Dealing with Dyslexia

It has become increasingly clear that learning disabilities like dyslexia are directly affected by the environment in which a child is raised. This is not because living in a certain environment leads to dyslexia, but because environmental circumstances often dictate where a child receives early intervention and treatment for their disability. One environmental factor is where a child attends school. Children who attend affluent schools are far more likely to be diagnosed early and then far more likely to be placed in a special program that treats dyslexia.

The most important thing a teacher must understand is that dyslexia is most certainly not due to a lack of intelligence or intellectual curiosity and desire to learn. Students with dyslexia need to learn in a different way, but are just as likely to succeed if their learning takes place in the desirable manner. This is a condition that all teachers, and all parents, need to be aware of, given that possibly more than 1/5 of our students are affected by it.

One of the things teachers and parents need to be aware of is the misperceptions that dyslexia is equal to reading improperly. That issue is only one of many many difficulties of people that suffer from dyslexia. Other include: learning to speak, organizing written and spoken language, learning letters and their sounds, memorizing number facts, spelling, reading, learning a foreign language and correctly doing math operations. Not all people with dyslexia even have a problem with reading in the proper order, so parents and teachers must be on the lookout for any of these symptoms. Parents and teachers should be aware that students with dyslexia are legally entitled to special services under the Individual with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

Dyslexia is a lifelong problem, which means it is critical students are taught methods of overcoming this hurdle to progress. There is no universal solution for those with dyslexia, they all need to learn in different ways. It is clear however that the broader range of techniques a teacher uses, and the more senses involved (hearing, seeing, touching, etc…) the better likelihood the student will pick up the material being covered. It is important that teachers adapt not only the learning process, but assessment for individuals with dyslexia as well.


Matthews, James. "Dyslexia: "Learning to Learn." Baltimore Times. 29 June 2007.