Educators should know what dyslexia is based on
the most current science



Level of Training
personnel suggested
degree requirements
coursework required
practicum / internship
direct observation
training period
outcome of corresponding abilities
Call for Information
counselors | supervisors | curriculum leaders
8 hours
none-consultation recommended
8 hours of coursework follow--up consultations on as needed basis
understand of the science of dyslexia | understand the type of education and remediation that is required for dyslexia students | communicate with others on thier campus about dyslexia | communicate to parents
# of Certifications
early childhood educators | classroom teachers
bachelor's degree
35 hours
30 hours
2 observed lessons
1 year
none required
implement evidence based interventions at a tier 1 level within the classroom | understand dyslexia and how to spot these children in the classroom | implement explicit,structured, and sequential lessons in phonemic awareness
# of Certifications
dyslexia practitioners | curriculum specialists | academic coaches | lead teachers
bachelor's degree
90 hours
85 hours
5 observed lessons
minimum 1 year maximum 2 years
30 hours over 3 years
hold the credential of certified academic language practitioner | implement tier II interventions within multiple classrooms across the school level | work with fellow colleagues and teachers to help implement best practices for identifying and remediating and or refer students with dyslexia for further help within the classroom
# of Certifications
dyslexia therepists | reading specialists | school interventionists | special education teachers
master's degree
200 hours
700 hours
10 observed lessons
minimum 2 years maximum 5 years
30 hours over 3 years
hold the credential of Certified Academic Language Therapist | Implement Tier II and Tier III interventions with in the school or district | Provide Academic Language Therapy to those students identified with characteristics of dyslexia | In depth knowledge of MSLE curriculums | Provide school wide Professional Development on best practices for the dyslexic student



Doctors Sally and Bennet Shaywitz both talk about the science of dyslexia as well as her “Sea of Strengths Model” which is so important for parents and educators to understand. As we remediate the decoding/phonemic deficit we must understand this deficit is separate from the part of the brain responsible for higher critical thinking, reasoning, problem solving and general knowledge.
There is a critical need for small groups with teacher interaction. This allows a child with dyslexia in a group of 6 or less with others that have dyslexia to read out loud and answer questions without fear and embarrassment.

It helps the teacher to analyze the deficits and strengths of the students. It allows correction without embarrassment.


Educators must recognize and celebrate students for the right types of behavior that will create the right environment for the growth mindset


Educators will learn more about how this model has already been created and it works for the parents, students and educators it serves by watching a video of LKA.


  • What is Dyslexia?
  • Dyslexia is an unexpected difficulty in reading. It is characterized by difficulties with accurate and/or fluent word recognition, by poor spelling and decoding abilities that are often unexpected in relation to other cognitive abilities. These difficulties typically result from a deficit in the phonological component of language ( Overcoming Dyslexia,Shaywitz, 2003, p.2).

  • What causes dyslexia?
  • The exact causes of dyslexia are still not completely clear, but brain imaging shows differences in the way the brain of a dyslexic person develops and functions. These brain imaging studies demonstrate an inefficient functioning of those neural systems for reading in dyslexic readers. (Shaywitz&Shaywitz, 2012).

  • What are the effects of dyslexia?
  • The impact that dyslexia has is different for each person and depends on the severity of the condition and the effectiveness of instruction or remediation. The core difficulty is with getting to the sounds of spoken words which leads to a range of predictable difficulties in both spoken and written language.Spoken Language: People with dyslexia have problems with spoken language, even after they have been exposed to good language models in their homes and good language instruction in school. They may find it difficult to express themselves clearly, or to rapidly find the word they mean to say, especially when placed in high anxiety producing situations such as oral exams or when called upon in class.It is important that parents and teachers and oral examiners are aware of these word retrieval difficulties so that children who know what they want to say but can’t retrieve the correct word are not unduly penalized.Written Language: Dyslexic students have difficulty getting to the sounds of spoken words. Dyslexia interferes with attaching the letters in a word to the individual sound(s) they represent- a process necessary in order to sound out an unknown word. As a result, children who are dyslexic experience difficulties decoding words, reading words automatically and rapidly (fluently) and spelling. Many individuals with dyslexia especially when provided with excellent and early instruction learn to read though their reading remains slow and laborious.It is critical that these dyslexic readers are provided with evidence-based effective interventions early on and with accommodations such as the provision of extra time. This extra time is critical during the whole life of a dyslexic student especially for high stakes tests including college, graduate and professional school entrance exams.

  • Why is dyslexia discouraging and frustrating?
  • The frustration of children with dyslexia often centers on their inability to meet expectations. It is important to keep in mind that dyslexia represents an unexpected difficulty in reading. In other words, that child is bright in every other way and the expectation is for the child to be able to become a proficient reader as well. The child’s parents and teachers see a bright, enthusiastic child who is not learning to read and write. Time and again, children with dyslexia and their parents hear, “He’s such a bright child; if only he would try harder.” Ironically, no one knows exactly how hard he/she is trying, typically, much harder than most other children in the class. Children become discouraged because, without effective reading instruction, they are unable to learn to read at the level of their ability. As a result, they see the children around them reading and yet, they are unable to read and are embarrassed and frustrated when they are called on to read out loud in class. They cannot understand why with all their efforts they cannot read or spell as well as their classmates. Dyslexic children often develop anxiety about their school work, about answering questions in class and worry about their own abilities and their futures. For these reasons, it is important that children with dyslexia are identified early on and receive effective instruction. It is critical for these children to develop self-awareness of who they are as learners, how dyslexia affects them and to be told about their strengths as they are introduced to the Sea of Strengths model of dyslexia. The Sea of Strengths model conceptualizes dyslexia as a circumscribed weakness in getting to the sounds of spoken words, but one surrounded by a sea of higher level strengths in thinking and reasoning. Children should also be given opportunities to find areas in which they excel and which they enjoy so that their only experiences are not struggles and frustration associated with reading.

  • How widespread is dyslexia?
  • Epidemiologic data indicate a prevalence rate of 17.5%- 21.5% in children and adults. It affects all races and all socioeconomic groups. (Connecticut Longitudinal Study of Learning)

  • How is dyslexia treated?
  • Dyslexia is a lifelong diagnosis. It is defined as an unexpected difficulty in reading. These children have average to above average intelligence. They are often creative with terrific ideas and an ability to grasp the big picture. Early identification and treatment is the best time to help these students because the brain is still malleable. Many children are identified in K and first grade but even more are diagnosed in or after third grade. Children with dyslexia need at least 90 minutes a day in reading and small group (ideally 6:1 student teacher ratio) instruction by a qualified teacher. Many individuals need one-on-one help so that the neural pathways are put in place to read. Repetition in a structured, sequential fashion by a teacher with specialized training is critical to lay these pathways down in the brain. Dyslexia is for life. Dyslexics read using a different pathway than non-dyslexic readers. This pathway is slower so fluency is always an issue but their comprehension is good. So, after the child learns to read they must be given academic accommodations. Students with dyslexia should be given extra time to complete tasks and take tests. Dyslexic students test scores improve when given extra time because of the alternate pathway in their brain used in reading. Remediation and then accommodations. Dyslexia is for life- parents and the students themselves are their best advocates!

  • How do you diagnose dyslexia?
  • Dyslexia is a clinical diagnosis. Just like any other medical diagnosis, the doctor takes a clinical history, a family history, and then the doctor has the child speak and read aloud. Tests (there is not one single test) are evaluated and then after compiling all of these a diagnosis can be made.


    A little awareness and flexible teaching methods could unlock unlimited potential in these kids who now think they’re losers.  If we already have mandatory racial sensitivity training for our police, why not have mandatory dyslexia recognition training for our teachers?  It’s so simple, so easy, and when you look at all the other government programs designed to help citizens help themselves, it’s probably the least expensive.
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