Classroom Strategies

Dyslexia is a learning disability that impacts the ability toread and spell. It also can affect short-term verbal memory. Manychildren with dyslexia have problems with organization and languageprocessing. They may have trouble following directions or instructions.Many children with dyslexia have trouble in school and may fall behindtheir peers, especially in reading.

Children with dyslexia,however, can succeed in school and in life. Early intervention is thebest approach toward improving skills, however, children at all ages canimprove skills when given the opportunity and proper learning tools.Students with dyslexia learn best through multisensory and structuredmethods of teaching.

Symptoms of dyslexia may be different inchildren, however, there are a number of common classroom accommodationsthat can be incorporated in a regular classroom to help studentssucceed:


Most classroom tests arewritten assessments that must be completed within an allotted amount oftime. This can be difficult for the student with dyslexia. Someadaptations to test taking:

  • Reading test questions to the student and writing down the answers
  • Allowing students to tape-record answers rather than having to write them
  • Provide extra time to complete the test
  • Let students complete tests during free periods
  • Limit the words given on weekly spelling tests
  • Allow reading or phonics tutors to give spelling tests based on their teaching, rather than those being taught in the “regular” classroom
  • Grade tests and assignments on content without taking off points for misspelled words or sloppy handwriting
  • Provide vocabulary lists for tests
  • Modify tests to be fill in the blank or matching rather than multiple choice or essay tests
  • Provide a review sheet and review for tests the day before


Readingis impacted by dyslexia. Children often miss words, have troublesounding out words or reverse sounds while reading. Some ways readingteachers can help students with dyslexia:

  • Never ask a student with dyslexia to read aloud in class unless they volunteer
  • If reading aloud is imperative, allow the student to complete this at home, by tape-recording his reading
  • Provide the student with the information to be read aloud beforehand so he can practice and be familiar with the passage or story


Teachersoften determine homework assignments based on an estimate of how longstudents will take to complete the work. This estimate is based on a“normal” student and special needs students are often asked to completethe same homework. This may take them double or triple the time tocomplete the assignment.

Teachers can implement some changes in students with dyslexia such as:

  • Provide students and parents with a maximum of how long homework should take to complete. Students should stop when they have reached the time limit, no matter whether they have finished or not.
  • Limit the amount of homework by allowing students to answer every other or every third question. Make sure chosen questions will show an understanding of concepts.
  • Allow students to dictate answers to a parent and have the parents write down the answers (verbatim).
  • Allow students to tape record answers and hand in the recording rather than a written assignment.

Inaddition to these accommodations, teachers should be willing to listento their students. Often, they have developed strategies to compensatefor their weaknesses and can help the teacher in understanding how theylearn.

See also:

Music Helps Students with Dyslexia


What is Dyslexia, Parent Information Center, Buffalo, WY.

Helping Young Children with Learning Disabilities at Home, Doris J. Johnson, LDOnline, 2000.

What is Dyslexia, Roger P. Harrie and Carol Weller, Kidsource, 1984.

The copyright of the article Classroom Strategies for Dyslexia in Special Needs Education is owned by Eileen Bailey. Permission to republish Classroom Strategies for Dyslexia in print or online must be granted by the author in writing.

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