3 Tips to Ensure Reading Success and Enjoyment

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3 Tips to Ensure Reading Success and Enjoyment

Reading provides the foundation for students to succeed in the classroom and beyond. However, for those diagnosed with dyslexia, the journey to learning how to read can be difficult, resulting in discouragement and frustration. Understanding the science behind reading and becoming familiar with the available tools are critical for both parents and teachers to provide proper support and timely interventions that help students become better readers.  

Here are three tips to help parents and educators better organize around their child’s needs:

1 – Understand the science of reading:  One of the most critical first steps for successful intervention is for parents and educators to understand the science of reading and impacts of dyslexia. These two articles are a great place to start to gain a background on reading science:

2 – Evaluate the student’s profile of learning strengths and weaknesses: All students identified with learning struggles need a thorough psychoeducational or neuropsychological evaluation. This is a key step for teachers and parents to understand the student’s learning profile at a very specific level. With that information, the adults can create a remediation plan that carefully targets where intervention is most needed. 

Importantly, in addition to intelligence and academic testing, information obtained from interviews and questionnaires help the adults understand the whole child and not just test scores. Since dyslexia is a language-based learning issue, it is critical that oral language testing be a necessary component of the overall evaluation.

3 – Leverage technology innovations: Within the past few years, advancements in education technology (edtech) have positively impacted the way students with dyslexia or other learning difficulties mitigate or augment their ability to produce academic output that is more consistent with their true capabilities. Edtech is a very broad term that encompasses different types of tools (e.g., apps) and/or platforms that can be extremely helpful. Here are two examples:  

  • Digital applications 
    • For example, many of the dyslexic students I worked with also experienced dysgraphia which impacts fine motor skills, spelling and the ability to get their thoughts in writing. For these students, timed writing assignments placed an added pressure that many times resulted in lower quality work. But using speech-to-text apps can help to remove this barrier, leading to improvements in their final product and overall learning experience. 
  • Multisensory reading platforms
    • Learning Ally and Bookshare are two digital platforms that leverage multisensory techniques to help students improve their decoding, fluency and comprehension. These two audiobook solutions allow a child to listen to text while simultaneously reading along on a digital page, highlighting each word as the passage is being read. Learning Ally uses human speech recordings while Bookshare uses digital voice recordings. By providing the student with an opportunity to learn through multisensory channels (and at their own pace) we increase the probability of increasing their decoding, fluency and comprehension as well as their enjoyment of the reading process.

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