We’ve assembled 25 quick tips you can implement to support students with dyslexia, ranging from instructional approaches to social-emotional support. These tips can help educators create an inclusive learning environment that promotes success for all students, including readers with dyslexia. Implementing a multi-faceted approach combining evidence-based strategies, empathy, a high-quality multisensory curriculum, and individualized instruction will empower students with dyslexia and help enable them to achieve, succeed, and thrive in your school or district.
Surrounded by misconceptions, dyslexia is a learning difference related to the way individual brains process information. Dyslexia is unrelated to motivation or intelligence; however, it can impact the way students process and understand written language. Students with dyslexia often struggle with reading, writing, and spelling, which leaves them feeling frustrated and discouraged. With the right strategies and support, students with dyslexia can flourish in the classroom. Explicit, targeted instruction that addresses the specific needs of students with dyslexia is essential.
Reading (an acquired, not an innate, skill) requires specific areas of the brain to read, while individuals with dyslexia utilize alternative neural pathways. These pathways help students with dyslexia succeed in many areas of life, but can create difficulties in achieving accurate, fluent reading. With early identification and intervention, students with dyslexia can develop strong literacy skills and succeed academically and in their careers. To help you implement best practices and improve outcomes for your students with dyslexia, we’ve curated this essential list of quick tips.

25 tips for supporting students with dyslexia:

  1. Utilize a multisensory instructional approach that incorporates visual, auditory, and kinesthetic elements.
  2. Provide explicit, systematic instruction in phonics, decoding, and word recognition.
  3. Enhance instruction with technology, such as text-to-speech software or audiobooks.
  4. Create a structured, predictable classroom environment with familiar routines and clear expectations.
  5. Make directions simple and provide frequent opportunities for practice and review.
  6. Use graphic organizers, such as mind maps or flow charts, to help students organize their thoughts.
  7. Emphasize the meaning of text through comprehension strategies like summarization and visualization.
  8. Use a variety of reading materials, from high-interest books to magazine articles.
  9. Use color-coding and highlighting to help students identify important information.
  10. Break tasks down into smaller, more manageable steps.
  11. Provide immediate feedback and positive reinforcement, encouraging creative problem-solving and independent critical thinking.
  12. Create a positive, supportive classroom culture that encourages healthy risk-taking and perseverance.
  13. Provide opportunities for students to read aloud in a safe, supportive environment.
  14. Provide additional time and support for reading and writing assignments.
  15. Utilize the Orton-Gillingham method, implement Science of Reading principles, practice a Structured Literacy approach, and continuously reinforce key concepts.
  16. Encourage students to use assistive text-to-speech software or speech recognition software.
  17. Use frequent formative assessments to monitor student progress, using positive feedback to encourage learners and build self-esteem.
  18. Use a variety of assessment formats, such as oral presentations or visual displays.
  19. Encourage students to set personal goals and monitor their own progress.
  20. Provide frequent opportunities for peer collaboration and discussion.
  21. Scaffold instruction to provide support and guidance as needed.
  22. Create opportunities for hands-on, experiential learning.
  23. Vary instructional formats to include small-group instruction or one-on-one tutoring.
  24. Allow students to practice reflection and self-evaluation.
  25. Work closely with other professionals to deliver a coordinated, comprehensive approach to supporting students with dyslexia. 

When educators promote a supportive, collaborative school culture, they create an environment where learners feel comfortable seeking help, exploring alternative approaches to tasks, and succeeding in their own way. By following these 25 tips, including making directions clear, providing explicit instruction, monitoring reading progress, utilizing multisensory techniques, and actively helping students with dyslexia learn in the ways that work for them, educators can make a huge difference in the lives of these students and help them succeed.

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