Phono-Graphix® Reading Therapy

Phono-Graphix® is the name of this new method of teaching reading. 
It is not Phonics.
(Phonics is much more complex.)


A new way of learning to read...

Phono-Graphix® can rapidly turn non-readers into readers and poor readers into good readers. With one-on-one instruction in combination with supervised practice between sessions, most students complete the program with grade level or above decoding skills. These results are often achieved in under 20 session hours. Once decoding skills are in place the student can benefit from classroom comprehension instruction.


Here is how the Phono-Graphi method works:

  • Children are taught the letters and letter combinations that represent sounds we use to speak. There are about 150 of these to remember.

  • These written characters or groups of characters are called Sound Pictures or Phono-Graphix®.

  • The child is then taught how to break down words into the individual sound pictures.

  • The child then sounds them out individually.

  • The child is taught to join those sounds together, then the combination of sounds is recognized the word is successfully read.

  • Students work one-on-one with a Phono-Graphix® Therapist. Each student is pre-tested and post-tested to assess progress. A parent or mentor is encouraged to attend the sessions to supervise practice between visits.


This how we all read, we just don't realize that we use this method.  When faced with words in a foreign language or words we have never seen before, we immediately slow down and adopt this Phono-Graphi method of reading.  In fact, we are automatically decoding whole words into small sound pictures and combining those sounds in our memory.  We are trying to produce a word we can recognize. 


What is decoding and why is it so important?

The person who reads uses a variety of skills. The two most important skills are recognizing print as words (decoding) and applying meaning to the words (reading comprehension). Many students will not learn to decode text without direct instruction. Phono-Graphix® provides explicit instruction in reading decoding.



Phono-Graphix® has been proven to be effective. With direct instruction and the willingness to learn, even students who have difficulty decoding can acquire word attack skills that will enable them to decode at grade level.


Original research on the Phono-Graphix® method was published by Carmen and Geoff McGuinness of Read America in the 1996 Annals of Dyslexia, a widely recognized publication in the area of reading disorders by the International Dyslexia Association. Visit Read America at their web site: 


Key Components of Phono-Graphix®...

  • Phonological Processing

    In Phono-Graphix®, the reader is taught to segment, blend and manipulate individual sounds in words through a series of hands-on activities and follow-up materials.

  • Code Knowledge Instruction

    Knowledge of the sound to symbol code is taught through carefully guided hands-on discovery activities. The code is taught one sound at a time, focusing on the various ways that the sound can be spelled in words.

  • Multi-Syllable Instruction

    Many students need additional instruction in multi-syllable reading and spelling once they have established success with monosyllable words. Multi-syllable instruction includes learning to decode one syllable at a time, blending as the reader progresses through the word. In addition, students learn to manage "schwa" sounds and other spelling challenges.


To summarize:

  • Phono-Graphix® is a particularly suitable method for children who have problems with memory.

  • It takes what the child already knows - the sounds of the language - and teaches in careful stages the ‘sound pictures’ that represent those sounds.

  • These ‘sound pictures’ are the least amount of information needed
    in order to break down and read any word.



How Does the Program Work?

Students work one-on-one with a Phono-Graphix® therapist.  Each student is pre-tested and post-tested to assess progress.

A parent or mentor is encouraged to attend a session to supervise practice between visits.



"We have been very pleased with the marked improvement in our autistic daughter's reading ability. The Phono-Graphix method Mrs. Whelchel uses has been very effective. She makes our daughter feel very comfortable during the session."

Barbara Minor


"Mrs. Whelchel's used Phono-Graphix® with our son resulting in an increase in his reading skills.  He not only reached grade level but beyond."

Mr. and Mrs. Timothy R Nolan


"We cannot thank you enough for all you have done for our son.  He is so confident today and is not afraid to tackle tasks which might be more challenging."

Sharon Spaulding