Published by the
Austin Area Branch of The International Dyslexia Association
Founded in Memory of Samuel T. Orton
"Dedicated to the study and treatment of individuals with specific language disability"
Taken from: Spring 2003 Edition(512) 452-7658 http://home.austin.rr.com/aabida/
The International Dyslexia Association neither recommends nor endorses any specific speaker, school, institution, instructional program or material.
International Dyslexia Association supports the efforts to provide dyslexic
individuals with appropriate instruction and to identify these individuals at an
early age. The
Association believes that teaching and learning is the best approach currently
available for those affected by dyslexia. The Association, however, does not endorse any specific
program, speaker, or instructional materials, noting that there are a number of
such which present the critical components of instruction as defined by the Task
Force on Multisensory Teaching which works under the guidance of the The
Association’s Teacher Education Issues Committee.
A Dyslexic Child in the Classroom: A guide for teachers and parents.
AABIDA Tutor List
AABIDA’s Time and Talent Questionnaire
Defense Attorney Turned Writer Tells about Dyslexic Heroine
“Our Mission to Literacy”
2003 A.A.B.I.D.A. Scholarship Application
2000, Patricia Hodge Dip.spld(dyslexia) & Davis Dyslexia Correction
by permission of Davis Dyslexia Association International (www.dyslexia.com)
reading is an essential tool for learning a large part of the subject matter
taught at school. With an ever increasing emphasis on education and literacy,
more and more children and adults are needing help in learning to read, spell,
express their thoughts on paper and acquire adequate use of grammar.
dyslexic child who finds the acquisition of these literacy skills difficult
can also suffer a lot of anguish and trauma when they may feel mentally abused
by their peers within the school environment, because they have a learning
difficulty. Much can be done to alleviate this by integrating the child into
the class environment (which is predominantly a learning environment) where
he/she can feel comfortable and develop confidence and self esteem.
teachers may be particularly confused by the student whose consistent
underachievement seems due to what may look like carelessness or lack of
children can be made to feel very different from their peers simply because
they may be unable to follow simple instructions, which for others seem easy.
It is a class teacher's responsibility to provide an atmosphere conducive to
learning for all pupils within their class.
teachers need to have an understanding of the problems that the dyslexic child
may have within the classroom situation. Hopefully, with this knowledge, a
great deal of misunderstanding of a child's behavior can be prevented. In a
positive and encouraging environment, a dyslexic child will experience the
feeling of success and self-value.
particular importance is an understanding of the problems that poor auditory
short term memory can cause, in terms of retaining input from the teacher.
of poor auditory short term memory can be a difficulty in remembering the
sounds in spoken words long enough to match these, in sequence, with letters
for spelling. Often children with poor auditory short term memory cannot
remember even a short list of instructions.
following items should provide useful guidelines for teachers and parents to
follow and support:
value to all children in the class is an outline of what is going to be
taught in the lesson, ending the lesson with a resume of what has been
taught. In this way information is more likely to go from short term
memory to long term memory.
homework is set, it is important to check that the child correctly writes
down exactly what is required. Try to ensure that the appropriate
worksheets and books are with the child to take home.
the front of the pupils' homework book get them to write down the
telephone numbers of a couple of friends. Then, if there is any doubt over
homework, they can ring up and check, rather than worry or spend time
doing the wrong work.
sure that messages and day to day classroom activities are written down,
and never sent verbally. i.e. music, P. E. swimming etc.
a daily check list for the pupil to refer to each evening. Encourage a
daily routine to help develop the child's own self-reliance and
good organizational skills by the use of folders and dividers to keep work
easily accessible and in an orderly fashion.
tasks down into small easily remembered pieces of information.
visual memory is poor, copying must be kept to a minimum. Notes or
handouts are far more useful.
the child fairly near the class teacher so that the teacher is available
to help if necessary, or he can be supported by a well-motivated and
Copying from the blackboard:
Use different color chalks for each line if there is a lot of written information on the board, or underline every second line with a different colored chalk.
Ensure that the writing is well spaced.
Leave the writing on the blackboard long enough to ensure the child doesn't rush, or that the work is not erased from the board before the child has finished copying.
A structured reading scheme that involves repetition and introduces new words slowly is extremely important. This allows the child to develop confidence and self esteem when reading.
Don't ask pupils to read a book at a level beyond their current skills, this will instantly de-motivate them. Motivation is far better when demands are not too high, and the child can actually enjoy the book. If he has to labor over every word he will forget the meaning of what he is reading.
Save the dyslexic child the ordeal of having to 'read aloud in class'. Reserve this for a quiet time with the class teacher. Alternatively, perhaps give the child advanced time to read pre-selected reading material, to be practiced at home the day before. This will help ensure that the child is seen to be able to read out loud, along with other children.
Real books should also be available for paired reading with an adult, which will often generate enthusiasm for books. Story tapes can be of great benefit for the enjoyment and enhancement of vocabulary. No child should be denied the pleasure of gaining access to the meaning of print even if he cannot decode it fully.
Remember reading should be fun.
Many of the normal classroom techniques used to teach spellings do not help the dyslexic child. All pupils in the class can benefit from structured and systematic exposure to rules and patterns that underpin a language.
Spelling rules can be given to the whole class. Words for class spelling tests are often topic based rather than grouped for structure. If there are one or two dyslexics in the class, a short list of structure-based words for their weekly spelling test, will be far more helpful than random words. Three or four irregular words can be included each week, eventually this should be seen to improve their free-writing skills.
All children should be encouraged to proof read, which can be useful for initial correction of spellings. Dyslexics seem to be unable to correct their spellings spontaneously as they write, but they can be trained to look out for errors that are particular to them.
Remember, poor spelling is not an indication of low intelligence.
Math has its own language, and this can be the root of many problems. Whilst some dyslexic students are good at moths, it has been estimated that around 90% of dyslexic children have problems in at least some areas of math. General mathematical terminology words need to be clearly understood before they can be used in calculations, e.g. add, plus, sum of, increase and total, all describe a single mathematical process. Other related difficulties could be with visual/perceptual skills, directional confusion, sequencing, word skills and memory. Dyslexic students may have special difficulties with aspects of math that require many steps or place a heavy load on the short-term memory, e.g. long division or algebra.
The value of learning the skills of estimation cannot be too strongly stressed for the dyslexic child. Use and encourage the use of estimation. The child should be taught to form the habit of checking his answers against the question when he has finished the calculation, i.e. is the answer possible, sensible or ludicrous?
When using mental arithmetic allow the dyslexic child to jot down the key number and the appropriate mathematical sign from the question.
Encourage pupils to verbalize and to talk their way through each step of the problem. Many children find this very helpful.
Teach the pupil how to use the times table square and encourage him to say his workings out as he uses it.
Encourage a dyslexic child to use a calculator. Make sure he fully understands how to use it. Ensure that he has been taught to estimate to check his calculations. This is a way of 'proof reading' what he does.
Put key words on a card index system or on the inside cover of the pupil’s math book so it can be used for reference and revision.
Rehearse mathematical vocabulary constantly, using multi sensory/kinesthetic methods.
Put the decimal point in red ink. It helps visual perception with the dyslexic child.
Reasons for poor handwriting at any age can be poor motor control, tension, badly formed letters, speed etc. A cursive joined style is most helpful to children with dyslexic problems. Encourage the children to study their writing and be self-critical. Get them to decide for themselves where faults lie and what improvements can be made, so that no resentment is built up at yet another person complaining about their written work.
Discuss the advantages of good handwriting and the goals to be achieved with the class. Analyze common faults in writing, by writing a few well chosen words on the board for class comment.
Make sure a small reference chart is available to serve as a constant reminder for the cursive script in upper and lower case.
If handwriting practice is needed it is essential to use words that present no problem to the dyslexic child in terms of meaning or spelling.
Improvement in handwriting skills can improve self confidence, which in turn reflects favorably throughout a pupils work.
Marking of work:
Credit for effort as well as achievement are both essential. This gives the pupil a better chance of getting a balanced mark. Creative writing should be marked on context.
Spelling mistakes pinpointed should be those appropriate to the child's level of spelling. Marking should be done in pencil and have positive comments.
Try not to use red pens to mark the dyslexic child's work. There's nothing more disheartening for the child than to have work returned covered in red ink, when they've inevitably tried harder than their peers to produce the work.
Only ask a pupil to rewrite a piece of work that is going to be displayed. Rewriting pages for no reason at all is soul destroying as usually much effort will have already been put into the original piece of work.
By the end of a school day a dyslexic child is generally more tired than his peers because everything requires more thought, tasks take longer and nothing comes easily. More errors are likely to be made. Only set homework that will be of real benefit to the child.
In allocating homework and exercises that may be a little different or less demanding, it is important to use tact. Self-esteem is rapidly undermined if a teacher is underlining the differences between those with difficulties and their peers. However, it should also be remembered that far more effort may be needed for a dyslexic child to complete the assignment than for their peers.
Set a limit on time spent on homework, as often a dyslexic child will take a lot longer to produce the same work that another child with good literacy skills may produce easily.
A dyslexic child's ability to write down thoughts and ideas will be quite different from the level of information the child can give verbally. For successful integration, the pupil must be able to demonstrate to the teacher that he knows the information and where he is in each subject. Be prepared to accept verbal descriptions as an alternative to written descriptions if appropriate.
Alternative ways of recording should be looked at, such as :
The use of computers for word processing.
Audio tapes for recording lessons that can then be written up at a later stage.
Written record of the pupil's verbal account, or voice activated software can be used.
More time should be allocated for completion of work because of the extra time a dyslexic child needs for reading, planning, rewriting and proofreading their work.
For a dyslexic child the feeling of being 'different' can be acute when faced with the obvious and very important need of 'specialist' help for his literacy and possibly mathematical skills. Some specialist methods can be incorporated into the classroom so all children can benefit from them, thus reducing the feeling of 'difference'.
order to be able to teach, as far as possible, according to each child's
educational needs, it is essential to see him or her as a whole person,
complete with individual strengths and weaknesses.
understanding of the pupil's specific difficulties, and how they may
affect the student's classroom performance, can enable the teacher to
adopt teaching methods and strategies to help the dyslexic child to be
successfully integrated into the classroom environment.
have many strengths: oral skills, comprehension, good visual spatial
awareness/artistic abilities. More and more dyslexic children could become
talented and gifted members of our schools if we worked not only with
their specific areas of difficulty, but also their specific areas of
strengths from an early age. To do this, we have to let go of outmoded
viewpoints that a dyslexic child must first fail, in order to be
are the children of our future and they have a right to help and support
before they develop the dreadful sense of failure which is so insidious.
teachers dealing with dyslexic children need to be flexible in their
approach, so that they can, as far as possible, find a method that suits
the pupil, rather than expecting that all pupils will learn in the same
all, there must be an understanding from all who teach them, that they may
have many talents and skills. Their abilities must not be measured purely
on the basis of their difficulties in acquiring literacy skills. Dyslexic
children, like all children, thrive on challenges and success.
Lynn Hodge lives in Oman, and is a teacher and parent of a dyslexic child. Pat
is a licensed Davis Dyslexia Correction Facilitator and also holds a Diploma
in teaching ‘Specific Learning Difficulties/Dyslexia' using traditional
methods. Pat has brought Davis methods to her local school system, where she
has worked with several students, and continues to work with other teachers to
assess her students and document the rates of progress with Davis methods.
This article is
available at: http://www.dyslexia.com/library/print/Classroom_Guide.html
(Waco to Brownsville)
if you’ve ever wished for an AABIDA representative to come directly to your
community to hand-out information and answer questions, then please volunteer
as a contact person in your area. Now
is the time to set a visit from a representative and receive directions on
setting-up a parent support group in your location. If you would like to volunteer, please contact the
2003 AABIDA Outreach Chairperson, Ginny Garrison, at
write to her at:
Austin, TX 78735
Information Series on Dyslexia and Related Issues
These sessions will provide information
to parents on dyslexia and related issues.
The sessions will be held at the Rawson Saunders School library.
Please check the AABIDA web-site for updated information at
2003 – “Section 504”
2003 – “Family Issues & Dyslexia”
2003 – “The Texas Dyslexia Law & Assessment”
24, 2004 – AABIDA annual dinner
2004 – AABIDA annual conference
AABIDA Tutor List
P.O. Box 92604
Austin, TX 78709-2604
include the following information:
Your name and contact information.
Your background and training.
What multisensory reading methods
What age-groups you work with.
What geographic area of the Austin
area do you work in.
you are selected, we will post your name on our tutor list and on our web-site
choose an area that you would like to participate in and indicate how you
could help in some aspect of that committee’s activities.
Then, please send your response to the AABIDA Outreach Chairperson,
Ginny Garrison, 4501 View West, Austin. TX, 78735 or [email protected]
committee maintains the computerized membership list.
It prints out the mailing labels needed for newsletters and other
mailings. Once a year, there is
an update and purging done of the list. There
is an ongoing members campaign through the HELPLINE, parenting workshops,
programs presentations, and so forth.
New ideas for developing membership are welcome!
Relations (Outreach) Committee: This
committee is vital due to its great impact on our community and schools as it
works to educate them about dyslexia, and this chapter's outreach programs.
By increasing the visibility of dyslexia through press releases, school
personnel, parents and students are made aware of the latest information and
research on dyslexia. We need you
and your ideas to educate others!
AABIDA newsletter, The Advocate, is our chapter's link to the community.
It is where we inform and educate interested parties about dyslexia and
what our chapter has to offer in the way of support of dyslexics.
The newsletter is published four times annually.
Help is always welcomed by way of writing and gathering information,
assisting in design, proofing, bulk mailing and errands to and from the
Committee (Budget and Finance): Plans
are ongoing preparing events, educational opportunities, and the like to raise
funds for AABIDA scholarships and furthering our goal to expand awareness
concerning the complex nature of dyslexia, to provide resource information for
the community and support for dyslexics and their families.
Your new and exciting ideas for fundraising are always welcome!
committee is in the process of gathering information to share with the public
in the way of support. This year
several parent/teacher workshops have been sponsored, new videos shared, and
members have presented at conferences to share knowledge about dyslexia.
This committee tries to bring experts in the field of multi-sensory
teaching strategies and provide educators with training workshops.
This committee is also responsible for the annual AABIDA Conference.
Your ideas and talents are needed for this committee!
committee keeps abreast of the most recent proposals and actions that will
affect student with dyslexia. We
work with other associations to impact state and federal guidelines for
improving the education of all dyslexics.
Help is welcomed on this committee!
Attorney Turned Writer Tells about Dyslexic Heroine
at the AABIDA Conference
Stephanie Kane, a fine defense attorney in the Denver, Colorado area, retired
from law to write books, she knew she wanted a dyslexic heroine as her main
character. Although the learning disability was close to her heart, she
still did hours of research into dyslexic characteristics.
One of the ways she researched the character traits she wished to
attribute to her main character, a defense attorney named Jackie Flowers, was
to correspond with real people with disabilities. She put a questionnaire on the Internet in a LDA site and got
many ideas from the individuals who responded.
Yet, when Stephanie came to Austin to speak on her books, especially Blind Spot, she did not know that by not only speaking, but also by attending many of the sessions, she would learn things that would add to parts of her new book. In speaking with Stephanie, I learned that the sessions on the hardships that many dyslexic individuals face when trying to get through college helped her realize that she should add something to Jackie's background.
In being the detailed, precise person she is, Stephanie had already decided to let the readers have a glimpse into Jackie Flowers’ struggles in law school. Stephanie even met with one of her own toughest professors to ask if he thought it would be possible for a dyslexic person to make it through a hard law school.
professor felt that what matters is the content knowledge.
He also added that many students get so anxious in taking exams in law
school within the timed period that writing deteriorates to the point that
many of the students appear that they could be dyslexic.
Jackie Flowers, Kane's main character, a very successful attorney with guts and good looks, has a magnificent auditory memory, which makes her dynamic in cross-examination. However, Jackie does not have dynamic writing or spelling skills.
learned at the January AABIDA conference in Round Rock that the strategies for
spelling or writing can help make or break a student in undergraduate or
graduate school. She plans to use some of the details on how students can
practice shortcuts and learn strategies to make getting Jackie through college
and law school realistic. Stephanie feels that the details about how
students learn and use these strategies will add even more realism to her new
Ms. Kane is doing more for her readers than providing a thought-provoking and exciting read. She is giving dyslexics, who read her book, examples of what can be done when one uses his or her "gifts" to compensate and then ends surpassing what others in his/her chosen field can do. Her book, Blind Spot, did not use the word “dyslexia”. Yet, as the reader sees Jackie's need to visit the murder sites for a drawn visual scenario rather than to describe the sites in written words, the reader knows he or she is seeing a person with a disability turn that disability into an asset.
we are all impatiently waiting for that e-mail that will tell us that
Stephanie Kane's new book, Extreme Indifference, has gone to press and
will be out shortly!
November 12-15, 2003
& Country Resort and Convention Center
For more information and a complete conference program (in late summer) please contact IDA at (800) ABCD123 or (410) 296-0232 or visit our web-site at www.interdys.org
A.A.B.I.D.A. grants scholarships to dyslexia teachers, therapists, tutors, and parents (that live in the Austin branch’s area) attendance at dyslexia courses, workshops, and conferences.
Filing out this application or applying for this scholarship does not grant the applicant the scholarship. The scholarship committee will contact applicants if the person has been tentatively approved.
Scholarships are for one-half (1/2) of the course, workshop, or conference fee.
Scholarships must be requested before attending the course, workshop, or conference.
Scholarship money will be reimbursed to the tentatively approved person AFTER the conference when the applicant has provided (by mailing) the following (within 30 days of attendance):
1. Proof of payment.
2. Documentation of conference attendance.
3. A synopsis or article by the attendee that summarizes/explains the course, workshop, or conference, and this synopsis/article may be published in the AABIDA newsletter.
TX Zip Code: _________________________________________________
phone #: (
e-mail address: __________________________________________________
phone #: (
e-mail address: __________________________________________________
of IDA: _____Yes
____ Teacher at ________________________________
______ Other ________________________________________________
Please indicate on another sheet of paper:
How will this training, course, workshop, or conference be of benefit to you?
Who are you willing to share the conference/training information with?
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
All AABIDA scholarship applications and additional information should be mailed to:
AABIDA Scholarship Committee
P.O. Box 92604
Top of Page
national IDA office would like to send you publications, related information,
and legislative information to you in a timely and cost-efficient manner through
electronic transmissions. Please
send your e-mail address to
Top of Page
Dear AABIDA Members,
I would like to thank each of you for your dedication and support of the dyslexic population. Your membership to the International Dyslexia Association is vital for continuing research, legislation, and support of dyslexia.
As we begin the 2003 year of the Austin Area Branch of the International Dyslexia Association, we say goodbye to several valuable board members. The board members that are not returning are John Brinson, Mary Bach, Perry Stokes, Lauri Cole, and Carol Nelson. We appreciate their tireless efforts. Returning board members from last year are Elena Aldaz, Ginny Garrison, Tim Mahoney, Ann Palmer, Sharon Roberts, Dan Willemin, and Mo Yazdi. This is quite a creative team that is continuing on the board. And, I would like to welcome the new board members of Lavelle Carlson, Ann Fisher Hunt, and Patricia Rosen. After a year or more off the board, Melody Kump, Mary Ann Baker, Kathy Maguire, and I are returning to the board. This is a very dedicated and dynamic group!
If you would like to volunteer to assist us in any conference, program, or activity, please call our helpline at (512) 452-7658, and a volunteer will return your call.
Top of Page
Area Branch of the International Dyslexia Association
Local Austin Area Helpline (512) 452-7658 ---
Call our volunteers for:
State and local
evaluation (testing) services
State and local remediation (special language training for children and adults) sources