What is dyslexia?
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.
People with dyslexia often have average to superior intelligence. Many are gifted in math, science, fine arts, journalism, and other creative fields. A list of such people would include Thomas Edison, Albert Einstein, Leonardo da Vinci, Winston Churchill and many others who have changed the course of our world. However, their tremendous strengths are offset by noticeable weaknesses.
Some of the signs associated with dyslexia include:
• Difficulty learning to speak
• Trouble learning letters and their sounds
• Difficulty organizing written and spoken language
• Trouble memorizing number facts
• Difficulty reading quickly enough to comprehend
• Trouble persisting with and comprehending longer reading assignments
• Difficulty spelling
• Trouble learning a foreign language
• Difficulty correctly doing math operations
These difficulties stem, not from a physical problem with the eyes or ears, but rather from the basic neurological functioning of the brain. Psycho-educational batteries of formal and informal tests are used to determine patterns of strength and weakness as compared to intellectual ability. Testing not only helps identify dyslexia, but NILD uses formal and informal testing data to determine the best kind of instruction for each learner.
Can those with dyslexia be helped?
Yes! Every human brain is created with a unique pattern of strengths and weaknesses. We each have certain areas that make sense to us easily as well as areas of difficulty that require outside explanation and extra effort to understand. NILD Educational Therapy® is a direct, language based intervention with over 40 years of success for students with dyslexia. Our focus is to strengthen the underlying causes of learning difficulties rather than simply treating the symptoms. Our therapy is individualized and aims the intervention just above the student’s level of functioning and raises expectations for performance. Our therapeutic, cognitive-based intervention unlocks learning potential and transforms defeated learners into competent, confident individuals.
The IDA has accredited NILD’s therapeutic, research- based, individualized approach, grounded in test and observational data, addressing all components of reading within a cognitive development framework.
NILD’s Executive Director, Kristin Barbour, was invited by the IDA to serve on a committee to work on establishing the knowledge and practice standards of reading for IDA’s national assessment development. The IDA certifies university programs and individual organizations offering training in literacy.