Dyslexia: How Do I Teach This Child?

Published with Permission
Written by Dianne Craft, MA, CNHP

What Is Dyslexia?

Educators have not been able to agree on what dyslexia really is. Some authorities believe that it is strictly a language-processing problem involving the distinguishing of sounds of letters. Others believe that it is a visual/perceptual problem, since these children also reverse words laterally (b/d) and vertically (m/w) as well as scrambling letters (the=het) when they read and write.

I believe that both groups are correct. It is an auditory/language problem, visual/perceptual problem, and often a visual/motor (eye/hand) problem as well. I have worked with many teenagers who have been through years of tutoring in a good “phonemic awareness” program. Why were they still in my special education class? Although they now were able to decode very long, difficult words, because their problem with inadequate eye tracking had not been addressed, they could not read with any fluency. Words continued to “move” as they read, or reverse, or they had to use so much energy to keep their eyes tracking correctly that they forgot what they had just read. Therefore, in my classroom, I also addressed the eye tracking issue so that they could read fluently and with comprehension on grade level by the end of the year. (more…)