In these three video presentations, teachers, administrators, and parents learn from the experts about how to identify students who are at risk for reading struggles in pre-k and early elementary school. You will also discover best practices for teaching all students to read, including those who need additional interventions.
Get quick answers to seven common questions that parents ask about dyslexia, including causes and assessment.
Learn how schools use screening and progress monitoring tools to identify dyslexia characteristics, and then implement reading interventions for students who need dyslexia-specific instruction. You'll also find out about classroom accommodations and modifications that can help your child learn, as well as information about referrals for special education.
1 in 5 students have learning and attention issues. An extensive literature review of empirical studies revealed three critical mindsets and eight key practices that can improve outcomes for students with learning and attention issues — and all students.
Schools and teachers play an essential role in identifying students with reading difficulties, including dyslexia. This article offers a 5-step framework for identifying reading difficulties and determining if a student is eligible for special education services under IDEA — including the role of RTI, cognitive processing tests, and other statewide assessments and curriculum-based measures.
In these video interviews, children's authors and illustrators who have learning and attention issues share their personal stories. You'll also hear from many popular children's authors who talk about books that can be engaging for kids who struggle with reading. Get tips on where to find great children's books, including graphic novels, book series, audio books, and more.
Learning to read is a challenge for many kids, but most can become good readers if they get the right help. Parents have an important job in recognizing when a child is struggling and knowing how to find help. Here are some signs to look for and things to do if you suspect your child is having trouble reading.
Talking to your child’s teacher about dyslexia is the best way for her to understand your child’s challenges, strengths and needs. Here are eight tips to help you have productive conversations.
There are many teaching methods that can help struggling readers, including children with dyslexia. Learn about the Orton–Gillingham approach and 10 other other methods to supplement your main classroom instruction.
Orton–Gillingham was the first teaching approach specifically designed to help struggling readers by explicitly teaching the connections between letters and sounds. Many reading programs include Orton–Gillingham ideas, including a “multisensory” approach, which is considered highly effective for teaching students with dyslexia.
Learn the benefits of getting your child evaluated, who does the evaluation, what happens during an evaluation, what to do with the results, and more. You can also view a video to get an inside look at a dyslexia evaluation.
Reading requires strong skills in decoding, vocabulary, and comprehension. Learn about some AT tools that can support students in these three key areas.
Learn the basics about text-to-speech, what the research says about how well it supports comprehension, tips on how to get the most out of the technology, and a short list of recommended text-to-speech tools.
In this Q&A with assistive technology expert Dr. Christopher Lee, learn more about using AT to support students with learning disabilities, finding the right AT tools, AT evaluations, self-advocacy, and much more.
Dr. Christopher Lee is a nationally recognized advocate, author, speaker, and leader in the fields of learning disabilities and adaptive technology. In this Q&A, Dr. Lee shares his personal story.
Trying out assistive technology (AT) can help you find the right tool for your child. You may be able to test out devices at your child’s school or there may be an AT lending library near you.
Assistive technology (AT) can be an effective accommodation for children with learning and attention issues. Understanding what AT is and how it works is the first step toward finding the right tools for your child.
Text-to-speech (TTS) is a type of assistive technology that reads digital text aloud. It’s sometimes called “read aloud” technology. TTS can take words on a computer or other digital device and convert them into audio. TTS is very helpful for kids who struggle with reading, but it can also help kids with writing and editing, and even focusing.
Assistive technology (AT) can be a powerful way to help children with reading issues, including kids with dyslexia. This guide is an introduction to AT tools for reading and where to find them.
Dictation is an assistive technology (AT) tool that can help kids who struggle with writing. Kids can use dictation to write with their voices, instead of writing by hand or with a keyboard — helpful for kids with dysgraphia, dyslexia and other learning and attention issues that impact writing.
A mother describes the warning signs for dyslexia in her daughter that she didn't see clearly. She also shares the life-changing resources that helped her understand what dyslexia is and how to get her daughter the support she needed to thrive.
Discover what kinds of books are especially popular with children who struggle with reading. The recommended books are based on a Reading Rockets survey of parents and educators of children with learning and attention issues, including dyslexia, ADD/ADHD, and autism spectrum disorder.
In this Q&A with Dr. Todd Cunningham, you'll learn the basics about assistive technology (AT) and how AT tools can help students with language-based learning disabilities to reach their full potential in the classroom.
Learn some best practices in helping children with language processing issues learn to read in this Q&A with expert Nanci Bell, director of Lindamood-Bell Learning Processes. Find out what works with children who have weaknesses in concept imagery or symbol imagery.
The term “learning and attention issues” covers a wide range of challenges kids may face in school, at home and in the community. It includes all children who are struggling — whether their issues have been formally identified or not. Learning and attention issues are brain-based difficulties, and they often run in families. Find resources that can help kids be successful in school and in life!
Self-advocacy is an important skill for even young kids with dyslexia to develop. But sometimes it’s hard for grade-schoolers to know what to say. Find out how you can help your child by rehearsing common situations she may face.
Audio books are a wonderful way to expose your child to complex language, expressive reading, and fantastic stories. Listening to audio books also gives kids the valuable and enjoyable experience of using their own imaginations to visualize the people and places they’re hearing about. Here, you’ll find guidance on what to look for in choosing audio books as well as listening tips.
This guide focuses on ways to encourage the independence of a student with learning disabilities while in school and as they transition to college or work.
In this webinar from the Center on Technology and Disability, AT specialists demonstrate AT tools to support students with dyslexia and discuss teaching interventions that are explicit, systematic, and multisensory, with plenty of opportunities for practice.
Teaching experience supports a multi-sensory instruction approach in the early grades to improve phonemic awareness, phonics, and reading comprehension skills. Multi-sensory instruction combines listening, speaking, reading, and a tactile or kinesthetic activity.
Discover 12 easy tips that encourage multisensory learning at home.
Many struggling and special needs students have a print disability. Teachers can meet these students’ needs by translating the three principles of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) into practice. Learn about the seven features of "born accessible materials" and how to select these materials for your school and classroom.
In this webinar from the Center on Technology and Disability, you'll learn about the current research on the use of technology for children birth to 8 years, and the implications of using these tech tools for early learning.
Three patterns of reading difficulties are common. This article explains how recognizing these three patterns can provide a valuable starting point for planning reading instruction and interventions.
Dr. Tracy Gray, a nationally recognized expert in education and technology implementation, answers questions about the use of technology to support struggling readers and writers, including children with learning disabilities.
Learn more about the English spelling system, how spelling supports reading, why children with dyslexia and dysgraphia struggle, which words should be taught, and instruction that works.
Learn how technology tools can support struggling students and those with learning disabilities in acquiring background knowledge and vocabulary, improving their reading comprehension, and making connections between reading and writing.
Classrooms can be perilous in a number of ways for students with learning disabilities. Here are some tips to remember when working with students with LD.
Our Top 8 back-to-school tips for parents emphasize communication, organization, and staying up-to-date on special education news.
Our top 10 back-to-school tips for special education teachers emphasize communication, organization, and a focus on student success.
The American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Academy of Ophthalmology, and the Council on Children with Disabilities published a statement summarizing what is currently known about visual problems and dyslexia. The statement also covers what treatments are and are not recommended when diagnosing and treating vision problems, learning disabilities, and dyslexia.
If your child has a learning disability, he or she may benefit from assistive technology tools that play to their strengths and work around their challenges.
Research-based information and advice for sizing up reading programs and finding the right one for your child with a learning disability.
A psychologist specializing in language-based learning disabilities explains how to talk to children about their LD: All the parts you need to be smart are in your brain. Nothing is missing or broken. The difference between your brain and one that doesn't have an LD is that your brain gets "traffic jams" on certain highways.
Heading off to kindergarten is a big event for all kids and parents. For young children who have struggled socially or academically during preschool, it is a transition that needs careful planning and attention. Below are four suggestions for parents of children who may need extra help making a successful move to kindergarten.
Find out more about the different types of learning disabilities, how they're identified, and what types of instruction support students with LD.
Get tips on how you can foster a sense of partnership with the teacher and administration to support your child's education.
Spelling is a challenge for people with dyslexia. The International Dyslexia Association provides a fact sheet explaining why people with dyslexia have trouble spelling, how to find out the reasons a particular child has this difficulty, and how to help children with dyslexia spell better.
Teachers: How do you convince your principal, fellow teachers, and other school staff to help the student in your class who has a learning disability? Rick Lavoie, world-renowned expert, speaker, and author on teaching children with LD, tells you how to get your voice heard. Learn how to handle common road blocks and become a proactive and successful advocate in the hallways, the teacher's lounge, and the administrative suite.
Children with executive function problems have difficulty with planning, organizing and managing time and space, and weakness with "working memory." Learn more about executive function, how it affects learning, and strategies to help children in school and at home.
Many of the adults in your child's life are unfamiliar with learning disorders in general, or your child's unique pattern of strengths and limitations. Developing a one- to three-page dossier that provides useful information about your child can help their babysitters, coaches, teachers, bus drivers, school support staff, neighbors, and relatives understand their limitations.
Concrete suggestions for teachers who want to communicate well with all of their students, especially English language learners and students with learning disabilities.
Do you think your child or student might have dyslexia? This fact sheet provides a definition of dyslexia, symptoms, prevalence, signs, and effects, as well as ways to help your child.
If your child cannot read their textbooks, they need digital copies of their books. Schools now can use National Instructional Material Accessibility Standard (NIMAS) to get e-text. Learn the details that will help you advocate for your child so they can use NIMAS. And learn where to find the publishers and producers that provide e-text.
Put together a summer listening program for your child. Listening is an engaging way to learn, so your child may love listening to books and other written documents. Have them listen to music and stage plays, comedy routines, and other works. Point out background sounds, such as the way the peppy tune on a sound track adds fun and humor to an adventure tale. Learning to listen is particularly helpful to children with learning disabilities.
Here are a dozen simple strategies to help your children keep the academic skills they learned during the school year. Support them as they read. Give them material that is motivating — and some of it should be easy. Help them enjoy books and feel pleasure — not pressure — from reading. The summer should be a relaxed time where their love of learning can flower.
The identification of a child with dyslexia is a difficult process, but there are ways that parents and teachers can learn more about the reading difficulty and support the child's learning.
If you're thinking of hiring a private specialist to test your child for a learning disability, here are some key questions to ask yourself and the prospective evaluator.
The school experiences of students with disabilities can be positively or negatively influenced by the attitudes and behaviors of students and staff and by general school policies. School counselors can take the lead in assessing school climate in relation to students with disabilities and initiating interventions or advocating for change when appropriate. This article provides an overview of factors to consider in creating positive school experiences for students with disabilities and suggestions for intervention efforts.
Genetic differences in the brain make learning to read a struggle for children with dyslexia. Luckily, most of our brain development occurs after we're born, when we interact with our environment. This means that the right teaching techniques can actually re-train the brain, especially when they happen early.
Technology — and especially the subset of technology tools known as assistive technology (AT) — can be an effective element of the writing curriculum for students with disabilities. Since writing is so integral to school success, AT is often indicated to assist students with disabilities.
Spelling difficulties can be enduring in individuals with reading disabilities, sometimes even after reading has been successfully remediated. Addressing spelling difficulties is important, because poor spelling can hamper writing and can convey a negative impression even when the content of the writing is excellent.
Named "One of America's Top Doctors," Dr. Shaywitz is professor of pediatrics at Yale University School of Medicine and author of the bestseller Overcoming Dyslexia. On January 27, 2005, Reading Rockets hosted an online discussion with Dr. Shaywitz, who answered questions about dyslexia and other reading difficulties and responded to parents' concerns.
Suggestions for fostering independent reading include: (a) Give children books that are not too difficult. (b) Help them find books they will enjoy. (c) Encourage them to try many kinds of material. Although independent reading cannot substitute for teaching decoding, it improves reading comprehension and the habit of reading.
The purpose of this National Joint Committee on Learning Disabilities (NJCLD) report is to examine the concepts, potential benefits, practical issues, and unanswered questions associated with responsiveness to intervention (RTI) and learning disabilities (LD). A brief overview of the approach is provided, including attributes, characteristics, and promising features, as well as issues, concerns, unanswered questions, and research needs.
About 10 million children have difficulties learning to read. The good news is that more than 90 percent of struggling readers can overcome their difficulties if they receive appropriate treatment at early ages.
The specific signs of dyslexia, both weaknesses and strengths, vary widely. Problems with oral language, decoding, fluency, spelling, and handwriting are addressed, as well as strengths in higher order thinking skills.
The earliest clues involve mostly spoken language. The very first clue to a language (and reading) problem may be delayed language. Once the child begins to speak, look for difficulties with rhyming, phonemic awareness, and the ability to read common one-syllable words.
Recent research on academically talented students with learning disabilities indicates that they have specific counseling needs that often are not addressed in elementary and secondary school. This article looks at what kinds of support students with this profile need, and how school counselors can provide it.
Early intervention works. Because it is also expensive, it's important to be able to identify the kids who are most at risk of reading failure. Thanks to a new generation of screening assessments, we can identify these students as early as kindergarten — and then invest in interventions for them.
This article discusses current research-supported instructional practices in reading and writing. It also reviews alternatives to ability-achievement discrepancy in identifying students for special education services, as well as introduces the idea that ability-achievement discrepancies should be based on specific cognitive factors that are relevant to specific kinds of learning disabilities rather than Full Scale IQ.
Does your child need to be evaluated for a learning disability? Learn how to find the best professional, prepare for evaluation, and get the most information from the experience.
Many professionals are involved in the diagnosis of LD: psychologists, educational specialists, and other professionals who work in specialized fields such as speech and language. This article identifies licensure requirements and who can diagnose LD and/or ADHD.
The International Dyslexia Association prepared this fact sheet describing reasonable accommodations involving materials, interactive instruction, and student performance to help children with learning problems in general education and special education classrooms.
Dyslexia is a language-based disability that affects both oral and written language. With help, children with dyslexia can become successful readers. Find out the warning signs for dyslexia that preschool and elementary school children might display.
Parents are often the best educational advocates for their children, especially children with a learning disability. Discover nine tips to help you be a strong champion for your child.
Dyslexia is the most common cause of reading, writing and spelling difficulties. This article provides a brief overview list of typical signs of dyslexia in preschool and kindergarten.
Many teachers will be using supplemental phonics and word-recognition materials to enhance reading instruction for their students. In this article, the authors provide guidelines for determining the accessibility of these phonics and word recognition programs.
These tips for parents of children with learning disabilities emphasize to all parents the importance of helping children learn about letters and sounds. Get concrete advice for teaching the alphabet, raising awareness about sounds, and promoting letter-sound knowledge.