Since 1994, the Department of Education has witnessed a dramatic shift in the increase in the number of children who require a special needs education. Almost half of the students assigned to Special Education are there because they cannot read on grade level. Reading is a complex process, when it is not mastered; students struggle to become independent learners. Special needs students often have learning disabilities, developmental disabilities, attention deficit disorders, or dyslexia. Special Education programs must be customized to address each individual's unique needs.
Students with a reading disability are often in the normal range of intellectual ability. Yet then continually fall behind in reading. These students often feel stupid because they see their peers succeeding in ways that they cannot. They often act out in class or do not participate to take attention away from their reading disability. They frequently become frustrated when required to read or write independently.
The impact of a reading disability like dyslexia is different for each person. The central difficulty is with word recognition, reading fluency, spelling, and writing. However, some students mange to learn early reading skills, but they experience more severe problems when addressing more complex language skills like: grammar, understanding textbook material, and writing essays.
Students with a learning difficulty, especially dyslexia can learn to read and write well. However, most people with dyslexia need a multisensory, structured language approach. It is important that dyslexic students to be taught with a systematic and explicit method that involves several senses (hearing, seeing, speaking, touching) at the same time. Many dyslexic students need one-on-one instruction and targeted corrective feedback so that they can progress at their own pace.