FL4. Understanding Dyslexia

Understanding Dyslexia Module Cover Photo
Course Progress

Understanding Dyslexia

Welcome to the Understanding Dyslexia module! This is the fourth module in a series that explores foundational literacy at the primary level. The module is intended for educators and other interested stakeholders who want to know more about dyslexia. The module will discuss what dyslexia is (and isn’t), how it presents across time, evidence-based strategies shown to help students with dyslexia, and resources available to help you learn more about it.

Time Estimated: 2.5-3 hours

  • FL.4 Understanding Dyslexia
    • Pre-Assessment: Understanding Dyslexia
    • 1. Dyslexia Defined
    • 2. Common Characteristics
    • 3. Reading Profiles and Dyslexia
    • 4. How Dyslexia is Identified
    • 5. Teaching Students with Dyslexia
    • 6. Summing it Up
    • Post-Assessment: Understanding Dyslexia
How to use this Module


Welcome to the fourth module in the Primary Foundational Literacy series titled Understanding Dyslexia in the Ohio Literacy Library! This module is geared towards all educators and other interested stakeholders who want to further their knowledge of dyslexia.  Dyslexia is estimated to effect 5-10% of the population according to the National Institute of Health.  Dyslexia is one of the most common causes of reading difficulty among elementary children.  As educators, caregivers, and other roles that support children and education, it’s imperative that we have a working definition of what dyslexia is, what it looks like across different ages, and best practices for supporting children with dyslexia.

Whether you are an early interventionist, caregiver, teacher, administrator, paraprofessional, parent, related service provider, higher education faculty or candidate, or have another role in helping a child develop their reading skills, we want to first say THANK YOU. We know that your time is valuable and you would not be here if you weren’t interested in supporting outcomes for young children and families.


There are no prerequisites for this module. However, you may be interested in the other modules within the Primary Foundational Literacy series.

Primary Foundational Literacy Series:

  1. The Simple View of Reading
  2.  Understanding Structured Literacy (Coming Soon)
  3. Screening and Assessment (Coming Soon)
  4. Understanding Dyslexia

Module Description

This module is an introduction to dyslexia. Participants will learn:

  • To properly define dyslexia
  • To identify common characteristics of dyslexia across the lifespan
  • To compare and contrast its characteristics with other reading difficulties
  • To identify evidence-based instructional approaches for teaching students with dyslexia
  • To determine how dyslexia is identified

Dyslexia is defined by the International Dyslexia Association as “(dyslexia is) a specific learning disability that is neurobiological in origin. It is characterized by difficulties with accurate and/or fluent word recognition and by poor spelling and decoding abilities. These difficulties typically result from a deficit in the phonological component of language that is often unexpected in relation to other cognitive abilities and the provision of effective classroom instruction. Secondary consequences may include problems in reading comprehension and reduced reading experience that can impede growth of vocabulary and background knowledge.” (IDA, 2002).

Our hope is that by participating in this module you will have the knowledge and understanding of what dyslexia is and use that information to inform your practice, help others, and support our vision of literacy for all.

OCCRRA Approved Module

OCCRRA Approval Badge

Do you teach young children birth to age five in Ohio? This module is approved by the Ohio Child Care Resource & Referral Association for continuing education credit. Follow the steps below to earn credit in OCCRRA!

Steps to Register for an OCCRRA Approved Training

  1.  Go to the OCCRRA Registry to search for the training.
  2. Enter the name of the ALL Ohio module (e.g., Understanding Dyslexia) in the search box at the top of the page under Professional Development Events.
  3. Click on the training to review training details and add the training to your cart.
  4. View cart and checkout. You must successfully check out to complete the registration process.
  5. Once you checkout, you will see a screen verifying your order has been successfully placed in OCCRRA.
  6. You will receive confirmation email for your training registration from OCCRRA.
  7. Go to the Understanding Dyslexia module in the ALL Ohio library and enroll in the course.

When you’ve successfully completed the module post-assessment, you will receive a certificate of completion and badge. Our ALL Ohio project Team verifies completion of module learning once per week. You will not receive credit in OCCRRA until our team has verified your completion.

Course Navigation, Design, and Policies

Throughout each course, you will see a Course Outline with a green ribbon and the title of the course at the top right corner of the page. The outline displays every section of the course. Click any section to jump right to it.

At any time you are in a module, you can go back to the Home Module page by clicking the Back to Module button located directly under the module outline.

As you go through the course, you will have the opportunity to click the Mark Complete box at the end of each section. When you do this, the sections you have completed will be crossed off in your outline, and you will be taken to the next section of the course.

Your progress will automatically be saved within the learning management system, and you can view your course progress through the progress bar located near the top of most sections.

Exiting and Resuming a Module

Know that your progress will automatically be saved within the learning management system. If you exit the website, once you log back in you can easily access your courses by clicking the on the My Dashboard button located on the gray ribbon on top of every page.

Note Feature within the Modules

Throughout each module, you will notice some Reflection boxes that provide various prompts. Each reflection will be in a grey box with an image of a pen/lightbulb. A built in feature of each module is the ability to take notes and save them for your future use. This feature can be used within any part of the module, but is especially helpful for the reflection activities.

To access the note feature, simply click on the purple Take Notes button fixed in the lower right-hand corner of the screen. When you click on this button, a Take Notes box will appear. This box can be moved anywhere on the screen. Within the box, there is a SAVE button as well as a Print Button.

The easiest way to print all the notes you take from the entire module is to click View All Notes. When you click View All Notes, you will be taken to a page like the one below.

Click the boxes of the Notes you would like to print, and then click Download Selected. All your notes will be downloaded into one document separated by headers.

Purpose and Structure of Modules

All Ohio’s comprehensive learning modules are relevant to any educator working to support students’ literacy development. In each module, you will find in-depth narrative text, linked resources, realistic scenarios, reflection activities, and embedded audio and videos.

Each module is self-paced. The approximate time for completion of the module is listed in the Simple View of Reading Module text box on the home page of the module. 

Additional information included on each module’s home page include:

  • Required prerequisites for the module.
  • A more detailed description of the module.
  • Helpful downloadable resources for the module including an outline of the module’s content and supporting resources, a step-by-step guide to assist you in navigating the professional learning modules, and an in-depth information about the purpose and key elements of the Ohio Literacy Library.
Certificates and Badges

Professional Development Certificates are available for each comprehensive learning module. To earn a Professional Development Certificate, you must obtain a passing score of 85% or more on the module post-test. Please note that you are only allowed up to two attempts to obtain a passing score to earn your certificate.


When completing professional development modules within All Ohio, you can earn badges based on your engagement in and mastery of content within each comprehensive learning module. You earn Achievement Badges when you demonstrate proficiency with module content (i.e., obtaining a score of at least 85%), whereas Engagement Badges are awarded based on your level of participation on the site.

Your earned Certificates and Badges will be displayed on your “All Ohio Dashboard.”
Academic Honesty
High standards of honesty and integrity are expected when completing professional development within this learning management system. Academic dishonesty includes, but is not limited to, dishonesty in the completion of activities and/or claiming credit for work not done or done by others.  Any violation of these expectations can result in removal from this learning management system.

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Module Learning Objectives

Number 1

Define dyslexia in an educational environment.

Number 2

Identify common characteristics of dyslexia across age spans.

Number 3

Describe how dyslexia is similar to and different from other types of reading difficulties.

Number 4

Identify evidence-based instructional approaches for teaching students with dyslexia.

Number 5

Determine how dyslexia is identified.

Helpful Resources Related to this Module:

An outline of the module’s main content and supporting resources.

Welcome & Navigation

Step-by-step guide to assist you in navigating the professional learning modules. 

Ohio Literacy Library

In-depth information about the purpose and key elements of the Ohio Literacy Library.

Enroll in this Module