building confidence in children with dyslexia
When you have dyslexia and have difficulty reading and writing, your weaknesses are on show every day. It’s not like an obvious physical disability which people can see and therefore understand, it is invisible. a dyslexic child confidence levels can be extremely low.
Even now there is still a large amount of ignorance surrounding dyslexia, especially among the general public and even some teachers. One thing we see far too often is for a person displaying signs of dyslexia becoming a target for bullying behaviour. Other children can be cruel with their comments, and an ill-judged comment can have devastating long-term effects.
If teachers are not well-trained on how to help a child with dyslexia, they can accidentally be the cause of labelling. This can often be just as a result of the sheer frustration of seeing little progress in a pupil. Words or phrases with negative connotations can easily be used in haste. These adjectives “stick”.
Living daily in an environment like this begins to take a toll and soon the dyslexic pupil adds his or her own insults to the growing list in the form of a negative inner dialogue. Life can become a nightmare and self-esteem low.
The benefits of Helping a Child with Dyslexia
To begin with it is essential is to find the correct form of teaching to address the difficulties and improve reading and spelling skills. When children see that they can take control of their learning they feel less controlled and imprisoned by dyslexia. (See our article: How to Help a Child with Dyslexia for more information).
But, getting the right form of teaching isn’t going to be effective by itself with out addressing the negative mind-set.
Learning to have some self-belief is so important for progress. Bringing in some form of therapy can have enormous benefits. This doesn’t have to be a professional therapist; an informed and sympathetic teacher, parent or even an older child. This is sometimes all that it takes for the dyslexic child to get a new perspective on the condition and view it as a challenge rather than a handicap.
Whoever is taking on the role of counsellor must be a good listener. Only through paying attention to what is being said will the appropriate help be given.
Showing Different can be Better
It is a great benefit to explain in simple language the way in which their brain is different. To tell them that it is not the whole of their brain but just a small area that is affected. All the other parts are working as normal and, in many cases, better than normal.
They need to be shown how they are often very gifted in other ways. People with dyslexia are often talented at problem solving, lateral thinking and have great spatial awareness. This makes for great artists, musicians, sports people and a great imagination for creative activities.
This is because they have learned to get themselves out of challenging situations by being creative and finding imaginative solutions. All of these are talents and skills which they should be proud of and encouraged to explore and develop further.
With dyslexia confidence can be linked to control, understanding why reading and writing is difficult, seeing strengths and taking control of their learning can make a huge difference.
USING OUR RESOURCES to help you take control
It really can’t be understated the difference helping a child take control of their learning can make. Helping them see that there is a way to improve their reading, spelling and understanding of language makes for an emotional turning point in the dyslexic child confidence levels and self-esteem!
Useful learning resources
Find out more about how to support children with dyslexia with Spelling Success, a mnemonic dictionary by Chris Blance.
A dictionary of 263 high frequency words using the initial word mnemonic chant method. Each word has it’s own unique chant and cartoon illustration. Targeting only words that are not spelled correctly, it is quite usual for pupils to remember hundreds of these chants and a chant learned is a word that can be spelled correctly. This book can transform the spelling of commonly occurring words in a fun way!
Once a child sees that they can find a way of leaning that works for them you’ll find a huge difference in their confidence.