Dyslexia is a learning differences that influences how children read and write. It does not only affect reading and writing skills. Dyslexia is actually about information processing. Dyslexic people may have difficulty in processing and remembering information they see and hear which can affect learning. It can also have an impact on organisational skills. We must remember that there are positives to thinking differently. Many dyslexic people show strengths in areas such as reasoning in visual and creative fields.
As a parent or teacher of a child with dyslexia you can sometimes feel lost. Not knowing how to assist you child/student when they are struggling. It is hard to comprehend what the learning experience is like through the eyes of someone with dyslexia when you have not experienced it yourself.
However, there are numerous, straightforward strategies you can adopt to make dreaded homework easier or support a struggling dyslexic in your class. To help you, help them we have put together a simple table of strategies, based on each area of challenge a dyslexic child may have. Try to slot them into your day to day lives, not just at homework time and see what a huge impact they can have!
Area of Concern
|The child has auditory processing issues.
The child struggles with processing auditory information quickly.
The child may misread similar words and struggles with transposing from the board.
The child may struggle to processing instructions as quickly as other students.
The child struggles with recalling complex subject specific vocabulary.
The child lacks confidence with reading out loud but can do it with support.
The child struggles to read black text on a white background.
The child struggles to read and recall new information.
→ Speak slowly and break down important information into small, manageable chunks – for example “Turn to page 35…look at the diagram…then discuss it with your partner”.
→ Give instructions in the order they should be done – “First, draw a diagram of what you think will happen. Then, mix the liquids together”
→ Encourage the child to summarise what you have said to her; in order to confirm her understanding.
→ Repeat instructions if the child has not fully processed the information.
→Check that the child is still attending to spoken information and has not ‘lost the thread’.
→The child may use a coloured overlay to reduce visual stress.
→Check that she is reading material accurately and not misreading words that they know.
→ Limit the amount of material that the child is expected to copy from the board.
→ Give instructions simply and clearly.
→ Make sure the is looking at you before you give an instruction.
→Encourage her to ask if she has forgotten what they need to do.
→Breakdown tasks into small steps and instructions. Encourage them to repeat back to check that she/he has understood.
→Provide work banks, mind maps, wall charts and personalised dictionaries as memory aids.
→ Create visual summaries of discussions as you go – mind mapping, flow charts, diagrams, comic strip format.
→ Give the child the text prior to the time when you would like them to read out loud so they can practice. Allow them to read out loud with headphones in their ears. Do not pressure them to read if they look anxious.
→Use a cream paper for all the child’s documents.
→Allow the child to take notes and draw when the teacher is speaking. These notations will help jog her memory.