Learning and mental health supports

“Dyslexia robs a person of time; accommodations return it.

Dr. Sally Shaywitz, Yale Centre for Dyslexia and Creativity

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Accommodations are not a substitute for effective reading instruction, but can be helpful to support a child’s educational and emotional needs at home and at school. All students with dyslexia have a right to receive accommodations (such as more time to complete a test or access to screen readers and audio books) in Ontario classrooms. Specific accommodations are identifed in a student’s Individual Education Plan (IEP).

Tip! Learn the difference between accommodations and modifications

Accommodations” can allow a student with dyslexia to be given extra time to complete tasks, help with taking notes, and work assignments that are modified appropriately. Teachers can give recorded tests or allow students with dyslexia to use alternative means of assessment. Students can benefit from listening to books on tape and using text reading and word processing computer programs.  “Modifications” refers to the modification of curriculum expectations; this is often unnecessary if a student receives appropriate reading instruction/intervention.” ~ International Dyslexia Association – Ontario

Learn more about accommodations for dyslexia

Assistive Technology (AT)

AT is a type of accommodation. All students with dyslexia are eligible to receive AT support in Ontario classrooms. It’s also useful to use AT at home to assist with reading and homework. For example, your child may benefit from an Immersive Reader: try the free extension for Google Chrome or use the immersive reader on Microsoft OneNote. [We don’t endorse any specific business nor do we receive payment for any listings provided here]

Learn more about the AT that your child can use at school and at home

Mental health

Dyslexia is a learning difference, not a mental illness; however, students with dyslexia may experience low self-esteem, anxiety and other mental health issues due to their struggle learning to read and accessing the curriculum at school.

Ontario’s Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth reported: “Students with learning disabilities told us that no one explained their ‘learning disability’ to them so they never understood that their way of learning was different from their peers. Without this awareness they just felt that something was ‘wrong’ with them or they found themselves isolated from their peers and felt ‘stupid.’ This fear of being ‘different’ became a cause of failure on its own as they struggled with why it took them longer to learn when their peers seem to learn so easily” (Source: Ontario Human Rights Commission).

It’s important to:

Get help

Learn more about mental health and dyslexia

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