"My child is smart, but she has trouble reading. She is getting help from the reading teacher, but she's still falling behind and they want to put her in special Ed."
I hear this a lot from parents with children on the dyslexic spectrum. Some have had their children diagnosed and some haven't, but the bottom line remains the same: How do I help my child when the support he or she is receiving just isn't enough?
Children in this situation require two things: quality instruction and intensity. Images taken of the brain show a difference in the neural pathways of good readers versus poor ones. That means that the poor readers actually have to build new neural pathways. Sound hard? It is! The good news, however, is that it can be done. A Carnegie Mellon http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/12/091209121200.htm study proved that with an intensive remediation plan consisting of 100 hours of instruction, the transmission of brain signals had significantly increased. Even more encouraging, the changes lasted. Ten years later the brain scans of the poor readers were indistinguishable from those of the good readers.
Heather Halverson holds a Dual Masters of Science in Education and Special Education. She is a Reading Specialist at The Caedmon School in Manhattan and the Director of Reading Boo(s)t Camp in Suffern, NY
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