Neuhaus is closed today, January 18, due to inclement weather.

Teaching. Reading. Reaching.
Neuhaus Education Center is a 501(c)(3)
non-profit organization dedicated
to promoting reading success.

Parent FAQs

  1. Does my child have dyslexia?
  2. Will my child "outgrow" dyslexia?
  3. I just received a diagnosis of dyslexia for my child,...
  4. Does my child have learning disorders other than, or in addition to, dyslexia?
  5. Where can I go to get my child tested for dyslexia?
  6. I suspect my child is having trouble staying focused - can I get him/her tested for attention issues?
  7. The public/private school is providing reading help for my child. What are reasonable expectations of the help he/she will receive?
  8. Section 504 - What does it mean?
  9. What resources are available to me, a Spanish speaking parent? Qué recursos están disponibles para padres que hablan español?
  10. What is a Certified Academic Language Therapist (CALT)?
  11. What does it mean to be "Neuhaus-trained"?
  12. What is Basic Language Skills (BLS)?
  13. How do I know if Basic Language Skills is appropriate for my child?
  14. How can I find a private school for my child?
  15. My child is going off to college soon - what are some resources to help him/her succeed?

 

 

Does my child have dyslexia?

An individual with dyslexia usually has several, not just one or two, of the characteristics listed below.  These characteristics usually persist over time and interfere with his or her learning.  If your child is having difficulties learning to read and you have noted several of these characteristics in your child, he or she may need to be evaluated for dyslexia and/or a related disorder.

 

Difficulty with oral language

  • Late in learning to talk
  • Difficulty in pronouncing words
  • Difficulty acquiring vocabulary or using age-appropriate grammar
  • Difficulty following directions
  • Confusion with before/after, right/left, etc.
  • Difficulty learning the alphabet, nursery rhymes, or songs
  • Difficulty understanding concepts and relationships
  • Difficulty with word retrieval or naming problems
 

Difficulty with reading

  • Difficulty learning to read
  • Difficulty identifying or generating rhyming words or counting syllables in words (Phonological Awareness)
  • Difficulty with hearing and manipulating sounds in words (Phonemic Awareness)
  • Difficulty distinguishing different sounds in words (Auditory Discrimination)
  • Difficulty in learning the sounds of letters
  • Difficulty remembering names and/or the order of letters when reading
  • Misreading or omitting common little words
  • "Stumbling" through or guessing at longer words
  • Poor reading comprehension during oral or silent reading
  • Slow,laborious oral reading

 

Difficulty with written language

  • Trouble putting ideas on paper
  • Many spelling mistakes
  • Doing well on weekly spelling tests, but continuing to have many spelling mistakes in daily work
  • Difficulty in proofreading

 

 

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Will my child "outgrow" dyslexia?

The National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) conducted a study that began in Connecticut in the 1970's and followed a group of children from kindergarten through college. The results showed "that of the children who were reading disabled in grade three, (and received no reading remediation)...74% remained disabled in grade nine." Because dyslexia is neurological in origin, it is a condition that an individual will always have; but research has shown that early intervention is the best way to prevent or minimize reading problems.

 

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I just received a diagnosis of dyslexia for my child,...

and I’m feeling very overwhelmed! What is the next step?

Take a deep breath! You are doing exactly what you should be doing - educating yourself on the best way to help your child!  You might begin by downloading You Can Help Your Child from our website.  For more information, you may register on our website for a free Parent Information Session, offered twice a month here at Neuhaus.  Feel free to call us at any point with questions at 713.664.7676.

Keep in mind that individuals with dyslexia often have outstanding strengths in areas other than academics; therefore, your child has endless potential! Right now you need to focus on learning as much as possible about dyslexia, in addition to talking to a Neuhaus Family Support Coordinator about getting your child the proper remediation and tools to become a good reader.

 

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Does my child have learning disorders other than, or in addition to, dyslexia?

The following are characteristics of other learning differences:

 

Difficulty with handwriting (Dysgraphia) 

  • Uncertainty about  right or left-handedness
  • Poor or slow handwriting
  • Messy and unorganized papers
  • Difficulty copying
  • Poor fine motor skills

 

Difficulty with math (Dyscalculia) 

  • Difficulty counting accurately
  • Number reversals (sometimes)
  • Difficulty memorizing math facts
  • Difficulty copying math problems and organizing written work
  • Many calculation errors
  • Difficulty retaining math vocabulary and/or concepts

 

Difficulty with attention (ADD/ADHD) 

  • Inattention
  • Inconsistent attention, based on interest level
  • Distractibility
  • Impulsiveness
  • Over-activity

 

Difficulty with motor skills (Dyspraxia) 

  • Difficulty planning and coordinating body movements
  • Difficulty coordinating muscles to produce sounds

 

Difficulty with organization 

  • Loses papers
  • Poor sense of time
  • Forgets homework
  • Messy desk
  • Overwhelmed by too much input
  • Works slowly
  • Things are "out of sight, out of mind"

 

Other difficulties 

  • Difficulty naming colors, objects, and letters (rapid naming)
  • Memory problems
  • Needs to see or hear concepts many times in order to learn them
  • Distracted by visual stimuli
  • Downward trend in achievement test scores or school performance
  • Inconsistent schoolwork  
  • Teacher says, "If only she would try harder," or "He's lazy."
  • Relatives may have similar problems

 

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Where can I go to get my child tested for dyslexia?

Free testing for learning disabilities and/or dyslexia can be requested at the child's public school. Ask the teacher about the procedure to follow to request testing. The request, directed to the principal, should be in the form of a written letter which states the educational concerns that you are currently seeing in your child. If the district agrees to test, testing must be completed within 60 days after the consent for testing has been signed by the parents. Parents should ask for a full and complete educational battery of tests.

If you prefer to have your child privately tested, please call our office at 713.664.7676; and we can refer you to a reliable testing facility in your area. If you are a parent outside of the greater Houston area, you may want to contact your local branch of the International Dyslexia Association (IDA) for referrals to a testing facility - their website is www.interdys.org.

 

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I suspect my child is having trouble staying focused - can I get him/her tested for attention issues?

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a neurobiological disorder characterized by developmentally inappropriate impulsivity, inattention, and in some cases, hyperactivity (from www.chadd.org).  Finding a qualified medical practitioner, preferably one that specializes in ADD, ADHD, and related disorders, is extremely important. Qualified medical practitioners include developmental pediatricians, pediatric neurologists, clinical psychologists, and psychiatrists. Proper diagnosis is essential in determining the correct treatment plan. 

Some organizations that will be able to help you in better understanding ADHD are Attention Deficit Disorders Association Southern Region (ADDA-SR), www.adda-sr.org, and Children and Adults with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (CHADD), www.chadd.org.  Another website that is helpful is www.ADDvance.com.  There are numerous books that can be found under in the Family Support section of this website. In addition, we highly recommend the magazine, ADDitude.

 

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The public/private school is providing reading help for my child. What are reasonable expectations of the help he/she will receive?

If the public school has tested your child and found that he/she qualifies for services for dyslexia remediation, the curriculum to be used should be structured, sequential, and multisensory, which includes instruction in decoding, comprehension, and fluency. Research has shown that curricula that encompass all of these components are beneficial for all students, but essential for those struggling with reading.  In addition, it is highly recommended that the intervention be provided at a frequency of 4 – 5 times per week, for a minimum of 45 minutes each session.

 

All of these components can be found in Orton-Gillingham-based instruction such as Neuhaus Education Center's Basic Language Skills (BLS). BLS is comprehensive, intensive instruction using multisensory strategies. It provides instruction in phonemic awareness, letter recognition, decoding, spelling, handwriting, comprehension, vocabulary, and fluency. This type of curriculum also meets the guidelines of the Texas Dyslexia Legislation and its requirements for "components of instruction." To see all of the components of instruction and other details in the Texas Dyslexia Handbook, you can download a copy at http://www.region10.org/dyslexia/links/dyslexia-handbook-english/. You can also call and speak to a Texas Education Agency (TEA) dyslexia coordinator at 1.800.232.3030.

 

Private schools are not required to follow the guidelines of the Texas Dyslexia Legislation.  Some private schools are dedicated solely to educating students with learning differences, but are still not required to follow state dyslexia legislation.  The remaining private schools may provide accommodations and/or remediation for students with learning differences, but are not required to do so. 

 

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Section 504 - What does it mean?

Section 504 is a sub-section of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and part of the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act of 2008. It is an unfunded law that simply states that "a person cannot be discriminated against for a disability that substantially affects a major life activity, such as walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, reading, thinking, working, caring for oneself, and performing manual tasks." This law addresses accommodations and modifications, not remediation.  In Texas, specific dyslexia legislation may be implemented under Section 504.  For more information, refer to the Texas Dyslexia Handbook, revised 2007, updated 2010.

It does not require that a child need special education to qualify for Section 504. Example: Children with a learning disability, who no longer meet Special Education (IDEA) eligibility criteria, may still be eligible for accommodations under Section 504. A few examples of accommodations may include preferential seating in the classroom, extended time on tests, and peer note-takers.

 

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What resources are available to me, a Spanish speaking parent? Qué recursos están disponibles para padres que hablan español?

Here is a link to some basic facts about dyslexia in Spanish: Aquí está un acomplamiento a algunos hechos basicos sobre dislexia.

Dyslexia Basics/Basicos de Dislexia: http://www.colorincolorado.org/familias/preguntas/aprender_leer/

The Texas Dyslexia Handbook/Manual Sobre la Dislexia: http://www.region10.org/Dyslexia/documents/SpanishDyslexiaHandbookUpdated2010.pdf.

Se puede llamar 1-800-232-3030 y hablar con un coordinador de la dyselxia de Agencia de Educacion de Texas (TEA).

Otro acomplamientos sobre dislexia:

www.ldonline.org

www.colorincolorado.org

www.getreadytoread.org

 

 

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What is a Certified Academic Language Therapist (CALT)?

A CALT is a person that has graduated from Level 2 of Neuhaus Education Center's Preparation Programs or another accredited, multisensory reading intervention program and has passed the national registration examination to qualify for certification by the Alliance for Accreditation and Certification.  As of December, 2012, CALTs may apply for licensure by the state of Texas. Licensure will be granted to those individuals who are CALTs with a Master’s degree.

 

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What does it mean to be "Neuhaus-trained"?

Neuhaus-trained refers to individuals who have either completed or are actively enrolled in one of Neuhaus Education Center's specialist Preparation Programs.  Most work with students in the school setting, but a few of them work with private students. The programs qualify an individual to teach Basic Language Skills and/or Developing Metacognitive Skills to students who need it.  It is to these experts that referrals are made for students who need to be taught literacy skills.

 

Neuhaus offers a variety of classes to classroom teachers who want to develop or improve their skills in teaching reading, writing, and spelling. Some teachers take one 3-hour class and others complete many classes, but do not enroll in one of the Preparation Programs. These teachers have gained knowledge about certain aspects of Neuhaus curricula, but are notNeuhaus-trained” dyslexia therapists or CALTs.

 

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What is Basic Language Skills (BLS)?

Basic Language Skills is an intensive, therapeutic curriculum that meets the guidelines of the Texas Dyslexia Law and is effective for students with dyslexia and other related disorders. This research-based curriculum shares similar philosophies and characteristics with other Orton-Gillingham-based curricula and provides instruction in phonemic awareness, letter recognition, decoding, spelling, fluency, comprehension, handwriting, vocabulary, and oral and written expression. It is designed to be taught by a dyslexia specialist 4 or 5 days a week for 50 - 60 minutes a day.

 

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How do I know if Basic Language Skills is appropriate for my child?

After your child has been tested by a professional for learning difficulties, the evaluator will include recommendations in his/her report. Basic Language Skills (BLS) would be appropriate if the recommendations included such things as:

  • working on decoding skills;
  • using an Orton-Gillingham-based curriculum;
  • learning Alphabetic Phonics;
  • using a multisensory curriculum or strategies;
  • learning with a strong phonetic approach to reading, etc.  

BLS is appropriate because it integrates all the above with structured, sequential instruction in decoding, handwriting, spelling, fluency, reading comprehension, written expression, and vocabulary.

 

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How can I find a private school for my child?

The search for a private school is something that is as individualized and unique as your child! You need to find the school that is the best fit for your child and your family. A resource for the Houston area is www.houstonprivateschools.org. There is a section on the left-hand side of the home page where you can narrow down your search based on specific criteria, such as “Schools with Special Programs” or “Schools with Religious Affiliations.”  Outside the Houston area, try to narrow your search by using the National Association of Independent Schools website - www.nais.org.  In addition, the Family Support Office can refer you to individuals who do private educational counseling.

 

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My child is going off to college soon - what are some resources to help him/her succeed?

For people living in the Houston area, we strongly urge you to attend one of our College Share sessions. We hold one in the fall and one in the spring.  They are designed to provide helpful information to college-bound high school students with learning differences, to their parents, and to professionals in the field of education.  Speakers are invited to present such topics as choosing a college, legal rights, and alternatives to pursuing a Bachelor’s degree.

Also, in January of each year, we hold a College Panel for students with learning differences. College students with learning differences and/or ADHD share tips and strategies for success in college before an audience of college-bound high school students and their parents.

 
Read the free online book, Tips for College Success, by Nigel the Fox, presented by Amir Bar and CAST.
 
You may borrow DVDs of past College Share/College Panel sessions from Neuhaus’s Collie Library.