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What is dyslexia?

  • Dyslexia, the inability or poor ability to read is a result of a neurological difference in the make-up of the brain. Thus, it is a medical condition but requires an educational treatment. 60-80% of students with an identified specific learning disability have that disability in the area of reading and language.
  • Research clearly shows that early diagnosis and appropriate instruction is critical. 75% of our students continue to struggle if there are no interventions by 3rd grade. Along with other researchers, Dr. D. and V. Molfese, UNL professors and researchers in the brain development and dyslexia, maintain that dyslexia can be/and should be diagnosed at birth and that early childhood intervention is necessary.
  • Difficulties can occur in reading, writing, spelling, speaking, processing oral and written language, word retrieval, mathematics
  • 1 out of every 5 individuals has some degree of dyslexia
  • These problems exist in spite of conventional instruction, adequate intelligence and socio-cultural opportunities
  • Dyslexia may run in families
  • Dyslexia is characterized by difficulties with
    • phonological awareness – rhyming, blending sounds and/or segmenting sounds
    • decoding (sounding out words) and encoding (spelling words)
    • accurate and/or fluent word recognition
    • difficulty with comprehension

Characteristics of Individuals with Dyslexia

  • Difficulties with decoding and/or reading comprehension
  • Misshapen, laborious handwriting
  • Extreme spelling difficulties
  • Poor written composition
  • Difficulties in sequencing and following directions
  • Difficulty in recalling names of people, places and/or events
  • Poor oral expression
  • Difficulty with copying at near and/or far point
  • Disorganization in school and at home
  • Difficulties with time and space
  • Slowness in completing tasks
  • Poor performance on tests
  • Inconsistencies in performance

Decoding, encoding and fluency are affected.

    Deficits in the phonological component of language
  • awareness that “sounds make words”
    ability to hear sounds, blend and segment sounds, isolate sounds and rhyme
  • deficits in the orthographic component of language
    knowledge of the letter patterns representing sounds
    (ex.: ‘a’ ,‘ai’, ‘a_e’, ‘ay’, ‘ei’, ‘eigh’, ‘ey’ all have the sound of long ā)
  • fluency, accuracy and comprehension difficulties result when the student lacks phonemic awareness skills and decoding/encoding automaticity

Tracing while decoding when word cannot be automatically read. If the student has learned the sounds of the letters, tracing the letters in order enables the student to blend the sounds together in a word.

Touch Spelling

“m - e - t”

Student extends one finger for each sound in the word.

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