Academic journal article Information Technology and Disabilities

Rehabilitation and Remediation in Educational Disability: The Use of the Direct Access Reading Technique (ITDV01N3 Rosen)

Academic journal article Information Technology and Disabilities

Rehabilitation and Remediation in Educational Disability: The Use of the Direct Access Reading Technique (ITDV01N3 Rosen)

Article excerpt

INTRODUCTION

Kalisky, Zenhausern, and Andrews (1989) distinguished two types of reading disabled individuals that seem to account for a very large percentage of these children. The Phonetic Disabled reader has difficulty converting a word to its sound and the Semantic Disabled reader has difficulty converting a word to its meaning. These are the children who struggle with every word when they read. They are frequently anomic, and suffer from a chronic "tip of the tongue". They have difficulty converting both the printed word and the concepts in their minds into words.

The second type of child is the Semantic Disabled reader. These children will give a perfect word-for-word rendition of text, but have no comprehension of its meaning. They can decode, but decoding does not lead to understanding.

This distinction was verified by the use of two matching tasks. Pairs of words were shown to mainstream, Phonetic and Semantic Disabled readers. The Phonetic group made significantly more errors than either of the other two groups when the task was to determine whether words rhymed. In contrast, the Semantic group made significantly and substantially more errors when the task was to determine whether the words had the same or opposite meanings.

Kalisky, et al. have suggested that these phonetic and semantic disabilities can be directly related to the reading disability on the basis of the standard approaches used when teaching reading. Children come to school with auditory comprehension; that is, when they hear the word "ball" they know it means "a round, bouncy thing." Reading means that when children see the letters b-a-l-l they know it means "a round, bouncy thing". Virtually every reading method is based on the strategy of converting the written word to its phonological counterpart so that meaning is derived from auditory comprehension, that is, the indirect phonological route to meaning. The child sees the word, says the word, and understands the word from its sound. This can be most clearly seen in a phonetic approach, but holds equally well for a sight or "look-say" approach.

This method, while effective for most children, is inappropriate for many of those children who are called "reading disabled." The Phonetic Disabled reader cannot convert the word to its sound, and thus is not able to take the first step required by this approach to reading. The Semantic Disabled reader can translate the words to their sound, but then has difficulty comprehending the meaning of the written word from this sound. Therefore, both the Phonetic and Semantic reading disabilities can be directly related to the indirect phonological approaches typically utilized to teach reading.

Remediation techniques refer to the support system that teachers employ when they alter the direct instructional developmental lessons. They are characterized by utilizing the same learning channels with variation of techniques, instructional group size and demands on student production. Unlike rehabilitation strategies for the blind who learn braille to circumvent their disability, the reading disabled learner tends to receive more of the same instruction (Allington, 1986). While "time on task" and "task analysis" have increased productivity levels, the focus has remained on phonological awareness and segmentation activities.

While the concept of alternate modes of instruction has long been a welcome strategy, alternative techniques such as the Orton Gillingham, Distar, Linguistic Approach, Glass Analysis and the Cassil Span Technique are really variations of the phonological awareness and segmentation procedures which rely on the same neurological systems that are malfunctioning for reading disabled students. A rehabilitative approach is one that does not use those systems.

Fernald (1942) developed a tracing activity which can be classified as a rehabilitative technique when the response of the student is not oral. …

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