If your child is diagnosed or shows signs of dyslexia, there is a huge possibility that you will hear terms that are completely incorrect to describe your child’s disorder. You may even be confused by round-about diagnostic terms given to hide a diagnosis of dyslexia like a Specific Learning Disorder. If you are misinformed, it could affect the kind of treatment he or she receives in school– which could be detrimental to early intervention. Though there is research being done looking into subtypes of dyslexia, there is only one official form.
Directional dyslexia/ spacial dyslexia/ geographic dyslexia: This refers to the issue some dyslexics experience with telling left from right. Though, this is simply something that comes along with dyslexia and is not a separate condition.
Visual Dyslexia: This term suggests that dyslexia is a visual problem, which is completely incorrect. This theory suggests that dyslexia can be improved through eye exercises or tinted lenses– and the only thing that helps dyslexia is structured literacy therapy. Countless neuroscience studies have proven dyslexia is not a vision condition. Experts do not endorse vision therapy as a treatment for dyslexia and never use this term to describe dyslexia.
Math Dyslexia: This is an inaccurate name for dyscalculia– which is a brain-based math learning issue. Dyscalculia is not a form of dyslexia, but it isn’t unusual for kids to have both dyscalculia and dyslexia.
Dyslexia is a widespread issue with many nuances, but there is only one official type. If you see your child is showing any symptoms of dyslexia, take our free online screener. Early intervention is crucial to your child’s success.
A government-funded research study released this month shows that public schools providing “intense reading intervention services” in a Response-to-Intervention (R-t-I) model often fail to improve student reading skills. In fact, this research suggests that, for some groups of students, the school intervention actually had a negative impact on broad reading skills. The researchers concluded that the interventions the schools are using might not be appropriate for some students. (Balu, R., et al., 2015)
The data from the Institute of Education Sciences and the Institute for Educational Statistics have long called in the question the effectiveness of public school R-t-I services for struggling readers, so this is really nothing new.
Lexercise uses an analogy for how this kind of failure might occur. The 3-legged stool illustrates that intervention must have three strong components all working together or intervention is likely to be ineffective (and stool falls over).
What was the intervention method? The government-funded research provides no clear description of the intervention curricula. It says it was “small group instruction”, but that’s a feature of the setting in which intervention occurs and not an intervention methodology.
Were the educators experts in language structure? There is no description of the competency of those who provided the intervention.
Was there customized, daily practice for each student? We are not talking about seat-time here but how many response challenges each student got per day and his or her response to this practice. There is no description of that.
Balu, Rekha, Pei Zhu, Fred Doolittle, Ellen Schiller, Joseph Jenkins, and Russell Gersten (2015). Evaluation of Response to Intervention Practices for Elementary School Reading (NCEE 2016-4000). Washington, DC: National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance, Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education.
The beginning of the school year is a busy time for families of school-aged kids but it also comes with a lot of frustration for parents of children with learning challenges.
We want you to know that it is not just you! We have compiled a list of frustrations we repeatedly hear from parents of dyslexic children. Have you experienced any of these frustrations with your struggling reader? If so, comment below or share this post to let other parents know that they’re not alone.
Here are the top 10 school frustrations we hear from families with dyslexic children:
“My smart daughter tells me she’s ‘dumb’ or ‘stupid’ because she compares her reading to her classmates.”
“She comes home from school in tears after being called on to read aloud, getting a bad grade in spelling, or running out of time on a test.”
“The school has told me for years that he would ‘outgrow’ his reading problems, and each year he gets further behind.”
“The school wants to hold my child back to repeat a grade just because of his reading level.”
“The school is teaching him to memorize words, instead of helping him to learn to read in a way his brain can understand.”
“The school treats accommodations as cheating and won’t even consider letting my child use audiobooks to learn.”
“The school gives my child too much homework, and it takes him twice as long as his peers!”
“The school says there is no such thing as dyslexia since they don’t have the resources to test or treat it.”
“The school’s tests show she isn’t far enough behind to qualify for additional support.”
“I paid for a test that proves my daughter is dyslexic – now the school won’t accept the results!”
In Broadcast #28, Professor Ruth Colker of Ohio State University discussed the use of the term “learning disability” and how it impacts struggling readers and writers in public schools.
Professor Colker is an expert in disability law and is a frequent guest on National Public Radio (NPR). She is the author of nine books, and her forthcoming book is Disabled Education (New York University Press 2012). Professor Colker was awarded the 2009 Distinguished University Professor, the University’s most distinguished award.
Working with 4,000 sets of U.K. twins, researchers examined student achievement over time. Traditionally, improvement in performance has been “explained by the quality of the school environment.” That would include such things as the teacher, the lessons, and the classroom space. What this study found was that school environment is a factor, but performance is “also substantially influenced by genetic factors that children bring to the classroom.”
The lead author of the study, Dr. Claire Haworth, comments, “…the results do suggest that children bring genetic characteristics to the classroom that influence how well they will take advantage of the quality of education offered. In a classroom full of students being taught by the same teacher, some children will improve more than other children, even though their educational experience at school is the same.”
This will certainly sound familiar to parents of children with dyslexia and other language-processing disorders. Same classroom, same instructions, different results.
The authors of the study conclude that “The research supports the trend towards personalizing education to each child’s individual strengths and weaknesses.”
The mission of Lexercise is to provide personalized learning for the 15-20% of children who struggle with reading and spelling due to auditory processing problems and dyslexia.
If you have questions about dyslexia or language-learning disorders or would like to connect with one of our expert therapists, contact us here.