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Reading Opens Paths of Success for the Reader

Is there evidence that your child is having difficulty with the concepts of print?  Is your child not acquiring the alphabetic principle necessary to transition as an emergent reader?  Has your child been unable to master the orthographic knowledge necessary to map (blend) letters to their corresponding sounds or segment (separate) sounds (individual phonemes) resulting in misspelled or inaccurate word spellings?

A child may be in the early elementary (1st-3rd); middle elementary (4th-6th) late elementary (7th-8th), or 9th grade to upper grades, but will continue to struggle with reading.  Specific reading disorders such as dyslexia result from a phonological processing disorder that is neurological in origin, is familial or hereditary and occurs in 5%-17% of the population in the United States, ((Roongpraiwan, et. al., 2002; Shaywitz, 2008; Shaywitz, 2003).  Dyslexia is one of the most common problems affecting 80% of children identified with learning disabilities (Lerner, 1989).

The learning difficulties of students with dyslexia and associated co-occurring disorders (i.e., attention deficit, organization, and memory) interfere with reading, spelling and often mathematics (symbol processing) resulting in “unexpected underachievement” (Lyon, et al., 2003).  The dyslexic student’s difficulty is with phonological processor regions of the brain.

Dyslexia is not a developmental delay as evidenced by the dyslexic student’s continued growth in IQ without commensurate growth in reading ability. This means that intervention is essential as students with dyslexia have the intelligence (cognitive ability) to learn.

In order to understand the alphabetic code of English, read fluently and automatically necessary for reading to learn, intervention is essential.  Students who do not attain automaticity, the ability to read words accurately and phrases and sentences fluently, quickly and accurately) are said to be “glued” to the print (Chall, 1983).

As a 3rd and 4th grade teacher and 6th through 8th grade teacher for 15 years, I administered assessments to my students at the beginning of each school year so that their progress could be measured at critical points throughout the school year.  Learning from their beginning school year test performance revealed that 17%to 20% of my students had not acquired the foundation skills  in phonemic awareness to blend sounds to their letters, and segment (separate) sounds to decode words, spell with accuracy (knowledge or spelling patterns-orthography) all of which is necessary to read words automatically and fluently.  Therefore, many of the students were not able to read and understand basal readers at their grade level.  During silent and oral reading time, these students were said to be “glued” to their text as they read, a term coined by researcher Chall (1983).      

In most educational settings, small group instruction does not produce the greatest gains in academic achievement due to the limitations of one teacher attempting to meet the needs of several students requiring differentiated, specialized and intensive instruction .

  • The number of students within one classroom with varying learning abilities
  • The number of students who must receive differentiated instruction within the same classroom
  • The time involved administering assessments and monitoring progress for each student
  • The cost of providing additional professional support and specialists to teach small-group intervention

Many students with moderate to severe reading and learning disabilities do not improve significantly in small groups, and may not improve at all in a large class size of 15 to 26 students, as the teacher must still provide instruction to the remaining students outside of the small group.

 “Reading problems do not go away or become less pervasive as students who struggle with reading get older and transition from grade-to-grade.”

As students move from grade to grade, reading of academic, content area texts is required. The required reading from early elementary forward is from primarily story-based fiction with picture. Middle elementary students begin reading to primarily informational, nonfiction texts and more complex story plots  As a student enters the the upper elementary grades and progresses through their academic career, they are reading primarily content area texts, the spellings of words are based on academic vocabulary and sentence level structure is grammatically more complex.  As the challenges of reading requirements increase beginning at 2nd grade to later grades, the student with a specific reading disorder such as dyslexia, becomes less motivated to read, becomes increasingly frustrated, resulting in lower grades and lack of academic progress and success.

According to Shaywitz (2002), there are several indicators that a student is struggling with reading, is at-risk for reading difficulties, or has a specific reading disorder such as dyslexia.  Some of the following are symptoms typical of students who have specific phonological (sound-symbol) weaknesses:

  • Reading that is slow and difficult, choppy or hesitant with words left out for other words substituted.
  • Mispronunciations, word confusions, word replacements are frequent.
  • Using words with similar meaning “home” for “house”; talking around words using “thing” or “stuff”.
  • Unable to read or remember irregularly spelled words (e.g., sight words “said, our, there”).
  • Memorizing words as demonstrated by an inability to read words with similar spellings which are not memorized.
  • Spelling is poor and primarily phonetic with letters used in place of the correct letter for the sound.
  • Handwriting is slow. Improper letter direction and formation can be noted.
  • Poor grades and test scores are affected by reading difficulties.
  • A family or genetic predisposition for reading and spelling difficulties.
  • Self-esteem and embarrassment is noticed when oral reading is required.
  • Avoids speaking or reading  in front of the class or social groups.
  • Motivation is reduced because reading is a struggle and learning seems difficult.

If your child evidences one or more of the following problems, he or she may be at-risk for reading problems or have a specific reading disorder which is phonologically based.

If there is evidence that your child is struggling to read, early intervention is best. Whether your child is an emergent reader or an older struggling reader, she or he can acquire the skills to decode words and fluently read phrases and sentences in grade-level texts.

You will be enlightened to learn about the advantages and benefits of literacy learning academy.

  • Your child will receive an initial screening and full assessment with continuous and ongoing progress evaluations
  • Your child will receive materials and use resources which support her or his specific learning needs
  • Apples Reading and Math uses the highest standards of learning resources approved by the International Dyslexic Association, National Reading Panel, National Institute of Child Health and Development
  • Our approach follows the methodology Orton-Gillingham approach for teaching reading
  • Apples Reading and Math follows a 9-component Structured Multisensory Lesson Plan format specific to each individual child.
  • Our Principles of Instruction follow a  Multisensory Structured Language of English approach
  • Our intervention options follow principles and guidelines of the National Reading Panel NRP  (NICHD, 2000) which have identified the five components critical for teaching children to read:
    • Phonemic Awareness
    • Phonics
    • Vocabulary Development
    • Reading Fluency (including oral reading skills)
    • Reading Comprehension Strategies
  • Your child is ensured of receiving balanced literacy instruction based on instruction inclusive of these five critical components which we provide in every lesson.
  • Language Comprehension Ven Diagram
  • We focus on students who need Tier II Intervention and Tier II Intensive Interventions
  • Response-to-Intervention Diagram
  • Apples Literacy provides an instructional approach that is:
    • Simultaneous, multisensory (VAKT) teaching is done using all learning pathways in the brain (visual, auditory, kinesthetic, tactile) simultaneous in order to enhance memory and learning.
    • Systematic and cumulative — Multisensory language instruction required that the organization of material follow the logical order of the language.  The sequence must begin with the easiest and most basic element.  Concepts taught must be systematically reviewed to strengthen memory.
    • Direct instruction– Multisensory language instruction requires the direct teaching of all concepts with continual student-teacher interaction.
    • Synthetic and Analytic instruction – Multisensory structured language programs include both synthetic and analytic instruction.  Synthetic instruction presents the parts of the language.  Analytic instruction present the whole language. From McIntyre, C.W. & Pickering, J.S. (1995).  Clinical Studies of Multisensory Structure Language Education for Students with Dyslexia and Related Disorders (p. xii).  Poughkeepsie, NY:  Hamco (as cited in Birsh, p. 19, 2011).
  • Apples Literacy follows all US Federal guidelines: Individuals with Disabilities Act (1997); American with Disabilities Act (1990); The Rehabilitation Act (1973).

At GiftedApples, we look forward to meeting you and your child.

Call 216.820.3800 or 440.755.9125
Email ljfarmerr.lf@gmail.com for details about our Literacy Intervention programs.

Sincerely in Reading,

Loretta J. Farmer, BA-SLP, MEd., Principal

Your Child Deserves to Be A Great Reader

Call 216.820.3800 or 216.600.5000

Apples Literacy Advance Reading and Math Academy 4-12  is a 501 (c) 3 Nonprofit Organization

Our goal is to provide intensive literacy instruction to  all students who require specialized intervention in reading and math. We support post-high school Adult Literacy education.


Birsh, J. R.  (2011).  Connecting Research and Practice.  In J.R. Birsh (Ed.). Multisensory Teaching of Basic Language Skills, 3rd (ed,) p. 19.  Baltimore, MD:  Paul H. Brookes Publishing, Co., Inc.

Chall, J. S.  (1983).  Stages or Reading Development.  New York, NY:  McGraw-Hill.

Lyon, G. R., Shaywitz, S. E., & Shaywitz, B. A. (2003).  A Definition of Dyslexia.  Annals of Dyslexia. 53, pp. 1-14.

Roongpraiwan, R., Roongpraiwan, N., Visudhiphan, P. & Santikul, K. (2002). Prevalence and clinical characteristics of dyslexia in primary school students. J. Med. Assoc. Thai., 85(4), pp.1097-1103.

Retrieved February 15, 2016 from: http://www.oecd.org/edu/ceri/primerondyslexia.htm

Shaywitz, S. E. (2002). Overcoming Dyslexia. Random House Inc., NY.


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Associations and Memberships

International Reading Association

International Literacy Association

National Council of Teachers of English

National Council of Teachers of Mathematics

Ohio Association of Elementary School Administrators

Ohio Association of Secondary School Administrators