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instruction in phonics in addition to Davis methods. This does not necessarily have to be special instruction geared to dyslexic learners, as Davis methods will provide the means for the student to quickly master new concepts.

Often, older children and adults have already received substantial instruction in phonics, but still experience difficulties with reading. For these individuals, Davis methods are often the key that removes barriers to understanding and allows them to make use of their previous instruction. For this reason progress with older children and adults often seems remarkably fast, with reading gains of several grade levels within the first week.

Let's get ready for School!

A special time for special kids:

by Dan Willemin © 2002, All Rights Reserved.

To begin this article I feel it important to start with an apology. Not for the article itself, but an apology to my two sons, I am sorry I did not research this sooner, I am sorry I did not always know to do the things I am writing now...

We all assume it is most important to get our special kids ready for school, but in reality, parents and teachers are equally important. Before I start on the Student area, I must make one point. Every child is different, but even more diverse are those labeled, Dyslexic, ADHD, LD, and scores of other labels. Diverse not only because they have areas of weakness, but without fail they also have some areas of great strength. However, even those labeled only dyslexic will have different levels of strengths and weaknesses in different areas. Discovering your child's areas of strength are key in finding ways to keep the learning processes going and ensure success in school. Teaching to their strengths is the best way for teachers to assure these students success.

Getting Students Ready

Even though vacation is almost over, we should still encourage our special kids to read. However, any written material is good, even the lowly comic book can be a way to keep up interest in reading. If video games are your child's main interest, buy the game secrets books. Kids will read to no end trying to defeat a game. Children's magazines and even those "teen idol" and fashion ones are good. Sports, science, nature, or anything that interests your child will work! At TV time, if possible, turn on the closed captioning; even with the sound on this can keep words in front of children's eyes, every little bit helps. Try turning the sound off during some shows and read the caption to/with your child.

Before school starts, try to foster a good attitude about school. Never let them know you dread the start of school even if you do more than they do. Several weeks before school starts get back on school time schedule. Bedtime, wake-up, and meal times that fit the school time schedule will help adjust the child early and make those first days easier.

The biggest struggle for most kids starting the new school year is getting and staying organized. Start early getting school supplies and organizing them. Get a spot setup for homework, a quiet place with proper lighting, and few distractions. Make a supply box with extra pencils, pens; paper a three-hole punch and things like extra calculator, rulers, and compasses. A homemade one-page, six or nine week calendar is a good idea to mark project due dates and special test dates.

Make sure that their main notebook (a zippered three ring binder) for school has two pockets for loose papers. One pocket should be only for things going home for parents (and things returned from parents to school). The other pocket is for any papers they get that they may not have time to organize at school. Cut up and punch large colored folder covers to make subject dividers. Color-code everything, using the same colored tab dividers to separate sub-sections for tests, homework, class notes, and such, under each subject. If possible, get colored paper to make book


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