The Educators Guide for Students with Dyslexia

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Dyslexia

 

Do you know that Albert Einstein, Pablo Picasso, Steven Spielberg, Steve Jobs, Walt Disney, Tom Cruise, John Lennon, Richard Branson, and Brent Sopel have something in common?

Yes, they are famous! Yes, they may be considered as greatest people of their time and industry.  But you know what’s admiring and amazing? They are successful people who happen to have DYSLEXIA.  Yes, you read that right, and that’s not even a typo.

(Here’s the list of 50 Famously Successful People Who are Dyslexic)

“Dyslexia ‘should be seen as a sign of intelligence,” said Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group.  Find out why here.

This story of Brent Sopel, famous hockey player, can be the story of your neighbor, your classmate, friend, parent, sibling, son, daughter, or even your own.  “Lost in My Mind” was first published by theplayerstribune.

It is estimated that 1 in 10 people have dyslexia and over 40 million American Adults are dyslexic – and only 2 million know it.  International Dyslexia Association defined “Dyslexia as a specific learning disability that is neurobiological in origin. It is characterized by difficulties with accurate and/or fluent word recognition and by poor spelling and decoding abilities. These difficulties typically result from a deficit in the phonological component of language that is often unexpected in relation to other cognitive abilities and the provision of effective classroom instruction. Secondary consequences may include problems in reading comprehension and reduced reading experience that can impede growth of vocabulary and background knowledge.”

Special Education under IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) lists “Dyslexia” as a specific learning disability.

Is one of your students having a difficulty to read and write despite tremendous efforts you exerted?

Dr. Kelli Sandman-Hurley of the Dyslexia Training Institute authored this article, “8 Things Every Teacher Should Know About Dyslexia.”

  1. Dyslexia is real.
  2. Dyslexia is not a vision problem.
  3. Dyslexia is not outgrown.
  4. Dyslexia is not an intellect deficit.
  5. A child with dyslexia needs an explicit, multisensory and systematic intervention.
  6. Students with dyslexia need sensible accommodations.
  7. Dyslexia is recognized by all school districts.
  8. One teacher can make all the difference in the life of a child with dyslexia.

And, Nickola Wolf Nelson, Ph.D., lead developer of the new Test of Integrated Language & Literacy Skills (TILLS) and professor emerita in the Department of Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences at Western Michigan University, wrote: 10 Things About Dyslexia Every Teacher Needs to Know.”

  1. Dyslexia is a language-based learning disability.
  2. Dyslexia is hereditary and lifelong.
  3. Dyslexia is more common than many people think.
  4. Before school starts, dyslexia may not be obvious.
  5. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution.
  6. It isn’t as simple as it may seem.
  7. For students with dyslexia, some words and activities are harder than others.
  8. Use accommodations wisely but sparingly.
  9. Strategies that work with students with dyslexia help all students.
  10. Giving encouragement to students with dyslexia can truly make their day.

These articles were published in WeAreTeachers.  Click on the titles above to read the entire article.

Although teaching a dyslexic student how to read needs specialized training in Multi-Sensory Structured Language Instruction to be an effective one, Edutopia posted an article entitled “Dyslexia in the General Education Classroom.”  Tips shared here will benefit general education teachers to accommodate a dyslexic student with ease.

What can a general education teacher do to help?

  • Understand Dyslexia

Dyslexia is NOT:

  • Seeing letters or words backward (In fact, reversing letters and words is developmentally normal through the first grade.)
  • Outgrown
  • A result of laziness or lack of motivation
  • A visual issue.

 

  • Understand the Role of Accommodations

 

  • Books on audio: These should be introduced as soon as a reading deficit is suspected, and implemented as early as kindergarten.
  • Do not require the student to read aloud, unless he or she volunteers or had the opportunity to practice.
  • Provide notes ahead of time or allow the student to record the lecture.
  • Allow the student to verbally respond to short-answer and essay questions as well as dictate longer passages. Dyslexia affects writing as much, if not more, than reading. Their struggle with writing can often mask their actual thoughts.
  • Do not mark off for spelling — grade written assignments based on content only.
  • Remove time limits from testing and other timed situations.
  • Give multiple opportunities for success. If students who struggle in reading and writing are better at science, math, artistic, or physical activities, you can motivate them by showcasing their talents in other areas. It may the one thing a teacher does to save those students’ interest in school.

(The title above will lead you to the full article and a helpful video about dyslexia.)

HELPFUL DYSLEXIA LINKS FOR EDUCATORS:

Are you a parent or a guardian worried that your son or daughter has dyslexia and need help to educate yourself? This article from wrightslaw is for you!

“Dyslexia is Not a Learning Disability”

You might also be interested in the recent study of scientists about what causes dyslexia? Here’s what they found out.

We are not affiliated with any of organizations or educators mentioned in this article.  But we admire their tireless efforts and advocacy in helping students with dyslexia.  We know that this simple gesture of spreading their words won’t necessarily change the world; however, we believe at least with your help this will change the world of every dyslexic student you know.

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