October is Dyslexia Awareness Month
Let's learn some facts about dyslexia
Overcoming Dyslexia - A Milestone in Dyslexia Research
Yale neuroscientist Shaywitz demystifies in this book the roots of dyslexia and offers parents and educators hope that children with reading problems can be helped. Shaywitz delves deeply into how dyslexia occurs, explaining that magnetic resonance imaging has helped scientists trace the disability to a weakness in the language system at the phonological level.
Dyslexia is a neurologically based learning disability.
On page 6, Dr. Shaywitz explains one of the most important discoveries of her research:
Approximately 20% of children are affected by dyslexia in different degrees of severity. Watch out for them.
DOES AND DON'TS FOR TEACHERS
- Make sure you use the accommodations determined by your 504 committee.
- Provide a supporting and encouraging environment for your dyslexia students. They may need more assistance than the other students to complete tasks, homework, etc.
- Understand that children with dyslexia may get tired when reading long texts. They need to try harder than other students, taking a toll on their physical stamina.
- Provide multisensory activities and lessons to help students with dyslexia.
- Use apps where materials are read to kids: Learning Ally, Bookshare.
- Offer alternative ways to demonstrate comprehension: Comprehension can be demonstrated orally (they can record themselves on their iPads, they can use graphics, posters...). Students with dyslexia are very creative. Give them choices.
- Give detailed steps on how to organize their work, their desks... A student with dyslexia may have problems with organization.
- Provide lots of read alouds.
- Use word walls with high frequency words, individual spelling lists.
- Contact your dyslexia facilitator for advice or whenever you have concerns about a student.
- Don't ask the dyslexic student to read aloud in front of the class (unless you have discussed it with him beforehand and they had the time to prepare it well).
- Don't become angry or agitated when a student mixes up instructions or has a difficult time understanding reading assignments.
- Don't focus on what they cannot, focus on strategies that will help them.
- Don't mark a paper with every spelling error outlined in red. Focus on some errors that share some patterns.
- Don't talk to the dyslexic students like they are someone of a lower intelligence. They actually have quite high IQs.
- Don't expect a quick "fix". It will take time for a dyslexic student to master the reading and spelling rules necessary to read at grade level. Average for most children is two to three years.