Find answers to frequently asked questions about dyslexia and learn more about effective ways educators can support students with dyslexia.
Your destination for reliable information on supporting students with dyslexia, the Dyslexia Hub features useful information and helpful resources from EPS School Specialty. On this tab, you’ll find an introduction to dyslexia, followed by answers to frequently asked questions about dyslexia. For articles that go into more depth on dyslexia, check out the Dyslexia Info tab. For curriculum resources and powerful reading intervention programs that support students with dyslexia, visit the Dyslexia Resources tab.
What is dyslexia?
Dyslexia is a common neurobiological condition that can impair reading abilities. Sometimes called a gift or difference, and existing on a spectrum, dyslexia is part of the brain’s visual, phonological, and language processing capabilities. With respect to reading, dyslexia could be referred to as a learning disability, but with respect to many other things in life, dyslexia could be considered an advantage. Individuals with dyslexia often exhibit strengths like high intelligence, creative problem-solving, and spatial awareness skills, while they may struggle to master reading skills like spelling, decoding, comprehension, and fluency.
How does dyslexia affect students in the classroom?
Dyslexia can affect reading, writing, spelling, and sometimes math skills. In the classroom, dyslexia can manifest as difficulty with decoding words, reading fluently, and spelling accurately. The best way to deal with dyslexia’s affect on students in the classroom is by testing, identifying, and actively supporting students with dyslexia. An environment of acceptance and support is another powerful way to improve the ways dyslexia affects students in the classroom.
How can educators identify students with dyslexia?
Educators should engage specialists to administer formal assessments to obtain definitive diagnoses. In addition, all educators can stay on the lookout for signs like students who struggle with reading despite having average or above-average intelligence; difficulty with phonological awareness; and persistent reading and spelling errors.
What are some tips for creating a dyslexia-friendly classroom environment?
To promote a healthy classroom environment for students with dyslexia, educators should provide structured routines, deliver clear instructions, minimize distractions, use dyslexia-friendly fonts and formatting, and offer all students a supportive environment and inclusive atmosphere.
How can educators adapt existing teaching methods to accommodate students with dyslexia?
To better accommodate students with dyslexia, educators should consistently provide visual aids; practice reading aloud and using audio tools; divide tasks for students with dyslexia into smaller, more manageable chunks; give students frequent breaks throughout lessons; and utilize multisensory instruction based on the Orton-Gillingham approach.
How can educators support students with dyslexia during reading assignments?
To enable students with dyslexia to participate more effectively in reading assignments, educators should offer them extra time to complete assignments, provide alternative reading materials targeted to the student’s reading abilities, and encourage the use of audiobooks, digital texts, or other formats.
What strategies can help students with dyslexia with spelling and writing tasks?
To support spelling and writing success for students with dyslexia, educators can help by systematically teaching phonetic spelling rules, consistently providing spelling aids, using speech-to-text software and other forms of tech to support students with dyslexia, and emphasizing the importance of working through the editing process to improve writing skills.
How can educators, families, and leaders promote self-esteem and confidence in students with dyslexia?
Praise effort and progress, not just outcomes. Create safe, inclusive environments where students feel comfortable sharing their challenges. Encourage peer support and understanding for students with dyslexia in the classroom. Promote inclusivity by educating classmates about dyslexia, fostering empathy, and organizing activities that encourage collaboration and peer tutoring. Focus on growth rather than perfection, use formative assessments, and be flexible with evaluation methods to accommodate unique learning styles.
How can educators and administrators learn about the legal requirements for accommodating students with dyslexia in the classroom?
Educators, administrators, and other leaders looking to learn more about the legal requirements surrounding dyslexia can familiarize themselves with relevant laws like the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, which detail accommodations and support for students with dyslexia.
Can students with dyslexia excel academically and achieve their goals?
Absolutely! Students with dyslexia often achieve great success. Support, accommodations, and a nurturing environment are all excellent ways for educators and administrators to actively help students with dyslexia excel academically and achieve any goals they pursue. Every student with dyslexia is unique, so it's essential to tailor support to each student’s specific needs. Collaborating with parents, involving specialists, promoting a culture of acceptance, and staying informed about best practices are all great ways to effectively help students with dyslexia in the K–12 classroom to excel and succeed.