District Administration December2017 - 49
Dyslexia is not a
problem that causes a
reader to reverse letters
or read backward. It
is a language-based
from how the brain
As one example of success, Arispe
recalls a child who started school eagerly and loved stories but struggled to
read, becoming unhappy and resistant
to reading. After repeating first grade, he
entered the district's intensive program
at the beginning of second grade. The
child's demeanor and progress improved
dramatically by winter break.
Arispe says the child's parent put it
this way: "'He looks forward to going
to school. He feels confident in himself
again and his ability to learn. He's making progress by leaps and bounds.'"
In East Brunswick Public Schools in
New Jersey, dyslexic students can read
and listen to a wide array of audiobooks.
Adjusting the speed and presentation of
the audio enables struggling readers to
access books at higher comprehension
levels, to build vocabulary and fluency,
and to develop a love of literature, says
Patricia LaDuca, supervisor of language
arts and primary education.
The district added audiobooks and
other literacy supports after New Jersey
passed new dyslexia education laws a few
All K3 students in East Brunswick
also get more phonics-oriented instruction through a multisensory, structured
literacy program offered for about 25
minutes per day.
Some of the activities include tapping
the sounds of words and building words
by manipulating letters.
"We've certainly seen some great
progress," LaDuca says. "We've seen
fewer kids struggling because we're meeting their needs sooner. Kids like to read
more, and are reading more at home." DA
Eleanor Chute is a freelance writer based in
To read about dyslexia laws
and guidelines in various
states, find this story at
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December 2017 49