Adapted from BBC Health:

Dyslexia comes from the Greek language meaning ‘difficulty with words’. It’s a symptom of a number of different information processing disorders in the brain.

Because there are so many different possible underlying problems (many of which have yet to be understood fully) dyslexia is hard to closely define because it affects children in many different ways. However, the basic problem is a difficulty learning to read, spell and write, despite adequate intellect and teaching.

Dyslexia is caused by differences in the areas of the brain that deal with language, which aren’t yet fully understood.

Several areas in the brain interact in a complex way to coordinate the manipulation of words needed for reading, writing and spelling, so the features of any one person’s dyslexia will depend on which areas are affected and how.

There may be problems, for example, receiving sensory information through vision or hearing, holding it or structuring it in the brain, or retrieving it later, or there may be problems with the speed of processing information.

Brain-imaging scans show that when dyslexic people try to process information their brains work differently to those without dyslexia. This has nothing to do with intellect – people with dyslexia show a normal range of intelligence.

Inherited or genetic factors are important in dyslexia and other family members are often affected.

About four per cent of the population have severe dyslexia, while a further six per cent experience mild to moderate problems.  The photo at the top of the page shows famous people who have dyslexia.

Early Indications: 

Dyslexia may become apparent in early childhood, with difficulty putting together sequences       (for example, coloured beads, days of week, numbers) and a family history of dyslexia or reading    difficulties.

Toddlers may jumble words and phrases, forget the names of common objects, have problems with rhyming or show slightly delayed speech development. They may have never crawled (even if walking early) and have problems getting dressed, putting shoes on the right feet and clapping rhythms.

At school, children may lack interest in letters and words, have problems with reading and spelling, put letters and figures the wrong way round, be slow at written work and have poor concentration.

These problems persist as the child grows up, with poor reading, writing and spelling skills, which can erode their self-esteem.

Dyslexia should be diagnosed after testing by a psychologist or specialist dyslexia teacher.

There’s no cure, but recognition that a child has a problem (especially, if possible, the specific processing disorder relevant to the individual) and appropriate teaching methods can help a great deal. It’s vital children are diagnosed and given the help they need.

Other approaches can help, too. In cases linked to visual differences, coloured overlays and lenses can lead to improvement because they may stop the letters from ‘dancing on the page’ (a common complaint).

At International School Manila:

Here at ISM we have a number of students within the Elementary School who have a diagnosis of Dsylexia.  These students recieve support both in class and in pull out small group of 1:1 sessions which helps them to prepare from lessons, provides them with extra support in literacy development and planning and collaboration with teachers to ensure that appropriate modifications are provided.  We also have a number of resources including screening tools, coloured overlays and hi-lo reading materials.

What is this program called LiPS?

One of the programs that we use in teaching reading and spelling is a program called LiPS.  Before you wonder what this program is teaching your child, LiPS stands for Lindamood Phoneme Sequencing® Program for Reading, Spelling, and Speech (LiPS®). It starts not with letters and sounds of the alphabets, but by making your child aware of […]

Reading Resources for Children with Special Needs

The United States Department of Education has a tremendous amount of information available for parents of special needs children. http://www.specialednews.com/reading-resources-for-children-with-special-needs.htm To understand the vast amount of types of specials needs look to the Federal Citizen Information Center website. There you will find government and private sources available for parents of special needs children. Special needs […]

What can video games teach your child?

Learning through video gaming is an engaging way to inntroduce and develop skills in children like persistance, task initation, reading, organisation and time-management. This week I stumbled across this brilliant site – www.learningworksfor kids.com  this stie identifies which games promote which skills.  The website is focused on the skill so you can select from a […]

Conquer that Multiplication Table!

At this time of the year, halfway through the school year, parents start to get really concerned when their children in fourth grade have not yet mastered the multiplication table.  It is generally expected that this is mastered at the end of third grade.  However, memorizing the multiplication table is really difficult for students who […]

List-Group-Label Strategy

List-Group-Label is a great strategy for vocabulary development, especially for international schools that use the Understanding by Design framework. Read and WATCH all about it here.  

FUN Directions 🙂

Yesterday I was home sick and playing around on the internet and I came across the wonderful little website.  http://www.drawastickman.com/ This site was intended purely for fun I am sure but I think that it supports the development of: fine motor skills following directions cause and effect creativity Try it!

The Unappreciated Benefits of Dyslexia

The VERY interesting below discusses a book which challenges the conception that dyslexia is disabling and the belief that the dyslexic brain is trying to do the same as a typical brain but just doing it very badly. PS – The comments at the end are worth reading! http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2011/09/dyslexic-advantage/  

Making Inferences and Reading

Making Inferences and Drawing Conclusions By: Reading Rockets (2011) Observations occur when we can see something happening. In contrast, inferences are what we figure out based on an experience. Helping your child understand when information is implied, or not directly stated, will improve her skill in drawing conclusions and making inferences. These skills will be […]

Patterns and Categorizing

Even our youngest children are able to recognize patterns and use categories to process new information. Almost everything we see, hear, or touch contains details that our brain processes. Without realizing it, our brain is looking for what is new, what is different, and what has changed. New information is matched to a category that […]

Summer Learning Links

The following links provide loads of fun games that promote summer learning! Reading Links: http://sqworl.com/bhntmh Research links: http://sqworl.com/o2eme8 Writing Links: http://sqworl.com/ziec06 ESL Links: http://sqworl.com/sc9rm4 Keyboarding Links: http://sqworl.com/k18gox Creative Projects Links: http://sqworl.com/husre4 Math Links: http://sqworl.com/6f44tt Spelling Links http://sqworl.com/2b2bba Brain Games (memory, auditory skills, processing, attention, etc.) http://sqworl.com/vlkpjg Enjoy Your Summer!!

Strategies for Summer Reading for Children with Dyslexia

By: Dale S. Brown (2007) As a parent, you play a critical role in your child’s education during the summer — especially if your child has dyslexia. Without your help, kids are more likely to forget what they learned last year. A recent study estimates that summer loss for all students equals about a month of academic […]

Lindamood-Bell Literacy Training in Taipei

This past April Rachael Huelskamp and I had the opportunity to attend two Lindamood-Bell Literacy trainings. The trainings were held at Taipei American School. We were fortunate enough to attend Visualizing and Verbalizing, often known as V/V and Seeing Stars. We were also fortunate enough to be a part of a highly trained group of […]

Dyslexia Parents Resource

A parent shared this wonderful resource regarding Dyslexia, and would like to share this with parents and teachers. Visit the website here.  

Overcoming Dyslexia

This article tells a very inspiring story of a straight A dyslexic teen.  It is worth reading to the end to the comment added by Megan Diffey on her story.

Insightful article

Priscilla Gilman presents an extract from her book ‘The Anti-Romatic Child’. A very interesting read…. here

Parents reading tips English, Korean, Tagalog and more

The following link contains tips for parents in encouraging reading at each stage from Kindergarten through to Third Grade.  They are available in around nine languages including Tagalog, English, Korean, Spanish and Russian.  Scroll to the bottom of the page for the full language selection. http://www.colorincolorado.org/guides/readingtips

Everyone loves…

…a good success story.  On the back on the short video we posted here I did some more research on Richard Branson and came across this wonderful article about his life. RICHARD BRANSON When Richard Branson’s granny was 99, she wrote him to say that the last 10 years had been her best. He should […]

New Brain Findings on Dyslexic Children

By Wendy Leopold The vast majority of school-aged children can focus on the voice of a teacher amid the cacophony of the typical classroom thanks to a brain that automatically focuses on relevant, predictable and repeating auditory information, according to new research from Northwestern University. But for children with developmental dyslexia, the teacher’s voice may […]

Simple Ways to treat dyslexia

John Stein outlines his research suggesting that simple visual treatments and omega-3 fish oils can significantly improve the reading ability of dyslexics Every few years somebody resuscitates the view that developmental dyslexia does not exist at all, but is a middle class excuse for their children’s laziness or stupidity. A current version is that, since […]

Educational Games

“We scoured the web for the best and most trustworthy educational games with the single goal of providing students, parents and teachers with the best interactive homework help the web has to offer!”  as it says on their website.

Our famous friends…

A couple of good friends of mine sent me their thoughts on growing up with dyslexia, ADHD etc. Orlando Bloom Richard Branson OK so unfortunately neither Mr. Bloom or Mr. Branson are friends of mine but I found both of these little clips really inspiring.  Branson in particular seems to have excelled in ways that […]

Reading Aloud to Your Children

Research shows there is no better way to prepare your child for reading successfully than to read aloud to them often –even if your child is having reading difficulties. Not only does reading aloud to your children improve their literacy skills, it creates a time for bonding with your children.   Read Jim Trelease’ Do’s and […]

Why handwriting is important

In the interests of balance and objectivity here is an article about the importance of handwriting.. http://www.ldonline.org/spearswerling/The_Importance_of_Teaching_Handwriting

A NEW way to think about learning differences

Indeed, cutting-edge educators now talk about “learning diversity” rather than “learning disabilities” — what Gaudet calls the “new LD.” Simply put, not all kids learn the same way. Some kids may have particular strengths with acquiring and using language, and some may have inherent problems with learning to read. Conversely, some kids may excel at spatial skills, whereas others may struggle.

Teaching Typing Skills

The article below from ‘The Innovative Educator’ discusses the benefits of teaching children to type.  This is a topic which is really close to my heart and I have enjoyed Anne Trubeck’s articles on the perhaps now questionable benefits of teaching handwriting.  It is very difficult to watch a child struggle to express themselves and […]

Handwriting is History!

Below is another article by Anne Trubeck published after the article written questioning the use of teaching handwriting.  She was called to defend her perspective and some of the claims she had made and does so below. At 11 p.m. on Dec. 27, I checked my inbox out of habit. I had 581 new e-mails. […]

Should we stop teaching handwriting?

Should we stop teaching handwriting in Elementary School?   Anne Trubeck wrote this provocative essay in 2009.  What do you think? Stop Teaching Handwriting! My son, who is in third grade, spends much of his school day struggling to learn how to form the letter “G.” Sometimes he writes it backwards. Sometimes the tail on his lowercase […]

Video shows why it’s important for parents to take action early

Rick Lavoie shows parents why it’s important to take action. “Parents sometimes worry that they’re overreacting when their child isn’t reading in first and second grade,” says Lavoie. Watch the video More information about parenting from this website

Links for Reading Practice

Links for reading practice

ISM’s Parent Book Club

  Join the parent book talk with ISM’s guidance team as they discuss the new book Mind in the Making by Ellen Galinsky. There are two groups: one on Tuesdays and one on Thursdays with the first session beginning Thursday February 10, 2011. Sessions will be held from 8-10:00am in room 1057 until the Month […]

Ordering Books Online

Can’t Find the Book your Child Wants? For those of you (and your children) who love to visit National Bookstore, FullyBooked, or Power Books to find your new book only to leave disappointed because they do not carry it, there is a reliable website to order from. Visit http://www.bookdepository.com/ Free shipping world wide!! Fortunately the […]

LD OnLine Forums

Research, ask questions, interact or read messages posted by parents and educators about LD and ADHD issues. http://www.ldonline.org/xarbb/?catid=769

Using Multi-Sensory Teaching Methods

Studies from the National Institutes of Child Health and Human Development have shown that for children with difficulties learning to read, a multisensory teaching method is the most effective teaching method. This is especially crucial for a dyslexic child. But what does it mean? Using a multisensory teaching approach means helping a child to learn […]

Dyslexia Resources

http://www.dyslexia-teacher.com/ Dyslexia Teacher is a site sharing some of the newest research about dyslexia. It offers strategies and information for children with dyslexia as well as adults with dyslexia. There is also a message board.

How to present written materials…

… so that people with dyslexia can read them! This is something that I have been meaning to post for a while but was reminded by a forum thread I was reading last night about professional and ‘unprofessiona’ fonts to use in documents such as job application forms.  the British Dyselxia Association provides a very […]

Resources for Parents

Please visit our blog regularly to take advantage of the resources for parents found on the right side of this blog.  These  are updated regularly.  You can click on the Printables, for instance, for tip sheets for specific grade levels.  You can also visit the website for more information Reading Rockets for Parents.