Founded in Memory of Samuel T. Orton.


  The New Hampshire Branch serves    

  Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont


Dyslexia Research, Education & Advocacy


P. O. Box 3724   
Concord, NH 03302    

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Evaluating Professionals Fact Sheet

Many parents are unable to find effective instruction to meet the educational needs of their children. This situation is especially true for reading instruction. That is, most public school teachers are not trained in the scientifically based approaches that are effective for a child with dyslexia. The following guidelines will help you know what to ask and how to find and evaluate an educational professional independent of the school. This is especially necessary, if you feel that your child is not receiving adequate instructional services from a qualified teacher within the school.

How do I know if a professional is reputable or qualified?  
Learn more.

Knowledge and Practice Standards for Teachers of Reading

The IDA Knowledge and Practice Standards for Teachers of Reading (Knowledge and Practice Standards) provide a comprehensive research-based framework that articulates what all reading teachers and specialists should know and be able to demonstrate to teach reading successfully to all students. The focus of the Knowledge and Practice Standards is the structure of language and its component systems, their connections to design and delivery of instruction, and the complex nature of skilled reading. Such knowledge is critical in teaching those with dyslexia and other struggling readers, but all students can benefit from the Structured Literacy approach.  IDA Fact Sheet

Teacher Preparation

The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) consistently finds that 35% of fourth graders in the United States are reading at a level that is below basic. Research has demonstrated that most reading difficulties can be resolved or diminished when reading is taught by a highly knowledgeable and skilled teacher.

The identification of individuals with dyslexia and other reading difficulties, and appropriate instruction by a well-trained teacher using a structured approach to teaching reading, has been a cornerstone of IDA since its beginning. The components of Structured Literacy are outlined in the IDA Knowledge and Practice Standards for Teachers of Reading. These comprehensive standards define what all teachers of reading need to know and be able to do so that all students become proficient readers. To ensure that teachers and specialists are appropriately trained, in 2012 IDA began reviewing and accrediting teacher training programs, both university-based and independent, for their alignment with the IDA Standards. For a list of university programs that have been accredited by IDA, click here. For a list of independent teacher training programs accredited by IDA, click here. Graduates of these programs will be eligible to sit for the IDA exam and receive IDA certification, indicating a high level of knowledge and skill to teach all children to become strong readers.

Definition of Dyslexia

“Dyslexia is characterized by difficulties with accurate and / or fluent word recognition and by poor spelling and decoding abilities. These difficulties typically result from a deficit in the phonological component of language that is often unexpected in relation to other cognitive abilities and the provision of effective classroom instruction. Secondary consequences may include problems in reading comprehension and reduced reading experience that can impede growth of vocabulary and background knowledge.”

Adopted by the IDA Board of Directors, Nov. 12, 2002.

This Definition is also used by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD). Many state education codes, including Ohio and Utah, have adopted this definition. Learn more about how consensus was reached on this definition: Definition Consensus Project.

Dyslexia Elevator Pitch

People with dyslexia should be armed with the same ability to explain their Learning Difference quickly and concisely so that friends, family, coworkers and teachers can get an overview of their struggles easily. Here’s a short and sweet breakdown of what that elevator pitch may look like.  Read more.

Parent’s Guide to Effective Instruction Fact Sheet

Reading problems are the most common type of academic underachievement. Especially for students with dyslexia, learning to read and write can be exceedingly difficult. Dyslexia and related reading and language difficulties are the result of neurobiological variations, but they can be treated with effective instruction.   Read More. 

PUSHING BACK: What to Say When Your School Gets It Wrong

IDA is committed to providing our Parent Members with current relevant information that will help their children reach their fullest potential. IDA has published a new advocacy document entitled Pushing Back: What to Say When Your School Gets It Wrong.

We encourage you to read this important information. A printable version and reference documents are available.

Reference Documents:
State Laws Table 
"Dear Colleague" letter from the US Department of Education


The New Hampshire Branch of The International Dyslexia Association (NHIDA)

The New Hampshire Branch is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit scientific and educational organization serving Maine, Vermont and New Hampshire.    We educate the community about the causes, symptoms, assessment and remediation of dyslexia; disseminate information about available resources; teach multisensory structured language instructional approaches to educators and other professionals; and collaborate with organizations working on behalf of people with dyslexia.

NHIDA's mission is to serve as a local connection for the general public in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont as a gateway to the international community through the International Dyslexia Association regarding matters pertaining to individuals with dyslexia.

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