Dyslexia - Treatment

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What educational methods or approaches have you or your child used to deal with dyslexia?

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What type of treatment is available for dyslexia?

Before any treatment is started, an evaluation must be done to determine the child's specific area of disability. While there are many theories about successful treatment for dyslexia, there is no actual cure for it. The school will develop a plan with the parent to meet the child's needs. If the child's current school is unprepared to address this condition, the child will need to be transferred to a school, if available in the area, which can appropriately educate the dyslexic child. The plan may be implemented in a Special Education setting or in the regular classroom. An appropriate treatment plan will focus on strengthening the child's weaknesses while utilizing the strengths. A direct approach may include a systematic study of phonics. Techniques designed to help all the senses work together efficiently can also be used. Specific reading approaches that require a child to hear, see, say, and do something (multisensory), such as the Slingerland Method, the Orton-Gillingham Method, or Project READ can be used. Computers are powerful tools for these children and should be utilized as much as possible. The child should be taught compensation and coping skills. Attention should be given to optimum learning conditions and alternative avenues for student performance.

In addition to what the school has to offer, there are alternative treatment options available outside the school setting. Although alternative treatments are commonly recommended, there is limited research supporting the effectiveness of these treatments. In addition, many of these treatments are very costly, and it may be easy for frustrated parents to be misled by something that is expensive and sounds attractive.

Perhaps the most important aspect of any treatment plan is attitude. The child will be influenced by the attitudes of the adults around him. Dyslexia should not become an excuse for a child to avoid written work. Because the academic demands on a child with dyslexia may be great and the child may tire easily, work increments should be broken down into appropriate chunks. Frequent breaks should be built into class and homework time. Reinforcement should be given for efforts as well as achievements. Alternatives to traditional written assignments should be explored and utilized. Teachers are learning to deliver information to students in a variety of ways that are not only more interesting but helpful to students who may learn best by different techniques. Interactive technology is providing interesting ways for students to feedback on what they have learned, in contrast to traditional paper-pencil tasks.

For further information regarding dyslexia, ask your child's pediatrician for assistance, contact your local public school district office, or one of the following:

Dyslexia Memorial Institute
936 S. Michigan Avenue
Chicago, IL 60616

Bureau of Education for the Handicapped
U.S. Office of Education
Washington, DC 20202

Association for Children with Learning Disabilities, Inc.
3739 S. Delaware Place
Tulsa, OK 74105

Council for Exceptional Children
PO Box 9382 Mid-City Station
Washington, DC 20005

For more information, please visit the site Learning Disabilities Online.org.

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See what others are saying

Comment from: MichelleV, 35-44 Female (Caregiver) Published: October 15

I was never diagnosed with dyslexia in school. I struggled with reading out loud and had problems with spelling; the words would lift up and spin when I was overwhelmed or reading a fine print. When my daughter was in kindergarten I knew she had the same problem too. We had the public school testing done. It was found that she needed help and was given an Individual Education Plan (IEP). I went to the Dyslexia Institute of Indiana (DII) and they used Orton-Gillingham method. Reading by colors can do a lot too, she uses a highlighter now in the seventh grade and her best color is blue. She gets 'A's and 'B's and works hard for them.

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