We’ve put together a short list of ideas for you to help your child deal with their dyslexia when reading and writing at home. There are varying levels of dyslexia so each child will have different needs and react differently, and it is important to work out what works best for them. Below are some suggestions to help get you started.
Add more detail
A great way to help you child understand the details of the word they are trying to read is to break it down for them. After they have read it out loud, ask them to spell the letters that make up the word, taking note of the vowels, and how the letters at the start, middle and end come together.
Sometimes it becomes easier for a child with dyslexia to find a visual connection to a sight word. A good way to do this is to write a word on both sides of a piece of paper. On one side your son or daughter can draw a picture that they associate with the word. Over time they can move from the drawing side onto the other side of the paper that only contains the word.
Encourage use of the senses
Children with dyslexia learn better when encouraged to engage with their senses. For example, using their sense of touch allows them to trace letters on textured materials, using plasticine for example. They can also trace the word in the air with their finger as they speak the word aloud.
The use of mnemonics has been proven to be really helpful in teaching kids with dyslexia. This is essentially a way to help them remember a certain word. An example of this would be the common way of remembering the colours of the rainbow: ROY G. BIV (Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet) can be turned into a memorable phrase such as Remember Only Your Great Friends
Build their confidence
Dyslexia can eat away at a child’s confidence very quickly, and their sense of self-belief needs to be established before they can learn to live with and overcome their learning difficulties. Small bits of praise on a consistent basis go a long way to helping a child really feel they are doing well, growing their inner strength to continue trying their best to learn.
Helping reading errors
If your child has a problem with a particular word there are stages you can go through to help them figure it out. The first step is to supply the word when they first become stuck on it. If they experience a problem with the word again let them continue as the whole sentence may help them understand what the missing word is. If not, give hints about the sound of the word, or if it relates to a picture on the page encourage them to think about the connection between the two.
Take your time
The key thing to remember is that small batches of words, maybe one or two a day, will make it easier for your child to remember the words. Once you have a group of 10-15 words to practice and once mastered, continue to add new words at a similar pace.