Understanding the Gift of Dyslexia... FAQ
Q: What is Dyslexia?
Dyslexia originates in the left hemisphere of the brain (the language-side) and interferes with the acquisition and processing of language. It may differ in the degree of severity, but is manifested in receptive(comprehension) and expressive (speaking, reading or writing) language.
Q: What are the Characteristics of Dyslexia?
Dyslexia is more than just letter reversals. Its characteristics vary in different people and affect a child’s academics, often to the point of failure. Characteristics appear differently at different stages of academic development.
Q: Can Students with Dyslexia Learn to Read?
Yes! Children with Dyslexia and other leaning differences can learn to read and write commensurate to their abilities. The key is integrating a multi-sensory instruction plan that is individualized and sequential.
Q: What is Multi-Sensory Instruction?
Multi-sensory learning requires the student to engage the visual, auditory, and kinesthetic/tactile (motor) regions of the brain’s left hemisphere to enhance the processing of both print (visual) and spoken (auditory) language. The left hemisphere of the brain is where language memory is stored and retrieved. Language processing breaks down because these regions do not communicate efficiently. A multi-sensory lesson stimulates these regions of the left hemisphere simultaneously, thus enhancing the application and comprehension of written and spoken language.
Q: How does Longleaf Academy differ from other schools?
When the student begins to struggle academically in a regular setting, parents may choose to move them to a private school, hoping that the smaller classroom size will have a noticeable effect. Often, this does not alleviate their academic difficulties. Students with dyslexia and other learning differences require instruction to accommodate their learning strengths. For optimal results, these students must solidify concepts. With a low student/teacher ratio (4:1 in most cases) and individualized goals that are evaluated quarterly, students strengthen weaknesses and begin to excel in subject areas.
Q: Why are modifications and accommodations important to students with significant learning differences?
Modifications and accommodations allow the student to be assessed for knowledge of content. Some believe that modifications and accommodations will provide a “crutch” for the student; however, research contradicts this myth. Rather, they allow the students to perform as his/her optimum mode of delivery. Teachers are able to determine what the child has mastered without frustrating the student.
Q: How do I know if my child is Dyslexic?
While the severity of dyslexia differs among individuals, research has pin-pointed some general characteristics.
___ Appears to have average or above intelligence
___ Performs poorly on test, but knows subject matter
___ Appears disorganized in task and/or thinking
___ Has/Had difficulty learning letter names and numbers
___ Has/Had difficulty learning sight words and math facts
___ Has/Had difficulty with hand dominance for writing
___ Can listen to stories being read and understands without difficulty
___ Expresses self poorly
___ Difficulty with simple rhyming
___ Describes things in detail, but can’t recall the object’s name
___ Has difficulty pronouncing words
___ Difficulty remembering the sounds that letters make
___ Has no recollection of previously decoded words
___ Has difficulty blending a series of sounds into a word
___ Laborious and slow oral reading
___ Inserts words that aren’t there into sentences
___ Inserts sounds that aren’t there into words when decoding
___ Easily loses place when reading
Written Language Observations:
___ Poor, illegible handwriting
___ Difficulty with letter/word spacing
___ When printing letters, moves pencil from bottom to top
___ Meager/poor written vocabulary
___ Does not hear vowel sounds in words when spelling
___ Difficulty proof-reading written work
___ Cannot break words into single sounds (phonological awareness)
___ Does not retain previously learned spelling words
___ Reverses letters or incorrectly substitutes upper case letters for lower case letters