Guidance for Creating
Reading Lessons

for Dyslexic Students

Reading lessons for dyslexic students must encourage the level of practice needed to achieve functional literacy. The easiest way to do this is to emphasise how enjoyable reading can be. If a student is interested in what they are reading they are likely to do so much more practice.

Make sure the foundations are in place:

Dyslexic people can sometimes experience visual problems that make it harder to read, such as glare, blurring and words jumping around on the page. These problems need to be diagnosed and alleviated so they can start to enjoy reading.

If a student reports any visual stress there are a number of interventions that may help:

  1. Coloured overlays can reduce visual stress caused by the glare of black text on white paper.
  2. A student may report words moving or jumping around on the page. If so, they need to try core exercises or a wobble board, both of which help the bodies balance and coordination. This in turn helps the eyes to work in sync.
  3. Convergence exercises strengthen eye muscles and help them to work in unison.
  4. A student that reports any type of visual distress should always have a normal eye test at an optician’s. It's important to emphasise to a child that they need to be as honest as possible during an eye test.

Make reading interesting:

Once any visual problems have been alleviated dyslexic students will still need motivation to read. This means reading whatever is of most interest to them.

For boys this may mean comic books; for girls it may be fashion magazines. Sorry about the gender stereotyping, but you know what I mean.

Using comic books and magazines in reading lessons should be encouraged in schools if children are interested in them. The Development of functional literacy is much more important than the quality of content.


Encourage them to be selective:

You should also encourage dyslexic students to search out the specific information that is of most interest to them. Let’s say for example a boy has a football magazine. Tell him to only read the articles that sound really interesting.

Select appropriate text length:

Fictional writing can help anyone to fall in love with reading. However if a book or piece of text is too long a dyslexic student is likely to give up on it. This is why it is so important to select appropriate text for each student in terms of length and difficulty.

Reading manageable pieces of text helps to boost confidence. Each book or short story finished is a great achievement, like the feeling of climbing a mountain. However the feeling of having to give up on a book can be a massive set back.


TV vs. reading:

Dyslexic people will generally be more interested in TV than reading. This is why it’s important to encourage students to take books and magazines to places where they will not have access to a TV or ipad.


Every student is capable of learning to read if they put enough effort in. Dyslexic students need to practice more to achieve functional literacy. This is why it is so important to make reading as interesting as possible for them.

There are also tons of other things to help you build dyslexic friendly reading lessons. Click here for our reading strategies section. 

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