6 Ways Parents Can Help
Find out as much as you can about dyslexia then explain it to your child.
Our free ebook is the perfect tool for this – read through together and learn about the different types of dyslexia, their signs, symptoms, strengths and weaknesses.
1. Look out for signs of emotional stress
Consequences of dyslexia are frustration, anger, low self-esteem or becoming withdrawn.
Before reading and spelling can be improved your child needs to believe they can succeed.
2. People with dyslexia need constant praise and support to rebuild self-esteem
It is very important to have someone who believes in you and is supportive.
Praising even very small achievements will build self-confidence.
3. Never compare their school work with that of their brother or sister
Perhaps because they already feel bad about themselves people with dyslexia are often sensitive to criticism.
4. Don’t get angry when kit is lost or homework forgotten
Failing to remember spoken and written instructions or forgetting where something has been left is a consequence of dyslexia.
They can’t help it and will feel depressed by being unable to remember.
Help them become more organised by introducing strategies.
5. At the beginning of each school year meet your child’s teacher
Make sure they know about dyslexia and what they can do to help. You could encourage them to take our Dyslexia Training course for a better insight into dyslexia.
6. Get your child assessed as early as possible
Students assessed early (by age 7) show the best response to reading interventions!
We offer our own dyslexia screening tool ‘Dyslexia Quest’ – in just minutes it will test memory and learning skills and explain whether they are signs of dyslexia. It’s the perfect stepping stone between professional screening and intervention.
A person with dyslexia is likely to find it difficult to organise everyday tasks.
- 1. Provide checklists. Set routines.
- 2. Colour-code their timetable so that lessons can be seen at a glance.
- 3. Pack school bags the night before and put them by the front door.
- 4. Establish a place where everything must be put away immediately after use.
Many schools still teach spelling using a traditional method of ‘Look, cover, write, check’ but this does not work for those with dyslexia.
1. Mispronounce the word the way it is spelled
For example, ‘want’ say ‘w…ant’. This is good for silent letters and for ‘Wed…nes…day’.
2. Link the word to a picture
A picture is more readily remembered and acts as a visual clue. For example, ‘first’ is often misspelled as ‘ferst’. Draw an ‘i’ winning a race and say ‘I come first’. They will remember the picture of the ‘i’ which is the part of the word which is forgotten.
This strategy uses a phrase where the first letter of each word spells the one you want to remember.
As a mnemonic for ‘does’ say “does Oliver eat spaghetti?”
The first letter of each word spells the word ‘does’.
Drawing a funny picture will reinforce the memory.
Try to start the mnemonic with the word you want to remember.
A vital skill to develop before writing is learning to express ideas clearly and simply. Read a small bit then ask them to tell you about it in as few words as possible. Someone with dyslexia needs much more time to complete writing tasks.
1. Plan using key words.
People with dyslexia need a visual plan to help structure their ideas. Before starting a writing task, make a list of ideas using only one or two words for each bullet point. When writing, each point can be expanded into a sentence. Cross it off the list as it is written.
2. Use a computer rather than writing with a pen.
Request that the school accept written work produced on word processing program. This will help with speed, spelling and legibility.
1. As you read, create simple thumbnail drawings in the margin beside each point.
Many people with dyslexia focus so much effort upon the mechanics of reading that they cannot remember what they have read. When you look back the pictures will help remember what you have read.
2. Build up words by uncovering part at a time.
Encourage your child to use their finger or a small card to reveal a word in chunks. Build up the word by syllable and learn to recognise prefixes and suffixes.
3. Use a coloured background.
Some people with dyslexia experience a ‘glare’ when reading black text on a white background. This can make it difficult to focus and tiring to read. Try laying a sheet of coloured acetate over the page to see if it helps.
4. After a short burst, take over the reading to provide a rest period.
Discuss what you have read to make sure it is understood.
1. Picture thinking.
People with dyslexia usually think in pictures.
Use this strength by visualising the thing you want to remember.
When revising a topic make a page of drawings to represent the main points.
2. Give no more than two instructions at a time.
e.g. put your bowl in the dishwasher then brush your teeth. To make it more memorable the dyslexic should repeat it back or visualise doing the action.
3. Reinforce learning with actions and multisensory activities.
See it. Hear it. Say it. Do it.