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Dyslexia - treatment

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There are a broad range of dyslexia treatments.

Because dyslexia's most salient symptom is childhood difficulty with learning to read, the most common form of treatment is through specialized tutoring or teaching tailored to meet the particular learning characteristics of the student. Most teaching is geared to remediating specific areas of weakness, such as addressing difficulties with phonetic decoding by providing phonics-based tutoring. The most common form of treatment for dyslexia in English-speaking countries is through educational tutoring, often using an approach based on Orton-Gillingham, which provides systematic, multisensory teaching geared to building phonetic decoding skills. It is important to note that there is no cure for Dyslexia. As a dyslexics brain processes information in a different way to the majority of people they must learn strategies to cope in the world as their brain allows. Once strategies have been learnt, for problems such as reading, spelling, memory and comprehension speed, it can be perceived that the person is not longer dyslexic. However the individual is still processing information in the same way, but has learnt how to overcome difficulties they may be faced. Strategies may be different for each person.


Some teaching is geared to specific reading skill areas, such as phonetic decoding; whereas other approaches are more comprehensive in scope, combining techniques to address basic skills along with strategies to improve comprehension and literary appreciation. Many programs are multisensory in design, meaning that instruction includes visual, auditory, and kinesthetic or tactile elements; as it is generally believed that such forms of instruction are more effective for dyslexic learners.[1] Despite claims of some programs to be "research based", there is very little empirical or quantitative research supporting the use of any particular approach to reading instruction as compared to another when used with dyslexic children.[2][3]

Remedial efforts focusing on phonological awareness training (often involving breaking words into their basic sounds and rearranging these sounds to produce different words) can improve reading decoding skills. The earlier the phonological regimen is taken on, the better the overall result.

Other popular educationally-based methods include Lindamood-Bell Learning Processes, which provides extensive tutoring geared to developing precursor and ancillary reading skills, such as Lindamood Phoneme Sequencing (LiPS) Program, to help develop phonemic awareness [1]; and Phono-Graphix, which is an alternative multisensory approach to teaching phonetic skills, designed to be faster paced and to avoid the repetition and drill associated with traditional tutoring methods.[2]

There are also a number of therapeutic approaches which focus on providing treatment for underlying cognitive, neurological, auditory, or visual impairments thought to underlie dyslexia. These include the following: Davis Dyslexia Correction, which is a comprehensive, counseling-based approach combining mental techniques to overcome disorientation associated with dyslexia with the use of clay modeling to learn the alphabet, words and concepts; Fast ForWord, a software training program geared to improving children's ability to distinguish the sounds of language; the Dore Program (DDAT), a system of balance and coordination exercises designed to increase cerebellar function; Auditory integration training; and Neurofeedback.

There is also some evidence that musical training may provide a further avenue of remediation for dyslexia.[4][5]



Coping TechniquesEdit

Although there are no treatments or quick cures for dyslexia there are several techniques that can be used to cope with the struggles of dyslexia.

1. Over-learning or repetition is necessary to reinforce new material.
2. Paired reading or with another person helps develop fluency and enhance comprehension.
3. Colored paper is very helpful for many students or if the paper is white to have color layovers.
4. Layout is very important and should not be visually overcrowded. Font size is also important, and should not be too small. It is suggested that Sassoon and Comic Sans are the most dyslexia-friendly fonts, with Times New Roman being one of the least.
5. Minimize the need to read out loud. [6]
6. Get books on tape
7. Get teacher handouts to supplement the notes taken.
8. Request extra time on tests.

Recent DevelopmentsEdit

Accessible publishing works to make reading easier for all that struggle with the standard one-size-fits-all method of book publishing. Accessible publishing works with publishers and Print on Demand technology which allows the reader to choose how the books will be published. Available format variations include choosing the font size (from 11 point font through to 28 point font), whether the font is bold, italic or regular, and choosing the amount of line spacing[7]. There are also a variety of special fonts being developed for dyslexia, eye tracking problems and other conditions[8]. Accessible publishers, such as ReadHowYouWant, also work to make books available in Braille, e-books, audiobooks and DAISY. Context sensitive spell checkers combined with text-to-speech and aimed for dyslexia assistance, such as Ghotit Dyslexia Spellchecker, are the new directions in making writing easier [9]

See alsoEdit

References Edit

  1. Henry, M.K. (1998). Structured, sequential, multisensory teaching: the Orton legacy. Annals of Dyslexia 48: 3–26.
  2. Ritchey, K.D., Goeke, J.L. (2006). Orton-Gillingham and Orton-Gillingham Based Reading Instruction: A Review of the Literature. The Journal of Special Education 40 (3): 171–183 http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/proedcw/jse/2006/00000040/00000003/art00005.
  3. Connor, C.M.D., Morrison, F.J.; Fishman, B.J.; Schatschneider, C.; Underwood, P. (2007-01-26). THE EARLY YEARS: Algorithm-Guided Individualized Reading Instruction. Science 315 (5811): 464.
  4. Overy, K (2000). Dyslexia, Temporal Processing and Music; The potential of music as an early learning aid for dyslexic children. Psychology of Music 28: 218-229.
  5. Miles,Tim: Music and Dyslexia: Opening New Doors, Whirr Publishers, London UK 2001
  6. Reid, Gavin. Dyslexia 2nd edition. New York: Continuum International.(2007).Pages 41-95
  7. http://www.readhowyouwant.com/Format/index.aspx
  8. http://papercuts.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/05/20/making-reading-easier/
  9. http://speedchange.blogspot.com/2008/02/ghotit.html
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