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This program is designed to assist primary students who are challenged by the acquisition of reading skills or older students with continued reading difficulties. The program helps students increase their decoding skills and phonological awareness. Lack of phonemic awareness is the most powerful determinant of the likelihood of failure to read (Adams, 1990).
Students with reading difficulty often have lower levels of phonological and phonemic awareness than their classmates. When students express frustration or difficulty with reading, or avoid the task, it is often a sign of a deficit in lower-level reading skills.
As many as 31 percent of students who enter kindergarten with ADHD will have difficulty learning to read. Many students with learning disabilities have deficiencies in their ability to process phonological information. Thus, they do not readily learn how to relate letters of the alphabet to the sounds of language (Lyon, 1995). Some 80–90 percent of students with learning disabilities are reported to exhibit significant difficulty with reading (Kavale and Reese, 1992; Lerner, 1989; Lyon et al., 2001). High school students with diagnosed learning disabilities have lower literacy levels than students without disabilities (National Assessment of Educational Progress, 2010). A significant number of college students with learning disabilities demonstrate reading underachievement as a result of their disabilities, influencing both their school and work outcomes (Bruck, 1992; Gregg, 2009; Gregg et al., 2002; Shaywitz et al., 2003).
Students from culturally diverse backgrounds may have particular difficulties with phonological awareness. Exposure to language at home, reading at an early age, and dialect, all affect the ability of students to understand the phonological distinctions on which the English language is built.
Neurocognitive research shows that the plasticity (change) of the brain in response to interventions for struggling readers extends into young adulthood. Phonological awareness instruction and intervention can improve the phonological awareness and word decoding skills of older students.
Initial problems in reading usually do not disappear without intensive intervention and individualized tutoring, without which the deficit will remain. The WISE READING® Remediation Program, based on the doctoral research approach of Nancy Wise, delivers phonological and phonemic awareness for struggling readers.
Students work with trained WISE READING® Remediation instructors in a 60-minute, one-to-one format. The program is delivered over six consecutive weeks. To ensure adherence to the science of the program, students meet with their instructor three times per week. Prior to the commencement of the program, and at the end of the 18 hours, students will undergo a reading assessment aimed at identifying gaps in their pre-reading skills and providing the instructor, student, and family with a record of student improvement.