PHONICS TALK: The Dorbooks Newsletter
Volume 56 ~ May 2012
by Dolores G. Hiskes


MOTHERS' DAY SURPRISE!

Every so often I get a wonderful letter that brings a smile to my heart, tears to my
eyes, and keeps me walking in the clouds and humming songs for a long time afterwards.
Here is such a letter:

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A MOTHERS' DAY SURPRISE!

DYSLEXIA, COMPREHENSION, & EYE TRAINING

RECENT BLOG POSTS -- http://www.dorbooks.com/phonicsblog

MERRY MAYHEM IN MAY

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A MOTHERS' DAY SURPRISE!

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*Dolores, I just had to share with you the most wonderful Mother's Day gift
I ever had. Joseph went to Walmart with me to shop and went running to the
cards. He usually looks for a colorful card with child-like pictures with no idea
of what the card says. He found what he was looking for and told the lady not to
let me see this card.

*He gave me the card on Mothers' Day and said, 'Mom you know I have dyslexia and
how hard reading has been for me. You know how hard we have worked this year. Okay,
now open your card:

'MY MOM
This is a story about a kid with a Mom who believes in him and
has taught him about important stuff, like chasing his dreams and
trusting his heart. It's a success story and it was written by you.
Happy Mothers' Day with love, from your son.'

*It was all I could do to read through this card. I had no idea the impact he had
made on his own self! We love Dewey's words of advice as well. Every day Dewey is
there, encouraging us, or just breaking the tension. It's strange how a paper worm
can become such a friend to someone!

*The point of this letter is to tell you HAPPY MOTHERS' DAY from myself to you.
This story would not have been possible without your gracious help. How wonderful
you must feel knowing that you have made the difference in so many lives!*

No wonder I love what I do so very much! What joy this letter brought me!

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DYSLEXIA, COMPREHENSION, & EYE TRAINING

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Indeed, the young boy mentioned above had been diagnosed with dyslexia. But was it
inborn or induced by poor reading methods? In the earliest stages of reading if we are
not trained to read from left to right by building letters into syllables, syllables into
words, and words into sentences of gradually increasing complexity it often results in
irregular eye movements and letter or word reversals. This results in slow and/or
inaccurate reading which impacts comprehension. Eye-tracking skills must be well
established before real learning can take place.

Some students get over this hurdle quickly once they learn how to read correctly,
while others need more time and training to correct this pattern. Sporadic and irregular
eye movements have become so firmly entrenched that specific convergent
eye exercises such as those in back of Phonics Pathways as well as in the lessons
themselves are needed to help them get over this difficulty.

This process can actually be painful for some students! A resource specialist recently
commented:

*This 4th-grade girl put her head down when she started the long-vowel
sections of Phonics Pathways because she said it made her hurt all over.
Previously there had been heavy use of context, requiring a lot of self-
correction to get through a passage. Decoding had been mostly by context
and configurational clues.

*Comprehension was seriously impaired because of lack of attentional
capacity, and she had often exhausted herself with the decoding, and
frequently inserted words that were not there.

*She experienced a great deal of mental anguish when she had to read
the long-vowel endings in Phonics Pathways. Rewiring the brain was no
fun, but what a tremendous difference it has made in her reading!*

The concept of eye training is not new or unique to America. It has been part of
Chinese and Tibetan medicine for many thousands of years. It has been my experience
that *dyslexic* students who had learned how to read incorrectly have benefitted greatly
from vision/motor training as embodied in the teaching method of Phonics Pathways itself,
as well as in the back of the book. One mother wrote:

*My son is nine and this is our second year of homeschooling. In
October our local library included your book. I was the first to
take it out and I now have my own copy.

*The activities in back of the book to help hand and eye coordination
are three same exercises we did for Perceptual Vision Dysfunction Therapy
with a specialist. What a difference it made! My son loves it so much
that it is one subject I get 'Great Mom, I love doing Phonics Pathways!'

*Reading Pathways has been a tremendous boost in our family to reinforce
blending. My five-year-old read the very first pyramid story last week
and it really made her day!*

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RECENT BLOG POSTS -- http://www.dorbooks.com/phonicsblog

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April 12, 2012 -- Reading Level After Phonics Pathways
A discussion of what reading level a student is at after finishing
Phonics Pathways, with specific tips on how to proceed from there.

April 27, 2012 -- Dyslexia
A definition of dyslexia, and several hands-on exercises demonstrating
how it affects comprehension, and steps for remediation.

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MERRY MAYHEM IN MAY

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This merry month of May will be busy as well as magical for us, as we have two
birthdays, a baby shower, and a graduation to celebrate as well as Mothers' Day.
My husband and daughter were born on the same day, so it's always special!

And we also celebrate my husband's moving from a wheel chair into a walker --
no small achievement considering his horrendous injuries a few months ago.
But he has worked long and hard with his sometimes-painful physical therapy,
and it has paid off. Just as it did with the students mentioned above.

I love and salute all of you!

My warmest regards,
Dolores

Copyright Dolores G. Hiskes 2012

 

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