Advice for Parents – Children with Dyslexia

Writing Strategies

An important skill to develop before writing is learning to express ideas clearly and in a simple way. Read a small bit then ask the child to tell you about it in his/her own words. 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.

Reading Strategies

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 remind you of 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 recognize prefixes and suffixes.

3. Use a coloured background.

Some people with dyslexia may 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.

Memory Strategies

1. Picture thinking.

People with dyslexia usually think in pictures. Use this strength by visualizing 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 child should repeat it back or visualize doing the action.

3. Reinforce learning with actions and multisensory activities.

See it. Hear it. Say it. Do it.

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