Monday, June 2, 2008

Dyslexia and Related Disorders

Dyslexia comes from the Greek language that means poor language. Individuals with dyslexia usually have problem with reading, writing and spelling despite adequate intelligence and educational experience. Some may have other related disorders such as ADHD, dysgraphia (difficulty with handwriting), dyscalculia (difficulty with math) and dyspraxia (difficulty with motor skills). Dyslexia often runs in families. Individuals with dyslexia need a multisensory, explicit, systematic and cumulative reading method to learn well.

Individuals with dyslexia may have the following characteristics:

- delayed spoken language
- difficulty in learning the sequence of the letters in the alphabet
- persistent letter reversals, rotations and transpositions in spelling, reading and writing
- difficulty in completing school assignments and they do not reflect his/her potential
- difficulty in remembering spelling
- poor word retrieval ability and poor short term memory
- slow and laborious oral reading (reading below grade level)
- difficulty in pronouncing words (magazine - makasing, caterpillar - gaterpeller)
- difficulty in following directions
- confusion with left and right, time, days in the week etc
- difficulty in hearing and manipulating sounds within words (Poor Phonemic Awareness)
- difficulty differentiating different sounds in words (Poor Auditory Discrimination)
- difficulty in doing mathematical calculations and problem solving questions
- difficulty in retelling stories or events in the correct sequence
- poor organizational skills
- poor fine motor coordination (awkward pencil grip)
- difficulty in staying on task

Pre-school and Kindergarten:

- Delayed speech (age 3 onwards)
- Mixing up sounds in multi-syllabic words
- Left and right confusion
- Unable to rhyme (age 5 onwards)
- Poor phonemic awareness
- Difficulty in learning the names of the letters and sounds; sequencing problem

Problems Observed in Schools: Reading, Writing and Spelling

- slow, choppy and laboured reading
- often read words by shape: form – from, horse – house
- leave out/ add function words: for, of, the, a, an, was
- inaccurate reading – wrong sequence: saw – was,
who – how, lots – lost, girl – grill, etc
- directionality confusion: b – d, b – p, n – u, m – w, etc
- poor punctuation skills
- difficulty in expressing ideas in writing and proofreading

Other Observable Behaviours

- poor short term memory
- word retrieval problem
- sequencing problems
- poor organizational skills
- inconsistent and downward trend of grades

Tuesday, April 8, 2008


Instructional Model (Program)
Prevention: Building a Good Foundation
(Kindergarten to Standard 2)
Basic Plan

Early Intervention: Struggling Reader/ Dyslexic
(Kindergarten to Standard 3)
Study Plan 1
Study Plan 2

Remediation: Decoding below Grade Level/ Dyslexic
(Standard 4 to Adult)
Study Plan 3

Enrichment: Decoding at/ above Grade Level
Singaporean Syllabus
Study and Writing Skills

Implementation Plan
Basic Plan
Reading Skills

Study Plan 1 (Reading + Spelling)
Lesson Plan
Reading Skills

Study Plan 2 (Reading + Spelling + Comprehension)
Lesson Plan
Reading Skills

Study Plan 3 (Comprehensive)
Lesson Plan
Reading Skills
Word Study

Individualized Education Plan (IEP):
Helping Students to Achieve Grade Level in Selected Subjects
Curriculum depends on a student’s needs

Provide workshops for parents and teachers and parent-child support program

Monday, April 7, 2008

Sun Reading System

Why I develop it?
- to provide a multisensory, systematic, sequential and cumulative reading program that is
user-friendly for teachers and parents
- difficulty in finding decodable texts and exercises that complement each lesson plan
- to help busy parents who need to work consistently with their children at home
- to guide students who have learning and reading difficulties such as dyslexia
- to guide low progress students and those who have difficulty learning English as a second language (spelling, reading, comprehension and writing difficulties)

What is taught?
- phonological awareness
- sound symbol association (phonics)
- syllable instructions
- morphology (base words, roots, prefixes and suffixes)
- syntax (grammar, sentence variations and the mechanics of language)
- semantics (meaning and the comprehension of written language)

Components of the Reading System:It consists of 13 levels and five stages (colour coded). The materials consist of:
- lesson plans
- wordcards
- readers
- reading skills
- word study

Additional materials include:
- workbooks (grammar, comprehension and composition)
- books (decodable, fiction and non fiction)

Stage 1: Pink - Level 1 (#18), Level 2 (#8), Level 3 (#11)
Stage 2: Light Blue – Level 1 (#8), Level 2 (#23)
Stage 3: Green – Level 1 (#6), Level 2 (#22), Level 3 (#26)
Stage 4: Blue – Level 1 (#7), Level 2 (#7)
Stage 5: Orange – Level 1, Level 2, Level 3

# - number of lesson plan
Total: 136 lesson plans (Stage 1 - 4)

How long does it take to complete this reading system? It depends on- the age of the child and his or her background knowledge
- the child’s condition (the level of severity)
- the child’s ability to stay focus and to complete task
- the number of lesson plan a child and a tutor/parent can do in a week

A child (about nine years old, moderately dyslexic) may take about 1 to 11/2 year to reach his or her grade level. It may also take more than 2 years for some students who need more guidance to reach grade level.

Sun Reading SystemStage 1: Pink: Level 1, 2 and 3- Phonemic Awareness Training
- cvc patterns and high frequency words
- introduction to initial blends, oo, ee, sh, fszl rule
- introduction to punctuations- reading skills, comprehension (yes/no) and short vowels
- write simple phrases and sentences

Stage 2: Light Blue: Level 1 and 2
- initial and end blends + more high frequency words
- introduction to vowel team + VCe patterns + hard and soft c and g- 111 rule, silent e rule, inflectional ending, tenses, comparison of adverbs- more punctuations, singular and plural and prepositions
- reading skills, comprehension (yes/no, subjective, objective) and long and short vowels
- open syllable, closed syllable, Vce syllable and introduction to syllabication
- grammar (workbooks) and writing skills – sentences and short paragraphs

Stage 3: Green: Level 1, 2, 3
- vowel pairs + r-controlled words + digraphs
- 111 rule, silent e rule, y – rule, dictionary skills and syllabication
- homophones and multiple spellings
- writing skills
- silent letters, prefixes, suffixes- reading skills and comprehension (yes/no, subjective, objective)
- grammar, comprehension and composition (workbooks)

Stage 4: Blue: Level 1 and Level 2
- blends and three letter blends + a combination of 5 syllable types + compound words
+ multisyllabic words
- homophones, syllabication, prefixes and suffixes and dictionary skills
- reading skills and comprehension (subjective and objective)
- grammar, comprehension and composition (workbooks)
- double consonant letters, compound words + Cle syllable + more multisyllabic words
- review all six syllable types and schwa

Stage 5: Orange: Level 1, Level 2 and Level 3
- advanced word skills and vocabulary building
- grammar and writing skills

The Focus Areas: phonemic awareness, phonics, decoding, encoding, sight word instruction, vocabulary development, word analysis, fluency, grammar, comprehension and writing skills.