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Reading & Dyslexia

Approximately 80 percent of students with learning disabilities have been described as reading disabled. Resources within this section provide information and advice on what parents and educators can do to help students with LD gain reading skills.

There are 97 articles in this section.

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A Scientific Approach to Reading Instruction

The good news is that we have had a scientific breakthrough in our knowledge about the development of literacy. We know a great deal about how to address reading problems even before they begin...The tragedy is that we are not exploiting what we know about reducing the incidence of reading failure. Specifically, the instruction currently being provided to our children does not reflect what we know from research.

About Reading Disabilities, Learning Disabilities, and Reading Difficulties

Reading difficulties likely occur on a continuum, meaning that there is a wide range of students who experience reading difficulties. There are those students who are diagnosed with a learning disability. There is also an even larger group of students who do not have diagnoses but who need targeted reading assistance.

Adolescent Literacy and Older Students with Learning Disabilities

This report describes the adolescent literacy problem (grades 4 to 12), its consequences, and contributing factors. Guiding principles for assessment, instruction, and professional development, as well as recommendations for short-term and future consideration, are also addressed.

Adolescent Literacy: Where We Are - Where We Need to Go

A majority of federal funding for intervention programs is allocated to elementary schools, but happens when students still struggle in middle and high school? This article investigates why some adolescent readers need more assistance, and what should be done to help them.

Assistive Technology Tools: Reading

Learn about assistive technology tools — from audiobooks to variable-speed tape recorders — that help students with reading.

At Risk Students and the Study of Foreign Language in Schools

Studying a foreign language can be especially challenging for kids with oral and/or written language learning disabilities. The International Dyslexia Association looks at the kinds of problems students with both moderate and severe LD might manifest in foreign language classes, and lists some approaches teachers can employ to assist these learners.

Beginning Reading

Beginning Reading and Phonological Awareness for Students with Learning Disabilities

Biological Basis for Reading Disability Discovered

Bridging My Two Worlds

Jill Lauren's That's Like Me! is a book about 15 students with disabilities who face challenges in school but express their creativity and talents through hobbies. In the foreword, excerpted here, children's book illustrator Jerry Pinkney describes growing up with two personas: Jerry the gifted artist and Jerry the struggling reader.

Building Fluency: A Fundamental Foundational Skill

Learn about specific strategies you can use to differentiate instruction to help your students overcome fluency problems, as well technology tools that can support development of fluency skills.

Captioning to Support Literacy

Captions can provide struggling readers with additional print exposure, improving foundational reading skills. Presenting information in multiple ways can help address the diverse needs of learners in the classroom and engage students on multiple levels.

Celebrating Strengths and Talents of Children with Dyslexia: An Educational Model

Though children with dyslexia experience difficulties in processing the written language, they are often bright, creative, and talented individuals. Strengths may include mechanical aptitude, artistic ability, musical gifts, and athletic prowess. The dyslexic student may also evidence advanced social skills as well as talents in computer/technology, science, and math.

Children with LD as Emergent Readers: Bridging the Gap to Conventional Reading

For children at risk for reading failure, teachers can facilitate the exploration of emergent literacy elements, including phonological awareness, print awareness, narrative development, and early writing skills. This article provides specific activities and instructional techniques to help children develop emergent literacy elements.

Clues to Dyslexia from Second Grade On

The specific signs of dyslexia, both weaknesses and strengths, vary widely. Problems with oral language, decoding, fluency, spelling, and handwriting are addressed, as well as strengths in higher order thinking skills.

Clues to Dyslexia in Early Childhood

The earliest clues involve mostly spoken language. The very first clue to a language (and reading) problem may be delayed language. Once the child begins to speak, look for difficulties with rhyming, phonemic awareness, and the ability to read common one-syllable words.

Clues to Dyslexia in Young Adults and Adults

Learn about how the specific signs of dyslexia, both weaknesses and strengths, in any one individual will vary according to the age and educational level of that person.

Components of Effective Reading Instruction

There is no single “best” program for teaching reading. However, scientific investigators agree about the need for instruction to address certain key abilities involved in learning to read.

Connecting Word Meanings Through Semantic Mapping

Semantic maps (or graphic organizers) help students, especially struggling students and those with disabilities, to identify, understand, and recall the meaning of words they read in the text.

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