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Recognizing Dyslexia in Students

Dyslexia is a learning disability that affects a person's ability to read and write. It is one of the most common learning disabilities, but children with dyslexia still struggle to receive the screening and intervention they need. Left untreated, children may experience difficulty reading, psychological problems, and a widening academic achievement gap between themselves and their peers.

In part, the lack of resources for dyslexia is due to the failure of U.S. state and federal laws to recognize dyslexia as a distinct learning disability and to train educators how to address dyslexia in the classroom. When you earn your online Master of Arts in Special Education, you will learn more about the regulatory approaches to screening and teaching dyslexic students.

The Importance of Early Testing and Evaluation

It is critical to recognize and diagnose dyslexia as early as possible. This requires that schools, teachers and families learn the signs of dyslexia and work together to address potential learning problems before they become severe. Children with dyslexia have better chances for academic success when they receive testing for learning disabilities early.

When parents or teachers observe a child struggling to read, early testing for dyslexia may be necessary. Comprehensive testing and evaluation is the pathway to early intervention, which is key to closing the reading gap. Testing may include word recognition, decoding and spelling as well as interviews with the student and his or her family, hearing and vision tests, observation by a teacher and other measures.

Differences in State and Federal Regulation

State and federal laws approach testing and intervention for dyslexic students differently. Not all states consider dyslexia a learning disability. In many cases, the term "dyslexia" rarely appears as a diagnosis in school settings -- instead, the disorder falls under an umbrella category of various reading-related learning disabilities. When dyslexia does not get distinction as a learning disability with particular treatment needs, children do not receive the screening and intervention they need, and teachers do not receive training to recognize the disability, which leaves them unaware of the best methods for teaching dyslexic students.

In an online master's degree in special education program, candidates will learn the best methods for recognizing and teaching dyslexic students in the special education classroom. In addition, candidates will complete coursework about special education laws and regulations and their effects on special education teachers, students and families.

Learn more about the UTPB online Master of Arts in Special Education program.


KQED: Why Recognizing Dyslexia in Children at School Can Be Difficult

U.S. Department of Education - Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services: Guidance on Dyslexia

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