The prescribed use of POD (12 daily sessions of one hour each) is designed to enhance Behavioural Reading Techniques, hypothesised to open new neural pathways and ‘create the learning and reading brain’.
POD intervention is based upon the multi-deficit hypotheses (phonological, cerebellar and magnocellular) of dyslexia using computer-based tasks requiring central executive processing, sequencing, visual and auditory processing as well as phonological awareness skills.
POD is web- based and available via online subscription. The initial design stimulus of POD occurred following the examination of several software programs commercially available that are becoming more common in this technology space as knowledge, computer technologies and web speeds improve.
Measurement and observation of student responses using standardized testing, anecdotal data, a Behavioural Psychology and Educational Psychology viewpoint has provided the direction for POD software design, including many and various components:
● Phonological awareness skills;
● Central executive sequencing.
● Auditory perceptual skills particularly auditory discrimination;
● Visual perceptual skills (visual tracking, visual memory, visual discrimination, visual form constancy and visual closure)
Use of POD is prescribed and recommended for students eight years and over who have NOT been diagnosed with epilepsy or other neurological disorder.
It is assumed that thorough instruction in evidence-based methodologies from Phonological Awareness and Synthetic Phonics has occurred in the early years 5-8 years old and students will be expected to have more Synthetic Phonics and explicit instruction following POD.
In addition to task requirements on the computer, students are instructed to verbalize what they are doing, wear coloured and clear glass lenses, alternating between the right and left eye, daily (to increase the visual load and central executive loading to alternate hemispheres), tap out phonemes and read letter combinations phonetically (nonsense words) as well as spell using letter names.
Within the twelve POD intensive sessions, students are instructed to read using the Behavioural Reading™ techniques. By combining the two therapies, it is anticipated that improvements in processing and phonological awareness skills, combined with explicit reading instruction, are transitioned into effective and efficient reading and broader learning behaviours typical of high achieving students.