George Lucas Educational Foundation

What things have worked For LD students

What things have worked For LD students

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1.Doctor- Neurologist and Psychiatrist - I can highly recommend - Dr. Harold Levinson a neurologist and psychiatrist in New York who basically cured my son of severe dyslexia with simple medications when he was 11 years old and is now 26 with 2 college diplomas. Google him . My son and I are under the mult- media section. Read his books especially "Smart But feeling Dumb" and go to see him. My son went from a grade 2 reading level in Grade 6 to a Grade 5 level in three weeks. I have everything documented.- Hand Writing changes, reading tests etc. 2.Eye Doctor - Dr. Peter Martinello in Mississauga/ Toronto, Ontario, Canada prescribed prism lenses to correct my son's binocular focal point and took away his headaches and stopped the words from moving around. This helped my son in Grade 4, but in grade 6 he completely learned to read and spell after 3 weeks on the Levinson medication. 3. Computer Program- "Fast Forward" - from Scientific Learning in California can really help Language Impaired students learn using animated cartoon like games which help students learn to differentiate the difference between the hard consonant sounds like " b and d", "c and k" which they have difficulty distinguishing. The program individually adjust the tone, duration,frequency and pitch of the sounds until the brain reprograms to recognize them. This make a permanent irreversible improvement in a child's language up to 5 grade levels in just a half hour playing a day for 5- 10 weeks. Group and site as well as individual licenses for the program are available. 4. Irelen Lenses- coloured Irelen lenses can make a dramatic difference for LD students who have the Irelen syndrome. My girlfriend's nephew had amazing success with the lenses and went from a non- reader who had no hope, to now working on his Master's Degree. 5.Kurzweil computer reader- software that reads printed text to students. 6. Dragon Speak- computer program - very good and easy to use - voice activated typing program. 7.Inspiration- computer program- graphic organizer which helps students put their thoughts into organized formats I WOULD LOVE TO HEAR OF MORE INTERVENTIONS WHICH HELP LD STUDENTS

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Janice Whitney's picture
Janice Whitney
Retired Special Education Teacher and Mother of cured Dyslexic son

Please note this was my response to another post on this forum on Dyslexia.

I am aware of the Orton- Gillingham Methods of teaching and they are very useful teaching methods which stimulate and create new neurological pathways or connections to word symbols. The Orton- Gillingham , Dr.Harold Levinson and Fast Forward computer programs are all SIMILAR in their solutions. They all enable students to create new neurological pathways or patterns to help improve letter symbol recognition for students who can not process visual perceptions correctly or efficiently- (ie) Dyslexics, Language Impaired, or general LD students. I don't devalue one over the other but rather they should be used together for more effective treatments.
They DIFFER in their approaches only - one using repetitive and total sensory input, another uses medications and another uses computer stimulation and clarification of sounds to create new neurological pathways or connections to word symbols. Like a headache, there are many successful ways to treat the problem, mechanically, medication, electrically. You can rub your neck and head mechanically and increase blood flow, take chemical medication- an aspirin, and dilate capillaries in the neck and head to increase blood flow - or use electricity like a tens machine to stimulate the neck and head and stimulate blood flow. All work because they all stimulate blood flow. Orton- Gillingham works for dyslexics by mechanically stimulating all senses, Medications work by dilating and stabilizing canals fluids and Fast Forward computer games work by using electrically modified sounds which are beyond the range of the person's normal hearing range to create new neurological pathways or connections to word symbols.
Dr.Levinson's treatment offers a medical/ chemical medication treatment which similarly creates new neural connections and pathways to correct visual perceptions as they are processed by our neurological system. All senses are controlled through the inner system which feeds signals to the lower brain or cerebellum. Therefore- vision perceptions are controlled through the inner system which is an irrefutable fact- ask any doctor. I agree there is no guaranteed lasting cure for dyslexia, however the medications which Dr. Levinson prescribes definitely work dramatically for the short term and longer terms of a person's life. His medications affect the inner ear system -the cerebellar- vestibular system . Astronauts go dyslexic when they are in zero gravity, but if they take similar medications to Dr. Levinson's they do not stay dyslexic in zero gravity. His medications are NOT to be thought of as medications which fight a disease. I agree Dyslexia is certainly not a disease. They are medications which enhance the operation of the inner ear system, in which canals can be dilated and the inner ear fluid stabilized. Once the inner ear system is balanced by the medications, the person's visual perceptions become more accurate and stable. Please do not accept that the mechanics of the inner ear can not be enhanced or fixed. They can be. When the inner ear is stabilized, the improper distorted dyslexic images the inner ear interpretive system was receiving and sending to the brain are changed. After medication, the visual images processed by the inner ear are stable, not distorted or changing or mixed up images, which can then be easily interpreted by the brain. The brain can then link these new repetitively stable or consistent not mixed up images to letters and words like a normal non- dyslexic person. Dyslexia can be dramatically cured when the person is on the medications. I have evidence of very dramatic handwriting changes and spelling and reading changes in students and Dr. Levinson's 13 books are full of examples and case studies. Usually after 2 years on the medications which are also modified over the 2 years the person does not need them. The inner ear adapts with more stable fluid levels and dilated canals naturally. As time goes on sometimes they may need a repetition of the medications, like a tune-up in order for the fluid and canals to maintain their stability. I also agree dyslexics are often very bright - Edison, Einstein, Branson, Leno, Cruise, Goldberg and many others like my son are bright, but they cannot read or spell. This is because their eyes feed signals to the inner ear which in turn sends dyslexic or mixed and distorted images to the lower brain which can not rely proper messages to the higher order thinking brain to decipher consistent letter and word relationships or meanings. It is a shame more people do not know about the pioneering treatment of Dr. Levinson's work. He is a neurologist and psychologist and dyslexic himself, as is his daughter who is a pediatrician, and had to have her medications fine tuned during medical school.
The computer program Fast Forward from Scientific Learning is a computer game based program which can retrain and create new brain connections or pathways for Language Impaired Students to hear proper sounds and relate them to letter and word symbols. The computer games of Fast Forward changes the pitch, tone, duration and length of particularly the hard consonant sounds like "B and D" or "C and K" sounds which they say Language Impaired students can not hear or differentiate . It can raise reading levels up to 5 grade levels.
The Irelen colored glass lenses also work mechanically and I have seen dramatic results for dyslexics who have the Irelen syndrome. Dr.Levinson highly endorses the use of these glasses. There are many treatments or interventions which are available and should not be seen to be competitive- as which is best, rather we should provide information to people and encourage them to use different things together to enhance each treatment.

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