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A Quick Guide to Dyslexia and Working Memory Issues

Contrary to popular belief, working memory has little to do with memories and more to
do with memorization of information. The Yale Center for Dyslexia & Creativity reports,
“often an educational evaluation will describe a dyslexic student as having low working

Working memory links short-term memory and long-term memory by strategically
storing important information like phone numbers and passwords. Working memory also
allows room for problem-solving or making connections and decisions.

So, why do nearly 50% of people with dyslexia struggle with working memory?

Imagine struggling to read and understand a story while your brain is unable to process
the words or phrases. It’d be pretty difficult to comprehend and keep up with the
storyline, let alone read it outloud.

When someone without dyslexia is reading information, they are typically able to
understand the plot, comprehend the information and stay organized both
chronologically and phonologically.

Some of the most intelligent and successful people in our history books were diagnosed
with dyslexia. This is important to remember when someone, especially young children,
are struggling to read and write words they can pronounce correctly or with little
problem. These students with dyslexia are often harder workers by necessity and more
efficient because they understand what it means to fall behind.

Most students with dyslexia will require accommodations in the classroom along with
therapy and, long after therapy. These accommodations might include color coding,
scrap paper or extended amounts of time for evaluations.

We recently shared 5 ways anyone with dyslexia can improve their working memory,
which include multisensory activities, consistent routines, structured learning, word
association and spaced repetition.

For more information about best practices for improving working memory, visit

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