[Click here to download the ExWyZee program]

The 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.

f 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:

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.


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

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?)

So what is it?
If you read a definition of dyslexia, and didn't know much about it to begin
with, about all you will come away with is that dyslexics have trouble learning to read and that it's a neurological condition.  As with most complicated structures, we need examples to put meat on a bare bones definition. You might want to do a quick reading of the International Dyslexia Association's definition, and then continue with this introduction to begin to understand what their definition means. 
When you were born, your brain, was pre-wired for you to walk upright even if raised by
wolves in the forest with no parental cheering. And it was wired for you to speak Norwegian or Russian -- if raised in an Oslo or a Moscow household.

But your brain was not pre-wired to play the violin. Nor was it pre-wired to scan the squiggly symbols you are scanning now, blend sounds they represent, and bring meanings for them out of your word vault. Decoding these squiggles (reading) is un-natural and for some of us, as many as 20% of us, mastering all of the sub-skills necessary to do it is difficult. For many it's extremely difficult. 

Now, to get on with basic dyslexia training read the selected pages in the 6 links listed below. The articles are fairly brief, but allow yourself an hour or so on them. Then you will be guided in beginning diagnostic exercises with your student. (I suggest, rather than just reading the links that, if you're connected to a printer, you print copies of them and have them at hand to read parts that you will be referred to later as you proceed.)

But don't study these pages as if you have to pass an exam on them.  Just do a quick reading. You will be referred to them as you do diagnoses and treatment of your student(s).


[   ] (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*****************

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
Skill at Decoding By PartsSee Link-4 Transition Advisory

          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.

                        A READING DEFICIT PROFILE

  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 letter-
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.


FINDING #3:  Next, we'll look at Sue's achievement of the E-rule.  That is, the letter-e 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 a deficit
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  



1. Dyslexia Watch ListAdvisory for the proactive parent

2. About Dyslexia Monograph:  A monograph on the nature of dyslexia

3. Phoneme Blending AdvisoryPhoneme 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

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).