ACADEMIC THERAPY & FAQ

 

READING, WRITING, & SPELLING INSTRUCTION

Academic therapy, above all else, changes the way students read, write, and spell. Students  learn: ​

  • The 26 letters of the alphabet

  • 45 English speech sounds using a structured procedure

  • A sound blending method demonstrably more effective than that found in most classrooms

  • The six syllable types

  • Syllable division patterns

  • Regular and irregular spellings and related rules

  • Handwriting

  • Basic writing mechanics

  • Vocabulary

  • Comprehension strategies

The instruction is diagnostic, meaning that it is tied to student performance day to day.  Concepts are taught and practiced to mastery.

STUDY SKILLS & LEARNING STRATEGIES

Strong reading and spelling fluency skills are often not enough for students with dyslexia and executive dysfunction. Students need explicit instruction in study skills and learning strategies that will enable them to meet their academic potential. These skills include: 

  • Grammar and sentence building skills

  • Advanced writing mechanics

  • Note-taking from textbooks, literature, and lecture

  • Text analysis

  • Brainstorming/categorizing/outlining

  • Paragraph and multi-paragraph essay development

  • Proofreading and editing

  • Memory strategies

  • Morphology - the study of Greek and Latin roots, prefixes, and suffixes which promotes spelling accuracy and reading comprehension

  • Vocabulary expansion

  • Non-literal language and inferencing

  • Test-taking and test anxiety reduction strategies

When students follow structured procedures that take the guesswork out of performing academic tasks, they work more confidently, capably, and independently.

EXECUTIVE FUNCTION INTERVENTIONS

Students who struggle with executive dysfunction, ADHD, working memory deficits, or slow processing speed are often at a disadvantage in spite of their good intelligence. These students benefit from individualized, targeted instruction in organizational systems and strategies (including the rationale for using them), such as:

  • Metacognition (creativity, flexibility, self-control, & discipline)

  • "Quick Tricks" for improving dynamics between self and teachers and self and peers

  • Binder/backpack/locker maintenance

  • Paper management

  • Planning and time management

  • Procrastination remedies

  • Use of homework planner

  • Aerobic exercise programming

  • Sleep management

  • Stress management

  • Visual cues

  • Assistive technologies
     

Organizational strategies do not come easily to students with poor executive functioning, but these skills can be learned and practiced to the extent that they become habitual.  

 

FAQ

The Answers You Need

 

WHAT IS DYSLEXIA?

“Dyslexia is a specific learning disability that is neurobiological in origin. It is characterized by difficulties with accurate and/or fluent word recognition and by poor spelling and decoding abilities. These difficulties typically result from a deficit in the phonological component of language that is often unexpected in relation to other cognitive abilities and the provision of effective classroom instruction. Secondary consequences may include problems in reading comprehension and reduced reading experience that can impede growth of vocabulary and background knowledge.”

Adopted by the IDA Board of Directors, Nov. 12, 2002. This Definition is also used by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD). 

WHAT IS ACADEMIC THERAPY?

Academic therapy is a medical/therapeutic model based on the principle of neuroplasticity. It provides the foundation for effective, diagnostic reading and spelling instruction for students with moderate to severe dyslexia. Academic therapy includes a strong emphasis on motor-learning, with procedures that engage the auditory, visual, and kinesthetic-tactile pathways simultaneously.

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE FOR SOMEONE WITH DYSLEXIA TO BECOME A GOOD READER?

The answer depends on a number of factors, including the student's age, severity of the dyslexia, the presence of co-morbid conditions, cognitive ability, attitude of the student, the number of therapy sessions per week, the comprehensiveness and granularity of the instruction, the skill of the therapist, and the pacing of instruction that prioritizes the student's mastery of skills. In short, there is no easy answer, other than that the less severely involved, the less time it will take; the more severely involved, the more time it will take.

301-906-1630

©2018 by Academic Language Therapy Associates