The school year is up and running.
It’s the perfect time for parents and teachers of students who struggle with reading, writing and math skills to think about finding the very best help for their children and students.
It is also Dyslexia Month; a time to focus on children whose reading and math skills often do not keep up with their peers, or only do so with an extraordinary amount of hard work.
The International Dyslexia Association or IDA provides excellent guidelines to help parents and teachers find appropriate instruction for these children.
First the Good News:
Most Reading Difficulties can be resolved or diminished.
IDA has established knowledge and practice standards to inform and develop knowledgeable and skilled teachers so that all students in every classroom can benefit from successful literacy instruction.
The need for good teaching instruction in every classroom has been clearly documented.
The Bad News:
Not all educational promises meet the knowledge and practice standards. Some make promises of a quick fix that are just too good to be true. Others while meaning well, do not provide long term gains that translate into academic success.
IDA cautions parents and teachers to:
Be Aware: parents and educators will do almost anything to help a child who is struggling in school. This makes it all too easy to get taken in by treatments and programs that make big promises, but do little except waste valuable time and resources.
Be Wary of: Exaggerated claims, false guarantees, pseudo science and quick fix claims. Be wary of any approach that focuses on fixing a single underlying condition to address complex difficulties.
And There is More Good News:
IDA provides guidelines to evaluate treatments and programs for struggling students.
Ask questions. Do treatments and skills gains actually transfer into improved reading, writing, math or study skills?
Invest time well for the long term. When a child fails to progress, frustration and loss of self-esteem can be devastating. Time is lost and hopes are dashed. Best practices and interventions are most effective when the brain is most plastic (or young). Wasting time during the early years can have life-long consequences.
It ‘s important to recognise a solid structured approach to reading and math instructionthat will move your child or student forward this school year and those to come.
Take some time to ask the questions you need to ask and consider your educational options without pressure.
We wish you great success in your education journey.
Marilyn Wardrop and the OG Academic Team