Dyslexia 101: Part 3 - Implications of Dyslexia in the Classroom and Workplace

Welcome to Part III of our Dyslexia 101 series. Over the next few weeks, our blog series will continue to focus on expanding your understanding of dyslexia.

By the end of LD Expert's Dyslexia 101 series you will be able to:

  • Define dyslexia in a way that friends, family, and teachers can understand.

  • Understand common characteristics of dyslexia.

  • Understand how the common characteristics may impact students in the classroom and adults in the workplace.

  • Recognize common misconceptions and learn the facts that dispel them.

  • Understand what quality intervention looks like and describe why it is important that children have access to and receive early, evidence-based intervention services.

  • Advocate for your child at school or for yourself in the workplace

Today we will focus on the implications dyslexia may have in the classroom and workplace.

It's important to note that dyslexia is not the only language-based learning difference. These implications can apply to any student or adult that has a language-based learning difference.

In Part I of this blog series, we broke down the definition of dyslexia for you. In Part II, we examined the characteristics of dyslexia by outlining common struggles and strengths.

If you missed our earlier posts, here are Parts I and Part II.

Part III of our Dyslexia 101 series will focus on the implications, or the effects, you may see as a result of the struggles and strengths associated with dyslexia.

We will focus on two different areas :

  1. Implications of Dyslexia in the Classroom

  2. Implications of Dyslexia in the Workplace

Unfortunately, general education classroom teachers are given little to no training on identifying the warning signs of a possible learning difference - let alone any training or instruction specific to dyslexia.

If you are a classroom teacher who can relate to this, we highly recommend completing Made by Dyslexia's FREE Teacher Training Course. In this two part course, you will learn to "spot, support, and empower the dyslexic learner" in addition to "WHAT to teach, WHY it helps and HOW to do it."

Implications of Dyslexia in the Classroom

Some of the things you may see in students with dyslexia as a teacher or parent...

  • Difficulty with executive functioning skills such as organization, concentration, or following multi-step directions

  • Students' folders and binders may be a mess with papers sticking out everywhere, with backpacks filled with never-turned-in-homework, or they may do the first part of an assignment but not finish it.

  • Reversal of letters such a "b", "d", "p", and "q" and numbers such as "7", "4", "5", and "9"

  • Many teachers are told this is normal, but it is not developmentally normal after the age of 6.

  • Reading the first and last part of a word before making up the middle to turn it into a familiar vocabulary word (e.g. a student will read "imperfect" as "infect")

  • Experiencing extreme anxiety related to reading aloud in front of peers

  • Generally avoiding reading and phonics based activities

  • Performing poorly on tests, especially when they are multiple choice tests, resulting in scores that do not reflect their classroom participation or what they actually have learned

  • Taking longer to copy from the board

  • Students may frequently need to look back and forth from the board to their paper and they may only copy a couple letters or numbers at a time

  • Because of students' potential anxiety and difficulty with executive functioning skills, combined with their learning difference(s), you may see behavioral issues. This can look like avoidance, arriving unprepared or without materials, missing assignments, or a disrespectful attitude towards school activities.

  • Remember, this could be ALL be related to reading struggles! Kids don't want to be the "bad" or challenging kid!

  • An affinity for math or classes that allow for creative or non-writing related forms of expression

  • A tendency to prefer to express themselves verbally with an increased ability to demonstrate their understanding of material when allowed to discuss it aloud

Some classroom accommodations that can help students are...

  • Build time into your day to organize materials.

  • Begin the day with 5-minutes of assisting students while they go through their assignment books from the previous day.