Dyslexia is a specific learning difficulty (SpLD) where the CYP has consistent difficulty with information processing, primarily reading and writing skills. It is important to note that it does not only affect reading and writing skills but remembering information and processing information that is seen and /or heard. This can then affect literacy skills. Dyslexia can also impact organisational skills.

CYP who have a profile consistent with Dyslexia can show many strengths in other areas such as creativity and visual fields.


A CYP with Dyslexia may show:

  • Difficulty following instructions

  • Poor concentration

  • They forget things

  • a poor standard of written work compared with their verbal skills

  • Messy work

  • Different spellings for the same word

  • Poor pen / pencil grip

  • They find blending letters difficult

  • Lose the main thread of a story or conversation

  • Memory difficulties

  • Use of work avoidance tactics

  • They can be the 'class joker' or appear withdrawn

  • Tiredness


If you suspect Dyslexia, speak to the SENCo at school. If the school sees symptoms, then a screener may be recommended. This will give an indication whether Dyslexia is a possibility. Most schools will use this to change the provision for the CYP and allow for progress, therefore a diagnosis isn't always useful as it will not change the support the CYP receives at school. If a diagnosis is important, then Dyslexia can ONLY be diagnosed by a suitably qualified specialist teacher or psychologist specialising in Specific Learning Difficulties - they need to hold a postgraduate (Level 7) AMBDA accredited course or equivalent which leads to an Assessment Practising Certificate (APC).


Please see here and here for further information.


Please see below for ideas on how to help.

Slow to develop fine motor skills, for example, being able to hold and use a pencil properly

  • Either print homework tasks to put in their planner or write it in for them. Do not expect them to do this in a rush at the end of a lesson

  • Utilise technology for word processing

  • Use audio tapes / videos / google classroom for recording lessons that can be written up at a later stage.

  • The use of a written record of the student’s verbal account, or voice activated software can be used

  • More time should be allocated for completion of work because of the extra time a child with dyslexia needs for reading, planning, rewriting and proofreading. For exams, this would need to be formally assessed under an access arrangements process

Slow to learn the alphabet, numbers, days of the week, colours, shapes, left and right etc

  • Encourage pupils to write their own mnemonics to remember key facts

  • Repetition of learning - pre and overlearning

  • Use visuals as reminders

Has difficulty pronouncing certain words or mixing up words and phrases (mawn lower rather than lawn mower)

  • Encourage the CYP to highlight a difficult part of a word as it allows them to remember the shape and colour of the word. Praise the CYP and make them feel a valued member of the class ensuring that this is genuine and authentic praise

  • Repeat what has been said but ensuring the words / phrase are in the correct order as a model

Has difficulty finding the right words when talking and may substitute words instead

  • Pre-teach new words or set them as homework before a lesson

  • Overlearn any new vocabulary

  • Allow the CYP time to find the right word and discuss options with them

  • Discuss the definitions of words and model how they are used in a sentence

Has difficulty following multi-step routines or directions such as those in action songs, games or activities such as getting dressed

  • When explaining new concepts, use visual prompts and practical demonstrations and examples.

  • Use highlighters as a means of pointing

  • Use mind mapping for revision and summarising new concepts. This process is also a useful means of enhancing short-term memory and the ability to organise information

  • 'Chunk' steps for the CYP and allow the CYP to predict the next step

Has hesitancy or inaccuracy while reading

  • Do not ask the CYP to read unprepared text out loud in lessons without supporting them

  • Put key words on visuals and explicitly teach them

  • Remind the to use phonics to break down unfamiliar words

Sees blurred letters / words or letters that appear to move around, shimmer or shake or words / letters that appear to break

  • The most appropriate font is Open Dyslexia in font size 14. Times New Roman is often regarded as the most difficult font to read

  • When producing pictorial handouts, use a large picture and bold key words

  • Make sure handwriting on the whiteboard is clear and large enough to see from the back of the classroom. Use a black or dark blue pen and put a different colour dot at the end of each line

  • If using a presentation such as Powerpoint or Prezzi, ensure the background is not too cluttered and, if possible, is an off white colour

Is struggling to spell common words correctly

  • When marking work for spelling, give the number of common words correctly spelt as a percentage of the whole

  • Emphasise the high frequency words before any others

  • Praise those words that are phonetically plausible whilst correcting the spelling