Thanks to Nessy Reading for this fabulous picture!

What should we read?

1.  READ WHATEVER THEY ARE INTERESTED IN! If they are 15 and want to read Dr. Seuss, GOOD! Dr. Seuss books are filled with rhyming words (which most of these students struggle with) and nonsense words, words that are completely made up.

2.  Read different kinds of books; comic books, easy readers, picture books, it doesn't matter as long as they are engaged and wanting to read or listen.

3.  Encourage child to read out loud. Both of you need to hear if the words are pronounced correctly. The adult needs to hear if they are guessing at words and watching for end punctuation.

4. AUDIOBOOKS!  One of God's greatest creations besides chocolate. Audiobooks are recorded books read out loud to the listener. They are important because they:

  a.  increase word exposure and vocabulary. Two items that these individuals are seriously lacking. Yes, you may have read to them since they were zygotes BUT if they did not understand the word or it's importance they forgot about it as fast as it was read.

  b.  it helps remove the serious anxiety they feel when reading print themselves. Many audiobook sites highlight the word and bounce along merrily as the recording reads. This is extremely helpful in word recognition and following along.

  c.  When an individual can "read" age appropriate material their confidence increases along with background knowledge and independence.

www.weareteachers.com gives a nice list if you want to check it out.


Dyslexia is NOT reading backwards. This is one of the biggest misconceptions out there! So many individuals have said to us, "My child isn't dyslexic he doesn't read backwards." Ugh. This idea comes from the student's tendency to reverse letters. 

Another misconception is that dyslexia ONLY affects reading. NOPE! Reading disabilities spills over into every facet of life. If you can't read, you can't do word problems in math, you can't study for your Social test, you definitely can't do standardized and timed state testing.

Here's another food for thought: The American Educational Association found that if a student can't read at grade level by 3rd grade that they are 4 times more likely to drop out!

Low reading skills causes more students to drop out of school than poverty. 

In a nut shell, if a child can't read, they may be unable to finish school, Without a diploma they can't attend college or the military. It's also difficult to get a job that can support them and a possible family.  If you can't read or write, can't get a job, what happens to many? Prison. 80% of prisoners can not read or write.

Dyslexia in the Classroom

1 in 5

Why is it so common NOW?

Why is it so common NOW?


On average, 1 in 5, in every classroom has some form of dyslexia.

Why is it so common NOW?

Why is it so common NOW?

Why is it so common NOW?


100 years ago, printing presses were not very common.

Today we read on anything, anywhere, even listening to the news we read as words scroll across the page.

Media and Mass Printing

Why is it so common NOW?

Are there programs in the school?


Because of our ability to access instant knowledge, we are able to be more aware of the different disabilities including dyslexia.

Are there programs in the school?

Are there programs in the school?

Are there programs in the school?


Not for dyslexics. Even if a school wanted to, there isn't enough time in a day to provide the individual tutoring needed.

What to look for?

Are there programs in the school?

What to look for?


  • poor reading comprehension
  • unsure of letter sounds
  • poor use of punctuation
  • choppy, slow reading
  • poor handwriting
  • spelling problems
  • avoids reading out loud
  • daydreams
  • confuses left and right
  • messy desk/locker


Are there programs in the school?

What to look for?


  • don't mark off for spelling
  • extra time
  • don't ask to read outloud unless they volunteer
  • extra support
  • one direction at a time
  • scribe
  • shorten assignments
  • read tests & questions aloud to them

Research and Facts


History from University of Michigan

"The description of “dyslexia” was first used by a German ophthalmologist, Rudolf Berlin, when he examined a patient who suffered difficulty in learning to read and write, but showed normal intelligence and physical ability. Others described this same phenomenon around this time period, in the 1880s and 1890s, without using the “dyslexia” description. A British ophthalmologist, James Hinshelwood published a series of medical papers on the subject. In 1925, neurologist Samuel T. Orton had a patient who could not read, similar to stroke victims who lose their ability to read. In contrast, the patient had no brain damage, so Orton started to study different causes of reading difficulties unrelated to brain damage, and brought these studies to broader attention. More extensive dyslexia research has been conducted since the 1950s." (dyslexiahelp.umich.edu)



  • Delayed speech
  • Mispronounces words; spaghetti becomes pasghetti
  • May currently be in speech
  • Confusion of left and right
  • May appear ambidextrous
    • Unsure of what hand to use, switches hands during writing
  • Unable to tie shoes or late in learning
  • Difficulty memorizing phone number, address, birthday
  • Difficulty/Unable to rhyme
  • Messy handwriting
  • Lack of punctuation
  • Reversing numbers or letters; p/q, d/b, 6/9
  • Choppy, slow reading
  • Guesses or skips words
  • Difficulty memorizing sight words i.e. Fry or Dolch
  • Terrible spelling, spells phonetically
  • Trouble saying what they are thinking or putting their thoughts down on paper
  • Difficulty telling time
  • Messy backpack, desk, locker, bedroom
  • Unable to perform multiple steps, requires many reminders about what tasks need completing
  • Trouble memorizing math facts
  • May complain of stomach aches, head aches, or cry to avoid going to school
  • May be difficult to read music
  • Poor grades despite being intelligent and capable of performing better
  • Teachers, school personnel may use words like: unmotivated, daydreamer, lazy, dumb, doesn't try or pay attention
  • Appears to be forgetful
  • Terrible time management
  • May use fingers to do math
  • May "forget" homework at school or "loses" homework
  • INHERITED! RED FLAG! Relative may have dyslexia or difficulty reading

This list is not comprehensive since every person displays a vast array of characteristics. However, if you or someone you know displays multiple characteristics please make the free phone call to us so we can answer any questions or concerns you may have.

MOST IMPORTANTLY, DO NOT WAIT!  Once a child reaches 4th or 5th grade, the gap starts to grow that may not be able to be closed.

Thanks to Yale Dyslexia and Dyslexia Reading Connection for some of the characteristics listed above


Guided Reading vs. Explicit Instruction (what we do)

My school uses Guided Reading (GR) will this help my struggling reader?

            In a word, no.

What struggling readers NEED is EXPLICIT INSTRUCTION (EI).

Unfortunately, GR is widely used by schools to help "at-risk" students learn to read. The program is very costly, think tens of thousands of dollars, and there is ZERO data to substantiate it's use as an intervention.

There is, however, enough data as to why NOT to use it as an intervention.

Let's compare the two:

*Guided Reading consists of:*
1. introducing the text
2. supporting effective reading
3. teaching processing strategies
4. discussing and revisiting the text
(University of Michigan {UofM}, 2018)

*Explicit instruction consists of:*
1. phonological instruction-sounds and letters
2. phonemic decoding-understanding meaning of
unfamiliar words
3. sequential instruction-moving from easy to hard in
learning how to read
(University of Michigan, 2018)

Cons on Guided Reading:
1. the U of M conducted a 23-25 week study comparing
GR and EI, had the students receiving the explicit
instruction made 4 times the gains as the Guided
2. the US National Library of Science says that GR
DEEMPHASIZES explicit instruction, the complete
opposite of what needs to be done (2014, Jan. 6)
3. Literacy expert, Tim Shanahan, said that "we have put way too much
confidence in an unproven theory" (2013).
4. the Fordham Institute says that "the reality is that leveled literacy
programs and related assessments FAIL to measure up to what the
Common Core demands in at LEAST 3 important areas (2013, Common
Core v. the false promise of leveled literacy programs).

Now that you are armed with knowledge you can make a more informed decision about your child's education.

What is Guided Reading?

Guided Reading is a small group that reads at the same level, guided by the teacher, to find strategies that help them decipher text or to understand what they are reading.

Levi and Abigail's Fight Song

Levi and Abigail's parents made the choice to homeschool and use the Barton System to teach their children to read, write and spell. To see the results watch the next video!


Levi and Abigail 7 months Later

Levi and Abigail were tutored by their mom 5 days a week and this is the progress they made!

We promise: the climb is worth the effort!

Sophia's Fight Song

Before 5th grade, Sophia made this video to her teacher asking for help with her dyslexia. TEAR JERKER ALERT!

What Teachers Need to Know

What I Wish Teachers Knew

Test Your Knowledge on Dyslexia

Dyslexia Quiz

1.  Dyslexia is genetic. T

  • Yale University has found that Chromosome 6, Gene DCDC2 coincides with the inheritance pattern of dyslexic families.

2.  Dyslexia can be cured. F

  • Dyslexia is a disorder present at birth and currently, can not be prevented or cured. (WebMD)

3.  Dyslexia is more common in males 

      than females.  F

  • Boys are generally more likely to act out in class because of their difficulty reading, this in turn helps them get identified more often. Girls, however, tend to try to hide their inability to read.

4.  Dyslexia only involves reading 

      issues. F

  • Dyslexia encompasses a vast array of signs including but not limited to: speech, remembering birthdays, telling time, number sense, memory, messy handwriting and many more.

5.  Dyslexia is the most common 

      learning disability. T

  • 1 in 5 people are dyslexic
  • Roughly 80% of those in Special Education are dyslexic

6.  Dyslexics read backwards.  F

  • Dyslexics don't actually read backwards but reversing letters and numbers is a common trait for them

7.  Dyslexia can be found as early as 

      preschool. T

  • Yes, however, it is more difficult to accurately screen without the child having a more structured school setting to pull evidence from

8.  Dyslexics usually have vision 

      problems.  F

  • Children with dyslexia have the same chance of having vision issues as a non-dyslexic does
  • Dyslexia is language-based not vision-based

9.  Schools will tell you if your child has

      dyslexia. F

  • Most schools don't have the resources or training to diagnose and teach dyslexia
  • The Wait and See approach is the most common practice. Every child develops at a different rate (true) so we just wait and hope for the best. By then it's caused a huge emotional and psychological problem that is difficult to overcome.

10. Dyslexia is a fairly new phenomenon

      and there isn't much research to 

      support it. F!

  • The research has been here for over a century. 
  • We've also known how to help teach dyslexics for roughly 100 years as well