dyslexia in kids
school-based learning

Dyslexia in kids: accommodations for successful learning

Dyslexia in kids is common, roughly affecting as many as 1 in every 5 children. What this is is a learning disability that affects a child’s ability to read, write, spell, and in some cases speak.

Children with dyslexia have difficulty reading at a decent rate and without errors. Often difficulties with not only reading, but with comprehension, pronunciation, and writing.

However, with intervention and accommodations, these problems are not a concern.

Most practitioners consider somewhere between 5 and 15 percent of people in the USA are affected by dyslexia. An estimated percentage of as many as 17 percent of the total population exhibit symptoms of reading problems no matter how smart they are.

Dyslexia is something that a child cannot outgrow, unfortunately. Yet there are methods and strategies for teaching that will help kids with dyslexia develop reading skills while managing difficulties.

For diagnosing dyslexia in kids, Children will need to be tested as part of a full evaluation. You can read more about testing on understood.org Test for dyslexia.

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Signs of Dyslexia in kids

Dyslexia in kids can occur in a variety of ways. If you’re worried that your child might have dyslexia, look for these symptoms:

  • In preschool children, when speaking they will often reverse letter sounds
  • Children may have trouble with rhyming words
  • Some kids have difficulty with naming and identifying letters
  • School-aged children may read slower than their classmates
  • Students may avoid reading task all together
  • Children may not be able to understand what they are reading and or may take longer to process the information
  • They may have a hard time answer text-related questions
  • A student may display difficulty with sequencing items and objects
  • Students may have trouble with pronouncing new phrases
  • Students may have spelling errors

In different kids, dyslexia can look different, so it’s essential to stay in contact with your child’s teachers as reading becomes a more significant part of the school day.

What causes dyslexia in kids

While researchers have not yet found what induces dyslexia there appear to be neurological variations.

Tests have shown that in kids with dyslexia, the corpus callosum, which is the region of the brain that separates the two hemispheres, can be distinct.

In children that have dyslexia, portions of the left hemisphere can also be different. However, it’s not apparent that these variations cause dyslexia.

Researchers have identified several genes related to these brain variations. This has prompted them to conclude that a genetic explanation for dyslexia is likely to exist.

Dyslexia in kids also tends to run in families. Research illustrates that children with dyslexia also have parents with dyslexia.

And these biological traits can lead to differences in the area. It is possible, for instance, that some parents who have dyslexia may share with their children lesser early reading experiences.

dyslexia in kids
Dyslexia in kids: Accommodations for Successful Learning

Diagnosing dyslexia in kids

A complete assessment is vital for your child to have a definitive diagnosis of dyslexia. A professional appraisal will be the core component of this.

These assessments can also use forehead, ear, and cognitive tests. Furthermore, questions about the family history of your child and the home literacy background might be included.

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) provides access to educational interventions for children with disabilities.

Because it may take several weeks or longer to plan and receive a complete assessment for dyslexia, parents and teachers can decide to initiate additional reading training before test results are determined.

If your child reacts to specific recommendations readily, it may be that dyslexia is not the proper diagnosis.

Although much of the testing is completed in preschool. If your child is not reading at grade level, or if you notice any signs of dyslexia, particularly if you have a family history of reading difficulties, you might want to take your child to see a specialist to have an assessment.

Accommodations for the home

If your child has a rough time reading, you might be curious why and what could help. To learn reading skills, some children need more time and training than others. To get there, others require additional assistance and support.

It can turn up in surprising ways as kids struggle with literacy. They might miss doing homework, or they could not want to go to school. In certain situations, when they’re upset, they may act out in class.

No matter what’s behind your child’s reading difficulties, there are ways to help. Taking notes on what you’re seeing is a significant move. Patterns can begin to appear as you watch your child.

Then chat about what you see with others, like your child’s teacher, the school’s occupational therapist, or another caregiver. If they’ve observed something closely related, find out. They can be an excellent knowledge base and suggestion sources.

Accommodations by the teacher

I recognize that all teachers strive to search for advice and tweak their skills, whether they are new to the field or experienced veterans, so they are best prepared to support their pupils.

To facilitate students facing dyslexia, teachers should focus more on structured literacy which includes teaching phonology, sound symbols, syllables, morphology, syntax, and semantics. 

Here are some other teaching techniques that would come in handy while teaching such students:

Explicit Instructions: You make learning simple and straightforward for students with detailed instruction. No guesswork here. Using many examples, you precisely model an ability, and at the same time, you verbalize your thinking process.

For instance, to teach students how to segment a one-syllable word into individual sounds, you might use explicit instruction.

Systematic and Sequential InstructionsYou teach abilities in a linear order through structured and chronological instruction. Before moving on to more advanced skills, students study and master more specific skills.

For example, before telling them to explore the blends in words, you will teach learners how to blend two letters.

Dyslexia in kids


If you think that your child might have dyslexia, order a complete examination early on. A qualified professional’s tailored phonics guidance will make a difference between how much, how soon, and how easily your child copes with it.

Early intervention will also prevent distress and anger from being endured by your child.

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dyslexia in kids

About the author

Erika is a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant working in an elementary school setting. She wanted to create a blog and podcast that shows all sides of school-based learning. Her #1 focus is on providing parents of children with learning disabilities with relevant information in hopes of making each day a little more functional. So if you are interested in more content like this, please sign up below.

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