Dr Charles Potter’s Reading Fluency Programme
Dr Charles Potter’s Reading Fluency Programme implements individual learning programmes focused on treatment of dyslexia, as well as reading, writing, spelling and working memory development. The programmes are activity-based, and are introduced through online sessions related to the child’s individual learning needs as identified through initial assessment and ongoing evaluation.
Our materials are electronic, and our methods have been designed to be implemented by parents working at home, as well as by teachers and therapists working with children needing learning support in schools. Parent implementer manuals are supplied as well as other training materials, and there is also online support from trained reading specialists as and when parents need this. Each child’s programme is thus tailor made to suit a particular family’s needs.
Results have been excellent with children from different cultural backgrounds, and have been published internationally. As a result, our methods and materials are used by a network of parents, teachers, therapists and schools internationally.
How to Start the Process of Identifying Needs
The best way to make contact with the programme is by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by SMS or WhatsApp message to +27 82 330 7589. Allow 48 hours for return contact by email or WhatsApp, followed by discussion of whether our methods and materials potentially match what your child needs.
This is then usually followed by an assessment which is conducted interactively online, so that the child’s problems can be identified and quantified. The assessment involves use of questionnaires and tests. The information is then used to establish the correct materials and level in the programme to address the child’s needs.
The Process of Addressing the Child’s Needs
Our methods and materials are based on the theories of automaticity proposed by the Russian neuropsychologist Alexander Luria, who suggested that human mental functioning involves the concerted working between different systems in the brain. As fluent and integrated functioning develops in the child, each system makes its own unique contribution to the organization of the brain, and to the child’s learning and behaviour.
Based on Luria’s theories, the aim of our methods is to develop automaticity in reading, writing and spelling, as the basis for the child’s learning at school. Using information from questionnaires and tests as well as personal contact with parents online, an individual programme is developed for the child, based on areas of need. The programme then changes as fluency develops.
Electronic materials are used to support the individual programme implemented with the child. These are drawn from our data-base of reading books, activity books and materials for treatment of phonological and phonemic difficulties, phonic difficulties, as well as linked problems with reading, writing, spelling, reading comprehension and sequential working memory.
Individual programmes and formats for online learning
The child’s programme can be implemented by parents working with their children at home, or through online sessions, or a combination of these. The aim is to develop an implementation format designed to provide an activity-based learning programme focused on the child’s needs, which involves the child’s parents as part of the instructional process.
As each child’s learning and emotional needs are different, the programme is usually based on a variety of different types of activities and methods. These are designed to be implemented by parents, tutors, teachers or therapists working with the child, as well as in supporting sessions which can be conducted online, working with the child and his or her parents at home. The aim is to involve those working with the child as partners in the implementation and learning process.
Electronic books, activity books and materials
Each child’s programme draws on a data-base of electronic books, activity books, materials and methods. As our data-base is extensive, the types of work which can be provided include:
- Materials and methods for work in developing phonological awareness, phonemic awareness, synthetic phonic skills and phonic analysis.
- Materials and methods for reading fluency development.
- Materials for language skills and reading comprehension development.
- Activities for identifying main ideas and summarising skills based on reading of text and use of the internet.
- Cloze activities.
- Activities for structured language experience development.
- Materials and activities for descriptive and creative writing development.
- Materials and methods for word analysis and working memory development.
- Materials and methods for sequential working memory development (e.g. programmes based on combined use of phonic analysis and revisualisation techniques).
- Materials and methods for developing rapid naming and rapid processing abilities.
- Listening skill and auditory processing activities (eg programmes involving use of audible books).
- Problem-solving techniques and activities.
The particular activities used and the format for implementation are based on assessment as well as evaluation based on contact with the child and the child’s parents. The child’s individual programme is thus evidence-based, and likely to involve a number of different types of activities. It is also likely to use a variety of electronic materials and resources, which change and also increase in level and complexity as the child’s basic skills develop and the child’s learning needs are addressed.
In order to establish what is suited to a particular child’s needs, parents normally make initial contact with the programme by phone or SMS or WhatsApp or by email. We will then email you to arrange a time to phone you back on WhatsApp to establish personal contact and to discuss what you need. The phone call usually focuses on the child’s reading as well as any other areas of difficulty. We also ask you to talk about the child’s schooling and what has previously been done to try and get over any problems the child has at school.
This initial consultation is conducted free of charge. It is offered as a service, to point parents in the right direction, and to suggest practical solutions as well as ways of working which may be helpful. We also answer any questions you may have about our materials and methods, and how these have been developed and used internationally with both first and second language speakers of English.
Over the years this personal and evidence-based process of working with parents has proved to be the best way to start and to find direction. It involves an exchange of information, and there is no cost involved or obligation to proceed.
Online sessions and supporting learning formats
Our work with parents and children is evidence-based, and interactive online sessions are central to ensuring that the individual programmes are both relevant to the child learning needs and at a level of language, reading, writing and spelling appropriate to the child’s basic skills. Hand in hand with the process of interactive instruction, supporting learning formats are developed drawing on electronic materials from our data base, with each activity focused on the child’s learning needs.
Overall, both the online sessions and supporting formats are designed to provide an activity-based learning programme using electronic materials. Manuals are also provided to assist parents, teachers, therapists and tutors in implementing the reading, writing, spelling and working memory activities which form the basis of each child’s programme.
Model of intervention
Intervention with children is interactive, activity-based and multivariate. It is based on the assessment and implementation model outlined in the following international publications on our programmes, methods and materials, which can be accessed via these links:
Learning gains are measured through pre- and post-assessments. Results and parent evaluations have been very good, and also indicate that children have enjoyed the activities in their individual programmes. Pre- and post assessment gains are listed in the tables of results in the above publications, as well as in additional publications on the methods and materials used the children’s individual programmes. We encourage contact with parents as well with therapists and teachers working in the field, and our publications are made available as a service, free of charge.
Training in use of our methods and materials
There is a network of people using our methods and materials internationally. There is also a training course for therapists, teachers and parents in our methods, many of which are unique. The modules in the training course focus on the development of reading fluency as well as the development of writing and spelling fluency. The course is non-formal and modular, and is provided online via email supported by cellphone contact, based on materials and manuals drawn from the programme’s data base. The modules are designed to enable our methods and materials to be implemented working practically with children.
Dr Charles Potter: Educational Psychologist
Cellphone +27 82 330 7589 Email: email@example.com