THE ExWyZee REMEDIAL READING COMPUTER PROGRAM
[Click here to download the ExWyZee program]
ExWyZee remedial reading program was designed for use by parents in the home.
The computer software,
exercise sets, and
training to use the program are provided free of charge as a public
service of The Salvation Army.
In addition to home use a tutorial option is now available, where a student is brought to a Salvation Army site, or a public or university library for instruction by a tutor trained to administer the program.
If you are well versed on the Neurological Dyslexia Syndrome, and want to go directly to diagnosis and treatment, read the note to parents below then scroll down to Part-2: DIAGNOSIS AND DEVELOPMENT OF YOUR STUDENT'S READING DEFICIT PROFILE.
Part 1: Introduction to tutoring the dyslexic reader.
Part 2: Diagnosis & development of Reading Deficit Profile (RDP).
Part 3: Example of developing a Reading Deficit Profile.
Part 4: Links master list.
NOTE TO PARENTS OF READING IMPAIRED STUDENTS Parental home-tutoring in reading can be frustrating. While we can reap immediate satisfaction when helping a child with routine homework, most reading problems are anything but routine. To add to the discomfort, payoff is almost never immediate. Too often, the only indication of reading improvement might be the next year's reading test scores. Worse yet, what we are likely to find next year is somewhat higher grade-level scores, but that the student has fallen even farther behind relative to classmates.
Much of the frustration is due to a lack of focus in reading tutoring. In mathematics, a couple of weeks of after-supper work on multiplication facts or percent problems can result in fairly quick and obvious achievement of specific objectives. But with reading, the work is rather faith-based -- faith that sitting down at the table after the dishes are cleared to do reading homework, will make much of a difference.
THE ExWyZee READING HOMEWORK IS SOMEWHAT MATH-LIKE
ExWyZee is an objective-based, and mastery-based, program. Objective-based means the program is designed to treat specific deficits in a student's reading tool kit. Each skill deficit is an objective to be mastered -- in the same sense that a student's multiplication-fact deficit is an object to be mastered. Take a quick look now at a list of reading skill deficits. Don't dwell on them at this point, just read enough for a general idea of reading deficits, and to have a sense of what we're up against with the
dyslexic. Click Reading Deficits Summary
PART 1: INTRODUCTION TO TUTORING
THE DYSLEXIC READER
There's the old joke about a
child who asks a teacher some question about
railroad steam engines, and the Teacher responds, "Your father was a locomotive engineer,
why not ask him."The child answers, "Don't
wanna know that much about steam engines."
But, as with most of us, when setting out to do remedial reading work with a dyslexic student, if you have not already put some effort into becoming informed about dyslexia, you need some basic training.
If you have not done so already, we have to get a common misconception out of the way. Dyslexia is not a visual perception problem, where letters and words are seen backward or some other distorted way. When a student reads date as bate, or reads the word saw as was, it is no more a matter of seeing things backward than it is if you get a wrong number by dialing 555-6496 instead of 555-6469. (For treatment of b-d confusion see link, Is it b or d?)
BASIC TRAINING LINKS
[ ] (2) Read the first 3 pages of About Dyslexia Monograph. About Dyslexia Monograph (3pp)
[ ] (3) Read the advisory on the Phoneme Blending Deficit. Phoneme Blennding Advisory (1.5pp)
[ ] (4) Read the advisory on The Transition Deficit. Transition Advisory (1.5pp)
[ ] (5) Read the first 2 pages of the SepCom Monograph. SepCom Monograph (2pp)
[ ] (10) Read incident-driven vs. focused instruction. Focused vs Incidental Instruction (1p)
[ ] (6) Read the Snapshot Proficiency Monograph. Snapshot Proficiency (=2pp)
[ ] (7) Take a quick look at Basic Skills Deficits. Reading Skills Deficit (skim)
I say quick-look at Link-7 because there's too much there to digest in one meal. It's a
smorgasbord of reading sub skills. Some of the listed deficits are suffered by virtually all dyslexics.
Some become evident in the early years of reading instruction and some not until later.
[ ] If you don't have time to do it now, make a note to Google Joseph Torgesen and read his paper,
Catch Them Before They Fall.(Warning: Then you might feel the urge to attend school board meetings
and make a nuisance of yourself.)
Now, having read those pages and having some idea of the nature of The Neurological Dyslexia Syndrome, how can I tell if dyslexia is my student's problem?
As far as using the ExWyZee program is concerned, you don't have to know for sure, because the program was developed for, and through research with, dyslexics.
>>HOWEVER, don't infer from that remark that there is no-need-to-know if your child is in a regular school's remedial reading program. Most special education remedial reading programs are not structured to treat serious dyslexic reading deficits. If I am challenged to support that bold assertion about a particular school I will simply refer to the A-list of deficits in Link-7 (above) and ask to see that school's focused materials and tutoring procedures used to treat them. That is, I'd want to see such evidence of procedures in addition to Focused vs Inscidental Instruction on them during oral reading sessions (See Link-10).
But what if I don't feel comfortable assuming
dyslexia and want a definitive basis for remedial reading tutoring?
First, look at the link, Testing For Dyslexia, on this site: Testing For Dyslexia.
Then log on to the International Dyslexia Association site, click on IDA Provider, and
select a state for a list of specialists. But be aware that, as in any profession, there's a range of experience and competence. So before committing to an evaluation by a provider you might want to ask for references.
And beware of guarantees. One education organization guarantees a year of growth in reading or math scores after 36 hours of instruction. It's not a money back guarantee. If a year's growth doesn't occur you get 12 more hours of what didn't work in the first place.
*****************End of introduction*****************
DIAGNOSIS AND DEVELOPMENT OF
STUDENT'S READING DEFICIT PROFILE
When you take a child to a physician the first thing she will do is evaluate vital signs: temperature, pulse, respiration, blood pressure. Those numbers provide a general health profile, and a basis for
attacking whatever ailment brought the child to the clinic. And we begin evaluation of a reading
impaired student in the ExWyZee program by evaluating three vitals for fluent reading. Deficits in
these reading sub-skills are indicators of reading ill-health, and treatment of the them is imperative.
Other deficits on the A-list (Reading Skills Deficits) are diagnosed after evaluating and beginning any work that's indicated on these three deficits. Nothing else we do will do much good as long as a student is deficient in these three fundamental reading sub skills.
Before beginning diagnostic exercises see the links pertaining to these 3 reading sub-skills.
(a) Snapshot skill. See Link-6: Snapshot Proficiency
(b) Phoneme Blending skill. See Link-3: Phoneme Blending Advisory
(c) Skill at Decoding By Parts. See Link-4: Transition Advisory
DIAGNOSING AND TREATING THE SNAPSHOT PROFICIENCY DEFICIT
First, scroll up to PART-1 and read paragraph 3. I advise that reading, or (re-reading) because
of the pervasive myth that the Neurological Dyslexic Syndrome is due to faulty visual perception.
When the letter-pair ap is flashed, and the student chooses ad or aq from the multiple choice list, it's
not that the second letter in that pair is seen backward or upside down. What we have is a child who
has not yet had adequate experience and-or training in making those fine distinctions.
PART 3: EXAMPLE OF BEGINNING DEVELOPMENT OF
A READING DEFICIT PROFILE
FINDING #1: Sue, a third-grader, does not have a serious deficit in phoneme awareness (A2).
That is, she knows at least one sound (phoneme) for each letter, and more than one phoneme for
most of the vowel letters. That will be true for most third-graders.
FINDING #2: We find that Sue does have a sound-blending deficit (A3).
She reads the
pair fa as two separate sounds (phonemes), fff-aaa, instead of blending the phonemes as in
father, fate, fall, or fast. When directed to say the sound of letter-pair ab-fi, she responds with
four distinct sounds aa-buh-ff-ii, instead of the saying the nonsense-word abfi. So Phoneme
Blending Deficit (A3) goes into Sue's RDP. For more detail on this deficit see Remedial
Reading Advisory-1 Phoneme Blending Advisory.
Next, we'll look at Sue's achievement of the E-rule. That is, the
affixed to the
word sit (with short-i) changes the vowel sound to the long-i, site. In drills for this deficit we work
with a list of letter-combinations such as: bas, jun, fit, tub, pop, rul, shad, writ. We direct the
student to recite what those combinations will become with the letter-e affixed to them. We find
that Sue does not do well on E-rule drills. So the E-Rule deficit goes into Sue's RDP.
FINDING #4: It would be unusual for a reading impaired student of Sue's
age not to have
in making the transition from Letter-By-Letter Sounding-Out of multi-syllable words. Look now at
the Transition Advisory. Viewing the remedial reading scene through on-site observations in
schools, vicarious observations through students in the ExWyZee program, and through the
reading literature leads to three conclusions:
(1) Virtually all reading-impaired people suffer a deficit in the Transition From
Letter-By-Letter Sounding-Out of multi-syllable words to Decoding By Parts.
(2) In the reading impaired of all ages, from the third grade up, that deficit is the
most debilitating deficit in readers' tool kits.
(3) And, as essential as that transition is to fluent reading, the Transition Deficit is
grievously under-diagnosed and under-treated in classrooms and at the kitchen table.
For a brief discussion of the transition deficit see Remedial Reading Advisory-2, Transition Advisory.
For detailed guidelines in remedial treatment of the transition deficit see. SepCom Monograph
PART 4: LINKS MASTER LIST
1. Dyslexia Watch List: Advisory for the proactive parent
2. About Dyslexia Monograph: A monograph on the nature of dyslexia
3. Phoneme Blending Advisory: Phoneme blending deficit advisory.
4. Transition Advisory: The Transition to Decoding-By-Parts.
5. SepCom Monograph: Treating the deficit in transition from Letter-By-Letter
Sounding-Out of multi-syllable words to Decoding-By-Parts.
6. Snapshot Proficiency: To focus students' attention on text being read.
7. Reading Skills Deficits: Basic skills deficits treated in ExWyZee program.
8. Is it b or d? Treatment of the b-or-d confusion.
9. P=Pa Phoneme Fault: Eat aparicots aboard a subamarine.
10. Focused vs Incidental Instruction: Incident Driven vs Focused Instruction.
11. Induced Dyslexia: A disturbing question raised by research at Yale.
12. Testing For Dyslexia.pdf: International Dyslexia Association article.
13. Read the Word Compulsion
14. Parent's Guide To Schools Of Choice: Questions to ask before committing your child.
15. Other Authors: Inadequate screening, inadequate IEPs, Late emerging disabilities.
16. Installing ExWyZee: Hard copy available
17. Brain Scan MRI: From the book, Overcoming Dyslexia
18. Reform of Special Education: Case Study on Dyslexia
19. Social Promotion: Today's rant, having nothing to do with dyslexia
23. Behind the Dyslexia Closet Door
25. Secret Number Sentence
26. Conceptual vs. Rote Development of Computational Skills
27. Remedial Instruction in Division in Grade Seven
28. Special Education in Math
THE NOT-DYSLEXIC DYSLEXIC
Sounds like a contradiction in terms? Yes, but be aware that you might have a child, or you might
be an adult, who shows symptoms of dyslexia, but who does not, in fact suffer from the
Neurological Dyslexia Syndrome (NDS).
The logs of some reading impaired students treated in the ExWyZee program, from grade 2 to
grade 9, clearly were cases where reading problems were not due to dyslexia. Their Response
To Intervention (RTI), and the diminishing of their reading impairment was too easily attained for
their reading problem to be dyslexia. eg: See logs of Student MS (gr4), Student CV (gr2), SE
student (Jr High), Western student (gr5).