Accommodating Students with Dyslexia - 12 Strategies for Success

Posted by Erica Warren on

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.
helping dyslexic students

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.

 Dyslexia Help

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 Difficulty Accommodation Remedial 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.
- 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

- Play Orton-Gillingham based reading games.
Challenges with math word problems - Use multisensory and fun math strategies.
- Use strategies for solving word problems.
- Use large graph paper to help students line up problems.
- Use multisensory math lessons.
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.
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.
- Teach word finding strategies
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.
- Use other types of assistive technology for spelling.
- Offer instruction in a Orton-Gillingham Based reading/spelling program
- Offer an individualized spelling approach.
- Provide an Orton-Gillingham based spelling program.
- 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
- Play hands-on Orton-Gillingham based reading games.

Happy kids reading

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

Cheers, Dr. Erica Warren

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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