We asked Rhonda Boltax, a learning disabilities specialist and the founder of Keys to Reading in Great Neck, NY, if and why multisensory teaching methods, like visual, auditory, kinesthetic, and tactile methods, are effective for children with special needs like learning disabilities and dyslexia. Read on for her expert insight.
Studies from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development have shown that for students who have difficulty learning how to read, such as those with learning disabilities (LD) or dyslexia, a multisensory approach to learning is the most effective teaching method.
Most teachers utilize either visual or auditory senses to instruct in the traditional classroom. However, a student with special needs may have trouble with either or both of these senses. Therefore, it is crucial that specialized, multisensory techniques -- ones incorporating visual, auditory, kinesthetic, and tactile senses -- be utilized for teaching reading, writing, and math. A multisensory teaching approach allows the student to hold on to information more effectively and connect to his or her specific learning style strength.
-Rhonda Boltax, a learning disabilities specialist with more than 15 years experience, is the founder and director of Keys to Reading, Inc. in Great Neck, New York.
Also see: A Parents' Guide to Special Needs