What is dyslexia?

The International Dyslexia Association defines dyslexia as “Dyslexia is a specific learning disability that is neurobiological in origin. It is characterized by difficulties with accurate and/or fluent word recognition and by poor spelling and decoding abilities. These difficulties typically result from a deficit in the phonological component of language that is often unexpected in relation to other cognitive abilities and the provision of effective classroom instruction. Secondary consequences may include problems in reading comprehension and reduced reading experience that can impede the growth of vocabulary and background knowledge.” Dyslexia is not related to intelligence. In fact, many people with dyslexia have strengths in areas such as creativity, problem-solving and 3D construction. There are many successful entrepreneurs and role models who are openly proud of the fact they have dyslexia.  Dyslexia impacts up to 1 in 10 individuals. This ratio could even be higher when it is considered on a continuum from mild to severe.

What are the characteristics of someone with dyslexia?

What are the characteristics of someone with dyslexia?

Whilst the main characteristic of dyslexia is difficulty with decoding words and spelling words there are a lot of other characteristics that may or may not be present. As the way our brain functions is so complex, no one person presents with the exact characteristics. Some other areas of difficulty include:- 

Preschool/Kindergarten

  • Can have delays in speaking
  • Can have difficulties with pronunciation
  • Is less sensitive to rhyme
  • Has trouble recognizing letters and matching them to sounds
  • Can have difficulty with word retrieval

Primary School

  • Poor phonological Awareness Skills
  • Difficulty associating letters with sounds
  • Finds learning to read a challenge
  • Can have word retrieval difficulties- slip of the tongue
  • Can have difficulty enunciating  words correctly
  • Spoken vocabulary can be smaller than listening vocabulary
  • Word reading becomes accurate but slow and requires great effort
  • Poor performance on rote tasks- times tables

High School

  • Same as above
  • Will avoid oral reading
  • Extreme fatigue from reading
  • Slow reader
  • Has a difficulty with strange or unique words
  • Often has a preference for books with facts figures etc
  • Spelling remains disastrous
  • Will sacrifice social life for studying or will mask difficulties by acting out
  • Reads at a lower academic level than how she speaks
  • Often skips over small words when reading aloud
    Doesn’t read at the expected grade level
  • Strongly prefers multiple-choice questions over fill-in-the-blank or short answer.

A child with a dyslexic profile will also often display specific strengths. These include:

Primary School

  • Curiosity
  • Imagination
  • Ability to work things out- thinking skills
  • Good understanding of new concepts
  • Large vocabulary
  • Excellent comprehension when stories are read or told to them
  • Enjoyment in solving puzzles
  • A talent at building models

High School

  • Improvement when given extra time
  • Writing content is excellent if the spelling is not considered
  • Excellence in a highly specialised area. E.g. woodwork, music, sport, computers, coding
  • Empathy
  • Big picture thinking/ outside the box
  • High-level conceptualisation

If you suspect you or your child has dyslexia, the following links have checklists for you to consider. https://dyslexiaassociation.org.au/could-it-be-dyslexia/ 

https://dyslexiaida.org/dyslexia-test/

What is considered the best approach to help a child with a dyslexic profile?


The International Dyslexia Association considers Structured Literacy to be the gold standard for teaching those with language-based difficulties including those with a dyslexic profile and in fact all students. This is because it prepares students to decode words in an explicit and systematic manner. The Multisensory Structured Language Orton-Gillingham approach is a structured literacy approach that is endorsed by the IDA and ADA. This is because it is language-based, multisensory, structured, sequential, cumulative, cognitive, and flexible. All our therapists are certified by The Australia Dyslexia Association in this approach.

For further information look at the following links.

https://dyslexiaida.org/effective-reading-instruction/ 

https://dyslexiaassociation.org.au/ 

https://www.ortonacademy.org/resources/what-is-the-orton-gillingham-approach/

Can I talk to someone before booking in my child to gain more information?

We are more than happy to answer any questions you might have about our service and how we can help you. Send us a message through our website and we will ring you back or please give us a call.

Does my child need a diagnosis to receive therapy with your service?

Not at all. A full Psychological Assessment is not needed to determine that a student may have a profile consistent with dyslexia. If your child is struggling with their reading, spelling or writing we are able to help. Your child will receive the same high standard therapy with or without a diagnosis. The comprehensive assessment that we conduct before we commence therapy provides us with a learning profile that enables us to develop a plan for intervention. Therapy can then be individualised to your child’s needs.

Does my child need an assessment before commencing therapy?

Yes. Triple Thread Learning is not a tutoring service. We offer specialist intervention based on the diagnostic needs of your child. The results of the assessments conducted are written up in a comprehensive report with recommendations for therapy and school.

What sets you apart from other services?

Our instruction is based on the Orton Gillingham approach, which is considered the gold standard intervention for students who present with a dyslexic profile or other language learning differences. It reflects best practice in the science of reading. All lessons are based on the guiding principles of this approach. 

  • Personalised - This is not a set program so each lesson is designed and paced to meet the individual needs of the student.  
  • Diagnostic - All information gained throughout a lesson is used to design further learning experiences.
  • Direct Instruction - Instruction is explicit. A student approaches the learning experience understanding what is to be learned, why it is to be learned, and how it is to be learned.
  • Systematic, Structured and Sequential - The teacher presents information in an ordered way that moves from the simple, well-learned material to that which is more complex. It begins by using systematic phonics in the initial stages of reading development stressing the alphabetic principle and sound/symbol relationships from individual sounds to written words that graphically represent speech sounds. Once a student has mastered the sound/symbol relationship, teaching moves onto syllabic, morphemic, syntactic, and grammatical structures of language and our writing system. 
  • Multisensory - This component involves the use of visual, auditory, and kinesthetic-tactile pathways simultaneously to enhance memory and learning of written language.
  • Cognitive and Emotionally Sound - Teaching is directed toward providing the experience of success. With success comes increased self-confidence and motivation. Confidence is gained as they gain in their ability to apply new knowledge.

How long will my child need therapy?

Dyslexia occurs along a continuum and the impacts vary from person to person. The length of intervention varies according to a number of factors. This may include the severity of dyslexia, the age of the person, how well a child responds to the intervention, the follow-up support of all persons involved with your child including home, school and our service. Dyslexia is lifelong and will not be ‘fixed’ quickly. Whilst there is no cure for dyslexia and it can be hard for a person with dyslexia to learn to read, they can nearly always learn to read and cope with the correct instruction but it may take time.

Will my child need to do ‘homework’ between sessions?

It is not compulsory to do follow up work but we strongly encourage it. The more practice your child does the more likely that they will make faster progress. Where possible, we make the home follow up in the form of games and hands-on activities so it is not a stressful experience for all.

Will I get updates of my child’s progress?

Time is set aside at the end of each session to either talk to you in person if you are present at the therapy session or an e-mail will be sent to you. We will briefly outline what the focus of the lesson was and follow up support or activities that can be completed between sessions. 

After 20 sessions, you will receive a formal review report.

Will you liaise with my child’s school?

We are very keen to cooperate with schools. We believe that the student has a greater chance of success if a transdisciplinary approach is used. With your permission, we will share reports with the school and any other allied professionals working with your child. If we are providing therapy at your child's school, we will endeavour to have regular contact with the class teacher.

We are also able to provide professional learning and or consultancy services to a school should they request it.

Where will therapy take place?

Our preference is to provide therapy at your child’s school during the school day. There are a number of advantages to this. We find that students with a dyslexic profile are exhausted once they hit home time. Finding a mutually agreeable time during the school day enables a more productive session. It also often enables us to build a relationship with the school learning support team and classroom which is beneficial for the child. 

If the therapy is not able to take place at the child’s school we are able to travel to your home or an agreed location.

What ages do you work with?

We are experienced in working with children from four years of age to adulthood. 

Do you have specialised consults for homeschoolers?

Yes, we are able to provide therapy for homeschoolers as we do mainstreamed students. We can also provide you with a further consult to support your lesson planning for reading and spelling.  This service will come at an additional cost. We strongly recommend you sit in on the therapy session during such instances so you develop an awareness of the skills being taught and the structure of the lesson.