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Unlike spoken language, written language has only be around for just a few thousand years. And unlike spoken language, the human brain isn't wired to read like it is wired to talk. Children learn to talk by being talked to, by being surrounded with spoken language. No one has to explicitly teach them to talk. But, as numerous studies have shown, reading is different. Our brains don't know how to do it naturally. We learn to read through direct instruction.
In the 1990's, U.S. Congress convened a National Reading Panel to review all the research on reading. In 2000, the panel released a report. The research showed that explicitly teaching children the relationship between sounds and letters improves reading achievement. There is no evidence to say the same about whole language or any other approach to reading.
Whether we are teaching students with or without disabilities to read, the science is clear, explicitly teaching reading is a key to reading fluency and comprehension. When we don't provide this instruction many students struggle with reading success and children who have disabilities like dyslexia suffer the most.
Children with dyslexia must master the same basic knowledge about language and its relationship to writing as anyone else to become competent readers and writers. However, because of their dyslexia, they need a more intense, direct, explicit and systematic help to sort, recognize and organize the basic elements of language.
The Orton-Gillingham principles of instruction are the most crucial and significant reading intervention for children and adults with dyslexia. Wilson Language Training® (WLT) programs such as Fundations®, Just Words® and Wilson Reading System® are multi-sensory structured curricula that are based upon Orton-Gillingham principles, and provide multi-tiered systems of support. At Southeast Reading Center we provide individualized, structured literacy using these programs.
To understand more practically what an effective, structured reading intervention should contains follow this link and listen to Dr. Margis Gillis, president of "Literacy How". She will describe the various parts of a session. To learn more about the evidence supporting effectiveness of the programs we use in our sessions, follow this link, click here.
We understand a comprehensive literacy plan should include components such as fluency, word study and comprehension. Our student's literacy plan will address these and we will routinely report progress and outcomes both formally and informally.
Instructors at Southeast Reading have undergone specific training in the programs they are using. We believe to achieve our student's literacy goals evidence-based instruction must be implemented with fidelity. Therefore, we seek to have all instructors credentialed in the programs they are delivering. In cases where instructors are undergoing coursework, a credentialed supervisor will perform all assessments and will monitor the student's progress through chart review, observation and coaching techniques with the assigned instructor.
To learn more about important components of dyslexia intervention, please visit our About Dyslexia page.