I found this in my reading today from Overcoming Dyslexia by Sally Shaywitz, M.D.:
"A child with dyslexia needs a champion, someone who will be his support and his unflinching advocate; his cheerleader when things are not going well; his friend and confidant when others tease and shame him; his advocate who by actions and comments will express optimism for his future. Perhaps most important, the struggling reader needs someone who will not only believe in him but will translate that belief into positive action by understanding the nature of his reading problem and then actively and relentlessly working to ensure that he receives the reading help and other support he needs."
This represents the model all reading tutors should aspire to be for their students.
Many parents that come to me treat their child's disability as a disease. They feel that the right thing to do, is find a cure. They are unaware that their child's disability is a sign of great gifts and talents. It is my job as a tutor and teacher, to guide parents and students as they unlock their child's hidden gifts and talents, while helping that child discover that they also can learn.
Five Outside The Box Tips: I bring several games from which the child may choose to play during the last 10 minutes of the session. I use edible manipulatives, with the parents consent, whenever possible. With parent's permission, I take a picture of a student after completing a book. The child constructs a book of their tutoring sessions by writing sentences under each picture. For a child who is a beginning reader or a child struggling in reading, each child chooses a topic to make a book. The child writes the words and draws the pictures. These books are then used in future sessions. For a child who is struggling with beginning phonics, we will play ' I Spy something that begins with (give the sound of the letter or name the letter).
School can be tough sometimes- really tough. When after-school tutoring, intersession (extra time in the classroom during breaks), and individualized attention isn’t enough, what do you do next? What can you do to ensure your child’s success? How do you know when it's time to get some extra help?
1. Homework is an exceptionally difficult chore- for everyone. When your child is exhibiting avoidance behaviors when you bring up the subject of homework, it might be time for outside help. Avoidance behaviors with homework usually take the form of bargaining, whining, excuses, ignoring homework, or even disappearing to a bedroom or friend’s house when it’s time to do homework. If your child is actively avoiding homework, it might be a sign of poor comprehension, poor time management, or a lack of motivation. Either way, a private tutor can help address these problems.
2. Tears are common during homework time. It might not just be your child who has tears...
In 2013, I did this talk with teachers & parents, to explain very simply the many myths and misconceptions we have about learning difficulties. Come, watch me take you into the world of the child who struggles:
From an article I wrote for ' The Alternative' last year:
Have you ever considered a world where you couldn’t read? Not just books or newspapers, but menus, the labels on your medicine bottle, signs, subtitles or even the latest issue of your favourite magazine. Words permeate the world we live in. As a special educator, I started working with children who have learning difficulties in 2004 and the inaccessibility of a reluctant reader to the world of books, ideas and the company of visionary thinkers has both troubled and motivated me. As thinkers like Oprah Winfrey have shared, books can become the beacon of hope for those who live in hard, colourless and impoverished worlds. The lessons of tolerance, harmony, hope and possibilities exist within the pages of a book as do characters and settings of every hue. Books allow us to experience the catharsis and depth of our emotions through the life journeys of those we read about.
Consider Rohan, a 11 year old who...
I feel hopeful about President Obama's remarks at the State of the Union address earlier this week concerning early education, and how money spent on Head Start is money well invested preventing later expenses down the road for these same students. Head Start teachers create the opportunity to give students larger vocabularies and greater background general knowledge before kindergarten. Head Start programs can create the schema students need to inform what they will read and study in school and life. When we learn, we connect the dots from one piece of information that we know to the new information. If we do not have a certain baseline of information or knowledge, then learning the new information becomes difficult. This is why I believe that tutoring in kindergarten and the lower grades is also cost effective. Better to fix a reading problem in first grade than try to play catch up in 7th grade when a student is also faced with much more...