How to Help Children with Dyslexia
"Reading is complex. It requires our brains to connect letters to sounds, put those sounds in the right order, and pull the words together into sentences and paragraphs we can read and comprehend. People with dyslexia have trouble matching the letters they see on the page with the sounds those letters and combinations of letters make. And when they have trouble with that step, all the other steps are harder.
Dyslexic children and adults struggle to read fluently, spell words correctly and learn a second language, among other challenges. But these difficulties have no connection to their overall intelligence. In fact, dyslexia is an unexpected difficulty in reading in an individual who has the intelligence to be a much better reader. While people with dyslexia are slow readers, they often, paradoxically, are very fast and creative thinkers with strong reasoning abilities."
- This is how The Yale Center for Dyslexia & Creativity introduces the subject.
Basically, their observation says that we need to change the way we look at this reading/learning disorder. In general people have this tendency to look down while they're talking about such issues. But, we need to know that researchers from prestigious universities said, that although it is a non-curable syndrome still, dyslexia is not related to intelligence. Now we need to move forward with this fact & learn about how to deal with it completely. This article will cater both parents & teachers on how to improvise our kids with this learning syndrome:
Signs of Dyslexia, Early Clues
- Trouble learning common nursery rhymes, such as "Jack and Jill".
- Difficulty learning (and remembering) the names of letters in the alphabet.
- Seems unable to recognize letters in his/her own name.
- Mispronounces familiar words; persistent "baby talk".
- Doesn't recognize rhyming patterns like cat, bat, rat.
- The child may confuse "left" and "right."
- Children with dyslexia commonly find it hard to concentrate.
Tips for Parents
Dear Parents, Dyslexia is not a shameful or over-concerning disorder. Treat it casually & provide a very friendly atmosphere to your kids.
1. Surround your child with reading. Read out loud to her, modeling phrasing and intonation. Allow her to read anything and everything, many times if she likes. Have her read out loud, giving corrective feedback. Listen to books on tape in the car. Make reading a positive experience.
2. Encourage reading fluency. Have him read a short passage several times while you record the time it takes. Children often enjoy seeing if they can improve their time, and the repetition helps establish fluency.
3. Build vocabulary. Ask your child to tell you a new word she has learned every day. Talk about what it means, look it up in a dictionary, and make up sentences with the word. Play a game where each of you uses the word in a sentence at least twice that day, then again that week. Post a "New Vocabulary" word list and add to it daily or weekly.
4. Play games. For a young child particularly, playing games is fun and instructive: clap so she can hear how many syllables a word contains; segment word sounds and blend them back together; call attention to alliterations in songs, poems, and nursery rhymes.
5. Go high-tech. Use computer resources, including apps, digital learning games, and websites with learning games.
Tips for Teachers
Supportive behavior is THE BEST option which you can give to your affected kid for their betterment. Work with your child's IEP team to ensure that the following principles and strategies are incorporated in the reading curriculum:
1. Instruction must be explicit, intensive, systematic, supportive, tied to regular classroom teaching, guided by individual assessments, and motivating. The goal is to increase the number of positive instructional interactions (PIIs) per school day. Students learn more effectively in small groups (1:3) than in a whole class or larger groups.
2. Verify that your child's teacher has undergone appropriate training in reading. Those that are unprepared may need ongoing in-service training, possibly including a mentor in the classroom.
3. Encourage pre-teaching prior to reading a text. Relate everything to real experiences. Generalize with visuals, toys, common household items, field trips.
4. Increase vocabulary by bringing words to life. Select high-utility words. Use new words in conversation and in writing and make sure students have frequent contact with new words in order to "own" them. It's important to teach pronunciation and strategies to read, and to learn new words (roots, affixes). Teach multiple meanings of words, concentrate on figures of speech, synonyms and homophones, always making them concrete.
5. Teach the rules of language, e.g., spelling rules and rule-breakers. Have your child read controlled texts at his level. Have him build speed and knowledge by reading the same words in different contexts. Include timed-fluency drills for repeated practice reading the same words.