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- Stirling and Elizabeth Vance
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Dressed to Kill But Can’t Read the Label?

How many of us have to really think about what some of the washing instructions symbols mean?  I know the hand wash only and the hang to dry but after that I get a little rusty.  Perhaps I have spent too much time in hot water and then left myself  “hang to dry”.

The Denim Dilemma

The symbols we see over and over are transferred into our long-term memory banks.  The same is true with reading skills.  If we memorize words, we can retrieve them instantly and that causes huge difficulty in the long run.  It is in fact, why we see our demonstratively bright children slide into struggling phase as their grade level increases.  They have in fact, memorized too much and it is not being held long enough in short-term memory to transfer to long term.  Thus the words begin to fade away, just like the colour in your favourite pair of comfy blue jeans.


Are Laundry Softeners the Answer?

Many times the education system will, after trying an intervention program that doesn’t work, soften the material.  Or as we say in the industry, “dummy down the materials”.  In other words, if a child cannot read the material at their grade level we provide them with material at a lesser grade level.  This alternative works for a while but certainly does not solve the problem nor is it a solution to the underlying difficulty because as they get older, dummied down materials are harder to find for older kids and when they become an adult, the world does not soften its impact based on reading level.  When it comes to reading, softeners are not the answer.


So What Do I Put in my Laundry Cupboard?

Kids are naturally curious.  What happens if I put equal amounts of laundry soap and water into the washing machine?  Can you cook an egg in the dryer if you put it on hot?  Can you use the top-loading washer to mix up a batch of cotton candy?  How do letters go together to create words?  These are all interesting questions, and all questions that deserve an answer.  So you had better have answers ready, as the consequences of not having them could be messy.


Laundry Codes and English Codes

The laundry codes translate to a specific set of meanings.  The English alphabet code translates into a set of speech sounds.  Speech sounds blend together into words.  The English Language is primarily made up of 26 letters, 44 sounds and 300 rules, which control how the sounds are interpreted.  That is it and there really isn’t anymore.  However, just like the laundry list if you don’t know what to do with the code and set of rules, nothing turns out the way it is suppose to.  Sweaters begin to stretch out of shape; pants shrink, T-shirts fade and reading difficulties continue to cause problems with spelling, vocabulary, comprehension and self-esteem.


Here Are Your Laundry Tips

Reading has everything to do with speech and hearing and nothing to do with vision.  If it had anything to do with vision, the blind would never learn to read yet the blind learn to read almost as quickly as the sighted do.  Here are some websites that you can go to that offer good information on reading.

www.succeedtoread.com
www.nrrf.com

Feeling overwhelmed by it all?  Not to worry, you are certainly not alone.  The time to deal with a reading difficulty is the minute you think there may be one.  Don’t let your child or other family members become another laundry room statistic.  Find out if there is a problem sooner than later and fix it before it drains them of their colour.  Read about the nine indicators of a possible reading difficulty by clicking on the "download our FREE REPORTS" link and if you are in the Calgary or Victoria area, book a free reading assessment.  Organizing the laundry has never been so easy.