The child development pros at PBS Parents note that roughly 17 percent of the population has the reading disorder dyslexia. Although students with this disorder struggle with literacy-oriented tasks, they can still learn to read and succeed in scholastic obligations. Children with a definitive diagnosis of dyslexia can benefit from a specialty school program that caters to their needs and learning style.
Children who need specialized treatment for dyslexia can find the help that they need in a residential program. A residential, or boarding, school offers students who are struggling with this learning disability the chance to work closely with faculty members, receive treatment that goes beyond the typical school day and prepare for a post-secondary education along with peers who face similar challenges. For example, the Kildonan School in Amenia, New York, is a coed boarding school that offers specialized language skills tutoring and nightly supervised study sessions for students in elementary through high school. Likewise, the Greenwood School in Putney, Vermont, features a full boarding option for students with dyslexia. This all-boys residential school offers individualized programs for students in sixth through twelfth grade.
Day Schools for Children
If a residential program isn't an option, a day school that specializes in treating children with dyslexia is a close-to-home alternative. Instead of getting thrown into a traditional classroom or having to "keep up" with the other students, children with dyslexia can get an individualized education from teachers who understand the intricacies of this disorder at a specialized school. The Center School in Philadelphia offers day-time educational programs for students in elementary and middle school as well as after-school tutoring. The Landmark School in Manchester, Massachusetts, also serves elementary and middle school children on a school-day basis. Children with dyslexia can benefit from small class sizes and one-on-one language arts tutoring, as well as Landmark's more traditional classes in science, math and social studies.
Specifically for High Schoolers
Academic success during the teen years is essential for the student's progression from high school into college or another post-secondary education. Dyslexic teens who aren't able to keep up with the pace of a traditional high school may benefit from a speciality program that focuses on helping children with learning disorders. Institutions such as the Gow School in South Wales, New York, help dyslexic teens prepare for college while completing high school and earning a diploma. The Prentice School in Santa Ana, California, features individualized instruction for students in ninth through twelfth grade as well as the choice of a college prep or vocational track.
Just because traditional schools are out for summer break doesn't mean that specialized programs for dyslexic students are on vacation. Some schools for children with dyslexia and other learning disabilities offer summer-time sessions to keep the continuity of services and educational attainment going year-round. The dePaul School in Clearwater, Florida, offers an intensive summer program that features vocabulary development, computer classes and phonics lessons in a multi-sensory learning environment. The Rawson Saunders school in Austin, Texas, also offers summer learning experiences for dyslexic students. Students in first through eighth grade can keep up on their studies with hands-on math lessons, small group instruction, creative problem solving activities and academic language therapy.
- PBS Parents: The Facts About Dyslexia
- The Kildonan School: Orton-Gillingham Tutoring
- The Greenwood School: Welcome
- Center School: Why We're Different
- Landmark School: Elementary & Middle School Programs
- Gow School
- The dePaul School: Our Programs
- Rawson Saunders: Summer Term
- The Prentice School: High School
Based in Pittsburgh, Erica Loop has been writing education, child development and parenting articles since 2009. Her articles have appeared in "Pittsburgh Parent Magazine" and the website PBS Parents. She has a Master of Science in applied developmental psychology from the University of Pittsburgh's School of Education.