All of us have a preferred learning style. Some folks need to write it down to remember it, others need to hear it, and yet others need only to see it once to know the information. Phonics is a wonderful tool for children whose strengths lie in both good listening skills and clear speech.
But what if your child possesses different strengths?
Because your child has strong Visual or Kinesthetic skills and poor auditory memory skills, phonics will continue to be a struggle. But this does not mean , your child cannot learn to read. It means we should look at options to teach your child through his strength.
For these children, processing the sounds auditorily and then reproducing them correctly may pose many struggles. It is for these children this Reading Rocks program was designed. Children whose strengths are visual memory, visual-motor, or kinesthetic may benefit greatly from this program. Because this program teaches 50 high frequency sight words by pointing, touching, cutting, and "doing", children who previously had difficulty reading may find great success with Reading Rocks.
For example, some children with Developmental Delays, such as Down Syndrome, letters have little meaning to them as individual symbols. We have reports from teachers that many children are learning to read through Reading Rocks, even though they are unable
to identify the letters of the alphabet. Children need to have an understanding that letters "make-up" words and that words have meaning. Giving the children sight words first helps children to make the connection as to why letters are so important. In Patricia Oelwein’s book "Teaching Reading to Children with Down Syndrome: A Guide for Parents and Teachers" (1995 Woodbine House), she recommends teaching sight words before the alphabet. Ms. Oelwin writes, "Learning to use phonics to decode words is a long, on-going process, and concepts can become very complex for some children with Down Syndrome." This book is a wonderful resource for all Special Needs teachers and Parents. Follow this link to the publisher to find out more about Patricia Oelwein's book: www.woodbinehouse.com.
Also be sure to read a recent study on the success of Reading Rocks with Trainable and Educable Handicapped Children.
Likewise, some children with autism learn best through visual cueing. Our program gives teachers all the visual tools they will need to teach children who are strong visual learners. Throughout our program, organized into clear pockets are magnetic graphics and corresponding flashcards. When introducing the word "cat" the teacher shows the flashcard simultaneously with the magnetic graphic of "cat". In Temple Grandin, Ph.D’s, paper, Teaching Tips for Children and Adults with Autism , she writes, "When teaching nouns the child must hear you speak the word and view the picture and printed word simultaneously." That’s exactly what Reading Rocks does and it does it over and over again. Better yet, we back up each lesson with at least 2 worksheets! For a deeper look into Visual Thinkers we recommend Temple Grandin's book, visit her website at: http://www.grandin.com/inc/book.html