Mon Mar
24

Why Public Schools Struggle to Help Kids with Dyslexia

SUMMARY

Many parents expect public schools to provide their dyslexic children with timely evaluation and therapy, and these parents often delay getting their kids the help they need until the school acts. Unfortunately, this “wait and hope” approach is rarely effective and has a costly impact on children:

  1. Navigating the public school bureaucracy to secure special attention often takes months or years. Meanwhile, children are falling further behind during the critical early-education period.
  2. Most schools are understaffed and ill-equipped to administer a complete language processing evaluation.
  3. Even if you are able to get your child designated for special education, he or she will typically be taught in a group of children with widely ranging learning challenges, making targeted and specific treatment for dyslexia unlikely.

Dyslexia Help in Public Schools

Every week scores of confused parents call us to discuss how to help their children who are struggling readers and writers. Many of them wonder, “It seems like my child’s school should help him overcome his reading and writing problems. Can’t I just ask them to test him?”

While this seems like an entirely reasonable approach, it just does not work very well in the real world of today’s public schools. In short, your child’s public school is very unlikely to provide the testing or treatment that your bright, dyslexic child needs—no matter how long you wait.

 

Why Schools Act Slowly—Or Not At All

  • Public school teachers, principals and staff are well-intentioned, but the system is broken. Most schools don’t have the resources to diagnose and treat dyslexics. Waiting for the school to test and treat your dyslexic child is a “race to the bottom” and an enormous disservice to your language-challenged child.
  • If a teacher notices that your child is having difficulty, the teacher might just say that kids develop at different rates and yours will “catch up.”
  • The school might tell you that your child will be tested in the 3rd grade, so you should just wait until then.

The Risk of Delaying Evaluation and Treatment for your Child

  • By the time your child is far enough behind to qualify for a public school evaluation, you have a bigger problem on your hands. What was a manageable academic challenge for your 1st grader can turn into a significant emotional and social problem by the 3rd grade. You are likely to hear your child say things like, “I’m never going to get this,” “All my friends read better than I do,” “I hate this,” “School is not for me,” “I’m stupid.”
  • Children with dyslexia do not “catch up” without specialized and explicit instruction. Such children don’t “just need a little extra practice” or a tutor; they need a specific type of teaching designed for the unique learning patterns of the dyslexic brain. (This is known as the Orton-Gillingham method.)
  • Smart dyslexic students often treat every word as a sight word and memorize it, instead of using the word’s structure to decode and understand it. School reading assessments are unlikely to pick this up. Later, when these bright dyslexics are in middle and high school with dramatically increased reading and note taking demands, this memorization strategy will fail them.
  • While you are hoping for dyslexia help from the school, your child is losing ground—falling behind with reading and writing skills that are fundamental to all learning. As the American Federation of Teachers explains in “Waiting Rarely Works: Late Bloomers Usually Just Wilt,” among children who do not get help outside of school “there is nearly a 90 percent chance that a poor reader in first grade will remain a poor reader.”

Common Limitations of School Evaluations

  • The instruments schools and school psychologists most often use to determine eligibility for special education seldom if ever give a diagnosis. Yet, only with a clear diagnosis can you create a roadmap to academic success for your dyslexic student.
  • The psychoeducational evaluation that schools provide looks at IQ and academic achievement to determine if there is a gap between the two. That gap is defined as a “learning disability.” This evaluation will not tell you what’s wrong nor will it suggest what treatment will work best for your child’s individual problem.
  • Intelligent students with dyslexia often test like typically developing readers in the early grades. They can get to third or fourth grade, still testing in the broad average range on psychoeducational measures, yet struggling mightily with basic language processing skills necessary for upper-level literacy. They may never qualify for public school services because their psychoeducational testing scores don’t show the arbitrary “gap.”

 Common Limitations of School Intervention and Therapy

  • Your child may be offered special education. Special education typically takes place in a group that is made up of children with conditions as different as dyslexia and brain injury, all taught with the same methods, regardless of the cause of their difficulty.
  • Group teaching (including special education) is less effective than individual therapy since both explanation and practice must be adapted to each child’s level.

The Proactive Alternative to the “Wait & Hope” Approach

  • Your dyslexic child needs a professional evaluation including three things: diagnosis (naming the problem), intervention planning (developing an individualized approach to treatment that is appropriate to your child’s skills and needs) and documentation (establishing your child’s eligibility for special services). Professionals who are qualified to diagnose dyslexia include specially trained psychologists, speech-language pathologists and clinical educators. Unfortunately the goal of public school psychoeducational testing procedures is eligibility for tax-funded services, not diagnosis or treatment planning.
  • It is rewarding to see how dyslexic children thrive and excel once they are properly diagnosed and offered effective treatment. The child who “hated” reading is now reading beyond her grade level; the child who refused to do homework is now eager to write reports. Have a look at what parents say about their child’s experience.

If you are concerned about your child’s reading, writing or spelling, the most important first step is a professional evaluation. No matter where you live, your child can be tested and treated individually, online, face-to-face, by the clinical educators at Lexercise. To find out more, contact me directly at AskSandie@Lexercise.com or 1-888-603-1788.

Thu Mar
13

Why We Test our Teletherapy Partners

Lex_telepractice_withmom_illustrationChildren aren’t the only ones being tested at Lexercise. Before we can even talk about testing or treating dyslexia, we have to know that the professional has the knowledge and skills needed to provide effective evaluation and treatment.

Yes, Lexercise tests its prospective clinical partners to be sure they do.

We do this because research has repeatedly shown a correlation between clients’ therapy progress and clinician knowledge. Professionals who want to use Lexercise as part of their practice begin by taking our Qualification Exam. This exam is based, in part, on the International Dyslexia Association’s Knowledge and Practice Standards. We’ll invite the clinician to join Lexercise if their score is at least 80%. If the clinician doesn’t score at least 80% we’ll provide study resources and coaching, and they can re-test. Professionals who have not had previous professional training in a structured language approach (aka Orton-Gillingham) may want to begin by taking our two online courses. Instead of taking the Qualification Exam, course takers can demonstrate competence by passing the two end-of-course exams.

We hope that that clinicians find our qualification process collaborative, friendly and empowering. We certainly need more qualified professionals, and we want to do all we can to enable clinicians to develop and to demonstrate their competence.

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Lexercise teletherapy partners are clinical educators or speech-language pathologists who are experts in structured language (a.k.a. Orton-Gillingham) therapy. They use the Lexercise teletherapy platform so they can work with clients wherever they live. If you are interested in becoming a Teletherapy Partner, click here or contact us with questions!

If you are looking for therapy for your child, one of these teletherapy therapists would be a good choice. You will need an evaluation first, so give us a call at 888-603-1788 and we’ll explain how to get started.

Fri Mar
7

Should My Child Repeat a Grade?

ID-10093663Requiring a child to repeat a grade continues to be one of the major ways that public schools deal with struggling readers. This practice continues, in part, due to the way that “standards-based education” and “high-stakes” end-of-grade testing is implemented. However, most research does not support the effectiveness of grade retention for struggling readers and/or writers.

Both research and common sense suggest that simply having a child repeat a grade will rarely address the problems that the child is experiencing in the first place.

In fact, research shows retained students often suffer long-term harm, both academically and emotionally (source).  Although some research suggests retained students show short-term gains in achievement, this is usually followed by a fade in progress, as well as negative attitudes toward school (source). For example, research has shown that, on average, retained students’ reading achievement is worse than fellow low-performing peers who are promoted. These deficiencies persist to the 11th and 12th grades and probably beyond. Further, research suggests that retained students are more likely to drop out of high school.

Grade retention has also been related to an erosion in students’ self-esteem and mental and emotional health.

While it can be frustrating to see your child struggling in school, and while retention may seem like the easy answer, we urge parents to think carefully before agreeing to it. There is a huge literature on this subject and wide agreement that grade retention alone will not improve a child’s reading skills. Grade retention might be especially problematic for children who struggle only with reading and writing but not in other areas, like math and science. For a child with such uneven achievement patterns a better approach might be to allow the child to advance to the next grade and continue to advance in areas of strength while providing a therapeutic program for reading spelling and writing skills.

Here are links to a few recent articles on this topic:
1) The Perceptions of Primary Grade Teachers and Elementary Principals about the Effectiveness of Grade-Level Retention
2) Beyond Grade Retention and Social Promotion
3) Does Grade Retention Make A Difference

If your child struggles with reading, writing or spelling, the most important first step is a professional evaluation. No matter where you live, your child can be tested and treated individually, face-to-face, online, by the clinical educators at Lexercise. Learn more here, or contact me directly at AskSandie@Lexercise.com or 1-888-603-1788.

Mon Feb
24

Don’t wait to help your struggling student

ID-10087374The four year old who is having a hard time learning letters becomes the kindergartner who is having a difficult time associating sounds with letters. And that child easily becomes the student who is falling behind. Children who don’t read proficiently by third grade are four times more likely to drop out of high school.

However, with early intervention, this does not have to be the case. Diagnosing and treating dyslexia early in a student’s life is not only essential, but it is increasingly accessible.

Today, it is possible to reliably identify children at high risk for dyslexia before they fall behind.  Below is the Yale Center for Dyslexia and Creativity’s advice about the most scientifically sound and sensible approach to identifying young at-risk children before they experience reading failure:

  1. Observe your child’s language development.  Be on the alert for problems in rhyming, pronunciation, and word finding.
  2. Observe your child’s ability to connect print to language. Notice if he is beginning to name individuals letters.
  3. Know your family history. Be alert to problems speaking reading, writing, spelling or learning a foreign language.
  4. If there are clues to problems with spoken language, learning letter names and especially if there is a family history, have your child tested. Here is a link to more information about Lexercise’s online evaluation.
  5. Focus on strengths as well as the weaknesses. The goal is to make sure that they strengths and not the weaknesses define the child’s life.

If you have noticed any of these identification signs, but are still unsure if your child may be at risk for dyslexia, a good place to start is by administering Lexercise’s Free Dyslexia Screener. Our screener can help raise red flags which may indicate that your child is at risk for dyslexia. The dyslexia test takes only 5-10 minutes and provides you with results immediately upon completion.

Whatever you choose to do, please take action now. Waiting another year will only hurt your child.

If you are concerned about your child’s reading, spelling or writing the most important first step is a professional evaluation. No matter where you live, your child can be tested and treated individually, face-to-face, online, by the clinical educators at Lexercise. Learn more here, or contact me directly at AskSandie@Lexercise.com or 1-888-603-1788.

Wed Feb
19

Jordan Malone, Dyslexic Olympian Speedskater

February 25, 2009 - 2010 Winter Olympics - Medals Ceremony - VancouverFor the past few weeks, the world has tuned in to the 2014 Winter Olympics, with many children discovering their new role model in an Olympic all-star. These phenomenal athletes are the best at what they do, but that doesn’t mean they haven’t had to overcome their own set of personal obstacles.

Take US short track speed skater Jordan Malone for example. The self-proclaimed “scrawny” kid from Texas overcame dyslexia and ADHD to represent his country in Sochi this year.

Though Malone has struggled in the classroom, he has excelled in the rink. “Skating seems to be one of the only things that allows me to block out the rest of the world. Even when I am just sitting down doing paperwork, I have to have a set of headphones in or I simply cannot focus. When I skate nothing else bothers me,” he said.

Malone is a great example of the connection between athletics and the ability to learn.

In her article for the Yale Center for Dyslexia & Creativity, “Sports: Strengthening Their Self Confidence and School Skills,” Nancy Hall makes the point that “physical activities like individual or team sports, important for any child, are especially beneficial for those with dyslexia.”

Hall goes on to offer helpful stories illustrating her point — examples in which youth who struggle with dyslexia offset some aspect of their difficulty with successes in sports. Issues of self-esteem, frustration, motivation, relationships, even organization can be improved through athletics and such improvements can give students the confidence they need to continue making progress on the academic side.

When a child struggles to read, write or spell, it’s easy for life to fall out of balance — for the child and the family to turn a laser focus on “fixing” the problem at the expense of just about everything else, including play, fun and recreation.

Getting a professional evaluation and finding effective treatment is essential, and as Nancy Hall describes, sports can provide vital balance for a child with dyslexia whose daily, structured language practice requires a lot of focusing on words. Read the whole article here.

If your child struggles with reading, writing or spelling, the most important first step is a professional evaluation. No matter where you live, your child can be tested and treated individually, face-to-face, online, by the clinical educators at Lexercise. Learn more here, or contact me directly at AskSandie@Lexercise.com or 1-888-603-1788.

 

Thu Feb
13

‘Read-Aloud’ Assistance on Common Core Testing Causing Controversy

ccss2Since 1990, the National Center for Educational Outcomes has been tracking accommodations policies for students with disabilities. Currently, several states allow text passages to be read aloud to students with certain disabilities. This practice is referred to as ‘Read-Aloud Assistance.’

Determining the appropriate accommodations for students with dyslexia and other print disabilities has turned out to be an extraordinarily difficult and controversial problem, especially in connection with assessments related to the new Common Core State Standards (CCSS) which have been adopted by 45 states. These 45 states are now collaborating to develop testing that is aligned to the CCSS.

The Department of Education is investing millions of dollars to fund the development of CCSS assessments through two consortia: The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) and the SMARTER Balance Assessment System. According to the National Center for Learning Disabilities (NCLD), “There is some concern that outdated thinking within the consortia—about access to accommodations such as “read-aloud, calculators, scribes, and word prediction software”—will keep them from creating the most modern, research-based, robust, and universally-designed tests that would allow all students to show what they know.” NCLD is advocating for testing systems that use the most modern technology and universal design features and that assure protection of the civil rights of students who have diagnosed with disabilities.

According to Education Week, the two consortia are taking different approaches to the issue of accommodations for students with print processing disabilities. The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers decided to permit text passages to be read to students but, in that case, a notation on score reports is made saying no claims can be made regarding the student’s foundational reading skills. The Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium opted against the read-aloud accommodation for students in grades 3-5, saying it would invalidate the language constructs being measured, but permits the read-aloud accommodation for qualified students in higher grades.

While some who object to the read-aloud accommodation say it is like “cheating,” others believe just as strongly that for some children, a read-aloud accommodation is the tool they need to demonstrate what they know. Assessment products in English Language Arts and Mathematics are expected to be ready for the 2014-2015 school year.

I welcome your comments and questions. To get answers to your questions about dyslexia or language-learning disorders or to learn more about Lexercise or reading aloud, call 1-888-603-1788 or e-mail support@lexercise.com.

 

Mon Jan
27

Tori’s Tips for Teletherapy!

head shotIn today’s blog post, I talked with Lexercise Clinician Tori Whaley about how she conducts individualized and effective teletherapy sessions. Here are some tips Tori shared with me:

How do you keep kids engaged in teletherapy sessions?

TW: One key to engagement during sessions is switching quickly between activities.  With all of the stations in our sessions, it’s important not to stay on any one for too long. As I get to know my students, I learn how long I can expect to maintain attention on a single task.  I watch for signs of waning attention and am prepared for brain breaks. I use my honorary teletherapy dogs, Bailey and Penny, to help with this! They occasionally stop in to say hello to the client (or beg for treats) and this can provide a much-needed but quick break.

Another key to engagement is monitoring the difficulty of the lesson.  It’s important to be aware, especially in the practice sessions, if and when the student requires reteaching. If the content gets too hard a student is apt to disengage. So, being prepared to reteach and keep the content at a just-right level is helpful.

How do you encourage your clients to practice and play the online exercise games every day between your face-to-face teletherapy sessions?

TW: I engage the parent’s support in encouraging between-session practice. For the most part, as parents and students see progress, they are excited to participate in the practices.

How do you and parents work together in a partnership that encourages students success?

TW: I encourage parents to attend and participate in our sessions.  That way, we are able to use the same terms and reinforcement strategies. Depending on how much time families are able to invest in practice between sessions, I provide recommendations for supplemental materials and practice activities.  I see the parent as the main expert on their child’s reading and learning and look to them to guide and support the work I do with their child.  This partnership is a major key to the child’s success.

 How do you help the parent make the most of the sessions?

TW: For parents to make the most of the session, I encourage them to stay close by and actively tuned-in to the session. I encourage them to listen for the terms I use and how I use specific terminology to raise their child’s awareness of the language structures. (The parents of my most successful students honestly start to sound like a clinician after a while! They pick up my ways of correcting and praising.) I coach parents in ways to help their student remain relaxed and engaged during the session so that he or she gets the most out of instruction.

How do you manage behavioral or attention problems as they may arise?

TW: Managing behavior via teletherapy definitely requires some specialized strategies! For the most part, the platform and pace of the lesson mitigate behavior challenges.  However, praise and goal setting can be key to minimizing off-task behavior.  Beyond that, I depend on parental support.  Students with the most behavior challenges need a parent in physical proximity to provide gentle guidance, including praise and correction, and to set expectations.

 

Mon Jan
27

Teletherapy from Boston to Mustique

photoWe are so happy to have world traveler Laura Sargent on board as a Lexercise teletherapy partner! Laura Sargent is a graduate of Harvard University with a Masters of Education. She has training in the Orton-Gillingham approach and RAVE-O (Dr. Maryanne Wolfe’s Tufts University structured language approach). She started her teaching career in Montana, but soon replaced the mountains with the ocean to sail the world and experience the variety of cultures from a unique perspective. Her travels lead her to the island of Mustique, where she lived off shore on a sailboat, raising and homeschooling her two children. For eight years Laura has worked with struggling readers who attend the island school.

Just recently, Laura had to leave Mustique and relocate to Boston due to an illness in the family. Her relocation prompted her to join the world of teletherapy to continue working with her students in Mustique. The Mustique Education Trust, which funds educational enrichment programs on the island,  is funding Lexercise Teletherapy for students. In today’s blog post, we ask Laura a few questions about her experiences working with her students in the West Indies all the way from her current location of Boston. Here’s what Laura had to say….

Can you compare how the children respond to your teletherapy compared to the therapy you used to provide on location?

LS: The children of Mustique have just loved having a new learning tool to explore. It has been easy to bring them into Lexercise. They use computers in school, as they did previously in my reading classes, so this has been just another application of technology for learning. In the classroom I worked with them in small groups or one-on-one, which often stressed my schedule. Lexercise has enabled me to include more children and work individually with each student in teletherapy sessions. The daily exercise games give them more frequent drills than I had time to provide. Of course, nothing can fully replace a face-to-face session. In my face-to-face session with each student, for example, I want to hear how they are producing phonemes and work closely with them on personal writing products. If the student has some difficulty with the exercise games (e.g., understanding the robot’s spoken definition in the Descriptor Game) I want to say the definition so they better understand it. All in all, I think the students are getting more out of the programme on a daily basis than I could provide to that many students in the same time frame. That is very good.

As far as my students are concerned they enjoy the whole process, the games, the camera, sharing my desktop, and they get so excited when it’s time for them to annotate! I’m surprised how easy it is to use the old tricks of engagement in a teletherapy session to keep them focused on the learning. The sessions move fast and the multisensory tools make it easy to stimulate inquiry into the material.  At first I could see the “Whoa, what is this?!” look on their faces, but I saw their expressions transform into intent learning as they read from the screen and shared what they noticed. The writing process has been a bit of a challenge. For that particular part of the lesson, if they don’t have their paper-based writing material on hand the alternative is to have them transcribe using the annotation tool. This is not as quick as writing on paper, so I have learned to be sure they are sufficiently prepared for class. I am lucky to have an IT person, Natasha Joseph, there at the school to help. For the children who log in from home, the parent can ensure the writing material is on hand and the dog is put outside. We have had some pretty great sessions with the parents looking on and helping when necessary. I really think they like to witness learning in their children.

How about the children’s parents and teachers? How does teletherapy work for them?

LS: I am getting a good response from the parents. As a matter of fact, it was a parent who first led me to Lexercise as an option for her son who is dyslexic. Thank goodness Lexercise brought me on as a clinician so I could work with all my students! In reference to the daily games, I think the parents are happy to have their children do their exercise games from home instead of needing to come to school for these practice exercises. Instead of what can become a two hour walking commute to school, with all sorts of distractions along the way, students now can quickly log on from home, do the exercise games– and then right on to their homework. I haven’t had much correspondence with the teachers except when I told them of the Lexercise possibility. They thought it was worth the try. The teachers are very busy and support anything that will help the students

Mustique is a (lovely!) remote spot. How is the technology working that connects you in Boston with children in Mustique?  

LS: Mustique is very lucky to have a strong technical infrastructure and support staff who make sure internet is working throughout the island. That is unique for a good part of the Caribbean. Most of my students log in to their exercise games at home, but many do their face-to-face teletherapy sessions with me from the community centre’s computer lab where they have learned to log in themselves and where they are ensured a strong internet connection. For the students who do their face-to-face teletherapy sessions at home, we have done preliminary “tech-checks” and made any necessary adjustments for good connectivity. Most of the students are logging in for their exercise games on a regular basis. I have a few who need to improve in that area, but I am in touch with their parents, and we are working on it.

Are you enjoying using teletherapy?

LS: I am enjoying Lexercise. I like the format, the sequence and layout of the lessons and the fact that I can adapt what I put on my screen during the teletherapy sessions to bridge the cultural gap, though that hasn’t been much of a problem. I wish I could see their faces while they are playing the exercise games! I get a thrill when the emails come in, reporting each student’s exercise games errors. The client reports that are available are great. They help me to track the mistakes and decide what to include on each student’s next session. I wasn’t sure how Lexercise would be received by the parents. But the kids are logging in and making it to the sessions, and they even request make-up sessions on the rare occasion they miss one. On my wish-list for improvements: I would like tools that would make it easier for me to work closely with each student on writing. Also, I would like more different exercise games.

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Lexercise teletherapy partners are clinical educators or speech-language pathologists who are experts in structured language (a.k.a. Orton-Gillingham) therapy. They use the Lexercise teletherapy platform so they can work with clients wherever they live.

If you are looking for therapy for your child, one of these therapists would be a good choice. You will need an evaluation first, so give us a call at 888-603-1788 and we’ll explain how to get started.

 

 

Thu Jan
23

“If my child is reading on level, can he or she still have dyslexia?”

tori_whaleyIn today’s blog post, Lexercise clinician Tori Whaley talks about the limitations of reading level. Here’s what Tori has to say…

When parents pose the question, “What is my child’s reading level?” there are usually two pieces of information they are looking for.  First, they want to know whether their child is meeting grade level expectations.  Second, they want to know what books are good for their child to read.   The question of whether their child is at risk for falling behind in future grades may not directly enter their minds.  After all, shouldn’t present success foretell future outcomes?

The answer is yes and no.  Schools use diverse instruments to measure reading levels.  All of them can compare a child’s current performance to other students in a given grade level and provide recommendations for what level of books are appropriate independent reading material for a child.  However, success at the early levels on some reading assessments does not necessarily mean a child has mastered the skills necessary to continue growing as a reader.

The challenge in assessing reading is due to the complexity of the task.  The goal of literacy is communication.  Book for emergent readers use specific tactics to support communication.  Very early readers depend on high frequency words and illustrations to get their point across.  Successful early reading, as measured by many popular reading assessments, does not necessarily require the ability to sound out words.  Students with dyslexia who are strong at word memorization may easily master these levels by memorizing common words.  Teachers who depend on these assessments in isolation may miss the reality that these students are not acquiring adequate phonics skills.

As students advance through levels reading materials have fewer pictures and charts and tables are introduced.  Word and sentence complexity and the amount of text per page all increase.  Single word identification and reading fluency become more important.

The strategies students may use to attack this level of text may vary. Typically developing readers, who have acquired strong phonics skills, are able to read novel words with relative ease.  In contrast, students with dyslexia who have not acquired strong decoding skills may rely on other strategies, such as context, essentially guessing at novel words.  They predict which word comes next in the sentence using what they know about the subject matter and what word seems to fit with the other words they may have read.  This is far less reliable and leads to inaccurate reading, decreased fluency and, often, poor reading comprehension.

Occasionally, such a reader may come across a text that he or she is able to read with ease.  Parents and teachers may wonder: Why is this book more accessible than others at a similar level?  The answer is usually related to student’s interest and background knowledge.  For instance, I had a student once who had a strong interest in snakes.  He went to the reptile exhibit at the zoo and studied everything he possibly could about snakes.  If I gave him two texts at the same level, one about snakes and the other about trains, he would have little difficulty reading the snakes book but struggle mightily with the one about trains.  This is a phenomenon even strong readers experience.  If I am presented with an engineering textbook, I can guarantee you I will have a hard time reading it with understanding.  But I can read and make sense of just about anything ever written about reading and education.

So, what does this mean for parents?

1. Talk to your child’s teacher about what kinds of assessment he or she uses to monitor reading progress. Ask your hicld’s teacher how to use that information to select appropriate independent reading material for your child.

2. Do not discourage your child from reading books they find interesting, even if they are challenging. With supported reading or read aloud, these books can develop a lifelong love of books and reading. However, be aware that if a child cannot read at least 90% of the text of a book independently, they will need support in reading. Encourage your child to choose books for independent reading in addition to high interest materials that may require more support.

3. Look for indications not only that your child is “moving up reading levels” but that your child is learning to read and sound out words. Nonsense word assessments, such as the Lexercise Z-Screener can be helpful in identifying challenges in this area.

4. If your child struggles with reading or spelling, the most important first step is a professional evaluation. No matter where you live your child can be tested and treated individually, face to face, online, by a clinical educator at Lexercise. Learn more here or contact our chief knowledge officer, at AskSandie@lexercise.com or 1-888-603-1788.

Tue Jan
14

What is teletherapy?

Teletherapy illustration-child with clinician

What is teletherapy?

Teletherapy has been defined as ““the application of telecommunications technology to delivery of professional services at a distance by linking clinician to client, or clinician to clinician, for assessment, intervention, and/or consultation.” In a nut shell, it’s online therapy.

Traveling to an office for therapy is often not convenient and, for some people, it is not possible. But modern technology can connect clinicians with clients no matter where they live.

How does it work?

You may be wondering how dyslexia therapy can be provided through a computer. Lexercise Clinician, Tori Whaley, describes in this Live Broadcast how she does an online, structured language therapy session.

Lexercise is a blended learning system that supports structured language (Orton-Gillingham) intervention. “Blended learning” combines traditional, face-to-face teaching and learning methods with computer-mediated methods. Click here to read more about how Lexercise empowers blended learning by coordinating face-to-face teletherapy sessions and daily exercise games for intensive practice.

Who offers Lexercise teletherapy?

As the demand for our teletherapy services has grown we decided to provide a way that qualified clinicians can use the Lexercise teletherapy platform with their own clients. Lexercise Teletherapy Partners are clinical educators or speech-language pathologists who are experts in structured language (a.k.a. Orton-Gillingham) therapy. They use the Lexercise teletherapy platform so they can work with clients wherever they live. If you are looking for therapy for a struggling reader and/or writer, one of these professionals would be a good choice. To read more about our Telethearpy Partners, click here.

If your child struggles with reading, writing or spelling, the most important first step is a professional evaluation. No matter where you live, your child can be tested and treated individually, face-to-face, online, by the clinical educators at Lexercise. Learn more by contacting us at AskSandie@Lexercise.com or 1-888-603-1788.