What is Dyslexia?

According to IDA and NIH, Dyslexia is:

  • A specific learning disability that is genetic and neurobiological in origin. It is characterized by difficulties with accurate and/or fluent word recognition and by poor spelling and decoding abilities.
  • Characterized by a deficit in the phonological component of language, often unexpected in relation to other cognitive abilities, and the provision of effective classroom instruction.
  • Phonological awareness = the ability to identify, think about, and manipulate the individual sounds in words. It is an oral language skill.

What are some symptoms of poor phonological awareness in speech, reading, and spelling?

  • Articulation errors
  • Mispronunciations of multisyllabic words
  • Trouble remembering sound/symbols relationships
  • Trouble reading and spelling phonically regular nonsense words
  • Difficulty applying phonics
  • Slow reading rate
  • Difficulty sequencing sounds when spelling
  • Confusions between similar-sounding sounds
  • Tendency to rely on visual appearance of words
  • Classic early warning signs
  • A close relative with characteristics of dyslexia
  • Late talker
  • Chronic ear infections
  • Early stuttering
  • Constant confusion of left vs right
  • Late establishing a dominant hand
  • Difficulty learning to tie shoes (directionality)
  • Trouble memorizing address and phone number
  • Word retrieval when speaking

Dyslexia Facts:

  • According to the NIH researchers, In the U.S., dyslexia occurs to some degree in 1 out of every 5 people.
  • Only 1 in 10 children with dyslexia will be eligible for an IEP; therefore 9 out of 10 children will "fall through the cracks" in public schools.
  • Dyslexia is the most common reason a child will struggle first with spelling, then with written expression, and eventually "hit the wall" in reading by third grade.
  • Dyslexia is NOT caused by a vision problem. People with dyslexia reverse the letters "b" and "d" or say "lap" for "pal" because of directionality issues and because of problems with sounding out words.
  • Children do not outgrow dyslexia. It is a lifelong issue. Early intervention is the best way to prevent or minimize damage to their self-esteem and reduce the fear and dislike of school.
  • Dyslexia can be accurately diagnosed between the ages of 5 and 6.
  • Dyslexia is not related to IQ. The IQ of those with dyslexia range from high to low.
  • Dyslexia will impact more than reading. It will impact other skills such as, spelling, speech, memorizing sequences, and learning random facts.

What does an evaluation for dyslexia look like?

Assessment of dyslexia involves individual testing, most often provided by a team of qualified professionals. Professional clinicians who assess Specific Learning Disabilities (SLD) and dyslexia may have degrees in Education, Reading, Speech Language Pathology, School Psychology, Psychology, or Neuropsychology. Evaluation by a medical doctor is not required for assessment or identification of SLD or dyslexia.

What does therapy look like for children with dyslexia?

The Barton Reading & Spelling System will be used to elicit the reading and spelling targets. The Barton Reading & Spelling System is an Orton-Gillingham based one-on-one tutoring system creased to improve spelling, reading, and writing skills for people who struggle with these skills due to dyslexia. Stimuli mandated by the program will be used to elicit the specific targets.

What are some accommodations that made help my child with dyslexia?

Changes to the environment and instruction is needed to enable children with disabilities to be successful learners and to participate actively with other children in the general education classroom and in school-wide activities.

Classroom Accommodations:

  • Present a small amount of work at a time
  • Allow use of instructional aids and visual supports
  • Use assistive technology (apps)
  • Use explicit teaching strategies
  • Teach mnemonics

Homework Assignments

  • Decrease items in assignments
  • Fewer spelling words
  • Fewer math problems
  • Allow alternate mode of response
  • Accept dictated responses to homework
  • Accept oral reports
  • Accept a demonstration or project as a way to exhibit knowledge