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Accommodating Students with Dyslexia: 12 Strategies for Success



Students with dyslexia or symptoms of dyslexia often struggle in school. It is not that they have limited abilities.  On the contrary, many have IQs in the above average or genius range. As a result, instead of a dumbed down curriculum, these students need to be challenged and they need to receive accommodations, modifications and multisensory teaching techniques to unleash their learning potential.  

 Dyslexia Help
What makes it difficult to accommodate students with dyslexia is that each student has their own unique strengths and weaknesses. Yes, two students with dyslexia don’t have the same pattern of cognitive processing deficits. In fact, there are a number of profiles that can lead to this diagnosis. In addition, there are a number of specific cognitive skills that can cause symptoms of dyslexia. Consequently, a successful remediation often requires a tailored, individualized approach.  To tap into the quickest results, I have learned that one has to look at the specific cognitive difficulties underlying the academic struggles and also develop the core skills required for reading. Then, these areas can either be strengthened or compensatory strategies can help blaze detours that lead to learning.

12 Difficulties, Common Accommodations and Remedial Strategies for Success.
The following is a table that I created to help make the pathway to success a little bit easier.
Past or Present DifficultyAccommodationRemedial Strategies
Letter reversals (b and d), symbol reversals (< and >) and words reversals (was and saw)
- Teachers should not take off points when students exhibit reversals.
- Color code common reversals to help students perceive the difference.  For example, make the letter b, blue and the letter d, red.
- Provide strategies: For example, turn the greater and lesser signs into a Pacman and explain that the Pacman eats the larger number:3443
- Do fun activities that exercise abilities from the Reversing Reversals Series.
Trouble with reading aloud and sounding out words
- Provide audiobooks through organizations like Bookshare, Learning Ally, Raz-kids, and Audible
- Offer instruction in an Orton-Gillingham Based reading program
- Make reading aloud optional for struggling readers.  

- Provide audiobooks through organizations like Bookshare, Learning Ally, Raz-kids, and Audible and encourage students to either read along or visualize the story.  Encouraging learners to read along while listening can improve tracking, whole word recognition and more - learn more HERE.  
- Students with learning disabilities that impact reading can qualify for a free membership at www.bookshare.org
- Offer instruction in a Orton-Gillingham Based reading program
Challenges with math word problems
- Use large graph paper to help students line up problems.
Trouble understanding jokes, punchlines, sarcasm and inferences
Think aloud and explain the meaning behind abstract concepts, inferences and other “hidden” meanings.

Check for understanding to make sure concrete learners fully understand any abstract concepts.
- Practice interpreting jokes,
- Practice finding inferences in billboards and magazine advertisements.
- Click here for other strategies.
- Use the Good Sensory Learning Higher Order Language Bundle to exercise and strengthen these skills.
Difficulty following a series of written or aural directions
- Have a student explain their understanding of an assignment and correct any misconceptions.
- Simplify directions and highlight keywords.
- Provide oral directions, check for understanding, and repeat directions - if needed.
- Offer a larger font with less content on each page.
- Provide text to speech technology.
- Play fun games and activities that strengthen these skills.
- Consider some basic remedial assistance with the core skills required for language processing.
Trouble mispronouncing words
- Be patient and guide the student to the correct pronunciation.
- Try not to laugh at funny mispronunciations as many kids get embarrassed and feel like they are being laughed at or made to feel stupid.
- Practice difficult words by coming up with your own tongue twisters.
Difficulty rhyming words
- Spend additional time on this concept and show the idea visually by taking simple words such as cat and changing the beginning consonant.
- Play hands on rhyming games or online ones.
Trouble mispronouncing words
- Work with a speech and language professional and help the student learn how to produce the proper letter and word formations.
- Help students learn how to form the sounds with their tongue and mouth.
Trouble telling directions
- Place markers on a student’s desk or body to help them with directionality.  For example, they might have a ring on their right hand or a rabbit on the right side of their desk and a lamb on the left.
- Do fun activities that exercise directionality abilities from the Reversing Reversals Series.
Trouble recalling names or words
- Offer a word list that can help students recall important words.  
- Teach the student to use a thesaurus.
- Teach memory strategies.  Click here to learn more.  
Difficulty with spelling
- Do not take points off for spelling errors.
- Allow student to use a computer with a spell check.
- Use a smartphone, tablet, Echo or other device that can provide the spelling of a words upon request.
- Learn about Spelling strategies
Trouble learning how to read
- Provide audiobooks through organizations like Bookshare, Learning Ally, Raz-kids, and Audible
- Offer instruction in a Orton-Gillingham Based reading program
- Provide extra time when reading.
- Shorten reading assignments.
- Simplify directions and highlight keywords.
- Provide oral directions, check for understanding, and repeat directions - if needed.
- Offer a larger font with less content on each page.
- Provide text to speech technology.
- Offer instruction in a Orton-Gillingham Based reading program

If you would like a discounted bundle of all of my products for dyslexia remediation, CLICK HERE.




Dr. Erica Warren is the author, illustrator and publisher of multisensory educational materials at Good Sensory Learning.  She is also the director of Learning to Learn and Learning Specialist Courses.



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