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Dyslexia is an unexpected difficulty in reading in an individual who has the intelligence to be a much better reader. While people with dyslexia are slow readers, they often are very fast and creative thinkers with strong reasoning abilities.

- Dr. Sally Shaywitz, Overcoming Dyslexia, 2nd edition

Quick Facts

What is Dyslexia?

  • Dyslexia is a difference in how the brain processes information. 

  • Dyslexia creates strengths in areas such as problem-solving, verbal reasoning, creativity and big picture thinking. It can also create challenges in traditional education in areas such as reading, spelling, writing, organization, and math.

  • Dyslexia is the most common learning difference. 10-20% of the population has dyslexia. We can identify characteristics of dyslexia as early as preschool.

  • Dyslexia is genetic and it runs in families. With research-based interventions and accommodations, students with dyslexia can become confident readers, writers, and learners. 

  • Dyslexic Thinking skills are an exact match for the skills needed in today’s workplace (as identified by the World Economic Forum).

Nebraska Legal Definition

Nebraska Revised Statute 79-1118.01 defines dyslexia as “a specific learning disability under subdivision (13) of this section that (a) is neurobiological in origin, (b) is characterized by difficulties with accurate or fluent word recognition and by poor spelling and decoding abilities, (c) typically results from a deficit in the phonological component of language that is often unexpected in relation to other cognitive abilities and effective classroom instruction, and (d) has secondary consequences that may include problems in reading comprehension and reduced reading experience that may impede growth of vocabulary and background knowledge.”

State dyslexia requirements, policies, and SIMR status

This Statute adds dyslexia to the special education statute. It defines dyslexia as a specified learning disability.

January 11, 2023. On or before July 1 of each year, each school district shall provide to the State Department of Education information relating to dyslexia. Such information shall include, but not be limited to, the number of students in each public school in such district: tested for dyslexia, identified as dyslexic, identified as dyslexic and showing growth in reading.

Beginning in 2018-2019 school year, every student with characteristics of dyslexia shall receive evidence-based multisensory structured literacy instruction. Starting in 2019, all Nebraska teacher education programs shall include instruction in best practices in teaching reading, and in the science and signs of dyslexia.

Beginning in the 2019-2020 school year, an approved reading assessment shall be administered three times per year to students in grades K-3. All students who fall below the threshold level of performance, as determined by the assessments, will be identified as having a reading deficiency. A supplemental reading intervention program shall be provided all students with a reading deficiency.



Fact Sheets

International Dyslexia Association fact sheets are convenient, professionally reviewed materials designed to improve understanding and support advocacy initiatives. Fact sheets are frequently used to enrich and supplement IEP meetings, school board discussions, and district policy initiatives.


My child is not doing well in school. What can I do? 

All children progress at their own pace and learn differently. Be proactive in your child's education.

  • First: Meet with your child's teacher. Discuss what they see in the classroom. Keep open communication with your child's teacher.

  • Second: You can request an educational assessment for your child. This can be done through the public school system or through an educational psychologist.

  • Third: Learn all you can about dyslexia. There is much information online about dyslexia and reading difficulties. Compare the characteristics you observe with your child with the information you read.  No one knows your child as well as you do.

  • Fourth: Consult your pediatrician.

My child needs extra help. Are there tutors available?

Yes! We can connect you with qualified tutors. Please contact Nebraska Dyslexia Association.

What method is the best for helping my child overcome reading difficulties?


There are several evidence-based, proven methods available to assist children who have reading difficulties. The purest guide is to make sure that it is an Orton-Gillingham based, direct, systematic, multi-sensory approach that is evidence-based.


This link provides more information about the Orton Gillingham Instructional Approach and a list of Commercial Reading Systems that employ the Orton-Gillingham approach or equivalent.

Free Online Dyslexia Course from Yale

In Yale's newest course, Overcoming Dyslexia, join Dr. Sally Shaywitz, to learn first-hand what the most current science is teaching us about dyslexia. All the information provided in this course is evidence-based and covers everything you need to know to help yourself, your student or your dyslexic child, become a successful reader.

Topics in this course include:

  •  Evidence-based screening, assessment and diagnosis in children, young adults and adults

  •  Most effective evidence-based treatments for children, young adults and adults

  •  Relation between dyslexia, anxiety and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)

  •  Choosing the right school, college and career

  •  Laws affecting eligibility for special education and accommodations your child requires and deserves

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