Multisensory help for struggling readers enhances reading skills when traditional teaching methods don’t work. Multisensory learning involves engaging multiple senses simultaneously to improve learning experiences. These approaches can provide valuable support and engagement to help struggling readers overcome challenges and develop their reading abilities.
This blog post will explore various multisensory techniques parents can use to support their children’s reading journey.
Understanding Multisensory Learning
Multisensory learning involves engaging multiple senses simultaneously to enhance learning experiences. By incorporating visual, auditory, and kinesthetic elements, these approaches cater to diverse learning styles and reinforce reading skills effectively. Here are some fundamental techniques:
- Utilizing Visual Aids:
- Highlighting important information using colorful markers or highlighters.
- Creating visual organizers such as charts, diagrams, or mind maps to represent concepts visually.
- Incorporating flashcards with pictures or images to reinforce vocabulary and word recognition.
- Harnessing Auditory Strategies:
- Encouraging reading aloud to improve fluency and word recognition.
- Listening to audiobooks or recorded texts while following along with the written material.
- Engaging in discussions or participating in book clubs to strengthen comprehension and critical thinking skills.
- Engaging Kinesthetic Approaches:
- Using tactile materials like sand, clay, or textured objects to form letters and words.
- Tracing letters and words with fingers on textured surfaces or sand trays.
- Incorporating movement activities that involve acting out stories or performing actions related to specific words or sounds.
By incorporating visual aids, auditory strategies, and kinesthetic approaches, parents and educators can effectively cater to diverse learning styles and reinforce reading abilities. Visual aids, such as colorful markers and visual organizers, visually represent concepts, while flashcards with pictures reinforce vocabulary and word recognition.
Auditory strategies, including reading aloud and listening to audiobooks, improve fluency and word recognition, while discussions and book clubs strengthen comprehension and critical thinking skills.
Kinesthetic approaches, such as using tactile materials and incorporating movement activities, create a hands-on experience that helps learners form letters and words and reinforces the connection between actions and words or sounds.
You probably have yet to hear of this particular means of support. The Orton-Gillingham approach is a widely recognized multisensory technique specifically designed for individuals with dyslexia and struggling readers. It focuses on phonics, phonemic awareness, and building a solid foundation in decoding and encoding skills. Parents can consider the following strategies:
- Phonemic Awareness Activities:
- Engaging in rhyming games, blending sounds, and segmenting words.
- Practicing sound discrimination exercises to identify similar and different sounds.
- Using manipulatives like magnetic letters or letter tiles to reinforce phonemic skills.
- Structured Literacy Instruction:
- Introducing letter-sound correspondence through explicit and systematic instruction.
- Teaching syllable types and patterns to improve decoding skills.
- Providing ample practice opportunities for reading and writing words, sentences, and texts.
The Orton-Gillingham approach offers a comprehensive multisensory technique specifically tailored for individuals with dyslexia and struggling readers. This approach provides practical strategies for improving reading abilities. The structured literacy instruction of the Orton-Gillingham approach includes explicit and systematic teaching of letter-sound correspondence, syllable types, and patterns, which enhances decoding skills. Parents can support their children in developing essential reading skills by providing ample practice opportunities for reading and writing.
Wilson Reading System
The Wilson Reading System is another evidence-based multisensory program you may not have heard of. It addresses the needs of struggling readers, including those with dyslexia. Here are some critical elements of the approach:
- Sound Drill and Encoding Activities:
- Practicing sound drills to reinforce letter-sound relationships.
- Engaging in encoding exercises that involve spelling words using specific sound patterns.
- Utilizing word-building activities with letter tiles or magnetic letters.
- Controlled Text Reading:
- Progressing through a series of controlled texts that gradually increase in complexity.
- Emphasizing decoding strategies, comprehension skills, and vocabulary development.
- Incorporating explicit instruction on sentence structure and grammar.
The Wilson Reading System is an evidence-based multisensory program that effectively addresses the needs of struggling readers. The program incorporates key elements such as sound drill and encoding activities to reinforce letter-sound relationships and spelling skills.
Students can actively engage in the learning process by utilizing word-building activities with letter tiles or magnetic letters. The controlled text reading component of the Wilson Reading System provides a gradual progression through texts of increasing complexity, focusing on decoding strategies, comprehension skills, vocabulary development, as well as explicit instruction on sentence structure and grammar.
With the implementation of the Wilson Reading System, students receive comprehensive support and instruction that targets their specific needs, enabling them to make significant progress in their reading abilities.
Links to Multisensory Resources
To further support your child’s reading progress, here are two links to valuable multisensory resources:
- Link 1: Reading Rockets
- An excellent online resource offering a wide range of strategies, activities, and articles for struggling readers.
- Provides tips for parents, educators, and tutors to support reading development.
- Link 2: Understood
- A comprehensive website dedicated to learning and attention issues.
- Offers practical tools, expert advice, and personalized resources to help children with reading difficulties.
Multisensory approaches provide a powerful and inclusive framework for supporting struggling readers on their journey to becoming confident readers. By engaging multiple senses, these techniques cater to different learning styles and reinforce reading skills effectively.
Whether using visual aids, auditory strategies, or kinesthetic activities, parents can significantly impact their child’s reading progress. Resources like the Orton-Gillingham approach and the Wilson Reading System also provide structured and evidence-based methods to address specific learning needs.
By incorporating these strategies and leveraging the suggested multisensory resources, parents can empower their children to overcome reading challenges and unlock a world of opportunities through the joy of reading.