At the Watson Institute, helping children with special needs reach their educational and developmental goals is our priority. Each students’ goals are unique and individualized based on their needs and abilities. For one student at the Education Center Sewickley, this school year has opened up a world of possibilities for him as he is now learning how to read!
Brian, 4, is a student in one of our special education preschool classrooms at the Education Center in Sewickley, PA . He has Type 1 Spinal Muscular Atrophy, a condition which among other things, affects his functional motor skills as well as his speech. This year, Brian’s special education teachers and therapists have been working with him to build his literacy skills.
At the beginning of the year, Brian started learning sight words and identifying letters in the alphabet. His teacher, Megan Megrey, and Watson speech therapists used flash cards and his talker to help him sound out and learn the words.
Brian utilizes a “talker” – a communication device – to reinforce words he is learning to vocalize. Hearing them on the talker enables him to sound out the words himself and reinforces his understanding.
As he built his vocabulary of sight words, Ms. Megrey and Brian started to incorporate leveled reading books into his daily classroom work. Leveled reading books support instruction in comprehension and vocabulary as Brian is learning to read!
Brian is a quick learner and has been progressing steadily through the leveled books. One of his favorite books is “Halloween Pumpkins”, which you can see him reading in the video above!
Reading & Literacy Programs in Special Education
At the Watson Institute, special education teachers, therapists, and classroom support staff work to incorporate students’ IEP goals into activities throughout the students’ school day. For Brian, learning to read is a goal to achieve literacy, but it also enables him to work on other functional and developmental goals such as learning spelling and typing on a computer keyboard and learning to play the piano and follow music prompts.
Ms. Megrey shared that “by obtaining proficient literacy skills, Brian will be able to access all of these areas in functional ways to assist him in his education and future endeavors.”
Learn more about the Education Center Sewickley special education school program.