web analytics
March 1, 2015 / 10 Adar , 5775
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post


ZYX To ABC: Battling Dyslexia

Schonfeld-111513

was that a t or an f i just wrote down?
does this ‘c’ make a hard or sotf sound?
when d’s turn b’s and q’s to p’s
it makes spellinq tesfs harb to qlease
m’s, n’s and h’s look the same
so reabihg ouf loub is sucn a paih
this alqhabet junble gets quite hectic
But that’s what it’s like to be dyslexic

- Kacey (last name unknown)

What is Dyslexia?

The National Institute of Health defines dyslexia as characterized by difficulties with accurate or fluent word recognition, and by poor spelling and decoding abilities. Dyslexia is a learning disability that is neurological in origin and often runs in the family. Children with dyslexia experience trouble reading when taught through traditional instruction.

Though the symptoms of dyslexia manifest in different ways depending on the age of the child, some common symptoms for a kindergartener through fourth grader are:

* Difficulty reading single words that are not surrounded by other words.

* Slow to learn the connection between letters and sounds.

* Confusion around small words such as “at” and “to,” or “does” and “goes.”

* Consistent reading and spelling errors, including: Letter reversals such as “d” for “b”; word reversals such as “tip” for “pit”; inversions such as “m” and “w” and “u” and “n”; transpositions such as “felt” and “left”; substitutions such as “house” and “home.”

Children with dyslexia are often well-adjusted and happy preschoolers. However, research shows that they begin to experience emotional problems during early reading instruction. As they get older their frustration mounts as classmates surpass them in reading skills. Often, these children feel that they fail to meet other people’s expectations. Teachers and parents see a bright child who is failing to learn to read and write and assume that he is simply “not trying hard enough.” This can cause them to feel inadequate and inept.

In addition, children with dyslexia frequently have problems in social relationships. Often, this is because they have difficulty reading social cues or because dyslexia affects oral language functioning. As both non-verbal and verbal language are essential for forming and maintaining relationships, children who struggle with reading are at a disadvantage socially as well and, without proper intervention, will fall farther and farther behind their peers.

Therefore, helping dyslexic children gain confidence and skill in their reading not only improves their test scores, but perhaps more importantly, builds their self-esteem. This increase in self-esteem can work wonders on the playground and in the home, promoting positive social interactions and explorations.

What If My Child Has Dyslexia?

It is important to stress that if you suspect your child is dyslexic, it’s never too early to do something about it. Talk to your child’s teacher and educate yourself about the laws in your area in regards to special education. The earlier you intervene, the better your child’s chances of becoming a fluent reader (and a more confident member of his peer group!).

Get Tested – Your child’s school may have specially trained staff members who can evaluate your child. But if the school lacks the resources or you disagree with its assessment, find an outside evaluator. Sometimes, an outsider will be more objective in diagnosing the problem – and it will also mean your child’s school will have only the documentation you choose to share with them.

Create A Plan Of Action – If your child is found eligible for special education and the school can provide it, the next step is an individualized educational plan (IEP). Created with a learning specialist, IEPs should set specific goals for progress over the school year and offer guidelines on how parents and teachers can work together to help the child attain those goals.

Monitor Progress – If the IEP goals aren’t being met within the framework of the school day, you may need to seek private instruction or tutoring for your child. Keep close tabs on your child’s progress.

Boost Strengths – Don’t let your child become defined by his or her dyslexia. These children need to be encouraged to find other outlets, activities and hobbies in which they can excel and win praise for their accomplishments.

Educate Yourself – You need information to be your child’s chief advocate and to understand what he or she is up against. Good books to get you started are Overcoming Dyslexia by Dr. Sally Shaywitz and Parenting a Struggling Reader by Susan Hall and Louisa Moats.

Phonics and Dyslexia

In my thirty years in the educational field, I have always been an advocate for phonics instruction for children with dyslexia. Phonics is the system of relationships between letters and sounds in a language. When a kindergartener learns that the letter B has the sound of /b/ and a second-grader learns that “tion” sounds like /shun/, they are learning phonics.

Learning phonics will help your students learn to read and spell. Written language can be compared to a code, so knowing the sounds of letters and letter combinations will help students decode words as they read. Knowing phonics will also help them know which letters to use as they write words.

If children do not master the different phonemes, they will be unable to attain fluency, comprehension, higher vocabulary or appropriate spelling (four essential skills developed in later levels of reading).

In addition, the National Reading Panel, composed of experts in fields of literacy was asked by the United States Congress to examine the research on the teaching of reading. What they found had important implications for phonics: they determined that phonics is an essential ingredient in beginning reading instruction and without systematic and explicit phonics instruction, students will significantly lag behind their peers. Interestingly, the panel also found that phonics most benefits children who are experiencing difficulty learning to read, such as those with dyslexia.

About the Author: An acclaimed educator and education consultant, Mrs. Rifka Schonfeld has served the Jewish community for close to thirty years. She founded and directs the widely acclaimed educational program, SOS, servicing all grade levels in secular as well as Hebrew studies. A kriah and reading specialist, she has given dynamic workshops and has set up reading labs in many schools. In addition, she offers evaluations G.E.D. preparation,, social skills training and shidduch coaching, focusing on building self-esteem and self-awareness. She can be reached at 718-382-5437 or at rifkaschonfeld@verizon.net. Visit her on the web at rifkaschonfeldsos.com.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

2 Responses to “ZYX To ABC: Battling Dyslexia”

  1. Cody Flecker says:

    I was born Dyslexic and had great difficulty in speaking and reading a simple sentence. Born in a Brooklyn Jewish family, and not being able to read or speak coherently, rendered me stupid in the eyes of my parents and siblings. A Jew who was left back as many times as I was became a great disappointment to my parents. Having a photographic memory allowed me to learn how to speed read by taking an Evelyn Woods Reading Dynamic course. The damage was already done in my relationships with my family. I was always looked upon as a stupid person, even though I possess three college degrees today.

  2. There are different approaches to reading. Some prefer the whole word approach, and others prefer the phonics approach. But trying to decipher how to read the word is about stage 4 in the reading process, not stage one. And this is because we never read the word that is on the page. We only EVER read the word that shows up in our consciousness.The first stage is that the reader needs to know WHERE the word is on the page. Then they need to direct their eyes to that word. They need to be able to align both their eyes accurately on that word, and they need to be able to focus their eyes comfortably on that word. They also need the ability to understand where the next word is and to be able to move there. They need the ability to do that all in an easy manner that does not interfere with the simultaneous task of visual processing and phonological decoding. Most of the above skills are not assessed in most kids with dyslexia, and it is nothing sort of tragic. You can read more on
    http://www.aaopt.org/Media/Default/Newsletters/Revised%20Oct%2018_BVPPO_Position_paper%20AAO%20website%20formatFINAL.pdf .
    My professional life is dedicated towards the diagnosis and management of people whose visual system is interfering with their ability to reach their learning potential.

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Some 1,500 teens from around the world at the Chabad CTeen convention hear a personal greeting from UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on March 1, 2015.
Ban Ki-moon Greets 1,500 Jewish Teens at Chabad CTeen Convention
Latest Sections Stories
Golan Wine Medals

‘Double Gold’ awarded to 2012 Yarden Heights wine & 2011 Yarden Merlot Kela Single Vineyard.

Niehaus-022715

One should not give the money before Purim morning or after sunset.

Mendlowitz-022715-Basket

The mishloach manos of times gone by were sometimes simple and sometimes elaborate, but the main focus was on the preparation of the delicious food they contained.

Astaire-022715-Countryside

One of the earliest special Purims we have on record was celebrated by the Jews of Granada and Shmuel HaNagid, the eleventh-century rav, poet, soldier and statesman, and one of the most influential Jews in Muslim Spain.

Jews, wake up! Stop educating the world and start educating yourselves.

The lessons conform to the sensitivities and needs of the Orthodox community…

The program took on special significance as it marked not only the first anniversary of Rebbetzin Kudan’s levayah but also the 27th yahrzeit of Rebbetzin Chaya Mushka Schneerson, a”h.

It captures the love of the Jewish soul as only Shlomo Hamelech could portray it – and as only Rabbi Miller could explain it.

Erudite and academic, drawing from ancient and modern sources, the book can be discussed at the Shabbos table as well as in kollel.

I’m here to sit next to you and help you through this Purim with three almost-too-easy mishloach manot ideas, all made with cost-conscious paper bags.

Kids want to be like their friends, and they want to give and get “normal” mishloach manos stocked with store-bought treats.

Whenever he did anything loving for me, I made a big deal about it.

“OMG, it’s so cute, you’re so cute, everything is so cute.”

A program that started with a handful of volunteers has grown exponentially to include students from a wider array of backgrounds.

More Articles from Rifka Schonfeld
Schonfeld-logo1

Tutor. Counselor. The doctor too,
Sometimes it’s hard to keep up with you.

Schonfeld-logo1

Pioneering authors Peg Dawson and Richard Guare, in their book Executive Skills in Children and Adolescents, outline the ways that we employ executive skills regularly.

Because I get phone calls about this all the time, I have put together a quick “cheat sheet” with milestones for reading, writing, and math from first grade through high school.

The reason behind this is that when we ask our brains and bodies to make drastic changes, our fight or flight response kicks in and we become paralyzed.

Why is there such a steep learning curve for teachers? And what can we, as educators and community activists, do better in the educational system and keep first-year teachers in the job?

With so many new cases of ADHD reported each year, it is important to help children learn how to sit still.

While encouraging your child to take responsibility for bed-wetting (like asking him to change the sheets), remember that it is important not to get angry or make him feel guilty.

As we said, you cannot get rid of a bad habit, you can only change it. But, how?

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/family/parenting-our-children/zyx-to-abc-battling-dyslexia/2013/11/15/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: