My daughter shared this Facebook video with me of a very cute and obviously brilliant 4-year-old giving a speech about the importance of reading!
This little guy talks about how reading is an adventure that has enriched his vocabulary, long-term memory, thoughts, ideas, and problems solving skills! He encourages parents and teachers that reading aloud to kids every day and developing their literacy skills is one of the most important things they can do. Wow! Out of the mouth of a 4-year-old! And I think most parents would agree.
But what if your child can’t read? You can still read to him, and you should, because there is so much vocabulary, knowledge, and enjoyment to be gained, but will he ever be able to enjoy reading on his own?
It is a common belief that dyslexia and learning disabilities cannot be corrected and therefore, those who have them are stuck with the challenges and need to have accommodations or find ways around them. The brain research of the last 30 years and our experiences with thousands of children and adults with learning and attention challenges tells us that this is simply not true.
Reading comfortably and easily depends upon a solid foundation of underlying processing/learning skills – in particular, auditory and visual memory; phonemic awareness (the ability to think about sounds in words); and good visual perception on the page.
When underlying skills are weak, it can cause a student to struggle and unfortunately, more reading practice doesn’t usually solve the problem. That’s why it seems like students will just need to work with accommodations. Well-meaning teachers, parents, and tutors give struggling readers more and more practice with phonics and reading, not realizing that until they actually address the root of the problem, the student will likely continue to have difficulty.
Correcting dyslexia is not easy, but in our experience, by developing the critical auditory, visual, and language processing skills that support reading, even our profoundly dyslexic learners have been able to become successful readers.
Katrina and her mom, Lisa, were both dyslexic. After Katrina developed her skills at the Learning Center and became a successful independent student, her mom decided it was her turn. Lisa attacked her dyslexic challenges at the Learning Center and was able to go back to college and get her first A ever in her college English class!
Most learning and attention challenges can be dramatically improved or completely corrected by identifying and developing the weak underlying skills and remediating the affected basic academic skills. We have seen this thousands of times over the last 30 years and the brain research in the last 3 decades has proven that the brain can be retrained. Our bright but struggling students do not have to hate school or resort to coping strategies to survive it. If you or your child are struggling with learning or attention, we can help.
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“Helping smart but struggling students dramatically improve or completely correct their learning and attention challenges by developing the underlying learning skills that are not supporting the learner well enough.”
We serve children and adults with diagnosed or undiagnosed learning and attention challenges including learning disabilities, dyslexia, ADHD, auditory processing disorders, and autism spectrum disorders.
Jill Stowell, M.S.
#1 Best-Selling Author: At Wit’s End A Parent’s Guide to Ending the Struggle, Tears, and Turmoil of Learning Disabilities
Founder and Executive Director – Stowell Learning Centers