People who exhibit a severe reading disability into adult life require very specialized techniques in order to acquire literary skills. Most non-reading adults show evidence of auditory and/or visual memory problems, which compound the difficulty of learning and applying the many rules involved in structural analysis.
The Reading Horizons program has (been) proven highly successful with students who have difficulty with memorization and phonetic rule application.
The unique feature of this method is the utilization of a marking system to facilitate decoding multi-syllabic words. Fifty-one sequential lessons incorporate mastery of individual sounds, blending, the Five Phonetic Skills and the Two Decoding Skills. As each sound is introduced, students learn to identify and mark it within the word. Through multi-sensory techniques, the student experiences learning success in incremental steps while reinforcing previously learned skills. Self-esteem is developed as the student learns to read quickly and easily.
A multi-sensory computer courseware package, utilizing a human voice soundtrack, is available as a supplement. It is designed as a self-instruction reinforcement of the Reading Horizons method.
I have been involved with teaching non-readers for 27 years in public schools, correctional facilities, and adult-literacy programs. I first became acquainted with Reading Horizons 15 years ago in Minnesota and have seen incredible growth when this method is used. The Reading Education for Adults with Dyslexia (READ) program was started two years ago by the El Paso Learning Disabilities Association. I trained the teachers and supervise the program. We work with the adults in groups of three or four. Each group requires approximately 160 hours of instruction over a six-month period. Their skill development is phenomenal, and their own testimonials are our best evidence of the success of the program.
Several states (most recently California) have adopted this program as the method used to teach reading in their prisons and correctional facilities.
The Ysleta Independent School district in El Paso, where I am employed as a special-education supervisor, has recently adopted the method for our secondary school reading program, and we are already seeing excellent growth.