For many, dyslexia is a mysterious and strange word of a disorder that sounds like it is really difficult to support in school. The reality is much different. Parents have been bringing this concern for their child to our schools for years and finally we are addressing it in a more systematic and educated manner.
As this concern grew division-wide, our reading teachers and school psychologist took it upon themselves to educate and support our school. (Because that’s what awesome leaders like these do!) Check out their video that they sent to the staff and then followed up with questions and support:
Dyslexia is a reading processing disorder and those with it have a difficult time decoding words, thus reading slower and more laboriously. It is a brain thing, not an eye thing. You can’t wear special magical glasses to fix this.
What is the magic cure you ask? You guessed it, there isn’t one! It’s going to take a lot of hard work, direct instruction, and practice. But remember, that’s why we do what we do! To make a difference in the lives of our students. There aren’t many more important areas we teach than helping our kids learn how to read!
What can teachers do for those with dyslexia?
- Be confident that you can meet this challenge
- Provide extra wait time for processing
- Simplify the wording and visuals around the text
- Teach explicit phonics instruction with targeted individualized goals
- Repetition and practice of common words and phrases
- Make sure they are reading books on their level
- Using music and movement (my favorites, see below)
We practiced spelling sight words with a basketball chant! #ashlandsoar pic.twitter.com/9zUUW5hkCB
— Melissa Miller (@mellalin) January 24, 2017
We can do this! Dyslexia is not a mystery disability, it’s something that we can and should address with the knowledge and skills we have as educators! Find more information about dyslexia at the International Dyslexia Association.
Shout out to Crystal Watt, Melissa Miller, and Erin Mahaffey for their leadership and effort. It’s amazing to see our new norm with video production as a school. It was powerful to hear our teachers ask if this was a “professional” video…and then, of course, they answered yes! Definitely professional! Outstanding!