Through no fault of their own, a substantial number of well intentioned children — including very bright ones — experience significant difficulty in learning to read. This frustrating and persistent problem in learning to read is called DYSLEXIA.
Dyslexia is a complex issue that has its roots in the brain systems that allow us to understand and express language. Dyslexia occurs in roughly 20% of the population among those of average to superior intelligence. It frequently runs in families, so adult readers may recognize themselves, their parents and/or their siblings in the children they hope identify and help remediate. Studies of families with Dyslexia suggest that Dyslexia is strongly heritable. (Finucci et al, 1984; Vulgar et al, 1985; Grigorenko, 2001)
Based on clear research, early intervention is critical in educating children with dyslexia.
Students with language-based learning differences require well-organized, focused and consistent, multisensory phonics instruction. Our instruction is delivered by well trained teachers, all Level I and/or Level II Wilson® certified. Students’ reading issues are with them in every subject all day, every day, so all of our teachers, across the board, are language specialists. Their reading issues can be addressed in all subjects such as math, music, science, social studies and art.
ADHD, like dyslexia, is a neuro-developmental disorder. As such, ADHD can also significantly compromise the student’s academic progress in the classroom.
The DSM definition of ADHD describes the disorder as: “showing a persistent pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity-impulsivity that interferes with functioning or development.” There are three common subtypes of ADHD: the predominantly hyperactive-impulsive type, the predominantly inattentive type, and the combined type.
Dr. Phillip Shaw, in 2007, identified that children with ADHD typically have a three year delay in brain maturation. This pattern of brain development can compromise the students’ executive skills by as much as 30% when compared to peers of the same age (Barkley, 2012). Executive Function skills, commonly described as the “brain’s CEO”, are critical to student’s success in the classroom. A student with ADHD can display challenges with: organization, self-regulation, awareness of the passage of time, and emotional control.
Cambridge teachers have received extensive training in how to support student’s executive function skills so that they can experience greater success in the classroom. Strategies from Peg Dawson, Sarah Ward, George McCloskey and Russell Barkely have been implemented in all curriculum areas and across all grade levels. Additionally, our Speech and Language Pathologists are trained experts in the treatment of executive functioning. They support the teacher’s work in the classroom and can work with the student in therapy for more intensive remediation.