Eight Ways to Help a Child with Dyslexia
This article lists 8 ways to help support a child who has been diagnosed with dyslexia.
1. If you suspect you child is dyslexic, get him tested. Your school district might have a good testing program (although required by Federal Law, many school district are not well versed in testing for dyslexia). If you prefer to use somebody outside the school district, ensure they have experience with diagnosing dyslexia. Get very specific recommendations and ensure the school implements them.
2. Many of the early reading programs will not be effective with a dyslexic, as a matter it will frustrate them to no end. They often use just phonics, and the kids cannot process the phoneme (word blends such as st and ing) in the words. Instead they will require special reading programs that focus on how their brain processes information. As a parent you will have to experiment around to find if any of the regular programs are suitable for your child.
3. As a parent, you will have to be very patient with your child. Just because she is dyslexic, that doesn’t mean she is not smart. The traditional way schools teach children to read, is not conducive to good learning by a child with dyslexia. You might have to higher a tutor that specializes in teaching programs designed for dyslexic kids.
4. The use of technology is getting more and more popular. Look on the Internet and you can find website that have text and a narrator read it. Type in dyslexia in the AppStore and you will find iPhone, iTouch, and iPad apps available that read and highlight text to help children with dyslexia and reading issues. Our eReading: Gulliver’s Travels app is specifically designed for children with reading issues. There are separate devices available that read written text. There programs on the computer available that convert written language into spoken language (iMac computers have that build in). Lastly, almost every book is nowadays available as an audiobooks.
5. Just because a child has dyslexia, that doesn’t mean they don’t like to be read to or read themselves. They still like the knowledge. Read to your child. A lot! Also have books that interests them in the house.
6. Use a multiple-sensory approach to teach the letters in the alphabet. Have them write letters in the snow, sand, or in a pan with rice. Have them say and write the letters in the air. Draw the letters on their back, back of their hand, or similar body part. You can bake cookies and form letters, cut bread in the shape of letters, or have them use clay to form the letters. Use your imagination!
7. Self-esteem is a problem with kids who have dyslexia. Stay patient and support them. Ensure they are not getting bullied at school or when playing with other kids.
8. Children with dyslexia often have incredible talents with coming up with creative solutions and being able to visualize things. Focus on their strength and encourage these talents through play, art, music, drawing, sports, or theater.