Monday, December 19, 2011

eReadingPro and Dyslexia

I wanted to share with you some of what I've been doing with eReadingPro in Panama, Central America. In September, I was approached by a school director to assess and work with a child who was struggling immensely with reading and writing. After spending some time assessing her, I concluded that she has severe Dyslexia. I will call the student Jane.

Jane is 8 years old and when I started working with her she was essentially not reading or writing at all. When asked to spell her first and last name, she spelled her first name (almost) but was unable to spell her last name at all. So we began there.

I started by making large flashcards, 8 1/2" x 11" with her first name and last name, along with her family members' names. I flashed them to her three times a day for a few days in a row, saying each word as I showed her the flashcard. She mastered them VERY quickly. Then I cut out individual letters that made up her first and last name. I showed her how to match them up underneath her name flashcards, and then had her try. The next day I had her try them without referencing the flashcards. She struggled a bit in the beginning, but eventually mastered them to the point where she could spell the names aloud without any textile material to assist.

The next step was to introduce the phonetic components for her names. I wrote out the phonemes and had her match these underneath the appropriate flashcards. We moved some of the phonetic components around and created new names - which she found quite humorous!

The next step was to begin with the vocabulary from eReadingPro. Rather than following the schedule as it is in the program, we 'skipped' every other day, thus moving through the program at twice the speed. She has thrived on it! She learned each word very quickly, occasionally 'guessing' incorrectly at words which looked similar to each other. We have now completed the first third of the program, and will begin the next third in January when school reconvenes.

In addition to using the reading program with her, there are some other activities that I've integrated which really helped her:

1. I wrote the names of the week on flashcards. Weekly I have her put these in order on the floor, saying each one aloud, and using the song "Days of the Week" to assist her. The song reinforces things for her every, single time we do it. We look for and discuss similarities in the words, and discuss the sounds that are different as well as the letters.

2. I wrote the names of the months on flashcards and did similar exercises as above with these words. We discuss what events take place in each month such as weather, special holidays, etc. which will help her to remember the months.

3. We have added in a workbook that focuses solely on phonics and sounds. Initially she would reverse the small ones, such as 'up' she would identify as 'pu', 'at' as 'ta', etc. She is improving with practice, although she finds these exercises very difficult and does not enjoy them as a result.

4. I have cut out letters and we 'build' small words by replacing one letter. For example, I will lay out the letters 'p' _ 't', and place the different vowels in the middle, saying the new words aloud with her.

5. Her teacher printed off sheets for learning to print letters, which show the arrows where to start, and the correct formation for each one (starting at the top, etc.). When a child understands how letters are to be formed, it helps to build a better foundation for writing and spelling These worksheets can be found here: You can choose the vocabulary words that your child is working on for school, and writing them out will help them to remember how to spell them.

6. At the end of our sessions, I often let Jane use my iPad and 'play' eReadingToGo! She learns each word quickly and loves to look at the colorful pictures.

The idea of starting off with the whole words first was simply to train her brain that the words represent something. After she started identifying the words with the images of the 'things' they represented, it was easier for her to recall the words. After this step we can then show the child how to break down the word into letters and sounds, and then put it back together again.

I am thrilled with Jane's progress, as are her teachers and parents! Jane has begun to write words spontaneously in class, and is using her word attack skills to steadily increase her reading vocabulary. Bravo!

These techniques can be used with ANY child learning to read, and I guarantee you that they will make a difference.


Anonymous said...

We are so glad that we met you in Panama Denise.Jane is doing amazing !Thank you so much for all the work that you have done with her.She is now progressing well into writing!

Jane's mom

Anonymous said...

I am not sure how this program works since we have difficulty communicating with the company from Texas. We would like to find out the strength of this program since we purchased it this past Spring.