Dyslexia is a common learning disability that involves problems identifying speech sounds, which leads to difficulty reading. Dyslexia is not reflective of a student’s intelligence, but rather is simply a learning difference. Although dyslexia is a lifelong, incurable disorder, it is possible to overcome its challenges—especially with the positive support you’ll find at a private college prep school.
Take your time working on tests.
At the beginning of each school year, it’s helpful to sit down and chat with your teachers and our learning support coordinator, Mollie Mowat, about your dyslexia-related needs. Teachers tend to be very accommodating about giving students extra time to complete tests. You should have as much time as you need to fully understand and respond to the questions. Orinda Academy uses a modified block schedule to accommodate students who need extended test time.
Study your textbooks while listening to the audio recordings.
Whenever possible, request the audio recording of your textbooks. Orinda Academy has access to audiobooks through Learning Ally and you can ask Mollie Mowat (Learning Support Coordinator) for information on how to access the audiobooks. You can listen to the audio while you read along. This engages your visual and auditory senses, which helps reinforce the material. Before you begin reading novels or plays for your classes, consider watching the movie version, if available. The movie should give you a basic sense of the characters and plot, which will help you as you read the book. Just remember that the movie versions of books and plays often omit material or add other material that isn’t in the books.
Choose your course load carefully.
Talk to Roger Wise, Academic Dean and Mollie (Learning Support Coordinator) about your course load. Whenever possible, aim for a balanced mix of classes. In other words, try not to take too many reading and writing intensive classes in one semester. This is also a smart strategy to follow when you go to college.
Try using speech recognition software.
Speech recognition software isn’t perfect, but it’s a lot more accurate these days. You can use speech recognition software to brainstorm ideas and outlines for your research papers. You can also use the software to write papers. Just be sure to proofread them thoroughly, as speech recognition software is known to make mistakes.
At Orinda Academy, you’ll find a welcoming college prep school community in Orinda. We embrace innovative teaching strategies to accommodate all learning styles and learning differences. To find out what makes our private high school stand apart from the rest, call us at (925) 478-4504.