The world is transforming itself to acclimate each of us every day. Whether we have a different way of living or incur certain difficulties that limit our functioning, absorbing anything that favors our sensory and cognitive skills is a win-win.
While a lot of programs are introduced for children with dyslexia at the schooling level, one point that should not be missed is that a lot of individuals with learning difficulties struggle in their adulthood too. Now when it comes to adults with dyslexia, there are a handful of programs that may prove life-changing to command and control dyslexic traits. This is where the role of programs for dyslexia comes in.
Therefore, in this post, we will explore some options for adults with learning disorder like dyslexia, which have already helped a number of people before, and is thriving to help more grown individuals in the current day.
Potential gaps in the adult diagnosis and compensatory accommodations
Dyslexia in adults is often related to cognitive inadequacies. Some of the challenges they face are related to working memory, visual and auditory processing, and problem-solving. Out of these, One of the core cognitive processes is phonological processing which causes reading and writing difficulties among dyslexic people.
These cognitive deficits can be compensated through rigorous but customized training plans and resources according to the needs of the adult. Other inadequacies can only be accommodated after understanding the gap it builds between an adult’s current functioning and their ideal functioning potential. A few of the overlooked challenges in the workplace and public settings that create functional gaps for adults with dyslexia include:
- Inability to remember information without looking at their notes.
- Poor working memory is the inability to hold information of multiple genres or multilevel information simultaneously.
- Automation of skills is difficult for adults with dyslexia, as the new training or information that enters their minds does not become an automized skill on its own. It requires tons of effort to ensure that the skill is learned and can be used without excessive effort, just like “learning how to eat” eventually becomes a skill for us.
- Difficulty with time management or keeping track of recurring tasks or to-do lists.
- Misunderstandings or misinterpretations during oral exchanges.
- Difficulty in following navigation or directions
- Failure to interpret the consequences of their speech or actions, etc.
While these are certain overlooked challenges, the level of challenge they face depends on the intensity of the skills they lack. For example, while some might lack only word recognition skills, others might face difficulty managing time, imperative for daily functioning.
Upon acknowledging the treatment gaps, it is important that these adults are provided with the resources and programs to help them develop these skills and grow into more self-reliant individuals.
Skill-enhancing programs for adults with dyslexia
Some of the programs that have been considered significant in the growth and development of adults with misdiagnosed/undiagnosed dyslexia in childhood; however, these programs are accessible to all who struggle to maintain a steady and skill-based lifestyle against dyslexia otherwise
1. Wilson Reading system
This intensive intervention program covers individuals in grades 2-12, as well as adults who face word-level deficits and aren’t able to make sufficient progress through their current intervention or any other teaching strategies. This program is based on phonological coding research and aims to systematically teach the structure of the English language. The group size under these programs is comparatively smaller and helps students in fluent decoding words and encoding the strategies for the same. Some of the skills it focuses on are:
- Word Structure: automatic decoding and spelling
- Word recognition and spelling of high-frequency words
- Sentence level text reading and more.
2. Davis dyslexia correction program
This comprehensive program aims to reduce the symptoms of dyslexia in an adult and eventually help improve reading, spelling, and handwriting skills. This program serves individuals of ages 8 and above (adulthood).
Their vision is achieved by stabilizing perception and controlling its disorientation and teaching specific techniques to gain reading fluency and comprehension skills. The course stretches to a duration of 30 hours, and the individual learns the following skills:
- Alphabet mastery
- Davis reading exercises
- Punctuation mastery
- Pronunciation mastery
- Davis symbol mastery
- Handwriting exercises
- Support training, etc.
3. Adult Dyslexic Programme
This program was launched in 1999 by David Schenck, who aspired to teach adults with dyslexia how to read. With its phonics-based instructions, this program uses a multisensory approach as well, where they associate the usage of various human senses to the sounds, words, and letters to retain them in the best possible way.
This program is designed for those who have difficulty reading, writing, and spelling, all those who feel limited in achieving their true potential due to dyslexia and its consequences, and also who look forward to reducing the symptoms of their disorder by beginning from square one.
4. Orton Gillingham Reading Programme for dyslexia
The purpose of the Orton-Gillingham Reading program is to teach phonemic awareness through the usage of explicit and direct instructions. There are differing reading programs under the Orton-Gillingham technique, and it requires an in-depth understanding of the needs of the individual to be able to choose the correct program that helps them compensate for the lack of skills.
Knowing the individual’s learning style can also be merit in choosing the program that offers the easiest way to learn the skills.
5. Slingerland Approach
Intending to promote excellence in literacy for all, Slingerland Literacy institute offers a program for dyslexic adults that uses the 5 inclusive pillars, scientifically required to improve
- Phonological awareness
- Word recognition
- Reading fluency
- Vocabulary and comprehension
It provides these services using comprehensive, multisensory, and structured language programs, with the added benefit of handwriting instructions.
6. Lindamood Bell programme
Lindamood-bell is a teaching program that offers multisensory interventions for adult individuals suffering from the learning deficit of dyslexia. It uses the individual’s different senses to develop brain associations with words, letters, and sounds. It is a useful approach for individuals with dyslexia, dyscalculia, and auditory processing disorders.
In this program, individuals work one-on-one with instructors, and each session can last from one to four hours. This program offers a unique approach, including research-validated and sensory-cognitive instruction.
7. Training program for adults with dyslexia by Sydney dyslexia
This year-long program offers services to adults who struggle with dyslexia or haven haven’t had the best of experiences during school or at the workplace.
Their focus is to ensure that the learner does not associate their potential with what they cannot do but how they can do it differently. They promise the following changes and developments in an individual who enrolls with them in a span of a year:
- Increased and maintained focus
- Reduced stress and anxiety
- No involvement of boring repetition in the reading regime
- Reading and learning without having to spell out loud.
The program showcases its credibility through various testaments of individuals mentioning significant improvement in literary as well as social skills like self-esteem and confidence through this program.
8. Barton Reading and spelling system
This system was developed in 1998 by Susan Barton after she started tutoring in a library-based adult literacy program. It is multi-sensory evidence and research-based program aiming to provide sequential and intense interventions that are explicit and directed toward the individual seeking help through it. It consists of 10 levels devoted to various gaps in the language development of any individual with dyslexia, like
LEVEL1: Phonemic awareness
LEVEL 2: Consonants and short vowels
LEVEL 3: Closed syllables and units
LEVEL 4: Syllable division and vowel teams
LEVEL 5: Prefixes and Suffixes
LEVEL 6: Six reasons for silent E
LEVEL 7: Vowel R syllables
LEVEL 8: Advanced Vowel teams
LEVEL 9: Influences of foreign languages
LEVEL 10: Greek words and Latin roots
The program allows individuals to learn at their own pace and hence choose the time frame they complete.
9. LTK Dyslexia programs for adults
Language Tune-up Kit is an online program for adults with dyslexia that promises an interaction of 30 minutes per day that can significantly develop their reading proficiencies, increase their decoding skills, improve their spelling skills, build their confidence and self-esteem, and offers 87 engaging lessons with the vision to achieve these skills with time tested techniques and strategies.
The program is customizable and adjusts to the learner’s needs anytime. It also focuses on repetition to reinforce learning and adhere to a well-structured curriculum.
10. Fast Forward Programme
This software-based program is based on more than 30 years of research around neuroplasticity. It works on the root cause of learning delays instead of simply reducing symptoms. It aims to help individuals with reading fluency and comprehension, in individuals of all age groups, with learning difficulties like dyslexia, auditory processing disorder, ADD, and even autism.
The exercises incorporated in this program allow the individual to rewire their brain and achieve higher neural functioning through the development of newer connections and consequent learning of new abilities and skills. With intense monitoring provisions, they promise to produce 1-2 year-long results in 3-4 months.
Being an adult with dyslexia in a society that’s unapologetically scrutinizing individuals who work day and night can be excruciatingly painful. While government provisions like ADA are being brought to action, some workplaces are evolving by incorporating the use of accommodations for individuals to feel seen at workplaces as well.
With that being said, this article offers insight into certain programs that can help adult individuals learn the skills they lack through rigorous practice and monitoring and ensure that the services provided to them in general life are brought to effective and efficient usage.
It also shares insight into the struggles and treatment gaps when it comes to adults with dyslexia and aims to bridge that through the given information.
- Common Cognitive Deficits in Dyslexic Students – Implications for Differentiated Instruction. (2009). LINCS | Adult Education and Literacy | U.S. Department of Education. https://lincs.ed.gov/lincs/discussions/learningdisabilities/09Cognitive.html