[semester equivalent = 4.00 credits]



Rachelle Mulder



According to the Dyslexia Center of Utah, one in five students, or 15-20% of the population, has a language-based learning disability. Dyslexia is the most common of language-based learning disabilities.

This course will introduce you to some practical ways you can help your struggling readers become proficient readers? This class will focus on Sally Shaywitz’s amazing and practical book, Overcoming Dyslexia. This book is guaranteed to change the way you see your students as readers, and it will engage you in a powerful, informative, engaging, and classroom-relevant text. You will learn how to recognize indicators of dyslexia in any age student, the science behind dyslexia research, and give you new tools to help your students become stronger readers.  

The course is PERFECT for teachers to collaborate on their pedagogy and bring about change in their classrooms and is appropriate for grades P-12, including teachers, para-educators, counselors, and other support personnel.

The course text, Overcoming Dyslexia, by Sally Shaywitz, is approximately $13 at Amazon.

LEARNING OUTCOMES: Upon completion of this course, participants will have:

  • Explored and become familiar with how your brain works to read.
  • Explored and become familiar with symptoms of dyslexia.
  • Built background knowledge about effective instructional strategies for teaching reading to all students. 
  • Gained strategies to turn struggling readers into effective readers.  

Completion of all specified assignments is required for issuance of hours or credit. The Heritage Institute does not award partial credit.

Completing the basic assignments (Section A. Information Acquisition) for this course automatically earns participants their choice of CEUs (Continuing Education Units), Washington State Clock Hours, Oregon PDUs, or Pennsylvania ACT 48 Hours. The Heritage Institute offers CEUs and is an approved provider of Washington State Clock Hours, Oregon PDUs, and Pennsylvania ACT 48 Hours.



Continuing Education Quarter credits are awarded by Antioch University Seattle (AUS). AUS requires 75% or better for credit at the 400 level and 85% or better to issue credit at the 500 level. These criteria refer both to the amount and quality of work submitted.

  1. Completion of Information Acquisition assignments 30%
  2. Completion of Learning Application assignments 40%
  3. Completion of Integration Paper assignment 30%


CREDIT/NO CREDIT (No Letter Grades or Numeric Equivalents on Transcripts)
Antioch University Seattle (AUS) Continuing Education Quarter credit is offered on a Credit/No Credit basis; neither letter grades nor numeric equivalents are on a transcript. 400 level credit is equal to a "C" or better, 500 level credit is equal to a "B" or better. This information is on the back of the transcript.

AUS Continuing Education quarter credits may or may not be accepted into degree programs. Prior to registering, determine with your district personnel, department head, or state education office the acceptability of these credits for your purpose.



Text by Sally Shaywitz, Overcoming Dyslexia. (Print version or audiobook). 2020 second edition
Approximately $13.00 from Amazon.

None. All reading is online.





Assignments done in a course forum will show responses from all educators who have or are taking the course independently. Feel free to read and respond to others' comments. 
Group participants can only view and respond to their group members in the Forum. 

Assignment #1: Introduction: Reasons for taking this course.

Read the first two chapters of our text, Overcoming Dyslexia. (pgs. 3-24)
Make a Flipgrid video with this link, answering the following questions.

  • Introduce yourself, where you teach, what you teach, how long you have been teaching, demographics of the students you teach.
  • Tell me about your family, pets, hobbies, anything that will help me know you better.
  • Talk about the things you love about teaching.
  • Discuss one of the challenges you are facing with your students.
  • Share a little about your background information/knowledge about dyslexia.
  • What are three things that you hope you learn in this class?

Post your video on Flipgrid.

Assignment #2: Introduction to dyslexia

  1. Watch the following video by the author titled, “Advice for parents.”
  2. Imagine that a parent asked you about Shaywitz’s video. Please share your
    thoughts with them by writing a 1-2 page summary of her important advice
    to parents.  

Post your response.

Assignment #3: The Nature of Reading and Dyslexia

  1. Watch this short video about Ryann as she described her experiences at school with dyslexia. 
  2. Read Chapters 3-5 in Overcoming Dyslexia (pp 25-60)
  3. Take bulleted notes while reading on a T-graph (this one or one you create)

Post your response.

Assignment #4: Reading and the Brain

  1. Visit the University of Michigan’s Dyslexia Help website.  Please watch
    three (3) videos of individual’s “Success stories”
  2. Read Chapters 6 & 7 in Overcoming Dyslexia (pp.61-88)
  3. Watch this video called, Dyslexia and the Brain.
  4. Create an engaging 4-5 slide PowerPoint titled, How the Brain Reads. 
    This PowerPoint could be geared toward sharing with your students,
    sharing with parents, or sharing with colleagues.  The PowerPoint
    should explain the basics of what happens in the brains of dyslexic readers.  

Post your response.

Assignment #5: Diagnosing Dyslexia (Part 1)

1. Read Chapters 8-11 in Overcoming Dyslexia. (pp 89-138)

2. Watch this video on the Early Sign of Dyslexia.

3. Create a “public service announcement” type poster or handout that
    shares the early signs of dyslexia.  Make sure to include graphics,
    text, and things you have learned from the reading and video.

Post your response.

Assignment #6: Diagnosing Dyslexia (Part 2)

  1. Visit Yale University’s Center for Dyslexia and Creativity website to
    explore the signs of dyslexia and how they vary by age.
  2. Read Chapters 12-15 in Overcoming Dyslexia. (pp. 139-189)
  3. Write a four (4) page paper that outlines the signs of dyslexia at each
    of the following ages. (Approximately 1 page per stage) Preschool years,
    Kindergarten and First Grade, 2nd grade through High School, Young Adults,
    and Adults.

Post your response.

Assignment #7: All Children Can Be Taught to Read

  1. Watch the Video: Dyslexia: A Hidden Disability
  2. Read Chapters 16-17 in Overcoming Dyslexia. (pp. 197-223) 
  3. Page 208 defines Phonemic Awareness. Watch this short video that
    describes Phonological Awareness.
  4. Create a PowerPoint (minimum of 5 slides) that describe the critical
    components of helping students break the “reading code.”

Post your response.

Assignment #8: Helping Children Learn to Read

  1. Read the article, Kids can’t wait: Strategies to support struggling readers
  2. Read Overcoming Dyslexia Chapters 18-19.  (pp. 224-274)
  3. Please record a 1-2 minute Flip Grid video of how you can support at-risk
    readers or advice you could give parents on how to help their children at home.

Post your response.

Assignment #9: Turning Struggling Readers into Proficient Readers

  1. Watch the following video: What Could a Dyslexic Look Like in the Classroom?
  2. Read Overcoming Dyslexia Chapters 20-22. (pp. 275-358)
  3. Create a mind map of notes while you are reading. Minimum of 5 pages
    as you are reading these dense chapters.  

    Post your response

Assignment #10: Choosing a School

  1. Watch this YouTube video: Helping Struggling Readers: Reading for Their Life.
  2. Read Overcoming Dyslexia Chapters 23-25. (pp. 313-358)
  3. Watch a video of your choice about dyslexia.  Find one of particular interest to you.
  4. Write a 3-5 page paper summarizing what you learned from these informative videos.          

Post your response.

Assignment #11: Solutions for Dyslexia

  1. Visit Bright Solutions for Dyslexia website.
  2. Watch this video that sheds light on the gifts of dyslexia.
  3. Read Overcoming Dyslexia Chapters 26-29. (pp. 359-418)
  4. Create a 5-8 slide PowerPoint that highlights the gifts of dyslexia
    as referenced in the above video. This can be geared towards
    your colleagues, students, or parents. 

Post your response.

Assignment #12: Making It Work for The Dyslexic Child & Adult. (Part 1)

  1. Read Overcoming Dyslexia Chapters 30-33. (pp. 419-488)
  2. Take 2-3 pages of notes while reading these final chapters in
    best format for your learning style. 

Post your response



In this section, you will apply your learning to your professional situation. This course assumes that most participants are classroom teachers who have access to students. If you do not have a classroom available to you, please contact the instructor for course modifications. Assignments done in a course forum will show responses from all educators who have or are taking the course independently. ​Feel free to read and respond to others' comments. Group participants can only view and respond to their group members in the Forum. 


Assignment #13: Summary of Overcoming Dyslexia

In a 2–3-page reflection paper, analyze your strengths and areas of growth as a teacher when reflecting on all you have learned during this course.  Please focus on what you are currently doing as a teacher that supports ALL the learners in your classroom and areas that you want to improve on or implement new strategies to meet your student’s needs. 

Post your response.

Assignment #14: Lesson Plan Development

Complete one (1) of the following:

Option A) 

  • Adapt/create a lesson reflecting what you’ve learned in this course,
    with appropriate accommodations for your dyslexic students. 
  • Implement your lesson with students in your classroom.
  • Write a 450-500 word commentary on what worked well and what
    could be improved.
  • Include any student feedback or noteworthy student products.
  • Submit your lesson to your instructor via the lesson tab below.
  • Share what you've learned with other teachers taking our courses
    by checking the lesson library box when you submit your lesson.

Option B)  
Use this option if you do not have a classroom or students available.

  • Adapt/create several lessons with accommodations for your dyslexic
    students to reflect what you’ve learned in this course. (Do not implement it.)
  • Write a 500+ word article concerning any noteworthy success you’ve
    had as a teacher with one or more students who struggle with dyslexia. 
  • Please refer to the guidelines for our blog What Works: Teaching at its
    Best prior to writing your article.
  • When you submit your article to your instructor, please email a copy to
    Renee Leon (, the THI blog curator. Please indicate
    whether or not you are OK with having your article considered for
    publishing on our website.
  • Submit your article to your instructor via the Response field and the
    modified lesson via Submit Lesson.
  • As you submit your lesson, consider sharing it with other teachers
    taking our courses by checking the lesson library box.

Post your response.

Assignment #15: Frequently Asked Questions

Review the following two websites.

  1. Dyslexia Help Success starts here.
  2. The Yake Center for Dyslexia & Creativity.  Dyslexia FAQ.
  3. Create an eight (8) slide PowerPoint presentation to address
    the FAQs that are most applicable to the students and families
    you serve regarding dyslexia.

Post your response

Assignment #16: Letter to Parents

Reflection on all the reading and videos you have watched for this class and write a 2-3 page letter to new parents.  Please encourage them to adopt healthy habits around reading as well as warnings about red flags for dyslexia.  
Post your response.

Assignment #17: Focal Student

  1. Select an individual student that you work with that you suspect has dyslexia
  2. Track that student over the next week and keep a log of what you notice.
  3. After the week, please write a 2-3 page reflection or create a 2-minute video on
    what you learned about this student, and what next steps you will take to continue
    meeting their individual needs or better meet their reading goals.  

    Post your response.

Assignment #18: (500 Level ONLY) Research Dyslexia Curriculums

In addition to the 400 level assignments, complete the following assignment.

  1. Explore the following two (2) websites that give you an overview of two reading
    curriculums for dyslexic students.  Imagine that you are in charge of choosing
    how to spend a $5000 grant on reading materials to best meet the needs of your
    struggling readers.
  2. Compare the two (2) curriculums in a 3-4 page reflection paper or an eight (8) slide
    PowerPoint that highlights the benefits and components of each curriculum. 

Post your response.

Assignment #19: (500 Level ONLY) Presentation

In addition to the 400 level assignments, complete the following assignment and, in addition, one (1) of the following three assignment options:

Option A) Presentation
Prepare a PowerPoint, Keynote, or video presentation on dyslexia for an
audience of teachers and administrators in your district/school.
If you are not currently teaching, make this presentation a general
presentation of information and recommendations about teaching
dyslexic students. Include your suggestions for a plan of action to
identify at-risk readers:

  • A plan to communicate these needs with parents.
  • Systems of support you can put in place to help struggling readers.
  • Accommodations you can encourage throughout your school system to
    help all students be successful.

Presentations should be a minimum of eight (8) slides, or a video,
a minimum of 3 minutes in length.. 
Option B) Summary of Work

Choose three articles related to dyslexia.  Read them and then summarize
the key concepts and recommendations from the authors. This should be 
3-4 pages (500-750 words).
Option C) Create an Assignment

Create another assignment of your own design with the instructor’s prior approval.

Post your response


Assignment #20: (Required for 400 and 500 level)

(Please do not write this paper until you've completed all of your other assignments)

Write a 400-500 word Integration Paper answering these 5 questions:

  1. What did you learn vs. what you expected to learn from this course?
  2. What aspects of the course were most helpful and why?
  3. What further knowledge and skills in this general area do you feel you need?
  4. How, when and where will you use what you have learned?
  5. How and with what other school or community members might you share what you learned?


Instructors will comment on each assignment. If you do not hear from the instructor within a few days of posting your assignment, please get in touch with them immediately.


Rachelle Mulder received her Master of Science in Education (M.S. Ed.) from Dominican University and her B.A. in Elementary Education from Pacific Lutheran University. Rachelle Mulder is an experienced educator with over 25 years of elementary and college teaching experience. In addition to her teaching responsibilities, she has served as an ELA Instructional Coach for the State of Washington. This has provided invaluable experience working with teachers in their classrooms, planning and presenting professional development, and modeling and co-teaching lessons with classroom teachers. Rachelle has had the privilege of working with thousands of students and hundreds of teachers. She has taught Kindergarten-4th grade, Special Education, LAP, Library, PE, and Music. In addition, Rachelle has served as an Instructor at Whitworth University as well as supervising practicum students. She has taught in the following schools and districts; Shining Mountain Elementary, Bethel S.D., Liberty Ridge, Sumner S.D., Laura B. Sprague School, Lincolnshire, S.D, Brentwood Elementary, Mead School District, Prairie View Elementary, Mead School District. Teaching is a calling and privilege in her life.



Shaywitz, S. (2020). Overcoming dyslexia: Second edition, completely revised and updated. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. 

Bright Solutions for Dyslexia. Home. (n.d.). Retrieved February 10, 2022, from

Dyslexia FAQ. Yale Dyslexia. (n.d.). Retrieved February 10, 2022, from

Dyslexia help at the University of Michigan. Dyslexia Help at the University of Michigan. (n.d.). Retrieved February 10, 2022, from

Frequently asked questions. Dyslexia Help at the University of Michigan. (n.d.). Retrieved February 10, 2022, from

The Intensive Reading Intervention Program to make every student A reader. EPS. (n.d.). Retrieved February 10, 2022, from

The Yale Center for Dyslexia & Creativity - Yale School of Medicine. Yale Dyslexia. (n.d.). Retrieved February 10, 2022, from 

Bright solutions: Free on-line videos. Bright Solutions | Free On-Line Videos. (n.d.). Retrieved February 10, 2022, from

Decoding dyslexia oh. (n.d.). Retrieved February 10, 2022, from

Productions, H. (2021, December 12). A conversation about reading and the brain. Vimeo. Retrieved February 10, 2022, from

Signs of dyslexia. Yale Dyslexia. (n.d.). Retrieved February 10, 2022, from

What are the early warning signs of dyslexia ... - youtube. (n.d.). Retrieved February 10, 2022, from

What is dyslexia? - Kelli Sandman-Hurley - YouTube. (n.d.). Retrieved February 10, 2022, from

What is phonological awareness? - youtube. (n.d.). Retrieved February 10, 2022, from