Learning Disability Reading Resources (page 2)

Learning Disability Reading Resources

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Updated on Feb 23, 2011

The Wilson Training Program

Developed in 1985 by Barbara and Edward Wilson, The Wilson Training Program is designed for the upper elementary grades through adults. This Orton-Gillingham based program, which is also taught by certified teachers, includes a 12-step program that focuses on decoding (reading) and encoding (writing) words. Steps 1-2 focus on phonemic segmentation, or the separating of sounds in each word. Step 3 introduces polysyllabic words, or the separation of syllables in each word. Steps 4-6 introduce the vowel-consonant –e syllables, open syllables, suffix endings, and the consonant –le. In steps 7-12, complete word structure is taught. Similar to the Orton-Gillingham approach, students must master each step before moving to the next level because this ensures understanding of the material and it also allows students to work at their own pace.

In addition, a multi-sensory approach is also incorporated into each lesson including sight, sound, and finger tapping and using a symbol to “scoop” blends, which enables students to visually breakdown individual consonants and blends. According to Tara Carrell, certified special education teacher and Wilson Program trained specialist at Glen Meadow Middle School in Vernon, New Jersey, “There is a great benefit to the Wilson Training 12-Step program; it is structured well for teaching due to its clear, step-by-step nature. Breaking down each element within each word one step at a time enables students to decode words effectively without the additional stress students may encounter when having difficulty learning to read.”

When your child’s special education journey begins, make sure the programs needed for their specific learning disability is in place. Due to the No Child Left Behind act, public schools are provided with the funding to incorporate these programs into the curriculum along with certified teachers. As for your part as parents, do some research and use the strategies at home. Understand the principles of decoding and encoding; the reinforcement is invaluable and teachers are grateful for the in-home support. The gift of reading is priceless, and makes education a life-long journey.

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