Dyslexia is a specific learning disability that is neurological in origin. It is characterized by difficulties with accurate and/or fluent word recognition and by poor spelling and decoding abilities. These difficulties typically result from a deficit in the phonological component of language that is often unexpected in relation to other cognitive abilities and the provision of effective classroom instruction. A secondary consequence may include problems in reading comprehension and reduced reading experience that can impede the growth of vocabulary and background knowledge.
Maine Revised Statute 20-A M.S.R. § 4701-B requires school administrative units to screen students in kindergarten through second grade who have difficulty in these areas: phonological and phonemic awareness, sound-symbol recognition, alphabet knowledge, decoding skills, rapid naming skills, and encoding skills.
- Dyslexia Fact Sheet A one-page fact sheet created by Understood.org that briefly outlines what dyslexia is, what it is not and ways to assist students with characteristics of dyslexia.
- Dyslexia Basics From the International Dyslexia Association, Dyslexia Basics provides a thorough overview of the condition, the effects, diagnosis, treatment, and rights of individuals with dyslexia.
- Dyslexia FAQ Frequently asked questions about dyslexia are answered by the Yale Center for Dyslexia & Creativity.
Recognizing Characteristics of Dyslexia
- Signs of Dyslexia A list of indicators and characteristics of dyslexia provided by the Yale Center for Dyslexia and Creativity.
- Universal Screening: K-2 Reading Overview of the purpose and process of conducting universal screenings for characteristics of dyslexia.
- Screening for Dyslexia The National Center on Improving Literacy document was created to provide an overview of screening for dyslexia
- Identifying Assessments Academic screening tools chart, including literacy universal screeners, created by the National Center on Intensive Intervention.
- Dyslexia Screener Project 2023-2024
Resources for Educators
- Overview of Dyslexia Webinar Slides
- Federal Guidance from the Office of Special Education Programs A letter from OSEP describing the implications of federal law on disabilities for state and local policy and practice, especially concerning the identification and treatment of dyslexia.
- 5 Questions Parents and Educators Can Ask Questions about specific learning disabilities and dyslexia created by the National Center for Learning Disabilities that may frame parent-teacher conversations.
- Meeting the Challenges of Early Literacy Phonics Instruction The International Literacy Association's position statement advises that explicit and systematic phonics instruction is vitally important for all learners, especially those who struggle with reading and writing.
- Dyslexia in the Classroom: What Every Teacher Needs to Know A dyslexia handbook for teachers created by the International Dyslexia Association.
- Webinars Series of three webinars focusing on the instructional needs of students with dyslexia and learning difficulties hosted by the International Dyslexia Association.
- Reading 101: A Guide to Teaching Reading and Writing Nine-course modules created by Reading Rockets provides in-depth information, classroom strategies, assignments, and additional resources on the building blocks of teaching reading and writing — including phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and text comprehension.
- Dyslexia Modules Decoding Dyslexia California has created a universal screener module and is developing additional dyslexia modules addressing assessments, RTI & MTSS, a teacher toolbox, and legislation.
Resources for Families
- A Child Becomes a Reader Provides ideas for parents of students in kindergarten through 3rd grade based on literacy research.
- Navigating the School System When Your Child is Struggling with Reading or Dyslexia A collection of information and resources for parents created by the Minnesota Department of Education Special Education Policy Division.
- 5 Questions Parents and Educators Can Ask Questions about specific learning disabilities and dyslexia created by the National Center for Learning Disabilities.
- What Every Family Should Know A dyslexia handbook for Families created by the International Dyslexia Association. The handbook addresses topics from a definition of dyslexia to helping your student transition after high school.
- Children’s Dyslexia Centers The Children’s Dyslexia Centers provide intensive reading instruction for children in grades 1 through 12 in their tutoring locations.
- Bookshare Students with a qualifying disability are provided free access to e-books, audiobooks, and a variety of other resources. This project is supported by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs
- Learning Ally Assistive technology such as audiobooks are accessible online for children and adults with disabilities. The site also includes resources for parents and families.
- Maine Cite Program is designed to help make assistive technology available to Maine children.