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Classroom accommodations for dyslexia

By Amanda Morin

For kids with dyslexia , reading can be challenging. Spelling and writing can be challenging too. What classroom help level the playing field for students with dyslexia? Here’s a look at some of the supports teachers can use to help students who struggle with reading, spelling, and writing.

Classroom materials and routines

  • Post visual schedules and also read them out loud.

  • Provide colored strips or bookmarks to help focus on a line of text when reading.

  • Hand out letter and number strips so the student can see how to write correctly.

  • Use large-print text for worksheets.

  • Use audiobooks like those available through services like Bookshare , a free online library for students with disabilities.

  • Allow the student to use a text reader like a Reading Pen or text-to-speech software .

  • Use speech-to-text software to help with writing.

  • Have on hand “hi-lo” books (books with high-interest topics for students reading below grade level).

  • Provide extra time for reading and writing.

  • Give the student multiple opportunities to read the same text.

  • Use reading buddies during worktime (as appropriate).

  • Partner up for studying — one student writes while the other speaks, or they share the writing.

Introducing new concepts

  • Pre-teach new concepts and vocabulary.

  • Provide the student with typed notes or an outline of the lesson to help with taking notes.

  • Provide advance organizers to help the student follow along during a lesson.

  • Provide a glossary of content-related terms.

  • Use visual or audio support to help the student understand written materials in the lecture.

Giving instructions

  • Give step-by-step directions and read written instructions out loud.

  • Simplify directions using key words for the most important ideas.

  • Highlight key words and ideas on worksheets for the student to read first.

  • Check in frequently to make sure the student understands and can repeat the directions.

  • Show examples of correct and completed work to serve as a model.

  • Provide a rubric that describes the elements of a successful assignment.

  • Help the student break assignments into smaller steps .

  • Give self-monitoring checklists and guiding questions for reading comprehension.

  • Arrange worksheet problems from easiest to hardest.

Completing tests and assignments

  • Grade the student on the content that needs to be mastered, not on things like spelling or reading fluency .

  • Allow understanding to be demonstrated in different ways, like oral reports, posters, and video presentations.

  • Provide different ways to respond to test questions, like saying the answers or circling an answer instead of filling in the blank.

  • Provide sentence starters that show how to begin a written response.

  • Provide extended time for taking tests.

  • Provide a quiet room for taking tests, if needed.

What’s next?

Do you have a student with dyslexia? Read a one-page fact sheet to learn more about this common learning difference.

Do you think your child may need accommodations? Explore tips for talking to the teacher about your child’s dyslexia .

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Share Classroom accommodations for dyslexia

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  • Email
  • Text Message
  • Coming soonGoogle Classroom