Evidence-Based Dyslexia Interventions and Accommodations

Surya Yadav

Once a child receives a dyslexia assessment diagnosis, it can be tough for educators and parents to find the best ways to support their student.  Luckily, some interventions and accommodations are backed by evidence to help children with dyslexia reach their academic goals.

Dyslexia Accommodations Are Not Modifications

When looking for the right interventions and accommodations for students with dyslexia, it’s important to remember that these things are not the same as modifications. Accommodations find ways to help a child understand the curriculum while modifications change the curriculum for a child.

Both routes can help a child feel more accomplished, but modifications may have a long-term impact, putting a child behind others. Parents and educators should look for ways to help a child tackle the assignment at hand rather than find a less challenging assignment.

Dyslexia Interventions and Accommodations To Consider

The right dyslexia interventions and aids will vary for each child depending on their specific challenges. Each child will need more assessments to see what works and what doesn’t, but here are a few of the ways to support students with dyslexia.

Evidence-Based Interventions

Interventions are tools used to build specific skills that a child struggles with. Here are some common interventions for dyslexia:

  • Structured Literacy Programs: Structured literacy programs emphasize phonemic awareness, phonics, vocabulary, comprehension and fluency.
  • Multisensory Instruction: Multisensory instruction reinforces the connection between letters and sounds to support developing reading proficiency.
  • Phonics-based Instruction: An emphasis on phonics helps students understand the relationship between letters and sounds. Students can learn to decode words and better understand written language.
  • Reading Fluency Training: Techniques like repeated reading and guided oral reading help to enhance speed, accuracy and expression, making reading less labor-intensive.
  • Vocabulary and Comprehension Strategies: These strategies focus on understanding words in context to improve memory and interpretive abilities.

Evidence-Based Accommodations

Accommodations can also help students, allowing them to demonstrate their knowledge beyond the limits of their learning difference. Often, accommodations are used to help students complete assignments or tests.

  • Extended Time: Giving students with dyslexia more time is an accepted way to help them process information at their own speed, giving them a better chance at completing assignments and tests.
  • Use of Technology: Technology can offer a lot of support for children who have trouble reading and writing. Text-to-speech tools, audiobooks and digital notetaking can improve a child’s academic performance.
  • Exam Modifications: While this accommodation includes the word “modification,” the focus is on changing the format of the exam, not the content. Children with dyslexia should be tested on the same materials but should be offered the chance to give oral responses or have multiple-choice questions to help them get through the test.
  • Instructional Modifications: Educators can teach the same materials to all of their students, but make small changes for students with dyslexia including breaking tasks into smaller steps and using visual aids.

Find Ways To Support Students With Dyslexia

A dyslexia diagnosis isn’t the end of a child’s academic career, but it does require new ways to help that child. When interventions and accommodations are applied early, the child’s success is unlimited. Using an assessment tool such as the Tests of Dyslexia (TOD™) allows for an accurate screening early, so check it out and learn more about how companies like WPS can help students accomplish their goals.

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