Overview of The Dyslexia Center of Princeton Program

The DCP Program

The DCP offers a 2½ hour evaluation that can rule in or rule out a dyslexia diagnosis followed by in-depth consultation within 7 - 10 days.

Upon diagnosis of dyslexia, or related reading/spelling disability or weakness, an individualized therapy plan is proposed. Best-practice dyslexia remediation protocol requires 200 minutes per week of intensive, individualized cognitive processing skills development together with phonics and fluency instruction. The DCP program provides exactly this best practice.

The DCP's proprietary program is a research-based, data-driven, completely individualized program. Staff develop a treatment plan for each client that targets specific weaknesses and deficits uncovered in dyslexia assessment. Although the program shares its multi-sensory approach with a variety of Orton-Gillingham programs, it expands significantly on those programs in several ways.

First, the DCP program provides cognitive processing skills therapy that strengthens deficits commonly exhibited by individuals coping with dyslexia: visual and auditory memory challenges, visual perception and visual-motor integration impediments, sequencing difficulties, and phonological processing problems. DCP's approach to addressing the cognitive processing skill deficits associated with dyslexia goes beyond what other programs provide. For example,

  • Building a strong foundation for visual sequential memory and visual perception allows a dyslexic individual to become fluent in recognizing sight words.
  • Similarly, building auditory memory and phonological processing skills provides a solid base for retaining and using phonics instruction.

Our clients' successes prove that this emphasis, and the way we provide services to our clients, yields permanent benefits.

The first six months of the DCP program stress cognitive processing skills development. This approach ensures that each client has the skill level necessary to make progress in acquiring and recalling the extensive phonics rules of English as well as sight words. Additional benefits from cognitive processing skills therapy typically include enhanced fine motor skills, which can, in turn, improve poor handwriting. Other additional benefits include sequential memory development, which bolsters sequential task performance, such as following a series of verbal directions. The DCP program provides cognitive therapies only as needed, based on a client's assessment results. DCP therapists do not work only on cognitive skill development in the first six months, but we do emphasize it, meaning that we spend more time and effort on it. Certainly, in the first six months, new sight words are taught and phonics lessons are provided.

Second, the DCP program relies on a comprehensive diagnosis that dictates the strictly controlled and documented administration of therapy. A full diagnostic assessment is administered at the DCP by a licensed clinical psychologist. This test battery identifies the type of dyslexia present, its severity, and, most important, specific characteristics that can be addressed individually in therapy. Those characteristics can be phonological or cognitive in nature.

Our Therapists

Dyslexia therapists at the DCP are recruited and trained according to DCP guidelines. They include trained teachers, occupational therapists, and/or speech pathologists who have experience teaching reading to individuals with learning disabilities. Our therapists receive extensive training, which includes many hours of observation and hands-on practice as well as supervised sessions. Therapists maintain detailed records of each session, a copy of which are provided to parents or guardians at the end of each session. The Center's Director, Margaret Tuttle, reviews and controls each client's progress through the program using strict, consistent guidelines.

Consistency of Treatment

DCP's methodical approach to providing therapy provides an unmatched level of consistency and repeatability. While each learner is unique and responds differently to therapy, our clinical approach provides a degree of reliability and accountability that does not exist in traditional tutoring environments.

Home Practice

Third, the DCP program includes cognitive processing and phonological home practice materials. These materials provide the opportunity for repetition needed for dyslexic individuals to learn and retain literacy skills. Daily repetition over a period of months is required for a dyslexic learner to retain basic skills.

Dyslexia Assessment

The DCP uses a variety of assessments, depending on each client's age, to determine dyslexia. These include, but are not limited to, the Wechsler Individual Achievement Test (WIAT-III), the Gray Oral Reading Test (GORT-5), the Comprehensive Test of Phonological Processing (CTOPP), the Test of Information Processing (TIPS), Visual Auditory Discrimination (VADS), Dyslexia Determination Test (DDT), and the Beery-Bukentica Developmental Test of Visual-Motor Integration (Beery VMI).

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