“Students Will Rise To the Level of Expectations”~ Stand and Deliver
Methods For Teaching Children with Communication Impairments
The Association Method
The Association Methodis a multisensory, phonetically based, systematic, incremental instructional program for teaching and/or refining oral and written language. Special features are: multisensory teaching which includes the use of auditory, visual, tactile and motor-kinesthetic cues for learning; use of the Northampton Symbol system for teaching sound/symbol relationships for reading; use of cursive writing for initial instruction-children learn to read manuscript, but write only in cursive; a slower temporal rate of speech is used to provide children more time to process auditorily and more time to observe the speaker’s lip movements; precise articulation is required from the beginning; and color differentiation is used as an attention-getter, to differentiate phonemes within words, and to highlight verbs and new concepts in language structures. An individual child’s book is made as he/she progresses through the Method. For more information contact The DuBard School for Language Disorders, University of Southern Mississippi, Box 10035, Hattisburg, MS 39406-0035. Phone 601/266-5223
It can benefit those with:
- severe apraxia/articulation disorders
- language disorders/aphasia of varying degrees
- language learning disabilities/dyslexia
- attention deficit disorders with and without hyperactivity in conjunction with coexisting language learning disabilities
- head injury
- Hearing impairment in conjunction with other techniques
Sign n’ Say
St. Rita School for the Deaf is the only school in the country (world?!) that has programs specifically designed for children with apraxia. St. Rita School delivers a curriculum through multisensory instruction that meets the specific needs of each student. The fulltime academic program integrates academics with the arts, athletics, social development, and community service to provide a well-rounded curriculum.
Sign n’ Say is an innovative, proven system for teaching children with oral and global apraxia. The program was developed by St. Rita staff as part of their “Comprehensive Communication” philosophy.”
Sign n’ Say is an innovative, proven system for teaching children with oral and global apraxia. The program was developed initially by teacher Ellen Brigger as part of St. Rita School’s “Total Communication” philosophy. St. Rita, a school with over ninety years experience teaching the deaf, was confronted with a new communication problem: Apraxia. The school’s use of sign language gave the apraxic student another way to communicate, removing the pressure to learn to talk that would often prevent them from learning anything. And the school’s small class size allowed the apraxic student to get the individual attention that they needed to overcome the delays in motor skill development and other sensory issues usually associated with apraxia. These components are combined with the Sign n’ Say adaptation of curriculum and teaching techniques to create an environment where children can succeed both academically and socially.
St. Rita School can now serve apraxic children from age two through grade twelve. Click the links below for information on a specific age group, or for more information on the development of the program or signing for children with apraxia
Why Kids Need to Move, Touch and Experience to Learn
“When students use their bodies in the learning process, it can have a big effect, even if it seems silly or unconnected to the learning goal at hand. Researchers have found that when students use their bodies while doing mathematical storytelling (like with word problems, for example), it changes the way they think about math. “We understand language in a richer, fuller way if we can connect it to the actions we perform,” said Sian Beilock, professor of psychology at the University of Chicago.
GESTURING TO LEARN
A colleague of Beilock’s at the University of Chicago, Susan Goldin-Meadow has done extensive research into how student gestures can indicate a more nuanced understanding of math than students are often able to articulate verbally. Goldin-Meadow did a lot of work around problems of equivalence, which children often struggle to understand. She found that often students gesture in ways that indicate they understand how to solve the problem even if they are simultaneously describing an incorrect solution.” Read more
Multisensory Structured Language Programs: Content and Principles of Instruction
The LDA emphasizes that no single reading method will be effective for all students.
What is taught
Phonology and phonological awareness
Phonology is the study of sounds and how they work within their environment. A phoneme is the smallest unit of sound in a given language that can be recognized as being distinct from other sounds in the language. Phonological awareness is the understanding of the internal linguistic structure of words. An important aspect of phonological awareness is phonemic awareness or the ability to segment words into their component sounds.
This is the knowledge of the various sounds in the English language and their correspondence to the letters and combinations of letters which represent those sounds. Sound-symbol association must be taught (and mastered) in two directions: visual to auditory and auditory to visual. Additionally, students must master the blending of sounds and letters into words as well as the segmenting of whole words into the individual sounds.
A syllable is a unit of oral or written language with one vowel sound. Instruction must include the teaching of the six basic types of syllables in the English Language: closed, vowel-consonant-e, open, consonant-le, r-controlled, and diphthong. Syllable division rules must be directly taught in relation to the word structure.
Morphology is the study of how morphemes are combined from words. A morpheme is the smallest unit of meaning in the language. The curriculum must include the study of base words, roots, and affixes.
Syntax is the set of principles that dictate the sequence and function of words in a sentence in order to convey meaning. This includes grammar, sentence variation and the mechanics of language.
Semantics is that aspect of language concerned with meaning. The curriculum (from the beginning) must include instruction in the comprehension of written language.
How it is taught
Simultaneous, multisensory (VAKT)
Teaching is done using all learning pathways in the brain (visual/auditory, kinesthetic-tactile) simultaneously in order to enhance memory and learning.
Systematic and cumulative
Multisensory language instruction requires that the organization of material follows the logical order of the language. The sequence must begin with the easiest and most basic elements and progress methodically to more difficult material. Each step must also be based on those already learned. Concepts taught must be systematically reviewed to strengthen memory.
The inferential learning of any concept cannot be taken for granted. Multisensory language instruction requires the direct teaching of all concepts with continuous student-teacher interaction.
The teacher must be adept at prescriptive or individualized teaching. The teaching plan is based on careful and continuous assessment of the individual’s needs. The content presented must be mastered to the degree of automaticity.
Synthetic and analytic instruction
Multisensory, structured language programs include both synthetic and analytic instruction. Synthetic instruction presents the parts of the language and then teaches how the parts work together to form a whole. Analytic instruction presents the whole and teaches how this can be broken down into its component parts.
According to the National Teacher Education Task Force of the International Dyslexia Association, multisensory structured language programs should include the following content and be taught with the following principles of instruction.
View Table 1. Principles of Instruction (63kb PDF)*
Descriptions of some MSSL reading programs
From the original Orton-Gillingham method, many variations have been developed. Some of the modified Orton-Gillingham methods written by Orton students are The Slingerland Method, The Spalding Method, Project Read, Alphabetic Phonics, The Herman Method, and The Wilson Method. Other works included in which the authors of the programs used the tenets of Orton’s work, but were not directly trained by Orton-Gillingham personnel are The Alphabetic- Phonetic- Structural -Linguistic approach to Literacy (Shedd), Sequential English Education (Pickering), and Starting Over (Knight). The Association Method (DuBard), and the Lindamood-Bell Method (Lindamood -Bell) have as their basis the research into hearing impaired and the language impaired individuals.
Alphabetic Phonics evolved directly from Orton-Gillingham. It combines all three learning modalities (auditory for spelling; visual for reading; kinesthetic for handwriting). The “Instant Spelling Deck” for daily 3-minute drill focuses on the most probable spelling of each of the forty-four speech sounds. The Initial Reading Deck is a set of 98 cards with 3D pictured key words (chosen by students) to “unlock” each of the 44 speech sounds. Bench Mark Measures geared exactly to the curriculum were added to provide periodic proof of students’ progress in reading, spelling, handwriting, and alphabetizing-designed both to guide the teachers’ presentation pace and to enhance the student’s confidence. For more information contact the Texas Scottish Rite Hospital, 2222 Welborn St., Dallas, TX 75219. Phone 214/559-7425.
The Herman Approach
Renee Herman developed this sequence of instruction and a methodology that started each student at his point of deficit and sequentially taught him mastery of each skill level, expanding those skill levels vertically and horizontally as in an inverted pyramid. Multisensory strategies that link visual, auditory, kinesthetic and tactile stimuli help dyslexic students compensate for visual and auditory processing problems. Kinesthetic and tactile exercises are carefully sequenced and each activity is repeated until the response is automatic. The Herman Method reading curriculum encompasses: decoding and encoding skills, sight word recognition, structural analysis, use of contextual clues, dictionary access skills, decoding of diacritical symbols, and the complete spectrum of comprehension skills. For more information contact Lexia Learning Systems, Inc.2 Lewis Street, PO Box 466 Lincoln, MA 01773 – 800-435-3942 or 781-259-8752 Fax: 781-259-1349 firstname.lastname@example.org
The Lindamood® Phonemic Sequencing (LiPS) Program (formerly called the ADD Program, Auditory Discrimination in Depth) successfully stimulates phonemic awareness. Individuals become aware of the mouth actions which produce speech sounds. This awareness becomes the means of verifying sounds within words and enables individuals to become self-correcting in reading and spelling, and speech. The Visualizing and Verbalizing for Language Comprehension and Thinking (V/V) program develops concept imagery through a series of steps beginning with expressive language and extending from a word to imaged paragraphs. For more information contact Lindamood-Bell Learning Process, 416 Higuera, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401. Phone 800/233-1819
Montessori and Sequential English Education Approach
The Sequential English Education program is a multisensory structured language approach to teaching reading, writing, and spelling to students at risk for or diagnosed as dyslexic or having a related disorder. The program initially emphasizes the mastery of the code of the English language, the alphabetic, and phonetic system. It is one of a few programs age appropriate for 5 and 6 year old children. The instruction is 1:1 or small group (1:7) and intensive. Multisensory techniques are integral. In the SEE program the memory board (textured surface of masonite board) is used for a visual-auditory-tactile and kinesthetic input of new material being learned and any error being corrected. Comprehension proceeds from word meanings to sentence paraphrasing. For more information contact The Sequential English Education Training Program at The June Shelton School and Evaluation Center, 5002 West Lovers Lane, Dallas, TX 75209. Phone 214/352-1772
Orton-Gillingham is the structured,sequential multisensory teaching of written language based upon the constant use of association of all of the following – how a letter or word looks, how it sounds, and how the speech organs or the hand in writing feels when producing it. Children also learn the common rules of the English language such as the final e rule and when to use -ck and -tch. Older students learn a variety of syllable patterns and common prefixes and suffixes, then Latin and Greek word parts. For more information contact the Academy of Orton-Gillingham Practioners and Educators, P.O. Box 234, East Main StreetAmenia, NY 12501-0234. Phone 914/373-8919
Project Read is an alternative approach to teaching reading and written expression concepts and skills to children/adolescents in mainstream classrooms as well as in special education and Chapter One services. It began as a decoding/encoding program, but it was soon very apparent that the majority of these students had more pervasive language learning problems and so the program curriculum was expanded to include reading comprehension and written expression. thus the name “language Circle,” which describes the integration of all the elements of language learning. For more information contact Language Circle Enterprises and Project READ, P.O. Box 20631, Bloomington, MN 55420. Phone 800/450-0343
The Slingerland Multisensory Approach
The Slingerland Multisensory Approach is a classroom adaptation of the Orton-Gillingham Approach. Originally created for preventive instruction, it is used today both as a preventive and remedial approach and is practiced in classrooms, in small groups, and in one-to-one settings with students ranging from primary grade children to adults. The Slingerland approach differs from more traditional approaches in several ways. Simultaneous, multisensory teaching strategies are incorporated into every facet of the lesson. The logic and structure of English are taught using the alphabetic-phonic principle of beginning with the smallest unit of sight, sound, feel-a letter. All the language arts skills-oral expression, decoding, reading comprehension, spelling handwriting and written expression-are taught with the one integrated direct instruction approach. Students are given guided practice in functional use of these skills with the goals of independent reading and written expression. For more information contact the Slingerland Institute for Literacy, One Bellevue Center, 411 108th Ave. NE, Bellevue, WAS 98004. Phone 425/453-1190
The Spalding Method is a total language arts approach consisting of integrated, simultaneous, multisensory instruction in listening, speaking, writing, spelling, and reading. These instructional elements (spelling, listening/reading comprehension, and writing) provide the major language arts strands. A fourth philosophical element insures consistency in program implementation. The Spalding principles which guide lesson plans, instruction, and decisions are the following: 1) learning with a child-centered approach, 2) multisensory instruction; 3) encouraging higher-level thinking; 4) achieving quality work; 5) recognizing the value and importance of tasks; and, 6) integrating language arts into all curriculum areas. For more information contact the Spalding Education Foundation, 2814 West Bell Road, Suite 1405, Phoenix, Arizona 85023. Phone 602/866-7801
Starting Over instruction includes diagnosis and remediation of decoding, spelling, vocabulary, writing, handwriting and comprehension. Its philosophy: 1) Dyslexic children and adults can learn to read, spell, and write if they are diagnosed and taught using a multisensory, structured language approach; 2) teachers can be taught to do both the diagnosis and the remediation; 3) dyslexics can be taught to surmount their primary problem-awareness of differences among sounds; 4) critical thinking can be taught by giving clues and asking question; 5) teachers can be taught not to give answers or model sounds; 6) memorization can be enhanced by daily review of previously introduced material; 7) sequenced steps for decoding and spelling serve to focus attention, activate and slow down the learner, enhance memorization, and foster independence; 8) comprehension can be improved by merely improving decoding; 9: when decoding has been made automatic and fluent, explicit comprehension instruction can make reading a pleasure; and, 10) writing can be mastered when taught alongside decoding and comprehension. For more information contact Starting Over, 317 West 89th Street, New York, NY 10024. Phone 212/769-2760
The Wilson Reading System
The Wilson Reading System is a 12-Step remedial reading and writing program for individuals with a language-based learning disability. This program is based on Orton-Gillingham philosophy and principles and current phonological coding research. It directly teaches the structure of words in the English language so that students master the coding system for reading and spelling. Unlike other programs that overwhelm the student with rules, the language system of English is presented in a very systematic and cumulative manner so that it is manageable. The Wilson Reading System specifically teaches strategies for decoding and spelling. However, from the beginning steps of the program, it includes oral expressive language development and comprehension. Visualization techniques are used for comprehension. For more information contact Wilson Language Training, 175 West Main Street, Millbury, MA 01527-1441. Phone 800/899-8454
Clinical Studies of Multisensory Structured Language Education for Students with Dyslexia and Related Disorders
Curtis W. McIntyre, Ph.D. and Joyce S. Pickering, LSH/CCC, MA, editors, 1995.
International Multisensory Structured Language Education Council (IMSLEC).
From the speech perspective, Lindamood Bell LiPs is a popular program. It is a phoneme based program. The child can tell what you are saying by the shape your mouth makes. It is not a cheap program, but some people swear by it. The program is about $500 if you buy all the manipulatives with it. You can just buy the book ($150-$180 retail) used for around $60-$80 and then make some of the manipulatives. They have some of the manipulatives that they use in the book – meaning, there is a page that you could copy, laminate and then cut up to use.
There is a 4th edition now. The above link is for the 3rd edition. I don’t know what the difference is.
There are books after the basic LiPs program. Seeing Stars Phonemic Awareness Sight Word and Spelling by Nanci Bell
Visualizing and Verbalizing For Language comprehension and Thinking by Nanci Bell
Another program some people like from a phoneme perspective in the homeschooling realm is Apples & Pears. They have a reading program and you can see the whole sample of the curriculum online. Every other page just says “SAMPLE” or something over it. Click on the USA flag. The reading program is called Bearing Away.
If you are considering homeschooling,www.welltrainedmind.com/forums is a great resource. There is a special section that talks about special needs children. I have learned a lot just by reading posts that don’t even necessarily relate to my child in that forum area. There is a K-8 area and people talk about many different types of curriculum. What works with one child may not work for another. I likely won’t use the same stuff with my special needs child that I am for my non-special needs child.
There is a great author that writes a book called “How to Get Your Child Off the Refrigerator and Into Learning”. Her name is Carol Barnier. She had an ADD/ADHD child and she writes about great ways to deal with children who are highly active. I recommend that book and “The Big WHAT NOW Book of Learning Styles”. She is a funny speaker (and her book is funny in parts too). Here is her website: – if you can ever hear her speak, I would go. She is full of great resources and is very entertaining to listen to.
This program is used by teachers in public schools. If I could look at the curriculum before buying it, or see a sample, I probably would have bought it by now. But they teach phonics by using chants. Chants are great for teaching and memorizing. I was at the Texas Speech & Hearing Conference and one of the speakers mentioned this. If you can go to your states Speech and Hearing conference, I would go. I only paid $35 as a parent. I was probably the only non-professional person there. I learned so much. It was in my city, so I was lucky I didn’t have to drive far.
If you google “Youtube phonics dance”, you can see what it is by watching a video. Here is one example!
From a parent in the Cherab Foundation “I must say if you have a child who is younger than 6, I wouldn’t stress too much. Although it’s hard not to. I know. I worry all the time, but after teaching a normal child, I see how development works and stress about a little less than I used to. If it were up to me, my 5YO would not be going to public school. My husband pushed it, so I gave in. It turned out to be a good thing though. I follow the Charlotte Mason and Classical Method (The Well Trained Mind – is a book that explains teaching the Classical way and she writes curriculum and recommends a lot of resources to use for each subject – it’s a great resource – you can probably check it out from your library.) Both methods pretty much say not to formally teach until your child is 6 or in 1st grade. Charlotte Mason is very literature and nature based. Both use dictation and narration for learning and remembering things (stories read to them). I love the Charlotte Mason method, but I live in a big city and it’s hard to do all the nature stuff I want.
Some great activities for your children…google “Activity Bag Swap”. I did one of these with a friend and got some great activities to do with my kids. All 3 of them love them. Some of them require fine motor skills, which most of our delayed children have issues with. I take these activity bags with me to restaurants and on the go so they are entertained by something and we can eat in peace.”
Helping Children with Communication Disorders in the Schools
By: American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (2008)
The following are frequently asked questions on how to help children with communication disorders, particularly in regards to speaking, listening, reading, and writing.
What kinds of speech and language disorders affect children?
Speech and language disorders can affect the way children talk, understand, analyze or process information. Speech disorders include the clarity, voice quality, and fluency of a child’s spoken words. Language disorders include a child’s ability to hold meaningful conversations, understand others, problem solve, read and comprehend, and express thoughts through spoken or written words.
How many children receive treatment for speech and language disorders in the schools?
The number of children with disabilities, ages 3-21, served in the public schools under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) Part B in Fall 2003 was 6,068,802 (in the 50 states, D.C., and outlying areas). Of these children, 1,460,583 (24.1%) received services for speech or language disorders. This estimate does not include children who have speech/language problems secondary to other conditions.
How do speech, language, and hearing disorders affect learning?
Communication skills are at the heart of life’s experience, particularly for children who are developing language critical to cognitive development and learning. Reading, writing, gesturing, listening, and speaking are all forms of language – a code we learn to use in order to communicate ideas.
Learning takes place through the process of communication. The ability to participate in active and interactive communication with peers and adults in the educational setting is essential for a student to succeed in school.
Why are speech and language skills so critical for literacy?
Spoken language provides the foundation for the development of reading and writing. Spoken and written language have a reciprocal relationship – each builds on the other to result in general language and literacy competence, starting early and continuing through childhood into adulthood.
What are signs that a communication disorder is affecting school performance?
Children with communication disorders frequently perform at a poor or insufficient academic level, struggle with reading, have difficulty understanding and expressing language, misunderstand social cues, avoid attending school, show poor judgement, and have difficulty with tests.
Difficulty in learning to listen, speak, read, or write can result from problems in language development. Problems can occur in the production, comprehension, and awareness of language at the sound, syllable, word, sentence, and discourse levels. Individuals with reading and writing problems also may experience difficulties in using language strategically to communicate, think, and learn.
How do speech-language pathologists work with teachers and other school personnel to insure children get the support they need?
Assessment and treatment of children’s communication problems involve cooperative efforts with others such as parents, audiologists, psychologists, social workers, classroom teachers, special education teachers, guidance counselors, physicians, dentists, and nurses. Speech-language pathologists work with diagnostic and educational evaluation teams to provide comprehensive language and speech assessments for children.
Services to students with communication problems may be provided in individual or small group sessions, in classrooms or when teaming with teachers or in a consultative model with teachers and parents. Speech-language pathologists integrate students’ communication goals with academic and social goals.
How can speech-language pathology services help children with speech and language disorders?
Speech-language pathology services can help children become effective communicators, problem-solvers and decision-makers. As a result of services such as memory retraining, cognitive reorganization, language enhancement, and efforts to improve abstract thinking, children can benefit from a more successful and satisfying educational experience as well as improved peer relationships. The services that speech-language pathologists provide can help children overcome their disabilities, achieve pride and self-esteem, and find meaningful roles in their lives.
References ©2005 American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
Curtis W. McIntyre, Ph.D. and Joyce S. Pickering, LSH/CCC, MA, editors, 1995. International Multisensory Structured Language Education Council (IMSLEC). LD OnLine is an educational service of public television station WETA in Washington, D.C.
There is research on how well all student’s grades improve when an FM system is utilized. Simplistically, think about when you go to a conference that is miked and the mike goes off and you can still hear the person speaking but your mind starts to wander. That’s exactly what happens to the children in the classrooms.
Who can benefit from an FM system:
- Students with an Auditory Processing Problem
- Students with a Minimal Hearing Loss
- Students with a Severe Hearing Loss Using Personal FM Systems
- Students with a Temporary Hearing Loss Due to Ear Infections (OME)
- Students with Behavioral or Attentive Disorders Such As ADD or ADHD
- Students Learning English as a Second Language (ESOL)
- Young Children Learning Phonics and Phonemic Recognition
- Students with Perfectly Normal Hearing
- All Teachers (saves their voices)
Here are just a few articles of interest
Baboons leave scientists spell-bound