Home‎ > ‎



What is dyslexia?

Dyslexia is an unexpected difficulty learning to read despite intelligence, motivation and education.

The Alabama Department of Education (2015) has defined dyslexia as, "a specific learning challenge that is neurological in origin.  It is characterized by difficulties with accurate and/or fluent word recognition and by poor spelling and decoding abilities.  These difficulties typically result from a deficit in the phonological component of language that is often unexpected in relation to other cognitive abilities and the provision of effective classroom instruction.  Secondary consequences may include problems in reading comprehension and reduced reading experience that can impede growth of vocabulary and background knowledge."

Concerned that your student is showing characteristics of dyslexia? Please talk to your school's principal, counselor, or teacher for information about having your child screened for dyslexia.

Have Hoover schools started administering dyslexia screeners for students at risk? Yes, we began offering dyslexia screeners in November 2015, soon after the Alabama State School Board approved the new Alabama Dyslexia Code.


 What are the strengths and difficulties experienced by students with dyslexia?


Students with dyslexia may have difficulty with.....

Average to above average intelligence

Delayed language development

Creative and strong verbal skills

Learning letters and their sounds (blending and segmenting)

Logical thinker

Organizing written and spoken language

Can easily grasp new concepts when presented orally

Difficulty memorizing and recalling facts

Excellent oral comprehension

Reading quickly enough to comprehend

Artistic or musical

Reading with fluency and automaticity

Solves puzzles and work in 3D

Persisting with and comprehending longer reading assignments




Copying words with accuracy

Inclination to think outside of the box

Correctly solving math operations

Understands abstract ideas

Weak decoding skills; slowness in figuring out multi-syllabic words 

Not all students who have difficulties with these skills have dyslexia. A f-MRI (functional MRI) is the only way to definitively diagnose dyslexia.  However, dyslexia screeners in reading, language, and writing skills can highlight specific characteristics of dyslexia a student might be experiencing.


What type of reading instruction best serves students with dyslexia?


As students with dyslexia have difficulty with phonological processing and word recognition, effective reading instruction should include

explicit, systematic, cumulative and multi-sensory instruction in:

·      Phonology

·      Sound/Symbol Association

·      Syllable Instruction

·      Morphology

·      Semantics

·      Syntax

Students often  also need explicit instruction in vocabulary and comprehension. 



 What interventions do Hoover City Schools provide for students showing characteristics of dyslexia?


All kindergarten and Grade 1 teachers have been trained in a multi-sensory oral language program that strengthens foundations leading to reading comprehension. Over half of our Kindergarten, Grade 1, and Grade 2 teachers have been trained with multi-sensory Orton Gillingham methodology for phonological awareness, sound/symbol association, and syllable instruction.  The district will continue training more teachers in the Orton Gillingham approach to be used with all early readers.

As of Spring 2016, Hoover has trained more than 55 teachers in using additional dyslexia-specific intervention programs to help struggling readers. 

In addition, 85 teachers have been trained to offer dyslexia screeners to Hoover students. The district's 14 literacy coaches support the district's schools in analyzing all dyslexia screeners and supporting teachers who provide the dyslexia-specific interventions. The Alabama State Department of Education has made each school's general education Problem Solving Team (PST) as the monitors for all students showing characteristics of dyslexia.

Hoover offers the following interventions for students showing characteristics of dyslexia that are available at all schools (see below). 



  • Orton Gillingham Multi-Sensory Methodology
  • Colors and Shapes of Language (K-1, Oral Language Development)
  • Seeing Stars Program
  • Visualizng and Verbalizing Program


  • Orton Gillingham Multi-Sensory Methodology
  • Seeing Stars Program
  • Visualizng and Verbalizing Program
  • System 44
  • Read 180

What are some classroom accommodations and supports that can be provided to students with dyslexia?  (as recommended by the Alabama State Dept. of Education)

Accommodations Involving Interactive Instruction

      • use explicit teaching procedures
      • repeat directions and clarify written instructions
      • establish and maintain daily routines
      • provide copies of lecture notes
      • provide students with graphic organizers
      • use step by step instructions
      • identify key points or words
      • use mnemonic instruction
      • emphasize daily reveiw
      • make instruction as multi-sensory as possible (involving at least 3 senses)
Accommodations Involving Student Performance
      • encourage use of graphic organizers
      • place student close to teacher and away from distractions, when possible
      • reduce student hand-copying of information
      • uses cues to denote important items
      • display models of expected student work for projects
      • use flexible work times and adjusted assignments, as needed
      • encourage note-sharing
      • provide additional practice
      • arrange handout information from easiest to hardest, when possible
Accommodations Involving Materials
      • use technology, such as Chromebooks, particularly its text-to-speech and speech-to-text capabilities
      • present a small amount of work at a time
      • highlight essential informaiton
      • help student locate place in consumable material
      • provide additional practice activities
      • provide a glossary in content areas
      • develop reading guides that emphasize key details and help students determine important information
      • allow use of instructional aids (spell checker and Google Calendar, for example)
      • some students read better with a light blue, yellow, or green colored background on their Chromebook. Th3
         color may help to stabilize the images (words) being processed by the brain.

Talking to Your Child about Dyslexia--A Q&A

What does dyslexia mean?
Dyslexia is a scientific word that means, "trouble with words."  It means your brain is wired in a way that makes it harder to connect sounds and letters for reading and spelling.

Can you cure dyslexia?
No, dyslexia is not a disease, and you can't cure it.  You have it your whole life, but you can learn ways to overcome it.

Does dyslexia mean I am dumb?
No, people with dyslexia are just as smart as everyone else, and many successful people have dyslexia.

Is it ever too late to get help for dyslexia?
No, dyslexic readers can be taught strategies that can be applied throughout their lifetime.  Programs involving multi-sensory strutured language techniques have been shown to help adults as well as children.  Early intervention is better,m but intervention at any time can be effective.

Where can I find additional information about dyslexia?


International Dyslexia Association (IDA): http://www.interdys.org


Dyslexia in the Classroom: What Every Teacher Needs to Know:




All Kinds of Minds: Understanding Differences in Learning: http://www.allkindsofminds.org


Council for Learning Disabilities (CLD): http://www.cldinternational.org


Learning Ally:  http://www.learningally.org-


Learning Disabilities Association of America (LDA): www.LDAAmerica.org


LD Online:  www.ldonline.org


University of Michigan Dyslexia Help:



Signs and Symptoms:



Reading Remedy: http://www.reading-remedy.com/dyslexiawarningsigns.html

Advantanges: http://www.mariannesunderland.com/2012/08/13/10-little-known-advantages-of-dyslexica/

The Yale Center for Dyslexia and Creativity http://dyslexia.yale.edu/Technology.html