Unlocking the imaginations of the young and young at heart

Dyslexia

What is Dyslexia?

Dyslexia is the most common learning difficulty in the UK, affecting up to 10% of the population.  Otherwise known as developmental reading disorder, children with dyslexia struggle to read fluently and with accurate comprehension. It affects memory and processing speed which impacts on literacy development, mathematics, memory, organisation and sequencing skills to varying degrees. Dyslexia is neurological in origin and is seen to run in families.

Dyslexia and School

Dyslexia is a common learning difficulty and teachers are able to adopt teaching methods and strategies to help your dyslexic child. An important factor is the successful integration into the classroom environment and this can be achieved as long as the specific difficulties and how they may affect classroom performance are understood.

Dyslexic children have many strengths; oral skills, comprehension, good visual spatial awareness / artistic abilities. It is thought that more and more dyslexic children could become talented and gifted pupils if teachers focus on their specific areas of strength from an early age.

Problems occur when a dyslexic child feels mentally abused by their peers within the school environment because they have trouble learning to read. If a child is integrated into the class environment successfully and is made to feel comfortable and develops confidence and self esteem then much of their trauma can be alleviated.

In the past, class teachers have been confused by the pupil whose consistent underachievement seems due to lack of effort. With increased knowledge, teachers now have a greater understanding of dyslexic behaviour. In a positive and encouraging school, a dyslexic child will experience the feeling of success and self-value.

Helping your child at school:

 

  • Encourage good organisational skills. The use of folders and dividers helps to keep work easily accessible

  • By the end of a school day a dyslexic child is generally more tired than his peers because everything requires more thought, tasks take longer and nothing comes easily. More errors are likely to be made; set a limit on time spent on homework and agree with your child's teacher

  • Put key words on a card index system or on the inside cover of their maths book so it can be used for reference and revision.

  • Encourage pupils to verbalize and to talk their way through each step of the problem. Many children find this very helpful.


Encouraging Reading

 

  •   A structured reading scheme that involves repetition and introduces new words slowly is extremely important. This allows the child to develop confidence and self esteem when reading.
  •   Don't ask pupils to read a book at a level beyond their current skills, this will instantly demotivate them. Motivation is far better when demands are not too high, and the child can actually enjoy the book. If he has to labour over every word he will forget the meaning of what he is reading.
  •   Spare the dyslexic child the ordeal of having to 'read aloud in class'. Reserve this for a quiet time with the class teacher. Alternatively, perhaps give the child advanced time to read pre-selected reading material, to be practiced at home the day before. This will help ensure that the child is seen to be able to read out loud, along with other children
  •   Real books should also be available for paired reading with an adult, which will often generate enthusiasm for books. Story tapes can be of great benefit for the enjoyment and enhancement of vocabulary.
  •   Always remember that reading should be fun!