Supervised, online dyslexia programs.
- Brain-based software treats the underlying difficulty.
- Proven effective in 3-6 months.
How We Treat Dyslexic Children, Step By Step
Our treatment for dyslexia has three sequential steps:
- Treat the cognitive source of difficulty, by strengthening auditory processing, working memory and related skills.
- Develop reading fluency by working on language dexterity -- vocabulary, syntax and structure -- on top of the natural improvements that will stem from processing gains.
- Build reading comprehension -- we train memory and retention skills, as well as help readers learn to think critically while reading.
While our programs for dyslexic children are individualized, all students work on an exercise progression that includes elements of these three treatment steps.
The aim is to get your child to the top of the reading pyramid, reading with metacognition -- the ability to think critically and self correct while reading.
Dyslexia Treatment Steps In Detail
Make Reading Easier
Research shows that 88% of dyslexic students share a common problem, weak phonological awareness. Struggling new readers find it hard to break apart words into individual sounds, while older readers are unable to decode, or sound out, with automaticity -- they need to concentrate, crowding out mind space need for reading comprehension.
Poor phonological awareness is almost always due to processing difficulties.
Fast ForWord is an interactive therapy that strengthens processing using self-paced exercises that add speed and complexity in tiny increments, not unlike how a weight lifter builds up to lifting heavier weights. By speeding up auditory processing, Fast ForWord creates more "pixels" -- the sounds inside words are easier to hear, and sounding out is more natural and efficient.
Other Foundational Skills
When processing is weak, other skills are often under-exercised -- due to the lack of quality listening input -- including:
- Working memory - for following directions, comprehension, thinking.
- Attention -- stamina and focus. If a child with dyslexia finds it exhausting to listen accurately, they tune out, rather than learn to engage.
- Sequencing -- sounds, words, ideas.
Our Fast ForWord program uses the same, adaptive approach to develop these other skills, the Cognitive Skills at the base of the pyramid. It is a comprehensive therapy for dyslexia, aiming to turn a dyslexic child into a natural reader. Of these, improving processing efficiency -- automaticity -- is the most crucial part of our dyslexia treatment. It leads to:
- Listening accuracy for sounding out words, essential for reading fluency, and
- Automaticity, making to possible think while listening or reading, the foundation for reading comprehension.
Processing efficiency sets the stage for making reading automatic, like riding a bike. If a child needs to concentrate to decode, then reading comprehension is compromised. In addition, it forces the brain to multitask -- decode and derive meaning -- which is exhausting and not likely to be enjoyable.
Build Language Dexterity
Most dyslexic children do not have language mastery, in general because they are trying to hear the words (some say, like listening to sound through water), detracting from their ability over time to absorb and observe how language is structured and used.
Our Fast ForWord software creates processing efficiency so that a child can absorb vocabulary more accurately by being able to hear blends, longer words, i.e., listening to the language all around them. Our programs also teach vocabulary specifically. For early elementary age children, it focuses on categorization and other ways to organize language, by recognizing patterns and relationships. In later grades, our programs focus on the nuances of the language, highlighting the importance of subtle semantic differences.
Spelling is more critical in improving reading skills than most parents recognize. Eventually every word becomes a sight word, mapped by the brain through recognition of spelling patterns. If spelling skills are inadequate, high level reading comprehension will be a challenge. Our software helps spelling, first by building a phonetic foundation, then spelling rules, and finally by tackling spelling exceptions.
Language Structure and Metalinguistics
It is important to recognize the syntax, grammar and underlying flow of language. It is also important to develop metalinguistic skills, the ability play with language. Rhyming is the earliest example of metalinguistic skill, and of course, is an early indicator of reading progress.
Fast ForWord software for dyslexia treatment has a language structure and metalinguistics theme running through out, helping dyslexic children "get" language, using exercises based on the idea of discovery learning.
Develop Reading Comprehension
The ultimate goal of our treatment for dyslexia is to give students the skills they need to be confident readers, with sound reading comprehension skills. This requires the stamina to practice reading for long periods, made possible by our processing skills exercises, and automatic decoding that allows the student's mind to focus entirely on meaning.
Reading comprehension means being able to extract meaning from the text, and to connect the text to prior knowledge, to think through the implications of the text, and to self correct while reading.
Reading Comprehension - Literal
Making sense of the text, getting the literal meaning relies on a good vocabulary and the automatic decoding. For most of our students, gains in literal reading comprehension start to occur as their reading fluency improves, since the other comprehension skills -- working memory, attention, language knowledge -- are developed in the foundational, cognitive stage of our treatment.
Reading Comprehension - Middle and High School
In middle and high school, the reading requirement escalates sharply. Reading comprehension requires understanding the main ideas, connecting the text to prior knowledge, and being able to think critically about the text. Our treatment for dyslexia includes a number of adaptive analytical and sentence completion exercises that build thinking while reading skills.
Critical Reading With Metacognition
Skilled readers use sophisticated, metacognitive strategies. That is, they think critically about their own understanding as they go. All students need to improve reading to this high level where a reader is aware of his own cognitive experience. It is the difference between a good and excellent reader, an average or great ACT or SAT score. The final step of our program includes challenging metacognitive exercises that train the reader think actively, and self correct while reading.
Treatment for Dyslexia by Age
Most children spend 4-6 months on our dyslexia treatment, working 30 minutes a day, five days a week. Most children will complete 3-5 programs -- two foundational cognitive and language programs, 1-3 reading programs -- encompassing 20-25 different exercises, over that period.
Ultimately, overcoming dyslexia requires a lot of reading. And so, for elementary age children our programs focus on making reading easier. By improving fluency and reducing the exhaustion factor in reading, our dyslexia treatments aim to make your child a willing reader who will then put in the reading miles. Children start with Fast ForWord Language v2.
Middle and High School Students
For middle and high school students, the dyslexia software focuses more on developing reading speed, stamina and comprehension. Every student will complete Fast ForWord Literacy, the cognitive program that targets the most common causes of dyslexia, before moving to Fast ForWord Reading, a series of age-appropriate reading exercises.
A Consult To Start
The brain is integrated, with learning ability generally as strong as its weakest link. By making small improvements to processing and language skills, Fast ForWord dyslexia therapy is able to make a profound difference in a short period, a difference that is then part of your child, to help reading and learning over a lifetime.
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