1 – Obtain a Specific Diagnosis
The first step is to obtain a specific diagnosis. Encinitas Learning Center Director Lynda Detweiler-Newcomb does basic screening on phonemic awareness and can give a formal diagnosis as a speech and language pathologist (SLP). A more prescriptive diagnosis, for example, might reveal that your student needs instruction on phoneme substitution, syllabication work, or auditory discrimination of sounds.
2 – Build Bridges with Accommodations
Accommodations are the bridge that supports reading intervention and remediation. “Assistive Technology (AT) builds the bridge to content while the student and clinician put in the work building reading skills through systematic instruction. Teachers still need to have conversations about vocabulary, genre, background knowledge, and content to build comprehension skills,” so we work together with the school says Lynda.
3 – Start Simple with Easy Books
“Start with easy books, of high interest to them and those they want to read during free reading and then progress to more challenging books including textbooks,” she says. For younger students, she recommends they start by reading books using digital text and audio so they can track the words, and then switch to listening only to alleviate mental fatigue.
4 – Find a Reading Tool that is Pleasurable to Use
For example, she recommends pairing Bookshare with Voice Dream Reader so students get digital text plus audio to support multimodal reading. “Bookshare opens students’ ability to enjoy a book beyond their capabilities until intervention clicks for them. No child should be told they can’t read a book beyond their level,” says Lynda.
5 – Be Patient
“We’re not going to build the bridge in one day. The process may take awhile, but students can get beams across and experience progress in a few months. Bookshare is one of the beams on the whole span going across the river, but you can’t just turn it on and expect instant success,” says Lynda.
More Insights from Lynda
Are you interested in learning more about a reading solution for students with dyslexia? Try Bookshare. Our goal at Encinitas Learning Center is to build the love of reading in our learners. Our brain based tutoring develops reading skills, but in the meantime there are ways to get a book into students’ hands to start the process of reading immediately.
Lynda Detweiler-Newcomb, M.A., C.C.C./SLP6849, is a Speech Pathologist. She is the founder and Director of The Encinitas Learning Center located behind the Swim Lab in the North Coast Business Center, 543 Encinitas Blvd. She and her staff hold teaching credentials and have been providing services to the community since 1997 having graduated thousands of students who could not read but now are contributing members of society. If you want to know more about her brain based programs call 760-634-6886 for a complimentary telephone consultation.