Learning Disabilities

Understanding Dysgraphia in the Classroom

Understanding Dysgraphia in the ClassroomDysgraphia is a learning disability that affects a person’s ability to write. It can be particularly challenging for students in the classroom, as it can impact their academic performance and self-esteem. In this article, we will explore what dysgraphia is and how it manifests in the classroom.

Dysgraphia is characterized by difficulties with handwriting, spelling, and organizing thoughts on paper. Students with dysgraphia may struggle to form letters correctly, have messy or illegible handwriting, and experience difficulty in expressing their ideas in writing. This can make it challenging for them to complete written assignments, take notes, and participate in written examinations.

The causes of dysgraphia are not fully understood, but it is believed to be related to neurological factors that affect the fine motor skills required for writing. It is not a result of laziness or lack of intelligence; rather, it is a specific learning difficulty that requires support and accommodations in the educational setting.

In the classroom, students with dysgraphia can benefit from various strategies and accommodations. These may include:

1. Alternative methods of input: Providing options for students to express their ideas using technology, such as typing on a computer or using speech-to-text software. This can help overcome the physical challenges associated with handwriting.

2. Modified writing tasks: Adapting assignments to allow students to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding without being hindered by their difficulties in handwriting. For example, allowing them to give oral presentations or create multimedia projects.

3. Assistive technology: Introducing the use of tools like word prediction software, text-to-speech programs, or speech recognition tools to support written expression and spelling.

4. Explicit instruction: Providing explicit teaching and practice of handwriting skills, including letter formation, spacing, and neatness. Breaking down writing tasks into smaller, more manageable steps can also be helpful.

5. Extra time and support: Allowing students with dysgraphia additional time to complete written assignments and providing individualized support to develop their writing skills.

It is important for teachers and educators to be aware of the signs of dysgraphia and to provide appropriate support and accommodations. Working closely with students, their families, and any specialists involved can help create a supportive learning environment where students with dysgraphia can thrive.

In conclusion, dysgraphia is a learning disability that affects writing skills and can have a significant impact on students in the classroom. By providing targeted support and accommodations, teachers can help students with dysgraphia overcome challenges and reach their full potential in their academic journey.

20 Ways to Simplify Difficult Concepts for Struggling Learners

Are you looking for ways to simplify difficult concepts for struggling learners? If so, keep reading.

1. Utilize several modalities (e.g., auditory, visual, tactile, etc.) when presenting instructions, explanations, and instructional content . Ascertain which modality is stronger and utilize that modality.

2. Utilize concrete examples of experiences in teaching ideas and sharing information with the students.

3. Daily, examine those skills, ideas, tasks, etc., that have been previously introduced.

4. Utilize images, diagrams, the smartboard, and gestures when delivering information orally.

5. Praise the learner for listening to what is said: (a) give the learner a concrete reward (e.g., classroom privileges, line leading, five minutes free time, passing out learning materials, etc.) or (b) give the learner an informal reward (e.g., praise, handshake, smile, etc.).

6. Get the learner to repeat or rephrase what is said to them to ascertain what they heard.

7. Praise the learner for listening carefully based on the duration of time the learner can be successful. As the learner shows success, slowly increase the duration of time required for reinforcement.

8. Converse with the learner to explain (a) what they are doing wrong (e.g., failing to listen carefully) and (b) what the learner should be doing (e.g., listening carefully).

9. Assess the difficulty level of information orally delivered to the learner (i.e., information should be communicated on the learner’s capacity and ability level).

10. Get the learner to question any directions, explanations, instructions, etc.; they do not understand.

11. Provide the learner with instructions, explanations, or presentations of ideas. As the learner shows success, slowly increase the length of the instructions, explanations, or presentations of ideas.

12. Provide a consistent format for the delivery of oral instructions.

13. Make sure the learner is paying attention to the source of information (e.g., making eye contact, hands are free of writing learning materials, looking at the task, etc.).

14. Give the learner written directions and instructions to supplement oral directions and instructions.

15. Place emphasis on or repeat word endings, keywords, etc.

16. Talk concisely when delivering directions, explanations, and instructions.

17. Put the learner near the source of information.

18. Minimize distracting stimuli (e.g., noise and motion in the classroom) to enable the learner’s capacity and ability to listen successfully.

19. Separate at crucial points when delivering directions, explanations, and instructions to ascertain the learner’s comprehension.

20. Provide directions, explanations, and instructions at an appropriate rate.

21. Use digital storytelling to help struggling learners grasp new concepts.

22. Use gamification to help struggling learners grasp new concepts.

Dyslexia seen as an ‘instructional dysfunction’ rather than a disability


Dyslexia, a common learning difficulty that affects an individual’s ability to read and comprehend written text, has often been regarded as a disability. With millions around the world suffering from dyslexia, it is important to recognize that it is not a disability but rather an instructional dysfunction. By reframing the way we view dyslexia, we can provide better support for those affected.

Understanding Dyslexia

Dyslexia is a neurological condition that affects an individual’s ability to recognize written words and process language-related information. It is not related to an individual’s intelligence or desire to learn. Instead, those with dyslexia have difficulty with specific language skills such as phonetics, spelling, and comprehension.

Why Dyslexia Is An Instructional Dysfunction

Labeling dyslexia as a disability inadvertently places the blame on those who struggle with the condition rather than addressing the core issues that contribute to their difficulties in reading and comprehension. A more constructive view of dyslexia acknowledges it as an instructional dysfunction, allowing educators and caregivers to focus on identifying better learning methods that cater to each affected person’s needs.

Traditional education systems predominantly rely on phonics-based teaching strategies for learning how to read. However, this approach may not always be effective for individuals with dyslexia due to their difficulty in letter-sound association. When the educational system fails to adapt and offer alternative learning strategies for students with dyslexia, it creates unnecessary difficulties for these individuals in their academic pursuits.

The Need For Appropriate Instructional Methods

Recognizing dyslexia as an instructional dysfunction emphasizes the importance of accommodating diverse learning styles and providing appropriate resources for those affected. Such accommodations may include:

1. Multi-sensory instruction: This involves using multiple senses such as sight, sound, and touch when teaching reading skills.

2. Visual aids: Incorporating diagrams, charts, and graphic organizers can help dyslexic individuals grasp concepts more easily.

3. Assistive technology: Tools like text-to-speech software and electronic spell checkers can greatly support those with dyslexia in keeping up with their peers.

4. One-on-one instruction: Catering to the specific needs of learners with dyslexia through individualized attention provides a customized learning experience.

5. Fostering self-confidence: Encouraging a positive learning environment where dyslexic individuals feel valued and supported will contribute to their academic success.


By shifting our perception of dyslexia from a disability to an instructional dysfunction, we can create a more inclusive educational environment that recognizes the potential of those affected. Providing the appropriate learning strategies and accommodations will not only benefit individuals with dyslexia but also ultimately contribute to more diverse and empathetic societies.



Dyslexia is a well-known yet often misunderstood learning disability that affects a person’s ability to read, write, and spell. Despite having average intelligence, individuals with dyslexia struggle with various language-related tasks, which can have a significant impact on their academic and professional success. This article aims to provide a comprehensive overview of dyslexia by examining its causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and available support strategies.

Causes of Dyslexia

The exact cause of dyslexia remains unknown; however, research suggests that genetic factors play a significant role in its development. Studies have identified several genes that may contribute to the development of dyslexia when combined with other factors like brain structure and environmental influences.

Neurological research has also shown that individuals with dyslexia exhibit differences in brain structure compared to those without the condition. These differences involve areas responsible for processing language-based information, such as the left hemisphere’s posterior regions.

Symptoms and Signs

Dyslexia presents itself differently in each individual but tends to share certain common traits. Key symptoms often include:

1. Difficulty decoding words: People with dyslexia often struggle with breaking words down into smaller parts (like syllables) or associating letters with their corresponding sounds.

2. Poor reading fluency: Those affected by dyslexia typically read slowly and with difficulty.

3. Trouble with spelling: Spelling errors are common amongst individuals with dyslexia.

4. Difficulty understanding written text: This can result from struggles with decoding words and lack of fluency.

While these are typical symptoms, it is essential to recognize that not every person with dyslexia will display all these difficulties.


Identifying dyslexia requires a thorough evaluation process conducted by qualified professionals like educational psychologists or speech-language pathologists. Assessments usually involve:

1. Family and personal history: This helps determine if there are any genetic factors or developmental concerns.

2. Standardized tests: These measure reading, writing, and spelling skills compared to average development levels.

3. Cognitive evaluations: These tests measure memory, processing speed, and phonological awareness.

Support Strategies

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to supporting individuals with dyslexia – interventions and strategies should be tailored to suit each person’s unique needs. Common approaches include:

1. Multisensory instruction: This involves teaching reading using visual, auditory, tactile, and kinesthetic modalities.

2. Individualized education plans (IEPs): These outline educational support based on the student’s strengths and weaknesses.

3. Assistive technology: Tools like text-to-speech software can help support individuals with dyslexia in their academic pursuits.


Dyslexia is a complex learning disability that can have lasting repercussions on a person’s academic and professional life. Early identification, diagnosis, and intervention are crucial for enhancing an individual’s chances of success. By understanding the signs and symptoms of dyslexia, parents, teachers, and professionals can work together to support those affected by this condition and ensure they achieve their full potential.

Boys’ Barriers to Learning and Achievement


Boys face various barriers throughout their educational journey that negatively impact their academic performance and attainment. It is crucial to identify these challenges in order to find solutions that would improve boys’ engagement with learning while unlocking their potential for success. This article explores some of the most common obstacles boys encounter in their education process and provides strategies to overcome them.

Emotional Intelligence and Communication Skills:

Boys often struggle with emotional intelligence and communication compared to their female peers. This gap can interfere with their ability to express their needs and thoughts, leading to increased feelings of frustration, disengagement from learning, and ultimately hindering academic achievement. Schools should encourage developing emotional intelligence and communication skills in all students, with special attention given to addressing boys’ unique needs through targeted interventions or counseling sessions.

Learning Style Differences:

Boys tend to have different learning preferences than girls, which may conflict with traditional teaching methods. They often require a more hands-on, concrete learning experience that emphasizes problem-solving and practical application over abstract concepts or passive learning. Educators must recognize these differences and incorporate diverse teaching strategies, including visual aids, physical activities, interactive discussions, and real-world examples, which not only engage boys but also cater to varied learning styles among all students.

Peer Pressure and Societal Expectations:

Boys may be reluctant to engage fully with learning due to peer pressure or societal expectations around masculinity. They might avoid actions such as asking questions or admitting academic difficulties for fear of being judged negatively by their classmates. Teachers can help counteract this by fostering a respectfualll classroom environment that promotes open communication without judgment or ridicule. Creating a safe space where students feel comfortable expressing themselves is vital.

Lack of Male Role Models:

The teaching profession is predominantly female-dominated in many regions. As a result, many boys lack exposure to male role models within the educational setting. This can contribute to disengagement from learning or deficiencies in academic achievement. Increasing the presence of male educators in schools can inspire boys and provide relatable role models who understand their unique challenges.


Boys face numerous barriers that can adversely affect their learning and achievement throughout their education journey. By identifying these challenges and implementing appropriate strategies, educators have the opportunity to positively influence boys’ engagement with the learning process and help them reach their full potential. Building positive classroom environments, addressing emotional intelligence, acknowledging learning style differences, and increasing exposure to male role models are just a few ways we can begin breaking down these barriers.

6 Ways to Help Graduating Students with Disabilities

Graduation is an important milestone for all students, but it can be particularly challenging for those with disabilities. Here are six ways to support graduating students with disabilities and ensure they have a positive experience as they move on to their next chapter.

1. Offer Appropriate Accommodations

One of the key ways to help graduating students with disabilities is by providing appropriate accommodations during the graduation ceremony. This may include sign language interpreters, accessible seating for students and families, and any necessary modifications to the walking route or stage setup. Accommodations will vary depending on the specific needs of each student, so it’s essential to work closely with them and their families to ensure everyone is included.

2. Provide Personalized Supports

Every student with a disability will have unique needs and require different supports. To help these students succeed during graduation, develop personalized plans in collaboration with their families, teachers, and support staff. This may involve adapting the graduation routine or process in ways that make it more accessible for students who struggle with mobility or have sensory issues.

3. Foster Inclusion Throughout School Experience

Fostering an inclusive environment throughout a student’s entire school career will better prepare them for graduation day. Encourage understanding and acceptance among teachers, staff, and fellow students by raising awareness about different disabilities and promoting inclusivity in classroom activities and extracurricular programs.

4. Celebrate Each Student’s Achievements

It’s essential to acknowledge the hard work and dedication of all students during graduation, including those with disabilities. Ensure that each student receives individual recognition for their accomplishments, from earning special awards or honors to simply completing their required coursework. By celebrating each student’s achievements, you will help promote a sense of accomplishment and pride in all graduates.

5. Maintain Ongoing Communication

In the months leading up to graduation, maintain open lines of communication between school staff, students with disabilities, and their families. Keep everyone informed about upcoming events, deadlines, and any necessary preparations. Continuous communication helps everyone feel included and ensures that accommodations are in place to support the students as they prepare for their big day.

6. Offer Transition Resources and Support

Graduation is just the beginning of a new chapter in students’ lives. For those with disabilities, life after high school may involve different challenges that require supports and resources to help them transition successfully. Partner with local agencies, vocational rehabilitation programs, or disability organizations to provide mentoring, career counseling, and additional resources to graduating students with disabilities as they navigate life beyond high school.

By considering these six strategies, you can help create an inclusive and supportive environment for graduating students with disabilities, ensuring that they feel valued and prepared for the exciting opportunities ahead.

Infographic: Understanding Dyslexia (And Your Students Who Have It)


Dyslexia is a common learning disorder affecting millions of students worldwide. It occurs in various forms and impacts the way individuals process written or spoken language. With the right support and understanding, students with dyslexia can thrive academically and socially. In this article, we will explore dyslexia, its symptoms and causes, and how teachers can create an inclusive environment for students who have it.

What is Dyslexia?

Dyslexia is a neurobiological condition that impairs a person’s ability to read, write, and spell correctly despite having adequate intelligence levels. The disorder results from differences in the way the brain processes language and can manifest in varying degrees of severity.

Symptoms of Dyslexia:

Some common signs of dyslexia include:

1. Difficulty recognizing words

2. Struggling with spelling and grammar

3. Poor reading comprehension

4. Difficulty following written or verbal instructions

5. Trouble organizing thoughts and ideas

6. Slow reading speed

7. Poor memory of heard words

Causes of Dyslexia:

While the exact cause of dyslexia remains unclear, research indicates that it may be due to genetic factors and differences in the brain’s structure or function. Dyslexia tends to run in families; having parents or siblings with dyslexia increases the likelihood of developing it.

Creating an Inclusive Environment:

Teachers play a pivotal role in supporting students with dyslexia by adopting specific strategies and interventions that cater to their unique needs.

1. Offer Multisensory Learning Experiences: To improve reading skills, incorporate visual, auditory, tactile, and kinesthetic approaches wherever possible.

2. Provide Clear Instructions: Break down complex assignments into smaller tasks and repeat instructions when needed.

3. Encourage Assistive Technology: Tools such as text-to-speech software, audiobooks, and speech recognition apps can help facilitate learning and communication.

4. Offer Extended Time: Provide additional time for completing tests and assignments, as students with dyslexia may require more time to read instructions or comprehend texts.

5. Foster a Supportive Classroom Environment: Encourage open communication about dyslexia and educate students about the diverse learning needs of their peers.


Understanding dyslexia is crucial for educators as they strive to create inclusive learning environments that empower all students. By being aware of the symptoms, causes, and effective strategies to support students with dyslexia, teachers can help them overcome their challenges and unlock their full potential.

Dyslexia and Working Memory Go Hand in Hand—How to Help Students Remember More


Dyslexia, a neurological condition that affects reading, writing, and spelling, has a significant impact on students’ academic performance. One aspect of dyslexia that is often overlooked is its relationship with working memory. Working memory is the cognitive process of holding and manipulating information for a short period. Research has shown that individuals with dyslexia tend to have weaker working memory capacity compared to their non-dyslexic peers. This article explores the connection between dyslexia and working memory and provides strategies to help students with dyslexia remember more.

The Connection Between Dyslexia and Working Memory

Working memory plays a crucial role in reading comprehension, language processing, and problem-solving. It allows us to retain information from various sources, integrate new knowledge with existing knowledge, and manage complex tasks. In individuals with dyslexia, deficient working memory can exacerbate the challenges they face in language-based tasks such as reading and writing.

Several studies have found that children with dyslexia exhibit lower scores on working memory tasks compared to their typically developing peers. This can create difficulties in organizing thoughts, keeping track of instructions or steps in solving problems.

Strategies to Help Students with Dyslexia Strengthen Their Working Memory

1. Chunking: Breaking down large pieces of information into smaller “chunks” can make it easier for students with dyslexia to remember and comprehend content. You can teach your students various strategies like grouping words by category or creating visual links between items.

2. Repetition: Encourage students with dyslexia to read or recite information multiple times to improve their ability to retain it in their working memory. Providing opportunities for repetition can help strengthen neural connections necessary for long-term memory.

3. Use visual aids: Visuals such as diagrams or graphic organizers can be useful tools in aiding the working memory of students with dyslexia. Visual aids can help students structure their thoughts and break down complex concepts.

4. Encourage note-taking: Encourage students to maintain organized notes, as this helps to strengthen working memory by turning a short exercise into a longer, more involved process that engages various cognitive functions.

5. Teach mnemonic devices: Mnemonic devices such as acronyms or rhymes can be valuable tools for students with dyslexia. These memory aids can help them retain information more easily and recall it later.

6. Incorporate multisensory learning: Combining different sensory input (visual, auditory, kinesthetic) to teach new concepts can support the working memory of dyslexic students and improve their comprehension.

7. Create a supportive environment: Encourage students to ask questions and seek clarification when needed. Offer praise for their efforts and provide constructive feedback on their work.


Understanding the connection between dyslexia and working memory is essential in helping students with dyslexia overcome the challenges they face in their academic journey. Implementing the strategies discussed in this article will not only empower these students but also enable them to reach their full potential and succeed despite any learning obstacles. With consistent practice and support, students with dyslexia can strengthen their working memory skills and excel in their academics.

Helping Dyslexic Children Learn Sight Words

Children who have dyslexia have trouble when it comes to picking up sight words. It is not always as easy for them to be able to decode the words that they see, and they may often struggle with this process more than other students. 

It is important to know that sight words play a crucial role in the reading development process. Thankfully, you can make this process easier for them and help make sure that they can learn sight words. Let’s take a look at how you can do this. 

Break the Words Up For Them

The first thing that you will need to do is break up the sight word for them. By doing so, you will be able to help them understand these words better. The truth about dyslexia is that you can help your child learn better with the right kind of support. 

Make sure that you’re putting in the effort to help them. Break up the words by how they look, help them spell the words, focus on the vowels, and do anything else that can help them learn. 

Use Mnemonics

If there is one thing that works amazingly, it is the use of mnemonics. These will help your child remember sight words even better. For instance, to help them remember the spelling of “separate”, they can learn that “there is a rat in separate”.

Help them come up with the right kind of mnemonics for their learning. It will take time, but it will turn out to be very helpful when it comes to their learning. There are plenty of tools and apps for students with learning disabilities to help them get a hold of sight words better. 

Make Use Of Pictures

Children can learn better with the use of visual aids, so when you’re trying to help them to learn sight words, try to make use of pictures, as well. Doing so will help them make a better connection to what they are reading or looking at. 

Illustrations added to flashcards or used in conjunction with them are a great way to start. On top of that, you can switch things up when they get used to learning the words with the illustrations. 

Concluding Thoughts

You can do many different things to help your child with dyslexia learn sight words more easily. 
For instance, there is a collection of sight words songs that you can use for dyslexic children. Whatever method you choose, make sure you cover all the options available for your child to improve their learning.

How To Help Your Child With Dysgraphia

It can get especially challenging for parents whose children have dysgraphia. These children struggle with writing, making it more difficult for parents to help their children with their writing skills. This inability to write properly puts them behind the rest of their peers in school, and eventually, they will feel left out or left behind. 

Make Them Feel What They Write

Allowing your children to feel the letters they are supposed to be writing down can help them learn the formation of letters

You can help them understand different letters through straightforward and fun activities that you and your child can enjoy. You can trace a letter on their palm or their back and ask them to write the letter down on paper or trace it on your back. 

You can make it more challenging for them by tracing a capital letter on their palm and asking them to write the lowercase letter for that letter and vice versa.

Write Bigger

It is challenging for kids with dysgraphia to remember how letters are formed. However, therapists have found a way to make it easier for children to remember how to form letters. In this process, children write in a way that uses large motor movements.

A home remedy for this problem is to let children spray letters on the wall using shaving cream when they take a bath. Another way is to let them spread the cream on the wall and then allow them to use this cream to make letters on the wall. Using damp sand in a plastic tub is a good way to practice, as well. To increase sensory input, finger paint can be mixed with the sand.

Use Clay

Clay is a perfect reusable material to help with dysgraphia. As it has a smooth texture, it is very responsive and adaptable, so even when a small mistake is made, it can be corrected. 

Clay can be rolled into ropes and then used to produce letters. The use of clay also enhances hand strength and emphasizes improving fine motor skills. It can help children remember the shape of the letters better, as well. 

Another effective method is to place the clay on a cookie sheet and smooth it out. Then, ask your child to form letters on this surface with the help of a pencil. This way, the child’s brain is receptive to the sensory output that informs how the letters are formed. 

Concluding Thoughts

With a few helpful methods, your child can develop good writing skills. Good writing skills will help them become better readers as they understand phonetics and gain familiarity with the words.