GTDA is here to help children and adults whose reading struggles are interfering with their ability to reach goals in the learning environment, work, and life. How do we get started? Typically, the starting point is for a member of the GTDA staff to conduct a screening/assessment.
Screenings are conducted to assess students’ current abilities. A typical screening for an elementary student might include assessments of: alphabet skills, numbers, letter/sound concepts, a writing sample, spelling using the Ayres-Buckingham Word Spelling Test, non-phonetic words, and reading using the Slosson Oral Reading Test and reading of a sample text. The screening may take 1 to 2 hours. A GTDA screener will then score the results and schedule a second meeting to review the assessment results and to recommend next steps. In many cases, GTDA recommends that the individual attend tutoring. We also make referrals to other service providers.
With appropriate instruction, individuals with dyslexia can become skilled readers. The primary instruction method used by GTDA is called the Orton-Gillingham approach, a language-based, multisensory, structured, sequential, cumulative, and flexible method of teaching individuals with dyslexia that has a track record of success for over 50 years. We also offer Touch Math, a multisensory way to teach basic math facts.
The Grand Traverse Dyslexia Association staff speak to many different groups on the topic of dyslexia according to their interest and needs. Formats for our educational presentations range from a 30-minute session on “What is Dyslexia?” to a nine-session course for prospective tutors and teachers in the Orton-Gillingham approach. Researchers over the past few decades have learned a lot about dyslexia, yet public understanding of it–even in the schools–has not caught up.