The research is clear on how to teach reading. This isn’t fake news or alternative facts. Brain scans and comprehensive studies illustrate, without a doubt, how all children, not just some children, learn best through a systematic, explicit, phonetic approach. Yet, our schools have not changed very much in response to these well-documented results. Sure, school districts have incorporated phonics into a “balanced” literacy curriculum; Wilson Fundations sound cards and posters are prominently displayed in many schools, and children have even memorized the key phrases, such as “A-apple-/a/, E-Ed-/e/, U-up-/u/ and so on. But can they apply such rudimentary phonics training to reading, spelling, and writing if most of the balance consists of using pictures and contextual clues to guess at words? Why is the research ignored, or, at best, given a nod when the results all suggest that there is an effective way to help ALL children? In my book, Reading Intervention Behind School Walls: Why Your Child Continues to Struggle, the answers to these questions are explored.
Just like in the medical field, certain treatments are pushed while others are not promoted. I recently listened to an oncologist being interviewed regarding chemotherapy. He emphatically stated that “chemo” does not work 97% of the time, yet patients are afraid not to try chemo. The oncologist asserted that such fear is regularly instilled by doctors who stand to make huge profits prescribing such drugs. He claimed that many patients can and do develop other illnesses as a result of chemotherapy, and the benefits are not long-lasting. Now, I am not a doctor, so I cannot speak to this, but his argument was quite convincing based on what I have seen occur with the Food and Drug Administration’s recommendations. The FDA has repeatedly endorsed certain drugs while not allowing others with proven track records into the country.
Look at the recent news about the price of Epi-Pens, something needed by many, including my daughter, and you will see that certain medications become more expensive and difficult to purchase because of regulations or pure greed. While pharmaceutical companies should be allowed to recoup their research and development costs, the impact on the general public and insurance rates is devastating. Look at the diets that are promoted in our society. Even though there is much evidence showing that animal proteins can cause a host of diseases, whole food, plant-based diets are not promoted as much as “balanced” diets. The “China Study,” an expose on the dangers of the American diet, reveals that excessive protein consumption causes elevated blood cholesterol levels and hardening of arteries. Yet we still consume lots of meat and dairy, even though the overwhelming evidence shows that only a small amount of protein is needed. Could it be that we are being fed information through the lenses of the meat and dairy industries?
We need to get educated and realize that we have to advocate for ourselves in every field. We can’t blindly accept what we are told. We need to do our own research. In Reading Intervention Behind School Walls: Why Your Child Continues to Struggle, I hope to impart some healthy skepticism about the manner in which we educate our children based on my years of being in a system that does not serve many of our children well.
Faith Borkowsky, Owner and Lead Educational Consultant of High Five Literacy and Academic Coaching, is a Certified Wilson Dyslexia Practitioner, is Orton-Gillingham trained, and has extensive training and experience in a number of other research-based, peer-reviewed programs that have produced positive gains for students with dyslexia, auditory processing disorder, ADD/ADHD, and a host of learning difficulties.
High Five Literacy and Academic Coaching is located in Plainview, Long Island. Read about what we can offer you and your child: http://highfiveliteracy.com.
*If you found this post informative or interesting, please follow my blog by entering your email in the space provided, or LIKE us on Facebook @highfiveliteracy