Teaching students who have dyslexia

Introduction to dyslexia

Dyslexia is a specific learning difficulty and can be described as a continuum of difficulties in learning to read, write and/or spell, which persist despite the provision of appropriate learning opportunities. These difficulties often do not reflect an individual's cognitive abilities and may not be typical of performance in other areas. The impact of dyslexia as a barrier to learning varies in degree according to the learning and teaching environment, and there are often associated difficulties.

Dyslexia can also be viewed as a learning 'difference', meaning a person with dyslexia may approach learning differently and develop different strategies for learning.

Strengths associated with dyslexia
  • Creativity and originality

  • Strong visual thinking skills such as being able to visualise a structure from plans

  • Good verbal skills

  • Good problem solving skills

  • Holistic thinking and ‘seeing the bigger picture’

Difficulties associated with dyslexia
  • Reading speed and comprehension

  • Note taking

  • Numeracy

  • Spelling

  • Writing fluency

  • Organisation/time management

  • Short term working memory

  • Concentration

It is important to remember that everyone with dyslexia is different and that they will not necessarily experience all of the things above. Everyone has different strengths, difficulties and strategies that work for them.