2019 Dyslexia Teacher Training

Dyslexia is the most prevalent learning disability among students and adults.  This course will help you identify red flags that a student has dyslexia and what you can do to help them.  Learn the unique strengths of students with dyslexia and how to leverage those strengths to bring about success in the classroom.

The Completion Level of Your Training.


Start Here

About the Authors

The following dyslexia in-service is presented to you by Ozark Therapy Institute. The information to gathered and presented is from Beth Allen Nash best seller Dyslexia Outside-the-box.

How to get the most out of this execution plan

Here’s how to get the most out of the content in this Execution Plan,

  1. Read the entire EP once – Read through this entire EP, watch any videos and download the resources.  Don’t execute on the steps until you have finished reading the entire EP.  This will help you understand the progression of the steps and put them into context.
  2. Complete the steps – This Execution Plan is a checklist.  Each step builds upon the next.  Complete each step in order.

Lastly, here’s how to use the Execution Plan interface.

View the example Execution Plan below…

  1. Progress Bar – The Progress Bar shows you the percentage of the Execution Plan you have completed.
  2. Check boxes – Click the check box to indicate completion of a Course Step or Course Section.
  3. Course Sections – An Execution Plan is a series of steps that lead to the completion of milestones.  In this EP there are four milestones entitled Start Here, Pre-Launch, Launch and Post-Launch.
  4. Course Steps – Each Course Section contains multiple steps.
  5. Arrows – Use the Arrow Buttons to open and close the Course Steps in the Execution Plan.

What is Dyslexia?

Introduction to Dyslexia

Common Characteristics

It’s genetic

It’s in the genes. Just as the heading says, dyslexia is genetic. “It is very common to find someone in a dyslexic child’s parents’ or grandparents’ generation, and siblings and cousins, who also had or have similar struggles and strengths,” wrote author Beth Ellen Nash in her best seller ‘Dyslexia Outside-the-Box’.

She goes on to teach that at least three genes are linked to dyslexia and ten genetic factors are thought to be involved. Relatives, siblings, and ancestors who display visual, mechanical, or technical ways of thinking are likely the same ones challenged by reading, writing, and arithmetic.

In some you might only see the strengths of dyslexia which is referred to as ‘stealth dyslexia’ because are they able to hide their challenges or come up with creative ways to overcome them.

Early Indicators

Challenges that often Co-exist with Dyslexia

Intro to Challenges

Language-Based Learning Disability

Specific Language Impairment

Specific language impairment can affect both receptive and expressive language including:

  • Grammatical and syntactical development (such as correct verb tense, word order, and sentence structure)
  • Semantic development (such as vocabulary knowledge)
  • Phonological development (such as awareness of sounds in spoken language and the sound-symbol connection)

Dyslexia Outside-the-Box by Beth Ellen Nash; www.WingsToSoarOnline.com


Dysgraphia means difficulty writing by hand. It is associated with handwriting and spelling struggles and is often includes difficulty with being able to write thoughts onto paper.

Dyslexia Outside-the-Box by Beth Ellen Nash; www.WingsToSoarOnline.com

Processing Challenges

Auditory Processing

Visual Processing

Processing Speed

Executive Functioning Issues

Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

Working Memory

Procedural Learning


Highly Sensitive

Highly sensitive people are those whose nervous system are more finely attuned to sensory stimuli. 15-20% of the general population are highly sensitive. If this is paired with dyslexia, it means that their needs as a highly sensitive person must be addressed in order for them to focus on learning. Their higher sensitivity might contribute to distractibility.

Dyslexia Outside-the-Box by Beth Ellen Nash; www.WingsToSoarOnline.com

Symptoms in the Classroom

Symptom Overview Chart

Symptoms PK-Highschool


Diagnosing Dyslexia

When to get Tested

To get a diagnosis of dyslexia, low intelligence, and physical impairments may not be the cause of the student’s challenges. According to Beth Ellen Nash in her book ‘Dyslexia Outside-the-Box’, “Choosing to seek a formal diagnosis of dyslexia should be guided by whether or not the student can qualify for accommodations (educational strategies that even the playing field for students with dyslexia and other learning challenges) and/or services that might be recommended as a result of that diagnosis.”

Instead of immediately seeking a diagnosis, it is recommended to try early intervention strategies to help the student catch up first. If the student needs accommodations on high-stakes tests or if they are not responding well after six months too early intervention, it would then be appropriate to seek a formal diagnosis to find out more about their learning challenge.

If formally tested and diagnosed in elementary, middle, or early high school, another one will have to be obtained within three years of college entrance to continue to qualify for accommodations.

Who Diagnoses it and How?

A medical professional must diagnose dyslexia. Family physicians are typically a good place to start for directing families to the professional in the area that can complete the testing. Commonly, a Licensed Neuropsychologist can complete the testing but can differ depending on who is available in the area.

According to the Mayo Clinic, there is not one standard test to be completed for diagnosing dyslexia, but rather a consideration of many different factors and observation of performance. Some of these factors include the following from www.mayoclinic.org

  • The child’s development, educational issues, and medical history. The doctor will likely ask questions about these areas. The doctor will probably also want to know about any conditions that run in the child’s family, including whether any family members have a learning disability.
  • The child’s home life. The doctor may ask for a description of family and home life, including who lives at home and whether there are any problems at home.
  • Questionnaires. The child’s doctor may have the child, family members or teachers answer written questions. The child may be asked to take tests to identify reading and language abilities.
  • Vision, hearing, and brain (neurological) tests. These can help determine whether another disorder may be causing or adding to the child’s poor reading ability.
  • Psychological testing. The doctor may ask the parent or child questions to better understand the child’s psychological state. This can help determine whether social problems, anxiety or depression may be limiting the child’s abilities.
  • Testing reading and other academic skills. The child may take a set of educational tests and have the process and quality of reading skills analyzed by a reading expert.

Challenges and strengths of those with Dyslexia

Common challenges and flip-side strengths

Teaching ideas to make the most of flip-side strengths

A whole-person view

Wrongly Perceived

Students with dyslexia are often wrongly perceived as being lazy or unmotivated because their difficulties are in direct contrast with their amazing abilities. It is easy to see why someone with dyslexia might give up in despair when previous attempts are met with indifference. In the end, it is easier for these students to accept “I didn’t do well because I didn’t really try hard” than “I must be stupid; I tried very hard, but still didn’t succeed.”

Students with dyslexia actually work much harder than those without it to achieve the same level of academic learning mastery. Helping them embrace their strengths allows them to gain the resiliency to bounce back from the challenges of life.

(From ‘Dyslexia Outside-the-Box’ by Beth Ellen Nash)

Flip-side Strengths Perspective

Think of dyslexia as a way of thinking, or processing style. Do not let the strengths of someone with dyslexia go unrecognized. This chart lays out the typical deficits that are perceived vs. how they should be perceived as flip-side strengths.

Flip-Side-Strengths Perspective

Deficits Perspective

·      Good problem solvers

·      Creative

·      Observant

·      Strong social skills and high levels of empathy

·      Excellent big-picture thinkers

·      Good at making connections

·      Three-dimensional thinking

·      Strong narrative reasoning

·      Inaccurate and non-fluent word recognition

·      Poor spelling and decoding abilities

·      Difficulty with the organization of sounds to process language

·      Slow or inaccurate reading, including mixing up similar words

·      Poor written composition

·      Difficulty understanding math word problems

Rethinking Learning-Reading

Components of Reading

From Dyslexia Outside the Box by Beth Ellen Nash, What is Phonological and Phonemic Awareness? Click here——> RETHINKING READING

How do phonics and fluency relate to dyslexia? PHONICS&FLUENCY

Here is how dyslexia effects vocabulary and comprehension? Vocabulary&Comprehension

Phonological and Phonemic Awareness Exercises- Sound Providing & Rhyming

“The point of all of the following phonological awareness activities is for the student to focus on and manipulate the sounds within words, not read the letters, symbols, and words. This skill is completely oral and auditory. Short daily practice with these kinds of exercises at the preschool and kindergarten levels, and for any older student who is not yet strong in these skills, is essential. Phonological awareness is one of the best predictors of reading success, and therefore of success in school,” (Beth Ellen Nash).

Phonological and Phonemic Awareness Exercises- Sound Categorization

Phonological and Phonemic Awareness Exercises- Blending

Phonological and Phonemic Awareness Exercises- Segmentation

Phonological and Phonemic Awareness Exercises- Deletion

Phonological and Phonemic Awareness Exercises- Substitution

Rethinking Learning-Spelling

Frequency and Patterns

Spelling Patterns- Common long (a) vowel patterns

Spelling Patterns- Common long (e) vowel patterns

Spelling Patterns- Common long (i) vowel patterns

Spelling Patterns- Common long (o) vowel patterns

Spelling Patterns- Common long (u/oo) vowel patterns

Spelling Patterns- Additional common vowel patterns

Learning to Spell Categories

Beth Ellen Nash classifies words into three categories for students learning to spell.

  1. Phonetically regular words with high frequency patterns that are worth learning.
  2. “Outlaw words” which are small groups of words that break the rules together.
  3. True “rule breakers” that just need to be memorized.

Multisensory Practice Ideas for Spelling

Multisensory Steps

Writing Ideas

Tracing Ideas

Visualizing Ideas

Kinesthetic Ideas

Ideas for Playing With Food

Special Ideas

Rethinking Learning-Writing

Five Steps to Writing

Proficient Writing- Argumentative/Persuasive

Proficient Writing- Informative/ Explanatory

Proficient Writing- Narrative/ Descriptive

Tips or Successful Writing

Leveling the Playing Field Through Accommodations

What are Accommodations?

Many students with dyslexia are good at storytelling and can be very talented, creative writers if they can get their ideas down. Many students with dyslexia have a hard time expressing what is going on in their brains which can be due to dysgraphia. Dysgraphia is difficulty writing by hand, with other handwriting and spelling challenges. The following accommodations in this section can allow a students intellectual level blossom rather than be limited by a specific skill


Voice Recorder

Voice recording is an option is there is no partner available to scribe. The student or adult can later transcribe the cording to work further with it.

Speech to Text OR Voice Typing

Other Assistive Technology

Classroom Accommodations

Tools for Managing the Sensory Environment

Teaching Principles, Strategies, and Tools


Scaffolding is a learning process that is designed to promote a deeper level of understanding. There are various types of scaffolding that can be provided by a parent or teacher to assist in a students learning. Some examples include:

Asking Essential Questions
– Ask questions that lead the student to an answer. Questions should:
Be open ended
Be thought provoking
Be able to be answered using critical-thinking skills
Allow for more than just an answer
– Essential questions should help stimulate stream-of-thought, facilitate development of ideas, draw out details, clarify points, and more!

Partnering– helps with focus, follow through, modeling “how to,” attention, and scaffolding growing executive-functioning skills.
– Partnering with cueing- verbalize your mental process. Communicate and let the student determine the pace. Example: “To me, ‘this means…” “What did you mean here?”
– Partnering as peer- Ask questions and give feedback, but be the sidekick and not the superhero.

– Verbal feedback- give single concept feedback. Frequent, focused feedback is much more effective than overwhelming with it all at once.
– Correct the students work and provide feedback to the student on the same day it is completed. Prompt feedback is always best.

Check-in/Check-out– this is used to help a student focus on the day as a whole or a specific task.
– Schedule check-ins and check-outs daily. Do them at the beginning of the school day or project, and at the end.
– This helps to review what has happened, foreshadow next steps, and keep the student organized.

From ‘Dyslexia Outside-the-Box’ by Beth Ellen Nash (www.WingsToSoarOnline.com)

Teaching Tools That Assist Scaffolding

Additional Resources

This article is a must read for understanding more about dyslexia in the classroom!