is part 5 of 10 in the column Simple Words

I had the pleasure of meeting Jess Hopkins when she gave a seminar at a Positive Parenting Event. Her talk led to a lot of constructive discussions in our home about how to support both of our children, dyslexic or not, in the cut-throat academic life ahead of them. In addition to causing us to discuss topics already on our “Learn More About” list, her comprehensive presentation gave us easy-to-apply tools to begin implementing self-compassion in our daily lives.

Jess is a twice-certified life coach, holding dual masters degrees in counseling psychology and applied positive psychology from the University of Pennsylvania. As a coach, she helps teens Read more

How Retained Primitives Could Affect Learning Disabilities

This article is part 6 of 10 in the column Simple Words

We are all born with primitive reflexes. Their presence is critical to the survival of the infant. They serve as the training wheels for the brain early on in the infancy and show that the infant’s nervous system is functioning normally. On the other hand, if primitive reflexes persist to exist long after the expected integration age, they may hinder the healthy development of the child.

Primitive reflexes are automatic muscle reactions in response to outside stimulation that are typical in a newborn and naturally integrate during the baby’s first year. Read more

How to Improve a Classroom Learning Environment for Students With Dyslexia

This article is part 7 of 10 in the column Simple Words

Students with dyslexia may have difficult academic experiences due to the nature of their abilities to perform in a traditional classroom environment, such as problems with accurate or fluent word recognition, poor spelling, and reduced decoding proficiency.

Although the signs of dyslexia vary, providing general support and making accommodations in a classroom setting will benefit a majority of children with learning differences and improve their academic experience significantly. Read more

How to Curtail Summer Learning Loss

This article is part 8 of 10 in the column Simple Words

Leave behind the morning routines, after-school activities, and weekend games: summer is here!

Forget about tears at school pickups and about meltdowns during homework. Now is the time to relax and enjoy the sun. But don’t throw the schoolbooks out the window just yet.

While summer break is an excellent time for all children to recharge their batteries, a long break from academics can result in learning losses both in reading and math. Read more

Why Is English So Hard to Read?

This article is part 9 of 10 in the column Simple Words

Learning to read does not happen as naturally or at as young an age as learning to speak.

Children need to intentionally work on literacy to master this skill. In addition, English is filled with inconsistencies, and these make the language more difficult for children with dyslexia to decode or encode.

If you are like the majority of native English speakers, you might not even be aware of these inconsistencies while you speak. But when it comes to reading and writing, these inconsistencies make English a tough language for learners and users.

 

What are these inconsistencies in English? Read more

Back-to-School Anxiety for Children With Dyslexia

This article is part 10 of 10 in the column Simple Words

Back-to-school can be a stressful time of year for both children and parents. Adding learning differences to the equation can increase levels of stress and may lead to anxiety. Reducing stress overall definitely helps the entire family be happier.

Children with dyslexia need additional emotional support to get through a school day Read more

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