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Take Flight: A Comprehensive Intervention for Students with Dyslexia

Take Flight: A Comprehensive Intervention for Students with Dyslexia is a two-year curriculum written by the staff of the Luke Waites Center for Dyslexia and Learning Disorders at Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children (TSRHC). Take Flight builds on the success of the three previous dyslexia intervention programs developed by the staff of TSRHC: Alphabetic Phonics, the Dyslexia Training Program and TSRH Literacy Program.

Take Flight was designed for use by Certified Academic Language Therapists for children with dyslexia ages seven and older. It was developed to enable students with dyslexia to achieve and maintain better word recognition, reading fluency, reading comprehension and aid in the transition from a therapy setting to “real word” learning. Recent reading intervention studies, including data collected at TSRHC, were the impetus for writing Take Flight and have contributed to its design. Teaching trials in the TSRHC Dyslexia Laboratory and trials by therapists in collaborating public schools also influenced curriculum revision.

Take Flight contains the five components of effective reading instruction supported by the National Reading Panel research meta-analysis and mandated by the No Child Left Behind Act:

  • Phonemic Awareness in Take Flight includes a systematic exploration of the articulation of phonemes and is fully integrated within decoding and spelling instruction. All phoneme-grapheme correspondence rules are introduced over a shorter time than previous TSRHC programs, allowing time for practice toward accuracy and automatically in the application of phonic skills and for more guided reading practice with controlled and regular text. Also, there is an expanded use of etymology in teaching word analysis strategies.
  • Vocabulary is expanded and enriched by developing morphological knowledge, word relationships, figurative language, syntax and semantics by direct instruction and in the context of reading.
  • Fluency instruction incorporates guided and timed repeated reading of decodable words, phrases and connected text. Incentives, concrete measures of progress and daily home practice are also important elements of fluency training.
  • A combination of techniques is used for instruction in reading comprehension, including comprehension monitoring, question generation, story structure, summarizing and inferencing. Students also learn how to utilize graphic and semantic organizers when reading narrative and expository texts.

Each of the five components is presented in the seven books of Take Flight.

Take Flight is designed for small group instruction (4-6 students) for a minimum of 45 minutes per day, five days each week. Alternately, the lessons can be taught for a minimum of 60 minutes each day for four days a week. Take Flight includes 132 lessons for a total of 230 hours of direct instruction.

With Take Flight, students will learn all 44 phonemes of the English language, 96 grapheme-phoneme correspondence rules and 87 affixes. The students will also learn spelling rules for base words and derivatives. Practice opportunities are also provided that are designed to improve oral reading fluency. Finally, Take Flight introduces comprehension and vocabulary building strategies for both narrative and expository text in the context of oral reading exercises, preparing students for successful, independent reading.

Source: Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children

Basic Language Skills is an explicit, systematic, intensive literacy instruction for students with dyslexia or related language learning differences. It is a literacy instructional framework that is systematic, sequential, intensive, and comprehensive. Basic Language Skills is for use by teachers and specialists working with students identified with special needs in learning to read and spell. Preferably, it is taught to a group of only three to five students who are similar in age and reading ability, with intensity and duration that ensures students’ progress and achievement, and with a monitored and modulated pace that is adjusted to meet student needs.

Basic Language Skills meets the standards set by the Texas Education Agency, the International Multisensory Structured Language Education Council, and the International Dyslexia Association.

Source: Neuhaus Education

Alphabetic Phonics is a multisensory curriculum, based on the Orton-Gillingham approach, that teaches the structure of the English language. This phonetic program teaches reading, handwriting, spelling, verbal and written expression, and comprehension, by simultaneously engaging the visual, auditory and kinesthetic modalities. A basic language-training program, Alphabetic Phonics can be taught to individuals or small groups of any age. Each daily, one-hour session is structured to alternate modalities by including ten different activities: alphabet, review of letters, review of sounds, multisensory introduction of a new letter, reading, cursive handwriting, spelling, verbal expression, review, and listening.

Source: EPS Literacy & Intervention