Finally! School’s out! Here’s to fun, sun, and a chance to reset for our kids. Many of us as parents are excited to give our kids time outside, time at camp, and time with friends, but we are also aware that after the ups and downs of this past school year, our kids’ reading, writing, and literacy skills might need some attention.
Parents who are concerned about their child’s persistent resistance to reading and poor spelling often seek guidance from literacy specialists and neuropsychologists to determine whether their child has a reading difference. Here are some common red flags our literacy specialists suggest might indicate a literacy delay.
- Reversing letters or the order of letters (after first grade)
- Spelling phonetically (based on the sound of each letter) rather than orthographically (based on well-known spelling rules)
- Having accurate beginning and ending sounds but misspelling the word
- Not using words in writing that they would use in oral language
- Disorganized writing, poor grammar, punctuation, or capitalization
- Lack of awareness of word structure to support reading
- Lack of smoothness or fluency when reading aloud
- Difficulty with reading comprehension and learning new information from text
- Difficulty learning new vocabulary or a foreign language
- Better performance on oral exams than on written, timed tests
- Avoidance of reading for pleasure or reading aloud
Dyslexia is the most common learning difference, affecting up to 20% of the population and representing 80-90% of those with learning impairments. Dyslexia is a neuro-cognitive atypicality not associated with IQ. Dyslexic students can experience literacy delays, but are often fast and creative thinkers.
The ‘gold standard’ for remediation of literacy delays associated with dyslexia is the Orton Gillingham approach. It is the reading remediation means most often prescribed by diagnosing neuropsychologists. Orton-Gillingham certification requires extensive training, similar to obtaining a graduate degree. Orton-Gillingham specialists do not apply a standardized curriculum to remediate, rather ‘OG specialists’ conduct highly-specific literacy testing and generate a customized curriculum to intensively address long-standing deficits. Among several OG tenets are two exceptional ones: ensuring the psychological well-being of the child so that he/she feels comfortable making the mistakes needed to learn, and, reinforcing skills via motor redundancy (e.g. remembering something better by writing it down or saying it aloud). Highly effective OG reading remediation occurs at minimum twice weekly for 8 to 10 weeks. Summer break, when the pressure of the school year is off, can be a great time to engage in summer literacy work to support your child!
Find out more about OG summer reading remediation at www.prepacademytutors.com or call (914) 303.7661