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Research-Based Reading Materials for Children with Dyslexia

by Sarah K Major February 04, 2016 1 Comment

Research-Based Reading Materials for Children with Dyslexia

Studies from the National Institutes of Child Health and Human Development have shown that for children who have difficulties learning to read, a multi-sensory teaching method is the most effective approach. 

This is especially crucial for children with dyslexia. But what does it mean? Using a multi-sensory teaching approach means using materials that engage more than one sense. Most teaching in schools is done using either sight or hearing (auditory sensations). The child’s sight is used in reading information, looking at diagrams or pictures, or reading what is on the teacher’s board. 

The sense of hearing is used in listening to what the teacher says. A child with dyslexia may experience difficulty with either or both of these senses. 

We address the needs of children with dyslexia because we integrate: 

  • colorful visuals 
  • hands-on activities 
  • body movement 

In short, multiple regions of the brain are accessed at one time, providing the child with dyslexia with several avenues for learning. In addition, the Easy-for-Me Reading Program teaches reading systematically so that nothing is left for the child to just “catch on” to. The program combines systematic, explicit phonics instruction with word acquisition using visuals—a perfect blend of approaches for those with dyslexia.

How can I help my child with dyslexia learn to read?

Experts agree that best practice for teaching dyslexic learners is to teach them via all their senses (multisensory teaching). This means using visuals, motions, body movement, hands-on, and auditory elements in their learning. Studies have shown that dyslexic children draw from various regions in their brains while engaging in reading, so it stands to reason that using teaching approaches that stimulate various regions in the brain would ensure success for these learners.

reading program

Use Easy-for-Me Reading with Dyslexic Learners

Why are images so important for dyslexic children?

We have come to the point in our society where every child seems to need a label and one that details specifically how he learns or doesn’t learn. We have visual learner, tactile learner, dyslexic learner, autistic, and many many other labels. The implication is that each of those types of learners requires a specific set of directions for how to teach them successfully. In doing research, however, and as I have read the experts in each of the most common areas of disability, one element keeps on showing up: the fact that so many of these non-traditional learners learn best through pictures and hands-on lessons.

learning best through pictures and visuals

Use SnapWords® words in pictures for dyslexic learners

Reading and learning disabilities

It is sad to me that one approach to teaching reading has become the yardstick against which every child is measured, and those who do not measure up are labeled with a disability. In my opinion, a large percentage of the children who have been branded disabled are not disabled at all. Somehow we must lose the idea that there is one right way to teach reading. How have we let the situation get so skewed? I have spent a lot of time nose-to-nose with kids who had been sent to special education classrooms and have seen the resulting emotional pain. They carry the disability label as a brand on their hearts and minds. It colors everything in their world. By labeling children with disabilities, educators intend to identify children who need to receive special help, but all too often what results inside the child is completely detrimental.

Math for Dyslexic Learners

All our math resources are also designed to include multiple elements that make learning math facts and concepts easier for children who have trouble learning in traditional ways. 

Why is a multi-sensory teaching approach best and what does one look like?

What does it really mean when we say multi-sensory? The accepted, traditional teaching techniques typically used in the classroom meet the needs of (left-brained) sequential learners. Concepts are introduced in a step by step sequence and are practiced and reviewed using drill and memorization; children must also show evidence of their learning in a particular time frame. This is all very good for children who are left-brained or sequential learners. The problem is, of course, that while the approach to teaching is great for those children who are sequential, every learner is taught this way and this traditional approach is ineffective at best for all the non-sequential learners.

Testimonial about Child1st materials:

"I've just started my daughter on your Illustrated Book of Sounds & Their Spelling Patterns and will be doing Unit 2 Level 3 next week. Do you have any additional resources for teaching these confusing spelling rules? I didn't remember how confusing our language was until I started teaching it! My daughter knows the word "tea" because she sees it on the box of tea in the kitchen. She's a totally visual learner (which is why snapwords were PERFECT for her). 

However the ea in the word tea doesn't make the short e sound like I will be teaching her for the words meant, already, bread, ready and breakfast in Unit 2 Level 3. Obviously whoever invented the spelling rules for the English Language didn't have a dyslexic child :) Thanks for any help you can offer and thank you, thank you, thank you for such wonderful products! She has also completely succeeded with addition with the little fact family houses in your Addition and Subtraction book."
Jessica





Sarah K Major
Sarah K Major

Author

Sarah's absolute belief in every child’s ability to learn, and her passion to empower the child by supporting his/her own unique giftedness have fueled her life’s work and provided a new pathway for children to succeed academically.


1 Response

Andrea
Andrea

May 12, 2016

Hello, my daughter is dyslexic and in 3rd grade. She can’t read yet and is good a math but is slow. I saw your cards at her RSP teachers office. What would you suggest for a current third-grader going into fourth grade next year .
Thank you

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