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The introduction to reading begins with the awareness that symbols represent sounds and a combination of symbols creates meaning and communication. LAP introduces the sound to symbol connection through a variety of exercises designed to create an automatic connection. There is considerable rehearsal and practice built into the exercises to establish the basic receptive pathway for reading retention.
The strongest readers have instant cluster recognition. The LAP builds this component in at an early leve to encourage brain reception for long-term storage and eliminates sounding-out or sound segmented attempts in reading. It builds an automatic vocabulary pathway for holding combinations of symbols.
A key element in learning is the skill of sustained focus. Attention skills are essential for gathering and recording information in all learning. Tasks are built with specific emphasis on maintaining focus with both visual and auditory input. The activity requires processing of information using an active inner voice (inner speak). It is a unique series of exercises which reinforce sustained attention.
The ability to hear similarity in sounds and use the information for reading is reported to be a key skill in reading development. These activities move from simple sound clusters to words and active reading of words with similar rime clusters.
A common criticism of programs which teach individuals with dyslexic or other severe learning problems is the inability to develop speed of processing. Programs which focus primarily on phonetic based training not only require considerable time to complete but also frequently do not develop fluency in reading. It is likely that the emphasis on processing through Broca’s area in the brain rather than consistent occipito– temporal processing is related to this issue. The LAP program builds in specific exercises to increase speed of processing, rapid recognition of clusters and words. These exercises stimulate and accustom the learner to responding quickly in a rhythmic pattern. The exercises are reinforcing of the sound/cluster awareness and emphasize quick access to information.
Exercises which provide the learner with experience in identifying real words or nonsense words and recognizing the difference are important in the total reading experience. The LAP uses a lemma – hearing/saying a word with the inner voice (inner speak) series of exercises to build recognition of real or nonsense words.
Spelling is developed through retention of word images. It is very inefficient to attempt to spell by sound or even by spelling rules. The efficacy of rules has actually a very low percentage of adaptability. Spelling is learned through seeing the correctly spelled image of the word and building a store house of word images. A word flash technique is used to build this vocabulary and is a primary mode for creating strength in spelling. Programs that have encouraged learners to spell words as they sound with the intent of developing strong writing skills have created serious problems for learners. Once a word has been spelled incorrectly, often in several different ways, those images remain present in the brain. The learner is then unable to identify which is the correct word image and continues to suffer challenges with spelling, making written work difficult.
Reading should be a fun experience. The read information should create images and take the reader to scenes and adventures that are created by the descriptive words. Gaining insight into characters, places,and experiences is all an important gift of reading. Exercises include consistent prompts for the learner by the trainer to identify what is being experienced. Questions, suggestions, and shared experiences embellish the learner’s information. These exercises are a key element in the development of a competent reader.
The LAP program targets very specifically brain hemisphere processing. While the non-language hemisphere is occupied with music, the language hemisphere is receiving information which develops reading. This combination is used throughout the LAP training and appears to increase the speed of reading skill development more rapidly than any programming that we have used previously. There appears to be considerable integration of the reading information from sound to word to comprehension skills that occur with this integrated approach. And, most important, the skill remains without the music stimulation as the reader has gained the competency in learning. These are all target therapies and are essential for stimulating the areas of the brain necessary for creating competent, comfortable life-long readers