Information on Interventions and 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 the 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.
Knowledge and Practice Standards for Teachers of Reading
The International Dyslexia Association is pleased to announce a major new document entitled Knowledge and Practice Standards for Teachers of Reading. The document will serve as our guide in endorsing programs that prepare teachers of reading and/or programs that specialize in preparing teachers to work with students who have reading difficulties and disabilities. One of IDA’s long term goals is to inform the public regarding the knowledge base required for skilled reading instruction. Another is to define the specific teaching capabilities that should characterize any person responsible for teaching students with dyslexia and related reading difficulties, and to identify programs that meet the standards. In addition a website dedicated specifically to promotion of these standards will be launched later this Summer. We invite you to review the document and we hope that you will partner with us in promoting high standards for comprehensive and rigorous training of teachers.
Click here to view the Knowledge and Practice Standards for Teachers of Reading
The American Academy of Pediatrics Council on Children with Disabilities
The American Academy of Pediatrics: Section on Ophthalmology and Council on Children with Disabilities, American Academy of Ophthalmology, American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus, and American Association of Certified Orthoptists published a Joint Policy Statement in August, 2009:
Learning disabilities, including reading disabilities, are commonly diagnosed in children. Their etiologies are multifactorial, reflecting genetic influences and dysfunction of brain systems. Learning disabilities are complex problems that require complex solutions. Early recognition and referral to qualified educational professionals for evidence-based evaluations and treatments seem necessary to achieve the best possible outcome. Most experts believe that dyslexia is a language-based disorder. Vision problems can interfere with the process of learning; however, vision problems are not the cause of primary dyslexia or learning disabilities. Scientific evidence does not support the efficacy of eye exercises, behavioral vision therapy, or special tinted filters or lenses for improving the long-term educational performance in these complex pediatric neurocognitive conditions. Diagnostic and treatment approaches that lack scientific evidence of efficacy, including eye exercises, behavioral vision therapy, or special tinted filters or lenses, are not endorsed and should not be recommended.
Download a pdf of the AAP Joint Policy Statement (14pp)
Link to the AAP website
The Institute for Education Sciences, What Works Clearinghouse (WWC)
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.
International Dyslexia Association (IDA) Multisensory Matrix
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.