General Information

The Tennessee Center for the Study and Treatment of Dyslexia does not address the needs of adults with dyslexia. The Center is funded to work with Tennessee children in the K-10 school system.

If you are a college student and believe you have a learning disability such as dyslexia, you should contact your college's Office for Students with Disabilities.

If you are a college student and have a specific skill need (for example you want to read faster or take notes better), you may want to contact your college's Developmental Studies department.

If you are an adult in the workforce and believe you might have a learning disability affecting your job, you may want to contact your county's Office of Vocational Rehabilitation.

If you would like help with your reading and you have not graduated from high school or obtained your GED, you may want to contact your county's office of Adult Education. In many places, there are a variety of non-profit organizations that have adult literacy programs.

What are the characteristics of dyslexia?

Generally, individuals with dyslexia have trouble reading and spelling words. However, they often have excellent comprehension of spoken language.

Individuals with dyslexia often exhibit difficulties in the following areas:

Difficulty with Reading and Written Expression (all people with dyslexia have trouble with reading and writing)

  • Difficulty learning to read
  • Difficulty sounding out words
  • Confusion of common little words such as "for" and "from" in reading and writing
  • Addition, omission, transposition, or reversal of letters in words in reading and writing
  • Poor reading comprehension because of difficulty pronouncing the words
  • Slow, word by word reading
  • Spelling words the way they sound, for example "yooneek" for "unique"
  • Production is slow and laborious; the amount produced is usually very limited

Difficulty with Oral Language (Some students with dyslexia exhibit oral language problems)

  • Difficulty memorizing information such as the alphabet or the multiplication tables
  • Difficulty pronouncing words
  • Difficulty remembering directions with several steps

How can dyslexia be treated?

Students with dyslexia need a special kind of reading program that includes training in phonological awareness and provides systematic, structured instruction in phonics. Typical phonics programs will not generally be effective for students with dyslexia.

Characteristics of Individuals with Dyslexia in High School, College, and as an Adult:

  • Continued difficulty with word recognition that significantly affect acquisition of knowledge and ability to analyze written material
  • Slow rate of reading
  • Continued difficulty with spelling and written composition
  • Difficulty taking notes in class
  • Trouble learning a foreign language