Kip McGrath is the ideal alternate learning programme for children suffering from Dyslexia.  We take a closer look at how Kip McGrath caters to students with Dyslexia, and at the challenges presented by the disorder...

What is Dyslexia?

Dyslexia is a language processing disorder that affects reading, writing, spelling and in some cases even speaking. As much of what happens in the classroom relies on reading and writing, Dyslexia left undiagnosed, can hinder a child reaching their maximum potential and under achieving at school. Such a disorder can prove challenging for a child and often results in feelings of failure and frustration.

Contrary to popular belief, Dyslexia is not a sign of laziness, poor vision or lack of intelligence. In fact, those suffering from Dyslexia simply have a neurological disorder where the brain processes and interprets information differently to most people. Children with Dyslexia often suffer poor self-image issues and if an alternate learning method isn’t introduced, the stresses of school on a social and academic level, can become distressing.

Dyslexia can be an overwhelming struggle for both children and parents. If your child suffers from Dyslexia it is important to address the problem as soon as possible, and more importantly, for the parent to remain positive. Encourage and motivate your child to accept that Dyslexia is a learning problem that can be managed. With early intervention and the right alternate learning methods, your child can and will lead a normal and rewarding life!

Identifying Dyslexia – signs to look out for

Students who suffer from dyslexia will not show the same indicators, but it is expected that certain indicators will be experienced at certain ages. Parents and teachers can use these age appropriate indicators to determine if a child suffers from dyslexia or not.

Children can only be diagnosed by undergoing a psycho-educational assessment. The lists of indicators below will help to decide if an assessment should be obtained.

If you suspect that your child may have dyslexia, look out for the identifying signs below.

Remember the following when considering the indicators that we have listed…

  • Not all students present absolutely every one of the indicators listed – this is just a guide.
  • You cannot determine if someone has severe, moderate or mild dyslexia by observing how many indicators they have.
  • Some children and adult sufferers may show many of the signs.
  • While some indicators are rare and others are more common, they should be viewed with equal importance.

Indicators are typically found in the following groups:

  • 3 to 5 years of age.
  • 5 to 7 years of age.
  • 7 to 12 years of age.
  • Aged 12 and above.

Dyslexia seen in children aged 3 to 5 years will show the following indicators:

  • Difficulty learning to speak – seems left behind when compared to other children in the same age group.
  • Pronunciation difficulties, especially when words have multiple syllables.
  • Breaking words into sounds or blending sounds to make words seems difficult. Apparent lack of phonological awareness.
  • Shows signs of auditory discrimination issues.
  • Uses spoonerisms without noticing. Your child might say “fips and chish” instead of “fish and chips”.
  • Inability to rhyme or keep a rhythm.
  • Gets stuck trying to remember the right word for things.
  • New words aren’t easily added to the vocabulary.
  • Days of the week, colours, numbers, shapes and similar do not come easily.
  • Delayed literacy skill development. For instance, the child might not understand that reading and writing takes place from left to write.
  • Doesn’t easily learn and remember the alphabet.
  • Spelling and writing own name is difficult.
  • Inability to follow instructions or stick to a set routine.
  • Difficulty rehashing a story that follows the correct sequence of events.

Dyslexia seen in children aged 5 to 7 years will show the following indicators:

  • Shows difficulty with alphabetic principles. This means that understanding how sounds and letters match up, is difficult.
  • Cannot separate sound words and blend sounds to form words.
  • Noticeable problems with saying words that have multiple syllables. For instance, your child might often say “hostipal” instead of “hospital”.
  • Shows problems with reading single words that aren’t used in a sentence.
  • Lack of word-attack skills, especially when new words are being added to the vocab.
  • Reading and/or spelling errors are often experienced such as in the case of:
    • Reversed / incorrect use of letters. This is often seen in the use of the letter‘d’ in place of ‘b’.
    • Complete reversal of words. Such as in the case of ‘pit’ used for ‘tip’.
    • Inverted letter use which is commonly seen when ‘m’ is used instead of ‘w’.
    • Transposition of letters. For example, ‘left’ used in place of ‘felt’. (e.g. felt and left)
    • Substituting one word for another such as in the case of ‘home’ for ‘house’.
    • Slow and expressionless reading style.
    • Shows obvious problems with function words.
    • Probe to memorising skills without understanding the purpose behind them.
    • Shows poor reading comprehension which is still slightly better than single word reading.
    • Inability to learn and recall facts.
    • Lack of organisational and planning skills.
    • Cannot tell time easily on a clock.
    • Definite lack of fine motor co-ordination skills.
    • Holds pencil or pen awkwardly.
    • Handwriting is laborious and of a poor quality.

Dyslexia seen in children aged 7 to 12 years will show the following indicators:

  • Ongoing difficulty with reading text.
  • Lack of time management skills.
  • Lacks confidence and has a poor self image.
  • Shows very little reading progress and is below the expected average.
  • Continues to confuse the correct sequence of letters.
  • Shows a lack of learning reading and spelling strategies. This is seen in the inability to learn prefixes, root words, suffixes and similar.
  • Reading comprehension is negatively affected by lack of reading accuracy, speed and fluency.
  • Poor spelling ability for someone of their age. This can be seen in spelling words phonetically or using various incorrect spellings of one word on the same page.
  • Avoids using new words.
  • Avoids reading out loud or writing.
  • Language related problems extend into other areas such as Maths. Here, your child might find it hard to follow directions or understand word problems.
  • Inability to learn and remember times tables.
  • Doesn’t understand the meaning of directional words. This often shows itself in the child being unable to tell their left from their right.
  • Cannot easily remember facts. This can also be seen in the inability to remember what date it is, what their own birthday is and similar.
  • Inability to read body language or facial expressions.
  • Has a very literal approach which means figurative language is misunderstood.
  • Shows forgetfulness when it comes to homework.
  • Lack of organisational skills or planning ability.

Dyslexia seen in children aged 12 years and up will show the following indicators:

  • Lack of reading fluency, speed and accuracy.
  • Misreads words.
  • Misuses or incorrectly pronounces words.
  • Cannot modify reading rate.
  • Obvious lack of knowledge which can be directly tied to limited experience with reading.
  • Spelling problems don’t seem to have improved.
  • Handwriting is difficult and not easily read.
  • Inability to quickly scan through written text.
  • Cannot easily outline a topic or summarise what has been read.
  • Enjoys verbal communication over written.
  • Struggles to remember the correct words and names of things.
  • Inability to plan, organise or manage time.
  • Written content is not efficiently planned, organised or sequenced.
  • Shows signs of difficulty using correct punctuation.
  • Struggles to copy content from the board or take notes.
  • Prone to procrastination especially in tasks where reading and writing is required.
  • Doesn’t finish homework assignments.
  • Shows difficulty trying to answer open-ended questions.
  • Inability to memorise.
  • Shows increased difficulty in understanding subjects that require language.
  • Shows signs of poor self esteem and a lack of confidence.

How can the Kip McGrath programme assist children with Dyslexia?

At Kip McGrath the children each have their own individualised programme to assist each child with their specific needs.  The assessment is analysed and from there we determine how to assist each child.

Children are taken in small groups of 5 to assist and teach the children to follow instructions. Each child therefore receives instruction on their individualised programme on their specific level, the child needs to comprehend and then execute the instruction. Each instruction will be explained step by step. This will assist the child to follow through with instruction in a bigger classroom environment.

Kip McGrath uses a combination of Computer activities which are of great benefit for practicing word attack skills, spelling and maths by using the senses e.g. hearing a word sounded, typing the word and receiving positive feedback if the word is typed correctly.

Written exercises with a qualified teacher assist children with pencil grip, handwriting, fine motor co-ordination, punctuation etc. Children are taught to plan and organise written text. Kip McGraths improves reading, spelling, comprehension and maths. The programme has more than 30 years research and is implemented in more than 10 different countries.

At School of Transformation:

Our full-time remedial school can assist children with dyslexia in the following ways:

  • Implementation of daily routines so that students know what is expected of them.
  • Provision of colour organisers to organise different subjects.
  • Step-by-step instructions to help students remember what is needed.
  • Combining of verbal information with visual display to promote easier learning.
  • Writing of key points or words on the chalkboard prior to presentation.
  • Visual presentations to promote easier learning. 
  • Daily review of lessons to help students connect new information with prior knowledge.
  • Change response mode such as multiple choice, sorting, marking and underlining.
  • Writing down of homework for reference each class has a homework monitor and board.  Homework is always communicated to the parents via the School communicator.
  • Block books for mathematics to assist with setting out of work.
  • Provision of instructional aides such as number strips, number lines, counters and calculators.
  • Display of work samples so that students realise expectations and can plan accordingly.
  • Flexible work times to ensure all students have time to complete assignments.
  • Concessions to read and write exams for the pupil.

Homework can prove to be a serious struggle for children with Dyslexia.  Reading, writing and spelling difficulties along with organisation and time management struggles can result in a great deal of stress for both the child and parents.  We help your child to build skills and systems that will reduce the stress of homework for the whole family.

School-to-Home Organisation:

  • Eliminate the risk of your child forgetting books / notebooks at school.  Teachers and homework monitors check in with your child at the end of each day.
  • School of Transformation and Kip McGrath offers a well-established communication system between home and school.

Ensure that your child gets the best possible learning experience - contact us at ADHD Solutions now.