Alison is a speech pathologist and member of the Council of Learning Difficulties Australia. She has posted several excellent videos on Youtube detailing the reasons why some children find the teaching they receive confusing, and suggesting ways of unpacking them. This video is a particularly clear illustration of the problems that arise from using the first letter of a word and guessing from accompanying pictures. How phonics got framed is a very clear explanation of the conflict between "whole language" and phonics. My approach on this site is based on phonics, but with systematic explanation of the elements of English that are not phonically regular, so that children are not confused when letters do not convey the information they expect.
Many thanks to Karina McLachlain for putting us in touch with each other.