A Road Map For Remediation (Part 1)

A Road Map For Remediation

Part 1 Reading, Writing and Spelling Models

I’m writing a series of blogs under the title, “A Road Map for Remediation,” that will in part conclude the previous two webinars I created for the Orton-Gillingham Online Academy, but they will also stand alone as a free resource for anyone wishing to help a child with deficits in reading, writing, and spelling. My original intention had been to release it as a webinar, but it makes more sense to release it as a series that readers can easily digest in smaller chunks. Finally, I hope to bring these parts together as a free webinar. 

My previous webinars introduced participants to a number of reading, writing, and spelling models after explaining in depth the components of reading and writing. I won’t be explaining the components of reading and writing through this series of blogs. However, all the blogs I have written on the first four reading components (phonological and phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, and vocabulary) can be found here under Remediation: The Big Five. While writing this series of blogs, I also plan to conclude the The Big Five reading components series by writing about comprehension. 

Models are incredibly helpful for anyone developing a remediation plan for a child struggling with these components. They can help inform where a child is developmentally, regardless of their age, and suggest ways we can help them to the next stage of development. As models explain how children learn to read, write, and spell, they can be used to inform our teaching and explain how and what we should be teaching when. They can also help us assess the individual needs of a child and help us adapt our teaching to meet those unique needs. 

In this four minute video, Shutdown Learner author Dr Richard Selznick, explains Dr Jeanne Chall’s Model of Reading Development. He uses this as part of his diagnosis process to explain to parents where a child is in terms of their reading development, regardless of age. I have written about this model in more depth in my A Ride Through the Reading Stages blog, Part 1 and Part 2. 

Another incredibly useful model is the Simple View of Reading or SVR. This models the complex process of reading as a combination of two processes; word recognition (decoding) and language comprehension. The famous “Reading Rope,” developed by Dr Hollis Scarborough, gives an excellent visual representation of the decoding skills necessary for word recognition, and the comprehension strategies needed for successful language comprehension. A two minute video about this image can be viewed on this AIM Institute web page, along with a brief explanation of the word recognition strands of the rope. We can see how the strands are woven together in skilled readers. This model directly informs our understanding of why some students are successful and why some struggle, and provides us with the necessary direction for effective instruction.

When we look closely at these two processes in the SVR, we discover there are in fact four possible outcomes, known as reading profiles. Each of these profiles will be discussed in depth in future blogs, but it is important to be aware that students that fall into a particular profile may demonstrate difficulties that range from mild to severe. This blog will provide you with visuals and a little more information about the SVR, including further information about Specific Word Reading Difficulties (SWRD), also known as the dyslexic profile.

My last webinar (link below) introduced participants to the Five Developmental Stages of Word Study, shown in this Words Their Way graphic, and dealt with this in depth. For an overview I would recommend checking out this McGrawHill video by Dr. Donald Bear. 

Models have always been developed based on what was known about the science of reading at the time. Later models have been built on earlier ones, but further refined and developed as new research has informed the reading-science community. 

Future blogs in this series will introduce you to ideas for assessment of the components of reading, writing, and spelling and the four reading profiles related to the SVR, complete with examples from and reports on my own students. All information will be provided in such a way to keep their identity anonymous. These reports will be broken down into several parts and you will be guided through the report writing process. This will enable you to write your own report, after gathering information and testing results on your child, and create an individualized remediation plan. You will learn how such an informal report will allow you to help your child at home and in school. Finally, you will be shown how to monitor and record your child’s progress through this remediation process. 

Although this process of informal assessment and report writing cannot provide a formal diagnosis and can never replace the assessment conducted by a professional in this field, it can go a long way to understanding your child’s strengths and weaknesses. It can also enable you to create a remediation road map for your child, or a child you work with.  

My webinars on informal assessment of reading, writing, and spelling deficits are available from the Orton Gillingham Online Academy at the links below. These were written for teachers, tutors, and parents who wish to explore informal assessment of these skills in depth. 

Lorna Wooldridge is a dyslexia specialist tutor with over twenty-five years of experience and qualifications in the field of learning differences, from both the UK and USA. Lorna has a unique perspective on this condition as she has dyslexia, and her passion is to serve this community in any way she can. She can be contacted through her website Wise Owl Services or her Facebook page. Here she provides numerous resources for parents, tutors and teachers working with children and adults with dyslexia.