The evaluator had a slew of recommendations. The written report was thirty six pages followed by numerous tables and graphs reports. I would have loved to be a fly on the wall when the district received the report.
The recommended intervention for addressing his multiple difficulties in phonological awareness, phonological memory and rapid naming deficits was to provide intensive remedial instruction using a synthetic, phonetic code emphasis approach. Therefore, he needed a direct, systematic, multi sensory, alphabetic-phonetic technique for reading and spelling. In other words, he would need an Orton Gillingham Based reading program such as, Orton Gillingham, Project Read, The Slingerland Reading Method, The Linda Mood Phoneme Sequencing Program for Reading, Spelling and Speech, or The Wilson Program.
She also stated, “Given the degree of deficit, this examiner would suggest that his IEP be revised to provide a greater intensity of synthetic, phonetic code emphasis instruction then is currently being offered so that he can effectively “close the gap” between his ability and achievement in deficit skill areas.”
THERE WE HAD IT HIS PROGRAM SHOULD NOT BE REDUCED, HE NEEDED MORE…
Specific recommendations for addressing his literacy skill development were:
Overall my son needed to improve his basic reading skills. Research has indicated that there are key skills that need to be mastered in order for any student to become a proficient reader. While each phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension are each important, none are sufficient by themselves.
Removing unnecessary information from a curriculum while targeting what is scientifically based and needed by the student allows teachers to teach what is important more thoroughly and to mastery. Simply stated, Cut to the chase! Also such intensity in instruction is CRUCIAL for a child with dyslexia to make reasonable and meaningful educational progress. Those words, “reasonable and meaningful educational progress” are words to also remember when considering a child’s progress. Because if a child’s progress is not reasonable and meaningful they will never catch up to their peers. This is often referred to, “Closing the Gap.”
To improve his Phonological Processing she recommended that he would need explicit instruction in phonemic awareness coupled with explicit instruction in forming letter-sound correspondences. Additionally, she stated all of his teacher’s need to be knowledgeable about the continuum of development in phonological awareness so that that they can teach these skills in a systematic and sequential order by scaffolding his instruction:
Continuous Phonemes / Stop Phonemes
Initial Sound / Final Sound / Middle Sound
Shorter Words / Longer Words
Compound Words/ Syllable Onset Phoneme
Of course the teacher should start with what is easier and progress to the more difficult. Instruction should be brief yet effective each day and typically last fifteen to twenty minutes.
“The structured, explicit, phonological program should consist of the following components:”
“Phonemic Awareness– He needed to be taught how to listen to a single word or syllable and break it down into individual phonemes.”
“Phoneme/ Grapheme Correspondence- He needed to taught the letters and digraphs and their corresponding sounds and how to blend these sounds into single-syllable words.”
“Six Types of Syllables that compose English words: If he knows the type of syllable he will know the sound the vowel it makes. Conversely, when he hears a vowel sound, than he will know how the syllable must be spelled to make that sound.”
“Probabilities and Rules; The English language provides several ways to spell the same sounds. For example the sound “SHUN” can be spelled “TION”, “SION” or “CION”. The sound “J” at the end of a word can be spelled “GE” or “DGE”. He needs to be taught these rules and probabilities directly and explicitly.”
“Roots, Affixes and Morphology- These rules need to be taught to expand his vocabulary and ability to comprehend and spell unfamiliar words. For example once he has been taught that the Latin root “TRACT” means pull, and he knows the various Latin affixes, he can figure out re-tract means to pull again, con-tract means pull together, sub-tract means pull away (or pull under), while tract-or means a machine that pulls.”
“Simultaneous Multi-Sensory Instruction- He needs to use multiple senses when he learns (this is called the “VAKT” method, which stands for “Visual-Auditory-Kinesthetic-Tactile) to effectively learn and retrieve learned information. So he may see the letter “A”, says it’s name and sound, and write it in the air all at the same time.”
“Intense Instruction with Ample Practice- Instruction for him must be much more intense and offer much more practice than for non-disabled readers.”
“Direct and Explicit Instruction- He does not intuitively learn the rules of written language so teachers need to teach him directly and explicitly. Teachers specifically need to: 1) teach each rule that governs written words; 2) teach one rule at a time; and 3) practice each rule until it is completely mastered and stable in both reading and spelling before introducing a new rule.”
“Systemic and Cumulative- He become easily confused with written language so teachers need to go back to the very beginning and create solid foundation with no holes. He also needs to be taught the logic behind the English Language by teachers who present one rule at a time to insure mastery of learning.”
“He needs to practice the rule until he can automatically and fluently apply it when reading or spelling and teachers need to weave previous learned rules into current lessons to keep him fresh and solid. This system should make logical sense from the first lesson to the last.”
“Synthetic and Analytic- He must be taught how to take the individual letters or sounds of the English language and put them together to form words (synthetic) and how to look at a word and break it into smaller pieces (analytic). Both synthetic and analytic phonics should be taught all the time.”
“Diagnostic Teaching- Teachers should continually assess his understanding of and the ability to apply the rules of the English language. Teachers also need to insure that he is not simply recognizing a pattern and blindly applying it. When confusion of a previous taught rule is discovered, the rule should be re-taught directly and explicitly.”
“READING RECOVERY should not be used as a basis of instruction nor should “CANNED” CD ROM PROGRAMS, which do not involve direct teacher instruction.”
To increase his reading fluency it was recommended that he receive “specially designed instruction” by utilizing strategies and programs such as “The RAVE-O Program, Building Fluency: Lessons and Strategies for Reading Success, Reading in tandem with the student, Read together for five to ten minutes per day ( Start with passages at the Independent Level of reading where ninety five percent to ninety nine percent of the words are easily identified and no difficulty with comprehension. Gradually increase the difficulty level to an appropriate instructional level with at least ninety five percent word recognition and seventy five percent comprehension, Sit close to the student and read with exaggerated expression, Do not interrupt the five to ten minute session with discussion, Use either new material (ongoing novel) or repeated readings, Timed reading, Tape Recorded Books for “follow along” reading, Echo Reading (Student reads and re-reads the same sentence or paragraph after the teacher, or Paired Repeated Reading allowing the partner to give feedback.”
To improve his significant deficits in expository writing, capitalization, punctuation, proofing, fluency, spelling and penmanship his instruction should be individualized for at least two to three sessions a week using specially designed instruction from materials developed by Diana Hanbury-King and published by Educator’s Publishing Services. “A PROCESS WRITING APPROACH SHOULD BE AVOIDED.”
In addition she said that my son had a good long term rote verbal memory for specific facts and details. Therefore, he should be able to retain and recall factual information such as dates, times and places and respond verbally to specific, detailed oriented questions in the classroom.
With that in mind she also suggested that if written tests he scored poor he should be given the test in an oral format to determine if he had adequate knowledge of the subject material in content area courses.
He would also likely learn well from concrete pictorial presentations and hands on learning activities. And because he was socially effective and verbally bright he would learn from experiencing meaningful cause and effect situations and the teacher should try to tap into his personal background of experience and knowledge.
Also it was suggested to tap his strength of observation of meaningful interactions of others and his ability to see cause and effect from visual and language cues as opposed to lists, terms, or concepts to be learned in isolation.
He should have little difficulty in Math (assuming good educational opportunities) and should be able to learn from maps, charts, graphs and diagrams. Laboratory Sciences, architecture, and machinery should be easy to handle. He learns well from static visual models and should be provided with manipulative visual aids to help him “see the relationships, processes, and structures of what he is studying.
He does not learn well from visual presentation that is made up of abstract symbols. Reading, handwriting, spelling, punctuation, and complex visual-spatial mathematical problem solving are therefore, likely to represent more difficult areas academically.
He needs to do written work in a “rough draft” , have someone check for errors with him, and then do the finished product.
Although he has adequate math concepts, he may have trouble on tests due to poor number facts re-call. Concrete math aids should be provided to him.
Do not give him lengthy sequential instructions orally or present lists for him to memorize. Either give instructions while looking at meaningful visual format or written at his grade level.
He also has a VERY poor short term working memory and may overload when listening to lengthy verbal presentations or reading lengthy materials.
Timed tests will be problematic. Either extend time or reduce the amount of work.
Since impulsativity is a problem provide opportunities to self correct errors and look for missed items.
He has severe auditory discrimination deficits and may mishear verbally presented information and directions, confuse phonetic sounds, and exhibit poor grammar and spelling.
Due to his fine motor difficulties it was recommended that my son learn how to type with a goal of 35 words per minute by the time he left elementary school.
To improve his attention and concentration provide both tangible and intangible rewards for good concentration during classroom time gradually increasing the time for reinforcement. Follow a less desirable task by a more desirable task, making the completion of the first necessary to perform the second. Break down larger tasks into smaller tasks. Reduce environment distractions and separate him from peers who may be encouraging or stimulating his inattentive behavior. Provide extended time for completing assignments. Provide prompts when he is off task such as move closer to him when speaking and touch his shoulder. Make eye contact when delivering information to him. Give specially designed instruction in note taking, organization, and study skills (ex: highlighting, outlining, summarizing, key word note taking, color coding, etc….)
She also recommended that the aid be reduced to during academic instruction in reading and language arts.
This was just SOME of the recommendations. Remember their recommendations said he needed less but clearly he needed more. My instincts were right. We set up an IEP date. Now how would they implement all of this? ……
Copyrighted 2011: danadogooder and DMT