In our previous post on Severe Dyslexia, we talked about 6 steps required to read:
2. Visual Recognition of Words
3. Matching Letters and Words to Sounds – Phonemic Awareness
4. Matching Words to Word Meaning
5. Saying Words
6. Comprehending Text
In the premium material on that post, we talked about how different readers may have difficulty with the visual aspects of reading, where as others have trouble with sound.
Other areas where children or adults can have trouble are in the areas of learning and remembering word meaning, speech output, and finally reading comprehension in text form.
It’s important to be able to target these areas because it helps prioritize needs and also could explain while more progress isn’t being made. One student may need intensive remediation in one area, whereas another may really need remediation in all.
Memory is also a critical component to steps 2,3,4, and 6, which may also explain why more repetition and / or memory prompts are necessary for some students. If you don’t know about Word Girl from PBS, that’s an easy way for some kids to pick up new words. Word Girl games are located here.
As a group, dyslexic students tend to have a stronger personal rather than impersonal or rote memory. If simple repetition doesn’t seem to work for learning, then get out your markers and put your creative storytelling hat on and see if there’s a way to change things up a bit to make things more memorable.
Academic Vocabulary took on greater importance in instruction with passage of Common Core legislation. In the past academic vocabulary wasn’t explicitly taught and many dyslexic students got left behind, not because they didn’t understand the principles or material that was being taught, but because the misinterpreted academic words that hadn’t been formally taught. Some helpful posters about academic vocabulary can be found here – but they aren’t perfect resources, but each word ideal should be explained with an example (context, visual) and not just with another verbal definition.
Check out the great Phonics Poster below from The Classroom Key. Premium Subscribers, make sure you’re logged in and you’ll see our helpful strategies for word learning in students with severe dyslexia below.
Phonics poster pdf here.