Focus on skills that underlie reading

"There are no universally effective programs, but here are knowable principles that need to be incorporated in all programs about how we teach written language."

Maryanne Wolf, researcher and parent, in Proust and the Squid, 2007, p. 209

The following is a list of some programs that have been developed for struggling readers and writers. Some were created specifically for dyslexia, like Orton-Gillingham.

Depending on the program, it may focus on one of more of the various skills that underlie reading—oral language, phonemic awareness, vocabulary, comprehension, spelling, or writing. You will need to determine which program works best for your child.

Most generally, these programs are best used in an individual or small group therapy setting. Professionals will want to familiarize themselves with the program. Some require specific training. Orton-Gillingham is a multi-faceted program that was created specifically for dyslexics. It teaches reading, writing, and spelling by using auditory, visual, and tactile measures. Many other reading and writing programs utilize the Orton-Gillingham approach.

When researching an Orton-Gillingham based program either for training courses or to access a certified tutor or therapist, look for programs/courses that have been accredited. The International Multisensory Structured Language Education Council (IMSLEC) holds their accredited courses to rigorous standards that in turn allow the courses to certify qualified individuals who meet these standards as teachers, therapists and instructors. These accreditation-certification credentials ensure access to reliable and effective instruction. Other reliable resources for programs serving dyslexics are found through the Academic Language Therapy Association and the International Dyslexia Association.

In addition to the program descriptions, we have provided a table that summarizes some of the programs and their varying features.

 

  • All About Learning Press

    All About Learning Press

    All About Reading teaches phonics, decoding, fluency, and comprehension in a fun and engaging way. All About Spelling teaches encoding skills, spelling rules, and multisensory strategies to help students become proficient spellers for life.
    Visit the website

  • Barton

    The Barton Reading & Spelling System

    The Barton Reading & Spelling System is a one-on-one tutoring system that improves spelling, reading, and writing skills. It works well for children, teenagers, and adults who struggle due to dyslexia or a learning disability.
    Visit the website

  • Davis Symbol Mastery Kit

    Davis Symbol Mastery Kit

    The Davis Symbol Mastery Kit is a fun, visual-spatial learning process that can improve basic literacy skills. It is part of the Davis Dyslexia Correction and follows the Symbol Mastery program described in The Gift of Dyslexia.
    Visit the website

  • Expanding Expression

    Expanding Expression Tool Kit

    This multi-sensory mnemonic strategy facilitates language organization. The kit targets elementary school students, though it can also be used with older students to help with vocabulary, writing, and organization.
    Visit the website

  • Family Fun

    The Family Fun with Fluency Kit

    Produced by the Neuhaus Education Center, this manual contains a set of passages marked at the hundredth word. A child can read the passage to the hundredth word while a parent times how long he takes and tracks his progress over time.
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  • Language! The Comprehensive Literacy Curriculum

    Language! The Comprehensive Literacy Curriculum

    This program offers reading, writing, spelling, and grammar instruction, in addition to multi-sensory components. It also offers an English as a Second Language (ESL) component to assist users who are struggling to master the language.
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  • The Lexia-Herman Method

    The Lexia-Herman Method

    Comprised of three programs, this method encourages improved reading comprehension by targeting basic phonemic awareness through a mix of blending, segmenting, and sound exercises.
    Visit the website

  • Lindamood-Bell

    The Lindamood-Bell (LiPS) Program

    This program encourages phonemic awareness by helping users understand how mouth movements correspond to spoken sounds. Children can then apply this understanding to their speech, spelling, and reading and see improvements.
    Visit the website

  • Literacy Lab

    Literacy Lab

    This research-based reading program starts with the user distinguishing letters and letter sounds and ending with the user reading full sentences and stories. In the end, the user can comprehend and analyze what he or she just read.
    Visit the website

  • Moose Materials

    Moose Materials

    While not a reading program or curriculum, Moose Materials are activities and games that can support many Multisensory Structured Language Programs. They provide students with the reinforcement necessary to master reading and spelling.
    Visit the website

  • Nessy Reading

    Nessy Reading

    Nessy helps students master foundational reading skills. This program is designed to meet the Common Core and most rigorous state standards, the structure is systematic, and data reports are clearly organized and easy to understand.
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  • RAVE-O

    The RAVE-O Curriculum

    This curriculum is designed to improve reading fluency and comprehension of 2nd - 5th graders. Through word play activities, the RAVE-O systematically walks students through carefully selected core words at the phonemic, orthographic, semantic, syntactic, and morphological levels.
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  • Read Naturally

    Read Naturally

    This program aims to improve reading proficiency through teacher modeling, repetitive reading, and student progress monitoring. It provides students with practice reading and writing problems that help the practitioner gauge progress and set reading fluency goals.
    Visit the website

  • REWARDS Program

    REWARDS Program

    The REWARDS program is a family of reading and writing intervention materials created for young struggling learners. The program aims to increase fluency rates, enhance reading comprehension, and increase precision in sentence writing.
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  • SPELL-Links

    SPELL-Links

    This unique program offers specific activities that are tied into a student's curriculum and that assist students with spelling, reading, and writing. The program emphasizes the five categories of word study: phonological awareness, phonics, vocabulary, word parts and related words, and mental images of words.
    Visit the website

  • Wilson Fluency Basic

    Wilson Fluency/Basic

    This program explicitly teaches fluency skills and reading practice. It aims to help readers apply their knowledge to connected text, and it complements any reading program that directly teaches the structure of English words.
    Visit the website

  • Wilson

    Wilson Reading System

    This language-based program teaches the fundamentals of vocabulary and language by giving its users the tools to understand the English language coding system. It utilizes the Orton-Gillingham multi-sensory approach to assist readers.
    Visit the website

 

To learn more about the Orton-Gillingham approach, visit Special Education Advisor's Orton-Gillingham: Who, Where and Why? page.