October is Dyslexia Awareness Month

October is Dyslexia Awareness Month
Posted on 10/01/2020
Teacher and Student

October is Dyslexia Awareness Month. Did you know dyslexia is the most common learning disability? The following is information and resources available to students exhibiting signs of dyslexia.

What is dyslexia?

Dyslexia is a language-based learning disability. Students with dyslexia usually experience difficulties with reading, spelling, writing, and pronouncing words. Dyslexia affects individuals throughout their lives; however, its impact can change at different stages in a person’s life. It is referred to as a learning disability because dyslexia can make it very difficult for a student to succeed academically in the typical instructional environment, and in its more severe forms, will qualify a student for special education, special accommodations, or extra support services.

Misconceptions about dyslexia:

  1. Individuals with dyslexia write “backwards.”
    Instead, their writing looks jumbled at times because students have trouble remembering letter symbols for sounds and letter patterns in words. Dyslexia is a language-based disorder resulting from how the brain processes sounds.
  2. Students with dyslexia have a disease and can be cured.
    With proper diagnosis and appropriate, timely instruction, students with dyslexia can succeed in school.
  3. Students with dyslexia have a lower level of intelligence.

What are the troubles experienced by people with dyslexia:

  • Learning to speak
  • Learning letters and their sounds
  • Organizing written and spoken language
  • Memorizing number facts
  • Reading quickly enough to comprehend
  • Persisting with and comprehending longer reading assignments
  • Spelling
  • Learning a foreign language
  • Correctly doing math operations
  • Not all students who have difficulties with these skills have dyslexia. Formal testing of reading, language, and writing skills is the only way to confirm a diagnosis of suspected dyslexia.

Problem solving for students exhibiting reading difficulties
It is important that all students receive high-quality intensive reading instruction that includes all aspects of reading. Even with quality instruction, if a student continues to struggle, we need to provide additional and more targeted support. Progress monitoring needs to drive instruction across all levels of support.

Accommodations and strategies
Families will work closely with the school-based team to formulate an individualized plan. Accommodations and strategies can be provided to students that are demonstrating characteristics of dyslexia. Keep in mind that although these strategies are encouraged to be provided in the classroom, many of them could not be used during assessments unless the student has a 504 plan or Individual Educational Plan in place. Examples of accommodations/strategies that can be provided in the classroom during assignments are to break larger assignments into smaller assignments and to allow the student sufficient time to read and comprehend material. During instruction in the classroom students with characteristics of dyslexia may benefit from multi-modal methods when presenting new materials, the use of graphic or visual organizers, and the use of illustrations with informational text.

Accommodations and strategies can also be provided to students in content areas. Examples are assigning peer reading buddies, review vocabulary prior to reading, use of a keyboard when appropriate, use of graphic organizer, use of grid paper to line up math problems and present information in small increments.

Additional dyslexia resources:
Dyslexia in the Classroom

The School District of Palm Beach County