Whole language vs. phonetic based reading

Why are we trying to decide whether whole language or phonetic based reading instruction is the right kind of reading instruction. Kids should have both. The difference between the two forms of training is that whole language instruction means that reading instruction is done within the  context of  whole- language. Phonetic-based instruction, like Orton-Gillingham is reading …

A plan to written success

Students with language-based disabilities often struggle with the acquisition of written language skills. Writing is difficult because there is no ability to repair a breakdown in communication which we do so often in in oral speech. If a reader does not understand a person’s writing, there is no opportunity to question or revise.  When writing …

Reading words or learning to read? Part III

It is a fact that students with language-based learning disability require more intense structured instruction over a longer period of time in order to acquire many aspects of language. In first grade my daughter was given the tools to be an engaged reader, but by 3rd grade she was using none of them. It was …

Reading words or learning to read? Part II

I’ve been frustrated this year with the level of reading instruction my daughter has received. What did I notice about my daughter’s reading abilities? She skipped words she didn’t know, and she confused small words like “of” and “off.” When I asked her indirect questions about stories she had read, she’d fall out on the floor screaming. Okay, I …

Reading words or learning to read? Part I

My daughter’s reading instruction at school has been frustrating this year. She is a fluent reader, but when you ask her what she has read. Her answer is sometimes, “I don’t know!” Her comprehension is not equal to her fluency level. Is this normal? Yes, she has been working on learning to read the words, …

The sweet smell of success

Success! One of my high school clients with a moderate to severe language-based learning disability that looks similar to dyslexia, scored in the average range on a formal assessment for writing at the sentence level. This is so exciting! Last year formulating sentences with prepositions, adjectives and conjunctions was a huge challenge for this client. …

Case Study: Part II Reading and Technology

It has taken years of work two times a week to bring Renee’s reading rate up to a functional rate that can support her high school academics. However, Renee’s reading rate is still not grade level and because she easily fatigues when reading, remediation can not be the sole solution. She does not always read …

Life when you can’t read

I stumbled across this video from a show called “My So Called Life,” were the main character discovers that a boy she likes can not read well. Jordan, the character, doesn’t appear to be receiving any intervention. He’s ashamed, and other students think he is stupid.Self blame, self doubt, poor self esteem will follow him …