My 8-year-old was just diagnosed with dyslexia. We are looking at moving her to a new school district to get reading intervention through Project Read [1]. Do you have experience with how Project Read, and how successful it is for helping close the achievement gap for dyslexic students? Specifically, we're wondering if Project Read at school would be able to replace outside tutoring, or if she would still need Orton-Gillingham-based tutoring outside of school. Also does UM DyslexiaHelp offer tutoring or a list of local tutors for dyslexic students?

Thank you for your input!

Dr. Pierson's Response: 

Project Read is a program that is based in structured literacy [2], which is the term used by the International Dyslexia Association to describe the intervention for dyslexics.

As to whether it is sufficient enough for your daughter, I can't answer that specifically. It would depend on her profile of strengths and weaknesses and the severity of her dyslexia. For example, if her phonological skills are very poor, then she will probably need something additional; whereas if her only challenge is in rapid naming, she may not need as intensive intervention.

Relative to success in the new district, it will depend on the training of the staff. I do know that different educators have different training with Project Read, and different amounts of experience with it.

Have you read Dr. Sally Sahywitz's book Overcoming Dyslexia? It is written for parents and I highly recommend it so as to hone in on what intervention entails. Dr. Shaywitz states that it will take between 150-300 hrs of intervention. We also know that earlier and intensive intervention yields the best outcomes.

If you were one of my private clients, I would advise you to give her as much intervention as your resources -- time and money -- can handle. Hit it as hard as you can right now, especially with the summer coming. At 8 years of age, she will be getting to the grades (the transition begins at 3rd grade) when she needs to use her reading to learn, so we need to get her skill set as strong as possible now.