Special education teachers are developing strategies for dyslexia through training in the Orton-Gillingham approach to reading.
Norwalk special education teachers received 30 hours of training from Literacy How of North Haven. They are earning certifications with the International Dyslexia Association as dyslexia practitioners in the Orton-Gillingham method, which addresses methods of reading for people who have dyslexia.
“There is so much confusion around what is best for children with dyslexia,” said Jule McCombes-Tolis, director of Fairfield University’s Reading and Language Development program.
Norwalk public schools have joined McCombes-Tollis in battling to cut out the various approaches that do not improve reading fluency or comprehension.
“The schools superintendent here mentioned a real need to train teachers in how to serve children with dyslexia,” McCombes-Tolis said of Superintendent Steven Adamowski. “I said, ‘Let’s write a grant.’ ” They secured an $80,000 grant from the Noble Charitable Trust to hire Literacy How and create a Dyslexia Intervention Clinic over the summer.
Norwalk expects that their efforts to create a dedicated clinic for students with dyslexia will become a state model.