NOW! Foundations of Speech, Language, Reading and Spelling

Does your child struggle with:
Speaking – Word mispronunciation, Grasping for language confusion of verb tenses, plurals and forms.
Auditory memory – Holding onto multi-step directions, requires repetition for instructions.
Reading – Slow-paced, avoidant; reliant on sight words; guesses
Spelling – Poor retention of words after spelling tests
Writing – Sentences are short, choppy. Will avoid task when given opportunity
Language expression – Has difficulty getting ideas in words and sequencing appropriately
Foreign language – Hard to learn
Focus – Trouble concentrating; wears out before a task is done
Self-esteem – Increasing frustration and poor self-esteem.

NOW! Foundations of Speech, Language, Reading and SpellingTM – The Morris Center’s unique neuro-developmental approach to improving phonological processing, reading and spelling aims to stimulate phonemic awareness — the ability to recognize that words consist of a sequence of individual sounds. Based on the theoretical models and enhanced through extensive research by the professionals at The Morris Center and its colleagues, participants work through a unique, systematically-tiered application of the NOW! Program.

Students become conscious of the mouth actions that produce speech sounds. This awareness allows for the verification of sounds within words and enables individuals to become self-correcting in reading, spelling and speech. NOW! initially uses mouth picture cards to heighten awareness in individuals of exactly what their mouths are doing when they make certain sounds. Each sound has a name based on the mouth action needed for that sound. For instance, the sounds /p/ and /b/ are called “lip poppers” because in order to make those sounds, one must close the lips tightly and pop them open quickly.

As participants progress, these picture cards are used to “read” and “spell” words. The emphasis is not on conventional reading and spelling; students instead focus on feeling what the mouth is doing while making individual sounds. Students do an exercise called a chain in which they are to recognize and isolate the sound change from one word to another and reflect that change using the picture cards (and later graduating to colored blocks). Upon completion of NOW!, individuals may gain several grade levels in reading ability after about 12 weeks of intensive treatment (plus or minus 4). This occurs even after individuals have hit a plateau while receiving traditional speech-language therapy. Students exit the program with a newfound ability to analyze and reason through language tasks, having developed a greater level of phonological awareness.

A more detailed program description can be found on the NOW! Programs website – NOW! Foundations.