A.T. Update

Vol. 2 April 2016

Focus on Dyslexia and Dysgraphia

Both at the Federal and State level, there is a push to recognize and use the term dyslexia, as it refers to students with reading disorders. Along those lines a commonly seen area of concern is Dysgraphia which are commonly seen together. This month's A.T. Update focuses on Apps and tools to assist with these areas of concern.


On February 18, 2016, the President signed into law the Research Excellence and Advancements for Dyslexia Act (READ Act) which targets research to further the understanding of dyslexia, which includes early detection methods and teacher training. The bill requires that $2.5 million be dedicated to dyslexia research annually.

What is Dyslexia?

Dyslexia is a common condition that impacts the way the brain functions when it encounters written and spoken language. While it typically impacts reading it can also effect writing, spelling, and speaking. It is not a sign of low intelligence, as people with dyslexia are capable of processing complex ideas and concepts. Unfortunately, dyslexia is a lifelong condition however, there are many strategies that can be used to overcome the obstacles associated with the condition.

What should I look for?

There are different degrees of severity just as there are for any disorder or condition and as such symptoms can look different from person to person. Typically, children that suffer from dyslexia struggle with reading and writing. They can also show areas of weakness with grammar and reading comprehension. At times, those with dyslexia have difficulty expressing themselves due to their difficulty structuring their thoughts. While others struggle with spoken language and understanding what people are saying to them, particularly when language includes nonliteral language.

How can I help?

There are many options available to teachers and parents to help those with dyslexia. Options range from low-tech to high-tech and everything in-between.

Low-tech Options:

· Multi-sensory approaches to learning

· Extra time on assignments and assessments

· Color overlays

High-tech Options:

· Word-prediction software

· Screen reading software

· Use of word processors