Dyslexia Resource Guide

By Susan McLester

Seven reliable resources for learning more

October is Dyslexia Awareness Month, a good time to learn more about this learning difference that affects as many as one in five individuals. While there are many reputable websites with good information about dyslexia and other learning challenges, we have culled them down to a sample of just seven to help keep your searching to a minimum. The following sites each take a unique approach to educating educators, parents, and anyone interested in learning more about it.

Headstrong Nation— This site’s home page offers a practical “how to” video on activating the text-to-speech software that’s built into Macs, PCs and tablets. In addition to helpful resources such as “Potential Indicators of Dyslexia,” are several videos, some from authors explaining more about their print books. Videos including personal stories and documentaries from well-known successful individuals with dyslexia are heavily featured. Audio and video are put to practical use throughout the site.

International Dyslexia Association— By far the most comprehensive site on dyslexia, IDA allows visitors to take a dyslexia self-assessment test, and find local partners, conferences, workshops and events in different states and countries. There is also a plethora of resources on teaching at home during Covid-19 closures. The site also provides on-demand IDA conference recordings, and targets reading teachers with information about IDA standards, structured literacy, and more. This site is a good place to start your research as you can peruse global activities and events that provide an excellent, broad base of knowledge.

MindPlay—Early to recognize the key connection between teacher knowledge and student success when it comes to dyslexia, MindPlay offers a three-hour online course, Understanding Dyslexia. Whether you are an educator, a psychologist, speech or language therapist, administrator, or a parent of a child with dyslexia, MindPlay’s Understanding Dyslexia course will help you increase your knowledge and understanding of dyslexia. The course was developed by globally acknowledged experts in the field of learning differences.

Smart Kids with Learning Disabilities. This non-profit is dedicated to empowering the parents of children with learning disabilities and ADHD. They strive to change the perception of learning disabilities as a stigmatizing condition. Among the site’s significant features are short profiles of students with dyslexia and other learning differences detailing their personal, academic and sports accomplishments, among other achievements. Additionally, the resource offers pieces on screen time for kids and addresses the challenges of transitioning to college, an often-overlooked hurdle.

Understood.org. With a very accessible visual format, this site is especially helpful as it specializes in providing practical tips and advice for parents and educators to help support children with dyslexia. Examples include how to teach children self-advocacy at school, playground activities that boost a child’s development and a back-to-school update for families to give teachers. Engaging videos also allow us to hear the words of young, dyslexic learners recounting the challenges related to learning and self-esteem that they face in school on a daily basis.

WeConnectNow—Often, once students are past middle school, not much attention is paid to the learning differences they face and the effects on their ability to learn and socialize.  WeConnectNow does a lot to counteract that situation, as it seeks to unite people interested in the rights and issues affecting individuals with disabilities, with an emphasis on college students. Resources include general information, practical support and the participatory reading and sharing of stories that help others. Various web resources are also recommended.

Yale Center for Dyslexia and Creativity—An excerpt from this site’s mission statement reads that their intent is “…to illuminate the creative and intellectual strengths of those with dyslexia…” There’s a main feature detailing the many different creative endeavors of individuals with dyslexia. Success stories from people in many different walks of life, from actors to community leaders to scientists, are also included. This leading university site also focuses on research and advocacy, among many, other resources.

By no means an exhaustive guide, these seven resources should nevertheless get you off to a good start on your journey to becoming more educated on the ins and outs of dyslexia.

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Susan McLester is a consultant for the MindPlay online literacy solution, an education journalist and former educator.