For Parents and Guardians
At Wilson®, we understand the challenges of learning to read and write, especially for students who have a language-based learning disability.
How We Can Help
Wilson offers research-based, systematic, and multisensory structured language curricula to help every student succeed. Students learn to read step-by-step, starting with the basic structure and rules of the English language, then building to more advanced lessons over time. Parents who want to learn more are welcome to register for our trainings. We have seen our programs transform students’ lives by giving them the tools to read and write, building confidence, and empowering them to achieve their dreams.
Selecting the Right Program
Each program is geared to support specific student needs. The instructional principles universal among all of Wilson’s programs help learners gain literacy skills and provide a common framework for those who need further intervention to make progress. We can help you find the right program.
Helping Your Child
Parental involvement is encouraged as students develop literacy skills. This may mean supporting literacy skills at home or finding the right teacher or tutor when your child is struggling. We offer some tips below.
For every child, home activities that foster development of vocabulary and comprehension skills are important. When parents read aloud to their children and have discussions about the meaning of text, children are exposed to more advanced concepts, even though they may not yet be able to read the material independently. Listening to audiobooks is another way to build comprehension and support classroom learning.
Parental involvement in developing literacy skills is built into the Fundations® program with the Fundations Home Support Packs. These resources make it easy for teachers to update to parents and guardians about the concepts students are currently learning and recommend activities that should be done to reinforce learning. Home Support Packs are available for each Level of Fundations, with English and Spanish options to facilitate communication with diverse home environments.
If you’re a parent or guardian of a student struggling with foundational reading and spelling skills or with dyslexia, you may have questions about what to expect or how to seek support. We can help. Continue reading below.
Critical factors for student success are teacher knowledge and skill. Teachers must have an in-depth knowledge of language structure and master multisensory and diagnostic instructional techniques in order to meet the needs of dyslexic students. To achieve this, Wilson Language Training® (WLT) provides extensive teacher training in the Wilson Reading System® (WRS) by offering supervised certification programs.
We strongly recommend that students who need intense remediation with the WRS receive instruction from a WRS Level I or Level II Certified teacher. Click here to learn more about what is involved in our WRS Certifications.
While some teachers with multisensory, structured language training have been able to use the WRS program and materials with a degree of success after attending the three-day WRS Introductory Course, they are not considered trained in WRS. Our policy to provide a list of only WRS certified individuals who are currently credentialed as a Wilson® Dyslexia Practitioner or Wilson® Dyslexia Therapist is our way of assuring the integrity of the program.
Our policy to provide a list of only Wilson Reading System® (WRS) certified individuals who are currently credentialed as a Wilson® Dyslexia Practitioner (W.D.P.) or Wilson® Dyslexia Therapist (W.D.T.) is our way of assuring the integrity of the program. In order to locate a WRS certified tutor in your area or to verify that a teacher or tutor is WRS certified, visit our Find a Certified Instructor page. If you need additional support, please contact us or call the Wilson Customer Support Center at 800.899.8454 during our business hours.
Encouraging children to speak up, express themselves, and think critically develops oral and mental skills that can later be translated into writing and composition abilities. Creativity and achievements in other areas should also be celebrated. Students who are struggling with reading or have been diagnosed with dyslexia may develop self-image issues and stop exerting effort into trying to read, so parental support and advocacy are especially important.
Parents who homeschool or who want to gain a more in-depth understanding of any of our programs are welcome to register for our workshops and courses, offered throughout the country.
It is strongly recommended that students who require intensive instruction due to a language-based learning disability, such as dyslexia, receive Wilson Reading System® (WRS) instruction individually or in small groups from an instructor with WRS Certification.
The WRS program:
- Has demonstrated success helping students with dyslexia to read and spell.
- Teaches five areas of reading (phonemic awareness, word structure/phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension) plus spelling.
- Is an Orton-Gillingham (O-G) program that incorporates current reading and writing research and extensive experience teaching students with dyslexia.
- Addresses phonology, morphology, and orthography in the teaching of the structure of the English language in a systematic, cumulative manner.
- Uses multisensory techniques (visual, auditory, tactile, kinesthetic) to teach all concepts.
Time Needed for Wilson Reading System® (WRS) Instruction
WRS instruction can be implemented in a one-on-one setting or with a small group of students. Depending on the frequency and intensity of delivery, it may take 2-3 years (or more) to complete all 12 Steps of the curriculum.
Click here to learn more about WRS scheduling and the time needed for instruction.
Progression through the WRS Curriculum
All students new to WRS start in Step 1 to ensure understanding of basic language concepts. Whether a student begins the program in Substep 1.1 or 1.3 is determined by the WADE (Wilson® Assessment of Decoding and Encoding) pretesting score. Students graduate from WRS upon completion of Step 12.
Click here to learn more about the concepts taught in the WRS curriculum.
WRS Lesson Plan
Teachers follow a ten-part lesson plan during each WRS session. The WRS Lesson Plan is organized into three blocks, each approximately 30 minutes in duration.
- Block 1: Parts 1-5 emphasize word study/foundational reading skills.
- Block 2: Parts 6-8 emphasize spelling/foundational writing skills.
- Block 3: Parts 9-10 emphasize fluency and comprehension.
A WRS Introductory Set (Steps 1-6), 4th edition, provides the materials needed to teach Steps 1-6 of the program. It includes one set of student materials.
If your child receives Wilson Reading System® (WRS) instruction, you may want to ask:
- Did my child’s WRS teacher complete WRS Level I Certification and/or Level II?
- Is the teacher current with his or her Wilson® Dyslexia Practitioner (W.D.P) or Wilson® Dyslexia Therapist (W.D.T.) credential?
- How many times per week will my child receive WRS instruction? How long is each session?
- Will my child be receiving one-on-one instruction or small-group instruction (ideally up to 4 students; up to 6 students if with a highly skilled WRS teacher)? If in a group, are all students at the same level?
- How will my child’s progress be measured, and can I regularly see my child’s WRS Student Portfolio (Student Notebook, Vocabulary Dictionary, Student Dictation Notebook, My Step Progress Booklet) and Progression Mastery documentation (Student Progress Recording Forms, Wordlist Charting, and WADE – Wilson® Assessment of Decoding and Encoding results)?
Parents may want to explore the use of assistive technology. To learn more about assistive technology, click here.
Experts in Dyslexia and Training
Our deep understanding of what individuals with dyslexia need to succeed in reading and spelling is informed by decades of experience working directly with students and teachers.
Find a Certified Instructor
Contact a Wilson® Certified instructor in your area and get your child the help they need.
Experts in Structured Literacy
We are leaders in foundational, structured literacy to ensure that all students, whether beginning or struggling readers, successfully learn to read and spell.