Dyslexia Reading Programs Phonics Focuscd – Why Not Comprehension
This article on “Surviving Summer Reading When Your Child Has Reading Difficulties” focuses on improving phonics– a dyslexic child’s ability to sound out words. The article’s title makes it sound like torture.
We would take a far different point of view on five items:
1- What are the goal for a summer reading program for students with dyslexia
2- How much should you have your child with dyslexia read out loud?
3- If your child does not know how to pronounce a word how much help should you give your child in terms of breaking down the word?
4- What other tools should you use?
5- What should a parent’s role be
The implied goals for this article appear to be to have your child practice reading out loud, so their phonics and reading fluency are improved
We would have the goals to be improving your child’s comprehension for what your child reads silently and to make reading far more enjoyable
The article favors having your child read out loud. We believe students with dyslexia need to gather their confidence to read more out loud. As a parent, we recommend starting with you reading 4 out of 5 pages and moving towards your child reading independently.
If your child has difficulty with a word, the article suggests having the dyslexic child practice breaking the word into parts and slowing down the process. We would prefer to give the child the word, so they enjoy reading and start to recognize the whole word.
We would also use powerful tools like Reading Plus(R). Reading Plus can help your child to improve his or her reading speed and comprehension, his or her vocabulary and their love for reading.
In terms of your role, the article does a good job of putting the parent as the facilitator. We would see the parent’s role to include that plus:
– We would find out your child’s reading comprehension level at the beginning of the summer and set a goal with rewards, for where you want your child to be by the end of the summer
– Commit significant time to this effort. Most students with dyslexia are two or more years below grade level by 3rd grade. You want to narrow the gap significantly over the summer.
– Reading with enthusiasm so your child starts to enjoy the process.
– Complement the reading out loud first with audio books, where your child follows along
– When your child watches TV, have your child put test on TV — this helps students with dyslexia to learn to match the word and the sounds – a key skill. Then slowly lower the sound to force your child to listen more attentively.
– Have relevant conversations with your child about the books and stories they are reading. Ask what the author was thinking, engage all the senses and have your child start to draw inferences
Historically, students with dyslexia will tend to regress over the summer and start the next school year even further behind than when the prior school year ended. We strongly urge parents to make this summer the one where your child significantly narrows the gap with their peers, where your child starts to love reading and where your child is reading material they enjoy.