Wilson, the publisher of the program “Just Words” has stated that the program is not for children with Dyslexia, and yet Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) in Virginia (and other school divisions) continues to recommend the program for students who have Dyslexia.
In two previous articles, I shared the article, “When It’s Not Dyslexia“, which appears in Wilson’s “Decoder” Newsletter; a , in which a FCPS Dyslexia Resource acknowledges that Wilson does not endorse “Just Words” for students with Dyslexia, and the final decision of a Due Process hearing, in which the hearing officer wrote:
Â From the evidence presented at the hearing, I have learned there are several competing methodologies that address learning disabilities associated with dyslexia. But it is clear to this Hearing Officer that JUST WORDS is not one of them.
If this isn’t enough to convince your school division that “Just Words” isn’t appropriate for your student with Dyslexia, there’s the following, straight from Wilson Reading System Instructor Manual, Steps 1-6:
The Wilson Reading System is designed for those individuals who require the most intensive (Tier 3) level of instruction within an MTSS [Multi-Tiered System of Supports] or RTI [Response to Intervention] framework. In addition to the Wilson Reading System, Wilson provides the following Tier 1 and 2 programs:
Tier 1: Fundations (Grades Pre-K-3)
Tier 2: Fundations (Grades K-3) or Just Words (Grades 4-12 and adults)
The manual then describes Fundations and Just Words. Dyslexia does not appear in the description for either program. However, in the description for the Wilson Reading System, Dyslexia is mentioned:
This program, the Wilson Reading System, is appropriate for students with significant difficulty in word-level decoding, automatic word recognition and fluency, and spelling, including students with dyslexia who require an intensive remedial program.
The manual goes on to state that students “might be placed in Just Words if there are no indication of a language-based learning disability/Dyslexia”.
Our children need programs that address their needs, not programs for which a school division happens to have a contract.