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Thursday, February 23, 2006


Dyslexia is a neurological disorder that affects 17-20 percent of school age children, who have special trouble reading and suffer from other learning disabilities, including writing and spelling.

In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities in Education Act, all children with dyslexia are entitled to special help in public schools to accommodate dyslexia, such as extra time for tests or homework or help with taking notes.

Unfortunately, teachers and other school personnel don’t always understand dyslexia or how they should treat dyslexic children. Lauren Moynihan, a New York lawyer who has represented children with learning disabilities and wrote Taking Dyslexia to School, offers these helpful tips:

* early testing – testing is the only way to diagnose dyslexia and early detection and treatment is essential to help children learn to read at grade level
* emotional assistance – teachers can help dyslexic students overcome their emotional struggles by praising their efforts
* academic modifications – dyslexic students may need more time to take tests; they may benefit from having books on tape; they may prefer taking tests on computers
* organized classroom – dyslexic students benefit from quieter, clutter free classrooms and assignments written on the board
* writing disabilities – dyslexic students may have trouble writing letters, so good techniques for letter forming are crucial