What is dyslexia?

Dyslexia is a common learning disability marked by problems with written language, specifically with decoding (pronouncing written words) and/or encoding (spelling words). People with dyslexia have trouble learning how written languages such as English use letters and letter combinations to represent sounds or how to combine letters to form syllables and words.

Overcoming dyslexia

The keys to helping dyslexic readers overcome this learning disability are early detection and then intervention with a research-based, structured reading program. Early intervention gives the best results. According to Sally Shaywitz, author of Overcoming Dyslexia, brain scans of kindergartners and first graders who have received a year’s worth of reading intervention begin to resemble brain scans of students without reading problems.

Shaywitz also states that students with dyslexia typically need intensive, individualized instruction with feedback, guidance, and ongoing assessment in phonemic awareness, phonics, and reading fluency. Instructional programs should emphasize these core elements as well as building vocabulary and increasing comprehension. Besides emphasizing multisensory instruction, the International Dyslexia Association states that "effective instruction for students with dyslexia is also explicit, direct, cumulative, intensive, and focused on the structure of the language."

Features of Read Naturally interventions make them well-suited as reading programs for dyslexia

Read Naturally
Intervention Programs
Instructional Supports for Dyslexic Students
Immediate Feedback
Guidance, Modeling
Ongoing Assessment,
Adjustment Options
Multi-Sensory Methods
Systematic, Cumulative
Fluency Instruction
Phonemic Awareness
Phonics Development
Spelling Development
Vocabulary, Comprehension
   Read Naturally
Strategy Programs
Read Naturally Live   ✔*  
Read Naturally Encore   ✔* ✔*
Read Naturally ME   ✔* ✔*
One Minute Reader      
Read Naturally GATE  
Other Read
Take Aim at Vocabulary      
Word Warm-ups    
Signs for Sounds      
*Phonics levels

For More Information

pointer International Dyslexia Association
pointer Learning Disabilities Association of America
pointer The Yale Center for Dyslexia and Creativity

Research Basis for Read Naturally Intervention Programs


Gorman, Christine, “The New Science of Dyslexia,” Time, July 28, 2003.

Hall, Susan, and Louisa Moats, Parenting a Struggling Reader, Harmony Books, New York, 2002.

Hall, Susan, and Louisa Moats, Straight Talk About Reading, McGraw-Hill, New York, 1999.

Mather, Nancy, and Barbara J. Wendling, Essentials of Dyslexia Assessment and Intervention, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ, 2012.

Shaywitz, Sally, Overcoming Dyslexia: A New and Complete Science-Based Program for Reading Problems at Any Level, Alfred A. Knopf, New York, 2003.


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