Dyslexia Resource Manual
Educators Parents Students And Adults

Published by the Austin Area Branch of the International Dyslexia Association (AABIDA)

Resource Manuals may be purchase in printed form from AABIDA for $5.00
Contact the help line at (512) 452-7658

Table of Contents

Characteristics and Evaluation

1. What is dyslexia? What are the characteristics of dyslexia? 
2. What problems are noted in younger children who may be dyslexic?
3. What can a teacher do to identify students who are at-risk for dyslexia?
4. What do you do it you think your child is dyslexic? 
5. How do you test for dyslexia?
6. What is the referral and testing process?

Parents and Advocates

7. What about tutoring my child?
8. What emotional problems face a child with dyslexia?
9. What can a parent do to help a child with dyslexia?
10. How can parents build self-esteem?
11. What suggestions can the parents provide for the classroom teacher?
12. What accommodation/modifications can the parent suggest for the teacher to implement?

Programs and Therapy

13. Are there nationally accredited dyslexia programs?
14. What does it mean to be "Orton-Gillingham-based?”
15. What is phonological awareness?
16. What is an academic language therapist?


17. Are there laws to protect a child with dyslexia?
18. Where can dyslexia information be found?
19. What books are available about dyslexia?
20. What is the International Dyslexia Association and how can you join?
21. What is the Austin Area Branch of The International Dyslexia Association and how can you join?
22. Who are some well-known people thought to have dyslexia or other learning disabilities?
23. What strengths are we likely to see in individuals with dyslexia?

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Characteristics and Evaluation

1. What is Dyslexia?

What are the Characteristics of Dyslexia?

Some or all of the following characteristics will be present in a dyslexic: 

Dyslexia is a disorder which makes it difficult for individuals of average or above average intelligence to read.

What are some common signs of dyslexia?

The difficulties noted below are often associated with dyslexia if they are unexpected for the individual's age, educational level, or cognitive abilities. A qualified diagnostician can test a person to determine if he or she is truly dyslexic. 

Common Signs of Dyslexia in Pre-School Children:

Common Signs of Dyslexia in Kindergarten - 4th Grade Students:

Common Signs of Dyslexia in 5th - 8th Grade Students:

Common Signs of Dyslexia in High School and College Students: 

Common Signs of Dyslexia in Adults:

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2. What problems are noted in younger children who may be dyslexic?





Time and Space 

School work 

Look for these indicators of "high risk" behavior in a five year old.

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3. What can a teacher do to identify students who are at-risk for dyslexia?

Use the checklist below to identify at-risk students. If most of these traits describe your student, a comprehensive evaluation is indicated.

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4. What do you do if you think your child is dyslexic?


Individuals with dyslexia need special programs to learn to read, write, and spell. Traditional education programs are not always effective. 

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5. How do you test for dyslexia?

There is no single test for dyslexia. The diagnosis is a profile made from several different tests. The testing should include the following: 

Knowing what to ask for in testing is important.

After testing is done, make sure you get:

There is no single test for dyslexia. Testing should include: a measure of listening comprehension, intelligence, an assessment of reading, math, oral, and written language.

Remember: Schools are obligated to review outside evaluations/reports but not obligated to accept them.

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6. What is the referral and testing process?

A student may be referred for testing by the parent or the teacher. There are several steps involved in the assessment program.

Parent Referral (parents request testing): 

Ideally, evaluating for dyslexia should be a part of the formal assessment process.
School districts should complete the screening within 30 days. Ask to meet with the diagnostician and/or dyslexia screener to receive results of the testing before the ARD or 504 meeting. By law, parents must be notified of all ARD meetings. However, parental consent or attendance is not required in a 504 meeting decision. Refer to Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. If your child is being considered for special education, obtain information regarding Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) from Advocacy, Inc. or the Texas Education Agency.

Dyslexia and Related Disorders Screening includes: 

Formal Assessment for ARD in a Public School:

An educational diagnostician administers IQ and achievement tests. In addition, speech and language or other assessments can be administered if there is a need.

Parents may request the school district pay for an Independent Education Evaluation (IEE) or they may pay for one privately.

When choosing the professional to perform the assessment consider: 

You also want as much specific information regarding your child’s educational needs to facilitate the writing of an Individualized Education Plan (or IEP) or for planning appropriateness of instruction through a dyslexia program.

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Parents and Advocates

7. What about tutoring for my child?

After your child has been tested, you may want to seek interventions/remedial help outside the school system. You may want to seek a private tutor for your child. Ask the following questions when selecting a tutor for your child:

Ask the potential tutor questions such as those below? 

Any program that makes big promises about quick and easy results and sounds too good to be true is probably a program to avoid.

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8. What emotional problems face a child with dyslexia?

Excerpts from "Social and Emotional Problems Related to Dyslexia" by Michael Ryan, Ph.D. 
Reprinted from Perspectives, Spring, 1994

When researchers first began to study specific developmental dyslexia, they noticed that social and emotional difficulties often accompanied this disorder. Margaret Bruck, in her review of the research, offers these problems:

First, the social and emotional difficulties of dyslexia "are a part of a manifestation of the same disorder as is responsible for academic failure." 

Second, Bruck suggests that because dyslexia puts the child at odds with his environment, he experiences great stress, which in turn creates many problems in social and emotional adjustment. 

I believe that both hypotheses are correct. Some of the dyslexic’s problems have biological causes, while others are reactions to the disability itself. 

Neurologist Samuel Orton was one of the first to describe the emotional aspects of dyslexia. According to his research, the majority of dyslexic preschoolers are happy and well-adjusted. Their emotional problems begin to develop when early reading instruction does not match their learning style. Over the years, the frustration mounts as classmates surpass the dyslexic student in reading skills. 

Dyslexics’ frustration often centers on their inability to meet expectations. Their parents and teachers see a bright, enthusiastic child who is not learning to read and write. Time and again, dyslexics and their parents hear, "He’s such a bright child; if only he would try harder." Ironically, no one knows exactly how hard the dyslexic is trying! 

The pain of failing to meet other people’s expectations is surpassed only by the dyslexics’ inability to achieve their own goals. This is particularly true of those who develop perfectionistic expectations in order to deal with their anxiety. They grow up believing that it is "terrible" to make a mistake. 

However, their learning disability, almost by definition, means that these children will make many "careless" or "stupid" mistakes. This is extremely frustrating to them, as it makes them feel chronically inadequate.

Social Relationships

The dyslexic frequently has problems with social relationships. These can be traced to several causes:

Dyslexic children may be physically and socially immature in comparison to their peers. This can lead to a poor self-image and less peer acceptance.

Dyslexics’ social immaturity may make them awkward in social situations. 

Many dyslexics have difficulty reading social cues. They may be oblivious to the amount of personal distance necessary in social interactions or insensitive to other people’s body language. 

Dyslexia often affects oral language functioning. Affected persons may have trouble finding the right words, may stammer, or may pause before answering direct questions. This puts them at a disadvantage as they enter adolescence, when language becomes more central to their relationships with peers. 

My clinical observations lead me to believe that, just as dyslexics have difficulty remembering the sequence of letters or words, they may also have difficulty remembering the order of events. For example, let us look at a normal playground interaction between two children. A dyslexic child takes a toy that belongs to another child, who calls the dyslexic a name. The dyslexic then hits the other child. In relating the experience, the dyslexic child may reverse the sequence of events. He may remember that the other child called him a name, and he then took the toy and hit the other child. 

This presents two major difficulties for the dyslexic child. First, it takes him longer to learn from his mistakes. Second, if an adult witnessed the events, and asks the dyslexic child what happened, the child seems to be lying. 

Unfortunately, most interactions between children involve not three events, but 15 to 20. With his sequencing and memory problems, the dyslexic may relate a different sequence of events each time he tells the tale. Teachers, parents, and psychologists conclude that he is either psychotic or a pathological liar.

Variation and Inconsistency

The inconsistencies of dyslexia produce great havoc in a child’s life. There is a tremendous variability in the student’s individual abilities. Although everyone has strengths and weaknesses, the dyslexic’s are greatly exaggerated. Furthermore, the dyslexic’s strengths and weaknesses may be closely related. 

These great variations produce a "roller coaster" effect for dyslexics. At times they can accomplish tasks far beyond the abilities of their peers. At the next moment, they may be confronted with a task that they cannot accomplish. Many dyslexics call this "walking into black holes." To deal with these kinds of problems, dyslexics need a thorough understanding of their learning disability. This will help them predict both success and failure. 

Dyslexics’ performance varies from day to day. On some days, reading may come fairly easily. However, another day, they may be barely able to write their own others in his environment.

Social and Emotional Problems

Anxiety is the most frequent emotional symptom reported by dyslexic adults. Dyslexics become fearful because of their constant frustration and confusion in school. These feelings are exacerbated by the inconsistencies of dyslexia. Because they cannot anticipate failure, entering new situations becomes extremely anxiety-provoking. 

Anxiety causes human beings to avoid whatever frightens them. The dyslexic is no exception. However, many teachers and parents misinterpret this avoidance behavior as laziness. In fact, the dyslexic’s hesitancy to participate in school activities such as homework is related more to anxiety and confusion than to apathy.

Many of the problems caused by dyslexia occur out of frustration with school or social situations. Social scientists have frequently observed that frustration produces anger. This can be clearly seen in many dyslexics.

This anger is particularly evident in adolescents. By its very nature, dyslexia causes children to become more dependent on the adults in their environment. They need extra tutoring and help with their homework.

As youngsters reach adolescence, society expects them to become independent. The tension between the expectation of independence and the child’s learned dependence causes great internal conflicts. The adolescent dyslexic uses his anger to break away from those people on which he feels so dependent. 

The dyslexic’s self-esteem appears to be extremely vulnerable to frustration and anxiety. According to Erik Erickson, during the first years of school every child must resolve the conflicts between a positive self-image and feelings of inferiority. If children succeed in school, they will develop positive feelings about themselves and believe that they can succeed in life.

Research also suggest that these feelings of inferiority develop by the age of 10. After this age, it becomes extremely difficult to help the child develop a positive self-image. This is a powerful argument for early intervention.


Depression is also a frequent complication of dyslexia. Although most dyslexics are not depressed, children with this kind of learning disability are at higher risk for intense feelings of sorrow and pain. Perhaps because of their low self-esteem, dyslexics are afraid to turn their anger toward their environment and instead turn it toward themselves. 

However, depressed children and adolescents often have different symptoms than do depressed adults. The depressed child is unlikely to be lethargic or to talk about feeling sad. Instead, he or she may become more active or misbehave to cover up the painful feelings. In the case of masked depression, the child may not seem obviously unhappy. However, both children and adults who are depressed tend to have three similar characteristics: 

First, they tend to have negative thoughts about themselves, i.e., a negative self-image. 

Second, they tend to view the world negatively. They are less likely to enjoy the positive experiences in their life. This makes it difficult for them to have fun. 

Finally, most depressed youngsters have great trouble imagining anything positive about the future. The depressed dyslexic not only experiences great pain in his present experiences, but also foresees a life of continuing failure. 

Effects on the Family

Dyslexia affects the family in a variety of ways. One of the most obvious is sibling rivalry. Non-dyslexic children often feel jealous of the dyslexic child, who gets the majority of the parents’ attention, time and money. Ironically, the dyslexic child does not want this attention. This increases the chances that he or she will act negatively against achieving children in the family. 

Specific developmental dyslexia runs in families. This means that one or both of the child’s parents may have had similar school problems. When faced with a child who is having school problems, dyslexic parents can react in one of two ways. They may deny the existence of dyslexia and believe if the child would just buckle down, he could succeed. Or, the parents may relive their failures and frustrations through their child’s school experience. This brings both powerful and terrifying emotions, which can interfere with the adult’s parenting skills. 

Helping dyslexics feel better about themselves and deal effectively with their feelings is a complex task. Parents and teacher must design strategies that will help the dyslexic child to find joy and success in life.

“Social and Emotional Problems Related to Dyslexia? By Michael Ryan, Ph.D. is reprinted from Perspectives, Spring, 1994.

Many dyslexics have difficulty reading social cues such as body language.

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9. What can a parent do to help a child with dyslexia?

Help your child understand the nature of his difficulty. 

Help other members of the family.

They need to recognize and understand the learning disabled child. Family members often need to quietly ask "who, what, where, and when" questions to get the necessary information because a child with dyslexia may sometimes have difficulty relating an event in proper sequence.
Help your child locate and develop other talents: Examples: sports, art, music, mechanics, hobbies, etc.

Help improve his self-image by giving your child tasks he can master.

Structure the child’s life at home

If parents can accept their child’s assets and liabilities, the child can then begin to accept himself.

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10. How can parents build self-esteem?

A word about punishment… 

Look for ways to make your child feel capable; emphasize the child’s abilities instead of "disabilities".

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11. What suggestions can the parent provide for the classroom teacher?

A teacher can help a student with dyslexia in many ways. Here are a few:

Help build the student’s self-image.

Find a way for the student to contribute to the class in areas of his special talents. 

Stress verbal participation. 

Communicate with the child. 


Break assignments into steps. Model assignments and talk about what you are doing while you model. 

Allow student more time to think.

Make special accommodations when needed. 

Maintain a positive atmosphere. 

Think of the dyslexic student as a foreigner who has just moved here and does not yet have command of the language skills!

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12. What accommodations/modifications can a parent suggest for the teacher to implement?

A parent/teacher partnership is vital to a student’s ultimate success. This list of accommodations and modifications will help this partnership develop. As a parent you should learn and come to understand the ways in which the regular classroom teacher can help your child. As the child matures, he should have more input into what helps him be successful in the classroom.

General Suggestions:


Giving Directions


Study Aids



Do not require student to read aloud. Encourage students to ask questions.

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Programs and Therapy

13. Are there nationally accredited dyslexia programs?

While a parent cannot request a specific program be used with their child by a school district, it is important that parents be able to recognize acceptable credentials when hiring a private tutor for their child or recognizing a reading program that meets the state descriptors for a dyslexia program in a school. 

Because there has been so much conflict surrounding which programs and teacher training credentials in dyslexia truly can insure a remedial reading program in compliance with state law and national professional standards, a national organization was founded by approximately 50 nationally renowned dyslexia specialists to identify quality teacher training programs in dyslexia. The goal of the International Multisensory Structured Language Education Council (IMSLEC), is to help prospective teachers and clinicians find effective training to equip them to benefit the mild, moderate, and severe dyslexics. If a parent knows what these programs "looks like," it will be easier for them to determine if their child is getting appropriate remedial help. 

IMSLEC is a private, non-profit organization incorporated to accredit programs for teacher and academic therapist training in the field of dyslexia and related learning differences, and to provide quality assurance to families and individuals who need effective interventions. IMSLEC does not endorse any specific method or approach to teaching language skills. 

Council members represent the following programs that contain necessary curriculum components for dyslexic students: 

IMSLEC accredited programs are based on the Orton-Gillingham approach. The Orton-Gillingham approach is language-based, multisensory, structured, sequential, cumulative, cognitive, and flexible. Infinitely adaptable, it is a philosophy rather than a system.

For more information regarding IMSLEC or information they may have about a particular dyslexia program, contact IMSLEC, Scottish Rite Learning Center, 207 W. 18th Street, Austin, TX 78701; 512-472-1231.

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14. What does it mean to be "Orton-Gillingham-based?

Samuel T. Orton was a pioneer in focusing attention on reading failure and related language processing difficulties. Anna Gillingham was a gifted educator with a superb mastery of the language. Together Dr. Orton and Anna Gillingham compiled and published comprehensive instructional materials. The Orton-Gillingham approach is language-based, multisensory, structured, sequential, cumulative, cognitive, and flexible. The Orton-Gillingham approach is a philosophy rather than a system. 


The Orton-Gillingham approach is based on a technique of studying teaching language, understanding the nature of human language, the mechanisms involved in learning, and the language-learning processes in individuals. 


The Orton-Gillingham approach is multisensory. This means that sessions are action-oriented with auditory, visual and kinesthetic elements reinforcing each other for optimal learning. Spelling is taught simultaneously with reading.


The elements of the language are introduced systematically. Students begin by reading and writing sounds in isolation. These are blended into syllables and words. The various elements of the language, consonant, digraphs, blends, and diphthongs are introduced in orderly fashion. As students learn new material, they continue to review previously presented material. 


Students learn about the history of the language and study the many generalizations and rules which govern its structure.


At its best, Orton-Gillingham teaching is diagnostic-prescriptive in nature. The teacher is always seeking to understand how an individual learns and to devise appropriate teaching strategies. Because previously presented material is constantly reviewed and new material is introduced systematically, the student experiences a high degree of success in every lesson.

The Orton-Gillingham approach is language-based, multisensory, structured, sequential, cumulative, cognitive, and flexible. 

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15. What is Phonological Awareness?

By Nancy Lafevers 

(Reprinted from IDA Houston Branch 97-98 Resource Directory)

Research over the past 20+ years supports that problems in learning to read and write relate to deficits in language related skills, specifically phonological or speech sound awareness. Studies examining early reading success have indicated that the skills of segmenting, blending, and deleting letter sounds are highly related to word identification skills. Studies on developmental reading disabilities have linked reduced ability to identify individual words with insufficiently developed phonological awareness skills. Performance on phonological processing tests has been reported to predict reading and spelling achievement 1 to 3 years later, and in a more recent study, MacDonald and Cornwall present evidence that phonological awareness at the end of kindergarten is a stable predictor of late word identification and spelling skills over an 11 year interval. 

Phonological awareness is the conscious awareness of the sounds of language. It is the ability to reflect on the sounds in words separate from the meanings of words and includes:

Deficits in phonological awareness may include 20% of the students in a regular classroom. While the other 80% of the students will learn to read whatever the method, those with deficits may never discover how the alphabet works, how to divide words into sounds and represent those sounds with letters; instead they’ll guess and use a small store of words they’ve been able to memorize. At some point they may get the instruction they need, but they will have lost the precious time for practice that is essential for the mastery of a skill, and they may play catch-up throughout their school experience. 

A number of studies have demonstrated that training children in phonological awareness can have a beneficial impact on acquisition of reading skills and should be an important part of a reading curriculum. The training is as important for kindergartners learning to read as it is for adults in literacy-education classes. The exclusive use of phonological awareness training as a remedial intervention strategy for improving reading and spelling, though, would seem insufficient. Rather, teaching phonological awareness within the context of actual letter-sound correspondences, as well as providing practice in decoding and reading meaningful text, would seem to be most advantageous.

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16. What is an academic language therapist?

Academic language therapy helps develop effective secondary language and written communication skills through proficiency in reading and writing. 

Individual academic language therapy programs are designed to meet the needs of those who have been diagnosed with specific dyslexia, dysgraphia, developmental reading disorders, disorders of written language, and language learning disabilities as well as other related learning problems. 

Academic language therapy offers a variety of specialized services including: 

Certified academic language therapists (CALT) are qualified to work with children and adults diagnosed with written-language learning disabilities.

Academic language therapists hold baccalaureate degrees or higher and have completed extensive post-graduate education and practica in the theories and methods of remedial written-language treatment as well as the use of multisensory, structured, phonetic, language-based curricula. In addition, those qualified to use the professional title of Certified Academic Language Therapist have successfully completed the ALTA qualifying exam, are members in good standing of the Association, and subscribe to the ALTA by-laws, Standards of Practice, and Code of Ethics. 

People who have problems learning to read and write despite having adequate intelligence and sufficient opportunity to learn may benefit from academic language therapy.

Certified academic language therapists are qualified to treat children and adults diagnosed with written-language learning disabilities. They are certified by the Academic Language Therapy Association, 13140 Coit Road, Suite 320, Dallas TX 75240-5735, (972) 233-9107 ext. 204. Their website is: www.ALTAread.org.

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17. Are there laws to protect a child with dyslexia?

Federal Laws

Several federal laws pertain to the education of children with dyslexia. Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 states that: "no otherwise qualified individual with disabilities in the United States shall solely by reason of his/her disability be excluded from participation, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.” This is a general education, anti-discrimination statue. Most public schools are covered under this law because they receive federal funds, and dyslexia has been determined to be a disability as defined by law.

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), is designed to assure that all children with disabilities have available to them a free appropriate public education. This emphasizes special education and related services designed to meet their unique needs. This is an educational statue that receives federal as well as state funding.

Texas State Laws

In addition to these federal laws, the State of Texas legislature has enacted several laws under the Texas Education Code requiring a school district to implement programs for the screening and treatment of dyslexia and related disorders. Compliance, enforcement and funding for these laws is an on-going issue. The TEA has determined that an instructional program for dyslexic students must be individualized, multisensory, with intensive and synthetic phonics. The following amendment to Senate Bill 4 was passed during the 77th Legislative Session: 

SECTION 2.11. Section 28.006, Education Code, is amended by amending Subsection (d) and adding Subsections (g) through (m) to read as follows: (d) The superintendent of each school district shall: (1) report to the commissioner and the board of trustees of the district the results of the reading instruments: and (2) report, in writing, to a student's parent or guardian the student's results on the reading instrument. (g) A school district shall notify the parent or guardian of each student in kindergarten or first or second grade who is determined, on the basis of reading instrument results, to be at risk for dyslexia or other reading difficulties. The district shall implement an accelerated reading instruction program that provides reading instruction that addresses reading deficiencies to those students and shall determine the form, content, and timing of that program. The admission, review, and dismissal committee of a student who participates in a district's special education program under Subchapter B, Chapter 29, and who does not perform satisfactorily on a reading instrument under this section shall determine the manner in which the student will participate in an accelerated reading instruction program under this subsection. (h) The school district shall make a good faith effort to ensure that the notice required under this section is provided either in person or by regular mail and that the notice is clear and easy to understand and is written in English and in the parent or guardian's native language. 

Each district shall provide the accelerated reading instruction under Subsection (g) to students in : (1) kindergarten during the 1999-2000 school year, (2) kindergarten and first grade during the 2000-2001 school year, and (3) kindergarten and first and second grades beginning with the 2001-2002 school year. (m) Subsection (1) and this subsection expire January 1, 2002. 

The Texas Education Agency and Texas Education Code (Chapter 38) can be found at http://www.tea.state.tx.us

THE LAWS-- Federal: 504 and IDEA; State: Senate Bills 1 and 4, State Dyslexia Law Sec.38.003

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18. Where can dyslexia information be found?

Academic Language Therapy Association 
http://www.ALTAread.org (972) 233-9107 ext. 20

Advocacy Inc. 
http://www.advocacyinc.org (512) 454-4816

Austin Area Branch of the International Dyslexia Association 
http://home.austin.rr.com/aabida (512) 452-7658

Council for Exceptional Children/DLD 
http://www.cec.sped.org (800) 328-0272

Children and Adults with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder(C.H.A.D.D.)
http://www.chadd.org (800) 233-4050

Connections Resource Center 
http://www.connectionscenter.org (512) 478-5725

Educational Resources Information Center (ERIC) 
http://www.indiana.edu/~eric_rec (614) 292-4353

International Dyslexia Association 
http://www.interdys.org (410) 296-0232

HEATH Resource Center - Kid Source 
http://kidsource.com/HEATH/index.html (800) 544-3284 

Learning Disabilities Assoc. of America 
http://www.Idanatl.org (512) 458-8234

National Information Center for Children & Youth with Disabilities(NICHCY) 
http://www.nichcy.org (800) 695-0295

Peterson's College Quest

Recording for the Blind and Dyslexia
http://www.RFBD.org (800) 221-4792

Region X Education Service Center

Region XIII Education Service Center

Schwab Foundation for Learning 
http://www.schwablearning.org (650) 655-2410

Teens Helping Teens
http://www.ldteens.org (212) 691-1930

TENET (Texas Education Network)

Texas Education Agency 
http://www.tea.state.tx.us (800) 232-3030

Texas Education Agency: Dyslexia and Related Disorders Procedures

Texas State Library (books on tape) 
http://www.tsl.state.tx.us (512) 463-5458

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19. What books and videos are available about dyslexia?

Many libraries carry books for, by, and about individuals with dyslexia. The Connections Resource Center (E. 53 ½ St., Bldg. E-101, Austin, TX 78751) in Austin also has books for children, parents and educators. Here are a few suggestions:

Videos about dyslexia are also available for presentation to groups through the Austin Area Branch of the International Dyslexia Association. Call(512) 452-7658 to arrange a presentation. Here are some examples:

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20. What is the International Dyslexia Association and how can you join?

The International Dyslexia Association (IDA) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, scientific, and educational organization dedicated to the study and treatment of the learning disability, dyslexia. We are the oldest such organization in the U.S. that serves individuals with dyslexia, their families, and professionals in the field. We have 13,000 members - 60% are in the field of education and 20% are individuals with dyslexia or parents of children who are dyslexic. We operate with more than 40 branches throughout the U.S. and Canada, and have affiliates in Brazil, Czech Republic, Israel, and The Philippines. Our annual budget of $2.1 million is funded by private donations, membership dues, foundation grants, sale of publications, conferences, and other development efforts. IDA receives no government funding. IDA has 14 full-time and 3 part-time staff members and an all-volunteer Board of Directors. Additionally, numerous IDA branches employ full and/or part-time staff. 

What We Do

IDA focuses its resources in four major areas: information and referral services, research, advocacy and direct services to professionals in the field of learning disabilities. 

In addition, we fund research on neurological, educational and developmental issues as they relate to dyslexia. We advocate for the rights of individuals with dyslexia both through the legal and Federal legislative systems. And based upon models in place in our Orange County, CA and New Jersey branches, we are developing programs to provide services (testing, tutoring, remedial instruction, etc.) throughout our branch network directly to individuals with dyslexia. 

Why We Exist

IDA was established to continue the pioneering work of Dr. Samuel T. Orton, a neurologist who was one of the first to identify dyslexia as a neurological difference and, along with Anna Gillingham, develop effective teaching approaches. Since then, we have been a strong force in the educational and scientific communities. For over 50 years we have fought for the rights of people with dyslexia while fending off critics who said that there was no such thing as dyslexia - that children who exhibited signs of dyslexia and other learning disabilities were lazy, stupid or worse, developmentally disabled and therefore incapable of learning. During this time, our members, individually and as an organization, have tested and tutored hundreds of thousands of children so that these children would grow up to lead productive and fulfilling lives. 
Nowhere else can a person discover such a full range of useful information, practices, and research about dyslexia than through The International Dyslexia Association! 

National membership provides these advantages:

Join this exciting work! Help solve problems of poor achievement, school drop-outs and illiteracy.

Join the International Dyslexia Association Online! Web Page: http://www.interdys.org

Call or write the International Office:

The International Dyslexia Association International Office
Chester Building, Suite 382
8600 LaSalle Road
Baltimore, Maryland 21204-6020 

e-mail: [email protected]
Web Page: www.interdys.org
(410) 296-0232
Fax: (410) 321-5069

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21. What is the Austin Area Branch of the International Dyslexia Association and how can you join?

Serving Central & South Texas 

The Austin Area Branch of the International Dyslexia Association is a 501(c)(3) non profit organization dedicated to promoting reading excellence for all children through early identification of dyslexia, effective literacy education for adults and children with dyslexia, and teacher training.

The Austin Area Branch sponsors:

Austin Area Branch of the International Dyslexia Association 
Local Austin Area Helpline (512) 452-7658 ---

Call our volunteers for: 

1. Membership application blanks and basic information packet 
2. Teacher training information 
3. Referral lists for: 

State and local evaluation (testing) services
State and local remediation (special language training for children and adults sources

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22. Who are some well-known people thought to have dyslexia or other learning disabilities? 

Ann Bancroft - First woman in history to cross the ice to both the North and South Poles.

Erin Brokovich - Real-life heroine who exposed a cover-up by a major California utility that was contaminating the local water supply. Their actions had severe, even deadly consequences to the members of the community. With her help, the townspeople were awarded a $333 million settlement, the largest ever in a U.S. direct-action lawsuit.

Stephen J. Cannell - Author and Emmy Award-winning TV producer and writer, who has created or co-created more than 38 shows, of which he has scripted more than 350 episodes and produced or executive produces more than 1,500 episodes. His hits include "The Rockford Files," "A-Team," "21", "Jump Street," "Wiseguy," "Renegade" and "Silk Stalkings."

John T. Chambers - President and CEO of Cisco Systems, Inc., a worldwide leader in networking for the Internet with assets exceeding $30 billion.

Cher - Singer and actor, who won an Academy Award in 1987 for her leading role in "Moonstruck."

Whoopi Goldberg - Actor and comedian, winner of an Academy Award for her supporting role in "Ghost," also an Academy Award nomination for her role in "The Color Purple."

Bruce Jenner - One of the world’s greatest athletes who won the gold medal in the Decathlon at the 1976 Olympics. 

Greg Louganis - Considered the world’s greatest diver who in 1988, competed against divers half his age to be the first to win double gold medals for diving in two consecutive Olympic events. He also holds 6 World Champion titles, 47 National Championship titles, 6 gold medals in the Pan Am Games and numerous other awards. 

Nolan Ryan - Baseball Hall-of-Fame pitcher, Ryan played for the New York Mets from 1965 through 1971, contributing to their 1969 World Series victory; California Angels from 1972 to 1979; Houston Astros in 1980 and the Texas Rangers in 1989. 

Charles Schwab - Founder and Chairman of Charles Schwab & Co., a holding company that engages in securities brokerage and related financial services with assets exceeding $800 billion.

Henry Winkler -Actor, producer and director; studied at the Yale School of Drama from 1967 to 1971; starred in TV’s Happy Days as "The Fonz" from 1974 to 1984; recently seen in the movie Little Nicky, as himself.

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23. What strengths are we likely to see in individuals with dyslexia?

Highly creative
Links previously unrelated ideas, processes
Finds new ways to do old things
Problem solver
Good sense of humor
Likes and enjoys helping people
May anticipate people's emotions
Excels at individual sports
Works better alone than with team
Understands animals, plants, livings things 
Mechanically inclined
Wants to know how things work
Likes to repair or make things better
Enjoys working with hands
Likes building things
Scientific thinker
Very curious and observant
A good motivator
Has high energy
Is open minded

Published by the Austin Area Branch 
Of The International Dyslexia Association
Help Line (512) 452-7658

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Austin Area Branch of the International Dyslexia Association
Local Austin Area Helpline (512) 452-7658 ---

Call our volunteers for:

  1. Membership application blanks and basic information packet
  2. Teacher training information
  3. Referral lists for state and local evaluation (testing) services