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Symbol Accentuation TM Reading Program

This program, developed by Dr. Miller after years of research, is effectively used with exceptional and normal children who can speak or sign 2 and 3 word sentences but have not been able to learn how to read or write. This unique system introduces children to reading by having them "live" the meaning of a group of familiar words.

Both before and after the children compose sentences with these words, the teacher guides and participates in an exciting interplay between the children and animated sequences presented on a CD ROM, flashcards and workbook materials.

When the children are able to sight-read the common words, they learn to decipher unfamiliar words. A new set of phonetically organized presentations on the CD ROM, coupled with material in two workbooks establishes associations between their mouth movements and the sounds of letters in a word.

The Symbol Accentuation Program

  • Helps teach the symbolic function of printed words. Many children can find meaning in pictures but are bewildered by the abstract form of printed words. The specialized techniques used in this program help children understand that words can be meaningful without resembling their objects;

  • Helps children learn how to sight-read sentences in both large and small type;

  • Helps children shift from sight-reading to phonetic reading;

  • Helps children acquire letter-sounds relationships and blending and sequencing of letter sounds into meaningful words; and

  • Stimulates active participation by both students and teachers.

Hat (QuickTime)

The Symbol Accentuation Program is divided into three phases. Each phase coordinates animated sequences on the CD ROM, with flashcards and/or workbook materials.

Sit (QuickTime)

PHASE 1: Establishing Sight Reading - Ten introductory lessons. Children learn by becoming actively involved with animated sequences on the CD ROM and then with accentuated flashcards and workbook materials related to the animated word sequences previously presented on the computer.

Mop (QuickTime)

PHASE 2: Transition to Phonetic Reading -The next five lessons prepare children for phonetic reading and writing by sensitizing them to the sound components within the words they have already learned.


Sam and the Boys is an engaging children's adventure story that introduces letter-sound relations and blends in natural situations. Many of the sounds come into play as Sam and the boys try to get their car past a cow that refuses to budge so that they can get to the station to catch their train. The illustrations below show how the sounds and blends emerge from the various situations.

Sam blew his horn some more "Ooooo."
Every time Sam would blow his horn, "Ooooo" the cow would answer, "Moooo."
Sam started to get mad and the boys started to get excited.

"All together," said Sam, "Oof...oof...oof" they went.
"Moo...moo...moo" went the cow.
"" went the train coming near the station.
"Shoo...shoo" said Sam to the cow.

Sam and the Boys provides an excellent introduction to the phonics phase of the Symbol Accentuation reading program - or it may be purchased by itself. There is also a DVD of Sam and the Boys in which Dr. Miller narrates the story.

Foo (QuickTime)

PHASE 3: Phonetic Reading and Writing -During the final 15 lessons students first learn to deal with words in which consonants combine with the strong vowel oo, and then to read and write words in which consonants combine with the short vowels a, e, i, o, u.

Moo (QuickTime)

The Symbol Accentuation Program begins phonetic reading and writing instruction by teaching children to "fix" a few letter-sound relationships and then by helping them to combine these letters into meaningful words. As soon as students learn to sound and to combine a few letters into meaningful words, they learn to write these words by themselves. This pattern of "fixing," combining and writing continues through Phase 3.

Thus, during Lesson 16 children learn to utter sounds and to write the letters for sh, oo, c, b, f, m.

While in Lesson 17 they learn to combine these letters into words shoo, moo, foo, oof, coo, boo, boom and gain their meanings through both reading and writing them. This pattern of a constant oo vowel combining with different consonants continues through Lesson 20.

Lesson 21 teaches the letter-sound relationship for s and demonstrates the way the number of objects increase when a word is changed from singular to plural.

Lessons 22, 23, 24, 25, and 26 teach, respectively, the manner in which consonants combine with short vowels o, e, i, u, and a.

Lessons 27, 28, 29, 30 demonstrate the manner in which changing the vowel in the middle of a word changes the entire word; e.g., boot, bat, bit, hoot, hat, hit, hut, etc. The final lessons also differ from Lesson 16-26 in that the words are developed with minimal accentuation.

For example, while films used in Lessons 16-26 accentuated all letters in order to provide sequential cues for the appropriate sounds, the last four films from Lesson 27-30 show the first two letters (a consonant and a vowel) as a unit: e.g., ca, mo, ri, etc. Leaving only the final consonant in its "accentuated" form. The purpose here, of course, is to decrease the dependence on letter accentuation and, at the same time, to train students to cope with the first letters of a word as a unit. Such combining makes it easier for them to blend the word as a meaningful entity than it would if they had to blend separately each of three or four letters into a word.

The Symbol Accentuation Reading Program kit includes:

  • thirty lessons on a CD ROM (available for both PCs and MACs)

  • The CD ROM allows the child to interact directly with the animated materials. It also allows the teacher to readily "freeze" the action at any desired point. By pressing a key the teacher can also repeat a sequence indefinitely, and can both speed up and slow down the various word and letter-sound presentations.

  • Sam and the Boys (in book form)

  • two bound Workbooks

  • 51 flashcard sets

  • comprehensive Teacher's Manual

  • 17-minute Teacher Training video.

Download QuickTime Player

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Miller Method is a registered trademark of Cognitive Designs, Inc. The CDI Logo, Symbolic Playthings, Sign and Spoken Language and Symbol Accentuation are trademarks of Cognitive Designs, Inc.