The sooner a child with dyslexia is identified and receives appropriate instruction, the better the outcome.  Consider:

  • A child who can't read at grade level by 3rd grade is four times less likely to graduate by age 19 than a child who reads proficiently by that time.  (Robert Balfanz, John Hopkins University study, 2011)
  • Students not proficient in reading by the beginning of 3rd grade have only a 17% chance of catching up throughout their entire school experience.  (NICHD study)

For those reasons, and because many schools across Minnesota do not yet provide the kind of instruction students with dyslexia need, we recommend having your child tutored in reading and/or other subjects of concern.  Some parents hire a tutor, while others work directly with their child with a tutoring program.  Some factors to consider when making this decision are your financial resources, your child's willingness to work with you, and your willingness to research and learn the necessary materials. 

The type of instruction most children with dyslexia benefit from is called Structured Literacy.  Structured Literacy approaches reading systematically and sequentially teach the sounds and symbols of our language.  Many are based on the works of Samuel Orton and Dr. Anna Gillingham and are know as the Orton-Gillingham method.  They are:

  • Explicit:  No knowledge of skills are assumed.  All students start at the beginning.
  • Systematic and Cumulative:  Lessons are taught in order with none skipped.  Each lesson builds on previous learning.
  • Multisensory:  All of the senses are engaged during lessons (auditory - hear it, visual - see it, kinesthetic - touch it).
  • Student-Paced and Taught to Mastery:  Students do not move on until the content is learned to automaticity.

To learn more, read the International Dyslexia Association's fact sheet - Effective Instruction for Students with Dyslexia.

For more information on How to Get Help, see the Bright Solutions website.

Parents may want to check with their insurance companies and health saving's accounts in particular to discuss if anything is covered under their plan as far as diagnosis and remediation options or if it can be claimed as part of a medical Flex Spending Account (FSA).


We would like to give Katie Greving, President, DDIA credit for the content of this page.