Here I discuss dyslexia’s definition, symptoms,  various checklists for parents and teachers and its treatment in relation to parents and teachers.

   What is dyslexia?

Dyslexia is a specific language-based disorder of constitutional origin characterized by difficulty in single word decoding, usually reflecting insufficient phonological processing abilities. These difficulties in single word decoding are often unexpected in relation to age and other cognitive and academic abilities; they are not the result of generalized developmental disability or sensory impairment. Dyslexia is manifested by variable difficulty with different forms of language, often including, in addition to problems reading, a conspicuous problem with acquiring proficiency in writing and spelling.

  Developmental dyslexia is an unexpected difficulty in reading. Unexpected refers to children and adults who appear to have all the factors necessary to become good readers: intelligence, motivation, and exposure to reasonable reading instruction - and yet struggle to read. Here, for ease of communication. We will refer to “developmental dyslexia” as simply “dyslexia”; it is also referred to as specific reading disability. Dyslexia, first described over a century ago by a British physician, is the most common and most carefully studied of the learning disabilities, affecting 80% of all individuals identified as learning disabled.   

 It exposure to reasonable reading instruction - and yet struggle to read.

The operative words are "exposure to reasonable reading instruction". The prevalent reading instruction for the last fifty years (at least) starts with the whole word (or sentence) to abstract meaning first. To teach from the presumption that literacy is best acquired by teaching meaning first (comprehension) necessitates reading instruction that relies on such strategies as picture cues, context cues (how this helps beginning readers beggars belief), guessing from the first letter and, of course, teaching to a putative learning style.

It is these inculcated strategies that CAUSE differences in brain processing from that used by efficient readers, that is, those readers who have learnt how to decode the artificial contrivance known as the alphabet.

The "cure" for dyslexia is what should have been taught in the first place: the sound/letter (or, if you prefer, phoneme/grapheme) relationships.
Phonological Awareness is Word Analysis, Word Recognition, Oral Reading, Reading Comprehension, Spelling, Intelligence. Once this mechanism  is taught (it can't be acquired, despite what reading teachers may say), the "dyslexics" activated areas of the brain are the same as efficient readers...and is sustained. In other words, they are "cured" (but not from any neurological deficiency).

Some common problems

Teacher  thinks that he is not listening, but….

·                     he may have difficulty in remembering a list of instructions,

·                     he may have problems getting thoughts together coherently for story or essay writing

·                     he may have sequencing problems and may need to be taught strategies to cope /     alternative ways of remembering.

 Teacher  thinks that he is lazy, but…

·                     he may have difficulty in organizing work and need specific teaching to help him

·                     he may be able to answer the questions orally but can't write them down

·                     he may have found that the less he writes, the less trouble he gets into for making mistakes

 Teacher  thinks that they are not concentrating, but…

·                     he may have difficulty in copying accurately. This is often because he cannot remember chunks but needs to look at each letter, write it, then look at the board again, find the place, and so on...

 Teacher  thinks that he is careless, but…

·                     he may have very poor handwriting as dyslexic people haven’t sufficient hand skills to control the pencil.

 Teacher  thinks that he is not checking work, but…

·                     he may spell the same word several different ways if he doesn't have the visual memory to know what is right or the kinesthetic memory for it to feel right as he is writing.

 Teacher  thinks that he doesn't look carefully, but… 

·                     He may have a visual memory deficiency and therefore experience difficulty when interpreting symbols.

 Teacher  thinks that he is being awkward / impossible on purpose, but…  

·                     he may be able to produce very good work one day and the next ‘trip up over every word’. ‘Off days’ are quite common and require extra encouragement and understanding.

 Some common strengths

You may be surprised that:

·                     he has a good visual eye

·                     he may be able to arrange the furniture in the classroom very effectively

·                     he is very imaginative and skilful with his hands

·                     he may be able to make the best models

·                     he is practical

·                     he may be able to work the computer before the others - even perhaps repair it. He may be able to start the car when others have failed

·                     he is mad on sport and may excel at individual sports

·                     he has a fantastic imagination

·                     he may be able to tell wonderful stories if his long-term memory is good.

 General comments

The main problems are:

·                     poor sequencing skills

·                     poor auditory discrimination and memory

·                     poor visual discrimination and memory

·                     poor short term memory

·                     poor self-confidence

Problems with Reading

Symptoms:  Slow reading, substituting words, rearranging letters and words, headaches from reading, guessing at words, rereading over and over, extreme concentration, sounding out each word, memorizing rather than understanding and avoiding reading.

Cause:  A dyslexic comprehends by picturing the meanings of each word read.  Words such as : the, as, by, was, etc. aren’t pictured and result in confusion.  Words with no “pictures” also disorient the dyslexic.  Disorientation causes the dyslexic to see and hear things differently than they actually are.  This creates mistakes. Phonetic programs do not resolve the blank pictures.

Remedy: Dyslexics learn how to make pictures for the confusing words using a process that incorporates the creation of clay models. They recognize when they are disoriented and learn how to orient themselves. The point is to train their eyes to move from left to right, allowing their brain to see the  letters and the words in the proper sequence.

Problems with Writing (Dysgraphia)

Symptoms: Messy printing or writing, hand getting tired or sore quickly, avoiding writing, reversing letters and numbers, writing words backwards, writing letters out of order, slow and laborious writing.

Cause:  The individual may have been disoriented when being taught how to form the letters or write the words.  So much instruction has been given that the person has multiple mental images of letters and words superimposed upon each other.  The dysgraphic is unable to make certain lines, such as diagonals and curves. Mistakes and uncertainty cause stress, leading to a very tight grip.  

 Remedy: Individuals learn to recognize when they are disoriented and learn how to orient themselves.  Neural pathways are opened and strengthened to perceive and write lines accurately.  Multiple images of superimposed letters are replaced by one standard alphabet. Dysgraphics learn how to release stress in their pencil grip.

Poor Spelling

Symptoms: Reversing letters, inconsistent spelling, spelling phonetically, mixing up c and kband pd and qw and mph and f, etc.

Cause:  When disorientation occurs, the individual sees the letters three- dimensionally, as if they were floating free in space.  Because of disorientations, the person often doesn’t see consistent spellings of the same word. Being a picture thinker, the individual does not naturally make a mental image of the letters that make up that word.

Remedy: Individuals learn to recognize when they are disoriented and learn how to orient themselves.  Train their eyes to move from left to right, familiarizing their brain with the sequence of the letters in each word. Make the written word along with the clay model.

Problems with Math (Dyscalculia)

Symptoms: trouble sequencing or counting, memorizing formulas rather than understanding, number reversal, extreme concentration with math work, general difficulty with math.

Cause:  Disorientation causes the dyscalculic to experience time inconsistently.  Without a sense of time, the concepts of sequence and order are difficult to understand and implement.  These are building blocks upon which all math is based.  If numbers and formulas are merely symbols, rather than real concepts, math can only be learned through memorization, not understanding.

Remedy: Individuals learn to master the meanings of numerals and operation symbols using clay and also master the underlying concepts of mathematics, such as ·timesequence, and order. The aim is to gain a concrete understanding of mathematical functions through hands-on activities.

Problems with Coordination (Dyspraxia)

Symptoms: clumsiness, frequent accidents, problems with stairs, need to watch the ground when walking, dizziness or nausea while reading, poor sense of direction, difficulty with handwriting, etc.

Cause: Disorientation: coordination is lost by triggers in the immediate environment or by symbols that must be deciphered.  Inaccurate perception: coordination is generally poor.

 Remedy: Dyspraxics learn to recognize when they are disoriented and learn how to orient themselves in order to perceive the environment accurately and find their optimum orientation point (fine tuning) so that perception will be more accurate and coordination will improve.





Name of student: ______________________________             Grade:___________                        Age: _________



Many of the characteristics associated with dyslexia also are found in children with other specific learning disabilities or with speech/spoken language disorders. Some of the characteristics also may be present in some young children in the course of normal development. However, when these characteristics are not age-appropriate and interfere with learning, they may be symptoms of a language or learning disorder, including dyslexia and the child may need special assistance in academic or related areas.

Please check where applicable.

Characteristics that are associated with dyslexia include the following:

_____ Problems in learning the names of the letters of the alphabet
_____ Difficulty in learning to write the alphabet correctly in sequence
_____ Difficulty in learning and remembering printed words
_____ Reversal of letters or sequences of letters
_____ Difficulty in learning to read
_____ Difficulty in reading comprehension
_____ Cramped or illegible handwriting
_____ Repeated erratic spelling errors

Characteristics that may be associated with dyslexia:

_____ Delay in spoken language
_____ Difficulty in finding the "right" word when speaking
_____ May be late in establishing preferred hand for writing
_____ May be late in learning right and left and other directionality components such as up-down, front-behind, over-under, east-west and others
_____ Problems in learning the concept of time and temporal sequencing, i.e., yesterday-tomorrow, days of the week and months of the year
_____ Family history of similar problems

When these characteristics are not age-appropriate and interfere with learning, they may be symptoms of a language or learning disorder, including dyslexia, and the child may need special assistance in academic or related areas.


Accommodation school checklist.

Place a check in the column that best describes your feelings.

1. Allow extended time to complete projects, term papers, book reports, etc.



 Don't Know

2. Allow extended time to complete a test.




3. Allow student to dictate test answers.




4. Allow the test to be read to the student.




5. Allow the test to be taken with the learning disabilities/resource teacher.




6. Allow the student to give oral answers to essay questions.




7. Allow misspelling and grammar errors and grade the content.




8. Allow a pocket calculator to assist with basic calculations while student learns higher level math concepts.




9. Allow student to count on fingers while doing math and or sub vocalize while reading.




10. Allow student to do an alternate assignment in his area of strength ( over the same material).




11. Allow partial credit if the student's procedures were correct, but the final was incorrect due to errors in computations.




12. Allow rephrasing of test questions.




13. Give the student a copy of your notes.




14. Give the student a written copy of homework instructions.









1. Does student seem to have the intellectual ability to develop reading skills at a level equal to his/her peers?



2. Is student unable to read satisfactorily in spite of adequate intelligence and educational opportunity?



3. Is student’s performance in academic tasks often inconsistent?



4. Are student’s written assignments of poorer quality than would be expected considering his/her intellectual potential?



5. Can student comprehend reading at his/her grade level?



6. Can student explain major facts from stories read silently?



7. Is student’s recall ability limited, especially with words and names?



8. Are student’s math skills on grade level?



9. Does student have difficulty reciting the alphabet correctly in sequence (not in song or rhyme)?



10. Does student have difficulty in writing the alphabet correctly in sequence?



11. Does student have difficulty matching lower and upper case letters by name?



12. Does student have difficulty visually matching identical words and short phrases?



13. Does student have difficulty in handwriting?



14. Does student have trouble with drawing, writing, and copying skills?



15. Does student have difficulty with spelling?



16. Does student have difficulty discriminating similar words and letter sounds?



17. Does student show confusion differentiating short vowel sounds?





1. Does student demonstrate directional problems?



2. Does student have difficulty with spatial orientation i.e., before/ after, left/right, etc.?



3. Does student demonstrate a hand preference? R__ L__



4. Does student demonstrate a short attention span?



5. Does student demonstrate difficulty with coordination?



6. Is student easily distracted from tasks?



7. Does student exhibit signs of frustration in class?



8. Is student frequently overly active or a disturbance in class?



9. Is student often passive or withdrawn?



10. Does student often forget assignments?



11. Does student often lose papers?



12. Does student have difficulty remembering and following directions?



13. Does student lack organization skills?



14. Does student show interest and motivation towards school?


Please attach and/or list the following:

 _____Attach Copies of Other Testing Data including I.Q. (Cumulative Folder)

_____Attach Dopies of All Report Card Grades (Cumulative Folder)

_____Attach Samples of Student’s Written Work, including Expressive Writing

_____List Intervention Strategies Used


                                 DYSLEXIA REFERRAL PROCESS FOR PARENTS


To the parents of ____________________________________,

 A dyslexia screening has been requested by _____________________________ for your child.

     Please complete the form on the next page and return it with the attached questionnaire in the enclosed envelope in order that the screening process may begin.
     Upon completion and evaluation of your child’s work, and the questionnaire, you will be contacted concerning these findings and possible placement into the dyslexia program.


Please check, sign, and return in the accompanying envelope to ________________, __________ Elementary School.
__________ I have been notified as to a dyslexia evaluation for my child and will complete and return the Parental Questionnaire.

Child’s Name


Parent’s Signature



Name of student _________________________   Date ____________________

D.O.B. __________   Age __________

Parent’s name _______________________________________________________

Address _________________________ Phone _________________________







1. Have any other members of the family had learning problems?















2. Has your child received any type of remedial instruction in school?






3. Has your child repeated a grade?







1. Has your child ever been critically or chronically ill?



2. Has your child ever had an extremely high fever?



3. Does your child have any physical problems which you feel may cause difficulty in learning?



4. Does your child have allergies?



5. Has your child ever had a severe blow to the head?



6. Is your child currently taking medication?
    Please list____________________________________________



7. Does your child seem to have trouble hearing?



8. Does your child seem to have trouble seeing?







1. Do you have to often repeat instructions to your child?



2. Does your child seem to have difficulty following directions?



3. Does your child seem to spend more time than is appropriate on homework?



4. Does your child seem to need an extraordinary amount of help with homework?



5. Does your child seem to have more difficulty in reading, writing, and spelling than in most other subjects?



6. Do your child’s grades in reading, writing, and spelling seem low compared to his ability to think and understand?



7. Do you spend time reading to your child?



8. Does your child seem to enjoy being read to?



9. Does your child hesitate to read to you?



10. Does your child talk favorably about school?

Please include all additional information which might help us to help your child. Thank you.







1. Did your child begin to speak, other than syllables like Mama, before 24 months?



2. Did your child have “immature” speech at four or five years of age?



3. Has your child had a tendency to mix up parts of words or words in sentences when speaking?



4. Does your child confuse sequential words such as: before and after, right and left, yesterday and tomorrow?



5. Do you consider your child’s speech normal now?



6. Did your child have difficulty learning the letters of the alphabet in order?
    orally_____ written _____



7. Have you observed your child reversing letters when writing?



8. Did your child show a hand preference by age six?



9. Is your child still ambidextrous?

Dyslexia checklist

·                     Did you worry  that s/he spoke later than other children of his age?

·                     Is there a family history of literacy difficulties?

·                     Is the child good at things that have a strong visual element?  But inexplicitly poor in other set tasks?

·                     Is there evidence of laterality confusion?  Check this by: Asking which hand s/he writes with, which foot s/he takes penalties with, ask them to look through a cardboard tube, which eye do they hold it up to?  

·                     Hand them your watch, which eye do they hold it up to?  Does everything happen with the same side or are some things done left sided and others right sided?

·                     Can the child follow a number of instructions in sequence?  For instance, “go to the living room and get my slippers, then bring them to me.”

·                     Is there evidence of reversals when writing? 

·                     Does s/he have particular difficulty with literacy or one area of literacy, such as spelling or reading?

·                     Is the child noticeably inconsistent when reading, recognizing words then being unable to read the same word  later in the day/book/page ?

·                     Can the child spot when a word is spelt correctly when offered a range of spellings for the same word? 

·                     Does the child spell the same word in different ways on the same page?  If asked the difference between the various spellings can they identify them?

·                     If you observe the child when engaged in literacy tasks is there a noticeable difference between on task time than when they are engaged in other tasks, such as drawing, practical activities?

·                     Is the child able to talk out an answer or story but produces little when asked to write it?

·                     Do people describe the child as clumsy?

·                     Can the child add a rhyming or alliteration word to a sequence of rhyming or alliterating words?

·                     Is the child on a much easier reading book than most of his/her close friends?

·                     Is the child in a much lower spelling group than their close friends?

·                     If you observe the class during a note taking or copying activity is there a marked difference between the child and the rest of the class?

·                     Is there a noticeable difference in work output if the child is given help with planning their work?

·                     If the child is taught strategies to develop sequencing skills, does this have an effect on their work output and general happiness at school?

·                     Has the child begun to resist writing because they are bad at it?

·                     If you observe the child during a copying from the board activity, do they appear to be looking up at the board much more often that the children around them?  Suggesting a weak short term visual memory.

·                     Has the child responded to a handwriting development programme?

Have you noticed that the child has lost confidence over time in an educational setting.

Dyslexia checklist

All ages

·                     Is he bright in some ways with a 'block' in others?

·                     Is there anyone else in the family with similar difficulties?

·                     Does he have difficulty carrying out three instructions in sequence?

·                     Was he late in learning to talk, or with speaking clearly?


Ages 7-11

·                     Does he have particular difficulty with reading or spelling?

·                     Does he put figures or letters the wrong way e.g. 15 for 51, 6 for 9, b for d, was for saw?

·                     Does he read a word then fail to recognize it further down the page?

·                     Does he spell a word several different ways without recognizing the correct version?

·                     Does he have a poor concentration span for reading and writing?

·                     Does he have difficulty understanding time and tense?

·                     Does he confuse left and right?

·                     Does he answer questions orally but have difficulty writing the answer?

·                     Is he unusually clumsy?

·                     Does he have trouble with sounds in words, e.g. poor sense of rhyme?


Ages 12 - adult

·                     Is he sometimes inaccurate in reading?

·                     Is spelling poor?

·                     Does he have difficulty taking notes or copying?

·                     Does he have difficulty with planning and writing essays, letters or reports?


If they are unexpected for the individual’s age, educational level, or cognitive abilities: (check those which apply)


difficulty with the development of phonological awareness and phonological processing skills (processing the sounds of speech), including segmenting or breaking spoken words into individual sounds;


difficulty reading single words in isolation;


inaccurate and labored oral reading;


lack of reading fluency;


variable degrees of difficulty with reading comprehension;


variable degrees of difficulty learning the names of letters and their associated sounds;


difficulty with learning to spell;


difficulty in word finding and rapid naming;


variable difficulty with aspects of written composition;


difficulty with learning and reproducing the alphabet in correct sequence (in either oral or written form);


family history or similar problems.


Dyslexia Referral v Teacher’s Responsibility

Teacher Checklist
Copy of Other Testing Data including I.Q. (Cumulative Folder)
Copy of Report Card Grades (Cumulative Folder)
List intervention Strategies Used
Samples of the Student’s Work, including Expressive Writing
(Return all information to school. All information must be complete)



(If above information is specific to dyslexia.)
Parental Notification
Parent Checklist
Screening Evaluations verses Committee Decision as follows:

Not Accepted
Reg. Ed./___


At Risk for Dyslexia
Parent Notification/No.


Special Ed. Referral
Reg.Teacher to initiate Special Ed. Referral





Name of student____________________ Date_______________

Campus___________________ Grade_____ D.O.B.________

Referred by____________________ Position________________

Completed by_____________________ Position______________

Reason for referral______________________________________




Grade _____      Retention: Yes/No      When?_____________

Excessive Absences: Yes/No                Health: Good/Fair/Poor

Hearing and Vision Screening: Vision____pass; _____fail

                                              Hearing____pass; _____fail

Medication: (please list)__________________________________






Chapter Reading



Chapter Math



Gifted and Talented



Special Ed.



Ever referred for Special Ed.





A. Some reasons why wide reading for pleasure is necessary

·                     good readers are good because they read a lot

·                     academic benefits

·                     personal growth and enjoyment

B. Some General Guidelines

·                     confidence as a parent

·                     providing assistance

·                     developing a plan in a cooperative manner (explain what kind of reading and why; listen to child's views; identify major concerns, e.g., time, books, etc.; develop a plan; establish new routines; evaluate)

C. Finding and Creating Time

·                     scheduled or obligated time

·                     recreational or free time

·                     guidelines for finding time (establish quiet times, daily reading is best, take time from activities closer to the interest level of reading; for reluctant readers start with relatively short periods of time, honor and guard your child's reading time)

·                     TV(change family viewing patterns; 10 hrs/week; sustained silent reading)

D. Gathering a variety of interesting materials

·                     variety (include comics, magazines, etc)

·                     interest

·                     quantity (borrow, buy, exchange)

E. Helping the child who has difficulty reading

·                     support and believe in your child

·                     read to your child

·                     get help

·                     give help at home (daily practice reading EASY materials)

·                     find high interest books that are easy to read



1. The student's work must be at his instructional level.
2. Homework must be done at the student's independent level.
3. Follow-up should be at the student's independent level with 90% accuracy.
4. Assignments should be written down and said orally because of transposing.
5. Students should be asked to repeat the directions to make sure he/she has processed them correctly.
6. A line marker should be used if the student keeps losing his place.
7. A pointer or arrow should be used as a point of focus or reference when working at the board.
8. Enunciation should be clear for all students with auditory problems.
9. Students should be retaught whenever needed.
10. Independent learning centers should be established to stress pre-reading and pre-writing skills. (Dyslexia designee will help with these)
11. Grades should be given for oral work.
12. Tests should be given orally and exact answers recorded.
13. Parents should be allowed to read and/or record exact answers for homework.
14. Peer tutors should be used in the classrooms to read and record answers for the student.
15. Students should be given 2 or 3 questions per page to look for. If student cannot find the answers he/she rereads and does not go on until the answer is found.

Entrance :

1. Independent reading is 2 grade levels below expected performance level
2. Poor Phonics
Average and above IQ
Good oral communications
5. School has exhausted compensatory and/or remedial programs


1.                  The following modifications and adaptations are recommended for implementation in all mainstream classrooms in which handwriting is a primary means of demonstrating mastery.

A.      Utilize short answer tests, reducing the number of concepts which must be covered in the answer to obtain credit. Include items such as fill-in-the-blank, sentence completion, multiple choice, true/false and matching, whenever possible.

B.      When essay answers are required, allow the student to list concepts, rather than write paragraphs.

C.      When tests involve a variety of test items, star (*) key items which the student should complete first. This modification allows him to receive credit for major objectives without being penalized for a lack of writing clarity and speed.

D.     Underline or highlight important material in texts or hand-outs. Highlighting can involve key words, main ideas, important names, vocabulary, etc. Star (*) what is most important, teaching the student the ability to identify key points in corresponding, highlighted detail. Use colored chalk to distinguish activities upon the blackboard.

E.      Provide a skeleton outline to completed. Roman numerals should be filled in, and capital letters left blank. Permit other students to take notes which can be shared to supplement the notes the student has made on his own.

F.      Extend the time for completion of written assignments.

G.      Permitting the student to tape his responses is another alternative to handwritten assignments.

H.     When written assignments cannot be modified break up the assignment into smaller increments and extend the time for assignment completion. When time cannot be extended, modify scoring in this manner:

Number correct
____________ x 100 = % Mastery
Number Attempted

I.        For drill/practice assignment, reduce the number of questions, problems, or sentences to be done at one time.

J.        Avoid assignments to be copied from the board. Instead, supply the student with a syllabus or prepared assignment sheet. In mathematics, when problems must be copied from the board, reduce the number and allow adequate time. To aid the student and other students with similar difficulties in proper alignment, permit them to turn their paper sideways using the lines to separate the places.

K.      Avoid using overhead transparencies for students to copy as well. When transparencies must be used, a master should be made and students given a black and white copy of same.

L.      Allow the student to develop special projects of hands-on activities as an alternative to written reports.

M.    Utilize computer programs to offer review/drill activities without handwriting requirements.

N.     Avoid counting off for handwriting in a spelling test or on a written assignment in another subject, or counting as wrong a problem solved correctly but inaccurately copied.

O.      Homework assignments should avoid reliance on written work or copy work. Book reports and assigned questions could be completed by tape recorder or performed orally in class.

P.      Within these modifications, the student should be able to demonstrate mastery without infringing upon other class periods. He needs motor activity daily and should not be deprived of recess to complete lengthy written assignments.

2.                  The following recommendations are appropriate for the students learning environments:

A.      Provide a physical environment relatively free of extraneous auditory and visual distractions. To minimize distractions during independent work, a study carrel may be appropriate.

B.      Opportunities for the student to expend physical energy should be offered after 15-20 minutes of cognitive effort. A 3-5 minute -period of movement or motor activity will aid the student in focusing attention and expending mental energy for another 30 minutes. This will require creative thought by the teacher, but it is very important to do so. A child functions more efficiently with alternating periods of cognitive and motor demands. Prolonged cognitive demands are fatiguing, and reduce learning efficiency. Under these conditions, a child seeks relief through movement. With the teacher providing the release, the teacher remains in control. Without this structure, the student's time and choice of release may be disruptive, and the teacher loses classroom control.

C.      Make a conscious effort to reduce stress upon the student. Management strategies should focus on the positive by using positive reinforcement. Redirect and reward appropriate behaviors. Grading of papers should focus on the number correct rather than the number wrong.

D.     Give the student chores or responsibilities to perform regularly to build a sense of worth and value as a member of the classroom.

E.      Provide opportunities for the student to serve as a peer tutor in his areas of strength. Such activities will address the student's feeling of self-worth.

3.                  The following teaching strategies and instructional modifications are recommended for implementation by all teachers and therapists who work with the student.

A.      Utilize all channels and modalities for instruction. Be aware that the student often has difficult with a multi-modality presentation. He seems to be most efficient when he focuses on one modality at a time.

B.      Present only essential tasks directly related to the concept being taught. Essential tasks should be presented sequentially.

C.      Feedback on task performance is essential. Feedback should be clear and offer direction in how to improve performance. Feedback is generally most effective when it is given immediately and frequently.

D.     Teacher monitoring of the student's initial efforts is important to avoid the need for time-consuming retraining. Initial monitoring will prevent his practice of incorrect response patterns based upon earlier, undetected errors.

E.      The value of homework assignments should be assessed in terms of the degree of learning enhancement involved as well as the student's need for initial monitoring of his responses. When homework assignments must be given, the teacher should plan for some supervised assignment time at school in order to check that the student and other students are proceeding correctly with the assignment.

F.      In mathematics, permit the student to use a matrix, a mnemonic device with assists in mastery of the addition/subtraction and multiplication/division facts. Proper use of the matrix also helps in developing an understanding of the inverse relationship of the operations, as well as providing experience which can later be used in reading graphs and coordinates. Using such a device also frees the student from reliance on memory and permits him to focus on the sequence of steps in the operations.

Another Program for Students With Dyslexia or Related Disorders

Phase I

Step A: The teacher collects data on all students. The teacher identifies students who cannot keep up with the progress of most of his/her classmates in reading and writing.

Step B: Appropriate modifications are made in student's regular foundation program. The teacher may want to consider providing such students with a significant amount of time for reading connected text on a daily basis. This text should be at each student's independent and instructional level. Progress in word recognition, comprehension, and rare should be monitored.

Step C: Students who improve will remain in the regular classroom. Students who do not show progress may be at risk for dyslexia and related disorders. At risk students are then placed in programs, in PHASE II, III, or IV.

Phase II

Step A: Student is placed in remedial/compensatory program.

Step B: Students who show appropriate progress in reading and writing are mainstreamed back into the regular classroom as soon as possible. Students who show no progress in reading and writing achievement may be identified as having dyslexia or a related disorder.

Step C: Students identified as having moderate or mild dyslexia or a related disorder should be placed in Phase III program. Students identified as having severe dyslexia or a related disorder should be considered for evaluation by special education.

Phase III

Step A: Students are placed in PHASE III programs if they have been identified as having mild to moderate dyslexia or a mild to moderate related disorder.

Step B: Students who show immediate progress in these programs should move back to a regular foundation program or a remedial/compensatory programs as soon as possible. Students who show no progress may be at risk for having severe dyslexia or a related disorder and should be referred for evaluation to special education.

Phase IV

Special education services should be offered for those severely disabled students who are identified as having dyslexia or a related disorder. Students should be continually evaluated and mainstreamed into the regular foundation classroom as soon as possible.

Helping Parents to Make The Difference

It might be said that over 60% of the students with Dyslexia are right-brained learners.

Does your child:

-   Remember places they have visited, even from years ago?

-   Remember details from movies, even if they missed the plot?

-   Learn best when they see and experience information?

-   Struggle with reading comprehension, putting their thoughts on paper and/or math word problems?

-   Baffle you because of their strengths in certain areas and struggles with reading, writing and/or math

Too often Dyslexia causes one parent to rejoice and the other parent to recoil.  Why are Dyslexia and Dyslexia Symptoms so misleading?

1-   Historically, Dyslexia had a negative spin to it -- but now more and more, people are aware that Edison, Einstein, Disney, Richard Branson (Virgin Records) and Charles Schwab had this problem -- a high class problem.

2-  Some experts will say it will take 1 to 3 years to Beat Dyslexia -- when significant progress can be made in 4 months.

3-  Some experts will hyper-focus on phonics -- when you recognize this is not the way your child learns best.

4-  Too often the problem is diagnosed as a Central Auditory Processing, Visual Tracking or Attention issue (ADHD) -- when in fact the correct diagnosis may include:

-   A smart child who learns best when seeing and experiencing information.

-   A tracking issue -- which is present in over 70% of our students.

-   A processing speed issue -- for the children who think in pictures; they often take longer to process information. Think back to the 56k modems -- where it took no time to download a word document and much longer to download a video file.

5- Too often parents are told to work harder, try a tutor, go to a learning center, go to an optometrist, or accept reality -- when what you may want is a right-brained specialist, who:

-   Has the relevant parenting and professional expertise and successes.

-   Understands that your child is unique and programs should be tailored to your child's needs.

-    Looks at the whole child and has an integrated approach that leads to significant progress and helps your child and you.

-    Respects your need to understand your child from a different and far more empowering perspective.

Top 12 Memory Strategies


The twelve strategies — some of which are called mnemonic  (say “ni mon ik“)  devices –

1. Chunking

Break information up into small chunks. This is called “chunking.”  You use chunking a lot, for example,  when you memorize your friend’s telephone number, a locker combination, or your social security number. It’s easier to remember long numbers when you “chunk” them into groups of threes, fours and fives.   Why?  Because most people can only remember about three, four or five bits of information at a time.

Here are suggestions on how you can use “chunking” to remember information as well as numbers:

• Chunk vocabulary words:  group them by parts of speech or other attributes

• Chunk history: by time periods or events

• Chunk foreign language:  group words into categories like household items or occupations

• If there is no pattern to the information you need to study:  group the items into three, four or five at a time.  

2. Understanding

Before memorizing something, try to understand it.   A good way to do this: make a connection between what you are learning and what you have experienced.  The better you can relate the new information to what you already know, the easier it is to learn.

For example, before attempting to memorize events of European history, find the places on a globe (or world map); see where they are relative to one another and relative to where you live.

3. Graphic Organizers

These tools help you really SEE  things you are trying to learn. They help organize information. There are many different types of graphic organizers. You can even design them yourself.

• Venn Diagram for comparing and contrasting
• Web for the main topic and details
• Cause and Effect Design with the event in the middle box, the causes listed in the left boxes and the effects listed in the right boxes. (The effects and the causes are connected to the event by lines.)
• Cycle Organizer, which  consists of shapes drawn in a cyclic pattern with words in each shape to represent things or events that go in cycles — the water cycle, for example.

4. Visualization

To visualize means to see an image in your head without actually looking at it.

Visualization can help you learn almost anything. Here is an example.

If  the topic is the water cycle, create a mental image of a cloud. Picture it growing.  As you look, “feel” its heavy cold rain. See the rain hitting the ground, then flowing toward streams and rivers toward the ocean. Now “see” the hot sun hitting and evaporating the water and forming clouds….

Get the idea?   If you can visualize parts of the water cycle, the boring diagram becomes meaningful and remember-able.

In general, if you have trouble visualizing material, try drawing maps, charts, graphs, or pictures.

5. Association

Another learning strategy is to associate, or “connect,” each word or event with a person, place, thing, feeling, or situation.

You can connect what you are trying to learn with someone you know, or with a movie character or scene.

When you have to learn vocabulary words, just write the new words, write the definitions next to them, and then write a person, thing, event, movie, or any strong association to help you remember the meaning of each word. For example, “My altruistic Aunt Alice gives great gifts.” (Altruistic means “generous.”)

6. Rhyming

We learned the alphabet singing the ABC song. And the rhyme “I before E, except after C, or when it sounds like A as in neighbor or weigh.”

This is also a great strategy even when learning the times tables. For example, 7 and 7 went down the line to capture number 49; 8 and 4 made some stew and gave it to 32. (Rhymes don’t have to make sense!)

7. Talking

If you like to talk, here’s a strategy that’s easy and fun to use! Just talk about the information you have to learn.

Tell Grandpa, Mom, a friend, or your dog what you have to learn! Do you want to learn history? Then talk history – discuss, debate, argue.

Think of a person who may have lived during a major historical event and pretend to be that person. Now talk about the important events: who was involved, when it happened, where it took place, what happened, and why?

If you’re learning a language, then speak it at the dinner table. It doesn’t matter if others know what you are saying; you do, so you’ll learn.

8. Storytelling

Remember information in any subject just by telling a story. Write a story by focusing on the key points of what you’re learning and arranging them in a logical sequence.

It can even be a song or rhyme that tells the story. And there’s a bonus: each event in the story triggers your memory of the next event, so you’ll remember even more.

9. Writing Sentences

Do you remember learning the silly sentence “Every good boy does fine” from music class? We used this to remember the notes. You may also have used the sentence “My Very Excellent Mom Just Served Us Nine Pizzas” to remember the planets. (Oops!  Change the sentence because Pluto is no longer considered a planet…)

This strategy can even help us learn those extra troublesome spelling words. Just make up a sentence using words that begin with the letters. So, to learn “aardvark,” you may make up a nonsense sentence like: Aardvarks Always Run Down Very Angry Rowdy Kids.

10. Acronyms

An “acronym” is a word made up from the first letters of a list of words. Here’s how it works.  Take the list of words or facts that you want to remember;  put them in an order so that the first letters of each word, or the first syllables, spell a real word or a made-up word.

How do you memorize the names of the five Great Lakes?  Easy –  remember “HOMES” ( H=Huron, O=Ontario, M=Michigan, E=Erie, and S=Superior).

While this strategy won’t help you understand the information, it at least helps you to memorize it. It’s easy and fun, and you’ll probably remember the information forever. The name of the company that wrote these strategies is an acronym. STRONG stands for: Self-esteem, Trust, Responsibility, Options, Needs, Goals.

11. Rehearsing

If you want to remember information, you have to practice it.  If you don’t  it “fades.” 

So, just as actors need to rehearse in order to remember their lines, students need to rehearse to remember what they are learning. Here are some helpful hints on “rehearsing” whatever information you need to learn for homework or tests:

• Rehearse for short periods (perhaps 30 to 60 minutes) and then take a short ten-minute break.   Call a friend, have a snack, or shoot some hoops.

• Every time you rehearse: say it, write it, read it, draw it, sing it – do whatever it takes.  Multisensory methods strengthen memory!

 • Just before going to sleep: review everything you will need to know for the next day or for the upcoming test.  You’ll remember much more if you rehearse the night before.

 • Review in the morning:  while brushing  your teeth, eating breakfast or sitting on the bus.

 12. Playing Games

Playing games is a great way to memorize information.   As you play the game you are learning the material and practicing it over and over again. 

Games can help you remember facts, formulas, definitions, events or any other information you’re trying to learn.  Here is an example:

 Play “Memory,” using decks of card you make from ordinary index cards you cut in half. 

Create pairs by writing the same number on each of two cards, 1 and 1, 2 and 2, etc.  Write the numbers tiny so they will not interfere with play.  On each pair, write a question on one card and the answer on the other card. 

For examply, “2×7=” is on one card, and “14” is on its pair.  Or “Where did the Pilgrims land?” is on one card, and “Plymouth, Massachusetts” is on its mate.  Then shuffle all the cards and play memory with yourself or with a friend. 

If you’re alone, see how fast you can match up all pairs.  You’ll be able to check yourself by making sure the small numbers are the same.  Have fun!

For the Tough Ones:  if it’s really hard to remember, make a string “clothes line” between two places on a wall.  Hang the pairs next to each other with spring type clothes pins. 

For example, if circle formulas get you down: every time you walk into your room you’ll see “C=” and “2*pi*r” and “A=” and “pi*r*squared” NEXT TO each other.  Pretty soon you’ll remember the info.

 Another example is the many commercially available games to make learning to read easier and fun.  A good example is: by using any of the twenty STRONG Learning Phonics games, children in grades 1-4 can learn important phonics rules while playing popular card games such as Go Fish, War, Memory or Old Maid.

The people at Strong Learning hope some of these techniques and strategies may  make it easier for you  to remember important things.  And possibly make school days and homework nights  a whole lot better.

Dysgraphia: Strategies

Dysgraphia is a learning disability affecting writing skills.  It may manifest in difficulties with spelling, poor handwriting and trouble putting thoughts on paper.

Writing requires a complex set of motor and information processing skills.  To say a student has “dysgraphia” is not sufficient.  A student with these disorders will benefit from specific accommodations in the learning environment, as well as additional practice learning the skills required to be an accomplished writer.

Warning Signs

If a person has trouble in any of the following areas, additional help may be beneficial:

§   Grips pencil tightly, positions body awkwardly

§   Writes illegibly

§   Avoids writing or drawing tasks

§   Tires quickly while writing

§   Says words out loud while writing

§   Omits words, leaves out words in sentences

§   Has difficulty organizing thoughts on paper 

§   Demonstrates large gap between  thoughts and understanding expressed orally and written ideas

Generally, strategies fall into two categories.  First, providing alternatives to written expression.  Or , second, remediating: providing instruction and practice  for improving handwriting and writing skills. 

Both types of strategy should be considered when planning instruction and support.  In addition to specialists, don’t hesitate to involve family or friends.

To find the most beneficial type of support, you will engage in a process, trying different ideas and openly exchanging thoughts about what works best in each situation.

Following are some examples of how to teach individuals with dysgraphia.

Early Writers

§   Use paper with raised lines for a sensory guide to assist staying within lines.

§   Try different pens and pencils to find one that is most comfortable.

§   Practice writing letters and numbers in the air with big arm movements to improve motor memory of these important shapes.

§   Also practice letters and numbers with smaller hand or finger motions.

§   Encourage proper grip, posture and paper positioning for writing.  Reinforce this early (it’s hard to unlearn habits)!

§   Use multi-sensory techniques for learning letters, shapes and numbers.  For example, speak through a motor sequence (“b is big stick down, circle away from my body”).

§   Introduce computers for word processing early.  But don’t eliminate handwriting – while typing can alleviate the frustration of forming letters, handwriting is part of a person’s ability to function in the world.

§   Be patient and positive; encourage practice and praise effort — becoming a good writer takes time and practice.

Young Students

§   Allow use of print or cursive, whichever is more comfortable.

§   Use large graph paper for math calculation to keep columns and rows organized.

§   Allow extra time for writing assignments.

§   Begin writing assignments creatively, with drawing, outlining or speaking ideas into a tape recorder.

§   Alternate focus of writing assignments: put the emphasis on some for neatness and spelling, others for grammar or organization.

§   Explicitly teach different types of writing — expository, personal essays, short stories, poems, etc.

§   Don’t judge timed assignments on neatness and spelling.

§   Have students proofread work after a delay; it’s easier to see mistakes after a break.

§   Help students create a checklist for editing work: spelling, neatness, grammar, syntax, clear progression of ideas, etc.

§   Encourage use of a spell checker (speaking spell checkers are available).

§   Reduce amount of copying —  instead focus on writing original answers and ideas.

§   Have student complete tasks in small steps, instead of all at once.

§   Find alternative means of assessing knowledge — such as oral reports or visual projects.

§   Encourage practice through low-stress opportunities for writing, such as letters, a diary, household lists, tracking of sports teams.

Teenagers and Adults

§   Provide tape recorders to supplement note taking and to prepare for writing assignments.

§   Create a step-by-step plan that breaks writing assignments into small tasks (see below).

§   When organizing writing projects, create a list of key words that will be useful.

§   Provide clear, constructive feedback on the quality of the work; explain both the strengths and weaknesses of the project.  Comment on the structure as well as the information that is included.

§   If the mechanical aspects of writing remain a major hurdle, use assistive technology, such as voice-activated software.

Note: many of these tips can be used by all age groups.  It’s never too early or too late to reinforce the skills needed to be a good writer.

Although teachers and employers are required by law to make “reasonable accommodations” for individuals with learning disabilities, they may not be aware of how to help.  Speak to them about dysgraphia.  Explain the challenges you face as a result of this difficulty.

How to Approach Writing Assignments

1.         Plan your paper.  Pull together your ideas and consider how you want them in your writing.

2.         Organize your thoughts and ideas.

3.         Create an outline or graphic organizer to be sure you’ve included all your ideas.

4.         Make a list of key thoughts and words you will want to use in your paper.

5.         Write a draft.  Focus this first draft on getting your words on paper only — don’t worry about spelling or grammar.  (Using a computer makes later editing easy.)

6.         Edit your work for spelling, grammar and syntax; use a spell checker if necessary.

7.         Revise your work for producing the final draft.

8.         Rewrite your work into the final draft.

9.         Be sure to read it one last time.


What is dyslexia?

  Developmental dyslexia is an unexpected difficulty in reading. Unexpected refers to children and adults who appear to have all the factors necessary to become good readers: intelligence, motivation, and exposure to reasonable reading instruction - and yet struggle to read. Here, for ease of communication. We will refer to “developmental dyslexia” as simply “dyslexia”; it is also referred to as specific reading disability. Dyslexia, first described over a century ago by a British physician, is the most common and most carefully studied of the learning disabilities, affecting 80% of all individuals identified as learning disabled.   


The Basic Facts About Dyslexia


Who and how many are affected? 

Similar to hypertension and obesity, dyslexia occurs in gradations. In other words, within the population, reading ability and reading disability occur along a continuum with dyslexia occurring in varying degrees of severity. Dyslexia is perhaps the most common neurobehavioral disorder affecting children, with prevalence rates ranging from 5-20%. Support for the high prevalence of dyslexia comes from the 2005 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) data which indicate that only 31% of fourth graders are performing at or above proficient reading levels. Sometimes, lower prevalence rates are noted; these typically refer to the number of children with dyslexia receiving services in public schools. Differences in prevalence rates based on testing every child in a class for a reading problem compared to data based on the number of children receiving special education services were exemplified by the findings of the Connecticut Longitudinal Study (CLS). The CLS, based on a population representative of all children attending public kindergarten in Connecticut, assessed reading and intelligence in each child in the study and found that one in five children was dyslexic. This figure contrasts sharply with data based solely on numbers of children receiving special educational services, which is much smaller, about 5%. Clearly, many struggling readers are not identified by their schools.

Dyslexia affects just about as many girls as boys. It is used to be thought that dyslexia affected primarily boys, and as a result, mainly boys were identified; girls who were sitting quietly at their desks – and not reading - tended to be overlooked. This reflects what is referred to as selection bias. For example, in the CLS, not only was each child individually tested, but the researchers also obtained data on which children were identified by their schools as having a specific reading disability. While comparable numbers of boys and girls were found to be dyslexic when each child was tested, four to five times as many boys compared to girls were identified by schools. Why? The data showed that teachers tended to refer for further evaluation boys who were more active and impulsive. In contrast, girls - who were not learning to read, but who were perceived as behaving more “properly” - were not identified by their schools as having a reading problem.  It seems teachers often incorporate a “norm” for behavior for both boys and girls that is more typical of girls. As a result, boys who may be behaving on the higher end of normal rambunctious behavior for boys, are considered to be behaving poorly and referred for further evaluation.


Does dyslexia ever go away?

Dyslexia does not resolve over time.  Longitudinal studies indicate that dyslexia is a persistent, chronic condition; it does not represent a transient "developmental lag.”    The  image on the left shows the  trajectory of reading skills over time in good and poor readers. The vertical axis on the left is the reading achievement score from the Woodcock-Johnson reading test, and the horizontal axis is the age in years. Both good (upper curve) and poor readers (lower curve) improve their reading scores as they get older, but the gap between the dyslexic and the non-impaired readers remains.

 The proven persistence of dyslexia is a critical finding: children who present with reading difficulties early on must be helped immediately rather than waiting in the belief that the reading difficulties are temporary or that they will be outgrown.  While dyslexia is not cured, it can be helped greatly by early and effective, scientifically-based reading interventions. (See below: Teaching Reading and Remediating Reading Difficulties)

The Cognitive Basis of Dyslexia

Why do otherwise bright, motivated children struggle to learn to read?

Dyslexia reflects a very specific difficulty with reading and has nothing to do with intelligence. In fact, understanding ideas and concepts are often at a very high level in dyslexia as are other higher-level reasoning skills. Dyslexia is a localized problem, one involving the sounds, and not the meaning, of spoken language. Consideration of the differences between spoken and written language provides a helpful understanding of why some bright children struggle to read.

First, let us consider spoken language. We, as humans, have been speaking for hundreds of thousands years; speaking is part of the human condition. Everyone learns to speak, speaking is natural; simply place a baby in a spoken language environment and that child will learn to speak. No need to develop a spoken language curriculum for babies.

Reading is different, it is a relatively recent invention of man and many societies still rely on speaking, rather than reading. In contrast to speaking, which is natural and spontaneous, reading is artificial and must be taught.

The question is: what must be learned in order to transform the printed letters on the page to words that have meaning? Today, science has provided the answer: the letters must be connected to something that already has inherent meaning – the sounds of spoken language. And so, in order to learn to read, children must learn how to link the printed letters on the page to the sounds of spoken language. To do this, a child must first develop the awareness that spoken words can be pulled apart into their constituent parts; for example, that the word, mat is made up of three underlying sounds – “mmm,” “aaaa,” “t.” For about 60-70% of children, this awareness develops readily by the age of about six years.  In contrast, another 30- 40% experience difficulty noticing these basic sounds, called phonemes, that make up all spoken and written words.

Try it yourself, for example, can you say the word “steak” without the “t” sound? Answer: “sake.” To do this, you had to pull apart the sounds--  sss” “t” “aaa” “k” -- that make up “steak” and pull out the “t” sound and then push the remaining sounds back together so that “sake” remains. These sounds, called phonemes (defined as the smallest unit of speech that distinguishes one word from another) are the basic building block of all spoken and written words. In English, there are forty-four phonemes.

In speaking, a person automatically goes to his/her internal dictionary and retrieves the appropriate phonemes that make up a word, orders them correctly, and then utters the word. For most people, the phonemes are clear and crisp, but for reasons yet unknown, in people with dyslexia, the phonemes are less clear; they are fuzzy and less distinct. And this has important implications for both speaking and reading. In speaking, people with dyslexia sometimes retrieve a phoneme that sounds similar to the one they intended; the result is that a dyslexic sometimes intends to say one word but ends up saying a word that sounds similar. For example, a child who is dyslexic was at a ballgame where she became thirsty and asked her mother to take her to the “confession” stand. Of course, she meant, “concession” stand but pulled out -- not the exact sound -- but one that was very similar to the sound she intended.

 This difficulty in spoken language is common in dyslexia; its practical significance is that it provides a clue that a child may be at-risk for dyslexia, even before she is expected to read. Such word confusions are important clues for parents and teachers to be aware of, and to recognize that they are sound-based and not meaning-based mistakes. The person who is dyslexic knows the word s/he wants to say, but just has trouble pulling the correct sound out of his/her internal dictionary. Even in adults, such sound-based orphonological confusions (derived from the Greek word “phone” meaning sound) are often a clue that a person may be dyslexic.

In reading, the importance of being able to pull apart the sounds of spoken words and isolate individual sounds is that the individual sounds of spoken words represent the links, the Velcro, on which to connect the letters in words. If a child (or adult) cannot isolate the individual sounds, he does not have anything with which to link the letters in a word. And so, the fundamental steps in learning to read are:

·        Developing the awareness that a spoken word can be pulled apart into smaller units or phonemes; technically, this is referred to as phonemic awareness. Keep in mind that this basic first step in learning to read involves spoken language.

·        Linking each letter in a word to the individual sound it represents.  This is referred to as phonics

Once children appreciate that the printed word has the same number and sequence of sounds as the spoken word, they have mastered the alphabetic principle and are ready to read. It is important to remember that all children, the very best readers, the poorest readers, and all those in-between, must take the very same steps to becoming a reader. The difference, of course, is in the time and effort that it takes.

In summary, in order to read, a child has to develop the insight that spoken words can be pulled apart into the elemental particles of speech (phonemes) and that the letters in a written word represent these sounds. Accumulating evidence indicates that this difficulty with the sounds of spoken language is largely missing in dyslexic children and presents a persisting difficulty in adults who are dyslexic. A quote that captures this relationship between spoken and written language comes from Bloomfield, who wrote “writing is not language, but merely a way of recording [spoken] language by visible marks.”    

Making a Hidden Disability Visible

Imaging reading and dyslexia

            Dyslexia is a hidden disability; people who have it are often bright and have no outward signs of a problem. If a person has a broken arm, it is visible to all. If a person is dyslexic, how can you look within his or her brain to see the root of the problem?  For many, many years, this presented a significant problem for those who are dyslexic. Because their reading difficulty is by definition, unexpected, and they seemed to have all the cognitive equipment necessary to be good readers, dyslexic children were often undiagnosed, misdiagnosed, or worse, accused of not trying hard enough or of being not motivated or of being “stupid.”  Since people who are dyslexic have no outward visible signs of their difficulty, many even questioned the very existence of dyslexia.

In the 21st century, with the advent of functional brain imaging, this has all changed. In our laboratory, one of the very first to image dyslexia, we have now imaged several thousand children and adults as they read or attempt to read. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) is similar to MRI; if you have ever had an MRI for a headache or knee injury, fMRI and MRI use a similar scanner.  fMRI, uses somewhat more sophisticated hardware and software that allow it to capture brain changes (mainly blood flow) as a person performs a specific cognitive task, for example, reading. The  young woman in the image is looking through a prism at words projected on a screen and presses buttons to indicate that she is able to read the words. This technology has revolutionized our understanding of reading and dyslexia.

Data using fMRI from laboratories around the world indicate three neural systems for reading. These are all located in the left side of the brain: one in the front of the brain (shown in green, in the region of the inferior frontal gyrus [Broca’s area]) and two in the back of the brain (one in the parieto-temporal region, and a second in the occipito-temporal region.  The latter system (found behind the ear in the area where children often have swollen glands) is of particular importance for skilled, fluent reading and is termed the visual word-form area (VWFA).

  Neural systems in dyslexia

In dyslexic readers, converging evidence from many laboratories around the world has demonstrated “a neural signature for dyslexia,” that is, a disruption of the two neural systems in the back of the brain observed during reading.

In nonimpaired readers, three systems are evident, one anterior in the area of the inferior frontal gyrus  and two posterior, the top system around the parieto-temporal region (shown in red) and the bottom system around the occipito-temporal region. In dyslexic readers, the anterior system is slightly overactivated compared to non-impaired readers; in contrast, the two posterior systems are underactivated. This pattern of underactivation in left posterior reading systems is referred to as the neural signature for dyslexia Brain imaging now provides visible evidence of the reality of dyslexia; dyslexia is no longer a hidden disability. 

Imaging also reveals compensatory overactivation in other parts of the reading system. The compensatory neural systems allow a dyslexic person to read more accurately. However, the critical visual word-form area remains disrupted and difficulties with rapid, fluent, automatic reading persist. The dyslexic continues to read slowly.

Neurobiological evidence is beginning to emerge indicating that many dyslexics are not able to make good use of sound-symbol linkages as they mature, and instead, they come to rely on memorized words. A recent fMRI study also demonstrates the importance of memory systems in dyslexic readers. Together, these recent neurobiological findings suggest that as dyslexic children mature, neural systems supporting word memorization develop, rather than the systems supporting sound-symbol linkages and automatic reading that are observed in typical readers.

Functional imaging has been helpful in demonstrating that the neural systems for reading are malleable, and that the disruption in these systems in young struggling readers can be modified by an effective reading intervention (see below: Teaching Reading and Remediating Reading Difficulties). Compared to struggling readers who received other types of intervention, children who received an experimental intervention (which focused on evidence-based application of the alphabetic principle) not only improved their reading but, compared to pre-intervention brain imaging, demonstrated increased activation in the neural systems for reading. These data have important implications for public policy regarding teaching children to read: the provision of an evidence-based reading intervention at an early age improves reading and facilitates the development of those neural systems necessary for reading.


Translating Research into Practice

What to Look for in Diagnosing Dyslexia

Clues to a Diagnosis of Dyslexia

Dyslexia is more than simply a score on a reading test. Reflecting the core sound-based phonological deficit, a range of downstream effects is observed in spoken as well as in written language. Phonological processing is critical to both spoken and written language. While most attention has centered on the print difficulties, spoken language is also affected. The ability to notice, manipulate, and retrieve individual sounds (phonemes) has an important function in speaking, for example, a person must retrieve phonemes from his/her internal dictionary lexicon and serial order them correctly in order to utter the spoken word. Thus, it should not be surprising that problems with spoken language, albeit more subtle than those in reading, are often observed.

·        late speaking

·        mispronunciations

·        difficulties with word retrieval

·        needing time to summon an oral response

·        confusing words that sound alike, for example, saying “recession” when the individual meant to say, “reception”

·        pausing or hesitating often when speaking

·        using lots of “um’s” during speaking, lack of glibness

·        using imprecise language, for example, “stuff,” “things,” instead of the proper name of an object

·        underestimation of knowledge, if based solely on (glibness) of oral response

As reflected in the spoken language difficulties in dyslexia noted above, it is apparent that dyslexics are not glib, particularly when put on the spot for a quick response. Keep in mind: this is not a matter of knowing the answer. Rather, the problem - when the person knows the answer - is in pulling the word out and saying it, that is, in retrieving the spoken word instantly. Glibness should not be taken as a measure of understanding, especially in a person who is dyslexic.

A range of difficulties is noted in reading at all ages. Awareness of these signs is important and may lead to earlier and more accurate diagnosis of dyslexia in children and adults. Specific clues to dyslexia noted in reading are listed below.

·        Slow progress in acquiring reading skills

·        Lack a strategy to read new, unknown words – trouble sounding out unfamiliar words

·        Inability to read small, so-called function words such as “that,” “an,” “in”

·        Terrific fear of reading aloud; avoidance of oral reading

·        Oral reading filled with mispronunciations, omissions, substitutions

·        Oral reading that is choppy and sounds like reading a foreign language

·        Reliance on context to discern the meaning of what is read

·        Disproportionate poor performance on multiple choice tests

·        Slow reading

·        Reading is tiring

·        Inability to finish tests on time – doesn’t finish or rushes and makes careless errors; final test grade does not reflect person’s knowledge of the topic

·        Disastrous spelling

·        Homework that never seems to end; parents recruited as reader

·        Messy handwriting despite what may be an excellent facility at word processing

·        Extreme difficulty learning a foreign language

·        Avoidance of reading for pleasure which seems too exhausting

·        Reading effortful, demands extra attention and concentration to read

·        Requires quiet environment to concentrate on reading

·        Reading accuracy improves over time, though it continues to lack fluency and remains laborious and slow

·        Lowered self-esteem with pain that is not always visible to others

·        Development of anxiety, especially in test-taking situations

·        History of problems in reading, spelling, foreign language learning in family members

The lack of reading fluency brings with it a need to read “manually” (a process consuming great effort and time), rather than automatically; the cost of such reading, in addition to reading slowly, is a tremendous drain on attentional resources. This is often observed in the classroom when struggling readers are asked to read quietly, deplete their attentional resources as they struggle with the print, and, as a consequence, appear to be daydreaming or not attending to the assigned reading.  An additional cost to the person is that non-fluent or “manual” reading is very tiring to the person.


Sea of Strengths Model of Dyslexia

In contrast to the spoken language and reading difficulties in dyslexia, other abilities, particularly higher level cognitive abilities including thinking, reasoning, vocabulary, and problem solving are usually intact. This conceptual model of dyslexia has been referred to as a Sea of Strengths Model of Dyslexia.  This model considers dyslexia to be an encapsulated or circumscribed weakness in decoding surrounded by a range of higher level cognitive strength. In diagnosing dyslexia, the goal is to identify both the strengths and the weakness and in managing dyslexia, the weakness is remediated and the strengths are acknowledged and facilitated. A critical component of managing dyslexia, as discussed below, is to ensure that people who are dyslexic are able to access their strengths and this is most commonly achieved through the provision of accommodations such as extra time on examinations.


How dyslexics think

As noted above, dyslexia is more than a score on a reading test. In fact, dyslexia is more than just a reading difficulty, it is a way of thinking and of being. Differences in brain organization not only give rise to slow reading, they also generate a different way of thinking. Intact higher level abilities offer an explanation of why reading comprehension is often appreciably above single word reading accuracy and fluency in dyslexia. Often strong vocabularies and strong conceptual skills enable a dyslexic to figure out a word or the gist of a paragraph even when that person cannot decipher the specific word on the page.

Dyslexics tend to be top-down rather than bottom-up thinkers; that is, they learn from getting the big picture or the overall idea or meaning first, and then fill in the specific details. People who are dyslexic learn best through meaning, by understanding the overall concept or main idea rather than through rote memorization of isolated facts.

        Strong visualization skills are also an asset to those who are dyslexic.


Making a diagnosis of dyslexia

Dyslexia is a clinical diagnosis, best made by an experienced clinician who knows the individual, has taken a careful history, observed the child or young adult reading, and administered a battery of tests that assess the child’s intelligence, academic skills including reading accuracy, fluency and comprehension, spelling, mathematics (which is often high), and language skills, particularly phonological processing (getting to the sounds of spoken language). The uneven peaks and valleys of cognitive and academic functioning both contribute to the clinical picture of dyslexia: a weakness in phonologically-based skills in the context of stronger cognitive and academic skills in non-reading related areas. 

The critical element is the unexpected nature of the reading difficulty, that is, it is unexpected in relation to a person’s age, intelligence, education, and professional status. And so, if a person has an IQ in the superior range or is a physician or an engineer and has a reading accuracy score in the so-called “average” range, there is a disparity between that individual’s ability, education or training, and his/her reading achievement – that person is dyslexic.  Just recently, in our laboratory, using longitudinal data from the CLS, our research team has been able to demonstrate that in good readers, intelligence and reading are linked and mutually influence one another over time. However, and critically, in the case of dyslexia, intelligence and reading go their separate ways, are not linked, and do not influence one another. This finding provides important empirical evidence to support the definition of dyslexia as an unexpected difficulty in reading. This dissociation in dyslexia between intelligence and reading also provides strong evidence for the findings of low reading achievement in the presence of strong intellectual abilities in people who are dyslexia.

As children mature compensation often occurs, resulting in relatively accurate, but not fluent, reading. Awareness of this developmental pattern is critically important for the diagnosis in older children, young adults, and beyond. The consequence is that such dyslexic older children may appear to perform reasonably well on a test of word reading or decoding accuracy; on these tests credit is given irrespective of how long it takes for the individual to respond or if there are initial errors in reading that are then corrected. Accordingly, tests of reading fluency – how quickly and accurately -- individual words and passages are read aloud and tests assessing reading rate are keystones of an assessment for, and an accurate diagnosis of, dyslexia.


What do you do if you suspect a reading problem in your child?

Do not wait!! We now know that reading difficulties are persistent. Teachers and parents, too, often rationalize: it’s just a developmental lag; she’ll outgrow it; he’s a boy. Early on, in preschool or kindergarten, a child - who has difficulty learning the names of the letters and then the sounds associated with each letter or letter group, and doesn’t seem to be able to learn how to sound out words - should be considered at-risk and assessed for a possible reading problem. At this early stage, often a speech and language pathologist is extremely helpful in assessing the spoken language skills that represent the foundation for learning to read. As a child matures and seems to be struggling with reading and exhibiting the difficulties in spoken and/or written language noted above, that child should receive a full evaluation for the possibility of dyslexia. Children learn about three thousand new words a year; in the US, children tend to be identified as dyslexic in third grade or often, much later. This means that these struggling readers are already behind in learning ten thousand or so words; a terrible burden to place on a child – especially when there are highly effective reading interventions now available.


Other considerations in making a diagnosis of dyslexia:

            As in other important medical conditions, the history is critical and should be given prominence in the diagnostic formulation. Observing the person read and administering tests are ancillary and helpful. Since vision and hearing are critical for reading, children and adults who are experiencing difficulty in reading should have their hearing and vision checked. There are no laboratory tests other than cognitive, language, and reading, that are necessary to make a diagnosis of dyslexia. While brain imaging is a very helpful research tool, it is not yet reliable enough when used on individuals (rather than with groups) to be used as a diagnostic tool. Similarly, while there is research exploring possible genetic links to dyslexia, this is still in its early stages and there are currently no reliable genetic tests for dyslexia. Most likely, there are several genes governing the reading process and much more work to be done. An additional consideration in making the diagnosis is the role of attention. Attention is critical for learning to read as part of the reading process itself. Struggling readers require large amounts of attention, sometimes more than they can provide. In addition, there is a significant overlap or high “co-morbidity” between the occurrence of dyslexia and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Both frequently occur in the same individual. Consequently, a consideration of the possibility of an accompanying ADHD should also be considered in those diagnosed with dyslexia; similarly, dyslexia should be considered as a possible additional diagnosis in those diagnosed as ADHD.


Essentials of Dyslexia Management:

I. Teaching Reading and Remediating Reading Difficulties

All children must take the same steps in learning to read. Accordingly, the basic components of reading that must be mastered are shared by all readers: good readers and struggling ones. What and how to most effectively teach reading now has a scientific basis. In 1998, Congress, concerned about what seemed to be a growing epidemic of reading difficulties in children, mandated that a National Reading Panel (NRP) be appointed to carefully review and assess the scientific data on teaching children to read. One of us (SS) was honored to serve on the NRP and in April, 2000, presented the Report of the NRP to the US Congress. Basically, the Panel found that the most effective, evidence-based approach to teaching reading must include five critical components:

·        Phonemic awareness: the ability to be aware of, notice, or manipulate the sounds of spoken language

·        Phonics: learning to link letters to the sounds they represent

·        Fluency: the ability to read both accurately and rapidly, and with good intonation

·        Vocabulary: to understand the meaning of words read

·        Comprehension: to understand and discern the meaning of connected text

Furthermore, these components are most effectively taught in an explicit, systematic approach. For struggling readers, it is critical that, in addition to an evidence-based approach:

·        instruction is intense, that is, in small groups not greater than 4-5 students;

·        sufficient time is devoted to teaching reading and language-related skills, for example, sixty to ninety minutes, optimally, each day;

·        support services are provided to children until they become not only accurate, but also fluent for most words at their grade level;

·        accommodations are provided to permit dyslexic students to demonstrate their knowledge

Just as for other important conditions that affect the health and welfare of children where we expect physicians to prescribe the most effective, proven treatments, today, in education, science has progressed so that it is now possible, and indeed, mandatory, that children be taught reading by evidence-based, proven methods. Such evidence-based approaches have been found to be highly effective for improving reading in children who are dyslexic. Interventions focused at word decoding and single word identification levels have had the most consistent evidence and have been shown to be the most effective, particularly in prevention and early childhood studies.  Fluency and comprehension focused interventions have had less investigation, but have still shown some, albeit more variable, effects on reading outcomes in these students.  Programs that systematically integrate multiple-focused interventions are considered to be the most effective, although their specific sequencing, degree of overlap, and level of focus on each component during each phase are still open to critical investigation. There is no single program that is head and shoulders above other evidence-based programs.  Up-dates on the most recent evidence evaluating the efficacy of reading programs are found on the What Works Clearing House Web site (www.whatworks.ed.gov) of the Institute for Educational Sciences of the US Department of Education.

  II. Providing Accommodations

Accommodations that Help Level the Playing Field

A complete education for a dyslexic student includes evidence-based reading interventions and accommodations. As noted above, intervention data, while promising, have yet to indicate closing the gap in the ability to read words fluently in children beyond the first few grades. Accordingly, although dyslexic children will improve their accuracy, lack of fluency (slow, effortful reading) continues to be a concern at all grade levels, increasingly so as children move up into middle and high school and then into postsecondary education.

Accommodations are of three general types:

1) those that by-pass the reading difficulty by providing information through an auditory mode;

2) those that provide compensatory assistive technologies; and,

3) those that provide additional time so that the dysfluent reader can demonstrate his/her knowledge.

First, beginning quite early in their schooling, dyslexic readers require alternative modes of acquiring information so that their vocabulary and fund of knowledge more closely reflect their intellectual level than their impaired reading ability. Access to recorded materials, for example, from Recordings for the Blind & Dyslexic (www.rfbd.org), whether they are based on the school curriculum or reflect what peers are reading for pleasure, are a necessity for such children if they are to keep up with their classmates and with their own intellectual curiosity and interests. Next, assistive technology, computers with both print-to-speech as well as speech-to-print software, provide further compensation for oft-noted difficulties with handwriting, spelling, and lack of fluency.


The Scientific Basis for the Necessity for Accommodations for Dyslexia

A major advance has been the convergence of behavioral and neuroimaging data providing evidence for the critical need for extra-time on examinations for dyslexic students, particularly as they progress towards high school graduation and beyond. Thus, behavioral data indicating the persistence of dysfluent reading are now supported by neurobiological data.  When describing  the neural signature of dyslexia, in dyslexic readers the posterior reading systems, especially the left occipto-temporal (word-form) region responsible for fluent, rapid reading, is disrupted in dyslexic children and adults. Other compensatory systems, in the frontal regions on both left and right hemispheres (shown in green), and the right hemisphere homologue of the word form area develop, and these systems support increased accuracy over time.  However, the word-form region does not develop and compensatory pathways do not provide fluent or automatic reading. Accordingly, if such students are to demonstrate the full range of their knowledge, providing additional time on examinations is a necessity to compensate for the lack of availability of the efficient word-form area  and to level the playing field.

How much extra time is best determined by the student’s own experience of trial and error over the years.  Currently, there are no quantitative data available to serve as a reliable metric for gauging the specific amount of time needed by a student. Since longitudinal data, both behavioral and imaging, indicate persistence of the reading difficulty, requiring that students in postsecondary settings be tested every three or five years is not consistent with scientific knowledge. Furthermore, it is extremely expensive and even problematic. 

As students progress through school to higher grades, and compensate in reading accuracy, simple reading measures of word identification fail to capture difficulties in fluent reading and so are often misleading. In addition, since such non-automatic readers must call upon attentional resources during reading, they are highly susceptible to noise and distractions. Study and test-taking in quiet, separate rooms allow these dysfluent readers to concentrate and make maximum use of their often strained attentional resources.

People who are dyslexic are entitled to protection from discrimination under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Here are some helpful things to know about accommodations:

·        In making assessments of an individual who is dyslexic for purposes of providing accommodations under the ADA, that person’s reading must be compared with others of comparable education, intelligence, and professional status.

·        Studies have shown that providing accommodations provides no special advantage to dyslexic individuals, it just levels the playing field. It is important to know that non-dyslexic readers do not show a significant increase in test scores with extra time, while people who are dyslexic show a highly significant increase in scores. (Image 6; link to ADA Congressional testimony).

·        A Blue Ribbon Panel convened to determine the necessity for “flagging” tests taken with accommodations determined that such flagging was not appropriate. (See link to www.dra.org for full report of the Panel).

·        Dyslexia is life-long; there is no necessity and it is, in fact, inappropriate to require repeated testing after a person is diagnosed as dyslexic.


In summary, given that dyslexia represents a disparity between an individual’s reading and intellectual abilities; accommodations are critical to assure fairness and equity. Contemporary management of dyslexia provides evidence-based accommodations; these include: access to recorded materials; computers and print-to-speech software; additional time on examinations, with amount of time determined by the student’s experience. Tests are often inadequate proxies, the reality of life experience in dyslexia provides the most valid evidence for a person’s need for accommodations. In addition, it is inappropriate to assess a dyslexic person’s knowledge based on his/her performance on an oral examination in which that individual is under pressure to provide a quick or glib response. Accommodations are provided based on a student’s history, observations of his/her reading aloud, and test results; once a student is diagnosed as dyslexic, the evidence indicates this is a persistent, life-long difficulty. With provision of such accommodations, dyslexic students are entering and succeeding in a range of professions including journalism, literary writing, science, medicine, law, and education.

Adult Outcome of Dyslexia

Over time, reading accuracy improves so that dyslexic readers are able to read, albeit slowly and with great effort. In contrast, dyslexic readers continue to lack fluency. The basic phonologic difficulty persists; spoken language difficulties remain.

·        Mispronunciation of names of people and places

·        Difficulty remembering names of people and places

·        Confusion of names that sounds alike

·        Struggle to retrieve words, “It was on the tip of my tongue”

·        Lack of glibness, especially if put on the spot

·        Spoken vocabulary smaller than listening vocabulary

·        Hesitation to say aloud words that may be mispronounced

·        Childhood history of reading and spelling difficulties

·        Word reading more accurate, but still effortful

·        Lack of fluency

·        Embarrassment caused by oral reading: avoidance of Bible study group, reading at Passover seders, or delivering a written speech

·        Trouble reading and mispronouncing uncommon or strange words such as people’s names, names of streets or locations, food dishes on the menu

·        Substitution of made-up words, during reading, for words that cannot be pronounced, for example, metropolitan becomes mitan

·        Extreme fatigue from reading

·        Slow reading of most material: books, manuals, subtitles to foreign films

·        Penalized by multiple choice tests

·        Unusually long hours spent reading school or work materials

·        Frequent sacrifice of social life for studying

·        Preference for books with figures, charts, or graphics

·        Preference for books with fewer words per page or with lots of white showing on the page

·        Disinclination to read for pleasure

·        Spelling remains disastrous; in written work, preference for less complicated words that are easier to spell

·        Particularly poor performance on rote, clerical tasks


Strengths in higher level thinking processes.

·        High learning capability

·        Noticeable improvement when given additional time on multiple choice tests

·        Noticeable excellence when focused on a highly specialized area such as medicine, law, public policy, finance, architecture, basic science

·        Excellence at writing if content and not spelling is important

·        Noticeable articulateness in expression of ideas and feelings

·        Exceptional empathy and warmth and feeling for others

·        Success in areas not dependent on rote memory

·        Talent for high level conceptualization

·        Ability to come up with original insights

·        Big picture thinkers

·        Inclination to think out-of-the-box

·        Noticeable resilience and ability to adapt

Reflecting these strengths, dyslexics are often high level conceptualizers who manifest “out-of-the-box thinking” and are frequently the ones who provide new insights. As a person who is dyslexic progresses and is able to specialize in an area, s/he may become relatively automatic in reading the vocabulary recurring in that area. Dyslexics are often represented at the higher levels of a range of professions and are frequently found as leaders in such diverse areas as science, medicine, law, business, writing/literature, poetry.

Looking to the Future

There is now evidence of both the weakness and the strengths associated with dyslexia. The weaknesses have been well elaborated and described; the strengths are often overlooked. To illuminate and focus attention on the strengths associated with dyslexia and to inform society about the newest knowledge of dyslexia, the Yale Center for Dyslexia and Creativity (with the tag-line: slow reader, out-of-the-box thinker) has now been established at Yale University  (Website: www.dyslexia.yale.edu). The mission of the Center is to use the power and authority of modern science to transform dyslexia from a liability to a strength, so that his or her strengths rather than weaknesses come to define a dyslexic person’s life. The Center is actively involved in large scale dissemination and education initiatives - to produce a paradigm shift and advance societal attitudes about dyslexia. These efforts are targeting K-12 as well as higher education, medicine, business, law, policy, the media, and other innovative, scholarly initiatives to better identify dyslexia and to define the link between dyslexia and creativity.


Q: Why can't you just learn to spell? 

A: It may seem like i just acpected my disbalty and gave up on try to speel but this is hardly the truth. Many peoleop with learning disbaltys go threw many progmes and aditional education and classes to try to get there spelling and other ablityes closer to noraml. Unforntly this has just goten me to where i am now. I have done sicking hours apone hours of studying spelling and meorizing math forumals and times tables. If you saw my spelling from when serveral years ago your probly could not read it and my wrighting whould have been unlegiabl. Simpley some things i will never be able to do or spell right and this is what it is to be disabled. 

Q: Is there a cure for dyslexia? 

A: No, dyslexia is not a disease. There is no cure. With proper diagnosis, appropriate instruction, hard work and support from family, teachers, friends, and others, individuals who are dyslexic can succeed in school and later as working adults. (copyed from another site.) 

Q: Can't you just use spell check? 

A: Althougth i am shure spell checking progames work for noraml spelling mistakes and peoleop with out disbalitys, this process is exteramly uneffective for me. I either get no resuestes at all or a big list of them witch all look the same to me. If you think it is confusing to see my posts with thess spelling erorrs, just think about replaing every other word with another random word. Not only dose this make it less readable but has goten me in to turoble in the past (i am not going to go there, but switching some words or other ones with negitve meanings in elemtry shcool is not a good thing). 

Q: You can't tell your left form right? How do you walk with out falling down? (yes some one asked me this) 

A: Well peoleop with Dyslexia aucaty do have lesser balance in some cases but the reversal and switching of letters, words, meanings, ect is in the writen and virutal world and not in what we see in real life....or so i think whould be hard to tell if i do not see noramly with nothing to compare it to. 

Q: I spell things worng and mix up words alot too? Dose that make me dyslexia? 

A: Maybe, there are many difrent levels of severeity of dyslexia ranging form what i have where i could site for hours and never figure out how to spell somthing to peoleop who just mix up letters some times and never are idtified as dyslexia. If you real whont to know for shure there are tests you can take but for them to be offical they have to be adimtresed by a persofesnal and cost moeny. However there are ushely simple versons witch are done for free by the LAC at your school, they are not for shure but give an idea if you should get real testing. 

Clues to spoken language difficulties in dyslexia: (source © Overcoming Dyslexia, S.Shaywitz, Knopf, 2003, pp.122-123; http://www.amazon.com/Overcoming-Dyslexia-Complete-Science-Based-Problems/dp/0679781595)












Books about Dyslexia

Shaywitz, S. (2003). Overcoming Dyslexia: A new and complete science-based program for reading problems at any level. New York, NY: Alfred A. Knopf.

Report of the National Reading Panel. (2000). Teaching Children to Read: An Evidence Based Assessment of the Scientific Research Literature on Reading and its Implications for Reading Instruction (Vol. NIH Pub. No. 00-4754): U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.


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2. Shaywitz, S. E. (1996). Dyslexia. Scientific American, 275(5), 98-104.

3. Shaywitz S, Shaywitz B. Dyslexia (specific reading disability). Biol Psychiatry 2005;57: 1301–9.

4. Dehaene, S., Cohen, L., Sigman, M., & Vinckier, F. (2005). The neural code for written words: a proposal. Trends in cognitive sciences, 9(7), 335-341.

5. Shaywitz, B., Skudlarski, P., Holahan, J., Marchione, K., Constable, R., Fulbright, R., et al. (2007). Age-related changes in reading systems of dyslexic children. Annals of Neurology, 61, 363-370.

6. Paulesu E, Demonet J-F, Fazio F, McCrory E, Chanoine V, et al. 2001. Dyslexia-cultural diversity and biological unity. Science 291:2165--67

7. Marzola E, Shepherd M. 2005. Assessment of Reading Difficulties. In Multisensory Teaching of Basic Language Skills, J.R. Birsh, Editor, Paul H Brookes, Baltimore, MD: pp. 171-185.

8. Reynolds, C.R. (2008). RTI, Neuroscience, and Sense: Chaos in the Diagnosis and Treatment of Learning Disabilities, in Neuropsychological Perspectives on Learning Disabilities in the Era of RTI: Recommendations for Diagnosis and Intervention, E. Fletcher-Janzen and C.R. Reynolds (Eds.), John Wiley & Sons, 
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