Dyslexia Assessment & Multisensory Learning Support in Sydney
Learning Difficulties in Reading & Writing
Who does Dyslexia affect?
It’s estimated that around one in 10 people have dyslexia. It tends to run in families – if you have dyslexia, it’s likely that you have a family member who also has it or who has other reading and spelling problems.
Dyslexia is typically diagnosed in primary school, when problems with reading and writing first become apparent. However, many people are diagnosed later on – some not even until adulthood. Research has shown that it’s more common in boys than girls.
What is Dyslexia?
According to the US National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke,
Dyslexia is a brain-based type of learning disability that specifically impairs a person’s ability to read. These individuals typically read at levels significantly lower than expected despite having normal intelligence. Although the disorder varies from person to person, common characteristics among people with dyslexia are difficulty with phonological processing (the manipulation of sounds), spelling, and/or rapid visual-verbal responding. In individuals with adult onset of dyslexia, it usually occurs as a result of brain injury or in the context of dementia; this contrasts with individuals with dyslexia who simply were never identified as children or adolescents. Dyslexia can be inherited in some families, and recent studies have identified a number of genes that may predispose an individual to developing dyslexia.
Dyslexia is recognised as an alternative name for Specific Learning Disorder in Reading by the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5.)
The Multisensory learning Approach
According to the NINDS, the main focus of treatment for dyslexia should be on the specific learning problems of individuals. Neurosensory’s multisensory learning approach is endorsed by the International Dyslexia Association, the World Health Organisation, and leading practitioners and researchers worldwide. It is based on the pioneering work of Samuel Orton and Anna Gillingham into effective remediation for dyslexia. The NINDS emphasises that the approach needs to be individually tailored to meet the specific learning difficulties of the person with dyslexia. The approach is also known as the Orton-Gillingham approach.
Multisensory Tutoring for Dyslexia
As explained above, standard teaching methods as employed by many tutors will not be effective for students with dyslexia. Multisensory therapy is based on integrating learning through the sight/visual, sound/auditory, and touch/movement/kinaesthetic senses.
Our multisensory approach is structured, diagnostic, cumulative, engaging and creative. One-on-one or small group sessions help ensure that maximum attention and engagement are maintained and that the needs of each student are addressed effectively.
How do our MSL therapists and practitioners support students with dyslexia?
- Use an MSL/ Orton-Gillingham approach to ensure that students have a firm grasp of the connection between speech sounds, reading and spelling
- Recognise the importance of oral language for literacy
- Promote efficient handwriting but understand that technology can be a tremendous help
- Develop reading and writing from basic words to complex multisyllable words including syllable division and word building eg ba/by , in/de/pen/dent, direct-directly, direction
- Understand that older students need to develop essay writing techniques to cope with their academic demands, while giving attention to basic spelling and writing conventions
- Ask students to read aloud while tracing the words with their index finger
- Give students immediate and constructive feedback
- Are sensitive to a student becoming tired because our approach engages students continually
Dyslexia Therapy and Tutoring Options
We offer two options when it comes to dyslexia tutoring, ensuring that primary, secondary, and university students and beyond are able to access the support offered by Neurosensory.
With in-person tutoring, students will meet with their tutor in a controlled learning environment that provides less distractions. Sessions can be held one-on-one or in small groups, depending on the needs of the student and their comfort levels.
Online tutoring allows dyslexic students to access assistance no matter where they are and provides flexibility around other commitments. It can also offer tutors the advantage of being able to see the student’s face as they work with the information they’re reading.
Some students may have short periods of on-line sessions while a carer is unwell or has work commitments.
Do you or a loved one require some learning assistance as a result of a dyslexia diagnosis? Our dyslexia tutors are ready and waiting to help.
Dyslexia Assessments For Both Adults & Children
Neurosensory employs a recognised battery of psychometric tests appropriate to the age of the person coming in for dyslexia assessment. Full written assessments are available on request. We can also provide streamlined screening for educational and vocational placement if a full report is not required.
Our screening and assessment may also pick up other issues warranting referral to health professionals including for example paediatricians, psychologists, speech and language pathologists, and occupational therapists.
Before seeking a dyslexia diagnosis, it’s recommended that you arrange a hearing and vision check to rule out any other problems that could be affecting reading and spelling comprehension.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, providing the tutor has experience and knowledge of research-based dyslexia interventions. This is why we prefer to use the term ‘educational therapy’ rather than ‘tutoring’ Not just any old tutoring service will work if dyslexia or other specific learning disabilities are present. Some of our students had been attending tutoring for years with little improvement before enrolling in our targeted therapeutic service. We offer personal attention and the opportunity to address the student’s specific learning needs. We aim to help them gain a better understanding of themselves as learners so they can move forwards.
Many of our parents contact our services for dyslexia screening or a formal assessment. Your child’s primary school teacher may raise their concerns with you before you’ve noticed any symptoms. Other people have been referred to our services by psychologists, GP’s, paediatricians or speech pathologists. You can book child or adult dyslexia assessments with us at Neurosensory, and we can refer you to an appropriate provider if additional assessment is required.
The following areas are usually considered in forming a diagnosis:
- Take a history (covering medical, developmental, education and family)
- Investigate learning strengths and weaknesses
- Consider what the child’s teacher says, along with test scores supplied for the school
At least 6 months of targeted instruction is usually required reading skills is required before dyslexia is diagnosed in children. No such period is recommended for adults.
Primary aged children are usually diagnosed with dyslexia during the first two years of school, as this is when they usually start learning to read. Although rare, it is possible for children to be diagnosed before they can read. There are also many cases of people not being diagnosed until adolescence or adulthood, as they were able to mask their symptoms growing up.
Some warning signs of dyslexia include: delayed speech, difficulty pronouncing some words, difficulty learning the alphabet, difficulty writing their name, lots of errors when reading, reading slowly and without expression, avoidance of reading, struggling to understand what they’ve read, and a reduced vocabulary.
Keep in mind that some people have many signs of dyslexia, whereas others only have a few.
See improvement with a dyslexia tutor
Tutoring dyslexic children often requires a great deal of patience, as they tend to have an avoidance of learning as they feel like failures. Our approach involves a lot of learning through games, which makes it fun and help to ‘re-train’ the child’s brain and overcome these barriers.
Dyslexic adults, on the other hand, tend to be extremely keen to learn, to improve and are very involved in the process of ‘re-training’ their brains.
The improvement of an individual’s reading, writing and maths skills will depend on the type of dyslexia they have, its severity, and the amount of practice they put in.
NDIS Funding for Dyslexia
Are you ready to explore the possibilities of multisensory learning?
If you’re looking for dyslexia remediation, you’ve come to the right place. At Neurosensory, we are committed to helping children and adults alike overcome learning barriers posed by dyslexia. Our MSL therapists and tutors will tailor a program to suit your specific needs, ensuring that your academic goals can be reached and that you’re provided with some much-needed support in the future.