Components of Effective Reading Interventions
Most schools have kindhearted and well intentioned teachers who make every effort to help their struggling students. Having thoughtful and kind teachers who do their best is an essential part of a high quality reading intervention, but this is by no means sufficient - especially for children with dyslexia.
Students with dyslexia or like learning disabilities need well-designed programs rooted in the best available research. That is what we offer.
The earlier, the better. Brain research now shows us that effective programs designed for students with dyslexia can actually rewire the brain to look more like the brain of a typical student. Thus, early diagnosis and intervention is important for long term academic success and maintaining self-esteem.
Our belief in early diagnosis and intervention is so strong that we offer assistance and professional development opportunities to early childhood centers in our area - all free of charge.
Instruction must be high-quality, ongoing, and concentrated. Teaching reading to students with dyslexia requires interaction between caring, well trained teachers and their students. Computers and teaching assistants will certainly help along the way, but no substitute exists for instruction from experienced, well-trained teachers.
Research now supports what we have thought to be true all along. Small group instruction is essential for students with dyslexia. To be successful, students with dyslexia and like learning disabilities need small group instruction many days a week over an extended period of time. No substitute exists.
Finally, let's not forget that all programs are not created equal. Scientific research has proven our reading programs to be successful and effective.
Lots of reading programs exist. Some schools and teachers use programs that can be purchased outright, and others cobble together their reading instruction from multiple sources.
As Sally Shaywitz describes in Overcoming Dyslexia (2003) research based, early intervention programs include the following components: