Reading, Writing & Frustration - washingtonpost.com
I suspect that a large percentage of so called dyslexia could be prevented by sound reading instruction. At the very least it could be diagnosed at an early age.
Back then, Sarah had a fondness for the book Put Me in the Zoo, not great literature but great fun to read when you're starting out on that voyage to literacy. She'd read the tale, about a funny, spotted leopard desperate for a home in the zoo, seemingly effortlessly, over and over again: "I would like to live this way. This is where I want to stay." At least, we thought she was reading it.Well duh...
We soon discovered, when Sarah turned to other books, that she had been memorizing the words. Basic words such as "ball," "the" and "dog" baffled her. Sometimes she recognized words on one page but had no recall when she saw the words again a page later. At times, she reversed the order of words in sentences or skipped them entirely.
We brought up our concerns with her first-grade teacher. "You need to read to her more" was her response. But we were already reading heavily to Sarah. My husband and I are writers, and reading is a passion. We redoubled our efforts, recording the number of books on a log we kept on the kitchen table. Once a week, she took it to school, where the teacher put congratulatory stickers on it. By the end of the year, she'd hit 460 books.
Surely Sarah would pick up the ball and run with it, we thought. But while the other second-graders in her public school were sailing through The Magic School Bus and Amber Brown-- books with chapters, plots and complex thoughts -- Sarah was stuck with basic readers such as The Snowball.
"I saw a snowball on a hill," it read. "It rolled along and picked up Bill!"
She read haltingly, stumbling over the simplest words. She surprised and baffled us by doing well on spelling tests, until we realized she was once again memorizing. Gradually, it dawned on Sarah, too, that there was a problem.
The article goes on to blame all of her woes on dyslexia, a syndrome that affects "5 to 15 percent of schoolchildren with normal or above-average intelligence."
It seems to me that schools should address the other syndrome that affects far more children. The poor teaching syndrome, characterized by lack of effective reading instruction, a reliance on idealistic but flawed pedagogy, and an abundance of frustrated children and parents.