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Common Struggles

Dyslexia looks different for each child and across ages and stages. Some characteristics that are known to be indicative of dyslexia include:

  • Inability to sound out new words
  • Limited sight-word vocabulary
  • Listening comprehension exceeds reading comprehension
  • Inadequate response to effective instruction and intervention

More information on different signs of dyslexia in children by age group can be found in “Chapter 4: Characteristics of Dyslexia by Age Group--Strengths and Weakness” of the California Dyslexia Guidelines.

What Helps?

Early identification and intervention are very important for students with dyslexia and other reading difficulties. With appropriate evidence-based instruction and supports, a student with dyslexia can learn to read and write.

For early identification, please see Early Dyslexia Screening for K-2.

Effective reading programs for students with dyslexia and other reading difficulties should incorporate multisensory techniques to explicitly and systematically teach critical skills so that each new skill builds logically and coherently on the skills that were taught before

  • Students must be taught phonemic awareness - the ability to recognize and manipulate phonemes in words
  • Students must receive explicit instruction in word recognition
  • Students must be taught vocabulary, fluency, and reading comprehension strategies
Some Recommended Parent-led Reading Programs

Check out the Popular Homeschool Curriculum Spreadsheet. Some of the programs may be available in the Lending Library or purchased through Enrichment. Here is a brief description of some of the Reading Programs.

Some Recommended Digital/Asynchronous Reading Resources

Check out Resources Provided through OSP or Student Support. Some of these resources are available through the Student Support Team. Just complete a referral (MVA referral).

  • Reading Eggs
  • Lexia Core5
  • Lexia PowerUp
  • Reading Horizons
  • Learning Ally
Classroom Supports

In addition to appropriate instruction, some classroom supports that students with dyslexia find helpful include:

  • Extended time for reading and writing
  • Breaking up long assignments and instruction
  • A quiet place for studying and testing
  • Audiobooks (Learning Ally Referral for MVA)
  • Computer support for reading and writing
  • Closed Caption when watching videos to reinforce word knowledge
  • Assistive technology products such as tablets, electronic readers/dictionaries/ spellers, or text-to speech programs (Co:Writer/Snap&Read Referral Form)
  • Reduce visual stimuli on worksheets by using line markers, reading windows, or blank paper
  • Use digital material or enlarge printed material
Social/Emotional Supports

Students with dyslexia may also struggle with self-esteem, anxiety, and depression. You can check out our school’s social-emotional resources HERE.


What do we do if a parent thinks their child has dyslexia?

  • Talk to the parent about the concerns and ask how they came to that conclusion.
  • Review the Reading Intervention Flowchart.
  • Ensure appropriate reading instruction is being provided
  • Collect Additional Data - Administer Second Screeners (e.g. Star CBM, Bader, DIBELS, etc.)
    • STAR CBM Reading is a Secondary Screener or Progress Monitoring tool that we encourage you to use for grades K-6 students who scored low on STAR Reading or Early Literacy or are considered non-readers in grade 1 or higher
    • See Early Dyslexia Screening for K-2.
  • Implement evidence-based practices and intervention
  • Monitor progress of supports and intervention through Star CBMs or program reports
  • Refer to Pre-SST or SST Process and intervention programs (MVA referral).

I want my child tested for dyslexia.

Schools do not diagnose any disabilities. Schools identify characteristics of disabilities. Before making any referral to special education assessment, we encourage early dyslexia screening for early identifcation purposes if a parent reaches out to you about dyslexia concerns (please see Early Dyslexia Screening for K-2) and discussion with parent about their concerns and any prior supports and interventions. Screening is not a formal evaluation and does not diagnose dyslexia or determine SPED criteria for specific learning disability. Reach out to the Student Support Coordinator, Robyn Guerrieri, if you have questions about the screeners or if you have concerns for students grades 3 and higher.

Do students with dyslexia need special education?

Students with dyslexia can be educated in the general education setting with support and/or accommodations. However, early identification and intervention are very important. Multi-tiered system of support (MTSS) should be used to address concerns and provide targeted interventions.

Students with dyslexia are general education students first, can be educated in the general education setting, and benefit from a wide variety of supports (Tier 1-3). Those supports must include a comprehensive, evidence-based approach to reading and language instruction that is systematic and explicit. It is important to rule out the possibility that the observed poor reading is caused by a lack of opportunity to learn to read.

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