Dyslexia Robs a Person of Time, Accommodations Return It
While spring can bring fresh flowers, it also means the beginning of test-taking time for our students. Testing can be arduous and cause anxiety. In this month's newsletter, we will clarify what an accommodation is and provide you with a few of our top recommendations.
1. Note-taking: These include guided notes, a copy of the instructor’s lecture notes, or audio recordings. Guided notes are best implemented in any lecture-based classroom. When paired with lectures, guided notes provide students with essential information while retaining their attention. Guided notes leave blank spaces for students to complete during the lesson’s progression. Students can listen and understand the content while highlighting essential parts. This promotes student listening/participation and helps students with a shorter attention span remain engaged. Guided notes help prevent dyslexic students from being cognitively overloaded with information.
2. Extended time: Extended time is used to help students who need additional time to complete activities, assignments, and/or assigned tests.
Why do students need extra time?
Process written text
Access assistive technology such as a screen reader
3. Read Aloud Question and Answer Choices: Students can have test or assignments questions and answer choices read aloud to them.
Helps students show their content knowledge while scaffolding the word reading
Helps with processing and cognitive load
The critical thing to remember is the accommodations “level the playing field” and are not a crutch. They scaffold a child while they are developing the tools for independence, but in the meantime we can help them show their knowledge and access grade-level concepts which in most cases they are perfectly able to learn and understand.
Therapist Spotlight: Lucy Fracasso M.S., CCC-SLP
Lucy is a dual-certified Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP) and Reading Specialist with 8 years of experience working in schools. When working with young students as an SLP, Lucy began to see first-hand the overlap between speech sound disorders and challenges in decoding. To learn more about helping these students thrive, she completed Orton Gillingham Training at the Carroll School. Over the years, Lucy has received training in Lindamood Phoneme Sequencing Program for Reading, Spelling and Speech (LiPS), Seeing Stars, and Visualizing and Verbalizing. More recently, Lucy has been exploring the overlap between challenges in reading comprehension/writing and is trained in the Hochman Method of writing instruction. One parent sent an email with these thoughts:
“I wanted to share some great news. My child is for the first time in elementary school ON TRACK! I’m incredibly proud of him and can’t thank you enough for all your work with him.” When she’s not working, Lucy loves to watch funny movies, listen to music, hike, and, of course, read.