Dyslexia is caused by visually flipping letters within a word. But the truth is it’s the inability to hear the sounds within the words. I know this is news. For centuries it was thought to be a visual problem. In fact, a century ago Dr Orton, a neuropsychologist, created a reading program based on this theory. Even today you can find websites that say it’s a visual problem. And Dr. Orton’s system is still used.
Dyslexia is Caused by Low Phonemic Awareness
But 20 years ago Yale doctor, Sally Shaywitz, did MRIs while the child was reading. She discovered an inactive phonemic awareness area. (The part of the brain that hear the sounds in words.) Moreover, she showed that focusing on the sounds of the letters allowed some children to cease being dyslexic!
So we created games where the child says the sounds associated with each letter or letter combination. This teaches phonemic awareness. Because it is a game focused on hearing the sounds the child gradually builds up their ear so he can identify which sound goes with which letter.
Even better because we’re using games the child willingly memorizes the sounds to win. (Of course, I insure the child wins.) Also we use the strongest phonics system available to sound out words. This allows the child to read every word in our readers. So we can immerse the child in reading and help him or her catch up with the other kids in the classroom.
Closing the literacy gap for a child who thinks she will never learn to read is one of her happiest moments. Plus, the confidence that comes encourages the child to take on more words. A confidence that can last all the way through college. Allie described it this way, “I’m smart now.”