In our last post, we talked about the main components of a Structured Language approach:
- Studying individual sounds and how they work in words (Phonology and Phonemic awareness
- Pairing those sound with the corresponding letters (Sound/Symbol Association)
- Recognizing the 6 main syllable patterns (Syllable Division)
- Learning the meaning of units within a word (Morphology)
- Grammar and Parts of Speech (Syntax)
- Comprehension and vocabulary (Semantics)
If the tutoring sessions or program that you have your child enrolled in doesn’t cover these 6 areas, then unfortunately you may be wasting your time and money. As we’ve seen, dyslexia requires very specific intervention strategies. Without it, the cognitive processes that are required for reading and language won’t be re-written.
The other important aspect of any dyslexia intervention, is that it be multisensory. Multisensory means that the teaching methods incorporate more than one of the five senses in order to strengthen the learning pathways of the brain. In other words, the more ways it’s explained, the better chance it has of making into the permanent part of the brain.
I always tell my students as we embark on a structured language process for any new sound or concept, “we are building a brain file.” They know that means we are going to be looking at how a letter/sound or concept looks, feels, sounds, and how the mouth moves to make it. They think it’s funny at first, but as we progress and they start to feel successful, they also start to buy into the whole “brain file” process.
There are four main components to multisensory teaching:
- Visual: What does your mouth look like when you make this sound? How does a letter or letter combination look? Can we code it to make it stand out in a word?
- Auditory: What does it sound like? Can we isolate in within a word? Where do we hear it within a word?
- Kinesthetic – Tactile: How does your mouth feel when you make the sound? Skywrite the letter(s). Name and write the letter(s). Move lip pictures of color blocks to help isolate sound when spelling.
Here is a sample of what a multisensory spelling activity looks like:
The lip pictures provide a visual cue for the sounds that spell the word. You can also use colored squares, tiles, or any other object that can be physically moved to represent the individual sounds. Writing in the salt tray provides a different tactile feel to help the brain remember how to retrieve the correct letters.
I hope this two part post helps to show how dyslexia intervention should be taught.
If you need help finding a dyslexia program for your child, contact the Multisensory Reading Center today to learn more about our private dyslexia services. We offer both face-to-face and teletherapy options. No matter where you live, quality dyslexia intervention is available to help your child become a successful reader and writer. www.multisensoryreadingcenter.com or firstname.lastname@example.org