Multisensory Learning Support and Assessment For Dyslexia in Canterbury
Reading and Writing Learning Challenges
Who does dyslexia affect?
Approximately 1 in 10 individuals are estimated to have dyslexia, with a tendency to run in families. If you have dyslexia, it’s probable that you have a family member who also experiences it or struggles with reading and spelling.
Dyslexia is typically identified during primary school as difficulties with reading and writing become evident. However, some individuals may not receive a diagnosis until later, including adulthood. Studies have revealed a higher prevalence of dyslexia in boys compared to girls.
How would you define dyslexia?
As stated by the US National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke,
Dyslexia, a learning disability affecting reading skills, arises from brain-based factors. Despite normal intelligence, individuals with dyslexia often read below expected levels. Symptoms can vary, but common features include challenges with phonological processing (sound manipulation), spelling, and rapid visual-verbal response.
When dyslexia develops in adulthood, it is commonly associated with brain injury or dementia, distinguishing it from cases where dyslexia went undetected during childhood and adolescence. Some families may have a hereditary predisposition to dyslexia, and recent studies have identified several genes that may play a role in its development.
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).
What Is the Significance of the Multisensory Approach in Dyslexia Education?
The NINDS states that the central focus of dyslexia treatment should be addressing the specific learning difficulties experienced by individuals. Neurosensory’s multisensory approach is supported by the International Dyslexia Association, the World Health Organization, and respected practitioners and researchers internationally.
It is built upon the pioneering research conducted by Samuel Orton and Anna Gillingham, who developed effective interventions for dyslexia. The NINDS highlights the importance of customising the approach to target the specific learning challenges faced by individuals with dyslexia. This approach is widely recognised as the Orton-Gillingham approach.
Multisensory Tutoring for Dyslexia
As discussed above, traditional teaching methods are often insufficient for addressing the needs of students with dyslexia. Multisensory therapy, by contrast, capitalises on the integration of visual, auditory, and kinesthetic modalities to enhance learning outcomes.
Our multisensory approach is carefully crafted to be structured, diagnostic, cumulative, engaging, and creative. By providing one-on-one or small group sessions, we can maintain a high level of attention and engagement while effectively addressing the specific needs of each student.
How do our practitioners and therapists specialising in MSL approaches offer guidance and assistance to 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
At Neurosensory, we provide two options for dyslexia tutoring, ensuring that students at the primary, secondary, and university levels, as well as beyond, can access the support they need.
In-Person Dyslexia Therapy/Tutoring
With in-person tutoring, students will meet with their tutor in a controlled learning environment that provides fewer distractions. Sessions can be held one-on-one or in small groups, depending on the needs and comfort levels of the student.
Virtual Dyslexia Therapy/Tutoring
With online tutoring, dyslexic students can conveniently receive support regardless of their location, providing flexibility to accommodate their other commitments. Moreover, tutors can benefit from the ability to observe the student’s facial expressions as they interact with the information they’re reading.
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 Evaluations for Both Adults and 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 process has the potential to identify additional concerns that may require referral to healthcare professionals, such as paediatricians, psychologists, speech and language pathologists, and occupational therapists. .
Prior to pursuing a dyslexia diagnosis, it is advisable to schedule a hearing and vision check to eliminate any other potential issues that may impact reading and spelling comprehension.
Commonly Asked Questions
Certainly, provided that the tutor has the necessary experience and knowledge of evidence-based dyslexia interventions. This is why we prefer the term ‘educational therapy’ over ‘tutoring.’ Generic tutoring services may not be effective for individuals with dyslexia or other specific learning disabilities. Many of our students had been attending tutoring for an extended period with limited improvement until they enrolled in our targeted therapeutic program. We offer personalised attention and the opportunity to address the specific learning needs of each student. Our aim is to help them gain a deeper understanding of themselves as learners and make meaningful progress.
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.
In the process of diagnosing, the following areas are commonly assessed:
- Conduct a thorough evaluation of the individual’s history (including medical, developmental, educational, and familial factors)
- Explore the individual’s learning strengths and weaknesses
- Consider what the child’s teacher says, along with test scores supplied for the school
Diagnosing dyslexia in children often requires a minimum of 6 months of targeted instruction in reading skills. However, there is no prescribed time period for adults.
Diagnosis of dyslexia in primary aged children usually occurs within the first two years of school, as this is the period when they begin learning to read. However, there are cases where children are diagnosed before they develop reading skills. Moreover, some individuals may not receive a diagnosis until adolescence or adulthood, as they may have successfully masked their symptoms during their earlier years.
Indicators of dyslexia may manifest as delayed speech, difficulty with word pronunciation, challenges in alphabet learning, struggles in writing their name, frequent reading errors, slow and monotonous reading, avoidance of reading activities, difficulty in understanding written text, and a limited vocabulary.
It’s important to note that while some individuals may exhibit numerous signs of dyslexia, others may only display a few.
Based in Campsie, we are just around the corner from Belfield, Belmore, Ashbury, Canterbury, Croydon Park, Clemton Park, Earlwood, Ashfield and Hurlstone Park.
Achieve growth with a dyslexia tutor
Providing tutoring for dyslexic children requires a great deal of patience, as they often experience avoidance behaviours due to feelings of failure. Our approach involves incorporating learning activities through games, creating an enjoyable experience that helps to retrain the child’s brain and overcome these barriers.
Dyslexic adults, on the other hand, are often highly motivated to learn, improve, and actively engage 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.
Accessing NDIS Support for Dyslexia
It’s important to note that dyslexia and other specific learning disorders are generally not eligible for NDIS funding unless accompanied by conditions such as Autism or Intellectual Delay. This limitation often leaves individuals with dyslexia facing challenges in accessing affordable remediation. While some assistance may be available through mainstream educational institutions and general programs, these resources often lack the required focus, flexibility, and duration to adequately meet the individual needs of people with dyslexia.
Neurosensory is dedicated to helping individuals with their applications for NDIS or other funding.
The Australian Dyslexia Foundation, a charitable organisation with fully deductible tax and gift status, strives to assist individuals who are financially unable to access necessary dyslexia remediation. While funding is presently limited, updates regarding the foundation’s ability to provide help will be communicated.
Are you eager to discover the potential of multisensory learning?
If you’re seeking dyslexia remediation, you’ve found the right resource. At Neurosensory, we are dedicated to assisting both children and adults in overcoming the learning challenges associated with dyslexia. Our team of MSL therapists and tutors will customise a program to meet your specific needs, ensuring that you can achieve your academic goals and receive the support you need moving forward.