Reading, Writing and Literacy Problems
The term dyslexia refers to a specific learning disability that affects reading and spelling. Since spoken and written language are closely related, individuals with dyslexia often have some difficulties with spoken language as well. Conversely, young children with speech and language difficulties often later have difficulty developing literacy skills.
Word-Level Reading and Spelling
Children, and adults, who have difficulty with reading often have poor phonological awareness. That means that they have difficulty hearing the subtle differences between certain speech sounds, especially the short vowel sounds. They may also have difficulty blending the sounds to decode (read) unfamiliar words and separating the sounds to encode (spell) words. Sound-symbol associations may also be weak. We work with the Lindamood-Bell LiPS program and Wilson Language Program methods to help clients improve their skills in these areas, which are the foundation skills needed for literacy.
As students progress in their reading skills, and more words become familiar, oral reading fluency becomes increasingly important. We work with parents to develop individualized home programs to improve reading fluency.
Some students are very skilled at decoding but have difficulty comprehending what they read. We use the Lindamood-Bell Visualizing-Verbalizing program to help these students develop richer mental imagery as they read, which in turn facilitates improved comprehension.
We also work with students who are good readers but struggle with writing. Our approach focuses on the writing process, and helping the student learn a how to break down what seems to be a daunting task into a series of smaller, more manageable steps. We often incorporate training in the use of computer software that facilitates writing into therapy sessions.