10 Tips to Defy Dyslexia and Other Learning Disabilities

Getting through high school and college with a learning disability is challenging. Here, someone who's been in your shoes offers her tips and tricks for overcoming your obstacles and achieving your goals.

Adolescents diagnosed with dyslexia, ADD, ADHD, or learning disabilities may wonder whether they will be able to graduate from high school and/or college. I worried over the same issue myself. I was diagnosed with dyslexia in a time period when there were very few strategies to help strengthen my learning disabilities. Education was very important to me, and I wanted to graduate from high school and college despite my scholastic challenges. So I set out to teach myself ways to overcome my learning obstacles and graduate. Through the implementation of systematic educational solutions I, like my students with learning issues, began to master how to overcome learning challenges.

  1. One of the initial ways to help improve one’s grades is to closely monitor assignment due dates, quizzes, tests, and exam schedules. This will help keep you up-to-date in your classes. Plan a study time to fit the increasing demands of your curriculum.
  2. Reread the instructions on assignments several times to increase your understanding of the written directions. Next, use highlighters to number each step of the instructions and check them off as they are completed. Many students lose valuable points on their work because steps are overlooked and not completed. Color-coding the steps can help improve your ability to focus on each individual procedure.
  3. Look over the instructions a second time and self-check to ensure you are following accurately throughout the assignment, paper, project, speech, or essay questions. Students sometimes begin assignments correctly, only to veer off from the instructions without realizing their focus has waned.
  4. Pre-learn and peruse unfamiliar vocabulary terms and concepts in class textbooks or online sources to help improve your understanding of new material. This will help improve your ability to comprehend the class instructional lectures.
  5. Create small study groups, which can help you prepare for quizzes and tests, and teaching your peers can improve your mastery and recall of learning concepts.
  6. Create chants or songs for learning concepts, which include steps or formulas to increase recall.
  7. Use another learning source to explain learning material which you may be struggling to understand. A different author may use explanations, pictures, charts, or graphs to teach the same concept in a way that may be easier for you to grasp. Then return to your assigned text or online source.
  8. You can improve your literacy and spelling skills by learning the spelling and meanings of affixes (grammatical elements that are added to root words to change their meaning, such as prefixes and suffixes). Learning affixes can help increase one’s ability to decode and understand multi-syllable words.
  9. Drill test and quiz material in several ways: orally, in written form, and by drawing pictures or listing steps, formulas, or procedures.
  10. Make flash cards to review study material quickly. Use them to play learning games to make your review time more entertaining.  

Taking an inventory of your own personal strengths and talents will help you understand that a successful future is possible as you work toward overcoming your learning challenges!

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About Barbara Dianis

Barbara Dianis, M.A., E.D., is the author of Grade Transformer for the Modern Student: Upper High School Edition. She overcame dyslexia in her own life using self-taught strategies and techniques. She went on to earn a B.A. in education and a B.A. in special education. She also earned a master’s in education, special education PreK-12, and language learning disabilities and a second master’s in psychometry. She is an alumna of Oral Roberts University.

As CEO and Founder of Dianis Educational Systems, LLC, Dianis believes in viewing students with various learning issues as capable students who can overcome their problems if taught properly. She has counseled parents for 21 years, teaching them to assist students in implementing effective learning techniques during homework and study time, and has also run an educational tutoring business for the past 20 years, helping thousands of students with dyslexia, ADD, ADHD, and other learning differences achieve enormous scholastic and professional successes. In 2010 Dianis was awarded The Biltmore Who’s Who VIP in Education and the Executive of the Year award, as well as the Remington Registry of Outstanding Professionals in 2011, for her continued leadership and achievement in the field of education.

Teenagers and their families can find a plethora of effective reading improvement techniques in her books; Grade Transformer for the Modern Student can be purchased from www.amazon.com, www.lulu.com, and www.dianiseducation.com. Learn more about Dianis and Grade Transformer for the Modern Student on her website, Twitter, or YouTube.


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