Dyslexia in High School

How to Better Support Middle and High School Students With Dyslexia

A common belief in the field of education is that after the third grade, students should focus on improving their reading comprehension rather than their reading ability. It is time to make adjustments to the plan when the process of learning to read (and spell) continues to be difficult well into middle school and beyond. Throughout their time in school, students who have dyslexia have varying requirements to meet in order to be successful. It’s possible that they’ll always require instruction to improve their reading and spelling, but once they hit adolescence, their requirements become significantly more complex.

At this point, it is necessary for us to recognise their efforts and experiences, instruct them on how to advocate for themselves, and make accommodations for them in the classroom as well as in other settings.


Kids are frequently removed from their classes or made to meet with a tutor without being given an explanation as to what is happening or why it is happening. They are aware that their reading skills are not up to par with those of their classmates. They are aware that they have been evaluated more frequently than their classmates. The challenge lies in the fact that acknowledging the traumatic experience is necessary before a student who has been struggling for years can truly begin to learn and trust the process. We are obligated to recognise the effort that was put in. We have to come to terms with the fact that the student is not to blame for the stagnant progress that has been made.

We have to persuade them that we understand their experience and that we comprehend that dyslexia is a neurobiological condition that impacts the way in which they process written language. We have a responsibility to let them know that we acknowledge their efforts and that we have faith in their ability to improve.


No later than the end of elementary school, students should be introduced to the concept of learning how to advocate for themselves. Self-advocacy requires a person to have a comprehensive understanding of what dyslexia is and how it manifests in their own life before it can be attempted. This is only possible if we refer to the condition as dyslexia and explain it in the most straightforward manner possible.

After they have gained that understanding, they will be able to start the process of learning how to advocate for themselves. They also need to be aware of the fact that, in addition to helping themselves, their self-advocacy will benefit other students who are unable to do so on their own, which can be a motivating factor. Students need to be aware of whether or not they have been diagnosed with a condition, as well as whether or not they have an individualised education programme (IEP) or a section 504 plan. This information will guide both their method of advocacy and the causes they support. They have to become experts in explaining the reasons why they require the accommodations, as this is the most important thing they will advocate for.

Self-advocacy on the part of students can take on a variety of different forms; however, during the summer, the Dyslexia Training Institute’s Virtual Student Academy held a class for students that included the following steps to assist students in becoming their own advocates:

First, make frequent use of the term “dyslexia” in all of your writing. Explain to them what dyslexia is and how it differs from other reading disorders. You can assist them in finding some role models who have dyslexia.

Step 2: Teach students how to create a “elevator speech” about what dyslexia is and is not and give them an opportunity to practise their skills. They can rehearse this speech so that they are prepared to discuss their dyslexia with their instructors, members of their families, friends, and anyone else they come in contact with.

Make a list of common misconceptions people have about dyslexia, and work with students to practise how to respond to these misconceptions. In the third step, you will make a list of common misconceptions people have about dyslexia. The student can practise their response by providing an explanation as to why statements such as “Dyslexia is seeing words backwards” are not accurate. For instance, when someone says something like “Dyslexia is seeing words backwards,” the student can practise their response.

Step 4: If the student has an Individualized Education Program (IEP) or a 504 plan, sit down with them and make sure they understand what those plans are and why they have them. Instruct them on how and why an Individualized Education Program (IEP) or Section 504 protects their rights to learn to read and spell, and show them how to have conversations with their teachers about the content of their IEPs.

Step 5: Determine together with the student which accommodations will best meet their academic requirements by working together with the student.


A number of adults who suffer from dyslexia were able to complete their education with the assistance of various accommodations. Accommodations, on the other hand, enable students to give an accurate representation of what they understand rather than being hampered by the written language they are expected to use in school. This is an objective that is far more important than simply making it through school. Students who struggle with dyslexia can take advantage of a variety of different accommodations.

Speech-to-text software gives students the opportunity to demonstrate their understanding of the subject they are writing about without being hampered by spelling errors. Because of this type of accommodation, they are more likely to use more complicated sentence structures and vocabulary that is at a higher level.

Text-to-speech: The capacity to listen to text is a gateway to information of a higher level. Many students who have dyslexia are forced to read books with less complex vocabulary, despite the fact that they are intellectually capable of comprehending more difficult subject matter.

Students who have dyslexia often find that spelling is a particularly difficult area of the language to decipher. Adults who have dyslexia frequently report that Grammarly is an excellent resource that assists them in identifying and correcting their misspellings.

Dysgraphia is a learning disorder that is characterised by difficulty with the production of writing. Many people who have dyslexia also have dysgraphia. Keyboarding: Students who have dyslexia may find that learning to type as early as possible makes writing a much less frustrating experience for them, and it also gives them the opportunity to demonstrate their intellectual capability in situations where the formation of letters is not a barrier.

Students who have dyslexia should never be forced to read in front of their classmates; rather, they should be allowed to do so whenever they feel comfortable enough to do so on their own. Adults who have dyslexia frequently report that reading out loud is a distressing experience that they do not easily forget.

The social and emotional well-being of a person who has dyslexia is, in the final analysis, more important than any other factor. As they grow up and become adults with dyslexia, it will be easier for them to manage their condition if they have been shown that their time spent in school does not have to be filled with worry and tension. Early identification, acknowledgment of the student’s struggle and effort, teaching the student how to advocate for themselves, and making accommodations for the student so that they can participate at their intellectual level should be non-negotiable requirements for dyslexic students and should be made available to each and every student who has dyslexia.