Use the word “dyslexia”

Schools must use the word “dyslexia” so that proper diagnosis and evidence-based instruction and intervention can be applied.

Once a diagnosis of dyslexia has been confirmed, it is so important that the word “dyslexia” be used by teachers, administrators, parents, and anyone on the student’s support team. And overall, it is critical to have dyslexia recognized not only by schools, and on student support teams, but also in legislature and public policy so that the millions of deserving boys and girls, men and women who are dyslexic can be diagnosed and receive the evidence-based services they deserve and require.

Knowing what dyslexia is and the supports that can be implemented to help those with dyslexia is essential for teachers, schools, and parents alike. It sounds simple, but there are many schools that don’t use the term, and sometimes parents avoid it because they don’t want their child labeled. Some use the eligibility category of “Specific Learning Disability” instead of dyslexia, because dyslexia does fall into this category. But the child ‘s support services are required to be uniquely tailored to their needs, thus why using the word dyslexia is so important.

Here are some tips to encourage the use of the word “dyslexia”:

  • Use the word dyslexia yourself.
  • Know that instruction, intervention, related services, etc., must be based upon the child's unique needs, and cannot be based simply upon the broad use of “Specific Learning Disability.”
  • Using dyslexia as a term that follows the student from year to year helps the next teacher pick up providing supports where last year’s teacher left off.
  • Often using the word dyslexia brings a sense of comfort, confidence, and identity to a student.
  • There are many successful people who openly call themselves dyslexic. Read their stories here.
  • If you are dyslexic, share your own story .
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