Understanding Dyslexia

How Professionals Can Help With Dyslexia

There a number of professionals who might help a child with dyslexia—both in and out of school. They focus on different things: instruction, intervention, school supports and services, counseling and diagnosis. There are no medications or medical treatments for dyslexia.

These professionals include:

  • Reading specialists
  • Speech-language pathologists
  • Child psychologists
  • Child neuropsychologists
  • Special education teachers

There are specific teaching methods to help kids with dyslexia. You may have heard about an approach called Orton–Gillingham (OG). It was the first to use instruction that is highly structured, sequential and multisensory.
One of the things this instruction focuses on is phonological awareness. This is an early language skill that’s key to reading. Reading specialists and speech-language pathologists can work with kids on building this skill. They can also help with decoding, word recognition, spelling and reading fluency.A number of research-based reading programs are based on OG. This type of instruction is known as multisensory structured language education (MSLE). Experts often consider MSLE the gold standard for teaching kids with dyslexia to read.

If your child is getting specialized instruction through an IEP, he’ll likely be taught using these methods. An IEP or 504 plan may also include other supports, like accommodationsand assistive technology to help with reading. These supports can “level the playing field,” giving your child equal access to what’s being taught.

If your child doesn’t have an IEP or a 504 plan, the teacher may be willing to provide informal supports. Or your child may get instructional interventions through RTI.

Read more about treatment for dyslexia.

Dive Deeper

  • Explore a list of accommodations for dyslexia.
  • Find out why audiobooks may actually help your child build reading skills.
  • See examples of multisensory techniques for teaching reading.

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