Micah was diagnosed with dyslexia at the end of the previous school year so this past year – 2019-2020 – was the first year of school where we had his diagnosis and IEP Accommodations in place.
Here is a video that Micah and I put together about dyslexia, what our journey has looked like, and some of the accommodations that have helped us this past year.
A Word About Getting an IEP for Dyslexia
First you need to know what the signs and symptoms of dyslexia look like. I love this video by Susan Barton (not a grandmother as Micah said in the video, but an aunt who was helping her nephew). See her story and tons of information about whether your child might be dyslexic here.
We chose the Barton program for our ELA curriculum (program!) for Micah and it is designed to be a complete Reading and Spelling program for children. One of the things you’ll want to do with your IEP is make that happen for your kid!
IEP Accommodations for Dyslexia
Here is an example of an actual IEP – Micah is willing to share his – with the accommodations that he has listed out for you to see. Here are some examples of IEP accommodations you might ask for:
- Verbal instructions – not JUST written instructions
- Text-to-Speech reader on technology
- Ability to have test instructions read aloud
- Able to answer questions in verbal vs written format
- More time on tests
- Spellcheck allowed
This PDF example shows several possible modifications and accommodations that might be helpful. You know your child best so this is where you as the parent can work hand in hand with the teacher to develop the right unique strategy for your individual kiddo. 🙂
Tools We Use to Enrich Dyslexia Learning
Micah mentioned some of the tools we use when it comes to enriching his learning experience with dyslexia.
- C-Reader Pen – The first of these is his C-reader pen. It is the priciest but it was worth the money for him to be empowered to read independently. He didn’t have to ask for help with worksheets, instructions, etc.
- Note on the C-Reader Pen – If you’re with EPIC you can get this covered with your learning fund – just click and copy the amazon link into your learning fund order form. They cover it but it’s not cheap, as I said. It’s been 100% worth it.
- Libby Library App – Free audio books to check out and listen to. Their filtering system is lovely – kids can sort by genre, age, etc. The biggest downside is the limitation on the number of books you can put on hold and the fact that popular titles can be “backordered” for WEEKS.
- Audible Audiobooks – That’s where an Audible Subscription comes in handy. Popular, new release, and unusual titles that may not be available on Libby can be found on Audiobooks. (Learning Funds won’t cover this but it’s worth it.)
- Outschool Classes – Not book related, necessarily, but these online classes have a ton of different subjects, interests and time schedules to choose from. It’s become a favorite in our family (and is Learning Fund Approved) After our co-op classes canceled, Micah did a book club on Outschool so it would encourage his reading efforts. 🙂
These digital book tools help your child close the gap in cultural references, classic literature and so on. This is VITAL for your dyslexic child because reading like you or I might is NOT a pleasurable experience – it’s very hard work. So these tools give them the enjoyment of great books by removing the very hard work.
Establishing Clear Goals & Using the Right Dyslexia Program
If you are using a dyslexia-friendly curriculum option like Barton Reading and Spelling, you want to make sure your teacher is translating the scope and sequence of the program into the IEP goals. With Barton, Susan has made this very easy by giving goals and milestones for each lesson. I saved them all as a PDF for your reference.
And by the way, you MUST use a dyslexia-friendly curriculum. Traditional programs like Hooked on Phonics, Reading Eggs and ABC Mouse work great for non-dyslexic kids. You heard Micah mention that both Adam and Vivian learned to read and had surpassed him.
They DO NOT WORK FOR DYSLEXIC KIDS. Period. That’s how these kids get left behind.
We settled on Barton Reading and Spelling because it was a complete and robust program that we could learn to teach Micah with the training DVDs that are included in each level. Micah really enjoyed the video about her nephew’s struggles and how he was able to catch up and get back on grade level and read easily now.
Have questions after watching our discussion? Leave a comment and we’ll try to answer it! 🙂