Could My Student Have Dyslexia?

Could My Student Have Dyslexia?

Could my student have dyslexia? How do I find out? What do I do if they are dyslexic?

Read on for more information that will help you understand dyslexia, outline best practices in teaching an individual with dyslexia, and give you some ideas for the next steps.


  • Dyslexia is a lifelong neurological condition which impacts how an individual
    processes information.
  • Another term for dyslexia is a specific learning disorder (SLD) with impairment
    in reading.
  • To be diagnosed with dyslexia, an individual needs to have at least average
    Most people with dyslexia are very bright.
  • Dyslexics need to be taught differently using their strengths and senses.
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans have shown the evidence of the
    difference in brain structure for those with and without dyslexia.


  • Difficulty breaking words down (decoding isolated words)
  • Trouble spelling common words (encoding isolated words)
  • Word by word reading
  • Frequent re-reading
  • Slowed reading and fluency
  • Poor reading comprehension

Watch this short video to find out what it is like for an individual with dyslexia.


The most successful method of instruction for individuals with dyslexia is called multi-sensory instruction.  The most well-known of these methods is called Orton-Gillingham.

Multi-sensory instruction involves teaching to all the senses when learning in order to access all brain pathways.  For instance, using hearing, vision, touch, and movement.  Examples of multi-sensory reading strategies include tracing letters and words in sand or rice trays, using textured letters, spelling words with magnetic letters, using rhyme or music, using line readers, and playing games.

See the handout titled What is Multi-Sensory Instruction for more ideas.


Adult Learner Intervention

If you have a student you suspect has dyslexia contact PANDA to inquire about an Adult Learner Intervention which involves interviewing and screening your student.  For more information go to

Lending Library

PANDA has a lending library of materials, adaptive equipment, and assistive technology on hand which are available to Minnesota ABE teachers. Check out the Reading chapter for an assortment of multi-sensory materials available for your use:

Accessibility Options Using Technology

There are several assistive technology programs and adaptive equipment which can be of great assistance for an individual with dyslexia.  Many are already built into cell phones and computers.  For example, text-to-speech, speech to text, change text color, increase text size and more.  Our website has may options to choose from

Specific Learning Disorders (SLD) PANDA website page

To learn more about Specific Learning Disorders also known as dyslexia visit PANDA’s website:

Phone: 763-504-4095               Email:  [email protected]               Website:

Wendy Sweeney, MA, Licensed Psychologist PANDA Manager PANDA - Minnesota ABE Physical and Nonapparent Disability Assistance
Moira Knutson, PANDA Administrative Assistant PANDA - Minnesota ABE Physical and Nonapparent Disability Assistance