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A CHILD’S TOUCHSTONE

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Hello everyone!  Below are on-going current events regarding the dyslexia movement. Stay tuned! Check back regularly for up-to-date news and information on dyslexia and how we are significantly impacting the lives of dyslexic children. Thank you for what you do, everyday!

 

LET US KNOW YOUR THOUGHTS....We want to hear from you. Let us know your thoughts after reading "A Child's Touchstone". Do you find the content valuable? Do you like the artwork in the book by dyslexic kids? Do you have any recommendations or comments? Feel free to communicate your comments via e-mail to:  lorraine@achildstouchstone.com

We will respond to your e-mail within 2 days from receipt.

Warmly,

The entire "A Child's Touchstone" Team

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     Educational Codes used by School Psychologists to identify Specific Learning Disabilities

 

Below is a list of  "Educational Codes" used by school psychologists when identifying a student's specific learning disability(ies), such as dyslexia. Similar to the DSM-5 code system, school psychologists are suppose to "code" a students' learning disability and/or disabilities, using the code(s) listed below. In doing so, reading/dyslexia specialists, teachers and parents can then tailor student support to their needs. This is an important list. If  IEP's or 504's are not identifying these education codes, ask why.

 

Educational Codes Used by School Psychologists

Specific Learning Disability – EDM Code:LD

 

LD 1.00 - Auditory Processing Disorders

LD 1.01 Auditory Association Processing Disorder

LD 1.02 Auditory Blending Processing Disorder

LD 1.03 Auditory Closure Processing Disorder

LD 1.04 Auditory Discrimination Processing Disorder

LD 1.05 Auditory Figure Ground Processing Disorder

LD 1.06 Auditory Language Classification Processing Disorder

LD 1.07 Auditory Long-Term Memory Processing Disorder

LD 1.08 Auditory-to-Written Expression Processing Disorder

LD 1.09 Auditory Sequential Memory Processing Disorder

LD 1.10 Auditory Short-Term Memory Processing Disorder

LD 1.11 Auditory Visual Integration Processing Disorder

LD 1.12 Auditory Verbal Reproduction Processing Disorder

LD 1.13 Other Types of Auditory Processing Disorders

 

LD 2.00 - Dyscalculia

 

LD 2.01 Abstract Concepts Dyscalculia

LD 2.02 Attention-to-Sequence Dyscalculia

LD 2.03 Basic Number Fact Dyscalculia

LD 2.04 Developmental Anarithmetria

LD 2.05 Estimation Dyscalculia

LD 2.06 Language Dyscalculia

LD 2.07 Measurement Dyscalculia

LD 2.08 Monetary Dyscalculia

LD 2.09 Navigation Dyscalculia

LD 2.10 Number-Word Translation Dyscalculia

LD 2.11 Spatial Dyscalculia

LD 2.12 Temporal Dyscalculia

LD 2.13 Other Types of Dyscalculia

 

LD 3.00 - Dysgraphia

 

LD 3.01 Dyslexic Dysgraphia

LD 3.02 Motor Dysgraphia

LD 3.03 Spatial Dysgraphia

LD 3.04 Other Types of Dysgraphia

 

LD 4.00 – Dyslexia

LD 4.01 Auditory Linguistic Dyslexia

LD 4.02 Direct Dyslexia

LD 4.03 Dysnomia

LD 4.04 Dyseidetic Dyslexia

LD 4.05 Dysnemkinesia Dyslexia

LD 4.06 Alexic Dyslexia

LD 4.07 Dysphonetic Dyslexia

LD 4.08 Neglect Dyslexia

LD 4.09 Phonological Dyslexia

LD 4.10 Other Types of Dyslexia

 

LD 5.00 – Dysorthographia

 

LD 6.00 – Gerstmann Syndrome

 

LD 7.00 – Gifted with Learning Disabilities

 

LD 8.00 – Non-verbal Learning Disabilities

 

LD 8.01 Motoric Non-verbal Learning Disability

LD 8.02 Social Non-verbal Learning Disability

LD 8.03 Visual-Spatial-Organizational Non-verbal Learning Disability

LD 8.04 Other Types of Non-verbal Learning Disabilities

 

LD 9.00 – Organizational Learning Disorders

 

LD 9.01 Catastrophic Response Organizational Disorder

LD 9.02 Cognitive Disorganization Disorder

LD 9.03 Directionality Organizational Disorder

LD 9.04 External Disorganization Disorder

LD 9.05 Temporal Disorganization Disorder

LD 9.06 Other Types of Organizational Disorders

 

LD 10.00 – Sensory Integration Disorders

LD 10.01 Tactile Defensiveness Sensory Integration Disorder

LD 10.02 Proprioceptive Perceptual Sensory Integration Disorder

LD 10.03 Tactile Pressure Sensory Integration Disorder

LD 10.04 Vestibular Dysfunction Sensory Integration Disorder

LD 10.05 Other Types of Sensory Integration Disorders

 

LD 11.00 – Social Cue Disorder

 

LD 12.00 – Visual Processing Disorders

 

LD 12.01 Visual Agnosia

LD 12.02 Visual Closure Processing Disorder

LD 12.03 Visual Depth Perception Processing Disorder

LD 12.04 Visual Discrimination Processing Disorder

LD 12.05 Visual Figure-Ground Discrimination Processing Disorder

LD 12.06 Visual Integration Processing Disorder

LD 12.07 Visual Memory Processing Disorder

LD 12.08 Visual Motor Processing Disorder

LD 12.09 Visual Pursuit and Tracking Disorder

LD 12.10 Visual Sequencing Processing Disorder

LD 12.11 Visual Spatial Relationships Processing Disorder

LD 12.12 Other Types of Visual Processing Disorders

 

LD 13.00 – Other Types of Specific Learning Disabilities

 

 

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Who Helps Kids With Dyslexia Gain Reading Fluency?

By: Holly Korbey

 

When Martha Youman was starting out as a second-grade teacher, every Friday she would stay late after school to make what she called “seat work” for her 30 students— packets to help differentiate instruction for the three levels of learners in her classroom.

 

“My high-level [students] would get lots of reading passages with reading comprehension questions,” she said. “My medium level would get the same thing, but shorter. And my students at the low level would get things like coloring pages, connect the dots — just things to keep them busy so they wouldn’t act out.”

 

She said that some students at the lowest learning level couldn’t even write the alphabet yet, so she’d even put kindergarten-style trace-the-letter pages into their seat work.

 

While the “seat work” kept behavior in check, it was failing as a teaching strategy. Youman, who had been a New York City Teaching Fellow, said she knew that some of these kids were struggling to read, but also knew from class interactions that they were smart. “I kept them busy. Truly, there were interventions they needed, I just didn’t know how to help them,” she said. “I had a master’s in teaching, and didn’t know how to deal with these students.”

 

Youman now understands that some of her struggling second-graders were most likely dyslexic, with neurobiologically different brains that often fail to read words and sentences without direct, specific intervention.

 

“I received zero dyslexia training in grad school,” she said. “I received one class in how to teach reading, one in how to teach language arts, how to teach science, how to teach math. But these classes focused more on lesson planning and strategies at a class level. We did not talk at all about kids who can’t catch up, ever. The word dyslexia was never even mentioned.”

 

After a few years in what felt like “the front lines of a war zone,” she went back to school to pursue a Ph.D. in school psychology, figuring she’d become the expert the struggling kids needed to intervene on their behalf.

 

It was only after she took a doctorate-level class called “High-Incidence Disabilities” with Dr. Nancy Mather at the University of Arizona did the lightbulb switch on. She learned that reading disabilities affect anywhere from 5 percent to 20 percent of students. Youman recalled discussing dyslexia in the class and feeling perplexed. “I stopped and said, ‘Wait, this happens a lot? Then why don’t we know about it?’

 

The 7- and 8-year-olds who couldn’t even write the alphabet, she discovered, might have been helped if someone had stepped in to find out why—was it a deficiency with roots in the child’s environment, or lack of phoneme awareness? Or a comprehension deficiency, or some combination of any or all of them? Youman quickly decided that this is where she could be useful — to go inside schools and help find the kids who were struggling, figure out what was happening and try to intervene.

 

Armed with a Ph.D. in school psychology and currently diagnosing disabilities at a middle school in the Jefferson Elementary School District in Daly City (near San Francisco), Youman now understands more clearly why she didn’t know then how to help her struggling students: First, she was never trained how to specifically help students become better readers; and second, there are multiple bureaucratic barriers standing in the way of students getting help. For example, until very recently, California law provided 13 disability categories that could qualify students for services through an Individualized Education Program (IEP), but dyslexia wasn’t one of them.*

 

“When I’m testing a child to decide if they need special education services, I have to say that they have a Specified Learning Disorder, or SLD,” she said, noting that dyslexia is one of the categories buried under the umbrella term SLD. “But that can be confusing for parents if psychologists in one state say your kid has dyslexia. If they were to move to another state and say, ‘We were told our child has dyslexia,’ their new school might say, ‘Dyslexia isn’t a thing here.’”

 

That’s recently changed, aided in part by advocacy work Youman herself has done to get a new bill passed that addresses dyslexia in schools directly. On October 8, the California state legislature enacted Assembly Bill 1369, which will require schools to assess young readers for dyslexia specifically. The new law, which will make allowances for school psychologists to diagnose a “phonological processing deficit” also known as dyslexia, may seem like a small change, but Youman said its impact on how children can get intervention will be huge.

 

“With this change, we can actually tell parents and teachers that a child being evaluated has dyslexia,” said Youman. “And we can recommend specific interventions that help at home and in the classroom. Hooray! This change seems very minor, but it is really huge.” Although Youman said that no direct changes have come to schools yet, at least they are on their way. And she’s hoping that just being able to say the word dyslexia will open the doors to more and better changes, including more sophisticated in-school tutoring and teacher training on how to recognize and teach to dyslexics.

 

Assembly Bill 1369 has helped to clarify the overall SLD category, which Youman described as “messy.” Much of the time, she is forced to rely on her clinical judgement to decide who gets an IEP.

 

In addition, Youman said that whether or not IEPs actually help depends upon the individual school’s resources, because teachers and paraprofessionals need to be trained on what exercises to do to help students diagnosed with dyslexia, and the best results come from individual instruction. She admitted that in many cases, IEPs don’t really work and many families must rely on private tutors.

 

Youman wishes that dyslexia intervention had the outcomes of speech and language therapy, a school-rendered intervention she said actually works. “For speech and language therapy, the student sees a trained person. What they do is targeted, one-on-one or two-on-one, and they do a really good job targeting the specific areas of weakness.” But with dyslexia (or SLD), at her school, students are pulled out in groups of 10 to get help with their homework, and that’s the whole of the intervention. And Youman, now an expert in dyslexia, said it’s not enough.

 

Where is the Training?

In a recent New York Times op-ed titled "Teachers Aren't Dumb", cognitive psychologist Daniel T. Willingham at the University of Virginia wrote that many teachers don’t know the basic concepts of reading — ones agreed upon by then National Reading Panel. He cited one study of undergraduates preparing to be teachers, “fresh from their coursework in reading instruction,” in which 42 percent couldn’t correctly define the term “phonological awareness,” the first of the five pillars of reading. In Willingham’s estimation, American schools of education are dropping the ball when it comes to preparing teachers how to teach.

 

Laurie Cutting, professor of special education and faculty director of the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center Reading Clinic, called the lack of American teacher training in reading “a disgrace,” considering she has yet to meet a teacher who doesn’t want to do right by her students. Yet misinformation abounds. She said teachers who don’t know how to teach reading make a logical, if flawed, observation about it, based on classroom experience: 50 percent of any group of kids are going to “magically” learn how to read. Teachers then may assume that the second half will also magically learn how to read, given enough time.

 

Cutting said that’s not the case. That second half will struggle and need some direct instruction; within that group, a portion will need a whole lot of direct instruction (perhaps even intervention). The half (maybe a little more in affluent schools) that learns to read as if it were natural can subtly influence how teachers think of reading — which may lead teachers to lean on more holistic views of language, focusing more on enriching vocabularies and exposure to literature instead of phonics.

 

But the 50 percent who need direct instruction need first to learn how to decode, or be able to match the sounds of letters to print letters in order to form words. Teaching the whole class the basics of decoding will not damage the students who are already reading (Cutting said some research suggests that it might actually make their reading stronger). But direct instruction on exactly how to teach phonemic awareness and decoding to that other 50 percent may be getting short shrift in education schools (think of Martha Youman, with her master’s in teaching, but no idea how to help struggling readers). Dr. Louisa Moats, vice president of the International Dyslexia Association, has called this gap between what the scientific community knows about reading and what teachers learn the "Knowledge Gulf".  She travels widely, offering whole-school interventions in reading training.

 

“It really is a disgrace,” Cutting said, “because we know how to do it [teach decoding]. We have these tools, and we know how to teach this part of reading. The other parts are not as easily addressed, like fluency, but we know how to teach kids how to decode.”

 

Cutting said approximately 1-2 percent of kids will always struggle, but that leaves 48 percent — nearly all of that second half of the classroom — who would be greatly helped with direct instruction correctly administered.

 

Enriching students and exposing them to literature is a necessary part of learning to read, but only one leg of the triangle model of reading. Cutting explained that in order for reading fluency to happen, students must have strong connections in all three pieces: a semantic representation, or knowing what the word means; an orthographic representation, knowing what the word looks like; and a phonological representation, knowing what the word sounds like.

 

For many dyslexics, at least one piece of this triangle isn’t represented, sometimes two. But, as Maryanne Wolf wrote in “Proust in the Squid,” the most common deficit among children who can’t read is phoneme awareness: the ability to see letters and sound them out efficiently to form words.

 

What Individualized Instruction Looks Like

Since each human brain must learn to read on its own, Cutting, along with Brooke Soden, associate director at the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center Reading Clinic, understand that deficiencies and weaknesses are individual, and often must be addressed on a case-by-case basis.

 

That’s how the clinic tackles reading disabilities: one child at a time. Soden coordinates and manages the clinic, overseeing one-on-one tutoring as well as providing community training to teachers on how to teach reading. Often children arriving at the clinic are the hardest ones to work with, after their parents and teachers have tried everything else, so Soden assesses students to tease out what’s really going on and where their weaknesses are, then works with tutors on individual plans of action for each child. In most cases, the tutoring involves systematic, direct instruction, much of which is a version of the Orton-Gillingham method created to teach dyslexics to read nearly 100 years ago.

 

Developmental pediatrician Sheryl Rimrodt, who works with Cutting and Soden in helping to diagnose children with both behavioral and reading disabilities, said that since dyslexia doesn’t have any biomarkers to distinguish it, diagnoses are made up of descriptions of what they see happening, blended with the child’s history.

 

Often, reading problems go hand-in-hand with attention and impulsivity issues like ADHD (Cutting suggested that current research may find a link between the two, having to do with executive function), which creates yet another challenge: Is the child acting out because they can’t read? Or, is it the other way around?

 

If sorting out the diagnosis and treatment of dyslexia weren’t complicated enough, the Vanderbilt researchers mention the most crucial piece for schools and clinics alike: deciding who is going to get special intervention services. The Reading Clinic costs money, even though scholarships are available to the financially needy. And IEPs in schools also cost money; it costs money to train teachers and bring on extra staff to do the crucial one-on-one work necessary to improve dyslexia.

 

“You have a finite amount of money, and a bunch of kids. The kids who are going to get the services are most likely the ones who are the most severe, or have the most advocates,” Cutting said. “It’s sort of a fundamental fact of life. It’s too bad that we are not able to capture kids early enough to do some remediation so that they don’t have as many word-level problems. It’s too bad that teachers many times aren’t trained in a way that allows those kids to work through their weaknesses, to sound out their words. Because that would benefit all of the kids.”

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October 23, 2015

From the U.S. Department of Education Office of

 

Special Education & Rehabilitative Services

 

 

Re:  Guidance on Dyslexia

The U.S. Department of Education Office of Special Education & Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) released a letter yesterday giving guidance to states and schools on the use of the terms dyslexia, dyscalculia, and dysgraphia in evaluations, eligibility determinations, and IEP documents.

 

The letter states:

“Ensuring a high-quality education for children with specific learning disabilities is a critical responsibility for all of us. I write today to focus primarily on the unique educational needs of children with dyslexia, dyscalculia, and dysgraphia, which are conditions that could qualify a child as a child with a specific learning disability under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)."

 

"The Office of Special Education and Rehabilitation Services (OSERS) has received communications from stakeholders, including parents, advocacy groups, and national disability organizations, who believe that State and local educational agencies (SEAs and LEAs) are reluctant to reference or use dyslexia, dyscalculia, and dysgraphia in evaluations, eligibility determinations, or in developing the individualized education program (IEP) under the IDEA".

 

"The purpose of this letter is to clarify that there is nothing in the IDEA that would prohibit the use of the terms dyslexia, dyscalculia, and dysgraphia in IDEA evaluation, eligibility determination, or IEP documents.”

 

The letter ends by stating, “Finally, in ensuring the provisions of the free appropriate public education, OSERS encourages SEAs to remind their LEAs of the importance of addressing the unique educational needs of children with specific learning disabilities resulting from dyslexia, dyscalculia, and dysgraphia during IEP team meetings and other meetings with parents under IDEA".

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October 5, 2015

From the U.S. Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan

Re: Statement on Learning Disabilities; Dyslexia; and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Awareness Month

 

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan today issued the following statement on Learning Disabilities; Dyslexia; and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Awareness Month.

 

"October serves as an important period of awareness across our country for the one in five public school students who experience learning disabilities and attention issues".

 

"This is a time for parents, educators, and policymakers to understand how these disabilities impact students and their families, to reflect on the significant achievements that these students have made, and to renew our commitment to creating a stronger future for them".

 

"Approximately 8.5 million students in the U.S. are identified as having a specific learning disability—such as dyslexia, dysgraphia, and dyscalculia. Students who live and learn with these issues often experience challenges in school related to reading, writing, mathematics, and focus; but these students also have great strengths and enormous potential".

 

"In fact, over the last four decades, since the passage of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, students with learning disabilities such as dyslexia have graduated from high school in greater numbers, and more have gone on to college than ever before".

 

"While we should celebrate these accomplishments, we also must recognize that there is more to do to ensure that students with learning disabilities, such as dyslexia and ADHD have every opportunity to fulfill their potential, attain higher education, and obtain good jobs at the same rates as their peers".

 

"To reach this goal, later this month, the U.S. Department of Education will release information that will assist states and local school districts in recognizing the unique needs of students with learning disabilities—such as dyslexia, dysgraphia, and dyscalculia. Supporting students with learning disabilities so that they may thrive in school is a critical responsibility each of us shares if we are to help all students achieve their dreams".

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                                                                  The Beginning…..

 

By:  Lorraine Donovan, author of "A Child's Touchstone

 

Five years ago, my son Brandon was diagnosed with dyslexia, and surprisingly, so am I.

 

Like most parents, I jumped right in and began searching for everything about dyslexia that was available in books and on the internet. Six months later, I was mentally exhausted and not any closer to knowing what to do or how to help my son. I was going in circles, searching for answers that didn’t seem to exist.

 

I realized the book I so desperately needed to help guide me through the dyslexia maze, was not yet written. The journey to writing “A Child’s Touchstone” began at that moment!

 

Thousands of research hours and hundreds of interviews later, “A Child’s Touchstone”, Dyslexia Guidance for “less than perfect” Parents, Teachers and Pediatricians, is finally here. And no stone has been left unturned. Every concern is asked and answered.

 

You will also notice the text, font and design layout of “A Child’s Touchstone”, has outstanding “readability” details. This is deliberate. While learning how the brain processes information, it became crystal clear that we read more comfortably when the text, font and page layout meet our brains’ natural requirements. The goal then, was to provide a comfortable and enjoyable experience while reading “A Child’s Touchstone”. It definitely does that!

 

Take a moment and flip through the book. You will notice photographed artwork by dyslexic kids that introduce each chapter. I encourage you to pause, take in the artwork and read the quote that follows. It will bring a smile to your face.

 

“A Child’s Touchstone” is a substantial book. It contains important and valuable information, presented in a reader-friendly way, to help parents, teachers, pediatricians and dyslexia/learning disability professionals navigate the dyslexia maze and its’ challenges with positive results.

 

Thank you for reading “A Child’s Touchstone”. Together, we can love, encourage and empower dyslexic kids worldwide to reach their own “out-of-the box” greatness!

 

Warmly,

Lorraine Donovan, Author

“A Child’s Touchstone”

www.achildstouchstone.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright © 2015 by Lorraine Donovan and Fresh Voice Publishing. All rights reserved. Fresh Voice Publishing and logo are registered trademarks.

Published by Fresh Voice Publishing, 12711 Newport Avenue, Suite C, Tustin, CA 92780