Interventions and Instructions

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Information on Interventions & Instructions

IDA Position Statement: Dyslexia Treatment Programs

The IDA Board of Directors and IDA Branches are frequently asked to endorse or review treatment programs for prevention and remediation of dyslexia and other reading-related problems. Although IDA does not publish formal reviews of programs, or endorse a specific approach, we do have an IDA Position Statement about treatment of dyslexia and direct you to the websites below for additional information.

Importantly, IDA cautions parents who are looking for instructors, clinicians, schools, and programs to be very thorough in their review of programs and services that claim to treat dyslexia or “cure” dyslexia. In this era of internet advertising, claims are frequently made about therapies and treatment programs that have little or no scientific merit. Claims about the effectiveness of some widely advertised programs and/or their components may be unsubstantiated by objective, independent research, and the practitioners of those programs and methods may not have met customary standards for training in the field.

The Florida Center for Reading Research Reports

The Florida Center for Reading Research (FCRR) provides reviews of both teacher-led and computer-based instructional programs that can be used to provide instruction in reading for all students. The reports are written by experienced teachers with consultation from reading researchers to help evaluate the research support for each program.

The reports contain a description of the program and its potential uses (i.e. general instruction, supplemental instruction, interventions) as well as an evaluation of the current research support for the program.

What Works Clearinghouse

The Institute for Education Sciences, a branch of the United States Department of Education, established the What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) to provide rigorous evaluations of the strength of research supporting a broad variety of educational program. The section on reading programs provides research based evaluations of supplemental and intervention programs in reading. A Topic Report on Beginning Reading available at this website provides a summary of evidence in support of 24 programs that can be used to support instruction in early reading growth.

These reports should be used with caution, insofar that they often do not give sufficient consideration to the role of quality implementation, teacher training, or school contexts on the outcomes reported. Also, the website does not provide a mechanism by which to reconcile conclusions with current research reviews.

IDA Matrix of Multisensory Structured Language Programs

IDA has created a Matrix of Multisensory Structured Language Programs that have a strong track records of clinical and classroom success. These programs differ in specific techniques and materials, but they all include structured, explicit, systematic, cumulative instruction designed to promote understanding, memory, recall, and use of spoken and written language. They also have multiple components, that focus on such areas of instruction as phonological skills, phonics and word analysis, spelling, word recognition and oral reading fluency, grammar and syntax, text comprehension, writing, and study skills.

Effective programs vary in the extent to which they claim adherence to Orton-Gillingham practices: Some do claim this historical link and some do not. All of the programs in the Matrix vary, however, in the extent to which they have been included in scientifically conducted intervention studies.

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