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  • Writer's pictureKathy Cousineau

Empowering Dyslexic Students with Wilson Reading: a Research-based Systematic Multisensory Program

Updated: Apr 21

Research-based systematic multisensory reading instruction
Empowering Dyslexic Students with Wilson Reading

As a parent, you are deeply invested in your child's well-being and success. If you have a dyslexic child, you may have witnessed their struggles with reading, and it's natural to feel concerned. In this parent's guide, we'll unlock the transformative power of evidence-based reading instruction, with a focus on the renowned Wilson Reading Method. Let's dive into real-life stories that show how this approach changes the reading game for dyslexic students and how you, as a parent, can play a pivotal role in this journey.

Our goal is to empower parents of dyslexic children with the knowledge and inspiration to improve their child's reading experience using a research-based, systematic, and multisensory structured language program. By the end of this guide, you'll not only understand the principles behind these strategies but also gain confidence in helping your child become a successful reader.

Sarah's Journey to Reading Confidence

Let's begin by sharing a story that illustrates the potential of research-based, systematic, and multisensory structured language reading instruction for parents like you. Meet Sarah, a bright dyslexic student who used to dread reading. She often told herself, "I'm not good at this; reading is too hard." As her parent, you shared her frustration, witnessing her struggle. But you knew you had to find a solution.

You decided to explore research-based reading instruction methods driven by a deep desire to see your daughter thrive academically and emotionally. However, you're not alone in this journey; parents of dyslexic children often face numerous challenges. Let's take a closer look at the problems parents like you experience and the inner thoughts that plague their minds.

Table of Contents


- Understanding the Challenges Faced by Parents of Dyslexic Children

- The Transformative Power of Evidence-Based Reading Instruction

Step 1: Understanding Research-Based, Systematic, and Multisensory Structured Language Reading Instruction

- Principles of Effective Reading Instruction

- How to Evaluate Reading Programs for Your Dyslexic Child

Step 2: Wilson Reading Method – A Game Changer

- Exploring the Wilson Reading System

- Core Components of the Wilson Reading System

- Real-Life Impact Stories: Sarah, Tina, and Jake

Step 3: Empowering Parents as Educators

- The Vital Role Parents Play in Their Child's Reading Journey

- Empowering Parents with Knowledge and Advocacy

- Supporting Your Child's Emotional Well-Being

Conclusion: Unlocking the Potential

- The Journey to Success for Dyslexic Children

- Building Success Stories Together

- Taking the First Step Towards Your Child's Reading Success

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- Your Role as a Parent in Your Child's Reading Success

You as a parent of a child with dyslexia, face a multitude of challenges:

1. Witnessing your child's reading struggle: It's heart-wrenching to see your child battle with words and sentences, especially when other kids seem to read effortlessly.

2. Concerns about limited academic progress: You worry that your child's reading difficulties are hindering their academic development and future opportunities.

3. Your child's emotional distress: Witnessing your child's frustration and sadness can be heartbreaking, and you wish you could ease their pain.

4. Navigating the complex education process: Understanding the intricacies of special education can be overwhelming, with so many acronyms and jargon to decipher.

5. Identifying effective dyslexia resources: Finding the right resources to support your child can be like searching for a needle in a haystack, leaving you feeling lost.

6. Financial strain from interventions: The cost of interventions and specialized support can add stress to parents already dealing with various challenges.

7. Isolation without support: Many parents feel alone in their journey, lacking the necessary support and guidance from others who understand their struggles.

8. Advocating for your child's needs: Advocating for a dyslexic child can be an uphill battle, and parents like you may not know where to start.

9. Balancing work, family, and education: The juggling act of managing work, family, and education can take a toll on your well-being and make you feel stretched thin.

10. Worries about your child's academic success: The fear that your child may not succeed academically can be an ever-present concern.

As a parent, you may often tell yourself:

- "I'm failing as a parent; I can't help my child read."

- "My child's future is at risk because of their reading struggles."

- "I'm alone in this; no one understands our journey."

- "I can't afford the right interventions for my child."

- "I can't be both an effective parent and teacher for my child."

- "My child will never catch up in school."

If these problems aren't addressed, it can lead to:

- A continued struggle with reading for your child.

- Decreased self-esteem and confidence, affecting their overall well-being.

- Limited academic progress, which could impact future opportunities.

- Emotional distress for both your child and yourself.

- Strained family relationships as the stress of dealing with dyslexia takes its toll.

- A feeling of isolation and lack of support, which can exacerbate feelings of helplessness.

- Financial difficulties due to unoptimized interventions, adding to the stress.

- Difficulty in advocating for your child's needs within the education system.

- Balancing work, family, and education becoming overwhelming, affecting your own health and happiness.

- Prolonged worries about your child's academic success, creating a cloud of uncertainty.

Parents might hold false beliefs, such as:

- "Dyslexia can't be improved, and my child will always struggle."

- "I can't make a difference in my child's reading journey; it's too complex."

- "I can't understand complex educational methods; it's beyond my expertise."

- "There's no hope for my child's self-esteem; dyslexia defines them."

The stories we're about to share will illustrate that:

- Dyslexia can be managed and improved; it's not an insurmountable obstacle.

- Parents play a pivotal role in their child's reading success, and your involvement can be transformative.

- Evidence-based methods like the Wilson Reading System can make a significant difference in your child's journey.

- Hope and self-esteem can be restored, and your child can embrace their unique strengths.

Just know you are not alone!!

Step 1: Understanding Research-Based, Systematic, and Multisensory Structured Language Reading Instruction

Now that you're equipped with an understanding of the challenges and beliefs that may be holding you back, it's time to explore research-based, systematic, and multisensory structured language reading instruction. This is the first step in your journey to support your dyslexic child effectively.

Research-based, systematic, and multisensory structured language reading instruction is a scientifically validated approach to teaching reading. It's grounded in research and aims to provide the most effective methods for teaching children how to read. These methods are not random strategies; they are carefully designed and tested to ensure they work.

Principles of Research-Based, Systematic, and Multisensory Structured Language Reading Instruction:

1. Structured and Systematic: Research-based, systematic, and multisensory structured language reading instruction programs are organized in a structured and systematic way. This means they follow a well-defined sequence of teaching, gradually building upon previously learned skills. This structured approach is beneficial for dyslexic students who thrive on consistency and predictability.

2. Multi-sensory Approach: These programs often employ multi-sensory techniques, engaging multiple senses to enhance learning. Dyslexic children often have different learning styles, and a multi-sensory approach caters to these diverse needs.

3. Phonemic Awareness: Phonemic awareness is the ability to hear, identify, and manipulate individual sounds in words. Research-based, systematic, and multisensory structured language programs emphasize phonemic awareness, as it's a fundamental skill for reading. This focus on sounds and their relationship to letters is particularly helpful for dyslexic children.

4. Individualized Instruction: Effective reading instruction is tailored to the needs of the child. It recognizes that each child is unique and may progress at different rates. Individualization is crucial for addressing the specific challenges dyslexic children face.

5. Regular Assessment: Research-based, systematic, and multisensory structured language programs use regular assessments to monitor a child's progress and adjust instruction accordingly. This ensures that the child is making meaningful gains. Assessment helps you, as a parent, and the educators understand what's working and what needs adjustment.

Understanding these principles allows you to evaluate reading programs and methods with a critical eye. As a parent, you can choose programs that align with these principles, increasing the likelihood of success for your dyslexic child.

Step 2: Wilson Reading Method – A Game Changer

Now that you have a solid grasp of research-based, systematic, and multisensory structured language reading instruction, it's time to explore one of the most transformative methods - the Wilson Reading System. Named after its creator, Barbara Wilson, this method has changed the lives of dyslexic students, offering hope and a clear path to reading success.

The Wilson Reading System is a structured literacy program that specifically targets students with dyslexia. It is designed to be a comprehensive program, teaching everything from phonemic awareness to advanced word analysis. The Wilson program aligns with the principles of evidence-based reading instruction, making it a powerful tool for parents and educators.

The Core Components of the Wilson Reading System:

1. Phonemic Awareness: The program starts by developing a strong foundation in phonemic awareness. Students learn to recognize and manipulate sounds in words. For dyslexic children who may struggle with phonemic awareness, this is a crucial first step.

2. Phonics: Wilson Reading introduces phonics systematically, teaching students to connect sounds to letters and decode words. This methodical approach ensures that the child fully grasps the alphabetic principle.

3. Sight Words: It incorporates sight words that are commonly used in the English language, ensuring that students can read high-frequency words with ease. This helps dyslexic children overcome their challenges with sight word recognition.

4. Spelling: Spelling is integrated into the program, reinforcing the connection between sounds and letters. For many dyslexic students, spelling can be a real challenge, and Wilson Reading addresses this.

5. Fluency: Students practice reading fluently to build confidence and speed in their reading. This component is essential for your child's self-esteem and reading enjoyment.

6. Comprehension: The program also focuses on comprehension skills, ensuring that students not only read words but also understand what they read. This is a vital aspect of reading that often poses difficulties for dyslexic children.

7. Vocabulary: Vocabulary development is an integral part of the Wilson Reading System, expanding a student's word knowledge. A robust vocabulary contributes to reading comprehension and overall language development.

The Impact of Wilson Reading: Real-Life Stories

Let's revisit Sarah's journey. After you introduced her to the Wilson Reading System, her confidence began to soar. The structured and systematic approach helped her make steady progress, and she no longer saw reading as an insurmountable challenge. You, as a parent, played a crucial role in this transformation.

Sarah's story is not unique. The Wilson Reading System has transformed the reading experiences of countless dyslexic students. But don't just take our word for it; let's explore more real-life success stories:

Tina's Triumph:

Tina, a dyslexic student who was struggling with reading, began using the Wilson Reading System. Her parents were initially skeptical, having tried various methods with little success. However, within a few months, Tina's reading improved significantly. Her mother tearfully shared, "For the first time, Tina is excited about books. She used to dread reading, but now, it's a joy."

Jake's Journey:

Jake's parents were concerned about his limited academic progress in reading. They found him an online certified Wilson Dyslexia Practitioner to get him started with the Wilson Reading program. Jake's teacher noticed the change - he went from not wanting to try, to reading with hesitation, to reading confidently. Jake's father proudly remarked, "The Wilson Reading System has given my son the building blocks necessary to be a strong, lifelong reader."

These stories are just a glimpse of the impact that the Wilson Reading System can have on dyslexic students. By providing a structured, multi-sensory, and individualized approach, it equips them with the tools they need to succeed in reading. As a parent, you have the power to advocate for and introduce your child to these transformative methods.

Step 3: Empowering Parents as Educators

While the Wilson Reading System is a powerful tool, it's not the only factor in a dyslexic child's success. Parents like you play a pivotal role in their child's journey to becoming a confident and proficient reader.

How Parents Can Empower Their Dyslexic Children:

1. Educate Yourself: As a parent, it's crucial to educate yourself about dyslexia and evidence-based reading instruction. Understanding your child's condition and the methods available is the first step.

2. Advocate for Your Child: Be a strong advocate for your child's needs within the education system. This includes attending Individualized Education Program (IEP) meetings and ensuring that your child receives the support they require.

3. Be Patient and Supportive: Dyslexic children may face challenges along the way. Be patient and supportive, acknowledging their efforts and progress. Your emotional support is invaluable.

4. Celebrate Small Wins: Reading progress may be slow, but it's important to celebrate every small win. Recognize the effort your child is putting into their reading journey, no matter how small the step.

5. Create a Reading Nook: Foster a love for reading by creating a reading nook in your home. Surround your child with books, a comfy places to sit, and a relaxing environment. By doing this you will encourage them to read and develop a love of reading (adding in stuffed animals to read to will help them practice reading to someone out loud without the stress of actually doing it).

6. Stay Engaged: Stay engaged in your child's reading development. Regularly communicate with their teachers and reading specialists to track their progress. Being involved shows your child that you're committed to their success.

7. Build Self-Esteem: Dyslexic children may struggle with self-esteem. Encourage them and help them understand that dyslexia doesn't define their intelligence or potential. Your words and actions can boost their self-esteem.

By actively participating in your child's education and providing emotional support, you can contribute significantly to their reading success. The partnership between parents and educators is a powerful one, and it's essential for helping dyslexic children thrive.

Conclusion: Unlocking the Potential

As a parent, your journey with a dyslexic child may be challenging, but it's also filled with opportunities for growth and transformation. Evidence-based reading instruction, like the Wilson Reading System, offers hope and a path to success. You have the ability to unlock your child's potential.

By understanding the principles of research-based, systematic, and multisensory structured language reading instruction, exploring programs like Wilson Reading, and actively engaging in your child's education, you can unlock their potential. Dyslexia is not a roadblock; it's a unique path to success, and you're guiding the way.

Let's Build Success Stories Together

Are you ready to embark on this transformative journey with your child? Reach out to us for guidance, support, and personalized solutions tailored to your unique situation. Let's build success stories together.

In the world of research-based, systematic, and multisensory structured language reading instruction, you, as a parent, hold the key to your child's success. With the right tools and support, your dyslexic child can become a confident and enthusiastic reader. Don't wait; start unlocking their potential today!


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