One of the most common questions asked at an IEP meeting is, “Well, how do we fix it?” After hearing the evaluation results and learning that their child has a learning disability, most parents want to know how to “cure” their child. Unfortunately, a learning disability is something that never really goes away. Nevertheless, a child with a learning disability – with the proper support and instruction – can learn to work around their disability and use their strengths to “compensate” for their weaker processing skills.
Here are are some common ways you can accommodate the materials in your classroom to make learning more accessible for your students.
Classroom Accommodations for Dyslexia:
Large Text for Books and/or Worksheets – If reading is difficult for a child, reading small print is all the more tedious. When the print on a page is larger, students are more likely to be able to track the words on the page and see the individual letters and words. That means their brains don’t have to concentrate so hard on decoding which impacts their overall fluency and comprehension.
Clear Reading Strips – This reading tool reduces distracting text to reduce word- and line-skipping. It helps the reader stay concentrated on the current sentence. People with dyslexia may often feel overwhelmed with large amounts of text so using a tool like this helps them stay focused on each part they’re trying to read.
Handheld Magnifying Glass – Though dyslexia has nothing to do with a vision impairment, it does help to have a few magnifying glasses available in the classroom when certain texts or assignments can’t be blown up to reduce the amount of words per page. It’s also an appealing tool to use because it makes kids feel like they’re detectives! 😉
Graphic Organizers – There are plenty of graphic organizers available online – through Pinterest or Teachers Pay Teachers – but I’m the type of person that likes to have hard copies of things to browse through. This book has so many options to choose from. Graphic organizers, in general, help the students listen for key information. While simultaneously providing a visual representation that uses symbols to express ideas, concepts, and convey meaning.
Audible or Bookshare – There are so many software programs or audiobook apps accessible for a small cost. This is a great way to have your students follow along and get them invested in the learning process without spending all their brain power focused on decoding words.
Instructional Accommodations for Dyslexia:
- Repeat directions.
- Simplify directions by presenting only one portion at a time. New or difficult information should be presented in small sequential steps.
- Provide a copy of notes. By providing the notes, the student can focus on the information and not spend so much time and energy trying to transfer information from the board to their paper.
- Combine verbal and visual information. Verbal information can be provided with visual displays (e.g., an anchor chart, etc.)
- Maintain daily routines. Students who have learning difficulties in general thrive off of structure and daily routine to know and do what is expected.
Questions of the Day:
- What accommodations would you add to the list?