Children with dyslexia have specific learning needs, but with the right guidance and support they can succeed like any other student. In today's world, public schools offer many different programs and resources to assist students with dyslexia. You can also help by implementing some of these tools when your child isn't at school! Here are Tutor Doctor's tips for home strategies to help your child with their dyslexia.
1) Encourage reading with assistance. Since difficulty reading is most commonly associated with dyslexia, children benefit greatly from any extra practice. Traditionally, students would read aloud with a parent or counselor, allowing them to to ask for help with certain words or pronunciations. This is still a great technique – nothing beats turning the pages of a real book! Of course with modern technology, we are no longer limited to just physical books either. Audio books are also a great idea! Depending on your child's reading level, they may be able to follow the text while hearing the words spoken aloud. This is an effective approach towards improving both reading and verbal skills in children with dyslexia. From Roald Dahl to Dr. Seuss, many classic titles are readily available in audio book format!
2) Use technology to your advantage. There's also a ton of great educational apps available to help with dyslexia. Apps that perform “text-to-speech” functions make it possible for any book to essentially become an “audio” book! This can also be helpful for textbooks and other literature that hasn't had spoken audio book recordings created for it yet. Be sure to check out your “app store” for some awesome apps to help with reading!
3) Find alternative activities that involve reading. Reading encouragement, in any form, is the best thing you can do for your child with dyslexia. Comic books, graphic novels, educational television, and some video games require reading. If these types of media interest your child and encourage them to actively read more, then go for it! Tutor Doctor always recommends allowing the use of alternative reading materials.
4) Keep an eye out for emotional distress. The last thing we want is for our children is to become frustrated, as this can discourage them and may hinder their progress. If your child appears to be struggling, encourage them to take a break or step in to help out. As we always say at Tutor Doctor, positive praise is the best motivator. Make sure your child knows that making mistakes is totally fine, and that they're making a great effort!
5) Work closely with your child's school. You will likely spend most of your time communicating with your child's school from home. Make sure to keep in touch with their teachers, counselors, and learning coaches. Make sure your child's school is fully aware of their learning disability. Most schools will take steps to create an IEP or 504 plan to better support their needs. Try to keep steady communication with your child's teachers to ensure they are getting access to the right resources in the classroom.