Instructional strategies

At a Glance: Classroom Accommodations for Dyslexia

By Amanda Morin

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For kids with dyslexia, reading and writing can be challenging. Here’s a look at some classroom accommodations to help students with dyslexia.

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At a Glance: Classroom Accommodations for Dyslexia

What classroom accommodations help level the playing field for students
with dyslexia? Here are some common ways schools make learning more
accessible. Keep in mind that the accommodations listed here aren’t the
only ones available. Talk to your child’s teachers for more ideas.

For Materials
• Get audiobooks through service like Bookshare, a free online library for students with disabilities.
• Provide pictures of directions and schedules.
• Use large-print text for worksheets.
• Simplify directions with key words for most important ideas.
• Provide colored strips or bookmarks to follow along when reading.

For Teaching Techniques

• Give step-by-step instruction (oral and written).
• Repeat directions, then check to see if students understand.
• Stick to consistent daily routines.
• Use small group teaching.
• Provide notes from the lesson, or organizers to fill in and follow along during the lesson.
• Review skills daily.
• Pre-teach new and important concepts.

For Classwork and Taking Tests

Teachers can…
• Provide extra time for reading and writing.
• Provide different ways to respond, like saying the answers, having larger spaces for writing, or circling an answer instead of filling in the blank.
• Hand out letter and number strips for students to look at so they can see how to write correctly.
• Provide sentence starters that show how to begin a written response.
• Show examples of work that is correct to serve as a model.
• Arrange worksheet problems from easiest to hardest.
• Allow understanding to be demonstrated in different ways (oral reports, video presentations, posters, etc.).
Students can…
• Use a text reader (like a Reading Pen or text-to-speech software).
• Partner up to study—one person writes while the other speaks, or they share the writing.
Graphic of Classroom accommodations to help students with dyslexia
Graphic of Classroom accommodations to help students with dyslexia

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About the Author

Portrait of Amanda Morin

Amanda Morin is a parent advocate, a former teacher and the author of The Everything Parent’s Guide to Special Education.

Reviewed by

Portrait of Kristen Hodnett

Kristen L. Hodnett, M.S.Ed., is a clinical professor in the department of special education at Hunter College in New York City.

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