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Resources for Teachers

Dyslexia, the most common reading disability among children, is a neurological condition caused by a different wiring of the brain. Research indicates that dyslexia has no relationship to intelligence. Individuals with dyslexia are neither more nor less intelligent than the general population. Some say the way individuals with dyslexia think can actually be an asset in achieving success.

 The following definition of dyslexia was adopted by the International Dyslexia Association (IDA) Board of Directors in 2002 and is used by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD):

“Dyslexia 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. Secondary consequences may include problems in reading comprehension and reduced reading experience that can impede growth of vocabulary and background knowledge.”

Individuals with dyslexia can learn to read successfully if they are taught the rules of the English language- the code- in a structured, systematic and sequential way by specially trained teachers who use evidence based, multisensory strategies.

IDA has recently adopted the term “Structured Literacy” to describe an approach to reading instruction that is structured, sequential, multisensory, and explicitly taught. IDA is taking action where reading instruction is first taught, in K-3 general education classrooms throughout America. First, in developing knowledge and practice standards for classroom teachers, next in credentialing colleges that teach to this standard, IDA aims to improve the knowledge base of teachers so they are trained and prepared to teach beginning readers and to identify those who struggle.

To ensure that teachers and specialists are appropriately trained, the International Dyslexia Association (IDA) created Knowledge and Practice Standards for Teachers of Reading. IDA reviews and accredits teacher training programs and will begin certifying individuals in 2016. For more information about the IDA Standards and credentialing, click here.