4 Lessons Learned From the United States’ Approach to Dyslexia

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4 Lessons Learned From the United States’ Approach to Dyslexia

Today, the world is more connected than ever before thanks to advancements in technology. One advantage of this global connectivity is the ability to share information and learn from the experiences of others to inform, and hopefully improve, one’s own outcomes. An example of capitalizing on this advantage is the opportunity for India to improve its education system for children with learning differences by leveraging the successful practices discovered in other countries.

A few years ago, I was honored to present the keynote address at the UNESCO Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Education for Peace and Sustainable Development’s Learning Differences conference in Delhi. In my speech, I outlined many of the lessons learned from the United States’ ongoing journey to develop and provide the support needed to help those with dyslexia learn in the classroom and beyond.

Here are four important, high-level lessons that I shared during my keynote address:

  1. Researchers need to “cross the chasm” with educators in order to provide proper support and ongoing training based on what the current research is telling us about the science of reading and dyslexia.
  2. Encourage your educational institutions to embrace early intervention through universal screening of all children in their earliest grades.
  3. Ensure all evidence-based reading programs are integrated into both general education classrooms and special education programs. 
  4. Keep in mind that expertise in reading instruction is an evolving process. It takes time, practice and patience to truly master the art and science of teaching reading.

Research shows that around 10 percent of the global population suffers to some degree with dyslexia, all of which are at one point student-aged children trying their best to learn to read and write. We are at a point in time that offers an opportunity for the global dyslexia community to come together to learn from each others’ unique and shared experiences to improve learning instruction for these students around the world.