Greetings from our friends in India

On September 23, 2011, in Correspondence, by Dare

Dear Antonia

Very happy to hear from you and to see our article on your site.

Yes we are very happy that we are in contact with you now. We too use multi-sensory teaching methods and Orton-Gillingham to some extent.
India is also not very aware of dyslexia, there are a few schools in chennai and we can count them with our fingers.

My fight is to get our children helped right in the schools where they are and helped right there. Those children who have severe needs can go on the pullout program, but dyslexia should not be a reason to get the child out of the normal schooling rights of a child. That is why the teaching course and a few dedicated teachers who are taking it are putting it to full use in their classrooms. College students who are take it are my ambassadors and become private remedial teachers, while parents taking it – understand their children better and are equipped for the rest of the way.

One way is to train the teachers in dyslexia – who are already teachers in the normal schools – but the school system is already coping with a lot of issues. So, normal looking children (as the handicap is hidden) are not helped. In India we are going through a time where only now our children with physically obvious needs are getting identified included and helped. Thank God. So for dyslexia it is going to take a while!!

Presanna Robinson
KIDS Learning Centre

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News from India

    ….“These kids have taught us patience, perseverance and poise — virtues which we never knew existed in us before we began teaching them. They make us feel worthy and of use. Now, I don’t even lose temper with my own children at home,” recounted Madhavi, another teacher.

    KIDS (Kingdom Institute of Development Service), founded by Dr Prasanna and her husband Phanuel Robinson, has been serving children with Dyslexia and Learning Difficulties since 2002. Their core vision is to equip teachers, to educate children and to encourage parents. What began at her house with only a few students, has so far enabled over 400 children to complete their basic education, gain self-esteem and confidence and to get integrated into the mainstream society.

    The centre functions in two sessions — the morning school caters to children with severe reading and writing difficulty and who are unable to cope in a normal school. Evening remedial classes provide help for children already studying in regular schools. Occupational and speech therapy are also provided. KIDS partners with schools by training teachers and by giving short term remedial programmes. KIDS also conducts a certified, short term course, ‘Teaching children with Dyslexia’, to equip teachers, college students, parents and professionals. KIDS also organises regular get togethers to encourage and educate parents on issues relating to the children. For details, email

    Check their website at

This looks a great place for children with dyslexia.They even have a giant bouncy ball just like mine! Kids are the same the world over.

National Education Test Scores Show NSW Students are Struggling

Slipping Standards in NSW high schools for basic literacy. Greens call for more money and teacher education and “remedial classes”. It is important that these “remedial students” are not just dumped but receive intensive multi-sensory approaches to gaining literacy. Teacher education is vital as there are not enough teachers who have this rigorous training. Students often get a dumbed down curriculum where those with poorer literacy skills get less exposure to the written word and analyse lots of “visual texts”. Thus the able get further and further ahead of the rest.(DARE Comment)

Professor Stephen Dinham, from the University of Melbourne’s graduate school of education, said top performing year 3 children were outperforming the bottom end of year 9 students.
He said the performance of a proportion of students often declined after year 7 and this was showing up in NAPLAN results.

”What we think happens with these students is that around year 8 level, if they don’t have the literacy skills they need, they start to hit the wall because school starts to become more complex and much of the learning is literacy based,” he said.

”They start to disengage and you get a downward spiral.”

Read more:


This site has many audiobooks, lectures and videos read-out on various subjects from a number of perspectives.

I have fought and won some “battles” over homework: I have fought and lost others. I vacillated between realising that life is too short to waste in fruitless screaming matches and judging myself as an inadequate parent because my children loved to dodge homework and excelled at procrastination.

Remember that this is the common lot of parents. Let’s reclaim the sanctuary of the family home and foster positive relationships.
You are not alone!

This short article speaks a lot of sense about the real damage that can come from our daily tussles. (By Kara T. Tamanini- Clinical Psychologist)

    Anger in Parent-Child Relationships

    November 14th, 2010

    Anger, yelling, shouting, sarcasm, and profanity are not what was intended for the parent-child relationship. However, this is all too frequently occurring in our homes today. Consider this scenario for a moment. You ask your child to simply sit down and complete their homework. You have asked your child three times to sit down and complete their work nicely and then as a parent you lose it and start screaming your head off. Anger is now permeating the room. As a parent, you feel gratified because you now see your child sitting their completing their homework, however your child has internalized the whole experience and is tense and frustrated while completing their homework. Unfortunately, your child is most likely not completing their work to the best of their ability. The parent is usually so angry though that they do not feel guilty about what has happened until they have had a chance to calm down.
    The effects of this scenario are the following:
    1.) This type of parent-child interaction whether it occurs frequently or infrequently decreases or diminishes the parent-child bond.
    2.) The parent has just modeled very poor problem-solving and coping skills to deal with situations that arise. Your child is learning that yelling and screaming and anger will bring about results.
    3.) The child now does not want to ask their parent for help in the future because they are anticipating a similar scenario to the one that has just occurred. Anger or belittling comments will bring about avoidance on the part of the child to go to a parent and ask for help or assistance. The child now feels alone and isolated when they have problems and need “to talk” to their parents.
    4.) Anger festers and builds and the parent slowly builds an angry child. Of course, the outcome was favorable in as much as you got the homework completed, however the long-term results are poor.
    As parents, we need to find other means to get our children to do as they are told. Yelling, anger, and sarcasm are negative means with very negative outcomes. Children respond in a more positive manner when a behavioral management plan is used and consistent boundaries with consequences are given for their behaviors/actions.
    As a parent, if you require assistance please consider parent/child counseling as a means to resolve the situation with your child. In addition, there are a number of wonderful books out on developing and maintaining a good relationship with your child/teen.


Author’s trek from struggle to success inspires

    …See, like millions of Americans, Amanda was a functioning illiterate. School had been a disaster. “They told me I was stupid or lazy,” Amanda shared with me recently. “It was the only way they could explain why I couldn’t learn to read.” She dropped out as soon as she could.

    By the time she was 22, low self-esteem brought her to seek a therapist’s help. The woman listened to her story and uttered a word she’d never heard before. “Dyslexia.”

    “I actually believe we could teach you to read,” the woman told her, explaining that Amanda’s brain simply was wired to process information differently….

For more, click here

Word Sorts for Syllables and Affixes Spellers / Johnston, Francine et al. Sydney: Pearson, 2009.

Recommended for instructors with a firm grasp of the principles of phonics, this companion volume to Words Their Way: Word Study for Phonics, Vocabulary, and Spelling Instruction provides a curriculum of reproducible sorts and step-by-step directions for teachers which specifically addresses the needs of pupils who are competent at simple vowel patterns, but lack proficiency with inflecting affixes and suffixes

The Boy and the Tiger and other stories for 9 to 11 Year Olds
Compiled by Pie Corbett

A great book of short stories with a CD audio recording by a professional storyteller, this book gives people the perfect opportunity to read aloud, listen along, read together and do all the things necessary to build their literacy skills. Giants, tigers, princesses and more are met in this very riveting and funny collection.

While this book is marketed at 9-11 Year Old’s, older struggling readers would still enjoy it, and we can all profit from its sense of humour.

Buy it here.

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