Dyslexia Resources

Information and support for students with Dyslexia

Let's get started. 10 resources that you will keep coming back to.

Whether you are a general education teacher, an interventionist or a special education teacher, speech pathologist, or school psychologist, you have worked with students who have dyslexia or a specific learning disability. These resources have been cultivated to engage, to understand the science around what is known and unknown about dyslexia, and to share well-vetted resources.

Many parents are struggling to understand dyslexia and its implications. Consider some of these resources to share with parents.

#1. What is dyslexia?

Dyslexia is a specific learning disability that is neurological 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 the growth of vocabulary and background knowledge.

International Dyslexia Association 2002


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#2. Perspectives on how to explain dyslexia to someone in 3-minutes or less.

The videos below can inspire and create awareness of the difficulties faced by students with dyslexia. Can be helpful for our children, parents, or grandparents understand dyslexia.

Dyslexia PSA: A Letter to My Teacher, Featuring Entrepreneur Patrick Whaley

#3. Understand the Myths about Dyslexia

An article addressing common myths of dyslexia was produced by www.Understood.org. There is not separate learning theory about dyslexia. We learn to read in the same way. What we know about dyslexia is based on what we know about how reading develops.

Article Resource: Debunking the myths about dyslexia.

10 Myths About Dyslexia
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#4. How the simple view of reading help us understand dyslexia.

There are several theoretical models to understand reading comprehension. The simple view of reading (Gough and Tunmer, 1986) is foundational and has been empirically tested over decades. The big idea is that both language comprehension and word recognition skills are critical to reading comprehension. Most of the variance in reading comprehension can be explained by either language comprehension or word recognition skills.

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The Simple View of Reading illuminates the relationships between dyslexia and language disabilities.

  • Dyslexia is typically poor decoding, but good listening comprehension.
  • Language disabilities are students with typically good decoding but poor oral comprehension. Students diagnosed with these difficulties typically are eligible as speech and language impaired.
  • Language-based learning disabilities are students with both poor decoding and poor oral language comprehension).
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#5. Can schools use the term Dyslexia?

  • Students diagnosed with dyslexia may meet SLD criteria and may need special education.

  • Specific Learning Disability or SLD in (IDEA) in “basic reading” or “reading fluency” is how a reading problem is defined in IDEA eligibility for special education services in schools.

  • Some students with dyslexia will need true special education services under IDEA, particularly if the dyslexia is severe, complicated with other conditions, or if regular intervention programs prove ineffective.

Although the term Dyslexia appears within the definition of SLD in IDEA, schools have often refrained from using the term dyslexia.

“...Nothing in the IDEA that would prohibit the use of the terms dyslexia, dysgraphia, dyscalculia in IDEA evaluation, eligibility determinations, or IEP documents.”

Michael Yudin US Department of Education (2015)

#6 Spotlight on New Resource: Intensifying Literacy Instruction Essential Practices

#7. What is all the talk about Structured Literacy?

What are the principles of structured literacy?

Teaching reading is teaching language. Structure literacy involves the explicit, systematic, and sequential teaching of linguistic components of language at multiple levels like phonemes, letter-sound relationships, syllable patterns, morphemes, vocabulary, sentence structure, and text structure.

Structured literacy is not just for students with learning disabilities. It is a call for all educators to specifically teach language components in core instruction and intensify along the tiers of instruction. If you teach reading, you are undoubtedly teaching language.

While the big ideas or elements of structured literacy are becoming more well accepted, what varies among general education instruction is the depth of the linguistic concepts covered, the explicitness, and the cumulative review. Structure literacy cornerstone is tight adherence to the principles that guide HOW the linguistic elements are taught. Our challenge is not if these are critical components to teaching reading. The challenge is the explicitness of the teaching. Our challenge is the depth of knowledge in linguistics and language for all who provide instruction in general education and special education.

  • Explicit instruction means skills and concepts taught directly and not inferred.

  • Systematic, sequential, and cumulative is an instructional design in a logical order that includes practicing only what has been taught but reviewing previously learned skills.

  • The high degree of student-teacher interaction with carefully chooses examples and non-examples.

  • Prompt, corrective feedback.

Start here:

Increase your understanding of Structured Literacy

From the front lines: Listen to instructional leaders and their journey of aligning instruction with science in practical and thoughtful ways.

#8. What are some organizations that support educators and parents with Dyslexia

There are many myths, forelore and political agendas when considering what is known and unknown about Dyslexia and learning disabilities. The following resources are considered vetted and helpful for both parents and educators.

National Resources

Local Resources

#9. Documentary Films and books about Dyslexia that are powerful and increasing awareness.

  • Our Dyslexic Children (2020) Available on Youtube
  • Mical (2020) Based on a true story of tenacity, a seven-year-old boy struggles to make sense of words on the page. But when Mike is diagnosed with dyslexia and the teachers continue to fail him, his mother takes matters into her own hands to help her son fulfill his true potential. Movie Trailer Prime Video US
  • The Big Picture: Rethinking Dyslexia (2013). The Big Picture: Rethinking Dyslexia provides personal and uplifting accounts of the dyslexic experience from children, experts and iconic leaders, such as Sir Richard Branson and financier Charles Schwab. Directed by James Redford, the film not only clears up the misconceptions about the condition but also paints a picture of hope for all who struggle with it. Documentary Trailer

Books for kids

#10. Understand the Dyslexia movement in Michigan.

Almost every state is experienced specific laws aimed at improving screening, instruction, and intervention for students who have Dyslexia. In 2018, 42 states had dyslexia-specific laws and many other under consideration. Dyslexia laws often go beyond special education (IDEA) requirements and are largely aimed at general education for improved instruction. Parents across the county are driving advocacy efforts to reshape core instruction and access to better-matched instruction.

In Michigan, there have been a series of bills proposed by the legislature over the years to specifically address dyslexia (2019, 2020), and most recently in April 2021, four bills were introduced by the Senate. The bills are going through revision Senate Bill 383, SB 380, SB 381, and SB 382.

Key aspects of Senate Bill 380 include instructional resources used to address decoding and word recognition must include a code-emphasis approach and intervention must address structured language and literacy components (phonology, orthography, semantics, syntax, morphology) within an explicit and systematic instructional framework.

Council for Learning Disabilities session recommended this site for videos on working with teachers and paras. https://education.ufl.edu/ufli/virtual-teaching/main/ Check out the series of webinars including: Dyslexia 101, Teaching reading online, https://education.ufl.edu/ufli/webinars/

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How does Dyslexia link with the Science of Reading ?

Resources, links and information related to a variety of topics can be accessed by clicking on these related Dyslexia resource links.