Half of a face, a young man with short, dark hair facing the viewer, with text on a whiteboard in the background.

Learning Objectives

This module will help you to:

  1. Explain the effects of dyslexia on learning in the classroom.
  2. Understand the types of accommodations or other support that can help meet the educational needs of students with dyslexia.
  3. Know how to support a student with dyslexia.


According to the International Dyslexia Association (2012):

Dyslexia is a language-based learning disability. Dyslexia refers to a cluster of symptoms, which result in people having difficulties with specific language skills, particularly reading. Students with dyslexia usually experience difficulties with other language skills such as spelling, writing, and pronouncing words. Dyslexia affects individuals throughout their lives; however, its impact can change at different stages in a person’s life. It is referred to as a learning disability because dyslexia can make it very difficult for a student to succeed academically in the typical instructional environment.

Characteristics of dyslexia include the following:

  1. Dyslexia is a specific learning disability that is neurological in origin.
  2. It is characterized by difficulties with accurate and/or fluent word recognition and by poor spelling and decoding abilities.
  3. These difficulties are the result of a deficit in the phonological component of language that is often unexpected in relation to other cognitive abilities and the appropriate teaching methods applied in class.
  4. Dyslexia is not the result of a lack of motivation, a sensory abnormality, or poor education.
  5. It is a lifelong condition.
  6. Those with dyslexia generally respond very well to proper remediation.

Essentially, dyslexia is when an individual has persistent difficulties with words despite regular schooling, normal intelligence, and a sociocultural environment that is conducive to the development of reading skills. Dyslexia can be severe enough to interfere with academic success or daily activities.