What is Synesthetic Learning?
Synesthetic Learning is learning that encodes using multi-modal cues. This means that children are not learning lists of words or lists of spelling patterns, but rather the pictures, gestures and movements that provide stronger and more appropriate cues for dyslexic brains.
Children with dyslexia typically show a distinct pattern of poor phonological awareness, limited working memory or retention and reduced automaticity. This approach targets the areas of specific difficulty characteristic of dyslexia and allows each intervention programme to be specifically tailored to the needs and strengths of the individual child.
Synesthetic Learning supports phonological awareness by providing visual and gestural cues to differentiate letters that sound similar.
Synesthetic learning supports working memory limitations by using reduced cognitive load activities, allowing skills to be strengthened in isolation. It supports retention by providing multi-modal cues and fade out support structures.
Synesthetic learning supports automaticity by strengthening fluency and focusing on skill rather than memory.
Why develop a whole new program?
After working with dyslexic students for many years I found myself increasingly limited by the programmes and resources available and eventually developed my own.
Current research on dyslexia, memory and literacy development shows that dyslexic students need a different approach to learning:
By harnessing student's strengths in other areas (e.g. art, music, dance) to build literacy skills we can support them more effectively.
By creating a cognitive profile of every child we can respond to their unique needs and the way their brain works best.
What makes this better than the rest?
Synesthetic Learning combines the strengths of the most successful phonics programs currently used. It combines the gesture based approach of Jolly Phonics™ and the picture based approach of ReadWriteInc™ to create a system that is optimally designed for a broader range of learners.
Research suggests that children do not have one learning style, although they may show a personal preference in how they enjoy learning. This system takes a 'synesthetic' approach where rich memories are created across a range of modalities; auditory, visual and kinesthetic. This creates a unique system for supporting learners with literacy difficulties, enabling them to draw on areas of strength to support their learning.
How to Access The Synesthetic Learning Programme:
For information about integrating the Synesthetic Learning Programme into SEN provision please contact me directly.
For details of how to use synesthetic principles in literacy support read the Literacy Support Programme books -
Dyslexic Logic Part 1 (sample pages)
Dyslexic Logic Part 2 (sample pages)